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Aether Packing Cubes

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    Aether Packing Cubes

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    I love the Aether Packing Cubes. Love ‘em. The matte, semi-opaque colors are pleasing to the eye, the fabric’s hand is finely textured yet still smooth enough for the cubes to slide against each other easily, and the zipper pulls are elfin and diminutive when compared to the pulls on the Halcyon Packing Cube. Aether cubes are streamlined and the seam finishing is so sleek; this neatness contributes to its lighter-than-air aesthetic.

    At the same time, the Aether isn’t a lightweight in durability. That airy fabric is ultralight nylon ripstop and the cute little zipper is still a YKK. The Aether also maintains the webbing grab handle of its Halcyon cousin.

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    When I was testing the Aether, I looked for two things: ease of use and functionality. Luckily, it excels at both. The zipper glides effortlessly, with no struggle to move it around the contours of the cube. The one potential issue I see getting a grip on the small zipper pull might be difficult if you’re wearing gloves, but I suspect that is not too likely to occur. In terms of functionality, I was unsure how the thinner, more flexible fabric would work compared to the Halcyon we all know and love, but I was worried for no reason: the ripstop is just robust enough that the Aether cubes have a similar amount of structure as the Halcyon cubes; if the Aether is packed very full and sloppily, there will be some bulging, but that’s also true for Halcyon models as well. I had to be ever so slightly more attentive to my rolling or folding when packing into Aether cubes, but the inconvenience/hardship was so minimal I’m not sure why I’m even telling you.

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    So, for me anyway, the Aether cubes get a whole lot right. That said, I’m not going to chuck out all my Halcyon cubes because both models are eminently useful, making personal taste the deciding factor when determining which is “better.” If I was into counting ounces or grams when managing my kit, I might be more scrupulous, but (to be honest) if that was the case I’d probably be using different packing equipment altogether. Both Halcyon and Aether cubes give me the performance I’m looking for given the sort of traveling I do. In the future, a decision to buy one versus the other will come down to how I envision using it, or if I require different colors.
    Last edited by Badger; 03-31-2016, 07:51 PM.

    #2
    I want purple packing cubes for my WF :(
    Self-declared Captain of Team AUBERSKY

    Hoping for a return of Hunter and Sage...

    Comment


      #3
      @Badger, how do they compare in functionality and weight with the existing mesh/fabric packing cube? I'm thinking in particular of the large one that sits in the main compartment of my Aeronaut 30. I already have one which holds most of my clothes when I take the A30, so I'm wondering if there is a reason to buy another. I kind of like the mesh because I feel like it lets the clothes breathe a little, and I pretty much keep things in the cubes while I'm traveling.

      ---

      Also, how does the violet in the new fabric look compared to UV? It seems to me to be a slightly darker shade?
      Last edited by bchaplin; 03-29-2016, 10:44 AM.
      ----
      All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
      Edmund Burke

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        #4
        Adding some pictures here too. The more the merriery?!

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        I am not a packingcube girl in general I only use one for undies and maybe a second to keep the laundry in. But I do use them in "daybags" to contain say extra layers. And haveing the option to color-code?!! LOVE IT.

        The last picture is an attempt to show, how lightweigt the material is.

        Ilkyway
        “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

        By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
          @Badger, how do they compare in functionality and weight with the existing mesh/fabric packing cube? I'm thinking in particular of the large one that sits in the main compartment of my Aeronaut 30. I already have one which holds most of my clothes when I take the A30, so I'm wondering if there is a reason to buy another. I kind of like the mesh because I feel like it lets the clothes breathe a little, and I pretty much keep things in the cubes while I'm traveling.
          I just weighed the mesh A30 and the Aether A30 large cube and the mesh was 3.28 oz and the Aether was 2.15 oz. To me they performed about the same. I'd say that unless you wanted a second cube, you are probably okay with what you have. Do you have any of the Small or End Pocket cubes? If you don't, maybe getting an Aether would be a good way to try out the fabric without duplicating items.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jess View Post
            I want purple packing cubes for my WF :(
            If you look at the TS/WF Packing Cube Backpack and compare the dimensions with the large TS Aether cube, you'll see they're almost the same. I can't see why the TS large cube wouldn't work in the WF; the Small TS cubes also fit in the WF from my experience.

