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  1. #1
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    Aeronaut on Safari?

    I’m trying to justify the purchase of the A45 now that there’s the dedicated hip belt to ease the carry. I have shoulder issues so need the option of backpack carry.

    We have been traveling mostly by traditional means lately and I’ve used a wheeled bag as my primary bag, but this year we have two adventure trips coming up. First off, a week long rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, where we’ll need a duffel to be enclosed in a dry bag. Then two weeks in Africa with bush plane transit. Duffels required.

    I’d thought to get an inexpensive duffel, but after having luggage rip on our last safari, I’m debating the A45.

    My preference would be for the halcyon, with it’s lighter weight and ‘stretchability’. Can anyone speak to how durable this bag would be for the trips I’m taking?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Traveltech; 02-06-2019 at 08:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    I've not taken that cool an adventure, but you may want to consider some Yeoman duffles as a compromise on cost/weight/risk, if you're not needing to backpack carry...
    Steel/Island A45&Pilot; Steel/Solar WF; oNordic/Solar CP; Steel Halcyon/Solar S19; Navy/NWSky A30; Blk Halcyon/NWSky SA; Olive/Canyon oL12; Nebulous/Island B L15

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveltech View Post
    I’m trying to justify the purchase of the A45 now that there’s the dedicated hip belt to ease the carry.

    We have been traveling mostly by traditional means lately and I’ve used a wheeled bag as my primary bag, but this year we have two adventure trips coming up. First off, a week long rafting trip through the a Grand Canyon, where we’ll need a duffel to be enclosed in a dry bag. Then two weeks in Africa with bush plane transit. Duffels required.

    I’d thought to get an inexpensive duffel, but after having luggage rip on our last safari, I’m debating the A45.

    My preference would be for the halcyon, with it’s lighter weight and ‘stretchability’. Can anyone speak to how durable this bag would be for the trips I’m taking?

    Thanks in advance.
    Or maybe consider the RB or YD. Both brilliant bags, the RB with exterior and interior pockets, and the YDs in a great range of sizes, colours with a big empty space within for your packing cubes, tethered pouches or just loose packing!

  4. #4
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    Edit to add that I have shoulder issues, so the backpack carry option is mandatory.

    Yes, @G42, I am incredibly lucky to have such cool adventures coming up. The perks of being retired...

  5. #5
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    Why the instance on duffel bags? I'd think with those kinds of adventures, a backpack might be a better option. Like, The Guide's Pack kind of backpack. I wonder if the rule is in place just to avoid wheeled luggage.

    If it really has to be a Duffel, then it sounds like the A45's going to be your better choice.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveltech View Post
    Edit to add that I have shoulder issues, so the backpack carry option is mandatory.

    Yes, @G42, I am incredibly lucky to have such cool adventures coming up. The perks of being retired...
    Go for the A45 then and have fun with it!
    I'm 5' 4" and find that a fully loaded A45 can get pretty darn heavy and I definitely use the hip belt. I haven't tried the frame sheet, but several folks like that - but it does add more weight.

    Some other thoughts to consider -

    You save about 10 oz with the halcyon vs the ballistic... both materials are pretty robust, but the ballistic is more so. It may depend on whether you get annoyed if the exterior gets scuffed. If they abuse your stuff enough to rupture the bag, it would probably rupture both materials, and I have a hard time believing that would be a common occurrence...

    I don't know how you pack, but you could also consider 'paying' for those 10 oz in ballistic by reducing the number of interior cubes/organizers you use.

    Another pertinent consideration is the flexibility of the material... 1050 ballistic is pretty stiff when it's new, so if flexibility/squishyness and the ability to get stuff into every nook and cranny is important to you, you may want to go for the halcyon since you'll be using the bags pretty quickly after you get them...

    I'm sure others will chime in - I know we have some adventure travelers here...

    Regardless of what you pick, please share your pack out and then pictures after you go, so we can all armchair travel with you
    Last edited by G42; 02-06-2019 at 08:41 AM.
    Steel/Island A45&Pilot; Steel/Solar WF; oNordic/Solar CP; Steel Halcyon/Solar S19; Navy/NWSky A30; Blk Halcyon/NWSky SA; Olive/Canyon oL12; Nebulous/Island B L15

  7. #7
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    On my honeymoon, I went on a safari that indeed involved frequently moving between camps, bags tossed in the back of dusty SUVs, and of course, bags being moved around in the belly of a little Cessna plane the size of a European economy car. The Aeronaut, I dare say, is the perfect choice for a safari bag, and I say this as someone who actually did it. In fact, I struggle to find a scenario it's better-suited to; it lacks a computer compartment, so it's not ideal for business trips. Its materials and water-resistant zippers give you peace of mind in the back of those SUVs, and its organization is perfect for clothes and maybe a pair of shoes. It's ideal for that kind of travel.

    Having said that... I don't think the Aeronaut is very good for backpack carry. Maybe the plastic frame helps, and I'm sure the hip belt helps, but in my experience it's not as comfortable or well-balanced as a proper backpack from a technical backpack company. If you're carrying your own bags for miles on end, I would probably reconsider. The Aeronaut is best suited as a duffel, IMO, that you pick up and move between modes of transportation.

    EDIT: BTW, my safari was my favorite trip of all time, and not just because it was my honeymoon. You're going to love it. Enjoy!!

    Aeronaut on Safari?-dscn3701-jpg
    Last edited by bouncing; 02-06-2019 at 01:43 PM.

  8. #8
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    Spectacular picture @bouncing , and thanks for the detailed response to my question. I think you've convinced me!

  9. #9
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    Bringing back this older thread for an update request- can I ask what fabric you ended up getting? I'm torn between the halcyon for the weight restrictions on safari vehicles, but the durability of the ballistic is so appealing!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncing View Post
    On my honeymoon, I went on a safari that indeed involved frequently moving between camps, bags tossed in the back of dusty SUVs, and of course, bags being moved around in the belly of a little Cessna plane the size of a European economy car. The Aeronaut, I dare say, is the perfect choice for a safari bag, and I say this as someone who actually did it. In fact, I struggle to find a scenario it's better-suited to; it lacks a computer compartment, so it's not ideal for business trips. Its materials and water-resistant zippers give you peace of mind in the back of those SUVs, and its organization is perfect for clothes and maybe a pair of shoes. It's ideal for that kind of travel.

    Having said that... I don't think the Aeronaut is very good for backpack carry. Maybe the plastic frame helps, and I'm sure the hip belt helps, but in my experience it's not as comfortable or well-balanced as a proper backpack from a technical backpack company. If you're carrying your own bags for miles on end, I would probably reconsider. The Aeronaut is best suited as a duffel, IMO, that you pick up and move between modes of transportation.

    EDIT: BTW, my safari was my favorite trip of all time, and not just because it was my honeymoon. You're going to love it. Enjoy!!

    Aeronaut on Safari?-dscn3701-jpg
    You didn’t manage to get your Tom Bihn bags into the photo?

    Great photo!

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