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Quick Aeronaut, Packing Cube, Strap Keepers, Travel Tray questions

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  • Cooner
    replied
    AERONAUT 30 FIRST IMPRESSIONS!

    My new A30 just had its maiden voyage … I've been visiting my dad for a few days, heading back tomorrow. I didn't have time to take pictures and this was a driving trip rather than a flying trip so I didn't pack it they way I normally would, but I should have a trip to California later this summer so I'll try to do a more detailed review then.

    For this trip, I folded a pair of shorts and a few overshirts and strapped them to the bottom of the main compartment; had one small packing cube with my socks and underwear rolled inside, and another small cube with five Tshirts rolled. My toiletries in one side compartment, my packed-down Travel Tray and the Cubelet with a few odds and ends in the other side compartment, and some extra face masks and other bits and bobs in the inner mesh pocket.

    Prior to this trip I would have packed one of the two eBags convertible/backpack carryons I have. Both are just a couple inches larger that the A30, but … man. The Mother Lode Jr makes better use of its space, but there are so many layered compartments it feels like it's hard to find a perfect place for everything sometimes, and the heavily padded laptop sleeve covering the entire back panel eats up some space. The Pro Weekender, by contrast … there is so much damn padding and specialized external compartments along with the laptop sleeve, it feels like it barely leaves enough room inside for a packing cube and a few other pieces, and they're awkward to position to use the space efficiently. Both bags have a u-shaped 'organizational panel' compartment which I find 75% useless … Four or five "layers" of zippered or open pockets which are great I guess if you're packing five different types of index cards, but as soon as you start packing anything thicker than an iPad Mini or not-flat like keys or a charger, the organizer bulges too much to be of further use. And the Mother Lode opens clamshell-style and the Weekender opens gate-style … There's not a lot of extra space in the spare room here so they're inconvenient to open up to unpack or to leave open to live out of for a few days.

    I'm pleased to say the Aeronaut seemed to solve a lot of these problems. The way it opens, it fits perfectly on the chair in the spare room and I have easy access to the main compartment and both side compartments. No wasted organization panel; whatever doesn't fit in the mesh pocket or side pockets, I can add organizer pouches or cubelets and travel trays. That big open main compartment works great too … a couple optional packing cubes and I can organize all my stuff in there however I see fit. (I remember someone here commenting that there are flat packers and volume packers; clearly I've spent the last few years passing myself off as a flat packer when I'm probably really a volume packer.) Oh, and also -- the bag looks so small when you first open it up and it's still kinda sagging with its lack of structure, but once you start loading it up and lifting the sides to fit around your packing cubes, it really does hold a lot more than you'd expect.

    So yeah, I'm really happy so far and looking forward to my flight later this summer. I'm just gonna try to sneak in a few tags here for G42 and moriond and PaulT00 if they work, since they were kind enough to offer insight earlier in this thread. Thanks all, and thanks Tom Bihn crew!

    Leave a comment:


  • Cooner
    replied
    moriond Thanks for the info and the pictures and the links! Huh, interesting … I'd seen that the Side Kick was 7.5" tall and the A30 was 7.9" tall so thought it might JUST fit, but then I don't have the A30 in-hand yet so I don't know what its exact geometry looks like yet! Although the widest thing I plan to put in the SK is my iPad Mini which is narrower and should leave some space at the top, so hopefully the SK can be crushed down a little to fit when closing the bag. I'll see tho … part of the fun is figuring this out, I just wish things were available and ready to order. XD Just my luck finding this company right after a year of mask-manufacturing pandemic season.

    At the moment I'm thinking of packing my toiletry kit in one side pocket, the SK with my "entertainment" stuff in the other side pocket, and a packing cube full of socks and underwear into the main compartment with the rest of my clothes. Of course this could all change once I see how everything fits. I suppose worst case I could move the packing cube to the side compartment and the SK into the main compartment, even if that makes it just a tad harder to get to while in flight.

    It's too bad the packing cubes seem to be very limited in color range now … I must have missed their heyday! Oh well. I ordered the Burnt Orange A30, so the Island color should complement that nicely, and I'll probably try to get a Travel Tray and a few O-ring straps and … maybe? … a Spiff Kit also in Island to match. (None of those are available in orange anyway.) XD

    Thanks again!

