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  1. #1
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    suit in an aeronaut

    Any one travel with a suit in the aeronaut? How did you do it and did it work well. I really want a tristar but there is no way I can get a new bag. I got my aeronaut at christmas. I have looked into garment bag inserts that fold to a size similar to the aeronaut outline or eagle creek packit folder.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Packing a blazer into the Aeronaut

    I assume you're biggest concern is the suit jacket, as opposed to the pants (which would pack like any other pair of pants). I have packed my mens blazer into the Aeronaut before. Depending on the size of the blazer (I wear a 42), material, shoulder pads, etc., it may or may not be tight fit.

    The problem I had was that it's difficult to do the full bundle packing method: a suit has enough layers that it gets too thick if it's folded too many times. So, I basically wanted to fold it in half (across the waste) and to fold back the arms and tuck in the sides a bit.

    What I ended up doing was a variation of the bundle packing method. I had an Eagle smallish mesh packing rectangle and packed sleepwear, socks, etc. into that. Then I used that as the core for my shirts and pants. Then, I would wrap my blazer around it. I normally face the front of the blazer "out" (the bundle is against the jacket back), and pull "taut" the blazer around the bundle so that at least the front of the jacket where everybody looks is as unwrinkled as possible.

    Now, the trick is to keep this whole mess from shifting and sliding around. I know Doug Dyment goes on about compression straps, but these in my opinion just bunch up and creases clothes - plus things move anyways.

    To solve this, I shove my blazer + bundle in a large, laundry mesh bag. These bags are pretty cheap ($5 for 3?) and are usually rectangular in shape. Sometimes they're billed as wardrobe or dress mesh bags. Get one that is about the same size as the suit. Basically, I have one "packing cube" surrounding another.

    The whole thing then slides into the main compartment of the Aeronaut. The downside is that because your suit will likely go from end to end, there's less room for other things. So, for this reason, I tend to wear at least the jacket of my suit when traveling if possible, and I always buy suits or blazers that wear very well and are less likely to wrinkle.

    Hope this helps! Happy travels!

  3. #3
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    Check my posts. I broke my Aeronaut in on a trip to attend a brother's wedding a few years ago. I used the invert, fold and roll method to pack my suit. It only required a slight touch-up iron to bring it back to 100%.
    Rolling is your friend!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid View Post
    Check my posts. I broke my Aeronaut in on a trip to attend a brother's wedding a few years ago. I used the invert, fold and roll method to pack my suit. It only required a slight touch-up iron to bring it back to 100%.
    Rolling is your friend!
    Zephyrnoid, you're obviously one of those immune to the rant about men and ironing.

    moriond

  5. #5
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    Although I haven't tested it yet, one reason that I selected the Aeronaut over some competitors was the fact that its internal dimensions seemed to fit a suit folding bag from Eagle Creek.

    Some of the comparable bags from other companies wouldn't fit this bag.

    Again, to date I haven't needed to pack a suit in my aeronaut, but I fully intend to give this product a try when I do.

  6. #6
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    Eagle Creek Suit Bag in Aeronaut?

    Has anyone tried fitting the Eagle Creek Pack It Garment Sleeve in an Aeronaut.

  7. #7
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    It won't fit. It's too long for the center compartment.

    The overall EXTERNAL dimensions are 22 x 14 x 9. INTERNALLY the bag is split into three compartments. The largest is only about 14" No way the EC garment bag will fit.
    Last edited by Frank II; 08-22-2009 at 03:30 PM.

  8. #8
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    Glad this thread was dusted off and brought to the top so I could discover it.

    In March, I took a surprise trip to Washington, DC. It was a surprise because up until about three weeks before the trip I had no idea I was going, and even a week beforehand I wasn't sure I could pull it off. I had a two-step flight to take, essentially the same planes going to Washington as coming back. (Erie-to-Cleveland, then Cleveland-to-Baltimore/Washington International, then BWI-to-Cleveland-to-Erie in reverse) I was in Washington from the evening of March 9 to the early morning of March 12.

