Travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.
Aeronaut 45
Click image to zoom

    Aeronaut 45

    Tom Bihn bags are proudly made in the USA



    Dimensions: 22" x 14" x 9" / 555 x 355 x 230 mm
    1050d high tenacity ballistic nylon: 3 lb 1 oz / 1395 grams
    400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop: 2 lb 7 oz / 1095 grams
    Volume: 2700 cubic in / 45 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
    Optional, removable 1" / 25 mm waist strap
    Total O-rings: 9 (4 in the main compartment, 1 in the inside mesh pocket, 1 in the left curved pocket, 1 in the right curved pocket, 1 in the left side pocket, 1 in the right side pocket)


    U.S. high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon — or — ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop
    200 denier Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric lining
    Tough Duraflex® and Nexus buckles
    #10 YKK Aquaguard® coil zippers on main compartment


    Made in USA
    100% finished seams


    You can expect your TOM BIHN bag to give you years of hard service. Our bags are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the bag. That means if something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge.

    Same with your Skookum Dog gear: it'll give you years of hard service and is guaranteed to be free of defects in materials or workmanship. If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge. If your dog chews something up or otherwise damages it, we'll repair it for a reasonable fee if it is repairable.
    Read more


    Use this link to open a new tab to a regularly updated list of reviews of our bags.
    Or click here to see reviews posted by our Forum community.

    Aeronaut 45

    Our legendary maximum size carry-on travel bag. Carry it as a backpack, shoulder bag, or duffel.

    Travel with the Aeronaut isn't like travel with wheeled luggage: you won't ever hesitate to make your way through the crowd, down a cobblestone alley, across the grass, or up the trail. With the load on your back, you can navigate through not just airports, train stations, and bus depots, but through airplanes, trains, and buses. Hard to categorize, the Aeronaut is at once soft luggage, a duffel bag, and a backpack. It takes the best of all those bags and combines them into what many people have found to be their most versatile travel bag yet.

    Designed to qualify as a maximum-size airline carry-on bag (the smaller Aeronaut 30, great for intra-European flights or über-minimalist packers, is also available), the Aeronaut can be carried as a backpack (with its zip-away backpack straps), or with its padded handle can be carried on-edge as one would a traditional suitcase. Of course you can add our Absolute Shoulder Strap so you can carry it on your shoulder as well (almost any other shoulder strap will work too).

    The downside to most duffel bags is their lack of compartmentalization: we think we've answered that quite successfully with the Aeronaut. The main body of the bag is divided into three significant compartments via two zippered dividers: a large center compartment is flanked on both ends by substantial end pockets. These end pockets can easily accommodate size 12 running shoes (now maybe you can finally take all the shoes you need with you). The end pockets also are great for segregating the clean from the unclean, or perhaps socks and underwear, from everything else. Don’t need two end compartments? Unzip one of the zippered dividers, transforming the Aeronaut into a two compartment bag. Or, unzip both zippered dividers, and the Aeronaut becomes a large one main compartment bag.

    The main compartment is accessed through a curved zipper opening and swallows a substantial stack of folded shirts/blouses/trousers/dresses; as you pack the Aeronaut, the end pockets act like bookends, keeping everything in the center compartment relatively flat and folded. The inside of the opening "hatch" features a convenient zippered mesh pocket for small items.

    We make a variety of Packing Cubes sized specifically to most efficiently utilize space inside the Aeronaut. Inside the main compartment of the Aeronaut, you can fit two Large Aeronaut Packing Cubes, one Large and two Small, or four Small. In either end compartment of the Aeronaut, you can fit an End Pocket Packing Cube in either Fabric/Mesh or All Fabric. Also available are the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag and the Packing Cube Backpack (Aeronaut): use them as packing cubes inside the Aeronaut and once you reach your destination, unpack them for use as lightweight shoulder bags or backpacks as you explore your destination.

    If Packing Cubes are not your style, you can avail yourself of a pair of tie-down straps inside the main compartment of the Aeronaut. Theses straps can be handy for securing pants/slacks or a carefully folded sports coat. If you find they are in your way you can save a bit of weight by removing them.

