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  1. #1
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    A45 as checked luggage? Or something else? Or bad idea?

    Hi!

    I dug through the forums, but wasn't able to find specific info on this-- so redirect me to the correct place if there is a good thread on this already.

    I fly a few times a year, and I pack light whenever I can. I have been using an Aeronaut 30 (halcyon), that I love. However, I'm an artist, and sometimes I have to bring a bunch of other art things-- meaning, I need to check a bag. I'm also not a big person, and often travel alone, so I'd rather not be lugging a giant bag around the airport (hence, checking the bag). I just got a Smart Alec, so I was thinking I would pack most of my stuff in the checked bag, and bring some essentials in the SA as my personal item/carry on.

    I was considering buying a larger bag to be my checked bag, specifically the Aeronaut 45. I was thinking the ballistic would be tough enough, even if the bag got a little dirty.

    I realize the point in the bag sizes is that they can act as a carry on, but sometimes I get forced into checking a bag (I'm often in a later boarding zone, less expensive ticket, and so on). The few times I've needed to bring an additional bag to be checked, I've used an inexpensive bag with wheels, but it's getting pretty beat up.

    Advice? Does anyone out there check their Aeronaut 45? Is there a different bag that would make more sense for this?

    (I'm only ever traveling within the USA)

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    I have checked my Aeronout (Balistic) in the past. They are as tuff as „softshell“ luggage gets. And if a TB bag would suffer through abuse from being chacked than any other bag would too.
    We do read from these instences but I guess it is a thing where bad news travel fast and far and no one mentions the good news.

    I have not checked the numbers but I bet that the persentage of damaged bags vs bags that traveld without problems os far lower than what news make us belive.

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

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  3. #3
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    If it would just be used as a checked bag, I would recommend either the medium or large Road Duffel. same toughness, but you’d save a bit of cash compared to the A45.
    Boots, Bags, and Beer. (And Coffee)

  4. #4
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    I recommend using a roller to check as your gear bag.
    One of the things that I like about TB products is that they are great for carry-on and their size forces me to pack light so they are easy to carry.
    If I ever have to pack enough that it wouldn’t fit in an A30 (maximum for me) then I would use a roller bag and check it. Fully loaded the A45 is too bulky and heavy for me to enjoy schlepping around the airport.
    So my preference is if you are going through the hassle of checking it then use a roller bag.
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
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  5. #5
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    Do you like the bag with wheels that you have now? Other than it being kinda beat up, do you like using that style of bag?
    If so, now is a really great time to find a deal on a replacement bag. There are some great deals online and in stores now through Monday.

    If you don't like the roller bag style, think about what sort of art supplies you're going to want to bring, and how much organization or protection they require.
    I don't have one, but I think the duffle bags are a good option, if what you need/want is a good multipurpose bag.

    We don't use TB as our luggage when we travel (shocking I know!) my spouse likes a nice huge rolling bag. I'm trying to convince him to shift to carry-on only, but that's a story for a different thread lol.

  6. #6
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    I've checked my A45s (only when forced to because there was no more overhead space) and it was... okay. The Verde color has some marks on the front from it. Black looks good still.

    I'd think a Yeoman duffel might be better for this, or really a new roller might be best since you will be carrying a lot if you have two bags with no wheels.

  7. #7
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    I have even checked a Halcyon A45 on a trip from Dublin to California--no problems at all. I think you'd have even less to worry about with a Ballistic Bag.

  8. #8
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    You might want to consider the medium Yeoman duffel. It's about the same size as the A45. Mr. pammy uses one for travel and I wouldn't hesitate to check it. Maybe because it's a lot less expensive than an A45 and I could live with scuffs or blemishes if they were to happen while checking it. I travel with an original Nordic/Solar A45 and I would probably take another flight than check it, but it's a discontinued color and I can't replace it. The only time I've checked an Aeronaut, I planned ahead and brought an old cordura duffle to place my halcyon A30 in along with souvenirs. That worked great.
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  9. #9
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    I wouldn't in the slightest bit be worried about the bag itself, especially in ballistic nylon. The most damage you'll likely have are scuff marks.

    Having said that, if every blemish worries you, you could wrap your bag in plastic wrap. It's not very common in the US, but it's extremely commonplace in Africa, Asia, and even Europe. At the airport, before the ticket counter, look for a kiosk where they shrink-wrap your bag in brightly colored plastic wrap. They'll even manufacture a little handle right into the wrap. It costs around $5 to $10, as I recall, and also makes your bag tamper-evident.

    But yeah, like @Ilkyway said: far flimsier bags are sent all over the world without incident. Scuffs are likely, that's all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post

    Having said that, if every blemish worries you, you could wrap your bag in plastic wrap. It's not very common in the US, but it's extremely commonplace in Africa, Asia, and even Europe. At the airport, before the ticket counter, look for a kiosk where they shrink-wrap your bag in brightly colored plastic wrap. They'll even manufacture a little handle right into the wrap. It costs around $5 to $10, as I recall, and also makes your bag tamper-evident.
    That is the coolest thing I've ever heard of. I didn't even know that option existed. How easy or hard is it to get the shrink wrap off once you get to your destination?

  11. #11
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    That is the coolest thing I've ever heard of. I didn't even know that option existed. How easy or hard is it to get the shrink wrap off once you get to your destination?
    Here's the gist: https://www.cnbc.com/2014/04/02/trav...stic-wrap.html

    CNBC mentions the TSA, which is perhaps why it's been slow to catch-on in the US.

    Removal-wise, I think you'll want some scissors. But you could totally use TSA-friendly scissors.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Lodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    ...you could wrap your bag in plastic wrap... it's extremely commonplace in Africa, Asia, and even Europe...
    Yup, as bouncing said, it's extremely popular in europe and asia from my experience. In asia at least, it's partly about keeping your luggage looking nice, and partly to avoid someone slipping drugs into your luggage and making you into an unsuspecting drug mule. My wife's family loves using them, whereas I find them an unnecessary expense. Of course, they like using them for a third reason... they overpack and the bags strain to bursting. The plastic wrap makes sure the zippers don't break and the bags don't throw out their contents everywhere.

    I've used much cheaper (and flimsier) bags than tom bihn and they usually turn out fine except for a few scuffs here and there. The times that I had a zipper break were due to overpacking a bag (not me! My relatives!) and forcing the zipper, rather than baggage handling issues.
    Western Flyer Black Ballistic/Island Halcyon

  13. #13
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lodd View Post
    partly to avoid someone slipping drugs into your luggage and making you into an unsuspecting drug mule.
    Hadn't even thought of that. Good call.

    I should probably start doing that heading home from Mexico.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    That is the coolest thing I've ever heard of. I didn't even know that option existed. How easy or hard is it to get the shrink wrap off once you get to your destination?
    If you ask nicely, you can usually get an employee (after you exit past security on your way out) to lend you a pair of scissors or at least start a hole for you.
    Alternately you could stick something like a pen through it (carefully).

    It's about as strong as cling film (saran wrap), it's not super tough to unwrap or to rip through, unless you get a bunch of layers all bound up together.

  15. #15
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    My eight year old indigo A45 has been back and forth to Europe several times as checked luggage. When there I often travel by train and I really like the portability that it affords me on the trains as opposed to a rolling bag. I also often have to check it stateside due to flying with something that I cannot carry in checked luggage (liquids over the limit, carefully padded booze, etc). Yes, it will get a little scuffed, but usually it comes clean easily and to this day looks good as new! I really like the option of the backpack straps if I have a long commute on public transportation from the airport as I can streamline through crowds easily if I am not dragging a bag along behind me.

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