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  1. #31
    Forum Member Kerrpe's Avatar
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    Welcome, BagHabit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    I very very rarely look at other brands now......if Tom Bihn does not make it I do not need it I feel.

    Ilkyway, this is just how I am now. And if Tom Bihn doesn't make it, I figure out a way to make my TB bag work!
    “Order and simplification are the first steps towards mastery of a subject” ― Thomas Mann

  2. #32
    Forum Member Jaffa's Avatar
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    I may look at other bags in shops - but its never serious and Im always thinking of TB bags when I do it.
    Guess Im hooked, like any other addiction - its just the cost of shipping/customs that keeps my collection smallish.
    If my sister visited from the states more often than once a year,then I might own more.
    (Unless anyone in the UK, wants to share shipping charges??)
    Jaffa
    S25 Black halcyon/NWS: S19 Grey/UV: WF Black/NWS: Co Pilot Grey/UV, & various little pouches all purples/grey.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaffa View Post
    I may look at other bags in shops - but its never serious and Im always thinking of TB bags when I do it.

    Jaffa
    Same here. O-rings are especially addicting.

  4. #34
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    I'm a little late to the party here, but I feel like I should still opine. Hey @BagHabit. You and me man, we get each other. I too have a bag problem. I'm trying to get no more than two bags a year, especially since these things last forever.

    But here's the thing. My travel system is the same as exactly what you're contemplating. I am a full-time, 365-day-per-year traveler. While I move "home base" every few months, I try to travel every week or so. So I live out of this stuff!

    My short review is this: Definitely get the Aeronaut 30 and aether packing cubes. The laundry stuff sack is clever, but perhaps not that necessary. The travel tray is convenient for forgetful people, but takes up a lot of space.

    I have some stuff and some advice. My Tom Bihn stuff first:

    1. Aeronaut 30 with Absolute Shoulder Strap.

    2. Aether packing cubes for A30; one large, two small.

    3. Laundry stuff sack, designed for A30.

    4. Travel trays: 1 large for my A30, 1 small for my briefcase (unrelated).

    5. Organizer pouch doodad with keystrap.

    6. SideKick.

    My non-Tom Bihn stuff:

    1. Toiletry Kit: Perhaps to your surprise, my toiletry kit is not from Tom Bihn. I don't think Tom Bihn's approach to 3-1-1 is very workable. If you use their spiff kit, you'll have to keep a separate clear 3-1-1 bag for security. That to me is a show-stopper. My Osprey Zip Organizer has a removable 3-1-1 bag that just re-attaches to the hanging toiletry kit. I find that's way more efficient.

    2. Briefcase: I have a Waterfield Designs Briefcase, which I keep my other Travel Tray in. While I find that while Tom Bihn makes high quality stuff, I want something a little more stylish for a briefcase with leather and waxed canvas.

    3. I do have a small messenger bag from Etsy. It's for when I want to go museum hopping or we're going on an 8 hour day trip and I'll want snacks. Stuff like that.

    4. I have a shoe stuff packing cube that isn't Tom Bihn. It works well for throwing shoes (size 11) in the side of my A30 without getting the bag dirty. Unlike TB packing cubes, these are elastic and hug the shoe, saving space.

    And, I have some opinions. Yesserie. Op-in-ions.

    Just get Aeronaut 30, not the A45. Seriously. There are many reasons why the A30 is, I think for most people, a better choice. For one, a fully loaded A30 is already quite heavy. I'm 6 feet tall, 200 lbs and I don't want to carry that much weight around. I think that I can carry a week's worth of clothing in my A30, plus shoes, plus flipflops.

    Okay, now maybe if you're 7 feet tall and carry around camera gear, get the 45. But I really feel that, for most people, if you travel with so much stuff that you need a 45 liter bag, you should just go wheeled suitcase and check your bag. The point of a duffle/backpack is travel light and the A30 fits so much stuff! Plus, the A45 just barely meets US cabin bag requirements, but you will have to check it in Europe, in Australia, and much of Asia. I've never had to check my A30.

    Seriously. Just get the 30 liter.

    Aether packing cubes: 100 times yes. I've used packing cubes for the past 10 years. Before I was a full-time traveler, I was a frequent flyer (every 2 weeks) and I've used a ton of packing cubes. These are, hands down, among the best. The only ones that compare are some really high-end ones I found at MEC in Canada. They're so light and so thin, but perfectly strong. Just spend the extra money -- they are worth it.

