Luggage suggestions for a newbie?? ;)
Hi, I need to ask for some advice and suggestions from those of you who are more experienced then I am at traveling and luggage. I have recently taken a new position which will require me to travel one to two weeks every month. I do love my casual trips as well! Until now an MEI Voyageur has sufficed, but it's hard on business clothes and 'flops around" more then I would like. I have become good at bundle wrapping, but haven't ever tried or experienced cubes for packing.
I'm considering buying a Tom Bihn Aeronaut and I guess a set of cubes to go with it. My trips are pretty much business trips of 2 to 5 days, or leisure trips of up to a week. When I am on a business trip, I need to carry "business casual" clothing and I need to keep them looking good (at least TRY to avoid wrinkles) I always carry workout clothes, and shoes if I can. I will also need to carry my laptop with me, although my thought is buying a second bag for that.
Will an Aeronaut work for my business and vacation trips? Is it able to handle "nicer" clothing, or is some type of 3 compartment bag like an Air Boss more suitable? I hope to be able to find a great bag with backpack straps for longer walks, but if I can't I can't. I've read onebag.com, and have writtent to Mr. Dyment and he wrote with his thoughts on the Aeronaut. BUT, I am seeing a wealth of experience here and wanted to ask everyone's thoughts on a carry-on bag and something smaller for a laptop/around town sightseeing bag.
Can anyone offer any thoughts to a newbie to the "one bag" world? Please?
I recently used an Aeronaut for a two week trip involving a wedding and an academic meeting (relatively casual affair, no suits). Disclaimer: I don't need sharply pressed shirts/slacks, since the most I ever need are khakis and sport shirts. (For various inane reasons I also had a 1800 cu-in backpack for my main laptop and Snake Charmer, plus bathroom sundries, and an Imago for a second laptop. But those are not applicable to this discussion).
In terms of clothing, I had on my person either packed or worn: 2 sport shirts, 1 sweater, 1 wool car coat, 1 Orvis sport coat, 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of khakis, 2 short sleeve base layer shirts, 1 long sleeve base layer shirt, 1 pair of PJ bottoms, 1 pair of gym shorts, 5 boxers, 5 pairs of socks, (I had access to laundry facilities), 1 pair of flipflops, 1 pair of dress boots, and assorted winter accessories (hats, scarves, gloves...). Everything was packed using 2 large cubes and 2 end cubes. I've read about people have problems folding their clothes to fit into the large cubes, but for some odd reason my clothes fold into relatively square pieces and fit into the large cubes perfectly, so YMMV.
The shirts, sport coat, and khakis were relatively serviceable when unpacked. Again, none of these are really meant to be in sharply pressed condition. But to be presentable I did iron the shirts before I set out, so they were still pretty good when I unpacked.
On my return flight the Aeronaut was checked, and inside was packed three pieces of porcelain-ware wrapped in newspapers and tucked away in folds of clothing and zipped up in the packing cubes. When I unpacked I was pleasantly surprised to find the cubes had held everything very firmly in place, and the porcelain were where I had packed them when I zipped up.
My conclusion is that the cubes seem to work very well when you overstuff them. That way everything is firmly held in place and won't shift around as much. What I plan to do in the future is to put all creased clothing items in one overstuffed cube, with everything that can be wrinkled in one understuffed cube.
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