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Aeronaut 30 or 45?

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    Aeronaut 30 or 45?

    So I finally (finally!) am going to get my hands on the much coveted Aeronaut. My very lovely brother whose wedding I recently attended was so impressed with the synapse 25 and co-pilot I was traveling with that he decided to gift me an Aeronaut for my birthday next month after hearing me gush about Tom Bihn bags (I may have even sold him on a Tri-Star for his business travel).

    The problem is I cannot decide between a 45 and a 30 (and before anyone says it, no I cannot get both sadly). The factors that weigh into my decision:

    1- Ease of carry when stuffed, since I travel mostly by train (Also, I'm 5'5").
    2- Complementing what bags I already have so as not to duplicate
    3- All my stuff needs to fit.

    I will be using it mostly for weekend or (occasionally) 10 or so day trips. I think I'm pretty good at light-ish packing (the only thing I take extra of is underwear). Before I got into Tom Bihn, I bought a Timbuk2 Wingman (old version), which is pretty much the same style as the Aeronaut. It's a good bag but it's no Tom Bihn construction-wise, and it's not the most comfortable carry when it's all loaded up. I'm not sure if that's because of the weight or the design of the bag, so I can't tell if the Aeronaut would be more comfortable. The only thing the Timbuk2 bag has over the Aeronaut is a dedicated laptop compartment. Either way I don't want to replace it just yet, I want the Aeronaut to have its own function in my bag arsenal when the Timbuk2 won't do. It's a little smaller than the A45 (40 L, 21.5 x 14.2 x 6.9, as opposed to the A45's 45 L, 22 x 14 x 9).

    I worry about going for the smaller A30, though I'm drawn to the compactness of it, but I'm also unsure about lugging around a bag bigger than my Timbuk2. My clothes are a men's L, and in the winter tend to take up quite a bit of room. A typical 10 day winter packing list would consist of the following:
    • 2-3 lambswool sweaters
    • 3 long sleeve button downs
    • A hoodie
    • Light cotton jammy bottoms and a tank
    • 10 x Underwear, 2 x wool socks
    • Toiletries
    • Extra shoes
    • Laptop + cables
    • Gloves, earmuffs, scarf
    • One or two books


    I usually pair my big clothes bag with my co-pilot, which would contain some personal items, iPad, meds, a book, etc.

    Whatever I choose, I'm definitely going for the ballistic for aesthetic reasons. I love the dyneema on my synapse, but I think the Aeronaut looks better in ballistic. So... what would you recommend? A30 or A45?

    #2
    Gut feeling - I don't have both, only the A30 in Dyneema, and I take it on car and train trips along with my Pilot. I am fairly confident you could get the proposed load into the A30 *possibly* minus the extra shoes and a book. I think some of it depends on the toiletries - are they big bottles or pre-portioned amounts in small bottles? Are you carrying bulky chargers or a blowdryer or something analogous that would eat up space in the main compartment?

    I think you need somebody with A30 and A45 to compare and judge the proposed load.

    Comment


      #3
      My toiletries are pretty small, I only travel with the small 3 ounce bottles. Everything fits into an Eagle Creek toiletry bag with room to spare. No hairdryer or anything like that, and my chargers aren't bulky (macbook air charger + couple of USB cables + USB wall plug).

      Comment


        #4
        I have the A45 in ballistic. I'm 5'8". I was able to fit a 5 days worth of clothes, toiletries, and souvenirs for a trip to Texas last fall (2013). I am fond of my hoodies and I like my clothes looser, so they run a bit bigger than what you have. I figure if you're splitting some items into your S25 (like laptop/cables/books) then I think you'll have room for what you want to pack with spare for anything you might bring back.
        Current set-up: Black Dyneema/Solar MCB, Iberian 3DOC, COWs in Solar & Steel.

        Wishing for more color variety in Dyneema. Can we get a blue again?

        Comment


          #5
          @Tachiyaku, You should probably give information on how large your extra pair of shoes are, and the size. For the clothing items, most people adopt strategies of saving room by their choice of garments and fabrics (for example, @adalangdon originally asked about how to pack a big hoody; she was able to get the packed size down by using a PCSB, but ultimately got an Ibex Merino wool hoody that packed down much smaller as well as being lighter weight, anti-stink, etc.). So, the devil is in the details.

          moriond

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            #6
            @Tachiyaku, if it helps: 3 J Crew lambswool crewneck sweaters, M size L, fill up the interior of the A30. You can squish other stuff in there but the sweaters will take up the bulk of the room. However, 3 J Crew cotton/cashmere sweaters take up approximately half the room that the wool ones do. Do you have another brother who could give you three sweaters? They're 30% off right now 😜


            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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              #7
              Originally posted by Badger View Post
              @Tachiyaku, if it helps: 3 J Crew lambswool crewneck sweaters, M size L, fill up the interior of the A30. You can squish other stuff in there but the sweaters will take up the bulk of the room. However, 3 J Crew cotton/cashmere sweaters take up approximately half the room that the wool ones do. Do you have another brother who could give you three sweaters? They're 30% off right now ��
              @Badger, you're my dapper J Crew guru - I saw that pink gingham tie. Sadly, I only have the one brother, though I really should start treating myself to those cotton-cashmere sweaters. With elbow patches on all of them

              For now, seems like I'm leaning towards the A45. @Moriond, my shoe size is women's 9/men's 7. I assume they should fit in the end pockets of either bag.

