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Road Buddy 36 vs. A45

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    #16
    Originally posted by ittoujuu View Post
    One thing I've been curious about is, how much larger is the Road Buddy 36 than the Aeronaut 30 (and conversely, how much smaller is it than the Aeronaut 45)? Not in terms of liters or linear dimensions - we can all look those up - but in terms of practical packing and carry. The RB36 sits basically in between the two Aeronauts, size-wise, and it's interesting to see that it doesn't LOOK all that much smaller than the Aeronaut 45. And more often than is true of backpacks, duffels often seem to hold more than their raw dimensions and stated capacity would suggest.

    So, if you were to pack out an A30, then take that same stuff and move it to the RB36, what else would you have room for that didn't fit in the Aeronaut? A jacket or sweatshirt? A pair of shoes? A couple blu-rays?

    No need to actually pack out a test-case, but if you own a RB and an Aeronaut, feel free to chime in.
    I'm curious about this too, but either way am pretty convinced that I will get the RB36. If nothing else, I keep hearing that the way it sits makes it easier to "live out of" than the Aeronaut/Techonaut bags, and this is important to me when I stay in airBNBs or guest rooms that don't have any place for me to spread out my stuff (like, 90% of the time when I travel). And this is speculation on my part, but looking at @bartleby's pics, it seems like the RB36 has a similar depth to the A45, which to me gives it an edge over the A30/T30.

    Plus, Verde.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

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      #17
      Unfortunately, I don't have an Aeronaut 30 so I can't do a precise comparison. My best approximation is the Techonaut 30 which comes pretty close to the A30. So here are some illustrations and I think the extra 6 l capacity do make a difference. My biggest challenge when packing is always shoes. I almost always take my running shoes with me (US 11) and I always pack them in a full fabric Halcyon A45 End Pocket Packing Cube which in my humble opinion is the best shoe packing cube TB ever made.

      So here is an example what you would be able to pack in a RB 36 (from left to right): My running shoes in a A45 End Pocket Packing Cube, 2 A45 Large Packing Cubes, 1 Packing Cube Shoulder Bag.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	800_0329.jpg Views:	3 Size:	174.2 KB ID:	339928

      No problem to fit these in the RB36:

      Click image for larger version  Name:	800_0330.jpg Views:	3 Size:	164.6 KB ID:	339929

      The bag is quite full but not jam-packed.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	800_0331.jpg Views:	3 Size:	128.1 KB ID:	339934

      Now the T30: One of the A45 Large Packing Cubes does fit (which is perhaps not true for the A30) but I couldn't stack the other one on top of it. So I used an Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube (Size M) and a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag to fully exploit the space in the main compartment. My shoes do fit in the end pocket but it's really tight. It's not so much the volume but the length and height of this compartment that makes it somewhat difficult to squeeze them in.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	800_0332.jpg Views:	3 Size:	178.3 KB ID:	339930

      Click image for larger version  Name:	800_0333.jpg Views:	3 Size:	136.9 KB ID:	339931

      The difference in size is clearly visible when you see the two bags side by side.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	800_0335.jpg Views:	3 Size:	179.6 KB ID:	339932

      Click image for larger version  Name:	800_0336.jpg Views:	3 Size:	176.1 KB ID:	339933

      As I said, the A30 works differently as its main compartment is even smaller than the Techonaut's, so two A30 Large Packing Cubes would certainly be better suited for the main compartment. Overall, I think the names already suggest the main purposes: the Aeronauts are better suited for flying while the Road Buddies are meant to be used primarily in cars or trains. Of course, you can still use them the other way round and be fine!
      Last edited by bartleby; 05-15-2022, 09:42 AM.
      ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
      current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

      Comment


        #18
        I agree with bartleby's overall assessment. The 6L difference in volume is noticeable.

        I have both Aeronauts, both Techonauts, and the RB36. The A30 was my first TB love and I still really really like this bag and it's my goto for most travel, as I like living out of it. Having the two end pockets is better than the bigger T30 one main compartment + 1 end to me, but that's just a personal preference based on my packing habits. You can also unzip one end pocket of an Aeronaut to make the main compartment bigger (it's more awkward than the Techonauts) which I've done occasionally.
        I've gotten good at packing for the A30 and use the Small Laundry Cubes across most of my travel bags.

        The T30 excels for when I want a laptop space built-in, particularly for a work laptop which is usually bigger than my personal MacBook Air 13" (which can fit inside the main A30 compartment itself). To play around with the bigger space, I did get an A/T30 Large Laundry Cube to see how that works. It's fine, but I do like dividing my stuff by type across the smalls; again, just preference. I'm still working on my optimal cube configuration of the T30 space.

        The RB36 doesn't have backpack straps, so I don't use it for air travel unless I'm checking it (which I've done exactly once; if I'm going to check a bag, it would be the A45 just to have the space).
        I do use the RB36 for road trips, including my recent cross country travels. To me it's as easy to live out of as the A30, with the exception of the straps being over the opening. I REALLY like the Aeronaut handles being on the side/away from the main opening. The main benefit to me of the RB36 is simply the extra 6L of space, which makes it easier to carelessly pack and/or pick up extra stuff along the way.
        I don't use the shoulder straps often for any of the large bags... I want a big bag either on my back for long carry or in my hand for short carry; again, it's just preference and maybe as a short person, the shoulder carry just feels more awkward (and maybe because I'm a klutz and walk into things lol).

