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Starter Pack Advice Needed

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    Starter Pack Advice Needed

    My family (wife and 8 year old son) are taking a two week vacation to Europe this summer. Goal is to pack as light as possible and move from wheeled luggage to backpacks.

    At first, I thought about two Aeronauts but I now think one Aeronaut for me and one Tri for my wife would be better in terms of size. First do people think we could fit enough for three in those two bags or should I get the two Aeros?

    Second, any suggestions for a good "starter pack" of accessories? We are trying to travel light and limit electronics (i.e. maybe a kindle and iPad or 2 but no laptop).

    Any help is much appreciated...


    Welcome to the clan!

    8 year old- synapse 19
    Wife - synapse 25, tristar, or possibly the new pilot (it may hopefully have a backpack option)
    You- Aeronaut, or Guides pack with side pockets ( and packing cubes for inside)

    Each family member - one side effect each with waist straps ( for passport/ wallet, small camera, personal quick access stuff)

    Side effect worn to the side or in front is compatible with any set up above.

    As to possible accessories,

    Definitely 3d cubes.
    If you go with the guides pack, the "Packing Cube Shoulder Bag" fits perfectly laying down on the bottom of the pack.
    Into the bottom pocket of the synapse 25 the "Snake charmer" fits perfectly as well.

    When you have arrived to your destination and are going out for the day,
    Dump most of the "travel" stuff onto the bed, (another reason for the 3d cubes, snake charmer, etc)
    (Depending on whether the weather is changing during the day and u need to store sweaters and such when it gets warmer for the days outing.)
    You get your wife's synapse 25, your wife gets your son's synapse 19 and your son gets your packing cube shoulder bag (with the strap adjusted to the small setting)

    If it is a "light" day trip, you get the synapse 19, your wife gets the packing cube shoulder bag or turns her Side Effect into a small shoulder bag by changing the straps. And your son will look cool with his Side Effect in fanny pack mode.

    If you are planning on doing some night walking down small European streets (with no sidewalks) I would definitely consider each of you hooking the red guardian lights (in flashing mode) to the rear of your bags.

    Happy trails!
    Last edited by Trailhiker; 01-03-2014, 06:41 AM.


      What Trailhiker said.

      The SE is a hugely useful bag. I would add that if you are willing to do a bit of laundry, pack all darks or all lights for everyone, then you really only have to pack for a week or less.
      Pictures of your choices please,
      List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!


        Held back a bit and only ordered an Aeronaut and Co-Pilot. Figure we will try them out and then do another order for my wife and maybe some accessories for me. Thanks for all the suggestions and advice!


          My husband and I are going to Italy this summer. I have an aeronaut for myself. Perfect for winter travel, but for summer travel I think it's too big. I have practice packed my clothes (10 days in Italy). And I was able to get all my clothes just in the PCBP, shoes in one side pocket and toiletries in the other. Too much spare room. I am waiting for a black/Iberian western flyer as it should be a better size. HOWEVER, I am packing minimalist! I.e. 4 tops, 4 bottoms, and 1 dress. I plan to mix/match clothing and use laundry service.

          So...maybe have your wife start laying out what she will be taking so you can determine how large of a carry on she needs. Also, be careful of overpacking the Aeronaut. It hold a lot more stuff than it looks like it should be able to handle. If you pack it to its full potential, it'll get heavy, especially when schlepping though airport terminals!


            Thanks Melissa for the thoughts. Will definitely practice pack with my wife to see what kind of bag would work. I am hoping that the three of us can live out of some combination of two bags. Hopefully it will be warm in London so we can avoid packing major layers. Thanks!


              Hi JK

              Noticed you are travelling with an 8 year old.. Perhaps 2 Aeronauts
              - backpack carry option
              - all clothing should fit
              - your son doesn't have to carry anything through airports/cabs/trains etc
              - you could use of a combo 3 packing cube shoulder bags or 2 PCSB and 1 PCB for daypacks or as suggested side effects
              - PCSB fit shoes very well, and slide nicely into the end pockets
              - a little extra room on the way home for European purchases


                I like the idea of 2 aeronauts an the synapse 19 for the 8 year old. I have been thinking of purchasing one for my older son (also 8!) to use during trips and for DH to use as a gym bag when we aren't traveling.

                If you plan to do laundry you can definitely fit 3 days worth of clothes in those bags, toiletries, electronics and have room to spare. I am flying from Germany to the US next week and fit 3 days worth of clothes for myself, my 8 year old, my 23 month old and my 7 month old, plus dipes/wipes/toiletries/electronics into one aeronaut. My son is carrying his backpack with our ipads/snacks in it.


                  They arrived today.Click image for larger version

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