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  1. #1
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    A45 too big - other options?

    Hi!

    I just got back from a week in Aruba. This was my first longish trip with my A45, and I found it too big. Overall, I was happy with it, but it was just too easy to overpack and the bag got heavy and a bit difficult to carry.

    So now I'm looking for other options. Obviously, the A30 is on my list. But I was wondering about a Pilot (already have one) and S25 combo, or perhaps a Western Flyer.

    I'd love to hear what works for you, and any other ideas or bag combos I should consider.

    Thanks!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    I prefer the A30 because I find it easier to 'live out of' if I'm mostly staying in one place. Generally I don't remove all my stuff from my bag and put it away in hotel room, etc... so as a lot of folks have noted, the A30 works well as a drawer that way. I usually pair it with a small zip top shop bag for under the seat, on a plane trip.

    For moving around night to night, I might switch up to the 26L Smart Alec (sadly discontinued, but available on eBay frequently). The S25 unfortunately doesn't work for me on the overall back length/shape... and for travel I would prefer the gaping maw of the SA. You have to unpack to get to things, but since it's pretty unstructured inside, it allows a lot of flexibility in how to use that 26L vs the pockets on the S25.

    There are a ton of TS/WF/S25 travelers, hopefully they'll all chime in.
    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...

  3. #3
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    I walked to and from various stations with my A30 in backpack mode on my last trip with it and found it quite comfy and never too heavy. And surprisingly capacious.
    I would not hesitate to recommend the A30 if you liked the overall structure of the A45.

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I personally like the A45 and would rather just pack less in it to keep the weight down so that I have the option to take more when absolutely necessary. Plus I have big feet, so my shoes fit much nicer in the A45 than other bags.

    A30, WF, TS, and S25 are all smaller alternatives. I find it a challenge to pack shoes in these bags though.

  5. #5
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    What did you like about the A45? Big compartments? Or did you find yourself wanting more little pockets? We're you glad to have just one bag, or did you want some things within easy reach?

  6. #6
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    I love my A30. It's a great size, so I echo the recommendation from others. But I must say I also do love the Yeoman duffels. They come in several sizes and are very lightweight. In fact, I will fold up my medium sized one and pack it in one of my Aeronauts if I think I will need more room for souvenirs on the way home. I don't have the new Road Buddy, but I do have a medium Road Duffel which is similar. That's also a great size bag that is smaller than the A45. If you do not need backpack straps, I would recommend one of the Yeomans or Road Buddy. Hope you find a solution that works for you.
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Spring Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  7. #7
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    I love the looks of the Western Flyer but returned it. I found it too hard to pack and too heavy in relation to what it could carry. The Synapse 25 and Smart Alec can carry as much, but they're both significantly lighter. I couldn't pack flat enough and if you pack shoes, the front zip pockets become hard to use. That's just my experience, though.

    I've traveled with just a backpack (Smart Alec or Synapse 25) and with just an Aeronaut. The Aeronaut is easier to live out of if where you're staying doesn't have a closet or dresser to use. I stay in a lot of friends' apartments (on their couch) and feel like I'm a tidier guest when I live out of an Aeronaut.

    My advice would be to keep the Aeronaut 45 and pack less. If it gets too heavy, take stuff out. I have an Aeronaut 30 now and have had an Aeronaut 45. I sort of prefer the Aeronaut 45 because the end pockets are more expansive and fit my favorite packing cube, the PCSB.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocks View Post
    I love the looks of the Western Flyer but returned it. I found it too hard to pack and too heavy in relation to what it could carry. The Synapse 25 and Smart Alec can carry as much, but they're both significantly lighter. I couldn't pack flat enough and if you pack shoes, the front zip pockets become hard to use. That's just my experience, though.

    I've traveled with just a backpack (Smart Alec or Synapse 25) and with just an Aeronaut. The Aeronaut is easier to live out of if where you're staying doesn't have a closet or dresser to use. I stay in a lot of friends' apartments (on their couch) and feel like I'm a tidier guest when I live out of an Aeronaut.

