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  1. #1
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    10 days in Japan (summer) with A45

    I'd love some advice - I bought my Aeronaut 45 several years ago and it's been heavily used for many road trips but is yet to venture overseas (having kids got in the way of international travelling for the last few years).

    Anyway, I am off to Japan for 10 days next month (no kids!) and I've tried test packing the Aeronaut with what I'll need (see packing list below) however my dilemma is it is definitely not full (if I pack it very tightly, everything fits in the main compartment only - with the end pockets empty) which means I am finding it hard to make it comfortable on my back. Obviously I can overpack and fill it to make it sit more comfortably on my back, however then it's far too heavy for me to carry (this thing is amazing in how much it can fit!).

    9 underwear
    4 socks
    2 bra
    6 tops
    2 dresses
    3 shorts
    2 pj singlet tops
    2 pj pants
    1 swimsuit
    1 rain jacket
    1 turkish towel
    1 crossbody bag
    1 toiletries bag
    1 blunt umbrella
    1 saltwater sandals
    1 skecher flats
    1 absolute strap

    So, I am hoping people can help me to work out how to distribute the weight in the bag so it's comfortable when only half full? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy the Aeronaut 30?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Sydneygirl; 05-06-2019 at 05:26 PM. Reason: To ad tags

  2. #2
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    I use a very underpacked A45 as well. The A45 would scrunch up awkwardly on my back until I got the frame sheet--it smoothed out the back of the bag and fixed my problems with the fit as a backpack. So, I highly recommend trying the frame sheet. (I also have but don't use the hip belt.)

  3. #3
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    You should know by now that people here find any excuse to encourage you to buy more Tom Bihn products I think you should buy an A30, as it's really the ideal size for Japan. You definitely want to keep the weight down as Japanese train stations don't always have elevators in obvious places and you may have to carry your bag up several flights of stairs. The A30 also fits very well on a shinkansen luggage rack, as I noted in an earlier post.
    https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vi...tml#post151744
    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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluff View Post
    I use a very underpacked A45 as well. The A45 would scrunch up awkwardly on my back until I got the frame sheet--it smoothed out the back of the bag and fixed my problems with the fit as a backpack. So, I highly recommend trying the frame sheet. (I also have but don't use the hip belt.)
    Thanks so much - I will try to find something similar here, US$65 shipping means the back support from Tom Bihn is hard to justify on it's own!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denises View Post
    You should know by now that people here find any excuse to encourage you to buy more Tom Bihn products I think you should buy an A30, as it's really the ideal size for Japan. You definitely want to keep the weight down as Japanese train stations don't always have elevators in obvious places and you may have to carry your bag up several flights of stairs. The A30 also fits very well on a shinkansen luggage rack, as I noted in an earlier post.
    https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vi...tml#post151744
    Yes I think I may just be looking for support to purchase another bag.... I am travelling with my Mum and Sister who will have small-ish checked-in roller bags so I know I'll end up helping them with their luggage so want to make sure mine is out of the way.

  6. #6
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    Another thing I've thought of is that an A30 that is fully packed weighs just under 7kg. You haven't said who you're flying with, but if it's Qantas, then you'll want to keep in mind their carry-on baggage limits.
    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denises View Post
    Another thing I've thought of is that an A30 that is fully packed weighs just under 7kg. You haven't said who you're flying with, but if it's Qantas, then you'll want to keep in mind their carry-on baggage limits.
    Thanks, yes we're flying Qantas. I may be checking in the Aeronaut (as my travelling companions will definitely be checking in their bags) but I am using this 7kg limit as a goal to make sure I don't overpack either way. Also I just found your website, thanks so much, loads of fabulous tips for our trip!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluff View Post
    I use a very underpacked A45 as well. The A45 would scrunch up awkwardly on my back until I got the frame sheet--it smoothed out the back of the bag and fixed my problems with the fit as a backpack. So, I highly recommend trying the frame sheet. (I also have but don't use the hip belt.)
    Agreed. The Frame Sheet really helps maintain the fit of the bag against your back when using A45 not fully filled.

  9. #9
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Can you do laundry at your destination? If so, then take 3-4 days of clothing and do laundry instead.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by melminimalist View Post
    Can you do laundry at your destination? If so, then take 3-4 days of clothing and do laundry instead.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks Mel - yes I can do washing but I'd rather not as it's a short trip and we have a rather packed agenda. I'm happy with the size of stuff I'm taking (usually an overpacked - this is my first time with carry on only on a plane) so I'd rather take it all.

  11. #11
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    This forum is very good at helping justify new bags and accessories! But I think you'll be fine for this trip with your A45 lightly packed. I have made many trips with A45 before getting a Frame Sheet. An advantage without the Frame Sheet is that the bag is even more "squishable" when lightly packed, so will be almost as practical for stowage as an A30. Even if not perfectly flat and comfortable on your back, you are packing a comfortable weight and I'm sure you will be more mobile than your travel companions with roll-on bags. Enjoy your trip and if this is the start to further ventures then perhaps time to review other bags.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadD View Post
    This forum is very good at helping justify new bags and accessories! But I think you'll be fine for this trip with your A45 lightly packed. I have made many trips with A45 before getting a Frame Sheet. An advantage without the Frame Sheet is that the bag is even more "squishable" when lightly packed, so will be almost as practical for stowage as an A30. Even if not perfectly flat and comfortable on your back, you are packing a comfortable weight and I'm sure you will be more mobile than your travel companions with roll-on bags. Enjoy your trip and if this is the start to further ventures then perhaps time to review other bags.
    Thanks, I think youre right I should look at other bags for future trips too. Next year we're doing 5 weeks road trip around the UK (family of four with kids 2.5 and 4.5 by then) and ideally I'd like to take just 2 Aeronauts as all our luggage but having trouble convincing my husband around to packing light.....
    Last edited by Sydneygirl; 05-08-2019 at 04:03 AM.

  13. #13
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    If you have thin clothing that dries quickly, you can get a scrubba and some travel detergent. The scrubba folds into the size of a small paperback book and takes about 5 minutes to use.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NClens View Post
    If you have thin clothing that dries quickly, you can get a scrubba and some travel detergent. The scrubba folds into the size of a small paperback book and takes about 5 minutes to use.
    While I have and recommend a Scrubba, I want it to be clear that it takes a lot longer than 5 minutes. 5 minutes covers filling the bag and sealing it and squishing the clothes around in it. Then you need to empty it, refill it and swish them around again to rinse. There is also a significant amount of time spent draining the water, wringing the excess water out of the clothes, and hanging them up.

    I usually squeeze as much water out as possible by hand, and then I lay the clothes on a towel, roll the towel up, and step on it to squeeze out even more water. Then I unroll and give each item a shake, and either hang them on my portable clothesline, radiators, hangers, or a combination of these. The whole process takes around a half an hour of hands-on work.

    (If you're in a very hot dry climate then you probably won't need to be as thorough as this. What I do works even in a temperate or cool climate)

    The Scrubba allows me to pack really light and as such is good a space-saving device, not a labor-saving one.

  15. #15
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    The scrubba sounds like a great product, but for people travelling to Japan, it's worth knowing that most business hotels provide guest laundries. Sometimes use is included in the price of the room, other times it ranges from 100 to 500 yen to use.
    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

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