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Thread: Black v. Steel

  1. #1
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    Black v. Steel

    I'm currently looking into purchasing a larger bag (the Aeronaut 45 is on the shortlist). This would be primarily for carry-on use, but would be checked in occasionally. I won't be the only person using the bag and I do not have authorization to buy a coloured bag (grrr).

    I like the steel colour as a nice neutral but I'm thinking the black will hide dirt/grease/scuffs more, which are more likely if the bag is being checked in. On the other hand, I don't like black bags on principle; I think they're boring and more likely to get lost or stolen. If I do decide to go with the Aeronaut, would the steel dark enough that a few marks won't look too bad? I find it hard to gauge from pictures on the website.

    I'm probably going to be sneaky and get the ultraviolet lining, so there will be some colour.

    If I had my way I'd get another aubergine bag. This is why I don't like sharing Frown

    On another note, it looks like the colour options are dwinding on the aeronaut 45. Do they restock often?

    Cathy

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Steel is a great option - I think it actually hides dirt / scuffs better than any other solid color (think Silver / Grey cars - they generally do not look dirty. I have a black car and you know when the dirt is on it!). The only caveat I have is that grease may show more.

    What about a Dyneema version? I think Dyneema would hide the most as the white squares "distract" the eyes from dirt / scuffs and there currently only is Black Dyneema - very business friendly.

    IMHO, Navy is another good option for a neutral bag too.

    I agree about the interior color needing to be bright. I would say that you could compare this to other Business bags that have a Red or Orange or Yellow lining - helps you to see things inside much better in low light (like in a airplane). You could say that your mate chooses the outside color, you choose the inside color ... Smilie

    Hope this helps
    Cheers!
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  3. #3
    TB Ravelry Moderator Mausermama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyB View Post
    I'm currently looking into purchasing a larger bag (the Aeronaut 45 is on the shortlist). This would be primarily for carry-on use, but would be checked in occasionally. I won't be the only person using the bag and I do not have authorization to buy a coloured bag (grrr).

    I like the steel colour as a nice neutral but I'm thinking the black will hide dirt/grease/scuffs more, which are more likely if the bag is being checked in. On the other hand, I don't like black bags on principle; I think they're boring and more likely to get lost or stolen. If I do decide to go with the Aeronaut, would the steel dark enough that a few marks won't look too bad? I find it hard to gauge from pictures on the website.

    I'm probably going to be sneaky and get the ultraviolet lining, so there will be some colour.

    If I had my way I'd get another aubergine bag. This is why I don't like sharing Frown

    On another note, it looks like the colour options are dwinding on the aeronaut 45. Do they restock often?

    Cathy
    Personally, my favorite color outside of Aubergine is Steel Ballistic. It is gorgeous- so saturated! It stands out from the other Black bags that are so ubiquitous, but it's equally at home in professional surroundings. Coupled with U/V, it makes for a gorgeous choice. I highly recommend it!

  4. #4
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Hmm. If there's a chance it will be checked, I would say the Black (or the Navy) ballistic. I would worry about abrasion with the Dyneema in the hands of baggage handlers. Or you could buy a cheap folding duffle, and throw the Aeronaut in there if you have to check it - then you can get the Steel without worrying!

    (UV is my favorite interior - go for it!! Smilie)

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    Hi Cathy!

    Indeed, colors other than black are easier to spot. It's one of the many things that I loved about my Crimson Aeronaut 45 from back in the day!

    I like bright colors, but Black 1050d ballistic nylon has such a lovely sheen and looks so very sharp, that I don't think you will be disappointed. I had stayed away from black for my TOM BIHN bags for so long, but now have a few bags in black and absolutely love it!