    Tom Bihn laundry stuff sack thing: Okay, yes, it works exactly as advertised. But... I'm not entirely sold on it since getting it. Here's why: it's not tiny and doesn't encouraged rolling socks or underwear in a very efficient way. Plus, at least for my clothing and packing style, it's allocating significantly more space to socks and underwear than I feel is necessary. Nothing you put in this thing is going to be neatly organized, it's just a mash of socks and underwear, so that's probably all you'll use it for. And for that purpose, it's taking up a bit too much space, IMHO. Having said that, the organization is so killer, I still am using it.

    Travel Tray: I throw a little one in my briefcase that has all of my dongles. Do you have a Mac? Cuz if you do, you probably also have a lot of dongles. And it works great for that. I throw a big one in my Aeronaut and use it mostly as advertised. It's basically my "nightstand stuff" in a bag. It works really well if you have a lot of that nightstand stuff and you're only staying in a hotel for one night or two. You can put the travel tray on your nightstand and boom -- your sleeping aids, clock, whatever is unpacked. Having said that, I think a stuff sack would probably work just as well. I seldom find myself doing the little ritual of unfurling the travel tray and furling it back up into its perfect basket shape. And as another downside, when you start throwing charges in this thing, you find that it's actually taking up quite a bit of space in your bag for perhaps not as much stuff as you thought. YMMV.

    Organizer Pouch: Totally get an organizer pouch (big one) with a clear front. I got the one that's big and has two zippers, one with a clear window. I throw all my chargers, my wifi hotspot, etc in there. It genius.

    SideKick: I use this as a combination day/gym back on short trips (gym as in the gym in the hotel -- it won't fit any shoes or anything) as well as an airline amenity pack. On a long flight, throw in everything you might want during the flight, and put it in here. When the flight begins, it fits nicely in the seatback pocket.

    Ok, wow. I really wrote a wall of text to strangers on the Internet about my bag system. I too have a problem.
    Last edited by bouncing; 11-29-2017 at 09:20 AM.

  5. #35
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelman505 View Post
    The GR1 has wonderful MOLLE webbing, allowing one to easily attach any number of pouches or other items to the pack, including water bottle holders.
    Are you really going to do that though? The stuff you attach will make it exceed the advertised dimensions (problem for airlines), they'll get caught on stuff as you move it into overhead bins, the weight will be outward from your back and not upward on your hips, and the straps themselves are a ton of weight.

    My packing philosophy is that, with the exception of a water bottle elastic pocket (which I wish the Synapse had), everything should be 100% inside the bag. Attaching stuff on the outside tends to be great in theory, a hassle in practice.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post

    Ok, wow. I really wrote a wall of text to strangers on the Internet about my bag system. I too have a problem.
    And a bunch of strangers read the whole wall of text, found it interesting, and carefully considered your opinions.
    We have the same "problem" too Big Grin

  7. #37
    Forum Member Lodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    Ok, wow. I really wrote a wall of text to strangers on the Internet about my bag system. I too have a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly S View Post
    And a bunch of strangers read the whole wall of text, found it interesting, and carefully considered your opinions.
    We have the same "problem" too Big Grin
    I found the "wall of text" too short. I wanted more detailed info!
    And I read through it all twice and didn't find any "problems". Big Grin
    Western Flyer Black Ballistic/Island Halcyon

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    Ok, wow. I really wrote a wall of text to strangers on the Internet about my bag system. I too have a problem.
    Bouncing, it was a really good read. I am the owner of an A30, Aether packing cubes, travel tray and a side kick (and a few other things), and I found myself agreeing with so much of what you said.

    I think I like my travel tray a bit more than you. When in a hotel room, my phone and camera chargers, electrical adaptor, glasses and contact lens stuff and other little bits and pieces live in it. If I'm in a hotel where they give you an actual room key, that gets dropped in there. The bit of paper with the wifi code or the combination for the ladies onsen bath gets dropped in there. I use it for any small item which I could possibly mislay, thus causing a great deal of annoyance, not to mention possible expense or delay.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  9. #39
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    Just get Aeronaut 30, not the A45. Seriously.
    While I see your point, I went the other way and swapped my A30 for an A45. While the A30 was as heavy as I wanted to carry, the interior space was too small. I don't want to fill up the A45. I just want the 2-D acreage because it fits my clothing better. I never could fold my clothing to fit in the A30 packing cubes without getting weird folds in places I didn't want to fold them. But I have no problem folding my clothing for the A45 aether cubes or EC Specter cubes and packing folders. An under packed A45 should fit in all the same places as the A30. Plus the A45 fit my back better for backpack carry mode, and I'm a 5'5" tall woman.

    That said, the D36 is my all time favorite bag. It's the sweet spot between the A30 and A45, and it has the right 2-D acreage.

  10. #40
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denises View Post
    Bouncing, it was a really good read. I am the owner of an A30, Aether packing cubes, travel tray and a side kick (and a few other things), and I found myself agreeing with so much of what you said.

