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  1. #1
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel

    This is sort of a packing list in reverse. I didn't have time to trial pack my Aubergine/Wasabi A30, but I'm currently spending 3 days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) in London on business, staying in a hotel. Sort of trial by fire.

    The filled A30 sitting on the bed in my hotel room.

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0719-jpg

    We start the unpack. Visible on top are my A5 Filofax Portobello in red leather, and my ancient black macbook from 2007, in its cache.

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0720-jpg

    Underneath those you can see my iPad Air (with attached Logitech ultrathin keyboard), Coyote QKit (containing some decent teabags) and a pair of Oakley sunglasses in their cleaning bag (for those interested, they are a pair of vintage Titanium framed Crosshairs, in the Burnt Copper finish with VR28 Black Iridium Polarised lenses). Below that you can see my Solar A45 Packing Cube Backpack.

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0721-jpg

    Removing the PCBP, the central compartment contains a size 4 Wasabi stuff sack (for dirty washing on the way home) and a non-TB drysack (red) which is intended to hold anything which might be wet on the way home, of which more later.

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0723-jpg
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  2. #2
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    @PaulT00, I'll be interested in hearing your impressions of the A30 compared to your previous A45 when you finish your trip. It seems as though you're not carrying a second bag (like your Pilot) on this trip?

    moriond

  3. #3
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    Continuing the process, the right hand end pocket is unloaded, releasing a Solar Clear Quarter Cube (containing my grooming kit, various medications etc), a Nordic Travel tray and a pair of black Speedo square cut swim trunks which I wear while practicing hot yoga.

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0725-jpg

    The left hand end pocket is next, releasing first a 3D clear cube in Cardinal, containing laptop power brick, iPhone charging cable and suchlike...

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0726-jpg

    ... then a Wasabi dyneema Side Effect, which in turn contains one pair of prescription spectacles in their hard case, one pair of off-the-shelf ready readers in a small Oakley hard case, and another small Oakley ballistic case containing a second pair of sunglasses (E-wire 2.1s in Pewter with Black Iridium Polarised lenses) sharing their enclosure with a spare fountain pen (Graf Von Faber-Castell Intuition Platino in black with platinum plated cap, medium nib). The side-effect also contains a small black Muji nylon pouch which holds some paracetamol capsules, plus some Zomig tablets (migraine medicine) and 3 sets of spare contact lenses.

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0727-jpg

    Unzipping the PCBP reveals the clothing load for the trip of two overnights, comprising 3 polo shirts and 3 pairs of underwear, plus a very old pair of Nike (long) gym trousers in a very thin nylon material which are ideal for post-workout wear to avoid sweating into day clothes. 2 pairs of goats wool socks are not visible, being segregated into the bottom pocket of the PCBP to avoid the fibres transferring onto shirts or underwear.

    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel-img_0728-jpg

    This trip is packed slightly but not amazingly much lighter than previous two-nights-away trips. There were a few things I might have brought had I been using the A45 (e.g. a Yogitoes Skidless yoga mat - I will instead hire an extra towel when I go to a yoga class tomorrow night) but in general I don't feel unduly constrained. I think 2-3 nights of casual wear is the max I could fit into the A30 (bear in mind I'm a big chap, 6'2" and around 250lbs) and that's wearing one pair of shoes and the same trousers and pullover every day. If I wasn't carrying the laptop I could fit another change of clothes or two, or maybe another shirt and a spare pair of trousers. I could also downsize the grooming kit - at the moment it fills both sides of a clear quarter cube, but could definitely be shrunk and indeed I would need to do so were I to travel by air with this configuration, since it contains e.g. a fullsize container of L'Occitane shower gel (lemon verbena flavour) and another fullsize spray of Pit Rok deodorant, plus a smallish container of contact lens cleaning fluid and other stuff like a tube of L'Occitane shaving cream which combined are probably in excess of the 3-1-1 regulations.

    The A45 PCBP is a bit of a snug fit but slots quite nicely into the centre section of the A30, taking up about half the depth. It's not packed to the ultimate and more could probably be included with a bit of extra compression.

