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Thread: Aeronaut + Ristretto + Shop Bag for 14 day Europe Trip?

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    Aeronaut + Ristretto + Shop Bag for 14 day Europe Trip?

    Greetings -- new to the forums.

    I just received my Aeronaut in the mail, along with some cubes. I plan on using in on a 14 day trip to Europe in June (France for my sister's wedding and then Italy).

    It's also a working vacation, so I'll need to check in with my employees back in the States on a regular basis, so I'm planning on bringing my iPad 3 with me. I'll be leaving my MacBook Air at home, hoping I can survive without it for 2 weeks.

    So along with 1 week's worth of summer clothes (male), 1 extra pair of shoes, toiletries, iPad, iPad charger, iPhone, spare iPad/iPhone external battery, various cables, etc. I'm not bringing much else. No papers or books (besides an occasional train ticket, etc.).

    So this leaves the question: Besides the Aeronaut, should I buy a Ristretto for iPad to keep as my day pack for my iPad and a few gadgets and a Shop Bag for hitting up the local markets for lunch? I'm assuming I can squeeze the Ristretto in the Aeronaut in case I need to reduce to one bag for 1 EasyJet flight from Lyon to Venice.

    Or am I delusional in thinking I can fit everything into the Aeronaut and Ristretto and thus should buy a bigger backpack like a Synapse?

    I previously spent 2 weeks in France and Singapore (work and pleasure) with just 1 Red Oxx Air Boss, which I love, but find it's difficult to carry when it's overpacked.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Hey apbailey, your list sounds doable to me, especially if you're planning on taking lighter-weight summer clothing and you pack your lighter pair of shoes. As a word of caution, though: you may have deduced from browsing around the forum that the Aeronaut is much more capacious than it looks, so don't reject the possibility that you could end up overpacking it just as easily as you might an Air Boss.

    In terms of day packs: one thing you might consider is getting a Large Café Bag instead of the Ristretto/Shop Bag combo. You could easily carry about your iPad (maybe in a case or sleeve of some sort) and gadgets, and the LCB is suitable for shopping, assuming you're not going to buy a lot. Cafe Bags flatten splendidly and can be folded to tuck into little spaces; I'm not sure if the Ristretto is foldable (doubt it). If you buy a bigger pack (i.e., Synapse), then you'd definitely have to check the Aeronaut if you're planning on flying EasyJet. In the big scheme of things, that may not be a big deal.

    I guess what I'd say is this: think about what you're likely to use at home as well as on your trip. If you don't think a Ristretto fits into your routine at home, it will just gather dust after you return.

    You can see what I took on my 3-week (winter) Italy trip here. I had an Aeronaut and MCB; originally I had planned to take a Side Effect, too, but changed my mind.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Registered User WhiteStar's Avatar
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    Agree with Badger, go for the LCB. And maybe buy a Shop Bag that you fold up and keep in the front pocket of the LCB in case you do some shopping.
    WhiteStar in Colorado
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    LCB (Azalea/Sapphire, Turq/Wasabi), MCB (Plum/Cayenne), Swift (Cork), Co-Pilot (Iberian), Synapse (UV), Citizen Canine (Kiwi/UV), Shop Bag (UV), key straps and pouches galore!

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    LJW
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    I did a "dry run" packing for three weeks in Hawaii with my aeronaut (this was excellent advice I received here, btw). I was shocked to find there was so much room left over that I could pack everything from my "personal item" bag in the aeronaut bag as well. So now I have got a packing cube shoulder bag in one of the ends of the aeronaut with all of my personal items. There is plenty of room for the iPad (first generation :roll eyes in a small sleeve (timbuk2) in the main section of the bag. I am brining a shop bag in case I buy items while I am there (great for farmers markets, too). Total weight: 20 lbs (might be 22 lbs. when I add my knitting and a paperback book).

    Based on my experience, I agree with Badger in that I would buy a bag you will want to carry when you are home as well since you might not need it on your trip.

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    Many thanks for all of the suggestions! Much appreciated. I'll check out the Large Cafe Bag and let you know what I decide.

    I have a few business trips planned between now and then so I'm going to do some dry runs as well as packing the thing this weekend to see just how much I can fit in this seemingly too small Aeronaut. My guess is that I'll be shocked!

