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  1. #1
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    New Aeronaut 45-first impressions vs. Patagonia MLC

    Iíve had my eye on the Aeronaut 45 for a little while now, fascinated by the idea of one-bag packing for my trips. I waited too long and missed the black ballistic/island combo that I initially wanted. So I next decided on black ballistic/wasabi, and missed that too when I went to order. Ugh. Finally ordered the black ballistic/UV combo, but with a little apprehension. I wasnít sure if Iíd like the interior, but the wife liked the look in the pictures, so thereís that.

    I also ordered a Patagonia MLC. I wanted to compare the two for my intended use: week of business combined with a week of casual. So, a couple suit jackets and a few trousers, some khaki-type pants and casual shirts, and all the other miscellaneous stuff (underwear, t-shirts, shoes, etc.).

    First impressions: the A45 is built like a tank compared to the MLC. Donít get me wrong, the MLC seems to be a really nice bag for the price. Itís just that everythingís Ďbeefierí on the Aeronaut. And I like that.

    The wide-open layout of the MLC seems to favor the folding of business clothes over the A45, but with all the extra pockets and organizing features it has, I think too much valuable real estate is eaten up that I would need for my clothing in the MLC. The A45 certainly seems more voluminous (really surprised by all the room in the end pocketsóshoes will easily fit, but canít see where Iíd put them in the MLC), even though the center section is smaller than the MLCís. Plus, I have a Pilot that Iíll be keeping all my small stuff in, so the MLC pockets will go unused and that space wasted.

    Backpack straps on the A45 are more substantial, and I love how the clips are hidden in the corners; the MLCís just hang out, ready to snag or get stepped on.

    Tonight Iím going to test pack for an upcoming trip to Italy-12 days total, with the first week in casual clothes and the second in business attire. I took a carry-on roller on my last (short) trip there, and feared for the safety of the wheels on the cobblestone streets as I dragged it alongóIím looking forward to my bag on my back on this next trip. Iím already heavily favoring the A45, but Iíll pack the MLC as well to see how that goes. Biggest concern right now (regardless of bag) is if everything I think I need will fit. Iíll report back when finished.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimS View Post
    Biggest concern right now (regardless of bag) is if everything I think I need will fit. I’ll report back when finished.
    Hmmm, this is going to be a little tougher than I thought.

    First things first: the MLC isn't going to work for me. There just isn't enough volume in the center compartment for everything, but the real deal breaker is that there's nowhere good for my shoes. Have to have my dress shoes for my trips. Plus, I'm not sure the lightweight zippers can take the load after seeing how much I had jammed in the Aeronaut.

    Regarding the Aeronaut 45: without any packing aids (garment folder, packing cubes, compression sacks, etc.) and general sloppy packing, I got almost everything in there, but not everything. I still need to get my casual pants (2 pair min.) and casual shirts (5 min.) in the A45. I'm next going to try a Pack-it folder (free shipping and returns to Amazon for Prime!) to compress the dress shirts and trousers, and maybe drop a couple t-shirts and underwear. That, coupled with some better rolling of the other stuff might get me a little more space. I'll try again in a couple of days to see if this is going to work...

  3. #3
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    Ah, maybe I grabbed that black ballistic and wasabi bag, as I just got mine two weeks ago. Just in time for a week long business trip to California and Minnesota with some casual fun thrown in. I included an end pocket packing cube, a large packing cube, and two small packing cubes.

    I was pleasantly surprised that my size 13 wingtips easily fit in the end pocket. I was also able to fit everything else with room to spare, but I did pare down my clothing such that I could transition business to casual time. Took a single sport coat, a second set of trousers, some shorts, three button ups, and socks/undershirts/underwear.

    You're not going to be able to one bag it if you are trying to fit 10 days worth of clothes with nothing you plan to wear twice.