    I wonder if perhaps Steel may hide marks better. I think Black would show every little mark! You can always give the bag a nice bath with a mild dish soap afterwards! Smilie

    The color line up for the Aeronaut 45 looks pretty impressive right now. The colors do rotate over time, and if there is something you don't see, you can contact TOM BIHN Customer Service and ask if they may be able to locate it, or when it might be back in stock.
    -m

  6. #6
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    I like my steel Aeronaut so that when its in the overhead compartment, I can easily see which bag is mine. /Everyone/ it seems has a black bag. Steel is different without being odd.
    Getting to the point with too many bags to list them all. Current daily carry is a PickUp Truck and Everyday Cubelet. Love all my shop bags, ghost whales, cubelets. Hoping to travel again soon to use my A30 and co-pilot.

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    Maybe I have an unnatural love of boring things, but I don't find TB Black to be boring at all! As maverick says, Black ballistic has a great shimmery, luminous quality and it's deeply saturated—other black bags look positively dingy by comparison (and is why—and once again, maybe it's only me—I never have a problem picking out my bag in a sea of other "black" bags).

    That's neither here nor there, though. To answer your actual question: I don't think that Steel shows dirt more or less than other colors. Dark marks tend to show up on it more strongly, whereas with Black, white or light-colored marks show more visibly.

    But the beauty of Ballistic nylon is that it resists getting dirty, and most stains it picks up are easy to remove through spot cleaning. By way of anecdote: ostensibly, Navy is lighter/brighter than either Steel or Black. Once we had to check a Navy Aeronaut, and it came out of the hold looking fresh as the proverbial daisy. I think that you can get whatever color you like best, and feel confident that it can handle a few knocks with no lasting damage.

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    I want to join the chorus praising the resilience of the ballistic bags. As I've fessed up to elsewhere, I always check my Aeronaut. I received it as a gift in 2013, and it's been in the baggage holds to Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, and around the US, and it's no worse for the wear to my eyes. I'll try to post a photo later so you can judge for yourself.

    By contrast, I have a bag from another manufacturer, also in some kind of ballistic, that looks worn and has proven impossible to clean.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    My friend was just in the market for the A45 and commented to me that he was buying boring black and I said almost the exact same thing as @Badger in defense of TB's black ballistic. It really does shimmer. Black, Steel, and Navy are all great choices, but definitely go with a bright interior.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    I go with ballistic every time. And I have (or have had) Black, Steel and Navy. You just can't go wrong with any of those and yes, go for a bold and contrasting colour. Interestingly, I love UV but am not so keen with the black. My suggestions would be
    Black with Iberian or Wasabi
    Steel with Iberian or UV
    Navy with Wasabi or UV or Iberian


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  11. #11
    Forum Member BagJunkie's Avatar
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    Can't go wrong with Steel or Gray. Both look fantastic in person, and appropriate in the office setting as well. My Steel A30 and Gray S25 are my trusty travel companions.

    Black v. Steel-tombihn-jpg

  12. #12
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    Dang it - I was hoping for a clear consensus. It sounds like they're all beautiful!

    I'm kind of torn between a steel/ultraviolet or black/iberian. Decisions!

  13. #13
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    Hi everyone,
    Here's a picture of my Aeronaut (from 2013). As I mentioned above, it's been checked into the hold on many trips and it doesn't look any worse for the wear to me. No dings, no abrasions, no problems with the zippers. It's not a bag that needs babied.
    (Apologies for my poor photography skills.) Black v. Steel-img_0273-jpg

  14. #14
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Wow, that's fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
    I am sort of holding my breath that my Aeronaut 30 will not be checked on the latter of my upcoming flights, since it is a small plane with limited overhead space. It is always reassuring to hear from people who have checked Tom Bihn bags without incident.
    (I'd still rather carry it on though!)
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  15. #15
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Here's my Steel A45, which left the mothership almost exactly seven years ago (2/18/09). Since then it's traveled with me on countless trains, planes, automobiles... and boats, too. Black v. Steel I've probably only had to check it six or seven times, but it's come through just fine

    The paint on the zipper pulls has worn away, and it has a scuff or two, but nothing too noticeable. I'm with the folks above in thinking that gray hides this better than black, but either will be great.

    Black v. Steel-dscn3194-jpg
    Last edited by kathryn; 02-25-2016 at 05:33 PM.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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