I recently travelled to Ecuador -Two nights in Quito, and then a four day cruise- with my Aeronaut (with two small, one large and one side packing cubes) and MEC Expresso Daypack. I flew from Toronto to Quito via Atlanta - and my first aircraft was a CRJ - while everyone with a rolly had to gate-check their bag, I confidently placed my Aeronaut and Daypack in the overhead with no problem. When I arrived in Quito, my guide greeted me with a smile, and pointed me to the baggage carousel. When I said no need - I have everything right here - he was surprised (and happy too, I'm sure, to not have to help me schlep a big bag!)
Unfortunately, I neglected to take any pics, but here's what I packed (this is from memory):
Small packing cube 1
1 swimsuit cover-up
6 pairs of underwear
2 pairs of socks
1 pj top and shorts
3 camisole tops
Large Packing Cube
2 pairs cotton yoga-style pants
3 pairs capri length cotton pants
1 long-sleeve shirt
Side Packing Cube
1 pair of flip-flops
1 large Adventure Towl
1 Sport Adventure Towl
- I think I had one or two small things in here too - but I can't remember!
The other side pocket of the Aeronaut held my Birkenstocks and a couple of small things.
In the main compartment I also had room for my toiletry bag (minus my 311 bag)
My MEC backpack held my camera bag (with my Canon T2i with 18-55 lens plus my Lumix point-and-shoot with battery charges and cables), a collapsable duffel bag that was I always travel with - I check it with any purchases I make during my travels - plus my 311 bag as well a Kleen Kanteen bottle.
I purchased the Aeronaut specifically for this trip - I didn't want to check a bag on the way down (I check my small duffel on the way home to accommodate my souvenir purchases) - I used to travel with an American Tourister rolly bag in addition to a matching shoulder bag. I wasn't sure I'd be able to take everything I wanted to in the Aeronaut, but I was pleasantly surprised! It held everything I needed it to.
I think I'll be retiring my rolly - I can totally see myself using my Aeronaut for future travels. While I love my MEC bag (I've been using it as my everyday bag since I got home) I'm not sure I'll travel with it - it was great for this trip, because I needed it as a daypack, but if I'm not taking my Canon, I'll just take a large purse - or maybe an Imago? I've been eyeing it for a week now - either that or the Medium or Large Cafe bag.
I loved the bag, and can't wait to use it again!