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  1. #1
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    Can an Aeronaut person become a Western Flyer person?

    I've had my Dyneema A45 for a year or so, and it is the type of bag to which I'm naturally drawn. It suits my packing style very well, and replaced an ancient, very simple, cheap, rectangular "maximum legal carry on" backpack that fell apart after ~16 years of hard use. I do tend to be a "just in case" packer, and I typically fill up the A45 when I fly, though I usually know that I'm adding potentially superfluous stuff just because it fits.

    I'm now dealing with a health issue that is forcing me to take much greater care with my joints. I'm having to downsize the stuff in my EDC handbag due to physical discomfort, so it seems obvious that I must also become a lighter packer for travel. (I'm not ready to concede to my illness and stop traveling altogether!)

    I believe that being a "Aeronaut person" is something sort of hard-wired into how I like to pack, but I've ordered a Western Flyer as I'm hoping to achieve some kind of "one bag" travel even with physical limitations.

    Are there people who move seamlessly between the two types of bags? Has anyone gone from being an Aeronaut person to a WF person? Any advice on HOW one packs a WF vs an A45?

    I do find that key pieces of dedicated travel clothing are essential for keeping weight/space down, and I'm not too bad about overpacking clothes. I think it is "stuff" that pushes me into the bulging bag zone. (I might need a spork, a collapsible silicone cup, a PackTowl for the pool...)

    --willo

  2. #2
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    May I ask if you've considered the A30?
    It's smaller, but has the same form factor as the A45.
    Which means you don't have to change your packing style that much, but would still be forced to pack lighter as it's smaller.

  3. #3
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icebeng View Post
    May I ask if you've considered the A30?
    It's smaller, but has the same form factor as the A45.
    Which means you don't have to change your packing style that much, but would still be forced to pack lighter as it's smaller.
    I'm with Iceberg. The difference between the Dyneema Aeronaut 30 and Western Flyer is just 2 ounces.
    As for packing styles, I'm an Aeronaut style person, too, so I can't be much help. Maybe get a Packing Cube Backpack and pack it like you'd pack an Aeronaut.

    Good luck with your future travels!

  5. #5
    Forum Member viewsnortheast's Avatar
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    willo -- I'm a just in case packer as well! Clothes are (really) pretty minimal but the camera, the first aid kit, the emergency stuff... it all adds up. It doesn't answer your question, but what I've taken to doing with my A45 is stuffing one or both of the end pockets with bubble wrap so I'm forced to pack in less space. Then I still have space in the bag for souvenirs on the way home. (I do take the bubble wrap out before leaving the house. =P)

  6. #6
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    I find that using the TB packing cubes for the WF makes it easy to go between the Aeronaut and WF. I usually use EC packing cubes in my A30 and was frustrated with trying to use these cubes with the WF. I finally decided to get a large cube for the back, one small cube for the front and a PCSB and that made packing in the WF so much easier.

    That's said, I agree with others, why not get the A30 in dyneema? I think the only disadvantage would be the A30s ability to take more (like the A45), even when you think it's full. Most of us like that, but if you're really trying to shed weight, that could be a negative for you. Can an Aeronaut person become a Western Flyer person?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Forum Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    I move between an A30 and the WF often. The WF's advantage is when I have to carry a laptop.

    Frankly, the main way to reduce weight is reduce the amount of stuff you carry.

    There is only a 200-300 gram difference between the WF, A30 and the A45.

    I can feel the difference when I shift between the WF and the Tristar, for instance (amount carried being constant) but between the A30 and WF, for example, less so.

    I find that I can shed more weight by packing less redundant clothes. Using a smaller bag than the A45 does force you to pack less though.

    If you want to save weight and still have reasonable space, the Dyneema A30 is indeed the best balance of it all.
    @mrbrown on Twitter, happy owner of a Black Original Halcyon A45, Navy and Burnt Orange A30s, Navy Tristar, Navy WF, Navy NFTD, Navy DLBC, Navy Pilot, Navy and Burnt Orange Co-Pilots, Navy, Burnt Orange, Nordic and Black Halcyon Side Effects, Burnt Orange, French Blue and Nordic Halcyon DLBPs, Linen SCB, Nordic Halycon S25, Nordic Halycon HsJ, Burnt Orange Maker's Bag, and Burnt Orange, Navy and Original Halcyon S19s (yes three, because they are THAT awesome).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by viewsnortheast View Post
    willo -- I'm a just in case packer as well! Clothes are (really) pretty minimal but the camera, the first aid kit, the emergency stuff... it all adds up. It doesn't answer your question, but what I've taken to doing with my A45 is stuffing one or both of the end pockets with bubble wrap so I'm forced to pack in less space. Then I still have space in the bag for souvenirs on the way home. (I do take the bubble wrap out before leaving the house. =P)
    I do the same thing! Often I bring the bubble wrap with me though, in case any of the souvenirs are fragile. Cool

  9. #9
    Forum Member viewsnortheast's Avatar
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    hmm. good idea!

  10. #10
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    A month later, here's how my first few flights with the Western Flyer went.

    Yes, I would like an A30 even better, but it wasn't available in Dyneema when I needed my new bag, so I went with the WF, and I do appreciate that it is smaller and lighter.

    I packed as carefully as I could, and the WF did end up just about perfect for me in terms of size (it doesn't look ridiculous on my short self and I could carry it during a long layover without too much pain) and I made it work in terms of how I packed my usual stuff. I found myself using fewer packing cubes and letting the pre-defined sections of the WF do the work my packing cubes usually do. This is good for saving a bit more weight, but left me hoping the TSA wouldn't be touching my stuff with their potentially dirty hands. (No major searching, so it was fine.)

    Since I now have a whole category of "stuff that mustn't leave my side" (i.e., Rx drugs), I actually found the extra pockets more useful than I would have previously. I still didn't use the smaller of the two shallow (depth) front pockets to good effect. I was carrying my Medium Cafe Bag as a personal item, so my "handbag stuff" was already ensconced where I'm used to having it, leaving me unclear as to what else would be small enough to fit and make sense front and center. I was flying with my son, so I crammed two 3D Clear Organizer Cubes with liquids into the larger one. That will work better when flying solo, or when my son is old enough to self-manage extra steps for the TSA. Smilie

    I did try bringing my A45 on one of these trips, packed "full" but with very light items needed for an overnight "camp" experience (Pack Towl, down pillow, travel size comforter.) What I learned is that I simply cannot carry anything like what I could last year... I had to check my Aeronaut because I couldn't handle the bag (even weighing very little for its size.) The bag came through okay, if dusted with some weird fluorescent yellow powder, but I had some angst about subjected it to the baggage handlers. Lesson learned! I'm just likely to check more bags unless I'm lucky enough to have my health condition resolve spontaneously. Frown

    Thanks for the help and thoughts offered here. It was very much appreciated!

    --willo

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