            Comment


              #7
              Love the new A30 Packing Cubes!!!

              They fit great in my A30 and are perfect in my A45 to my surprise:

              Packing Cubes fit exactly in the A30
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              Packing Cubes fit in the A45 with room for a small one at the top (I show the Wasabi one at the top)
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              I never knew the difference between the End Pocket Packing Cube and the Small Packing Cube. As you can see, the End Pocket Cube is not as thick and the zipper is in the middle

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              I love the Violet Color!

              Now ... back to work before the boss catches me posting ... :)

              Cheers!
              Last edited by tpnl; 03-29-2016, 03:48 PM.
              TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
                @Badger, how do they compare in functionality and weight with the existing mesh/fabric packing cube? I'm thinking in particular of the large one that sits in the main compartment of my Aeronaut 30. I already have one which holds most of my clothes when I take the A30, so I'm wondering if there is a reason to buy another. I kind of like the mesh because I feel like it lets the clothes breathe a little, and I pretty much keep things in the cubes while I'm traveling.
                @bchaplin, The Aether cubes are intermediate between the eagle creek Sil-Nylon design and the original packing cubes in in 200d Dyneema. So, they are a bit more structured than Silnylon, but hold their shape better. The big difference, as you point out, is that they are not mesh, and so don't breathe the same way. They are also slightly smaller than the mesh cubes in sizing -- particularly the end cubes -- which I actually prefer in terms of packing.

                I'm going to show some pictures that demonstrate their usability in another bag -- the Maker's Bag. You'll also be able to see the difference in the size of the mesh small A30 packing cube with the new Halcyon one.

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                Both the small Aether packing cubes can easily fit the Maker's Bag. Here's the Violet and the Carbon (gad! had to look up the names)

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                Notice that when the Aether Small Packing Cube for A30 is inserted next to the older Small Packing Cube for A30 in 200d Dyneema (Halcyon) and Mesh, that the Mesh cube sticks out of the top of the Maker's Bag

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                Here's a picture of two small A30 Packing Cubes in Aether (one Violet, on Carbon) side by side in the Aubergine/Steel Maker's Bag, along with a 13" MacBook Air in a Cache.

                The color combinations also work for Wasabi

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                The bottom bag is the Navy/Wasabi Maker's Bag with Carbon and Wasabi Aether Small Packing Cubes for A30. The top shows the Carbon Aether End Cube for A30 (thinner) as one of the pair.

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                Here's the Navy/Wasabi Maker's Bag with the Small A30 Aether Packing Cubes. I've also added the Monarch Mini Organizer Pouch and Zest Travel Stuff Sack for color comparisons. I find that I like Zest better as a bright lining, but the slightly more saturated color of Monarch looks really good as accent pouches. Just my impressions.

                HTH

                moriond

                ETA: @tpnl's post of the Aether cubes shows beautifully the difference in depth between the Small Size Cube and the End Cube. I find that all the Aether cubes for the A30 pack smaller (for me) in the Aeronaut 30. The picture demoing the difference in length in the Maker's Bag was just the easiest way to show this. (The large A30 Aether cube can also go into the Maker's Bag with some extra room on the side for a thin thermos, I think). The biggest difference in Aether vs older Aeronaut A30 packing cube is in the end cube size, where the original A30 end cubes seemed designed to sort of fold over in the end compartments.
                Last edited by moriond; 03-29-2016, 11:35 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I switch off between the A30 and the Smart Alec, and even the Synapse 19 that I have. Do those of you that have them think the A30 end packing cubes or the A30 small packing cubes in Aether would be more versatile? I basically like to put all my shirts and pants into one cube because it's easier on my muddled brain. But I end up with a lot of other odds and ends, and maybe I could use the new Aether cubes to consolidate them, rather than just shoving them into random places.
                  ----
                  All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
                  Edmund Burke