    Whitestar: Denver here. Good to see a fellow Coloradan in the forum.

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    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    I take my small shop bag on most trips. It's been really useful when the urge to go shopping strikes. I also feel like I can contribute more easily to groceries when I'm staying with friends, too.
    Since a medium cafe bag has been my everyday travel bag, the small shop bag is useful for adding carry-on capacity on the airplane. I put my water-bottle and additional reading material AND the medium cafe bag in it and store it under the seat in front of me.

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    My current everyday bag is a Hedgren Estylo Laptop Backpack. I love it and it fits my needs nicely. It's just slightly larger than the Large Cafe Bag (12 litres vs 11), so the LCB should work nicely for Europe. I'd take the Estylo with me, but it's only a backpack and I'd love to have a shoulder bag while also carrying the Aeronaut.

  8. #8
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apbailey View Post
    Many thanks for all of the suggestions! Much appreciated. I'll check out the Large Cafe Bag and let you know what I decide.
    I agree with others that you want a Cafe Bag for its versatility rather than the Risretto (which I think is a great bag, but one that's less flexible and which would be better used at home).

    Here's the catch: I don't know that you need a LARGE Cafe Bag. If you can splurge the extra return shipping fee, I would suggest you buy both a large AND medium Cafe Bag, and size them out in person.

    The large is HUMONGOUS. You can easily put your iPad in there and it will don its Speedo cap and goggles and start swimming laps inside your bag. Heck, I can fit a pair of shoes in my Large Cafe Bag!

    The Medium Cafe Bag is, size-wise, closer to the iPad Risretto, but still has plenty of room that you can pack other things in it.

    Now, if you told me you bought a Western Flyer (which is smaller than the Aeronaut) and you said you wanted a "small item" to take with you on the plane (what the airlines define as an umbrella, a women's purse, etc.) and that you wanted to use this second bag to stuff a bunch of things that didn't fit in your WF (my first argument would be "But you CAN!" but that's for another thread), then I'd say the Large Cafe Bag might be worth considering.

    However, I strongly suspect you will have no trouble packing everything in your Aeronaut. Which means you can consider the Medium Cafe Bag.

    One thing to think about -- the Cafe Bags work best as a crossbody, and turning the flap-side in to avoid pickpockets. If you get a chance to size up the large and medium bags in person, do not just test them for capacity--stuff all the stuff in there you might want to stuff for little day trips, and then wear it as a cross-body and see how comfortable it is/how easy it is to access things. I don't know how tall you are, but I'm in the midget category (5'3"-ish) and the large bag is so long that the top of the bag is almost at my bra line if I don't want it to look like it's dragging around... so it's... "interesting" when I have to open the flap and bend my elbows way up to scrounge around inside the bag. Of course, that's just me.

    You might decide you want that big a capacity to stash not only your iPad, but a jacket, a packed lunch, etc.

    Anyway, I guess what I'm saying, is get both, with the assumption that you'll return one. Size them both out and try them out to see which one will work best for you.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
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    I agree that the medium CB might be the perfect size. I've travelled with mine in all seasons, and it holds a ton! On a typical trip I'll carry my iPad in a soft case, a couple pouches for wallet and 4 passports, a book or 2, a water bottle, lip balm, sunglasses, and maybe a map. With all that, I can usually still fit a scrunched up rain shell inside. If I get tired of wearing my fleece, I can always roll it up and clip it under the front flap.

    Lani, you've mentioned pickpockets and the CB a couple times. Do you think there's a serious risk of someone snaking his hand under the flap and inside the main compartment? I've never been concerned about that, although I do clip my valuables in pouches in the front zippered pocket. Should I be more worried?

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    Registered User WhiteStar's Avatar
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    Now see I jus don't think the LCB is all that big. Before I got my first one I was worried it was going to be too big, but it's perfect (and I am ususally a small bag person). I just placed an order for the unusual Plum/Cayenne MCB and I'm worried it's going to be too small. I will post my thoughts when I get it.