    Dress code on Capitol Hill is Sunday-best, strictly business. Accordingly, I took two pieces of luggage: a Kensington Saddlebag for my Macbook Pro, computer accessories, and paperwork, and a brand-new foreign-made single-fold zip-shut garment bag. I will refrain from mentioning the name of the garment bag's maker, but I will not hesitate to emphasize that despite the fact I purchased the bag for this trip it turned out to be total junk.

    The trip down was just a typical airflight, uneventful. For the first time ever, though, I took my laptop on a trip with me. I had never done this before and was very irritated by T.S.A. requiring me to remove my laptop from the Saddlebag to go through the checkpoint. I also loathed going through an examination of my nicely packed garment bag, complete with a Zip-lock bag containing all my goodies.

    The garment bag contained my sport coat, 2 pairs of dress slacks, neck-ties, 2 dress dress shirts, socks, 2 pairs of shoes (my feet sweat), toiletries, and a few miscellaneous items.

    The Saddlebag contained my 15-inch MacBook Pro, a La Cie Rugged portable hard drive, a small cakebox of CD-Rs, some video DVDs I had recorded, a plethora of cables and accessories, and all the handouts for federal legislators' offices ready-made before the trip.

    My tour of Capitol Hill with Kitty Benzar of the Western Slope No Fee Coalition went off without a hitch. I carried my Saddlebag on my back everywhere I went, with the laptop inside but relieved of some of the accessories that I could leave in my hotel room. The Saddlebag's top-mounted grip is first-class, but the shoulder straps are not the best and they lack a sternum strap option. All-in-all, I could put up with hauling the Saddlebag around on my back all day for two days, but the T.S.A. checkpoint issue lingers with me and I am disappointed with some internal fraying I discovered inside the Saddlebag after returning home.

    The garment bag was another story. Because I struck a deal on Priceline for the absolute lowest price, I was stuck with a 6:40 AM flight out of BWI, which was over 30 miles from my hotel room. And the hotel staff wasn't first rate, either. I asked them to arrange a wake-up call for me at 3:15 AM on the morning of my departure so the Supershuttle could pick me up and take me to BWI at 3:40. At 3:30 AM on the 12th, I received my wake-up call, alright. The front desk told me the Supershuttle had arrived. I jumped out of bed, shaved, threw my clothes on, and threw my shave kit into the garment bag and slammed it shut, and zipped it. Just my luck, the zipper instantly started to split open. If it hadn't been 3:35 AM, I would've screamed!!!

    Fortunately, the bag held together, by some bizarre miracle, all the way home. But I vowed never again to subject myself to that kind of ordeal. That bag was a piece of garbage and I took it back to the store I bought it from.

    Since that time, I've been looking for USA-made luggage that would better suit my needs, and offer superior quality, utility, and reliability. I read about Tom Bihn's Checkpoint Flyer in Macworld magazine, and I also discovered Red Oxx and MEI/Genuine Gear.

    To this day, I've wanted to find something to replace the two bags I took with me the DC. I have no immediate travel plans, but I'm still looking and thinking about future possibilities. I would like to know how I could fit my DC packing list for the garment bag into either an Aeronaut or a Western Flyer, if either is possible. I have not ruled out buying a Red Oxx Flying Fortress Garment Bag, but that would rule out it being used as either an "airline carry-on" or as a multi-purpose bag, or to be carried like a backpack while rushing through a busy airport. (Plus the Flying Fortress is tremendously expensive!)

    So I guess I'm in the same boat as others here: how do you carry a business suit, shoes, and toiletries for a short trip in a backpackable carry-on? Is it even possible? If so, how?

  9. #9
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    I am sorry about your bad experience on the return trip.

    I have learned the hard way to

    -never rely on the hotel wake up call
    (around 2 or 3 am the front desk staff is doing billing,
    around 6 they are setting up housekeeping schedules for the rooms freed by early checkout
    and make sure the breakfast staff is setting up or delivering the meals right)

    - On such an early return fly, better not sleep at all, or do it before midnight.
    (sleep or doze on the plane)


    -About bags and packing

    I had multiples adventures of bag failures just like yours.

