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Thread: Just deciding on an Aeronaut (Bundle vs. other packing methods)

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    Just deciding on an Aeronaut (Bundle vs. other packing methods)

    I have been planning on buying an Aeronaut and was just getting ready to make the purchase when a discussion came up on Facebook regarding packing methods for one bag travel. I knew that there was a bundle packing diagram for the RO Airboss (which I previously owned and sold on eBay), and asked if there was such a diagram for the Aeronaut. Here is the response that I got: The Go-Light Guru Bundle wrapping has nothing to do with particular suitcases; after the bundle has been completed, one simply places it in the suitcase and anchors it in place with the tie-downs. The Aeronaut, with its limited flat space and lack of tie-downs, is not very well designed for packing clothing in a wrinkle-free fashion, unfortunately, which is why I have never recommended it.

    It seems they recommend the MEI Execuive Overniter and the RO Airboss -- what do you all think of this review? Is it easy to pack the Aeronaut in a method to prevent wrinkles?
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    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Interesting! I'm sure some of our frequent travelers who use the Aeronaut will add their thoughts to this thread.

    One important thing to note is that the Aeronaut does have tie-downs:



    Tom added tie-downs to the Aeronaut in 2010.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

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    As the owner of a site dedicated to light, one bag travel, I can tell you my main bag is the Aeronaut and I travel wrinkle free. I also don't bundle pack as I find it to be the least efficient way to pack. And contrary to the bundle packing cult, there are other ways to pack wrinkle free.

    What I do is use the packing cubes designed for the Aeronaut and a combination of rolling and folding clothes. They come out wrinkle free.

    So, I can definitely say the Aeronaut is designed well for wrinkle free travel. (Remember, gurus believe in one way only and that's their way. I believe in educating people on many different ways and let them decide what is best for them. )

    In the next week or so, on One Bag, One World, I'll be uploading an article on different packing methods.
    Last edited by Frank II; 05-15-2012 at 10:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    . . . Tom added tie-downs to the Aeronaut in 2010.
    And I like it that they are removable if not wanted/needed!
    Darcy and Katy like this.

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    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    In the next week or so, on One Bag, One World, I'll be uploading an article on different packing methods.
    Looking forward to it!
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjm3579 View Post
    I have been planning on buying an Aeronaut and was just getting ready to make the purchase when a discussion came up on Facebook regarding packing methods for one bag travel. I knew that there was a bundle packing diagram for the RO Airboss (which I previously owned and sold on eBay), and asked if there was such a diagram for the Aeronaut. Here is the response that I got: The Go-Light Guru Bundle wrapping has nothing to do with particular suitcases; after the bundle has been completed, one simply places it in the suitcase and anchors it in place with the tie-downs. The Aeronaut, with its limited flat space and lack of tie-downs, is not very well designed for packing clothing in a wrinkle-free fashion, unfortunately, which is why I have never recommended it.

    It seems they recommend the MEI Execuive Overniter and the RO Airboss -- what do you all think of this review? Is it easy to pack the Aeronaut in a method to prevent wrinkles?
    Hi kjm3579,

    I'm going to give you links to a few different discussion posts about packing the Aeronaut. You'll find a number of references to using a modified bundle wrap in combination with the packing cubes, with other discussions of flat-pack vs. rolling options. Some people use the Eagle Creek 15" packing sleeve to keep items wrinkle free.

    I think the general consensus in the forum discussions is that you can pack with a lot of efficiency and organization in the Aeronaut using the packing cubes, which also allow you to double their functions at your destination with items such as the Packing Cube Backpack and the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag.

    The last two items are peregrina's blog posts (also mentioned in the "Three weeks in Europe with Aeronaut, Imago, and Medium Cafe Bag" post (one from 4 years earlier and one from a week and a half ago). Note that some of the posts are over six years old, even predating the release of the first packing cubes, so the associated posts and photo-bucket pictures on zephyrnoid's packing of a dress shirt in an Aeronaut for attending his brother's wedding (with photos of him at the wedding) are not longer working links. I'll just quote his words in another post "I used the invert, fold and roll method to pack my suit… Rolling is your friend." I use a modified method of rolling clothes and using the packing cubes as outlined in this six-year old post (with pictures) by eristick.

    HTH.

    moriond

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    In the next week or so, on One Bag, One World, I'll be uploading an article on different packing methods.
    Looking forward to it!
    Me, too. @Frank II, I noticed that you deleted a few of your relevant posts on this subject when I was trying to add links for my reply to kjm3579. I assume these are being superseded by your upcoming magnum opus.

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    JLE
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    I second Frank II's comments about bundle packing - it doesn't work for me either. I find that folding my clothes to exactly fit the packing cubes for the Aeronaut results in wrinkle free packing. Using the packing cubes has the advantage of limiting the amount that clothes can move around against each other in the bag.

