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  1. #1
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    Minimalism vs Comfort

    Greetings. I want my next bag purchase to be the A30 but I think the A45 may be better for my needs.

    Let me explain

    I am about 6í2Ē and 350 lbs. So a big guy lol my clothes are between 2X and 3x and waist size 46-48. So my clothes are bigger than average.

    I like the idea of the A30 as an alternative to my S30 but like the idea of flexibility in capacity for souvenirs.

    Packing list for a 5 night trip coming up:

    - 2 pair of shorts
    - 2 bathing suites
    - 4 tee shirts
    - 1 polo shirt
    - 1 pair of pants
    - 5 underwear
    - 5 socks
    - 1 toiletry bag
    - 1 pair of sandals

    Toiletries are pretty minimal. Lush shampoo bar, comb, tooth brush, toothy tabs, hair putty, and a bar of soap. In flight are headphones and a book.

    In the near future I will likely own both but unsure which direction to go with now. Also, do the laundry stuff sacks save space or eat space?

    The other alternative is using my S30 with smart packing.

    A45 Cube (Main)
    - 2 pair of shorts
    - 1 pair of pants
    - 1 polo

    Stuff Sack 1 (left packet)
    - Socks

    Stuff Sack 2 (right pocket)
    - underwear

    A45 Laundry Stuff Sack (Main compartment)
    - 4 Tee shirts
    - 2 bathing suites

    3DOC (Water bottle pocket)
    - toiletries

    SE (lower outer pocket)
    - in flight gear / odds and ends

    Cubelett (lower outer pocket)
    - Dongles and wires

    Pair of sandals in the inside large pocket.

    Seems like a lot so Iím leaning towards just getting the A45 so my S30 isnít super stuffed.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I feel like that would all fit in an A30 as well as the A45... depends on how much extra room you want for bringing things back. If you don't want to have to think too much about packing and will always bring back stuff, go for the A45.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  3. #3
    Forum Member missilebird's Avatar
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    Is that packing list typical of what you'll usually be packing in an A30/A45? If so, I think you'd be ok with the A30 (mind you, I've never seen one in person, but I have the A45 and there would be loads of room left after you packed those items). I debated between the two myself, and ended up with the A45 because I knew I'd be using it for long trips and I wanted to make sure I had space to take clothes to suit all weathers, as well as leave room for bringing things back home. As far as comfort goes, I'm 5'3 and 115 lbs and had no problems wearing my fully packed A45 as we walked through airports, to Airbnbs, etc. I wouldn't have wanted to wear it on a 4 hour hike, but it was totally fine for those shorter treks.

    Could you get the A30 and then use your S30 as your personal item? Or are those too large to be personal items?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by missilebird View Post
    Is that packing list typical of what you'll usually be packing in an A30/A45? If so, I think you'd be ok with the A30 (mind you, I've never seen one in person, but I have the A45 and there would be loads of room left after you packed those items). I debated between the two myself, and ended up with the A45 because I knew I'd be using it for long trips and I wanted to make sure I had space to take clothes to suit all weathers, as well as leave room for bringing things back home. As far as comfort goes, I'm 5'3 and 115 lbs and had no problems wearing my fully packed A45 as we walked through airports, to Airbnbs, etc. I wouldn't have wanted to wear it on a 4 hour hike, but it was totally fine for those shorter treks.

    Could you get the A30 and then use your S30 as your personal item? Or are those too large to be personal items?
    The S30 would be too big. After sleeping on it the A45 may be best for me because of shoes. I canít imagine adding a pair a size 13 shoes to the A30.

  5. #5
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    You don't need the extra space based on your list above, but I'd go for the A45 if I were you just because you already have the S30 and it'll be nice to have an option when you want to carry a bit more. I have both and while the packing style is totally different there's times I wish I had an A45 instead of an A30 (and who am I kidding, I'll likely end up with one at some point!). Especially given your size I'd say go for the A45.

  6. #6
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    I find the A30 doesn't work well when underpacked, so you might not like the way an A45 carries when not full. I agree your shoes will be the determining factor. You'd probably have to put them in the main compartment of the A30, whereas maybe they'd fit in the end compartment of the A45?

    The S30 could work as a personal item -- I've put it under the seat in front of me on several flights, underpacked with the frame sheet removed.

    The Syniks and Aeronauts function very differently. I'm glad I have both to choose from depending on the trip.

  7. #7
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    Itís a hard decision for sure. I can put undies, socks, and bathing suites in a laundry stuff sack on one end pocket on the 30. The current issue is TB is sold out of every packing cube except for large ones. I could put my shirts and bathing suites in the laundry stuff sack and use regular stuff sacks for socks and undies. Shoes can go in another large cube in the main as well. Hmmm.