    For one suit and related dress shoes/socks/shirts and ties, I think that the Aeronaut would be absolutely perfect.
    It can be worn as a backpack.


    I suggest a Ristretto as your personal item which can hold your laptop (depending on size) and accessories as well as your 3-1-1 liquids zip lock.


    Inside the Aeronaut:
    The side pockets could fit your two pairs of dress shoes with socks inside the shoes. (depending on your shoe size)
    The main compartiment could fit the suit, dress shirts (2 or 3)
    ties and foundation garments.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-22-2009 at 06:50 PM.

  10. #10
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    Yes, I would sooner either arrange a different flight time or set my watch next time.

    As far as a replacement for the Kensington, I've been thinking about Bihn's Checkpoint Flyer. The only drawback to it would be no backpack capability. I want a checkpoint-friendly laptop briefcase that can be carried like a backpack as well as over a shoulder.

    You seem very confident that a sportcoat would fold up into the Aeronaut's main compartment nicely. If anyone on this forum has tried it, I'd like to see pictures posted.

    Has anyone here carried a suit in a Western Flyer or a Tri-Star?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Yes, I would sooner either arrange a different flight time or set my watch next time.

    As far as a replacement for the Kensington, I've been thinking about Bihn's Checkpoint Flyer. The only drawback to it would be no backpack capability. I want a checkpoint-friendly laptop briefcase that can be carried like a backpack as well as over a shoulder.

    You seem very confident that a sportcoat would fold up into the Aeronaut's main compartment nicely. If anyone on this forum has tried it, I'd like to see pictures posted.

    Has anyone here carried a suit in a Western Flyer or a Tri-Star?


    I didn't mean to sound like a know-it-all in the first post
    But, as I said, I seldom sleep if I have a very early return flight. As a result, I know that the front desk staff is busy during the very late night and early morning hours.

    Sometimes, when I am really tired, I eat a very early dinner, between 5 and 6 PM. Then go to sleep around 8 or 9 and set up the alarm to wake up at midnight. It is like an extended nap which gives back some sort of energy.
    You can skip the 3 hours delay if you are not subject to heartburn. I use the delay to pack up most of my things.


    Tom has a backpack Checkpoint Flyer planned.


    Ozone and Zephyrnoid have described ways to fold a sportcoat that in that thread.

    I can't help you with the suit in a Western Flyer or Tri-Star, I unfortunately, do not own either of those bags.


    I completely understand your irritation at taking your laptop out of you bag.

    Some years ago, when I moved cross-country, I had to remove both of my laptops from my Brain Bag and their protective Tom Bihn cases, a Monolith (the Vertical Brain Cell ancestor) and a Soft Cell (the Cache ancestor).

    My husband was busy with the job of extracting my very slim cat out of the carry on regulatory pet transport bag which was barely wider and deeper than herself (we had to remove the fake lamb skin pad at the bottom of the carrier to give her more room)

    I was very nervous because the airline representative told me they would xray the bag and cat together but when I asked the
    Neanderthal if he could do that, he said no in a way that showed he didn't want to pass up any opportunity to show his authority.

    Instead of struggling, my cat froze and that was a blessing.

    I imagined her bolting and getting lost and killed in a crowded airport. Not fun at all.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-22-2009 at 10:13 PM.

  12. #12
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    I've carried a woman's suit jacket (and I'm not a small woman) in my aeronaut. I just placed it over the main compartment, put the large packing cube on top of it and then folded the sleeves over the packing cube. I was able to straighten it out by hanging it in the bathroom while I took my shower.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fbrown627 View Post
    It won't fit. It's too long for the center compartment.

    The overall EXTERNAL dimensions are 22 x 14 x 9. INTERNALLY the bag is split into three compartments. The largest is only about 14" No way the EC garment bag will fit.
    That does make sense, but how about with the internal snaps undone giving you the center compartment and the two ends?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by North Boy View Post
    That does make sense, but how about with the internal snaps undone giving you the center compartment and the two ends?
    I don't own an Aeronaut but I wasn't aware of any internal snaps that could be undone. It doesn't mention it on the Aeronaut page on this website.

