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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Petite person's take on the A30

    I checked out the A30 today and was hugely disappointed to find that I both LOVE the bag and that it does not love me.

    I have just returned from a business trip, so I had the opportunity to pack an actual load right in it. As I'd hoped to use the A30 for leisure travel (taking dolmuses thru Turkey for a month will teach you something about traveling light and being the jerk with the heavy rolling bag!), I left out the heavy binders, manuals and computer gear loading down the roller I'd taken, and only swapped a couple items to reflect leisure travel - heels for Birks, blazer for rain jacket, etc. This left me with a 13 lb load consisting of mostly clothes (packed into 1 A30 large packing cube, 1 A30 small packing cube - ordered previously), a baggie of toiletries, handbag full of first aid/meds/supplements, kindle, ipad and shoes/jacket.

    I still had a mostly empty end pocket on one side and could have fit a few more items in the main compartment and other end pocket. So again, folks who are worried about the space in "30 liters" - well all I can say is it feels closer to 40. In fact, the same load fits less well into my Osprey Farpoint 40, which is purported to be 8L larger! I think it must come down to the way the space is laid out because the A30 is smaller overall than the Farpoint.

    Unfortunately! What TB have said about it not fitting differently than the A45 is true - in order for it to sit comfortably on my back, I had to cinch the shoulder straps all the way. In that position, the top of the straps dug into my neck and I had some sore spots after walking around for only 5 minutes.

    In my search for the One Bag To Rule Them All, I have been measured at REI, and know my torso measurement to be just short of 16". I know most backpacks are sized for 17"-20" or thereabouts, and it seems like maybe that inch makes the difference. And of course, height does not necessarily correspond to torso length, so I can only assume that my fellow shorties who are satisfied with the A30 (or 45 for that matter, since they fit the same) have longer torsos than myself.

    I'd be curious to hear from anyone who does have a <16" torso who likes their A30 on how they wore it, strap-wise. I've got a bit of a nerve thing in my shoulders so I can't really wear it with the shoulder strap and have all the weight on 1 shoulder - not to mention that the bag is is still a bit unwieldy on me as a shoulder bag, extending nearly from my hip bones to my knee.

    I'd still love to keep it if I can figure a way to make it work for me, as I love the clean lines and organization, but right now I'm feeling like it's going to need to go back :'-( <cry>


    Also, in case anyone is curious, my ipad Air fit perfectly in an end pocket.

  2. #2
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    I feel your pain! There are lots of petite people on here, so hopefully someone has some insight on this. I'll be curious to hear too as I'm fairly petite myself but don't own an A30 (and suggestions for other bags that DO work on those of us with shorter torsos would be welcome). If you're considering exchanging for something else, you might have luck looking at the bag measurements - the length of the A30 is 19.7" which from my experience with the Synapse (the 25 at 20" is too long for me while the 19 at 16" is just perfect) tells me I would likely have the same issue as you with it. You might have a bit more luck with the Western Flyer, for instance, at 18" although obviously the style is quite different...

  3. #3
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Petite person's take on the A30

    I am petite; not sure about my torso size! Now I want to go to REI and have it measured.

    I carry the A30. It is far more comfortable than the A45 I used to have, probably because of the short thing, but still a bit longer on me than a typical backpack. I do not think I'd want to wear it for an extended period of time but it is usually ok for a few hours in the airport, particularly if I pack light. I usually find myself switching between the three modes of holding it in my hand, wearing it as a shoulder bag, and carrying it on my back, as one part of my body gets tired.

    Good luck in your bag search. I know some backpacks are more adjustable than others.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 06-10-2015 at 07:04 PM.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    I'm short and my Aeronaut predates the 30, but I find it very comfortable. I probably carry less than 13 pounds though, and don't mind that the bottom of the bag goes to my mid bottom, ha. My torso is less than 16" (I'm all leg). Have you considered the Smart Alec? That has nearly the capacity of the Aeronaut 30, and it's extremely comfortable to wear.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure I measured myself right, but I got 16 1/2 in (5'0"). I don't have an A30 yet, but have you tried using the optional waist belt?

