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Aether Packing Cubes

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    Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
    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.
    I haven't really tried packing up the Smart Alec with the Aether cubes. I've liked using the Fabric Small Western Flyer Packing Cubes in the Smart Alec, and can insert the Travel Laundry Stuff Sack, but I don't generally travel with the Smart Alec as my main bag (for clothing only items). I did order an extra Steel Fabric Halcyon (200d Dyneema) Small Packing Cube for Western Flyer before they went out of stock, because I find that a convenient size to fit into the Co-Pilot, and Little Swift, if I want to use it to hold clothes for travel (which I don't generally do, in practice), and it also works in the smaller Synapse.

    You should probably get an opinion from someone who is a heavy user of the Smart Alec as a general travel bag.




      I ordered two small and one end A30 packing cubes in Aether to try for myself.

      I think they will help consolidate my stuff. On my last trip I felt that I had too many small things that should have been together for ease of packing up. I also love the PCSB's, and almost always take one with me, but because they are heavy I like the idea of having PC's that are lighter as well.
      All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
      Edmund Burke


        I thought I'd add some more Aether (A30) Packing Cube pictures for Swift users, many of whom like to use the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag (PCSB) as an organizer in the bottom of their Swifts. The Aether A30 Small Packing Cube and End Cube have basically similar length to the PCSB, and can fit in many of the same places as the PCSB. (The Small Packing Cube is thicker, so it bulges if you put it into a PCSB. Either of these Aether Packing Cubes are about an inch (25 mm) shorter than the height of the PCSB.)

        What makes these Aether A30 Packing Cubes a nice fit for the Swift, is that the shorter height means that you can also lay them down flat on the bottom of the Swift, and the fact that they are designed as packing cubes with zippers that go around the sides of the cube (instead of just the top zipper of the PCSB), means that it can be easier to store and access finished projects, or yarn in the Aether Packing Cubes at the bottom of your Swift.

        In addition, you have the choice of the two different heights for storage at the bottom of your Swift: the Small A30 Packing Cube is 4.1" / 105mm deep, and the End Pocket A30 Packing Cube is 2.7" / 70mm deep. (By the way, I don't have the Aether Packing cubes for the A45 to test, but I'd be willing to guess that you might also use these at the bottom of a Swift, if you were willing to compact the ends a bit. This is based on the fact that when I tested the Travel Laundry Stuff Sack (TLSS) in various bags, including the Swift, in the Laundry stuff sacks are here thread, and only had the TLSS for A30, some Ravelry users posted in their forums that they could use the TLSS for A45 as a project bag on the bottom of the Swift).

        So, here are pictures I posted over on the Ravelry forums:

        This shows the Nordic Swift, with the Fjord Packing Cube Shoulder Bag (PCSB), and the Carbon Aether End Cube for Aeronaut 30 in front. The Aether Small and End packing cubes for A30 are about the same length as the PCSB that many of you put into your Swift, but they’re shorter, so you can also lay them flat, with either finished projects or yarn supplies inside, on the bottom of your Swift, as well as having the option of standing them upright in the Swift (like the PCSB).

        Here’s a side by side image of the Carbon A30 Aether End Cube beside the Fjord PCSB to show the difference in height. The thickness of the End Cube is slightly less than that of the PCSB.

        The Carbon Aether A30 End Cube (12.0” x 6.7” x 2.7”/ 305 mm x 170 mm x 70 mm) inside the Fjord PCSB (11.75” x 7.75” x 3.0”/ 300 mm x 200 mm x 80 mm). You can see that the top of the Aether End Cube sits well below the top opening of the PCSB. I've displayed the side of the Aether End Cube with the webbing grab handle (not visible from the angle of the photo). Unlike the PCSB, the Aether End Cube zippered section goes around the corners and the other 3 sides, so it's easy to open this cube up when it is laid flat.

        A Small Aether A30 Packing Cube in Violet lying flat on the bottom of the Swift. The Small A30 Cube is thicker than the End Cube (4.1”/105 mm vs 2.7”/70 mm), but has the same length. I'm showing this cube instead of the Carbon End Cube because it's easier to see the contrast of the Packing Cube against the interior of the bag. (Apologies that the color balance is off due to poor lighting conditions.)

        The same Violet Small Aether Packing Cube for A30 in front of the Nordic Swift. Unlike the PCSB, which only unzips at the top, the Aether packing cubes unzip around the sides, making it easier to insert projects and yarn supplies. For both the Small Packing Cube and the End Cube the zipper shown in front extends around three sides and around the corners of the fourth side. (That fourth side is shown in the top view of the Carbon End Cube in the Fjord PCSB, so you can see where the reflective zipperhead starts at the right).

