Originally Posted by CR88
Could you switch from binder to Circa notebooks or folders with fasteners which hold 3 holes punched letter size paper or sheet protectors?
I was thinking of switching to Circa (too expensive) but I have been using poly folders with fastener for a number of years and it really lighten the load.
I also use Large Clear Organizer Pouches to hold the folders and loose paperwork associated with the same topic.
Large Clear Organizer Pouches are real space and time savers, they fit the Large Cafe Bag and larger bags.
.PS: I have a bit of a poly folders and Large Clear Organizer Pouches collection. :D
I color code topics.
I have flown dozens and dozens of times with the Aeronaut and the Smart Alec as carryon bags, and never received so much as a second glance from the flight attendants. My Aeronaut is packed full, but not bulging, while the Smart Alec contains a Brain Cell for my laptop, a very full Snake Charmer, a Canon digital SLR, and an extra telephoto zoom lens in a case. The Smart Alec goes under the seat with my feet, and it sticks out a little, but it's never been a problem.
For a while, I flew with an Aeronaut and a Brain Bag (same equipment inside), and still didn't have any problems. The Brain Bag even passed inspection on several Delta international flights to Spain, and was under the seat the entire time. (I'm a thin guy of average 5'10" height, and don't need a ton of foot room.)
I can't remember if the Aeronaut/Brain Bag combination ever made it on any regional flights (probably 1 or 2), but my Aeronaut/Smart Alec combination has handled about a dozen small regional jets without anyone ever asking me to check one of the bags. Meanwhile, most of the other passengers are asked to check one or both of their bags. My Aeronaut always slides right into the overhead compartment on even the smallest planes, and in compartments that appeared to be full on larger planes -- there's usually enough room to slip a full Aeronaut in there.
Two factors that may have affected my success: (1) I always take a window seat, so if my bag sticks out from the seat in front of me a bit, it is less noticeable to flight attendants than if you have an aisle seat. (Though that's not why I prefer window seats.)
More importantly, (2) when boarding a flight, I carry the backpack (Brain Bag or Smart Alec) in front of me by the small top handle, and hold the Aeronaut behind me held by its top handle. I feel this gives me more control over the bags in the tight aisles of an airplane, and visually it looks much less bulky than if I were wearing the backpack on my back and swinging the Aeronaut to the side on the Absolute Shoulder Strap. If your bags are bumping into people, you're much more likely to be asked to check a bag.
As I said, my success rate with Tom Bihn bags as carryons is 100%. And the Aeronaut is the greatest bag I have ever owned -- perfect in every way. (And gorgeous in the now-discontinued Hunter Green.)
+1 Personal Item
My solution based on the carry on rules that I usually encounter here in Canada; Air Canada and Westjet, I have gone with the Aeronaut & Ego combo. Never had to check either based on size. I once checked the Aeronaut due to being overweight, (the bag not me) (well me too). And in that case the Air Canada agent tried to talk me into having it carry on still. The only warning is that the Ego may not fit the +1 size limit if it is loaded too much in the front pocket increasing its depth. Other than that I have no problem fitting both bags into the carry on size devices in the airports.
The two work great for me for personal and business trips and I have even had ultra light trips where I have stored my brain cell carrying my 15" MBP in the Aeronaut for one bag travel. I use both the Aeronaut and the Ego with Absolute Shoulder straps, The Aeronaut is slung over one shoulder on my back and the Ego is over the other shoulder by my side. When moving down the aircraft aisle I carry both by the end handles to weave my way on board.
Good Luck in your quest.
I am usually traveling with the Aeronaut and Ristretto. No issue getting both of them into the cabin in most cases. Last week I was asked at the gate to check the Aeronaut on a small regional jet. I asked why, she said it won't fit in the overhead compartment. I ended up taking it in the cabin and of course it did fit easily.
Since most of my business trips are 2-3 weeks, I usually travel with 2 laptops, one for work and a 13" MacbookPro for personal stuff. I put the MBP in the Ristretto and the work laptop in a padded sleeve in the Aeronaut. With some caution when handling the Aeronaut, this has worked extremely well for me.
It seems clear after reading the responses on this forum as well as other forums that there probably isn't a single combination that is going to work for all of my travel. For business trips I have been suggested to look at the Briggs and Riley VBR412X or the Empire Builder to carry along with my Aeronaut. For more casual trips where I would like to have a backpack with me and I don't need to carry much, I will bring the Synapse, although the Smart Alec sounds like it may work too.
Reviving an old thread to hopefully get some additional advice. I'm a OneWorld Alliance traveller, so my usual airlines are AA and British Airways.
I'm oscillating between buying an Ego or Super Ego that would be my "+1 Perosnal Item" to go along with my TriStar. Looking at the dimensions, the Super Ego is *slightly* (about 1cm) wider than the British Airways hand baggage allowance. The height and depth are OK. It is about 1.75 inches over AA's 36 linear inch allowance.
My questions are: Does anyone have experience carrying the Super Ego as a Personal Item? Does the Super Ego look huge (will it attract the attention of the Gate Agents)?
I don't have either the Ego or SuperEgo, but for reference I have now flown with both my Aeronaut (carry-on) and Empire Builder (personal item) on 11 AA flights, and 1 Alaska flight this year: 777s, 737s, and MD80s. These flights were in Japan and the US.
The EB is technically a couple of inches bigger than AA's personal item allowance. Here it is under the seat on a 737:
I had two flights on ANA within Japan and had to check the Aeronaut both times, due to a one-bag domestic restriction.
So long as I don't overload the front-flap pockets of the EB, I have no problem with it going under my seat. The Aeronaut easily fit into every overhead bin.
I haven't taken this combo in any RJ's, or to Europe yet.
I've had a SuperEgo over a year and a half now, and used it many times as my "+1" during that time on both domestic and international flights without problems. If overstuffed, then it may be a tight fit under the seat, but otherwise it's been a fantastic bag for me.
mjb - Thanks for the photo. The Super Ego is just a little taller than the Empire builder, but since the S-E is less structured, I think it should fit in a similar space.
jlee - Thanks to you as well for the "operational intel". I think I'll give the Super Ego a try.
Just wanted to provide an update. I've returned from my first trip using the Super Ego/Tri-Star combo and I had no trouble carrying both on board with both AA and British Airways.
Here's a photo of the Super Ego under the seat in first class of an AA MD-80: http://images17.fotki.com/v147/photo..._123331-vi.jpg
It appears to be sticking out quite a bit, but it is actually completely under the seat (you can see the seat strut peeking out next to the left corner of the bag). I got upgraded to first class on the American Airlines domestic flight, but I was in the back of the bus on British Airways and the Super Ego fit perfectly under the Economy class seat as well.
Thanks again to everyone for their insight.