    The thought is to use the A45 on longer trips and the S30 on shorter trips where I donít need shoes, sandals, or extra pants. I feel like the A30 can hold more than the S30 if that makes sense.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifer View Post
    You don't need the extra space based on your list above, but I'd go for the A45 if I were you just because you already have the S30 and it'll be nice to have an option when you want to carry a bit more. I have both and while the packing style is totally different there's times I wish I had an A45 instead of an A30 (and who am I kidding, I'll likely end up with one at some point!). Especially given your size I'd say go for the A45.
    Do you think it makes sense to get the A30 for this trip and use the accessories on a future A45? My thought is I can under stuff the A45 with A30 accessories and fit other stuff in the voids keeping the end pockets relatively clear. My S30 is the perfect work bag because of the laptop and water bottle holder.

  9. #9
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    As a person of similar dimensions and desire to pack minimal too, I debated a similar question. I started with S25, added Large A45 packing cube (main compartment) and A30 Laundry Stuff Sack (chin pocket). 3DOC in a side pocket, water bottle in water bottle pocket, cubelet in front little pocket (sometimes). I have an older S25 so the side pockets don't fit the SE like updated version or synik's as I understand.

    From your packing list, I would suggest getting a A45 large cube for 3 reasons. Ability to visualize capacity of the A45 (2 Large cubes stacked flat with a 2/3 size of large cube standing vertically next to those). Secondly, the large A45 cube works in your S30. Thirdly, I was surpised how much a large A45 cube holds. (Using rolling and compressing, I would not be suprised if all your clothing listed fit in a large A45 cube - 12.5L) Furthermore, I would suggest getting full utilization of chin pocket via A30 LSS (4.5 liters vs 1.5 liter SE)

    Going out on a limb and assuming all your clothing fits into a large A45 cube and an S30 can do as slightly more than my S25, I would venture to say 2 small A45 packing cubes stacked on top of one another at bottom of main compartment (when the S30 is laid flat on shoulder straps) would allow a cavernous spot above it for sizeable souveniurs.

    I recently acquired a used Aeronaut 30. I haven't traveled with it yet. Few thoughts now physically having one. When I wear it, looks small on my dimensions. Love the layout and features of the A30. Wish the aeronaut's shoulder straps could be removed as it makes for a clumpy bottom when laid flat. An A45 would complement my S25 and current packing cube collection better. The A30 will be my short trip shoulder carry bag.

    I also have a small yeoman duffel (same exterior dimenions as A30). With use of packing cubes and organizers, my early opinion is the small yeoman may have some benefits in shoulder carry situations over the A30.

    On your last question of A30 accessories for future A45. I bought the used A30 as it was listed as an A45. Long story short, I happily kept the A30 after seller made larger concession than expected vs return. Big picture for me in travel bags and life is how does everything fit together. My S25 accessories mesh best with A45. My DLBC fits well into my S25 and assume in A45 as well. My A45 cubes work well into my large yeoman. A lightly packed S25 or DLBC as personal item, A45 as carry-on, and Large Yeoman as checked bag work together. So A30 accessories do work in A45, I would just comment with question if they would work the best together. (imo an A45 matches S30 better)

  10. #10
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    Personally I went with the A45 on the theory that it's better to have extra space and not need it than to need extra space and not have it. I also have a Synik 22 (previously a Synape 19) but I never travel with them at the same time. For extended international trips or trips where I need extra gear (e.g. cycling vacation) I'll use the A45 and for just about everything else I'll use the Synik.

    My wife isn't quite a minimalist when it comes to travel as I am but I recently convinced her of the joy of one bag travel and ditching the roller bag by having her use my A45. Technically she can fit everything in an A30 but she feels more comfortable with the extra space. We went to Costa Rica last month and she took everything she could possibly need and was under packed in the A45 but it allowed us to pick up gifts for the kids and friends. I used my Synik and a Co-Pilot although Ive recently acquired a SideKick and don't expect I'll be using the Co-Pilot much anyone.

  11. #11
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logella View Post
    I used my Synik and a Co-Pilot although Ive recently acquired a SideKick and don't expect I'll be using the Co-Pilot much anyone.
    Slightly off-topic, but having both an SK and a Co-Pilot, I've found that as an EDC, the Co-Pilot is just enough of a step up from the SK to fit everything I'd normally have in the SK -- PLUS daily reading materials (whatever book I'm reading + magazines), PLUS my headphones, PLUS an emergency umbrella in that center water bottle compartment.

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