  4. #4
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    OK, I couldn't wait. The wife and kids are otherwise occupied tonight, so I decided to do a re-pack. And this time, besides paying more attention to rolling and folding, I used the Aeronaut's compression straps and unzipped one of the side pocket internal zippers. Success! Big Grin It got down to using the slanted zippered pockets on the ends to fit in another couple pairs of socks and underwear, but I made it happen. The Aeronaut is very full and heavy, but comfortable with the backpack straps. I'll have to do laundry a couple of times and iron everything (I'm ok with that), but I met my goal. My co-workers are going to think I'm crazy when I show up with just a carry-on and personal item for a two week trip.

    This is what my packing list looks like:

    end pocket #1:
    1 pr. dress shoes stuffed with 3 ties
    5 pr. dress socks
    Rain jacket

    end pocket #2:
    5 white t-shirts
    5 pr. casual socks
    5 u/w
    Sports shorts
    2 belts

    main compartment:
    5 dress shirts
    2 suit jackets/blazers
    3 dress pants
    3 casual trousers
    5 casual short-sleeved collared shirts
    3 colored t-shirts

    Toiletries in main compartment mesh pocket

    I'm very happy now. I can clip the tags from the Aeronaut, install the zipper pulls, and call it mine. And I do like the U/V interior.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the detailed packing list. It helps me to visualize the size difference between the A30 (which I have) and the A45 (which I now want).

  6. #6
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    Not sure how long this trip is but it seems like an awful lot of clothing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tebnewyork View Post
    Not sure how long this trip is but it seems like an awful lot of clothing.
    12 days: 5 days of conference prep in casual clothes, 5 days of conference in coat and tie (with evening events), 2 days 'off' in between.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    You're obviously already doing laundry while on your trip, why not do it twice and carry less stuff?

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvn View Post
    You're obviously already doing laundry while on your trip, why not do it twice and carry less stuff?
    I wondered about that briefly but it sounds like TimS has evening events during the work week. I think I too would take a few more shirts in order to not have to worry about it during a hectic week.

  10. #10
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    Manhattan. I haven't flown on a plane since the '90s.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimS View Post

    main compartment:
    5 dress shirts
    2 suit jackets/blazers
    3 dress pants
    3 casual trousers
    5 casual short-sleeved collared shirts
    3 colored t-shirts
    I'm curious -- how did you fold and pack your blazers??

  11. #11
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    Manhattan. I haven't flown on a plane since the '90s.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tebnewyork View Post
    Not sure how long this trip is but it seems like an awful lot of clothing.
    Not really, when you consider the mix of business and casual events.

    Throw in at least one FORMAL event and gym clothes -- AND wild temperature fluctuations if you're travelling during the early spring or late fall necessitating jackets and sweaters -- and it can be a real packing challenge.

    The fact is, one-bag travel really only works if you're female (sorry ladies, but dresses/gowns take up far less space than suits/tuxedos -- in fact, most of the "gowns" I've seen on the red carpet at Cannes this week can easily slip into a Q-Kit), you're going on vacation and only need to pack casual clothes, or your trip will be 3 days or less.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCWriter View Post
    I'm curious -- how did you fold and pack your blazers??
    I use this method, turn one shoulder inside out and fold it into the other shoulder:

    How To Pack a Suit | Brooks Brothers

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvn View Post
    I use this method, turn one shoulder inside out and fold it into the other shoulder:

    How To Pack a Suit | Brooks Brothers
    This is the same method I used. I'm sure the jackets will need to be pressed upon arrival.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    wool (especially worsted wool) is more wrinkle resistant than most people think. I usually give it a good shake and hang it for a bit and it's fine.

  15. #15
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    I like how beefy the A45 is mainly because there's always that flight where they force you to check luggages, and that time where it falls off the bus in the middle of nowhere-land. So far, my A45 (ballistic nylon version) have served me well. I've another bag made of lighter nylon purchased at the same time and its torn. I've another made of rip-stop (from north face) that survived about 6 plane flights. The A45 look beefier than any of these, and after countless flights it still look like new.. both of my tombhin bags seem to have that in common lol.
    I value that. I don't like to buy a new bag every 6-12mo. Its more expensive after a year, they're not necessarily as good of a bag, not much lighter, and it don't like contributing to making more waste on this planet if I can help it.

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