        I always like the way that the Tom Bihn accessories can be used in more bags than they were originally (mainly) designed for!




          I got an A30 end pocket cube. I was pleasantly surprised to find it fit really well in the Western Flyer as well - you could easily fit two across in a section with room for an umbrella or a couple of size 1 stuff sacks in the middle (I managed to get my travel pillow in an Eagle creek specter cube in the middle, but I had to turn it a bit sideways.)

          For matchy-matchy types, the violet color is a near-exact match to the Eagle Creek specter grape, and looks GREAT with aubergine.


            Practice packing 3 small Aether cubes in the main compartment of my A30.

            Looks pretty smart [emoji4]

            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


              I tried out my A30 large and small today-- the hold their general shape well, and are not as floppy as the TB mesh packing cubes that I have. They zipped up with ease, and fit in my A30, 45, and rolling luggage much better than the Eagle Creek Cubes I was using (the black Pack Its). I liked how the Aether cubes also slid in and out- but I also like the end pocket packing cube Halcyon that I have which behaves in the same way. I see the benefit of the breathability of the mesh cubes, but always feel like they are going to catch on something.

              Initial review is that I like these better than the other options on the market!
              TB Stuff: Cadet (steel/iberian), Pilot (verde/steel), Synapse 19 (Black/Wasabi), Synapse 25 (New Nordic/NW Sky), Swift (Aubergine/NW Sky), Makers Bag (Black/Steel), Aeronaut 30 (Black/Zest), Aeronaut 45 (Black/Ultraviolet).


                After exhaustive research, I just purchased my first TB items, one of which is the A30. I am interested now in the Aethers for this bag.

                For those who purchased the Aether end packing cubes for the A30, has anyone found that the zipper placement in the middle makes them hard to pack? They are more shallow than the smalls too.

                The TB website is no longer making the small A30 Aethers, which I am thinking would have been easier to pack because the zipper is at the top and not the middle. Would love to hear what people think of their A30 Aether end cubes as far as ease of packing goes. Thanks for any help!


                  Originally posted by anna2222 View Post
                  The TB website is no longer making the small A30 Aethers,
                  I'm guessing that these haven't been retired and that there will be more A30 small Aether cubes in the future. If I were you I would just wait and make do until it comes back in stock.

                  But if you can't wait, consider a packing cube shoulder bag instead of either the small or the end-pocket cube (a PCSB fits in the end pockets of the A30). True, they zip in the middle also, but they are not as shallow and also double as an extra purse. Even if you never use as an extra purse, the PCSB has an extra outside pocket for packing flat things that you might have otherwise needed a separate medium organizer pouch for.

                  As for "zipping in the middle," I tend to fully stuff any packing cube in order to compress its contents. As it gets close to being full, I start zipping it up, tuck the last things in, and finish zipping. It's never been a problem no matter what the style of cube (over the years, I have used a mix of TB, Eagle Creek, ebags, other generic pouches). And if the cube is not full, and merely being used to keep things together, zipper placement is really no problem.

                  What matters more, I think, is the size of the cube. So make sure the end pocket size will be useful to you over the small size before buying.


                    Thanks Fluff, I think I will wait. I am a TB newbie and have seen a lot of products on the site in the last month that have disappeared, I just figured they were not going to make them anymore. Good to know that the smalls may come back, because that is what I really want! Looking at the dimensions of the Aether A30 end cubes, it seems that they are actually much smaller than what could fit in the end pockets of the A30. In fact, it sure seems, after measuring my bag, that 2 end cubes could fit into one end pocket!


                      I have an A30 and several Aether packing cubes for it. 1 large, 2 smalls (for the main compartment) and 2 end cubes. I also don't like the middle placement of the zipper. I suspect they are designed more for shoes than clothing, but I have shoe socks for shoes, which I prefer. Still, if I don't unzip the end pockets all the way, it's a little easier to fill them because it's easier to tell how high they will fill.

                      I wish the Aether packing cubes came in a version like the Eagle Creek Specter clean dirty cubes. I love those.

                      Also, I agree with the other poster. I've used the 2 small Aether cubes in my WF with room for an Eagle Creek tube cube.


                        As an alternative

                        I use 2 medium Lewis and Clark Featherlight packing cubes and a mini. They are all expandable. They pack nicely into my synapse 25 and can be squished if needed due to their pliable borders and zippers. They are solid Featherlight fabric with a mesh square "peek" front so one can see what is inside. Click image for larger version

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                        "Not all who wander are lost"
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                        Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB