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  1. #1
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    A45 Frame in the SA or WF?

    I'm wondering if the new A45 Frame will fit and, more importantly, work well in the WF and SA? Maybe someone from the Mother-Ship or one of the testers can check. - Thanks

    Dimensions look close:
    A45 Frame is 17.7" x 11.4"
    Western Flyer is 17.9" x 12"
    Smart Alec is 18.5" x 11.75"
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  2. #2
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    Hi @nimikor!

    Actually, the A30 frame fits really well in the Western Flyer! Note that because of the relatively petite size of the Western Flyer, the Padded Hip Belt may work better on a smaller upper torso.
    Attached Images Attached Images A45 Frame in the SA or WF?-img_20180612_192416-jpg  A45 Frame in the SA or WF?-img_20180612_191953-jpg 
    -m

  3. #3
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    The Aeronaut 30 isn't that much taller than the Western Flyer (19.7" vs 17.9"), but it seems enough of a difference that the Aeronaut 30 feels like it is a better fit.
    Attached Images Attached Images A45 Frame in the SA or WF?-img_20180612_193624-jpg 
    -m

  4. #4
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    The Tri-Star really likes the Aeronaut 45 Internal Frame, and the placement of the Padded Hip Belt really works well for my upper torso.
    Attached Images Attached Images A45 Frame in the SA or WF?-img_20180612_195534-jpg 
    -m

  5. #5
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    Just for comparison, this is the Hero's Journey on the same dude.
    Attached Images Attached Images A45 Frame in the SA or WF?-img_20180612_194813-jpg 
    -m

  6. #6
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    Great pictures. Thanks!
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  7. #7
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    @nimikor,

    As a quick answer about the Smart Alec, I think that either the A30 frame sheet or the A45 frame sheet might be usable inside the Smart Alec. The issue is, that you need to secure the frame sheet in the bag -- although, I guess you could try packing the bag full, and having the contents hold the frame sheet in place against the bag.

    So, in order to secure the frame sheet to the back of the Smart Alec, you'd want to use a plastic T-bar that slides into the top of the frame sheet pocket that holds the reinforcing bar, and with "wings" that hook into the webbing loops for the cache with rails, similar to the design for Synapse frame sheets.


    This is a picture from the blog of the Synapse frame sheet with the plastic T-bar pulled out of the frame sheet bar's pocket, and lying on the table. The T-bar sits behind the metal bar (that's pulled out in this picture -- although you'll never pull the bar out from its pocket yourself in actual use) at the top of that pocket. (You have to yank the pocket flap up really hard and sort of push back on the parts of the opened pocket flap on either side of the bar to get it to clear the bar -- if you don't pull up at the same time, the top of the bar won't clear the bottom edge of the open flap, and you won't be able to insert or remove the plastic T-bar behind the top of the metal bar. )

    When the plastic T-bar is in place, the two wings hook into the webbing loops for the cache, and the rest of the T-bar sits behind the metal bar in the (closed) pocket as in this blog picture for the Synapse frame sheet:



    So, to install the A30 or A45 frame sheet into the Smart Alec, you need to get a plastic T-bar (or disassemble one from a Synapse frame sheet).

    Then, there is the issue of which fits better into the Smart Alec. I think that you can make either one work, but the A45 frame sheet goes all the way to the top of the bag (it's nearly too tall to work, but the curvature of the frame sheet helps you). It might be slightly hard to actually use the webbing loops to carry a suspended laptop in a cache with rails with the A45 frame sheet, because the T-bar wings will press the loops slightly higher than they'd normally sit in that case, but it's probably doable if you work at it.

    It's easier to set this up with the A30 frame sheet, which goes about to the bottom of the Smart Alec without forcing the webbing loops up, and you can insert the frame sheet the same way you do for the Synapses if you follow the official directions --- slip the sides of the plastic T-bar into the webbing loops, then position the frame sheet at the back, yank back really hard on the webbing flap of the bar until you can pop the top of the opened flap behind the top of the bar, and insert the bottom of the plastic T-bar behind the bar. Then close the flap of the pocket. The process of inserting the bottom of the plastic T-bar into the pocket for the metal bar on the frame sheet assumes you have some room to push the frame sheet up along the bottom of the T-bar when the pocket is open. That's why it's easier to do this with the A30 frame sheet, whose top edge doesn't go to the very top edge of the back of the Smart Alec. With the slightly longer A45 frame sheet, there's no additional vertical room for positioning. I'd probably just start with the T-bar in the closed pocket of the frame sheet and try to "bend" the side plastic wings until I could slot them into the webbing loops. As long as you don't try to change this in and out of the Smart Alec too frequently, this should work for the A45 frame sheet. Or, you could insert the A45 frame sheet without trying to secure it in position, and rely on the contents of the backpack, and the approximate match of the size of the frame to the back of the Smart Alec to hold it in position.

    (I've called all this information in to the Tom Bihn folks, so they may be doing some experimenting.) If you want to suspend a cache from the webbing loops, the A30 frame sheet may be a better bet to use.

    HTH

    moriond

  8. #8
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    Thank you @moriond for the thorough explanation. This is an exciting bag hack for the SA. I have both the A45 and A30 Frames on order so I will try out this frame hack next week.
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  9. #9
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    One final suggestion: when the two Aeronaut frame sheets arrived, I noticed that there was a difference in the default curve of the two sizes. (The curve in the slightly longer A45 size frame sheet seemed more pronounced. When I fit both frame sheets directly against my back, I found that the A30 frame sheet matched the shape of my back pretty closely -- better than the A45 frame. It's not a large difference, but it's noticeable to me, and may affect my preferences of which frame sheet I find more comfortable to use. I don't think it's just height, because I found the default setting of the (longer) S25 frame sheet pretty comfortable. So, you may try out the match of the frame sheet curves to your back for yourself, and that may also factor into which one you choose to use with the Smart Alec (or other travel bag).

    HTH

    moriond

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