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  1. #1
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    Question on Aeronaut 45 zippers

    I am considering an Aeronaut 45. I have a question about the zippers, particularly the main compartment zipper. I've read several reviews that say the zipper is a bit tight, especially around the corners. Is that correct? Do the zippers become easier with continued use? I don't want to have to fight with the zippers. Thank you for any feedback you can provide.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
    I am considering an Aeronaut 45. I have a question about the zippers, particularly the main compartment zipper. I've read several reviews that say the zipper is a bit tight, especially around the corners. Is that correct? Do the zippers become easier with continued use? I don't want to have to fight with the zippers. Thank you for any feedback you can provide.
    Hmmm, I think it's a pretty subjective question - it depends on your point of view and what you're comparing them to. I never consider myself 'fighting' with the zippers.

    The main zippers are large so by definition they'll be a tad harder than smaller zippers and it's always harder to zip around a curve on something that's flexible. Unless my bag is stuffed full, making it almost rigid, I use one hand to hold the bag and one hand to operate the zipper. I wouldn't accept that on a delicate handbag but to me it's totally normal and fine on luggage. The amount of time I actually spend opening or closing a bag compared to carrying it, it being in transit, etc. is minimal.

    The ballistic fabric is stiffer out of the box and sort of relaxes over time which can affect how you use the zipper. The zipper itself can wear over time, but that usually takes a very very long time.

    Overall, if you think about it, the way the zipper works is by interlocking the teeth...if they don't have a decent interlock, they're easier to open from the pressure of internal objects pressing against the zipper, exterior handling, etc. The main zippers are larger because they need to be the strongest to ensure the integrity of the bag. They're YKK which is the best zipper brand out there.

    With all that being said, when I think of how I personally use my A45 and A30 and how I describe them to friends, the zippers never enter my conversations about what I like the most and what I like the least about the bags, YMMV.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide!
    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
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    My Aeronaut 45 was bought used, and the zips were very smooth.
    My Aeronaut 30 was one of the first or second batch of the original A30 design, bought new. When it arrived, the ballistic fabric was quite stiff (that has loosened with time and considerable use) and the zips were also a little stiff. But the zips very quickly eased, within the first few trips they too were quite smooth as I recall.
    By comparison I recently treated myself to a waxed jacket (a not inexpensive design made by the Manchester,UK company Private White VC) which uses metal RIRI zips - which were pretty stiff and even irritatingly sticky to start with, but have now settled in after a few weeks of use.
    By design, a zip mechanism is an "interference fit" - the manufacturing tolerances are by nature pretty small - and it's in the nature of such things to "wear in" to a greater or lesser degree.
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  4. #4
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else that the zippers start out on the stiff side, and become easier to work. But so far (even with my secondhand TB gear) they never become so slippery that they open up unexpectedly. I think that's actually worse - I had a Timberland backpack whose zippers would slide open and eventually allow the entire load to tumble out.

    My solution for stiff new zips is to attach zip pulls - they seem to give me the right amount of leverage to open the bag without struggling. And I pull on the bag in the opposite direction from the way I'm zipping, so that the zipper is taut/flat. (Sometimes it helps to wedge my hand/a finger in a pocket on the opposite side of the bag, and pull away from the zipper as I unzip. Or you can use the grab handle.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
    I am considering an Aeronaut 45. I have a question about the zippers, particularly the main compartment zipper. I've read several reviews that say the zipper is a bit tight, especially around the corners. Is that correct? Do the zippers become easier with continued use? I don't want to have to fight with the zippers. Thank you for any feedback you can provide.

  5. #5
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    I have an Aeronaut and other Tom Bihn luggage in 1050 Ballistic, a must stiffer Ballistic than 525d or 210d HT ballistic, no problem with the zipper.

    I also have 400d Halcyon Aeronaut and other Tom Bihn luggage which I had to use for the first time on a trip with complicated itinerary, overseas, when airlines just decided they needed to make carryon weight and dimension more restrictive.

    Any uncooperative zipper would not have been tolerated, unlike many brand of luggage from cheap to very expensive, which decided to make many trips difficult, Tom Bihn luggage behaved perfectly, especially the zippers.

    I also have a smaller Tom Bihn accessory in 420d HT Parapack, there, the zippers, some of them really small, perform perfectly, as well.

    YKK is the best brand of zippers.

    My first Tom Bihn Backpack was bought in 2006, the second a year later, I still use both, they are perfect for holding items that need to be transported fast, in case of natural disaster.

    My Biggest Tom Bihn bag is a Large Duffel, in 1050 Ballistic, a discontinued design, I enlisted the bag for moving lots of stuff, the zipper was put to the test and it performed extremely well.

  6. #6
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    Greetings,
    One of my favorite features of Tom Bihn bags is the water repellent zippers. After a cycling trip where everything was soaking wet, I started looking for water-proof travel gear.

    Previously, my day bag was soft fabric. I loved the hands-free small backpack design, but everything got soaked in the rain. The bag was black so inside was dark and I was always losing stuff in the bottom of the bag. I decided to find something more organized and waterproof.

    The Synapse, with it's water-repellent features, immediately caught my attention. Now I have several Tom Bihn bags, including an Aeronaut 30, and many accessories. They have been used in the rain and I can personally attest to the success of all the water-repellent features.

    The zipper on the Aeronaut is more stiff than I was used to. I've never had a bag with water-repellent zippers before. They were easier to use after I added paracord zipper pulls.

    Tom Bihn has an excellent return policy, so if you decide the bag is not for you, it can be returned. Good luck and please let us know what you decide. elisa

  7. #7
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    Check the articles about the design concepts behind TB's selection of materials. I think you will quickly decide the stiff zippers are more of a feature. If easy access to the bag's contents is important to you, you can lubricate the zips with a silicone spray or liquid.

  8. #8
    Forum Member BigBadD's Avatar
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    TB have, in my opinion, chosen zips well for the style, usage and strength of each bag design. Sometimes new bags are initially a bit stiff to zip, but this usually eases a bit with use. Having strong and waterproof zips is a big plus. I cannot imagine a TB bag becoming unusable due to zip failure, and when travelling I appreciate the security that bags cannot be unzipped easily and one handed. I wouldn’t say that I have had to “fight with the zippers” on any TB bag, but yes zipping and unzipping bigger bags and larger zips sometimes is easier two handed.

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