    Overall I'm very happy with this setup and will definitely use a tuned version of it in future. For a first go in a new bag it's not too bad, and it's significantly lighter than I would have likely achieved in the A45.
    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 PaulT00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @PaulT00, I'll be interested in hearing your impressions of the A30 compared to your previous A45 when you finish your trip. It seems as though you're not carrying a second bag (like your Pilot) on this trip?

    moriond
    This trip is definitely a foray into what is, for me, ultralight packing. With the A45 I tend to put the Pilot in the centre section with my clothing, but with this one I'm carrying the PCBP for daypack use and that's it. Everything is in the A30. It could probably be trimmed down significantly even now. :)
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  5. #5
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    Just one question--you brought 'decent teabags' to London? Good thing the A30 is capacious enough to carry coals if you head to Newcastle... ;-)
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  6. #6
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flitcraft View Post
    Just one question--you brought 'decent teabags' to London? Good thing the A30 is capacious enough to carry coals if you head to Newcastle... ;-)
    The decent teabags (which really aren't anything astonishingly special) are there basically because (a) I tend to drink a lot of tea and can be a bit picky about having something which tastes better than dishwater for preference; (b) the company-provided teabags available at the office are hideous; and (c) I've been in more or less back to back meetings today and will be in all-day training sessions tomorrow and Friday. Which all conspires to mean that if I want decent tea while at the office I have to either buy it while I'm there (and won't have that much time) or take a few drinkable teabags with me. Come to that, some of the tea one gets served with in the local hotels ain't that good either!
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by flitcraft View Post
    Just one question--you brought 'decent teabags' to London? Good thing the A30 is capacious enough to carry coals if you head to Newcastle... ;-)
    I generally bring teabags along with me when I travel, because even if you're somewhere where there is decent tea (generically), there's no guarantee that you'll get anything decent in any particular hotel or on the plane. And especially in the U.S., the tendency is to only have coffee making equipment in rooms, so that even for hot water you'd have the residual oils from coffee in the beverage dispenser. Airplane flights to destinations in the far east tend to do better with respect to tea (especially if the carrier is based somewhere where people actually drink tea).

    Just my thoughts. YMMV

    moriond

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the demo. It was brilliant to do it in reverse! Define your idea of decent teabags please, and how do you get around the coffee flavored water?

  9. #9
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    Unpacking my A30 at the hotel

    Great rundown.

    As someone who has both an A45 and A30... Could you please comment on the main zippers of the A30? Someone I know really wants an A30, but would much prefer the weather resistant zippers used on my A45. Have you used it in the rain or other weather yet? Do you have any other thoughts on one zipper vs. the other?

    Thanks!

  10. #10
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    @darwin I'm sure someone else will pull up a link for you where this is explained by TB staff, but the new zippers are actually the same as the old zippers - they're still waterproof YKK zippers, just sewn in upside down (or right side up, depending on how you look at it) which only impacts appearance, not water resistance.

  11. #11
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seesul View Post
    Define your idea of decent teabags please, and how do you get around the coffee flavored water?
    Glad you enjoyed the unloading sequence! I generally use something like a good quality pure Assam or Ceylon tea, or sometimes a Kwazulu. Twinings do some fairly decent ones; I like Taylors of Harrogate better, generally. Coffee flavoured water isn't a problem I've come across, thankfully!

    Quote Originally Posted by darwin View Post
    As someone who has both an A45 and A30... Could you please comment on the main zippers of the A30? Someone I know really wants an A30, but would much prefer the weather resistant zippers used on my A45. Have you used it in the rain or other weather yet? Do you have any other thoughts on one zipper vs. the other?
    Thanks!
    As per ClaireJ's reply the new zippers are basically the same, just oriented differently. I haven't experienced either in really heavy rain to date I'm afraid. What I can say at the moment is that - possibly due to age and normal wearing-in - the zippers on my Aeronaut (the fullsize one now known as the A45, but mine is several years old and was bought used) are currently easier to operate and smoother than the zippers on my A30 (which is brand new). That may change with time of course. The A30 zips are still a bit stiff and take more effort, but move very nicely once you have started them off. The original Aeronaut ones installed with the rubber seal on the outside look slightly neater, to my mind, but it's a minor aesthetic quibble and not a deal breaker for me.
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

  12. #12
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    @claireJ , @pault00 - thanks. I tried searching the forums yesterday for the information you just gave but couldn't find anything. Great to hear that they are the same zipper and works well. Also makes sense that they get better over time. I've noticed that on my A45 with use since May.