              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                #8
                Barring a specific reason for the smaller one, I'd get the 45 -- and that's what I do have, though it was before the A30 was available, so I didn't have the same choice to make. (I'm also slightly taller - 5'10")

                There could *be* a specific reason for the 30, though -- is the 45 too big for the travel you anticipate? Is the 30 enough easier to heft that it's worth the need to pack more tightly?

                If there's not, my though i that you can underpack the 45, but you can't make the 30 any bigger than it is

                Comment


                  #9
                  @timothy, Both Badger and I have the larger Aeronauts, and in my case the bag dates from the first production run of the Aeronaut. This was my predominent travel bag until the Tri-Star debuted. I'll just say that the A30 is surprisingly more comfortable to carry than an underfilled A45 for someone who is an inch or two within @Tachiyaku's height, and in general I've always been able to pack down smaller. (I'll add that my shoes are 3 sizes smaller than @Tachiyaku's and I wear S or Petite line clothing, or occasionally Petite medium.) There should be no issues with @Tachiyaku's shoe sizes fitting into either bag, unless they turn out to be unusually thick and heavy (along the line of Army combat boots).

                  As for why this is more comfortable, Tom generally has very scalable designs, but the balance of where weight falls along your torso for smaller people is going to better with the shorter bag. This has nothing to do with physically being able to carry larger or heavier bags, some bags can be too long to carry as comfortably for your torso. @Badger can comment differently about this.

                  moriond

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                    #10
                    It depends on your packing style. I had a 45 and a TriStar (just a tad more volume than the 30). While I could obviously pack more in the 45, organization was more difficult and I ultimately sold it. I found that judicial use of packing cubes allowed me to pack almost as much in the TriStar as I could in the 45 - so - if you really want a backpack duffelbag then the 30 with packing cubes might just fit the bill.
                    When in trouble, obfuscate.

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                      #11
                      Since I'm supposed to be writing my term papers, I decided of course to do a test pack in preparation for my 9 day trip next week once the semester ends. Because I'm such a good graduate student. I'm trying to figure out if the 40L Timbuk2 I'm using makes getting the A45 redundant, in which case I'd just go with the A30 (which would most likely be enough for spring/summer/fall packing).

                      Pardon the photos of the non-TB bag. This is the entire packing list mentioned above, plus an empty leather everyday bag (the stuffed to the gills packing cube is a medium Tri-Star):

                      Click image for larger version

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                      And this is how it all fits:

                      Click image for larger version

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                      There's a teeny bit of left over room that I can squeeze something in if I need to, but I'd rather not be carrying a significantly heavier load. Clearly this won't all fit in the A30. But then maybe that would be perfect for the shorter 2-4 day trips I take much more regularly than the longer ones....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'd almost argue that you could probably get away with the Night Flight Duffle Bag if you want something more for day trips.

                        That said, if the above is your usual packing list for longer trips, I would still argue for the A45, especially if you happen to need to squeeze something extra in. Then you could use the Timbuk 40 for the day trips.
                        Current set-up: Black Dyneema/Solar MCB, Iberian 3DOC, COWs in Solar & Steel.

                        Wishing for more color variety in Dyneema. Can we get a blue again?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          OK, @Tachiyaku, Although my experience is that you can use the end pockets of the A45 more efficiently than most other similarly styled bags (possibly including your Timbuk2), the reality is going to be that your clothes are as bulky as they currently are -- e.g. whatever space the hoody currently takes up. So I would go with the A45. BTW the current in-stock range of color options for the A45 seems pretty good, but you might also check the list of pre-update A45 models at the end of the first post of the http://forums.tombihn.com/tom-bihn-n...ack-stock.html thread if there are any of the older combinations you prefer.

                          HTH

                          moriond

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Oh yes, for sure @Moriond, from the photos I've seen the A45's side pockets are cavernous. These aren't. Thanks for the tip re: color combos!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              So, we basically wear the same size in tops and shoes (I would never be so rude as to suggest that anyone is built as, ahem, solidly as I am on the bottom). I think that the A45 very well could make your Wingman redundant. It can hold the contents of your 9 day trip without being quite so stuffed, and it works fine when it's underpacked as well, making it suitable for shorter trips too. The A30 (which I love dearly) can indeed hold size 7/EU 40 shoes with no problem, but I can more easily fit bulkier shoes into the A45 side pockets. If I'm underpacking my A45, I try to use it in backpack mode only, and pack the heavier items towards the "bottom." Then gravity acts as my friend and helps the weight feel more naturally distributed. This is actually a good method to use even when you're packing the bag quite full, since you don't want something heavy up at the top of the load.

                              I've never owned a Wingman but I've hefted one before and the A45 is far superior in terms of comfort. I think that will be a good choice, and you can always pick up a 30 down the road for summer travel.

                              PS: the cotton cashmere sweaters are great. Way lighter and softer than the lambswool but still nice and warm. I'm a fan.


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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