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    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    I use a combination of fold and roll to pack my bag and all my clothes arrive wrinkle free. My first aeronaut did not have the tie down straps and I found that two large cubes are the way to go...
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

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    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    I'm with Frank and Moriond on this one, kjm3579 (and I also maintain a FAQ on traveling light).

    The bundle method (or call it the pearl-in-the-oyster or big hug methods) are good if most of the clothes you're packing are the same size or same type of garment. It gets a little tricky to try to get them to hug into each other when the garments are different.

    There are two big disadvantages to the bundle method (and I've read the book, which for the most part is pretty good):

    #1: It prevents wrinkles... BUT ONLY FOR THE OUTER GARMENTS IN THE HUG/BUNDLE!! If you aren't careful, the inside garments can easily fold into each other and get just as wrinkled as always.

    #2: You wind up with one huge lump. You can't get to an inner garment without unfurling the entire bundle. What this means is that when you get to your hotel/destination, you HAVE to unpack everything. Put them in dresser drawers or hang them, but they cannot stay in your carry-on.

    Over the years, I've slowly switched over to advocating organizers. Eagle Creek has a pretty cool garment holder that looks like an envelope; that will keep the garments from wrinkling.

    Better yet, the key is to take travel-friendly clothes that don't wrinkle easily. AND take a little travel-sized bottle of Downy wrinkle releaser with you and it'll smooth things out.

    We have an Aeronaut we periodically use. I find it a tad too big for my frame (I'm not quite 5'3") so I typically use a Western Flyer, but the compartmentalization of the Aeronaut is really excellent for carryon-only travel.

    Don't let the bundler lead you astray. Go with organizers. The bundle method is so 1990s.
    Last edited by Lani; 05-16-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    (Remember, gurus believe in one way only and that's their way.
    We all believe there is only one way to travel: Lightly!

    [I think that makes us all gurus! hehe]
    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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    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    If you do decide that you want to stick with the bundle packing method, take a look at the Tri-Star instead of the Aeronaut. The Tri-Star is actually closer size-wise to the other two bags you mentioned and has more "flat space" than the Aeronaut does.
    Lani likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by peregrina View Post
    I use a combination of fold and roll to pack my bag and all my clothes arrive wrinkle free. My first aeronaut did not have the tie down straps and I found that two large cubes are the way to go...
    Did you use packing cubes with the fold and roll? I have tended to fold the items in my large packing cube and roll/stuff the items in my smaller cubes. I did test the bundle method once when packing for a 13-day drip moving between 5-6 places but did not use it because it seemed better suited for trips where you did not live out of the Aeronaut.

    It sounds like you have had Aeronauts both with and without the tie down straps. How important would you say they were in how you pack the Aeronaut?

    I have the old Aeronaut without the straps (but in beautiful Indigo which they no longer make) and keep wondering if I should "switch" up. The Aeronaut works well for most of my trips but I worry about two things:

    1) Packing too light and having things shift. This has not happened yet but I have not yet used it for a 2-3 day trip. Since I pack in cubes I have not gotten wrinkles but the straps would be nice to keep the cubes from shifting.

    2) Packing so that the Aeronaut can fit in an extemely small sizer by not filling one of the endpockets. When I was not needing to be that small I might shift one of my cubes into the empty end pocket. Every so often this issue tempts me to order the Tri-Star or Western Flyer (and I would have done so if I could get it in Indigo).

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    Bundling with the Aeronaut works best for me when I'm taking mostly casual clothes - jeans, shorts, polos, t-shirts - and have something I can use as "stuffing" for the middle of the bundle to prevent the innermost layers of clothing from getting too wrinkled (as noted by Lani). I've used a pair of shoes in a plastic bag or a dopp kit as my "filler". When traveling with less casual clothes, I typically use an Eagle Creek Pack-It folder for my dress shirts and nicer polos. I was given one of the large Aeronaut packing cubes for Christmas, so lately I've been packing folded heavier garments like sweaters and pants into the packing cube with socks and undergarments to round out the corners and even out the top. The packing cube goes on the bottom with the EC folder on top of it and there's still room to add more in the main compartment. This type of flexibility in packing is one of the features I really like about this bag. It's also one of the bigger challenges, as it can take some time to develop the packing style(s) that works best for you and your gear. I've even packed my 15.4" MacBook Pro in its Horizontal Cache in the bag for a few short car trips; it was heavy, and I had to remember to be careful not to toss the bag around, but it fit.
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    I had 122 take offs on American last year and travel wrinkle free with the Aeronaut! I also have a TriStar for shorter hauls and an Air Boss in a closet somewhere. Red Oxx makes good stuff, but ultimately I found the bag heavy on its own.

    One plus for the Aeronaut in the wrinkle free department is the ability to get shoes and other asymmetrical items out of the main compartment and into the side compartments. Plus, the open slash pocket on one end is perfect for a quick draw of your liquids and gels in security...packed in a TB 3D organizer cube, of course.

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