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First proper Aeronaut 30 convention trip!

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    First proper Aeronaut 30 convention trip!

    It's been a busy couple weeks so I haven't had time to jot this down, and I didn't have presence of mind to take pictures, fool that I am, but I thought I'd write a little bit about my first "proper" trip with the Aeronaut 30. I had taken a trip to a wedding this summer but that was atypical travel packing for me, and visited my Dad earlier this year but I drove for that trip (tho I did find that the Aeronaut's design was perfect to leave on the spare chair in the otherwise crowded spare bedroom and "live out of" for the weekend!).

    But this was my first "working" trip since the pandemic started. As part of my freelance life I usually attend several sci-fi conventions a year, where I sit at a table and meet with friends and fans and do little sketches for them and promote stuff I'm working on. I have a small 14" Samsonite rollerbag that all my convention stuff fits into (table display, art supplies, etc.) so the Aeronaut 30 is for my personal stuff.

    So, briefly, this is how I packed the Aeronaut 30 (keeping in mind I'm an ultralight packer):

    Main Compartment
    My large packing cube didn't arrive until after the trip, so I strapped several of my overshirts and a sweater to the bottom of the compartment. On top of that I had two small packing cubes, one packed with 5 pairs each of underwear and socks (my very lightweight travel ones) and my sleeping shorts, the other packed with five Tshirts (also very light fabric for travel).

    In the mesh zipper compartment I had a stash of face masks, a Cubelet with a few medications and a pill splitter, my little tightly-rolled-up laundry bag, and a tethered Clear Organizer Pouch I use to stow loose pocket change, receipts, etc. for the trip home.

    Right/Bottom Compartment
    A compact umbrella (just in case), my very tiny toiletries bag plus a zip-lock bag for my few liquids, a lightweight hat and gloves (traveling to Chicago in December), and a Small Travel Tray containing my Anker 5-port charger, various USB charge cables, an HDMI adapter to play movies on the hotel room TV, and a few spare watch bands for my Apple Watch.

    Left/Top Compartment
    This compartment was mostly filled with my Side Kick, loaded with my iPad Mini and its ZAGG bluetooth keyboard, an Anker pocket battery charger and a small foldable USB wall charger, several extra charge cables, and a mini ghost whale pouch with my micro first aid kit (Tylenol and Ibuprofen, a few bandaids and some alcohol wipes and antibacterial packets). Tucked into the corner alongside the Side Kick was my hard eyeglasses case, as I don't like to wear my glasses during the flight.

    Zipper Pockets
    Left zipper pocket held my Paperwhite Kindle in its case, and another mini ghost whale pouch with my Airpods. Right zipper pocket has a small LED flashlight buried deep inside for emergencies, and a strap to attach my keys to for the length of the trip (I don't really need them after I've parked my car at the airport until I get back, after all!)

    Travel
    My basic philosophies (combining twenty years of doing these trips with the newness of the Tom Bihn bags):

    1) For the flight I mostly rely on either reading my Kindle or listening to music on my Apple Watch, so just before boarding the plane I pulled the Kindle and Airpods out of the zipper compartments and tucked them into my jeans pockets. Also put my eyeglasses into their hard case at this time.

    2) I didn't end up removing the Side Kick during the trip, but it's there if I need it! Whether killing time in the airport or on the plane, I need to quickly charge my phone from the battery or from a wall outlet, or if I want to watch a movie or do some browsing or work on the iPad Mini, I can just pop the Side Kick out then return it for travel again.

    3) Once I arrived at the hotel, as planned, the first thing I did was pop out the Travel Tray, set up all my charging stuff on the nightstand next to my bed, and was able to immediately dump my wallet, hotel key, loose change, convention badge, and other junk there as needed.

    4) For the length of the weekend I was able to use the Side Kick as I went back and forth between the convention hall and my hotel room. Made it a LOT easier to keep my iPad (which i use as a cash register at the convention and to watch movies at night), the pocket charger and cables, and other stuff collected as I moved back and forth.

    And all of that seemed to work pretty well!

    As for the trip itself: Even fairly fully stuffed for a long weekend like this, I didn't find the Aeronaut overly heavy or large or difficult to maneuver. Most of my previous personal bags had a rollerbag panel so I could stack them on top of the Samsonite; since the Aeronaut doesn't have that I had to use it in backpack mode most of the time, but honestly I found that was just as well as the Samsonite became a lot easier to maneuver when it didn't have an extra carryon stacked on top of it. Also, I became pretty adept at attaching and restowing the backpack straps as necessary, including putting them away when i got to my airplane seat before stowing it, and pulling them out again (plus repacking the Kindle and Airpods into their zipper pocket) while sitting in my seat after landing while waiting for the front half of the plane to deboard. And can I say again, I love how the Aeronaut's strap connectors just disappear into its seams when they're not being used! :)

    Also, I usually put the rollerbag in the overhead compartment as it doesn't always fit under the seat due to its rigid wheels. So I was very pleased to discover that even fairly well packed like this, not only did the Aeronaut fit under the seat, it even fit sideways so I had a few more inches of legroom. :) Also, when I arrived at the airport and got onto the hotel shuttle, the Aeronaut was small enough to sit in my lap for the short trip.

