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  1. #16
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    The Carolinas
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    For those who find an under-packed A45 more comfortable, how are y'all packing it? I've tried 1) distributing weight evenly along the entire bag; 2) putting heavy items in the bottom pouch; and 3) leaving some weight in the bottom pouch but strapping most weight in the middle compartment...but in all of the trials, the back panel of the bag sags/bows away from my back to varying degrees, which makes it feel far heavier. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

  2. #17
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    Put the heaviest stuff at the top. Weird, but it works.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Put the heaviest stuff at the top. Weird, but it works.
    Hrmmm...that just makes the entire bag slouch down. Do you have any pictures to show how you pack/wear it?

  4. #19
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    No photos, sorry. I guess it depends on how much you are underpacking the A45. I have one large A45 laundry cube and one small A45 laundry cube which do a good job of filling the main compartment in its 2-D space, so the middle doesn't slouch. Using the tie down straps to snug those cubes close to the back of the bag, also helps.

    If I have so little that the A45 is completely slouching, then I use a much smaller bag than the A45. I've been known to travel 3 days using just a Pilot. And that's including putting a SE in one of the front compartments as a purse when I get to my destination.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 05-18-2018 at 06:18 AM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhnmason View Post
    I switched from an A45 to an A30 and have been quite happy. I find I like being restricted by the size of the bag but have never found myself, traveling with one bag each between my wife, myself, and my 1 year old son, wanting or needing more space. I'd say either one seems like a good option although it is generally pretty easy to just pack that one more thing with the bigger bag. I'd say go with the A30.
    I'm voting A30 (FYI, I'm 5'6, narrow shoulders, more like a gangly reed than block of clay). My top three reasons to choose the A30:

    1. While it's not a hang-out-all-day backpack, it's much more comfortable for running through airports and winding around byzantine metro stations than any other travel bag I've tried.

    2. When you show up at the airport at the end of a week-long business trip and your colleagues realize that an A30 and some small cross-body bag (MCB, maybe?) is all you had for the work week and you still managed to pack multiple work outfits*, they give you serious props.

    3. Since jhnmason brought up kids, the A30 will hug your back better/not sway and will also keep your hands free while you're chasing your crazed toddler through the terminal after you both just deplaned from a long flight.

    *Thank you merino wool and cheap Eileen Fisher off eBay! You roll up and pack so well, and still leave me room for a pair of sandals and flats and/or sneakers.

    P.S. Use a PCSB in the A30 and it can double as a day bag as needed. Also pack a SSB bag in the A30 if you need something that looks more like an office-appropriate tote.

    Caveat: I've never had an A45 but I'm guessing if you were really tall or traveling in winter (big, cozy, bulky clothes and boots) it would be a much better option.

  6. #21
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    Update-I went for the A45 and loved it! I ended up packing it pretty full but it fit me beautifully and was very comfortable. I loved the sternum strap and used it in the long immigration queue at Heathrow. No photos, sorry but here is what I packed (I am a size 22 and wear a size 10 women's shoe)
    5 pairs pants
    2 thin cardigans
    5 tops/blouses
    pajamas
    5 pairs undies
    3 bras
    2 pairs socks
    3 pairs shoes (2 pairs sandals and 1 pair of sketchers cloth flats)
    1 cotton sunhat
    compact umbrella
    first aid kit (in TB clear organizer pouch)
    toiletries kit
    I packed the TB laundry stuff sack in one of the end pockets, and the three pairs of shoes in the other side pocket. I used the large A45 packing cube for the pants and 1 cardigan and two smaller half cubes (one for blouses and one for scarves, the other cardigan and 1 tee shirt). The umbrella fit down the front of the bag where there was a little room in between the packing cubes and the bag wall.
    Overall, very, very happy with the A45!

  7. #22
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    I know this is an old thread, but I definitely have issues with he A45 bowing away from my back. I hate the way it looks so saggy and sloppy so I typically use my A30. I've probably used my A45 less than half a dozen times, unfortunately.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgm View Post
    I know this is an old thread, but I definitely have issues with he A45 bowing away from my back. I hate the way it looks so saggy and sloppy so I typically use my A30. I've probably used my A45 less than half a dozen times, unfortunately.
    I'm curious, was that a Halcyon or a Ballistic A45? I've only used a Ballistic one and I haven't noticed that kind of problem--so I wonder if it's a materials issue or an individual issue. (For me, the A30 was oddly uncomfortable so I sold it. To each their own!)

  9. #24
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    I use an A45 (ballistic) a lot and love it, but do agree that if not fully or strategically packed it can sometimes bow and not be so comfortable to carry as a backpack. But more recently I got and added an optional Internal Frame and I find that helps a lot to keep the bags shape against the back regardless of what is packed.

  10. #25
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    And this is why I bought the A45 internal frame and hip belt. I haven't tried it yet on a trip yet, but it should keep the A45 from slouching.

  11. #26
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    I haven’t (yet) bought the A45 hip belt, just tried the internal frame as first step. And it made a great improvement for carrying and feel of the bag, regardless how well or fully packed, on my back. I can’t see me using the A45 without it.

  12. #27
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    I went the other direction and bought the hip belt but not the frame for the A45. If I'm carrying a heavy load (only on certain work trips) I find the hip belt helps a lot.
    With the A30, I haven't (yet) been able to pack it heavy enough to want to use the hipbelt
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too!

  13. #28
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    It was a Halcyon A45. I’m going to try the internal frame to see if it helps. My load is limited by the weight I’m able to carry (not too much as I’m small) so the bowing out of the bag is more of an aesthetic issue for me. Maybe I can get my husband to use the A45. I wish I’d bought the A45 in ballistic!

  14. #29
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    My new favorite is the Daylight Backpack and mini Yeoman Duffel, as I talked about here.

    Otherwise, I like the Western Flyer (with Daylight Briefcase packed inside) and the Travel Cubelet or Side Effect carried cross-body. Though, not sure that counts.

    ETA: This is weird. I was replying to another thread (I thought) but this ended up here.

    So, to keep with the thread theme. I do love the A45 over the A30. I think it has to do with the depth. I would love the A30 if it did not have end pockets .
    Last edited by sujo; 04-20-2019 at 03:05 PM.

  15. #30
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    Here's a quick counterpoint. A30 in duffle mode with absolute strap + Synapse 25 carries more than the A45, allows you to rebalance your load dynamically and gives you a perfect in-flight combo of overhead / underseat accessibility. Cannot stress enough how wonderful of a combination this is.

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