        I bought the RB36 last time just to check it out and because Verde 1050 is indeed a great fabric and colour. If I was majority road traveling and didn't want/need a backpack option, I would stick to Road Buddy. It's less complex and therefor less expensive than the A30/T30 with more space.
        Since I was majority flying (pre-covid), the Aeronauts and Techonauts make more sense for me overall.


        When I need LESS space, I often carry one of the smaller backpacks and a Zip Top Shop Bag or Pop Tote. I just did a quick 4 day trip (small plane + rental car) where I brought my Paragon + Pop Tote. My Small A/T30 Laundry Cubes, SCC, clear 3DOC typical items (plus a light pair of casual shoes from Allbirds) fit just fine in the PT. I even had room (after moving a cube to the Paragon) to carry a bump cap back from my factory.
        Last edited by G42; 05-15-2022, 10:01 AM.
        I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

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          #19
          Originally posted by bchaplin View Post

          I'm curious about this too, but either way am pretty convinced that I will get the RB36. If nothing else, I keep hearing that the way it sits makes it easier to "live out of" than the Aeronaut/Techonaut bags, and this is important to me when I stay in airBNBs or guest rooms that don't have any place for me to spread out my stuff (like, 90% of the time when I travel). And this is speculation on my part, but looking at @bartleby's pics, it seems like the RB36 has a similar depth to the A45, which to me gives it an edge over the A30/T30.

          Plus, Verde.
          Hear, hear. One thing I think (well-designed) duffels excel at is that ability to "live out of it." While I do use packing cubes for clothes in backpacks, I specifically don't with duffels because it sort of defeats the purpose of being able to plunk it down on a piece of furniture, open it up, and pull from it as needed like a mini chest of drawers. Things like the big fold-back lid and separated side compartments go a long way toward having enough built-in access and organization to accomplish that.

          Shoes are always the big question. If at all possible, I try not to have to bring a second pair of shoes on a trip because of the space they take up, but for a duffel, being able to fit that week's worth of clothes and an extra pair of shoes is a big plus. It always looked like the Aeronaut side compartments were a bit too slender to accommodate a pair of, say, general sneakers, but I feel more confident about being able to fit those into the roomier side compartments on the RB if extra shoes are needed.

          bartleby: Thank you for the visuals! It's definitely clear the RB is the bigger of the two, but I'm kind of surprised how "stuffable" the Techonaut is. It does look a bit pudgier when stuffed to that extent, but that's probably intentional for the design. The pocketing on the Techonaut has always struck me as kind of weird, though - like "I'm not sure how I would actually use these pockets for how/what I pack." The end-pocket being on the bottom sorta precludes putting anything hard or fragile in it - though I suppose using the Aeronaut in backpack mode has that issue with the "bottom"-facing pocket, too.

          G42: You make a good case for the Aeronaut being the more capable bag for all-around travel, particularly with the point that once you get beyond the 30-liter mark, it starts becoming less-than-comfortable to have a bag hanging from a shoulder strap, no matter how good the strap. Backpack carry will always be preferable there (IMO); you can walk around for hours with comfy backpack straps. When I get my Road Buddy, I'll try it with the Absolute Shoulder Strap - I'm guessing it'll be comfy enough to be suitable for airport car-to-gate, but not something I'd want to carry that way hoofing it around the city. The thing about the Aeronauts, though, is that the two sizes they come in seem like they'd be either a bit too small or a bit too large for me. The RB36, being in that "just right" 35-40L size range, will be useful in figuring whether I would (or could) use either the A45 or A30 at some point in the future. If there were an Aeronaut 36 or 38 or something like that, that would likely have changed my bag-hunting calculus. Also, like you said, I think having the RB handles on the upper edge like the Aeronaut's would be better, honestly. One of the nice details about the designs of both bags are their rectangular designs that lend them a more slender profile when carried, so it would be nice to have that streamlined carry for both straps and handles.

          One last thing...it just now occurred to me to ask, but do the walls of the main compartment in the Road Buddy zip down like they do in the Aeronaut? It looks like they don't (instead, we get additional interior pockets in the main chamber), but let me know if they do.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by ittoujuu View Post

            Hear, hear. One thing I think (well-designed) duffels excel at is that ability to "live out of it." While I do use packing cubes for clothes in backpacks, I specifically don't with duffels because it sort of defeats the purpose of being able to plunk it down on a piece of furniture, open it up, and pull from it as needed like a mini chest of drawers. Things like the big fold-back lid and separated side compartments go a long way toward having enough built-in access and organization to accomplish that.
            That‘s very interesting! I never manage to really live out of a bag because I mess it up within one or two days (or hours even). Perhaps it‘s my incompetence in packing but I always need the stuff that‘s in the bottom layer. That‘s why I love living out of packing cubes! These are my drawers…

            Originally posted by ittoujuu View Post

            One last thing...it just now occurred to me to ask, but do the walls of the main compartment in the Road Buddy zip down like they do in the Aeronaut? It looks like they don't (instead, we get additional interior pockets in the main chamber), but let me know if they do.
            No, the walls of the RBs are fixed.

            ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
            current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

            Comment

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