  13. #13
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    PaulT00 you told us about your spare fountain pen (Graf Von Faber-Castell Intuition Platino in black with platinum plated cap, medium nib)

    Can you share what the one in your Filofax pen holder is? And can you tell us more about your Filofax.
    Do you take both on flights? How do you manage it with weight restrictions and the danger of ink burps?


    To stay on TB bag's subject, I use an FJN, even when I travel, but i have not had the gumption to take a fountain pen with me, on flights.

    I hope that the Handy Little Thing will allow me to also carry a fountain pen or 2 or 3 or 4 without worrying about soiling on items in my EDC.

    Do Bihnthusiasts have taken fountain pens on trips with the HLT? If, so what was your experience?

  14. #14
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    @backpack - I had to go and look at the originals of the photos! This thread was originally started a fair while ago...

    As far as the pen in the Filofax is concerned, from the full-size photo it appears to be a mechanical pencil - a Parker '51' pencil to be precise, one of a fountain pen/pencil matching pair - I suspect the partner fountain pen is tucked inside the Filofax. I still have them and use them - in fact the pen went with me to Luxembourg a few months ago. It's a standard Parker '51' with a navy barrel and "lustraloy" cap (matte-finished stainless steel) which I bought years ago, used and refurbished, from a chap in the US through an ad on the Fountain Pen Network. It has a fine nib.

    Background is that I have a fairly large collection of mostly vintage fountain pens amassed over nearly 20 years of collecting - I think it's somewhere north of 70 at the moment. I routinely carry a couple (or more) fountain pens when travelling for work - Biros give me horrible writer's cramp and I can't read what I've written afterward. I don't fly often these days, but on my recent Luxembourg trip I carried two '51's, the navy blue one and a stainless steel 'Flighter" model - both fitted with the excellent Parker "Aero-metric" filling system which was designed to be "burp-resistant" under conditions of changing air pressure. Both pens travelled out full of ink, capped, and back with slightly less ink in them; and I had no issues. I tend to carry several pens loaded with ink, so that I don't have to manage ink bottles during travel!

    According to FP experts like e.g. Richard Binder, the key to travelling by air, with a fountain pen, is to either empty the pen completely or to fill it completely so as to minimise the amount of air in the reservoir - it's the air which expands under reduced cabin pressure, which will try to force the ink out through the nib. It helps also to keep the pen point upward and tightly capped - my pens travelled to and from Luxembourg in the pen slots in my Large Cafe Bag, which was leaning upright against the wall of the plane "under the seat in front". Modern pens tend to have much better feed systems with considerably more effective capillary buffering capacity than older designs - the '51' was a landmark in ink feed system development because the actual feed is the relatively massive, internally finned "collector" which fills the nose of the pen and surrounds the nib completely, so there is a lot more room in the feed system to absorb ink trying to escape. Combine that with the Aero-metric filling system which has a breather tube/vent arrangement internally, to assist with pressure equalisation, and a tight-fitting and relatively well-sealed cap, and the chances of a problem are much reduced. Other pens (the Waterman Edson, for instance) were marketed as having extra special arrangements to manage pressure variations.

    Regarding the Filofax itself - I haven't used that particular one (a red leather Pimlico A5, long discontinued) for several years, although I do still own it. I tend to swap between binders, and even systems, regularly. Over the past 5 years I've gone from an A5 Filofax (of which I have 4 binders in different sizes and designs), to a personal-sized Filofax (mostly a Cavendish with 30mm rings, although I have a couple of others too), even found a B5-sized red leather "Deskfax" (the long-discontinued 9-ringed model) which I used for a year or two; currently I've gone digital again (Omnifocus 3 on Mac and iPhone) and with a Leuchtturm1917 A5 Bullet Journal notepad for paper based notes. All these things regularly travel, or travelled, in my A30 when in active use.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by PaulT00; 02-21-2020 at 07:55 AM.
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

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