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Thread: How to avoid the bulging bag syndrome on Travel Bags

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    How to avoid the bulging bag syndrome on Travel Bags

    Specifically the Aeronaute and the Tristar.

    I have packing Cubes and Travel Stuff Sack and I wonder if I should use the inner Straps or not?

    Any experience shared and tip provided will be very much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I live a little South of Edinburgh in Scotland's border hills
    In a word, no. Certainly not with the cubes.

    In the Aeronaut I use the straps to hold a couple of large organiser pockets with business papers, before putting two cubes 'loose' on top, then my lap-top. However, if I'm bundle packing, as I've done for 30 plus years before I had cubes, I use the straps. It does mean that you get a bit of space top and bottom, and it can be a problem with RyanAirs's 20c.m restriction, so care and thought are required. As it happens, I find that using only one or two large organiser pouches as a 'core' to the bundle makes the right flatish shape for this.

    With the Tri-Star, if you pull the straps tight, it turns barrel shaped as it pulls the top and bottom together. So, unless you have something really rigid in there, that is also at least as tall as the straps are apart, I wouldn't use them. Having said that, I do put them round my packing cube, but not tight, just as a belt and braces approach. I haven't tried bundle packing the Tri-Star, but, if your bundle is tight enough, and the right rectilinear shape, then the straps would probably be excellent. With cubes though, the main thing is to pack them as 'square' as possible... think Lego bricks rather than bundling, making sure you fill the edges as much as the middle. If your cubes are rugby ball shaped, don't be surprised if your Tri-Star is too.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    My airline has a 5 mm less width than the Aeronaute, I got both the Aeronaute and Tristar in Dyneema, I can use either for myself.
    What would you recommend?

    I don't bundle pack I cube and zip plastic bag pack, Lego or Tetris style.

    It seems that my husband is not getting the concept of weighted luggage and I might have to check his bag (lucky I didn't give all our non TB bags away)

    If he bugs me too much, I use "the duffel", that stuff can hold two Aeronaute easily.
    Tom3094 likes this.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    The first key to non-bulging bags is to not pack too much.

    I use packing cubes and I use the internal straps. Since the cubes/plastic bags you use are not rigid, the straps may help to compress them just enough to make that 5 mm difference if not then some. (Remember, the Aeronaut is not rigid; it can easily make most airline width restriction if not packed to the gills. ) Take a look at the photos for the Aeronaut fitting into most airline sizers.

    The same goes for the Tri-Star. If you pack too much it will bulge out. But it you sensibly spread things out and use the straps to help, you probably won't have a problem.

    Of course, the best thing to do is practice packing both bags and see which you prefer. Try it with the straps and without. Every person packs differently so every person's results will be different.

    One other thing...when using the straps think of a horse. When you put a saddle on a horse, you want the straps just tight enough to keep the saddle in place. Too tight, and you turn it into a bucking bronco. The internal straps of a bag should be tight enough to keep the items in place and compress them enough to not have wasted space. Too tight and suffer the consequences.
    Last edited by Frank II; 03-14-2013 at 12:11 PM.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers.

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  5. #5
    ceb is offline
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I use the straps in both the Aeronaut and the TriStar just to keep the cubes from shifting. Like our friend FC said, if you pull them too tight then the bag turns fat in the middle.

    I use a packing cube and a folder in the rear most section of the TS and the straps just hold everything in place and the plastic boards in the folders also help keep the shape. I can easily get three days worth of guy stuff (3 pairs of Dockers type pants, undergarments and sleeping wear) in the packing cube and three shirts and a couple of polo shirts in the folding packer.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  6. #6
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Colorado Springs
    For Tristar, I use a compression bag approx the interior size of the large outside section (on the side by the backpack straps). I put 2 stacks of folded clothes side-by-side inside the bag, and compress the air out. Then I just fold the edges of the bag to fit inside that section. That keeps the clothing in a more narrow rectangular shape. It makes better use of Tristar dimensions for me than the Tristar full-size packing cube.

    I'm not an ultra-light packer, so this is one way I can finesse the Tristar for what I need. Compression bags aren't ideal for keeping clothes wrinkle-free, but they work well for with Tristar, especially when I'm staying in one hotel.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I have one of the early models of the Aeronaut (perhaps my favorite bag of all time, in Hunter Green), and it doesn't have the compression straps. But I don't miss them at all, and don't think I would ever use them.

    I had never used packing cubes before buying I bought my Aeronaut, but I love them. Makes packing (and unpacking at my destination) so much easier, and really helps the Aeronaut keep its shape, which makes it less "sloppy" to carry thru airports and such.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    If I am short on space I use compression bags in conjunction with the bundle method, then sit on the bag to get the air out rather than roll it. Gets rid of most the wrinkle problem.

  9. #9
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Washington DC-ish
    In my TriStar, I use the straps to hold down a jacket, then put the packing cube on top.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Tukwila, WA
    A note about the Aeronaut - when I was in the store recently, I learned that the snaps (not the straps) are meant to hold the shape of the bag, not increase its capacity. I always referred to them as expand-o-snaps, but now I know! Maybe that will help, too, if you were unsnapping them?

  11. #11
    Registered User PaulT00's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    By the seaside, England
    I never use the straps in my Aeronaut. Clothing goes in packing cubes and I try to get them as square as possible. I've just got back from a trip to London for work, with the Aeronaut holding a couple of days' work casual clothes in half cubes together with a dyneema Pilot with laptop, filofax and normal work EDC in it.

    If I don't make the cubes too thick I can put 2 half cubes in the bottom of the main compartment. The key is to keep their dimensions consistent and pack up to the edges. Then the Pilot goes sideways on top of them with its bottom against the left hand side, then there is room for another part-filled half cube between the Pilot and the right hand side of the compartment.

    Toiletries and other impedimenta in two quarter clear cubes go in the right hand end pocket, and there's still room for a light coat or another packing cube in the left end pocket. While in London I popped into the shops and bought half a dozen new polo shirts, 4 of which packed nicely into the end pocket half cube on the left; the other two compressed into the main compartment (in that part-filled cube space next to the Pilot) and there was still a smidge of room with the bag looking full but not bulging. No problem doing up the zip, either.

    I find the Ballistic Aeronaut holds its shape very well and is astonishingly capacious - I think, as someone else has said, 'there is always room for one more thing'...

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