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Comfort in backpack mode (tristar/WF/aeronaut)

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  • moriond
    replied
    Originally posted by mtpr View Post
    How comfortable is this pack when using it as a backpack? Would it be good enough for day hiking with the optional waist strap?
    Which pack are you talking about? For any of these bags (Aeronaut/Tri-Star/Western Flyer) the backpack mode is relatively comfortable, but not designed for long term carrying. For example, if I wanted to travel with a bag that I could take along for hiking, I'd use a Synapse 25, or a Smart Alec instead, and pack these for travel. The Synapse is a more comfortable design for me (and for my size, I could probably even do travel packing in a Synapse 19 for short trips). But if I wanted a large, single compartment that could take bulky contents, I'd use the Smart Alec as a travel bag. Alternatively, many people like to use the Brain Bag, which approaches the capacity of the Aeronaut. It depends on how much you want to carry along for day hiking. For example, if you want to carry along a lot of camera gear, the Brain Bag is the only one of these bags big enough to fit the Camera I/O inside it. But you'd be better off using a backpack than luggage with backpack carry options if you want to do this for any length of time.

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  • mtpr
    replied
    How comfortable is this pack when using it as a backpack? Would it be good enough for day hiking with the optional waist strap?

    Leave a comment:


  • Yonkdaddy
    replied
    I can again attest to the great flexibility of the Aeronaut suspension. Did a short biztrip to Manhattan. Quickly getting through the airport & navigating to the Taxi stand was done really well with my Absolute strap. But yesterday we decided to do a walk from our hotel on W 46th to Penn Station, then navigate to JFK via the Air Train. About 1.5 miles in 90F temps. I had one colleague rolling his bag along and another with a heavy shoulder duffel. Took me 30 seconds to get out my backpack straps and I was OFF! VERY comfortable (if a bit warm), then put them away in another 30 secs to have a streamlined profile through Security.

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  • pretzelb
    replied
    I find the absolute strap on my Aeronaut to be a bit uncomfortable after a while but in backpack mode it's great. I think the weight is too much for my shoulders no matter the strap. Plus with the extra weight you get more "swing" going which I don't like. Only problem is I normally have a backup as my second carry on bag and that has to be hand held, which works but isn't optimal.

    I find the Aeronaut in backpack mode to be very comfortable.

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  • Lime
    replied
    Carrying the Aeronaut on my back is the most comfortable way for me. I tried it with an Absolute strap a couple of times but it always seems lighter on the back.

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  • Revolver
    replied
    Moving right along in backpack mode with my Aeroanut is just faster and less cumbersome than using the shoulder strap. However I find that I still like to have it available to vary the parts of my body that are being strained.

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  • dorayme
    replied
    Originally posted by Tzporah View Post
    I've actually stopped taking my absolute strap with me when I travel to save the weight since I hardly ever use it.
    My Absolute Strap is on my Imago, I got the hardware so that I could move it around, but I too don't foresee carrying my Western Flyer with the Absolute strap any time soon. The backpack straps work so much better for me. My one-shoulderness must be fairly weak. My back is weak too, but my ability to carry things crossbody or over a shoulder are just weaker I guess.
    For me, I guess because I'm relatively short (see the picture of me below, significantly shorter than Tom) and weak, the more contact I can put with the bag to my body/core, the easier it is for me to carry. Backpack straps, plus sternum and waist equals 4 attachments plus the distribution across my entire back. It's pretty comfy for me with how I have stuffed it, and it was decently stuffed.

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  • snowbot
    replied
    My TriStar is my go-to travel bag on trips of less than a week. (On longer trips I take my Osprey Porter 46.) I'm 5'4", 125 lb., and female and do not find messenger-style bags comfortable if they're any bigger than my Medium Cafe Bag. As long as I don't have to take a backpack for my laptop, I carry the TriStar as a backpack. I don't use the waist strap and I still find it to be very comfortable, even when walking for 30 to 60 minutes. If I do have to drag along the laptop (in a Smart Alec), I find carrying the TriStar by its main handles to be much more comfortable than with an Absolute Strap. Sure, I have to change hands frequently, but I'm not sore afterward.

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  • Tzporah
    replied
    I love the backpack straps on my Aeronaut. It only got better when I was able to add a waist strap. I've carried a fully loaded (25lb) Aeronaut for a three mile hike from the train station using the backpack straps.

    I've actually stopped taking my absolute strap with me when I travel to save the weight since I hardly ever use it.

