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Thread: Aeronaut review

  1. #1
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    Aeronaut review

    Full Aeronaut review posted here. I'll be doing additional posts about the cubes and pouches plus a comparison with the Red Oxx Air boss.

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    The Aeronaut vs Red Oxx Boss

    These two great bags target much different market niches. If I were doing
    adventure travel I'd buy a Boss, for flying from one urban area to another,
    even on an international basis, the Aeronaut is very nice if that's your
    style. For me, I like the simple innovative medium size duffle bag from
    Bailey Works.
    Tom Welch > Mesa, Arizona, USA
    Author of 101 Financial Ratios 5.0
    Travel Lite & Smart

  3. #3
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    Good, fair review of one of the best bags on the market.
    It's worth considering that your entire purpose in life could be to serve as a warning to others.

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    Nice review - sadly, I think it makes me realize I won't be able to use this bag as my one carry on for my trip to England and France. My size 4 brain cell won't fit in it and British airlines limit you to one carry on - not one carry on and a personal item. So, the search for the best way to carry a lap-top and tons of camera gear onto a plane continues!

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    Miri - you might be able to get along with the Aeronaut after all. You can carry two bags in to the UK from the US, just won't be able to get out with two separate pieces. France is no problem - Only the UK has adopted the hard one-bag rule. I've heard plenty of accounts of people being allowed to put their carryon and personal item in a garbage bag and that counting as one bag in the UK. Similarly, you might well be able to strap the Brain Cell securely to the back side of the Aeronaut with some auxiliary straps and get it counted as one bag . The UK authorities are not so concerned with weight or even size of the carryon bag, just so it can pass through as one unit. Good luck.

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    Well, the site for Virgin airlines (my carrier to/from London) gives a weight and size limit on carry-ons and states that it's one item - not one and a personal. I wrote to them and they implied they aren't that strict on the "no personal" item thing but they did say the bag could be weighed and rejected due to weight. I'll be flying from Paris to London via British Airways and I've heard that: a) they are very strict; b) it's just one carry-on since it's considered a "local" flight.

    I have heard what you've said about people shoving purses, etc into their carry on so that they can get through check-in and on the plane and then taking them out. I just need to make sure I can shove everything into my bag! Interesting idea about trying to strap the brain cell onto the back. Hmm.

    Thanks for the reply!

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    Miri - something else occurred to me. You might take the laptop out of the Brain Cell, stuff Brain Cell into the bag, present the laptop at the security checkpoint (since you have to remove it anyway), then put it back in the Brain Cell and carry it on your shoulder. Most of the airlines, even in Britain, don't care about the extra bag IF you've been able to get through security. It's important to remember that the one bag rule is the invention of the British Airport Authority (BAA - which handles security like our TSA) not the airlines. Carryons are rarely weighed. It's most important that they don't look heavy. The Aeronaut is cool because it looks pretty sleek and trim, doesn't get saggy. Good luck. There's always an element of risk and uncertainty when dealing with these regulations. There are a number of posts on my site dealing with the UK issues since that's my favorite place to travel.

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    The best way to avoid BAA hassles is to fly with one of the other European airlines and use the train to go to London.

    When more people do that, flights to and from the U.S via U.K will trickle to down prompting BA and Virgin to ask BAA to relax the one bag/weight rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PM4HIRE View Post
    These two great bags target much different market niches. If I were doing
    adventure travel I'd buy a Boss, for flying from one urban area to another,
    even on an international basis, the Aeronaut is very nice if that's your
    style. For me, I like the simple innovative medium size duffle bag from
    Bailey Works.
    That's an interesting comparison. Why do you say that? (I am right now choosing between the Aeronaut and the AirBoss or Sky Train from Red Oxx).

    I'm looking for differentiators (if that's a word . Right now, my wife is leaning AirBoss b/c of the availability in Amethyst, but I'm leaning Aeronaut b/c of the custom packing cubes.

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    Just a quick question about the Aeronaut - everyone mentions what a great carry on bag it is, but I'm looking at it in terms of checked luggage.

    Has anyone traveled with the Aeronaut and not taken it as carry on? How did it fare once you got it back from the cargo section of the plane?
    Loving life with my Imago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigues View Post
    Just a quick question about the Aeronaut - everyone mentions what a great carry on bag it is, but I'm looking at it in terms of checked luggage.