    So all in all, I'd say the trip was a success! I know the Technoaut is all the rage right now, but I'm still really enjoying my travels with the Aeronaut 30 and and have not been disappointed by it at all! Thanks, Tom & Crew. :)
    ---
    My Bags: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe BagSide Kick Luminary 15Co-Pilot Aeronaut 30
    Canary Large Shop Bag Dawn Large Shop BagAubergine Everyday Cubelet
    With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet Dawn Wallet

    #2
    Nice write up! I love my A30


    If you are ever pressed for time on the backpack strap stowing - you can but the bag face down and leave the straps up... usually they don't catch on the underseat stuff though depends on the plane... and has the benefit of keeping the back panel cleaner (I usually wipe the bag exterior with a disinfecting wipe after a flight/trip/whatever)
    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...

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the great review! I also have an iPad Mini. Every time I use it it makes me want a larger screen, but I don’t want to give up having something that fits in my Side Kick (or the A5 Ghost Whale pouch).
      ----
      All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
      Edmund Burke

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by bchaplin View Post
        Thanks for the great review! I also have an iPad Mini. Every time I use it it makes me want a larger screen, but I don’t want to give up having something that fits in my Side Kick (or the A5 Ghost Whale pouch).
        Thank you! :) I must admit I own two iPads … I have a big 12.9" iPad Pro that I do about 80% of my work on, that usually lives in my home office or accompanies me (in my MCB) to a coffee shop if I need to get out of the house for awhile. (I do a lot of drawing on it but with a keyboard it's also mostly replaced my laptop at this point.) And then I have the iPad Mini that I keep at my bedside and which accompanies me (in my SK) on trips. It seems a bit decadent but both of them get a lot of use and both are justifiable from a business standpoint! (The Pro is too big to travel light with and would be too big to use as a register at my convention tables. Plus if the Mini were lost or damaged while on the road I'd still have the Pro to come home to and be able to work on.) They're both great devices! :)

        Also: Oooooh, I just ordered an A5 Ghost Whale Pouch thinking I might occasionally use it for my bullet journal and pens, but I hadn't thought to see if the iPad Mini would fit in it! :D
        ---
        My Bags: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe BagSide Kick Luminary 15Co-Pilot Aeronaut 30
        Canary Large Shop Bag Dawn Large Shop BagAubergine Everyday Cubelet
        With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet Dawn Wallet

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Cooner View Post

          Also: Oooooh, I just ordered an A5 Ghost Whale Pouch thinking I might occasionally use it for my bullet journal and pens, but I hadn't thought to see if the iPad Mini would fit in it! :D
          The Padded Organizer Pouch in Medium is perfect for the Mini. I've always had a full-size iPad (and in fact just bought the new 11" Pro in May), but when they announced the 6th-gen Mini I had to have it. I find myself using it more now and the Pro feels huge. And yes, it feels decadent. Especially on top of what I've spent on bags this year....

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by drobeson View Post
            I've always had a full-size iPad (and in fact just bought the new 11" Pro in May), but when they announced the 6th-gen Mini I had to have it. I find myself using it more now and the Pro feels huge. And yes, it feels decadent. Especially on top of what I've spent on bags this year....
            Aaaah, right? I have the previous-generation iPad Mini from a couple years ago which is still COMPLETELY SERVICEABLE yet I'm so tempted by the new redesign that looks like a mini-Pro! I just wish they'd added an option for more than 256GB … I like to carry a LOT of movies in my travel library. ;)
            ---
            My Bags: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe BagSide Kick Luminary 15Co-Pilot Aeronaut 30
            Canary Large Shop Bag Dawn Large Shop BagAubergine Everyday Cubelet
            With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet Dawn Wallet

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Cooner View Post

              Aaaah, right? I have the previous-generation iPad Mini from a couple years ago which is still COMPLETELY SERVICEABLE yet I'm so tempted by the new redesign that looks like a mini-Pro! I just wish they'd added an option for more than 256GB … I like to carry a LOT of movies in my travel library. ;)
              Same here, as well as a lot of PDFs. With a 3rd-party video player (like Infuse) and an SSD (like the Samsung T5 or T7), the addition of USB-C to these newer iPads, plus the Files app, lets you carry a lot more content without having to max out the internal storage.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by drobeson View Post
                With a 3rd-party video player (like Infuse) and an SSD (like the Samsung T5 or T7), the addition of USB-C to these newer iPads, plus the Files app, lets you carry a lot more content without having to max out the internal storage.
                Yeah, if I ever break down and get the new ipad mini, I’ll be looking into getting a little bitty SSD drive to carry with it. ;)
                ---
                My Bags: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe BagSide Kick Luminary 15Co-Pilot Aeronaut 30
                Canary Large Shop Bag Dawn Large Shop BagAubergine Everyday Cubelet
                With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet Dawn Wallet

                Comment

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