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  • moriond
    replied
    I'll echo everyone else's comments about the comfort of the backpack straps. This is particularly true if you also use the sternum and waist straps to distribute weight when carrying backpack style for long periods of time. For boarding on airlines, and short carry distances, I tend to use the Absolute Strap with the Tri-Star and Aeronaut, because it's faster to shrug off the bag and quickly load it into the overhead compartment in one smooth gesture. While I've never tried putting a coat into the pocket that holds the backpack straps, as Kinsale suggested, I've often used this pocket as a quick way to stash reading material or even an iPad for a short amount of time, even if I don't have the backpack straps out, if I don't want to unzip the other compartments of the bag. (This is also handy when you've just pulled the bag out of the overhead compartment and are about to disembark.)

    moriond

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  • Just
    replied
    The backpack straps on the Aeronaut/Tri-Star/Western Flyer are extremely comfortable. The straps themselves have never caused me any discomfort whatsoever. The only "problem" lies in how heavy the things packed in the bags are

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  • lotuseater
    replied
    I definitely find my Tri-Star more comfortable as a backpack than over the shoulder, for anything more than a couple of minutes at a time and up to about 1/2 hour. The weight is evenly distributed over both shoulders and the padding of the straps is more than adequate. If my laptop is in the center compartment then backpack is my normal carry mode - with charger and other accessories that's another 6-7lbs over and above the weight of the bag and clothes.

    The Aeronaut is equally comfortable in backpack mode, although I tend to carry my laptop separately. The laptop doesn't fit as well in the main compartment, and if it's packed on top of clothing (for easy access through security), it puts the weight as far away from my spine as it can be. That's not a good thing for stability or comfort. I find the Aeronaut a little more comfortable over the shoulder than the Tri-Star, as the bag's shape tends to conform to my hips and back better. Again, though, that's probably a function of not having the laptop in the Aeronaut.

    Would I use either bag for a backcountry expedition? No, but that's not what they are designed for. For hauling around airports and across town, they are absolutely fit for purpose. Heading into wilderness areas in the Rockies, I'll take one of my Osprey packs instead (good Colorado company, just wish they didn't offshore the manufacturing).
    Last edited by lotuseater; 06-30-2011, 11:39 AM.

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  • Kinsale
    replied
    The TriStar is perfect for travelling when you have lots of connections to make via public transportation. I've worn it fully loaded and walking around for at least an hour and it was comfortable but I was tiring. Actually, the longest I've worn it was in the US line at immigration/customs at LAX. That was about 90 minutes of baby steps in those switchback lines. I survived. I'm the upper end of "middle aged" and not very athletic, but I love the freedom you get travelling with this backpack. It doesn't seem to put extra strain on my neck or shoulders when fully loaded.

    Another nice thing about wearing the TriStar via the backpack straps is you've got space in that strap pocket to shove in a light sweater or coat, or even your extra flip flops if you run out of room.

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  • Yonkdaddy
    replied
    Hi... I am a relative newcomer to the TB bags but I have now carried my Aeronaut on a 1-week personal trip and on a 1-week business trip..l was reasonably loaded with about 20 pound loads on both occasions. I have a long history of back issues and had abandoned carrying anything not on wheels. But I was drawn to the TB/one-bag idea so decided to give these bags a shot.

    First let me say that everything people say about the Absolute Strap is true. I would not have believed that simply creating a non-slip, modestly-elastic shoulder strap would make any difference in comfort but it really does! I would still not like to carry my bag in this way for more than 30 mins or so, but even with my Checkpoint Flyer on the other shoulder it's pretty comfortable.

    On my last trip to Chicago, I shlepped from the gate to the L gate in shoulder strap mode with about a 22 pound load, then was quickly able to transition to the full shoulder harness while on the train for the hike from the downtown station to our hotel. My friend with his roll aboard type bag was stuck wheeling it around the awkward train, platforms, turnstiles, etc. The Aeronaut was amazingly adaptable and comfortable!

    Again, I put up with a fair bit of back pain on a daily basis, but while the Aeronaut didn't miraculously heal me it was surprisingly comfortable.

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  • tCook
    replied
    I've used the Aeronaut fully loaded (25 pounds or so) with the sternum and waist straps, plus carried a Synapse or larger on my front on trains, buses, and planes. (It's a sexy set-up, hush.) Getting both straps adjusted adequately helps a *lot*, and I wouldn't have a huge problem carrying my stuff for 20-30 minutes. I'd be really ready to be done at that point, and think the ability to go hands-free with the backpack straps is worth some extra schlepping. As maverick said, it's the weight more than the general comfort of the straps. Since the TS and WF are smaller than the Aeronaut, the weight would probably be less and the ease of longer walks: even easier! The one time I really notice a heavy bag on my back is going up or down stairs. Seems like my balance is off just enough that I'm extra cautious with the handrail.

    (I'm 5'3" if that helps at all.)

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