    Your other options would be the Smart Alec and Western Flyer (both 18" tall and 26 liters).

    We have a Smart Alec that my 5'2" daughter uses as her EDC. I've used it for travel with no problems. We all have broad shoulders which might help pull the straps wider.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    That's too bad. I love my A30 so much! I tried to measure my torso, just by googling how to do it. Mine's about 18 inches (I'm not quite 5'1" with very narrow shoulders). I'm comfortable carrying about 15 lbs for more than a mile, but I find the WF even more comfortable and the SA even more comfortable than the WF.


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  7. #7
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    I'm not sure of my torso length, but I'm 5'3" and found that when I practice packed the A30 at home, it didn't feel very comfortable to me. When I took it on a trip, however, I thought it was very comfortable. I do cinch the shoulder straps as short as possible, but I don't use the sternum strap. I think if I used that, it would feel even better. I had tried the A45 several times, but it never worked well for me (felt way too long for my torso) so I sent them back. I really love my A30 though. I've never carried my A30 with the shoulder strap. I have an Absolute Strap, but I feel like the bag pulls on my neck and shoulders when I try to use it. For me, the backpack option is the best one. Hope you can find a way to make the A30 work for you.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Aeon's Avatar
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    I'm 5'3" and just measured my torso at 17 inches. I find the A30 fits comfortably though I do have to use the sternum strap cinched at its tightest for the bag to feel secure. I prefer all backpacks to ride low on my back and rest on my butt. Maybe this is why I find the S19 uncomfortable at times. It rests just above my butt and drives me bananas. I'm always having to fiddle with the straps with that bag, but with my S25 and my A30 all I had to do was adjust the straps once and I was good to go.

    I think the bag looks absolutely ginormous on me and doesn't look compact or small unless I am hand carrying it. (A friend recently told me that my S25 looked like it was two thirds my size when I wear it.)

    Long live Burnt Orange! Zest! 152!

  9. #9
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    @Emmey, I second the suggestion of the Smart Alec, as someone who also has a shorter torso. It is the most comfortable I have tried on , plus I think the hip strap is in the most comfortable spot if you need to stabilize a load, compared to the higher strap attachment points on the other bags. I have carried it for hours without discomfort, and if you add on the upper modular pocket it, it has similar volume to the A30. Of the other TB travel bags I have tried on the WF is the next most comfortable. I will be taking my WF on a trip next week, so I will have a better chance to compare it to the SA. I will attach a couple of older photos of me wearing each, just in case that helps (note: I am about 5'3"). Note: the WF was not very full when I took the photo.

    Petite person's take on the A30-smart-alec1-jpgPetite person's take on the A30-wf-1-jpg
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
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  10. #10
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWhikergal View Post
    Note: the WF was not very full when I took the photo.
    The WF looks so small in the photo! I usually stuff mine full when I travel, and I wind up looking like a Galapagos tortoise. Well, not quite as bad as with a Tri-Star.

    My packed WF is stuffed because if I don't have that much to pack, I actually go with less bag--just a Packing Cube Backpack as my main carryon, and a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag as the personal item.

    I have to agree, though--the Smart Alec is very comfortable. If you're going to be doing a lot of walking, it will be nicer than the WF.

    A few years ago, I went on a 2-week trip to Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara) with a SA. It worked out well, but on the stretch of the trip when we were changing hotels every day or two, it was a little humbug because it was a pain to have to take everything out then re packing everything.

    I would probably prefer the SA if I'm going to stay in the same place.


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  11. #11
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    I love my A30 and alternate between carrying it as backpack and hand-carry. I do try to keep the load light though to make this easier. I don't carry it on my shoulder at all - it hits my knees when I walk and the absolute strap is too wide on my shoulder to be comfortable. If I'm carrying a heavier load or carrying a bag for longer periods of time I use my Osprey Aura 35 which has a fantastic wide and padded hip belt - I need something much more supportive than TB backpacks for heavier loads and longer periods of carry. Good luck in the elusive search for the perfect bag.

