Need some helpful advice.
Currently I travel every week. Out on Sunday's - Back on Thursday's - 4 day business casual trip. Connecting flight in Atlanta, so I do walk a bit from terminal to terminal.
Will be purchasing the Empire Builder this week, after all the reading I have done here I can't wait - this will be my first Tom Bihn bag....
My current set-up is roller-board with computer bag slipped over the handle.
Question - once the roller-board reaches its final resting place, I am entertaining the idea of getting an Aeronaut as a replacement, but not sure of trading in my roller-board for something without wheels....any advice?
An Aeronaut and an EB is a killer combination but both of them are bags you could stuff to the point that you will be 2 inches shorter after a jaunt through Hartsfield.
My best advice is: You will never be sad that you bought another TB bag. They are brilliantly laid out, nearly indestructible and will slip into any overhead bin.
BUT- can you be disciplined in you packing so that you aren't carrying 40 pounds worth of kit between both? As long as you can say yes to this you will be golden. I have a Zephyr and I had to scale back to a Cadet to keep me from carrying the kitchen sink...
Do you have any kind of backpack or have any friends with backpacks? If so, pack it with the stuff you normally take, put it on your back and take a walk. If you can manage about 30 minutes of this then you'll have no trouble traipsing through Hartsfield with the Aeronaut.
My suggestion would also be to purchase the optional waist strap on the Aeronaut as this will help to rebalance the load on your body in backpack mode.
If you don't plan to carry the bag that way, and perhaps either off one shoulder or messenger style, this will be a little akward as the Empire Builder will be lighter and you'll be off balance. But, it is workable. (Remember to buy the Absolute Strap as it will help with the load.)
Personally, I now carry my Aeronaut messenger style but then it's my only bag so this is not a problem.
One other tip: when going wheeless, and carrying the bag on your shoulder but not on your back, moving walkways are your friends. It keeps you moving while your bag gets a ride, on the ground, as well.
I agree with everyone who will tell you that a wheeled bag will have less packing capacity than a non-wheeled bag of the same dimensions, so you wouldn't necessarily need to replace your current rolling bag with a non-wheeled bag that is the same size. If it is only four day trips and you have the EB, you might be able to get away with a TriStar instead of an Aeronaut. It is smaller so might cause less difficulty with weight balance between the two bags. It is a very different bag to pack, though (personal preference in packing style is key in the choice). For trips where you don't need to carry a large amount of work/tech gear, you might even be able to manage with just a TS on its own.
Your EB will almost certainly not be your last TB bag; you are entering a new world of bag-fascination!
I would definitely look at the TriStar. I haven't recently gone away from wheels and am amazed and what all can fit in a bag without wheels. I ended up with a different brand convertible bag but I started this voyage before I knew a lot about Tom Bihn. I also wasn't sure how going wheelless was going to work out for me and didn't want to spend a ton until I did some trials. After a few trips, I'm loving not having wheels. And now I'm saving my pennies for a TB convertible bag. I would definitely check out 1bag1world.com and onebag.com for some packing tips. You will be amazed by what people fit in their TriStar. Trust me, if I can make it work, anybody can! LOL!
For four-day trips with an additional briefcase, I agree with the others recommending the Tri-Star (unless you have to carry special gear for work.) You can easily fit in your work clothes and your exercise clothes/shoes for four days, with room to spare. And you can always get an Aeronaut later...
I'm putting in a second vote for the optional waist strap. Even though it's thin and narrow, you will be amazed at how well it stabilizes the pack on your back.
One question: It sounds like you've got a pretty solid routine happening. Do you think it's possible for you to carry everything in a Tri-Star, and pack your electronics in that middle section? I'm also thinking that an Aeronaut/Empire Builder combo, while solid, might mean quite a bit of weight. If it's possible to get a lot of your work stuff packed into a Tri-Star, maybe you can go with a Cadet instead? Life will be much easier for you (lighter, anyway).
Thanks everyone for the much helpful advice
Currently I have to take two computers on my trips. One a 17 inch dell and the other a 15 inch Lenovo so I think the Empire Builder will be necessary
But is am now considering a smaller bag than the aeronaut for my business casual attire.
Although going wheel-less I am initially a little hesitant to embrace, I might have to give it a try.
Thanks again everyone. I find it amazing that a company that builds bags has such a following. Makes me feel much better making my EB purchase.
My own travel setup is almost identical to what you are considering. I use an Aeronaut and a messenger bag. I store a week of clothes, exercise bands, workout shoes, and my various chargers & plugs in the Aeronaut with laptop & camera gear in the messenger. This is SO much better than wheeled luggage.
I recommend wearing the Aeronaut in backpack-mode and slinging the messenger over a shoulder given the difference in weight. I've used this setup while traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles (and countless staircases in between) and the added mobility you gain will leave you wondering why you ever had luggage with wheels on it.