    Leave a comment:


  • moriond
    replied
    Hi Cooner, G42 has answered most of your questions, but for more details on “1) Will the Small Laundry packing cube fit into the end pockets of the Aeronaut? I see there's also an End Pocket Packing Cube that's a little wider and significantly less deep, but I wasn't sure if that's made specifically to fit into the end pocket or if it's just the place you'd naturally want to pack some dirty shoes.” It can be helpful to look at the pictures from the Aether Packing Cubes thread that Badger started on 03-29-2016
    https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...packing-cubes/
    This is when they switched from Halcyon packing cubes to the current Aether Packing Cubes for the Aeronaut 30, so the pictures in that thread show what these packing cubes look like used both in the A30 and in other bags. One difference in those pictures is that the cubes shown are all Aether fabric (no mesh combinations), and the colors used there are not currently available (I particularly miss Carbon).

    So, those photos will let you see how the A30 cubes will fit in a range of other bags (and there are specific other threads for how these were used in the Synapse 25, etc, if you are interested), but you can also get a good visual impression of the difference between the size of the A30 End Cube and Small Packing Cube:


    Click image for larger version

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    I’m excerpting a photo by tpnl from the Aether Packing Cube thread that shows an A30 End Packing Cube in Carbon Aether between two A30 Smaill Packing Cubes in Wasabi and Ultraviolet Aether (these are retired colors). You can see the difference in height, and the fact that the zipper on the end Packing Cube is placed near the middle. There are more pictures showing these cubes in the Aeronaut 30 and also in other bags.

    The A30 end Packing Cube is usually used for shoes, but you have a lot of flexibility. One of the changes that bartleby bemoans is that the older A30 end Packing Cubes in Halcyon were larger (in cross section) so you could fit larger pairs of shoes into them

    A Side Kick can fit into the A30 end pockets, but it’s a snug fit. See the Side Kick with Aeronaut 30? thread from 04-03-2019, started by @ejvc
    https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...th-aeronaut-30
    Click image for larger version

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    Please go back to the actual linked thread and see the full sets of pictures from different angles of people trying to zip up the end pockets of the Aeronaut 30. I’m excerpting a single photo to give an idea of the fit.

    HTH

    moriond

    Leave a comment:


  • Cooner
    replied
    G42 Thanks for the thorough answers! I must have missed Paul’s reply about the travel trayas I was typing this up; I’ll also thank him.

    Yeah, I was thinking of a small laundry packing cube for my usual few days worth of socks and underwear, so it shouldn’t be too fully packed. Also not sure if that’ll go in the main compartment or one of the end ones but I like flexibility.

    And we’ll see how the underseat storage goes! Like I said, not a dealbreaker, I just like flexibility. (Also, driving to see Dad this month so won’t be an issue yet.) I was thinking of getting a Side Kick to fit my iPad Mini/Kindle/iPod and headphones, which also happens to be what I entertain myself with on long flights — That looks to be a little smaller than the PCSB, so hopefully that will fit in the end compartment as well.

    Thanks again! I’m so excited.

    Leave a comment:


  • G42
    replied
    Originally posted by Cooner View Post
    1) Will the Small Laundry packing cube fit into the end pockets of the Aeronaut? I see there's also an End Pocket Packing Cube that's a little wider and significantly less deep, but I wasn't sure if that's made specifically to fit into the end pocket or if it's just the place you'd naturally want to pack some dirty shoes.
    The End Pocket Cube is specifically sized to the end pockets (both ends are the same size) (so slightly taller & shallower than the smalls). You can put a Small Laundry or regular Small Cube into the end pocket, but not if it's completely jammed full, unless you angle it in and unzip the pocket section to the main compartment...basically, you have to steal space from the main compartment.
    With that being said, I don't jam my cubes full and I like the laundry versions, so I have 3 small laundries and I do put a slightly under packed one into one end pocket.


    Originally posted by Cooner View Post
    2) Do the backpack straps on the Aeronaut include extra dangly webbing? I'd like to order a pair of Strap Keepers if they do. (I actually do something very similar to this idea on my other backpacks by rolling up the extra webbing and wrapping a heavy duty rubber band around it a bunch of times; but rubber bands do degrade over time.)
    The straps are adjustable so yes, there is extra webbing.