    However, I was curious and tried packing a suit in the Tri-Star. I took a size 44 jacket and folded it this way http://www.1bag1world.com/blog/2009/...from-till.html. It fit in the rear section of the Tri-Star without a problem although you probably wouldn't be able to get much else in that compartment.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fbrown627 View Post
    I don't own an Aeronaut but I wasn't aware of any internal snaps that could be undone. It doesn't mention it on the Aeronaut page on this website.
    Failure to mention this feature on the Aeronaut product page is probably an oversight. See, for example, Kevin's article, First Take: Tom Bihn Aeronaut Travel Bag, at his web site, Practical Hacks. I'll quote from the relevant bits of his review, but I recommend you go read the full article at his site (and check out his other reviews and articles):

    …there’s a large main / center compartment access to which is through a trap-door type flap. This compartment measures appx. 17″ long x 14″ wide x 9″ deep. This large center compartment is flanked by two smaller ones which measure approximately 14″ x 9″ x 2½”. .

    <snip>

    Here’s a photo of the main compartment along with the two “bookend” compartments zipped wide open. The zippers on the end compartments cover almost three sides, so they open quite wide for packing. The main compartment is quite large, and it can be made larger. You’ll note four snap tabs on both sides of the floor of that compartment. Dyneema® walls separate the main compartment from the other two. At the very bottom of those divider walls, Bihn has built in a two inch expansion panel. Leave the snaps snapped, and the bookend compartments gain about 2″ worth of capacity at their bottoms; unsnap them, and the main compartment grows by about 2″ on each side. Clever.
    I don't recall whether the snaps were mentioned in detail in Brad's review, Going Boldly with the Aeronaut at the One Bag, One World site, but they were certainly mentioned at that site's forum thread that discussed the relative merits of the Red Oxx Sky Train and the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. I'll excerpt the post that mentions the expandable central compartment (about 2/3 of the way down the page):

    I own both an Air Boss (not a Skytrain), a Patagonia MLC and an Aeronaut, and I think this thread misses two things about the Aeronaut.

    First, while it is not the best choice for packing a suit, there are internal snaps which, when undone, allow the main compartment to push into one of both of the end pockets, making the central compartment bigger.

    Second, there are lots of little design tweaks in the Aeronaut which make it carry and "hang" better. It doesn't bulge, even when fully packed. It stays slim. It carrys well, both on the shoulder, the back and in the hand. (The odd shape of the opening to the main compartment is partly responsible--there is a reason it is the way it is.)

    It took me a while to get used to the layout of the Aeronaut, but because of the thoughtfulness of the design, I find I use it more and more, and leave my other bags at home.

    bb
    I've personally used this expandable feature. If you've ever had to come back with large books, conference material, or unexpected gifts, you'll find this ability to reconfigure the size of the central compartment a boon. I remember one trip where I came back with some large size books, the gift of a tea set (ceramic teapot and cups), and a heavy glass block/ornament that all got packed into my Aeronaut. This is really useful when you need to travel back with bulky gifts you didn't expect to carry.

    I was concerned that I would miss this ability to take items that might required extra width in the Tri-Star, but Tom has done a very nice job with this, and I find it much more flexible than the Western Flyer in this respect, and better suited to my use. I think that if I only carried clothes or items that packed flat and took lots of short (1-2 day) trips, then my Western Flyer would see more use. As it is, the Aeronaut is so light weight and flexible for even short trips that I always kept my travel gear in the Aeronaut. The Tri-Star is a good competitor, because despite the extra weight, it offers organizational advantages, and a handy center section for carrying a laptop. It's also comfortable in backpack mode, especially with the waist strap -- much more so for me than the Western Flyer. (I have the first release version of the Western Flyer with the sling design). So I like both of these bags, but I admit I'm still curious to see what Tom comes up with for an Aeronaut style bag that is the size of the Tri-Star.

    Incidentally, I'm surprised I haven't seen more discussion of the Packing the Tri-Star for a quick 3d/2n trip… article at Practical Hacks, and of the Suitable for Folding article and accompanying jacket folding video at OBOW until fbrown627 mentioned this.

    moriond

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