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Aeronaut : flap opening direction ?

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    Aeronaut : flap opening direction ?

    Hello,
    I am new on these forums, I am coming from France and I like bags for decades. I just discovered Tom Bihn and the Aeronaut, which I find it very well engineered.
    However... I am puzzled by the opening direction of the flap for the main compartment : If it was placed in opposite direction (same face, but turned 180°), it will stay open when the bag is putted on the short side, handle at the top, and will allow to fill it in this direction. Moreover, it would be possible to open it during the transportation with the shouder strap, whereas it is nearly impossible now.

    Do you have some explanations ?
    Last edited by Froggy; 11-16-2014, 04:04 PM.

    #2
    Welcome, Froggy! You are in good company: many of us have also been into bags for decades.

    The Aeronaut was designed to be loaded while laying flat (on a bed, on top of a chest of drawers, on a luggage rack) and not while standing on edge.

    The main zippered flap on the Aeronaut is specifically situated for optimal access (loading and unloading) while the bag lays flat (not while you're carrying the bag upright). Here's how that works: after you flop/set/toss your packed Aeronaut onto a bed, chest of drawers or luggage rack, the inverted “U” shaped opening naturally unzips and folds towards you so you can access the mesh pocket sewn into the flap. So, no need to set the Aeronaut down and then turn it around.
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

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      #3
      Hi,
      Thanks. But sorry, I don't understand well : when the bag lays flat, it would be possible to turn it in case of special-design reverse U-flap, and it seems (I make my opinion only on pictures, it is impossible for me to test) the only difference is the handle which faces me, with the same acces to the mesh pocket, isn't it ? Mabe it's because of some trapezoïdal shape, which helps to keep the flap open on one side and not on the other one ?
      Actually my purpose is not to load the bag when carrying, but sometimes to acces to the main compartment when carrying.

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        #4
        Ahh, I see. To clarify: the main (center) compartment of the Aeronaut was designed to be neither loaded nor accessed while being carried.

        When designing the Aeronaut, Tom noted how he and others (friends, bag testers) used a carry-on and, specifically, how they put the bag down in a hotel room. People tended to sort of sling it into the bed, luggage rack or bureau, with the handle ending up oriented closest to the user. Tom didn't want them to have to turn the bag around but rather wanted them to be able to start to unpack it in that orientation. Either way, when there's much of anything in the mesh lid pocket, it won't stand up but will flop down -- Tom wanted the user to have easy access to that pocket in that flopped-down position.
        Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

        Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

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          #5
          maybe a couple of photos will help. i just got back from my first trip with the A30 (what an awesome bag!). the main compartment of the bag is meant to be opened towards you.
          Attached Files

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            #6
            Ha! Y'know, I've never noticed this, have always opened the flap away from me -- will try this way instead. Vaguely felt like the flap would be "in my way," though Darcy's explanation makes sense to me.

            Froggy: the outermost *end* pockets (that is, the flat ones on the extreme outside edges, not the big end compartments as a whole) aren't bad for in-motion access, for things like tickets or other slim objects -- I've sometimes abused them a bit by putting a juice box or other small drink, or snacks.

            A co-pliot or other small cross-body bag (any small messenger bag, say) is much easier to reach into without un-slinging the bag. The Daylight briefcase, say, if you're trying to keep a matching set (An annoyance for European travel, I bet -- I haven't ever had to, but I know that for many airlines / airports, it's very strictly one-bag-only.)

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              #7
              Originally posted by timothy View Post
              Ha! Y'know, I've never noticed this, have always opened the flap away from me -- will try this way instead. Vaguely felt like the flap would be "in my way," though Darcy's explanation makes sense to me....
              First of all, welcome @Froggy! And like you, I always found myself having to turn my Aubergine A45 around every single time I laid it on the bed to open it; the flap-opening direction felt "upside-down" to me as well. So I'm glad you asked this question, in order to get Darcy's explanation of why Tom designed it this way.

              Does everyone else open the bag with the flap towards them? The polarity of my electrons must be reversed or something because to me, it feels natural to open the flap away from me, just as @timothy does. Oh well. It's no big deal; I still love both my Aubergine Aeronauts, the A45 and the A30, so much. But now I understand why I constantly feel that I have to turn the bag around when I open it.

              ~Nancy

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                #8
                Originally posted by ncb4 View Post
                Does everyone else open the bag with the flap towards them? The polarity of my electrons must be reversed or something because to me, it feels natural to open the flap away from me, just as @timothy does. Oh well. It's no big deal; I still love both my Aubergine Aeronauts, the A45 and the A30, so much. But now I understand why I constantly feel that I have to turn the bag around when I open it.
                It seemed natural to me to open the bag with the flap away from me, but I read about this reasoning a while ago, had a huge "AHA!" moment and things clunked into place in my mind. Now I use it the way Darcy described, and it really is better IMHO. I keep a YSS that I use as a travel tray in that flap as well as some charging cables for use in my hotel room. Sometimes I put something that I want accessible, like a light sweater, right along the vertical part of the main zipper (as viewed when the TB label is right-side up, if that makes sense); while I still set the bag down to get it, I don't have to open the flap very far. And I agree with @timothy that the other pockets are useful for keeping things accessible.

                ETA: Another reason I like setting down the Aeronaut with the handles towards me is that I sometimes hang stuff off them, like a 3D org cube from its hook, or a swimsuit. It keeps things handy and visible so that I don't forget them when I'm packing up.
                Last edited by terayon; 11-19-2014, 10:36 AM.

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                  #9
                  I was dumbstruck by the idea of opening the flap toward you. Gee whiz, I've been doing it all wrong! In my defense, I think about that mesh pocket differently, and use it regularly for dirty socks on the return trip.... then it's not so bad opening laundry away from you, right??
                  Favorite: Steel/Steel Little Swift * Latest: nNordic/NWS Smart Alec *

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                    #10
                    I've always moved the flap away from me as well. I can see how useful it would be on a luggage rack or in top of a dresser though. I might have to try that on my next trip (on Friday!).


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                      #11
                      I'm a flap away person too. The other way makes some sense though! I just never imagined opening it towards me that way.

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                        #12
                        I've been opening the flap away as well. I'll have to try opening it towards this weekend, this is kinda like a "Ta-Da" moment for me!
                        Aeronaut 45 & Night Flight TD - Aubergine / Wasabi
                        Small Cafe Bag - Burnt Orange

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                          #13
                          LOL. I've been opening my aeronaut the wrong way too, not that I noticed it was a problem until now. Will try it the right way the next time I pack and see if there's a difference.

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                            #14
                            I've been opening it the 'wrong' way as well. Maybe TB needs to start supplying instructions with it's bags 😄

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                              #15
                              Facepalm.

                              I confess: I've been doing it 'wrong', too!

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