    Typically I carry my iPad in a Sena leather case in the main body of the bag. Smallish wallet and iPhone in the back pocket. Sunglasses (in a case) and a few doodads in the front pocket. Then into the main compartment with the iPad I'll have my contact lens stuff in a pouch. Keys. Maybe a few snacks (today I have a couple little clementines). I don't typically haul around a hairbrush or cosmetics. No tissues, gum or mints. So that's not much in there. And I don't feel like the bag is too big or anything at all.
    Last edited by WhiteStar; 03-02-2012 at 03:24 PM.
    WhiteStar in Colorado
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    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcg View Post
    Lani, you've mentioned pickpockets and the CB a couple times. Do you think there's a serious risk of someone snaking his hand under the flap and inside the main compartment? I've never been concerned about that, although I do clip my valuables in pouches in the front zippered pocket. Should I be more worried?
    Yes, but.

    Many Cafe Bag owners here use a really clever strategy of packing things into organizer pouches, which they then clip via snaphook into the rings inside the Cafe Bag. Pickpockets can't easily swipe these pouches if they're tethered.

    Also, a lot of Cafe Bag owners wear the bag crossbody style, with the flap facing in. If you're going to board a public bus in Rome, for example, or stand amid a throng of people outside the Notre Dame or something, you might also take the added precaution of cinching up the Cafe Bag's shoulder strap, and moving the bag to the front of your body.

    Between tethering your pouches, wearing the flap in, keeping the strap cinched and placing the bag closer to your ribs or chest, you are likely going to successfully ward off any pockpockets.

    It's when you have things (like your wallet) loose in the bag, flap facing out (and heaven forbid, maybe not buckled), and wearing it loose with the bag by your butt, that you're just screaming to get pickpocketed.

    One big advantage with Cafe Bags -- they are very subtle. They don't say "designer Coach bag" or "expensive Nikon hidden within" -- so you'll be even less of a target.

    The one disadvantage is that, as a "flap bag," a pickpocket will actually see your bag as a target. I think you can easily thwart an attempt, but some people might prefer not even becoming a target to begin with.

    But like most people said, keep the flap facing inward, and you should be fine for the most part. Don't let that dissuade you from using it on your travels, IMO.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteStar View Post
    Now see I jus don't think the LCB is all that big. Before I got my first one I was worried it was going to be too big, but it's perfect (and I am ususally a small bag person). I just placed an order for the unususal Plum/Cayenne MCB and I'm worried it's going to be too small. I will pos tmy thoughts when I get it.

    Typically I carry my iPad in a Sena leather case in the main body of the bag. Smallish wallet and iPhone in the back pocket. Sunglasses (in a case) and a few doodads in the front pocket. Then into the main compartment with the iPad I'll have my contact lens stuff in a pouch. Keys. Maybe a few snacks (today I have a couple little clementines). I don't typically haul around a hairbrush or cosmetics. No tissues, gum or mints. So that's not much in there. And I don't feel like the bag is too big or anything at all.
    The LCB is perfect for people 5'7" or over, Lani is not quite as tall and the lucky lady is wearing size Medium clothes, so she can pack so much more than I.


  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    Here's the catch: I don't know that you need a LARGE Cafe Bag. If you can splurge the extra return shipping fee, I would suggest you buy both a large AND medium Cafe Bag, and size them out in person.
    My thinking behind recommending the LCB is this: the OP was wondering about a bag for EDC whilst in Europe, plus a shopping bag; however, he wanted to go with a minimalist setup. If he got a LCB, he could carry the iPad AND go shopping. The LCB could hold an iPad, a men's jacket or fleece, a water bottle, and/or lunch provisions from the Rialto Mercato (so, so jealous). So, to summarize, I was suggesting one slightly larger bag instead of two bags (Ristretto + shop bag).
    dorayme likes this.

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    Further good points all around. I'm going to make the decision in the next few weeks and I'll post here with the verdict. I'm also looking forward to sharing my packing list and review when I get back from Europe.

    These forums are such a great resource. Really appreciate "meeting" fellow bag nerds

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    I agree with WhiteStar: The large cafe bag is not all that big. I like its versatility—I can put a lot in it or a little. It's adaptable to what the day brings; I don't go out thinking "I can fit just so much and no more; no stops at the deli or the drugstore." Plus, you can get it with the Absolute strap, which isn't an option on the medium bag.

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