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  1. #1
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    Sep 2016
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    Bettendorf, IA
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    First trip with TB - Critiques welcome.

    Alright. Well, I took my first trip using TB bags this week. I don't travel much. In fact, I barely travel by air at all, and usually only by car about once a month, across a couple of states back home to Wisconsin. But this week I flew out to Colorado [Fort Collins] to visit a friend. I had one night in Milwaukee due to an early Saturday flight, stayed in Denver until Thursday evening (no turkey for me), and a night in Wisconsin before driving back Friday morning.

    I took my Pilot and borrowed a friend's A30. I wanted to test it out. I don't travel much but would like to do so more, over longer distances, which would require improvement on organizing. I wore jeans, a heavy sweater, a winter coat, and boots.

    In the A30, I packed: in the left compartment, a pair of tennis shoes; in the right compartment, my toiletries bag; and then in the main compartment another pair of jeans, a sweater, two t-shirts, one long-sleeve t-shirt, three undershirts, three boxers, three pairs of socks, two casual shirts. I ended up not wearing the casual shirts, needing to rewash the underwear, and regretting only bringing jeans.

    In the Pilot, I brought my five pound HP work monstrosity and also packed a light jacket in the back pocket. In the front left I kept my 3DOC with electronic cords, mouse, etc. In the front right I kept the SE that I use to retain some EDC backup stuff (leatherman, etc.). I used the water bottle compartment for a hat, scarf, sunglasses. I used the back slot for a book.

    The A30 was AMAZING to use. I loved the backpack function so much. I also really liked the handles on the side, which made moving the bag easier. On the other hand, lugging my Pilot around coffee shops and town was not great, due to the weight of my laptop. In fact, the Pilot was much heavier than the A30 stuffed with clothes.

    I'm kind of thinking next time, it might be smart to try an A45 and pack everything in there, including my laptop, and use a DLBP or even DLBC [stored in the strap section of the Aeronaut] when I get to my destination. Due to my work, I feel obligated to lug around the laptop, though I should get a much better replacement in about 12 months. I would not be uncomfortable putting the laptop in the bag along with everything else.

    I also need to get better at figuring out how to minimalist pack, or pack for particular trips. The boots were a TERRIBLE idea for the airport. I gotta find some decent casual shoes and try to only use 1 pair for a trip. I'm amazed that people can fit multiple outfits in the A30. This thing felt packed without much in it. My normal duffel bag is probably about 45 liters anyway.

    So, anywho, if anyone has any thoughts, feel free to share, thanks!

  2. #2
    Forum Member
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    Dec 2015
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    New Zealand
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    Taking one pair of jeans and then one pair of something that could be a little dressier if need be is the way to go. I think a second pair of shoes is always useful, particularly if you're going to a place where there is rain. There is nothing more miserable than wet shoes.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  3. #3
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    Aug 2015
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    Perth, Australia
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    I would not recommend taking an A45 and packing everything into it. When you load them up it becomes rather uncomfortable (to me) passed the 9kg weight. A heavy laptop in a pilot i'm afraid is something you cant fix. Shoulder carrying something heavy is not an ideal situation. If you don't have an Absolute strap then using one might help, but still heavy is heavy. I find an A45 suits me perfectly for all my clothes and then extra space for odds and ends (a few kilos of coffee beans, a box of cigars, random things i need to take with me etc etc). While i don't have an A30 i think it would work for my needs of only carrying clothes if i ever to do just that.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2015
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    North Queensland, Australia
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    Congratulations on your new adventures in preparing for more, and more organised, travel! For me, as for many others on the TB Forums I am sure, this is a journey of its own. Over the past months we too have made a few first trips with carry-on only TB bags, and keep refining our approaches.

    I've learned heaps about packing lighter by combing through the many, many relevant threads here, and also perusing other resources. I'd suggest that you do some digging in the 'packing tips' section of this Forum especially, as our fellow TB'ers have shared lots of valuable information. Although this sounds obvious, I'll say anyway that I found it helpful to concentrate on particular topics serially: toiletries; wardrobe (broken down into underwear, base layers, mid-layers, footwear, etc.); electronics; hand laundry; and I include 'kitchen' as well for some trips. Then, there are the pouches & sacks that help to corral everything, and, brilliantly, the bags that we all love.

    BTW, there's an excellent thread right now on men's pants for travel; I've made quite a list of ones to look at for my husband.

    How lucky you were to be able to borrow an A30! I agree with LordAnubis about the A45 and weight. I'd lean toward keeping your laptop and work gear in a separate bag, to divide the overall weight--but maybe try a backpack for it and then for your personal stuff use an A30 that you carry by hand or with an Absolute Shoulder Strap?

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