    Originally posted by Cooner View Post
    3) I'm thinking of getting a Small Travel Tray (when they're back in stock) to dump in all the stuff that's first-out when I arrive at my destination and last-in when I'm packing to go home; plus I'll have a place to collect my wallet and loose change and stuff while I'm there. I'm curious though, is it a soft, scrunchable fabric container that can be shaped and flattened and stuffed into whatever nook or cranny is available in my bag? Or does the tray have some internal rigid frame or structure that could be damaged if it's distorted out of shape?
    Yes, squishable - PaulT00 answered you in the other thread

    https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...612#post331612

    Originally posted by Cooner View Post
    4) And finally, has anyone had any experience or luck stuffing the Aeronaut 30 under the seat in an airplane? I've seen a few people comment that it's a no-go, but I have an eBags Pro Weekender that's about the same width and depth and only a couple inches shorter (17.5x12.75x8") and a lot more rigidly bulky with all its padding, and I've gotten that under the seat several times. If it's not overstuffed, maybe, or if I sneakily keep an "entertainment pouch" in one end pocket I can pull out at the last moment and tuck into the seatback pocket to shave a couple inches off the length?
    Check the restrictions on the airline you will be flying...but yes, folks have put it under the seat. Slightly underpacking it and carrying it in backpack mode (which the flight folks seem to ignore more) often helps with that.

    And the PCSB is a favorite pouch for what you're suggesting... the versions that have the strap attachment at the ENDS (older versions and the current Design Lab edition - but not some made in between) allows you use to use medium or large double swivel carabiners to hang it off the seat back pocket, once the plane is in the air.

    Here's a thread with some photos from the time period when TB changed the strap attachment points to offset to avoid the zippers ... shows the end set version on a seat pocket
    https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...-pcsb-og-style


    You may find this thread useful


    https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...its#post331045


    Oh, and have fun on your trip!
    Last edited by G42; 05-01-2021, 01:39 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Quick Aeronaut, Packing Cube, Strap Keepers, Travel Tray questions

    Hey guys! I'm really looking forward to receiving my Aeronaut 30 this week (my first Tom Bihn bag!) and hopefully using it for a trip to check in on my dad in a few weeks. I'm thinking about ordering a few accessories before the trip, and had a few questions if anyone could answer them.

    1) Will the Small Laundry packing cube fit into the end pockets of the Aeronaut? I see there's also an End Pocket Packing Cube that's a little wider and significantly less deep, but I wasn't sure if that's made specifically to fit into the end pocket or if it's just the place you'd naturally want to pack some dirty shoes.

    2) Do the backpack straps on the Aeronaut include extra dangly webbing? I'd like to order a pair of Strap Keepers if they do. (I actually do something very similar to this idea on my other backpacks by rolling up the extra webbing and wrapping a heavy duty rubber band around it a bunch of times; but rubber bands do degrade over time.)

    3) I'm thinking of getting a Small Travel Tray (when they're back in stock) to dump in all the stuff that's first-out when I arrive at my destination and last-in when I'm packing to go home; plus I'll have a place to collect my wallet and loose change and stuff while I'm there. I'm curious though, is it a soft, scrunchable fabric container that can be shaped and flattened and stuffed into whatever nook or cranny is available in my bag? Or does the tray have some internal rigid frame or structure that could be damaged if it's distorted out of shape?

    4) And finally, has anyone had any experience or luck stuffing the Aeronaut 30 under the seat in an airplane? I've seen a few people comment that it's a no-go, but I have an eBags Pro Weekender that's about the same width and depth and only a couple inches shorter (17.5x12.75x8") and a lot more rigidly bulky with all its padding, and I've gotten that under the seat several times. If it's not overstuffed, maybe, or if I sneakily keep an "entertainment pouch" in one end pocket I can pull out at the last moment and tuck into the seatback pocket to shave a couple inches off the length? (Note: This isn't a dealbreaker, just curious in case there's ever a time I can't put it in the overhead for some reason.)

    Thanks everyone, and have a great week!
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