    I think I like my travel tray a bit more than you. When in a hotel room, my phone and camera chargers, electrical adaptor, glasses and contact lens stuff and other little bits and pieces live in it. If I'm in a hotel where they give you an actual room key, that gets dropped in there. The bit of paper with the wifi code or the combination for the ladies onsen bath gets dropped in there. I use it for any small item which I could possibly mislay, thus causing a great deal of annoyance, not to mention possible expense or delay.
    Smilie Thanks!

    I agree about the travel tray. I do find it is most useful when (1) you have a lot of small things you want at hand when you unpack; (2) you tend to forget things.

    I only recently got a big one to keep in my A30, and so far I've been keeping it out on the nightstand until the very moment I leave the hotel. There are always a few little things you want to pack, but you want to pack last. So when I do a final walkthrough, everything I missed goes in the travel tray and everything from the bathroom goes in my toiletry kit. It makes for pretty efficient packing.

    But I used to have basically the same system for the outside pocket of my travel bag. I don't find it significantly more efficient, personally.

    I do like the little one a lot for work/computer stuff though. I've got a mouse, headphones, adapters, USB memory sticks, etc all in there. When I get out my laptop, I only have to get out that one bag with it. Saves a lot of time and keeps me from having little doodads all over my briefcase.

  11. #41
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    While I see your point, I went the other way and swapped my A30 for an A45. While the A30 was as heavy as I wanted to carry, the interior space was too small. I don't want to fill up the A45. I just want the 2-D acreage because it fits my clothing better. I never could fold my clothing to fit in the A30 packing cubes without getting weird folds in places I didn't want to fold them. But I have no problem folding my clothing for the A45 aether cubes or EC Specter cubes and packing folders. An under packed A45 should fit in all the same places as the A30. Plus the A45 fit my back better for backpack carry mode, and I'm a 5'5" tall woman.

    That said, the D36 is my all time favorite bag. It's the sweet spot between the A30 and A45, and it has the right 2-D acreage.
    Yeah, I could see that.

    Personally, I roll almost all my clothes. In the large packing cube, I usually have jeans, pants, shorts, swimsuit. In one packing cube, I have shirts. In another, I have outerwear. Then I throw the laundry stuff sack in the side with my toiletry kit. In another side, I keep my shoes. The organizer pouch and travel tray float on top.

    Any hotel/airbnb keys I have, itinerary, and random stuff go in the tiny side hand pockets.

    With that load, my A30 is plenty heavy and plenty full for a week of travel. And by week of travel, I mean forever, cuz you can just do laundry! Plane Cool

  12. #42
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    I agree about the travel tray. I do find it is most useful when (1) you have a lot of small things you want at hand when you unpack; (2) you tend to forget things.
    (3.) You can organize and centralize all the stuff that goes into and out of your pockets so it's always in one spot.

    When I travel, it's the first thing that comes out and second are my chargers. Glasses, wallet, keys, phones, hotel keys, watch, business cards all immediately go into the TT. In the morning I load up from TT, every night I unpack into it and repeat the next day. When I leave the hotel, it's the last thing that gets packed, and it always goes into the front pocket of my WF or top flap of my A45.

    TT = LIFO

    On the trip I just got back from you can see its outline on the A45 flap:

    Houston we have a problem :)-img_20171111_122826-jpg

  13. #43
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    I find the large TT a bit of a pain to pack because of its round shape (and I have to pack two of them). But I do find it very useful when I get to my destination. Like everyone else here, it's the first thing that comes out of my bag, and immediately gets all the stuff that I need to grab at a moments notice, or grab last when leaving. Jewelry, watch, phone, chargers, loose change, husband's wallet, etc.

    I bought one in every color and then decided that I didn't need that many TTs and I've whittled down to just the bright colors (Wasabi and Monarch) because they glow in the dark (sort of) and catch my attention better than the other colors, so I won't leave them behind. I thought about using the others around the house, but that just didn't work for me.

  14. #44
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I find the large TT a bit of a pain to pack because of its round shape (and I have to pack two of them). But I do find it very useful when I get to my destination. Like everyone else here, it's the first thing that comes out of my bag, and immediately gets all the stuff that I need to grab at a moments notice, or grab last when leaving. Jewelry, watch, phone, chargers, loose change, husband's wallet, etc.
    Your husband would otherwise leave the hotel without his wallet??

    Sounds like he needs one with a keystrap tether.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    Your husband would otherwise leave the hotel without his wallet??

    Sounds like he needs one with a keystrap tether.

    He probably wouldn't leave his wallet behind, it's just the TT is a good place to put it so you can grab everything valuable when the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night and you have to vacate RIGHT NOW.

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