    Has anyone traveled with the Aeronaut and not taken it as carry on? How did it fare once you got it back from the cargo section of the plane?
    It was only about a 2 hour flight, but I checked my Aeronaut on a LAN flight from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, and back. It came off the baggage carousel as good as when I gave it to the ticket counter.

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    Re: Aeronaut as checked luggage:

    They dropped it on the ground and got jet fuel (or something) on it. (I know this because I saw them do it through the window at the gate.) Other than that, no damage/wearing at all!

    Re: Aeronaut vs. Air Boss/Sky Train

    Really, the Air Boss assumes that you'll have a(n off-road) vehicle at your destination. Most of the Red Oxx bags assume this. The Sky Train at least has backpack straps, but it's still not meant to be carried on your back for very long. The thing about the Air Boss and the Sky Train is that they are not very good at holding their shape, being made of Cordura fabric. In short, they bulge. A lot. So while you would be able to get more into the bag, whether that bag is comfortable to carry anymore would be something you'd want to experiment with beforehand.

    For all the good advice about OneBagging and travel(l)ing light Doug Dyment has given, I still can't figure out how he wound up designing what he did, and why he hasn't mentioned Tom Bihn bags. I'm going to just assume a bias against the U-shaped opening, and maybe jealousy. =P Because really, the Aeronaut if nothing else, is a lot more "wieldy" (my word for "opposite of unwieldy") than the Air Boss. I have both. I don't see myself ever using the Air Boss again.

    Also, yes, the packing cubes TOTALLY help.

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    Thanks!

    I appreciate the notes about using the Aeronaut as checked luggage.

    I am thoroughly convinced, and will buy one just before my trip to Vancouver for my brother's wedding in September.
    Loving life with my Imago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just View Post
    The thing about the Air Boss and the Sky Train is that they are not very good at holding their shape, being made of Cordura fabric. In short, they bulge. A lot. So while you would be able to get more into the bag, whether that bag is comfortable to carry anymore would be something you'd want to experiment with beforehand.
    Exactly! The trouble with most (if not all other) bags of this sort is the "bulge". The MEI Voyager, touted by Doug Dyment @ onebag.com, is the worst offender in my opinion. The fact that the Aeronaut retains its shape and resists the "bulge" is in my opinion due more to Tom's inovative design than just the material it's made of. A year ago my youngest son went to France for three weeks and "one bagged" it with an off brand convertible carry-on. Now he is an Eagle Scout and did not over pack but his bag still got stuck in the "carry-on measuring frame" by the check in desk. He was concerned that they would make him check his bag because of the bulge. (They didn't) It did cause me to look for a bag that would not bulge. I ordered several bags from several companies and the Tom Bin Aeronaut is the only one I kept (I even ordered another one for my wife).

    Quote Originally Posted by Just View Post
    For all the good advice about OneBagging and travel(l)ing light Doug Dyment has given, I still can't figure out how he wound up designing what he did, and why he hasn't mentioned Tom Bihn bags. I'm going to just assume a bias against the U-shaped opening, and maybe jealousy. =P Because really, the Aeronaut if nothing else, is a lot more "wieldy" (my word for "opposite of unwieldy") than the Air Boss. I have both. I don't see myself ever using the Air Boss again.
    I've wondered about that too....

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    The Battle of the Bulge

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
    Exactly! The trouble with most (if not all other) bags of this sort is the "bulge". The MEI Voyager, touted by Doug Dyment @ onebag.com, is the worst offender in my opinion. The fact that the Aeronaut retains its shape and resists the "bulge" is in my opinion due more to Tom's inovative design than just the material it's made of.
    I've wondered about that too....
    I remember Just's post asking about bulge-resistence when the Aeronaut was first released. Here's my reply from those early days. (Scroll up to see Just's question, based on her experience with the Air Boss). Those comments have held up and, as GaryS says, there's a lot more to the design than simply using ballistic nylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just View Post
    Re: Aeronaut vs. Air Boss/Sky Train
    I'm going to just assume a bias against the U-shaped opening, and maybe jealousy. =P Because really, the Aeronaut if nothing else, is a lot more "wieldy" (my word for "opposite of unwieldy") than the Air Boss. I have both. I don't see myself ever using the Air Boss again.
    When I first saw the Aeronaut, I also didn't expect the U-shaped opening. But it actually works very well to reinforce the way the bag holds its shape, as do the slightly curved seams and hand grips on the side. (See my linked post above.) What's difficult to get across to new customers, who are having to judge the Tom Bihn bags mainly from the pictures, is how well all the small design details work together.

    Just my thoughts. YMMV

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