    The Aeronaut converts easily to and carries comfortably as a backpack: the shoulder straps are contoured and the upper part is padded, and they feature a removable/adjustable sternum strap; the back panel is padded with closed-cell foam as well. An optional 1" / 25 mm waist strap attaches to the bottom of the lower (unpadded) part of the shoulder straps. The waist strap is meant not so much as a weight-bearing "hip belt" but rather a simple way to further secure the Aeronaut on your body. With both the backpack straps and waist strap tucked away inside, the Aeronaut becomes a sophisticated soft-luggage piece, free of extraneous straps and geegaws and entirely presentable. Because it is carry-on size, you usually won't be checking the Aeronaut as luggage, but tucking away the shoulder straps (and waist strap) also greatly reduces the possibility of the bag being caught in a conveyor belt if you must check it.

    The grab handles at either end of the Aeronaut were designed to be in the right place at the right time. Specifically, they provide an inviting and obvious place to grab the Aeronaut and give it a yank to extract it from an overhead compartment of a plane or other tight spot. They’re reinforced, so if you need to pull hard, go ahead, and because they’re padded, the whole process will be as comfortable for your hands as possible.

    On both ends of the Aeronaut are exterior zippered pockets large enough for the Guide Michelin and a boarding pass. Included in one of these pockets is a Key Strap.

    The exterior of the Aeronaut is made of our 1050 denier, high tenacity ballistic nylon fabric (made in U.S.A.), and it's lined with our ultralight Japanese 200 denier Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric. We use #10 YKK Coil Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers so you needn't worry so much about bad weather impacting your gear. Sewn right side up (which means the waterproof coating is on the inside rather than the outside) the zippers are easier to operate. We include a package of our Cord Zipper Pulls so you can add them to the zippers for an easier grab, though many folks like how uncluttered the Aeronaut looks as-is. Of course the Aeronaut is built, like all TOM BIHN bags, to withstand years of worry-free abuse.

    The Aeronaut in 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop:
    The Aeronaut is also available in ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop. This stellar fabric is made for us in Japan. Though one-third the weight of our U.S. made, high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon, it has comparable tear strength and very good abrasion resistance. With 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop you'll save about 20% on the over-all weight of the Aeronaut. Note that 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop won't stand up to the all-out abuse that 1050 denier ballistic nylon can handle - you'll need to exercise care and not drag or otherwise mistreat your ultralight Aeronaut. It's a compromise many will feel worthwhile, but it's a compromise to consider.

    Bags in the Wild!
    Submit Your Photos


    When I set off to design the bag that became Aeronaut, I had a pretty clear idea of how it would look. This is not always the case, however, as often in my mind is a set of criteria (usually for the intended utility of a bag) and only the vaguest idea of how that might end up looking. But with Aeronaut, I knew up front that I wanted a relatively straightforward, backpack-convertible, maximum carry-on-sized bag with two end compartments that could be utilized for, well let's face it: shoes.One of pet peeves with all the bags I'd been using was that they made no particular allowance for shoes. After I started using early prototypes of Aeronaut, I realized that the compartmentalization I had designed worked well for shoes, but also was good for any variety of organizing, such as toiletries, books, underwear, pajamas and even a very lightweight sleeping bag in one end-compartment. Furthermore, the divisions helped control the tendency for the bag to beer-barrel when over-stuffed.

    Early testing of a bag often reveals unexpected opportunities to improve a design. While using early prototypes of Aeronaut, for example, I realized that when I brought the bag into a hotel room, I tended to pitch it onto the bed (or bureau) with the bag coming to rest with the handle closest to me. This made me realize that I wanted the center hatch to open towards me, so that the zippered mesh pocket inside the hatch flap could flop out in my direction, allowing me to most easily access its contents. And, yes, I wanted to do that without again moving or reorienting the bag once I had set it down. Lazy me. This initially didn't seem right, but the more I used the bag, the more I realized that orienting the zippered center hatch as it is (in a "U" shape, rather than an inverted "U" that you might expect) really does make packing and unpacking that much more natural and easy.
    - Tom