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm so glad I didn't read this (and see the MB pictures) until after I place my order. Those Aether cubes will be in my future though... Can someone please beam me over to the Mothership so I can test them out myself?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Pokilani View Post
                      I'm so glad I didn't read this (and see the MB pictures) until after I place my order. Those Aether cubes will be in my future though... Can someone please beam me over to the Mothership so I can test them out myself?
                      That's because I still have trouble getting images loaded quickly on my connection at this time of day. I did say that these worked well with the Maker's Bag, and Violet looks good inside. I find that I like the blend of Carbon and Violet better than all Violet, in order to have color accents. (I'm ordering some more A30 Aether end cubes in Violet, though.)

                      moriond

                      Comment


                        #12
                        @moriond, could you show relative sizes of the packing cubes with an MCB?

                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Oh, great post, I'm very excited about these... I've been waiting to pull the trigger on packing cubes, and I think when I visit the mothership next week (squeeeeee!!!) these will have to go on the list (hopefully they won't be sold out!).

                          I'm curious, given the slightly different dimensions of the end and the small, which do you think will work better for the 4 vertical across an A45 packing approach? I know the original post about that eWalker used the end packing cubes, but I kind of prefer the smalls... wonder if they would also work for that approach or if they're too thick.

                          I'm also going back and forth on whether to get A30s or A45s... I have both bags, but I know a lot of folks like to use their A30 cubes in both.
                          Swift (Plum/Forest), Synapse 25 (Black Dyneema/Wasabi), Aeronaut 30 (Navy/NWS), Aeronaut 45 (Black Dyneema/Island), Side Effect (Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), Co-Pilot (Black Dyneema/Wasabi), Pilot (Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet])Small Cafe Bag (Black Dyneema/Wasabi), Medium Cafe Bag (Grey/Olive), Large Cafe Bag (Black Dyneema/Solar), Daylight Backpack (Black Dyneema), and assorted accessories and smaller items in lots of colors.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The photos of the A30 small Aether cube in the Maker's Bag were very convincing. I went back and added those items for a new order. I've been out of touch with the forums for a bit and I've got to read up on how to combine orders - the comment box was missing when I placed my order, but I have to say Big Kudos to the Crew for the beautiful new website and its ability to handle the traffic today.

                            Also, I'm happy to see that many/most/?all choices are still available in the various new items. So exciting!

                            I wonder if the retention of the British spelling was on purpose to acknowledge the Aeronaut in the Aether cubes?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by idbjorh View Post
                              @moriond, could you show relative sizes of the packing cubes with an MCB?

                              Thanks!
                              Hi, Both the A30 Small and End Aether Packing Cubes will fit exactly the height of the Medium Cafe Bag, but while you can fit in a fully filled Small A30 Aether Packing Cube into the Medium Cafe Bag, it will definitely bulge out beyond the normal comfortable thickness. On the other hand, the smaller depth of the A30 Aether End Cubes are a good match to the actual depth of the Medium Cafe Bag

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                              The Wasabi and Violet Small Aether A30 Packing Cubes (and the Carbon End Cube) all match the MCB in height, but the Small Cubes are substantially thicker. You can slide in a filled Small A30 Aether Packing Cube into a MCB, but it will cause the bag to bulge.

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                              This shows the view of the empty MCB (French Blue/Steel) and the Wasabi Small A30 Aether Cube (left) and Carbon A30 End Cube (right). The end cube is a good match to the depth of the MCB.

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                              This is the most comfortable fit (A30 Aether End Cube). It matches the height of the MCB, and I can fit in a Zojurushi Thermos inside the bag in addition.

                              HTH

                              moriond

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