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  1. #1
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    Is the A30 the perfect bag?

    For a year or two I carried an A45 and pilot. Then I moved to an A30 and WF combo figuring overall volume was the same but I could more evenly distribute weight on my back and on shoulder. Anyway, I was quite happy with that combo.

    This week my wife and I went on a one week (mostly driving) holiday. I decided to resurrect the A45 as my only bag.

    What I packed:
    Microsoft surface pro 2 tablet
    Electronics (charger and battery pack etc)
    3 shirts
    Jeans
    3 pairs of tshirts (wear as inner clothes)
    3 undies
    Slippers
    3 jackets (2 light, one medium)
    Toiletries
    Soap and washing powder
    First aid kit in a 3D organiser cube

    And hereís the problem. The bag is too big! Itís barely half full. The bag kind of slumps down. Has no form really. Total weight was 7kg so that was the limit of my carry on weight for a short flight we were on. But the point is if it packed more stuff in there to fill it up then I would have been over my luggage allowance.

    This is why I love my A30 (thatís not with me anymore... another story). Iím waiting to get another one. Hopefully can get one soon, unfortunately the coyote is discontinued so will have to figure out a new colour strategy.

    I just thought Iíd post this up cos I think people underestimate how much can go into the A30. I too made the same mistake when I started. So hopefully this helps someone else Smilie




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  2. #2
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Is the A30 the perfect bag?

    I do think the A30 is the perfect size bag for many people for a trip of any length. I have never owned a 45 for comparison, but I appreciate the manageable size/weight of the 30 which forces me to make choices about what I bring. I have managed to take a 3 week international trip with it as my only bag (with laptop and sub-bags packed inside) but my latest travel combo is Smart Alec on my back as my personal item with all the electronics and heavy stuff, and A30 carried by an absolute strap with clothes, as carry on. That gives me 56 liters of junk I can potentially haul which is really more than is comfortable. I regret it when I take 2 brimming full bags, but sometimes I have to. Pretty amazed how much I can fit in these bags!

    On my last international trip with two brimming bags through three airports, my shoulders and back hated me and I desperately wished for a roller. But I stuck it out as punishment. I figured it was good exercise and a good learning experience!


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    Last edited by Amy; 08-30-2018 at 10:02 AM.
    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  3. #3
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    The A30 is close to perfect for me, at least for shorter trips of 2-3 days. I too started out with an A45 (actually an original Aeronaut), but once I got my A30 the A45 is only used for trips of 4+ days which are rarer than they used to be.

    I think one of the factors has to do with technology shrinking, too, which means less bulk or volume to lug around, meaning a smaller bag works better. I used to carry a Clear Quarter Cube with chargers, cables etc; that has now shrunk, with newer kit, to fit in a 3D Clear Cube which is half the size or less. My work laptop is a 14" Lenovo boat anchor; I used to take that with me, but was able to change over quite quickly to use my personal laptop (Citrix is a Godsend sometimes) which was an old 2007-era black polycarbonate MacBook. That was replaced a couple of years ago now, with a 12" Retina MacBook; the reduction in size and weight is quite astounding. The fact that many bits of kit also now standardise on chargers, cable types (USB-C or micro-USB) etc has made a big difference too; the USB-C charger for my laptop is a quarter of the size of the old power brick for the black MacBook.

    I'm not getting any smaller, unfortunately, but my clothing choices (aided by a casual dress code at the office when I have to go there) have become simpler and lighter over time and I've fine-tuned what I carry with me; same for toiletries - those used to be in another Clear Quarter Cube (two CQCs in an end pocket of an A45) but have also now shrunk down, for short trips, to a second 3D Clear Cube. Ironically, aside from clothing, the most space is now taken by things like spectacle cases, sunglasses, reading glasses, contact lenses etc - ah, the joy of getting older!

    The greatest thing about the A30 is possibly the fact that while it's capacious, the pocket black hole and dimensional stabilisers fitted to the 30L Aeronaut seem to have smaller limits than the ones fitted to the ("Always Room For One More Thing") A45. This is a good thing, because having more space to put stuff in seems to magically attract more stuff to go in it and - particularly as I get older - lugging a full A45 is definitely something I need to do less often. While it's good to have the option of the larger bag, working within the A30's limits forces me to think about what I actually need, and be properly mindful about packing.
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  4. #4
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    I started with an A30, which was just a hair too small, so I swapped it for an A45. My problem with the A30 is that my stuff doesn't fit in it the way I like to pack. I like the 2-D acreage of the A45. I just bought the frame sheet, so I hope that will keep it from slumping when underpacked.

    But my favorite bag is the D36 (medium road duffle, sadly discontinued) because it's 36 liters, which is the perfect size. Plus, it's longer and flatter, so it works better for my packing style.

  5. #5
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    But my favorite bag is the D36 (medium road duffle, sadly discontinued) because it's 36 liters, which is the perfect size. Plus, it's longer and flatter, so it works better for my packing style.
    That's interesting - if it's not a rude question, what's special about your packing style which makes the Doggienaut a better fit than the A30? I considered whether I should invest in a Doggienaut, but decided against it; since it's been discontinued I've been gently kicking myself...
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  6. #6
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    I haven't had my A45 very long, but it was great for a trip where I had to lug safety boots and just did not want to wear them on the plane... in the A30 they would have taken up half the main compartment.
    Generally though, I can fit into the A30 with most of what I'd need... on planes, I still want something for the seat, but I can either bag-in-bag it or go with a second small bag. I do like how compact the A30 feels on my back as I maneuver through airports.

