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  1. #1
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    Packing Cubes and decisions for Aeronaut 30/45 or Tri-Star

    Question about packing cubes for those that have multiple Tom Bihn travel bags.

    I've posted separately that I'm looking for a new laptop bag that will fit inside my current carry-on, but next I'm planning to get an Aeronaut 45, 30 or Tri-Star. I don't know which, because I'm still learning how to use the maximum-sized carry-on, the MEI Overnighter. My goal is to try to make that work as a One-Bag and then downsize if I can to an Aeronaut 30 or Tri-Star whenever possible.

    So my question is, if I get a packing cube designed for one of these bags will it work well in the others? A Tri-Star Medium seems like it would fit the larger Aeronaut 30 or 45, with maybe the slightest loss of efficiency, but do I need to go for the smallest common denominator? Can a larger packing cube work in a smaller bag with minimal fiddling? Do the Aeronaut 45 cubes work well in an Aeronaut 30?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    -Slbear

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    IMO, the A45 large cube is not a good fit in the A30, and, generally speaking, the large Aeronaut cubes are not particularly efficient in the TS. That being said, your packing style is by and large what will determine what cubes you use. If you prefer to get everything into just one cube, I'd suggest going for the Large size of whatever bag you end up getting. If you want to use a combo of smaller cubes, then you certainly use a bunch of different sizes—for instance, I sometimes use the A45 end pocket cube in the A30, and vice versa. Stuff sacks or pouches can help fill in the gaps. In general though, while I have often used my TS cubes in my Aeronauts (and in my backpacks), I can't remember ever using Aeronaut cubes in the TS.

    Honestly, I think that if you're relatively new to one-bag packing you will find the least amount of frustration if you use the cubes that were designed for your bag. Properly-sized cubes will help you take advantage of all the available space in your bag, and will help you maintain the correct outer dimensions of the bag, which is important when you have to adhere to strict airline requirements. In other words, it may make the most sense to buy cubes for the bag you have now, and not based on what bags you may own in the future. When you're looking at your third, fourth, fifth bag, then you can determine whether the cubes you already own will work.

    HTH

  3. #3
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    Thanks Badger,

    I've used the bundle method with mixed results in the past. You can tailor the bundle size to the space with some trial-and-error and practice, but but cinching down seems to still cause some wrinkles - as does packing items like shoes next to the bundle, especially since I don't like put the sole side against my clothes. I've thought that using a cube for the bundle or the shoes would help this. I've also experimented with pack-it folders - jury's still out for me on those.

    My MEI bag is similar to the Tri-star, i.e. 3 full length slots, and it seems like everything in a given section needs to be similar in height, or at least relatively thin. I can see how the Aeronauts provide more flexibility for a 3-D puzzle of cubes, and thicker cubes. Cubes also appear to be more important to avoid a junk-drawer scenario of many loose items. I take the point that it's best to have cubes designed for those bags for efficiency, and to have a uniform (not bulging) shape for the overall bag. I'm with you!

    So as a follow-up question, how big of a packing cube do people typically use for shoes? I wear US size 10, and typically pack my more rigid work/dress shoes so I can wear my sneakers on travel day.

    Also on the packing cube backpacks. The Tri-Star version is slightly longer, narrower and thinner. It would be a better choice for my current carry-on. Any chance it will fit into the bottom of the Aeronaut 30 down the road? If not, an Aeronaut 45? I can see the Aeronauts give a little on the internal divider, and can be unzipped, but is that pushing it too far for either model?

    Thanks again Badger and others for your help.

    -Slbear

  4. #4
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    I disagree about the Aether 45 cubes not fitting in the Aeronaut 30! I am going to post a little video about my discovery on that! I don't use the "large" aether cubes, i like the "small" ones, and I use four of them. I found that using the aether 30 cubes in the Aeronaut 30 (placed horizontally) left me with space on the sides. BUT using four aether 45 cubes, took up ALL the space perfectly (we're just talking about the big center space, here)!! i fit a ridiculous amount of stuff in there.

  5. #5
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    I find the most efficient way of packing shoes is plastic grocery bags. They (shoes) can be packed separately or together and the plastic bag can confirm exactly to their shape leaving room to pack inside

  6. #6
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Please make a video! I'd be interested, even though my packing strategy is a little different, and I'd stick with the A30 cubes for now, as that's what I've invested in.
    When you use A45 PCs, are the end pockets still available in the same way as when you use A30 PCs?
    Beth


    Quote Originally Posted by craftyredhead View Post
    I disagree about the Aether 45 cubes not fitting in the Aeronaut 30! I am going to post a little video about my discovery on that! I don't use the "large" aether cubes, i like the "small" ones, and I use four of them. I found that using the aether 30 cubes in the Aeronaut 30 (placed horizontally) left me with space on the sides. BUT using four aether 45 cubes, took up ALL the space perfectly (we're just talking about the big center space, here)!! i fit a ridiculous amount of stuff in there.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayaking View Post
    I find the most efficient way of packing shoes is plastic grocery bags. They (shoes) can be packed separately or together and the plastic bag can confirm exactly to their shape leaving room to pack inside
    I ended up using a A30 small Aether cube for my shoes, and it fit well in the end pocket of the A30. However, I think there is wisdom in this method, in that shoes can be dirty, and if they are not, plastic bags sometimes come in handy on the road. I may re-purpose my small A30 cube to replace an Eagle Creek quarter cube that I've been using for my small clothes.

  8. #8
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    craftyredhead, I'd love to see that video, too!
    Navy/Iberian: A30, A45, Swift, SE Linen/Navy: SCB Olive/Burnt Orange: SCB Navy: DLBP Coyote/Navy: MF Verde/Ultraviolet: SE

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