    My advice would be to keep the Aeronaut 45 and pack less. If it gets too heavy, take stuff out. I have an Aeronaut 30 now and have had an Aeronaut 45. I sort of prefer the Aeronaut 45 because the end pockets are more expansive and fit my favorite packing cube, the PCSB.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocks View Post
    My advice would be to keep the Aeronaut 45 and pack less. If it gets too heavy, take stuff out. I have an Aeronaut 30 now and have had an Aeronaut 45. I sort of prefer the Aeronaut 45 because the end pockets are more expansive and fit my favorite packing cube, the PCSB.
    Packing less would be the sensible thing to do, but I have a proven track record of filling whatever bag I take, so I need a smaller bag to impose some limits on myself.

    I do agree that it's easier to live out of a bag like the Aeronauts rather than a backpack, and I like the flexibility of the large compartment of the Aeronauts.

    Thanks for your input!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pammy View Post
    I love my A30. It's a great size, so I echo the recommendation from others. But I must say I also do love the Yeoman duffels. They come in several sizes and are very lightweight. In fact, I will fold up my medium sized one and pack it in one of my Aeronauts if I think I will need more room for souvenirs on the way home. I don't have the new Road Buddy, but I do have a medium Road Duffel which is similar. That's also a great size bag that is smaller than the A45. If you do not need backpack straps, I would recommend one of the Yeomans or Road Buddy. Hope you find a solution that works for you.
    Thanks! I really do like the backpack straps, and the overall rectangular shape of the Aeronaut design, otherwise I think the Road Buddy would be a good fit.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lia View Post
    What did you like about the A45? Big compartments? Or did you find yourself wanting more little pockets? We're you glad to have just one bag, or did you want some things within easy reach?
    I like the combo of a spacious compartment and the good-sized end pockets. I really like the overall shape of the Aeronaut too. The lack of little pockets is fine, I have plenty of organizer pouches, packing cubes and the like so I can customize to the needs of a particular trip.

    On this trip, I had my Pilot as a personal item. It held my CPAP and some odds and ends for in-flight use. Because I carry either a purse or the Pilot when I travel, I have a strong preference for a main travel bag that I can wear on my back.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanuk08 View Post
    I like the combo of a spacious compartment and the good-sized end pockets. I really like the overall shape of the Aeronaut too. The lack of little pockets is fine, I have plenty of organizer pouches, packing cubes and the like so I can customize to the needs of a particular trip.

    On this trip, I had my Pilot as a personal item. It held my CPAP and some odds and ends for in-flight use. Because I carry either a purse or the Pilot when I travel, I have a strong preference for a main travel bag that I can wear on my back.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    Sounds like the A30 would be perfect. I have one in Halcyon to keep it as light as possible, and I like it for all the same reasons.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanuk08 View Post
    Hi!

    my A45, and I found it too big. Obviously, the A30 is on my list. But I was wondering about a Pilot (already have one) and S25 combo, or perhaps a Western Flyer.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    Are you a plane traveller most of the time where you will have minimal walking to and from planes and hotels? If so, A30. If you are going to be walking a LOT to get to things, nothing beats the S25 backpack, although that would be going 20 liters smaller, might be kind of a stretch. The Western Flyer is a superb bag at 26 liters and is the most professional-looking bag of the ones you mentioned. Although I don't have any experience with the Pilot, it just seems like it would be too small.

    For my mainly car trips of 4 days or more, I have an A30 that I use in combination with a Sidekick for my EDC. I also carry a Daylight Backpack in Halcyon that I roll up and stick in one end of the A30 for the "just in case I end up with too much stuff at the end of my vacation" scenario or if I want to go in backpack mode anywhere, like on a bike ride, etc. The Sidekick fits nicely in the bottom of the backpack with lots of room left over. The Sidekick also fits in the end pocket of the A30.
    Last edited by anna2222; 02-15-2019 at 01:58 PM.

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanuk08 View Post
    On this trip, I had my Pilot as a personal item. It held my CPAP and some odds and ends for in-flight use. Because I carry either a purse or the Pilot when I travel, I have a strong preference for a main travel bag that I can wear on my back.
    Oh, what CPAP do you use that fits well in a Pilot? I'm a CPAP user too and I've been considering getting a new one for travel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    Oh, what CPAP do you use that fits well in a Pilot? I'm a CPAP user too and I've been considering getting a new one for travel.
    It's the ResMed Air Sense 10. Not designed for travel, but it fit well enough in my Pilot. I got a drawstring closure padded camera bag to give it some protection. I stored the mask, tube, and power cord separately in packing cubes in the Aeronaut.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    What about the Brain Bag? I am also looking for a bag for one-bag traveling, and debating between BB and A30. Any advice? Thanks

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