    I think I'll probably use the A45 for longer road trips and maybe the holiday trip home if I need more cold weather clothes. Right not I'm on a work trip with the A30 and Pilot (the work laptop is a beast)
    @PaulT00, totally agree with the electronics, etc getting smaller... work has promised a smaller laptop too and I can't wait!
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulT00 View Post
    That's interesting - if it's not a rude question, what's special about your packing style which makes the Doggienaut a better fit than the A30? I considered whether I should invest in a Doggienaut, but decided against it; since it's been discontinued I've been gently kicking myself...
    I'm a flat packer, not roller. In the A30, I had to put too many folds in awkward places, to get my clothing to fit. Whereas my Eagle Creek Specter packing cubes fit PERFECTLY in the D36 (medium Doggienaut). Those cubes hold my clothing with minimal folds.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I haven't had my A45 very long, but it was great for a trip where I had to lug safety boots and just did not want to wear them on the plane... in the A30 they would have taken up half the main compartment.
    Yep. I think the A30 is perfect if you don't have large shoes. Men's size 12/13 are a stretch for the A30 end pockets. In the A45 they fit perfectly.

  9. #9
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I am a shade under 5 feet and the A30 is a great size for no-check-in air travel, or a car trip (2 days up to a week, and everything is about laundry after that...).

    With that said, I found out that I can't run at full tilt for a distant gate when I'm carrying the A30. More like half-tilt or quarter-tilt, lol. (I don't know that I would run much faster trailing a rollaboard behind me, but shouldering the A30 is just that much more of a workout! Big Grin

    I considered the Doggienaut many times but in the end decided that I couldn't/didn't want to carry 36L on my back. I just end up packing another TB bag if I go beyond the A30's capacity. More balanced, anyway, for me to carry one bag on each side.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarah_atx View Post
    Yep. I think the A30 is perfect if you don't have large shoes. Men's size 12/13 are a stretch for the A30 end pockets. In the A45 they fit perfectly.
    I've found that the A30 end pockets are too small for almost any size men's formal shoe, let alone size 12/13. That's a major reason why I switched to an A45. Good leather shouldn't be crammed into a crevice.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Ive just picked up an A30 (for a second time).

    The main reason is that itís the perfect regional aircraft sized bag at 500*320*200 (with the 200 thickness being the critical one). Itís longer shallower profile works perfectly.

    A45 - is just a bit too big overall for this type of flight.
    Tristar - can easily go beyond the 200mm thickness as it bulges. I get it onto the flight but not into the shallow overhead bins.
    Western Flyer - Smallest overall and no trouble in the overheads. Just doesnít maximise the allowance (3-4 litres less).

    For short trips away with no need for paperwork or tech (laptops etc), itís really hard to beat.


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    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  12. #12
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    For me it is all about the Giant Clown Shoes as has already beed suggested.
    Mine fit right into an A45 but not too much else.

    I don't pack mine to the brim unless I need to but it is noice to know that I can and the 30 is just too small for my bigger things.

  13. #13
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    For me the A30 is the perfect size bag. I wear size 13 shoes and usual travel with a second pair.

    Toiletries and a shell jacket in one end.
    Packing cube in the other end with socks, underwear, shorts.
    Main compartment is contains a large and medium eagle creek folder with my second pair of shoes.
    Sometimes I'll add a pair of flip flops on the bottom of the bag opposite the strap.

    I carry a backpack with electronics, books, etc. I travel a couple of times a month for work, 3 nights business casual, and it's perfect.
    I've also used the same setup for week long international business trips where the hotel provides laundry facilities or
    I'll put the second pair of shoes in my backpack.

    For me the added weight of an A45 would lead to slovenly packing.Cool
    Last edited by fredguy; 09-01-2018 at 06:26 PM. Reason: readability

  14. #14
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    The A30 is the perfect weekender bag for me, particularly when flying. It can fit under most plane seats if needed, and it will go in the overhead of regional jets. I never worry about having to check it, even if I end up in boarding group 50 (lol).

    The A45 is great as a vacation bag, especially for car trips or trips requiring special gear or more than one extra pair of shoes.

    The WF is the bag I most often pack when I'm in the process of figuring out I really want the A30. :-) But it has found a niche in my family for one-night trips with a large laptop. It's more incognito than the A30 in that it looks more like a backpack/briefcase and less like a suitcase.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I'm a flat packer, not roller. In the A30, I had to put too many folds in awkward places, to get my clothing to fit. Whereas my Eagle Creek Specter packing cubes fit PERFECTLY in the D36 (medium Doggienaut). Those cubes hold my clothing with minimal folds.
    The smaller Eagle Creek 15" packing folder is a perfect fit for the A30 (also for the back of the Pilot). I use this for stuff I want to fold in the A30. It's about the same size as the Specter cubes, but holds its shape better and has a folding board - which make a difference. I put the stuff in the middle first, then the stuff in the pockets.

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