  12. #12
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I am 5 feet and love my SA. Most comfortable TB pack I own. I keep the UMP on it so it comes in at 28L (if you add the LMP then it's 31L). Pretty sure I have had it packed up to about 20 lbs. for short distances (like a mile and a half-ish from ferry to hotel), and it's been comfortable (though I'd pack differently if I were hiking all day).

    ETA: Not sure what the proper technique is for measuring one's torso, but I held a soft tape measure up from the bottom of my waistband to the top of the neck seam on my tee, and came up with 16.75". For what it's worth I seem to fit fine in regular (i.e. not petite) tops, but always need to shorten my slacks.

    EATA: Found this guide for taking measurements... So I'm probably right around 16" according to those instructions. Can't be more precise since I don't have a friend around to help with the measuring. Smilie

    If I make it to the Bihnfest this weekend and Holly brings her A30 we'll try and take pictures!

    Somewhere around here there's a post about someone using their SA as their dresser (i.e. never unpacking) when traveling and moving frequently. I would think the key to making it work would be to use packing cubes as "dresser drawers".
    Last edited by haraya; 06-11-2015 at 10:02 AM.

  13. #13
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    Wow! I wasn't expecting so many responses!

    Re: the SA, one of the few requirements I have for my OBTRTA (One Bag To Rule Them All Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)) is that it not be a top-loader, as I am a fairly disorganized person, and compounding that with a heavy dose of impatience and a dash of neuroticism, I like to be able to re-pack quickly and see easily that I haven't forgotten anything Smilie Packing cubes help, but I can't do a top-loader. This is one of the reasons I was so drawn to the layout of the A30 - clothes and toiletries in the center, shoes/ipad on one end, purse with supplements on the other end. Test packing in this manner still left room in each compartment. But my neck waaaah.

    Honestly, trying it again, it's not as terrible as my first impression. I was able to loosen the straps to a balance point where it's not rubbing my neck raw, but TBH it's still not something I'd want to carry around for more than 10 minutes. I find myself doing the thumb-tuck, hoisting it forward and off my shoulders. Even paring down the load a bit, it feels heavy very quickly.

    I think it might come down to the width of the straps at the top because the A30 straps are both too close to my neck and also resting right on the joint where my clavicle meets my shoulder.

    Some photos in case it helps anyone. My Osprey bag also for reference.
    Attachment 12077Attachment 12079Attachment 12078

  14. #14
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmey View Post
    Wow! I wasn't expecting so many responses!

    Re: the SA, one of the few requirements I have for my OBTRTA (One Bag To Rule Them All Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)) is that it not be a top-loader, as I am a fairly disorganized person, and compounding that with a heavy dose of impatience and a dash of neuroticism, I like to be able to re-pack quickly and see easily that I haven't forgotten anything Smilie Packing cubes help, but I can't do a top-loader. This is one of the reasons I was so drawn to the layout of the A30 - clothes and toiletries in the center, shoes/ipad on one end, purse with supplements on the other end. Test packing in this manner still left room in each compartment. But my neck waaaah.

    Honestly, trying it again, it's not as terrible as my first impression. I was able to loosen the straps to a balance point where it's not rubbing my neck raw, but TBH it's still not something I'd want to carry around for more than 10 minutes. I find myself doing the thumb-tuck, hoisting it forward and off my shoulders. Even paring down the load a bit, it feels heavy very quickly.

    I think it might come down to the width of the straps at the top because the A30 straps are both too close to my neck and also resting right on the joint where my clavicle meets my shoulder.

    Some photos in case it helps anyone. My Osprey bag also for reference.
    Attachment 12077Attachment 12079Attachment 12078
    Pics wigged out.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by marytattoo View Post
    Pics wigged out.
    Hm, not sure how to make them show in the post - can you see them if you click on the attachments?

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