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Aeronaut, Tristar and the 5kg (11lbs) limit

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    Aeronaut, Tristar and the 5kg (11lbs) limit

    My wife and I are going on a 2-week business/pleasure trip to Brazil and Argentina. We were hoping to use the Aeronaut and Tristar exclusively, as carry-on luggage, but on all 6 inner flights on local airlines the hand luggage allowance is 5kg (11lbs). This is what these bags weigh half-full only. We would hate to have to check them as it defeats their purpose and the risks of damage would be too great.

    We are sadly resigning ourselves to taking 2 smaller bags (Smart Alec and ID) as carry-on and checking regular luggage with the rest of our stuff.

    Any suggestions though would be most welcome.

    hi riviol!

    5kg is pretty restrictive. one thing to research online is whether they strictly enforce the weight limit.

    part of it is also perception - i think an aeronaut or tri-star on someone's back will draw less concern about the weight of the bag than a large roll aboard suitcase.

    you can definitely pack for your trip in the aeronaut and tri-star. if your business trip requires you to pack a suit, the aeronaut is well suited for that purpose.

    something you may want to do is pack a medium cafe bag or large cafe bag inside of the aeronaut or tri-star to hold the items you definitely don't want to check in if you are put in a situation where you have to check in the aeronaut and tri-star.

    my wife flew iberian airlines earlier this year, and we packed her in an aeronaut and medium cafe bag. she was concerned when she read that iberian only allows a single carry on. but no one said anything to her when she was checking in, as well as when she boarded her flight.

    i like to avoid checking in bags whenever possible because having your bag not arrive at your destination leads to a big hassle to get that bag back afterwards - specially if it happens when you're flying to a destination that isn't home and you're there for a short period of time. i am more willing to check luggage coming back home, but i'd still like to avoid it whenever i can.

    let us know what you end up doing and how it goes. i hope you have a most wonderful trip!


      Hi maverick,

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your suggestions, as always, are very helpful, based as they are on personal experience.

      I have spent countless hours scouring travel forums to find info on the 5kg carry-on limit on Brazilian and Argentinian airlines and it boils down to this: enforcement is sporadic and unpredictable. So the question is whether one can suffer the trauma of having his beloved Tom Bihn bag taken away and subjected to the abuse of checked luggage or whether one gives up on the idea of carry-on only flying altogether.

      Thanks for your suggestion of packing essentials in a medium or large cafe bag. If we resign ourselves (and I think we'll have no choice) to the possibility of having to check our Aeronaut and Tri-star, we will follow your advice.

      I will certainly post here how everything turns out.

      Thanks for your good wishes.


        Of course, there's nothing you can absolutely count on in the airline world, but one practice that is pretty darn close to consistent is that personal items don't get weighed (as long as they are truly personal item sized and not behemoth second carryons in disguise.) So put your heaviest items--electronics, liquids and gels baggie, books, and the like--in your personal item, leaving the main carryon for clothing only. I've packed the Tristar that way and managed to get within 6 kilos--I bet 5 is doable, too.
        Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.


          Thanks for your reply, flitcraft. Your suggestion to pack the personal item with electronics, liquids and gels baggie etc should go a long way toward lightening the carry-on load and ties in with maverick's advice.The Imago and Large Cafe bag, if not filled to the bursting point, should fill the bill as reasonably sized personal items.

          This will be our first attempt at carry-on only travel and it requires a huge leap of faith. I'm sure the Aeronaut or Tri-star would survive unscathed if forcibly sent as checked luggage but that first time it's taken away from you -- hopefully, never -- should be quite traumatic.

          Thanks again for the excellent advice.


            As the others have said, enforcement of rules is hit or miss.

            Check to make sure the airlines allow you one bag and a personal. Many smaller airlines are now limiting you to ONE bag regardless.....not one and a personal.

            I travel with one main carry-on, usually the Tri-Star, and leave enough room for my personal bag inside. Then, when I get on the plane, the personal bag comes out and goes under the seat in front of me, and the Tri-Star goes in the overhead.

            If I should have to check the Tri-Star, my personal bag comes out which holds everything of value--electronics, medication, etc. The only thing left in the Tri-star are clothes, toiletries or items easily replaceable.

            I like to travel very light and find one bag travel best for me. (Actually two bags but one inside the other.)

            My attitude is: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
            Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers.

            Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.


              Sorry, fbrown627, for reacting so late to your excellent post. I had to wait for our trip to be over to find the time to reply.

              A brief account of our experience:

              Two hours before the cab ride to the airport, with our Aeronaut and Tri-Star weighing about 8 kgs each, I regret to admit that we broke down and added a small piece of check-in luggage, an Eagle Creek Tarmac 25.

              Could we have managed with our Tom Bihns exclusively? In hindsight, yes, because our carry-ons were not weighed even once on 5 flights using Gol, Avianca and Aerolineas Argentinas airlines. Do we have any regrets? Not really, because planning a 16-day trip that included chilly Buenos-Aires and warm Iguassu Falls on carry-on luggage only was perhaps pushing things too far.

              The two bags performed admirably. They held all the essentials that would have allowed us to survive had the checked luggage gotten delayed or lost.
              It was the Tri-Star's maiden voyage...what an outstanding bag, a distillation of years of bag-making experience.

              The lesson learned from our first-ever (failed...) attempt at carry-on luggage-only traveling is that we wouldn't hesitate do do it for shorter trips, say up to 10-12 days.

              Thanks again to all of you who have contributed valuable advice and encouragement.