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Thread: Aeronaut - a road trip bag?

  1. #1
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    Aeronaut - a road trip bag?

    I have a silly question about the Tom Bihn Aeronaut:

    How many Aeronaut owners on this forum ever use their Aeronaut for non-air-travel luggage, specifically, how many use the Aeronaut as a car duffel for personal, group or family road trips by carrying personal items in it?

    If you do, how well does an airline-carryon-luggage duffel work for you on a road trip? Do you do this often?

    I am considering what practical things I could do with an Aeronaut, not just as an airline carryon but also how it could be re-purposed.
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  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    The Aeronaut is my go-to bag for road trips -- especially car camping trips. I love the way I can basically live out of it: my stuff is pretty easily accessible (especially with the right combination of pouches and Packing Cubes) so there's no need or desire to ever "unpack".

    Some feedback on the Aeronaut as a road trip bag from other folks...
    Here's Buzzard on using the Aeronaut as a road trip bag, complete with packing list.
    walk0080's road trip packing list post (with photos)
    Aeronaut on a 7,000+ mile motorcycle trip

    Of course, you could always use the Aeronaut as a roller derby gear bag.....
    dorayme likes this.
    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

  3. #3
    ceb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    The Aeronaut is my go-to bag for road trips -- especially car camping trips. I love the way I can basically live out of it: my stuff is pretty easily accessible (especially with the right combination of pouches and Packing Cubes) so there's no need or desire to ever "unpack".

    Some feedback on the Aeronaut as a road trip bag from other folks...
    Here's Buzzard on using the Aeronaut as a road trip bag, complete with packing list.
    walk0080's road trip packing list post (with photos)
    Aeronaut on a 7,000+ mile motorcycle trip

    Of course, you could always use the Aeronaut as a roller derby gear bag.....
    +1 Using the right mix of packing cubes is the secret. The Aeronaut is great as a car/train/plane bag.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  4. #4
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    I use mine as a "bunk bag", basically a mobile dresser. The giant U shaped main compartment makes everything VERY accessible. Ussually once I get settled I put all my frequently needed items loose in the main compartment after unsnapping the dividers and put all the very occasionaly needed items in a packing cube shoved down at the bottom, then as clothes get dirty I put them into a spare packing cube. Emptying everything out frees up the packing cube backpack to use around town and I am thinking of picking up a packing cube shoulder bag for showering stuff.
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  5. #5
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    I concur wholeheartedly with the above posts! I have flown with the Aeronaut and it's perfect. I've roadtripped even more with it and it's equally wonderful. I have a large family (10) and while we do not each have our own Aeronaut, we have a couple and they pack in a vehicle very well due to their rectangular shape (think, stacking bricks!). Yes, using some sort of packing cube(s) allows you to not even have to unpack.

    If you get an Aeronaut, I would highly recommend getting a packing cube shoulder bag or 2 to go with it. They are so useful for road trips and air trips. The way they perfectly match the dimensions of the end pockets for easy access is GENIUS. I got one on an impulse and I use it/love it every time I use my Aeronaut.

    Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    I'm too lazy to look for it from my phone, but there's a picture here somewhere of my 9k mile 45 day road trip and the two Aeronauts that made the trip. Totally functional. I use packing cubes for organization, so not exactly a duffel (where I just throw things in without organizing them).

  7. #7
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    I love mine for car trips. Besides the fact that you can just live out of it, it very nicely fits in the footwell in the backseat.

  8. #8
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    I'll add to that! Every summer we take a trip to the south of England and my Aeronaut is my bag of choice and it fits in wherever we go last year we even had a night in the Grand Hotel in Brighton (the one the IRA tried to blow up Margaret Thatcher in), but she's equally at home in a Travel Lodge!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Crip View Post
    we even had a night in the Grand Hotel in Brighton (the one the IRA tried to blow up Margaret Thatcher in), but she's equally at home in a Travel Lodge!
    The Aeronaut or Margaret Thatcher?


    I'm heading out on a long road trip next week, weather permitting, and I'm only taking the Aeronaut. It's versatile.
    Darcy likes this.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    The Aeronaut or Margaret Thatcher?


    I'm heading out on a long road trip next week, weather permitting, and I'm only taking the Aeronaut. It's versatile.
    Certainly not the wonderful Baroness!

  11. #11
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    Despite the first of the year (when I had 3 cross-country flights in 3 months) I don't fly much. But I do use my Aaeronaut on most every solo car trip I take. It's the perfect size for most of my trips and is my go to bag.

    I'm also looking forward to using it if I do any overnighters in the hotrod Fiat (yes, you read that right) I inherited from my Dad. It's a 2 sweater with a tiny trunk & I bet the Aeronaut will be just th perfect fit.
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  12. #12
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    I bought mine with a combination of packing cubes for my trip to Paris a couple weeks ago. After travelling with it, I am just going to use it for everything. I travel mostly by car and found that I am travelling way too heavy before and that the Aeronaut holds everything I need.

  13. #13
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    I fly a lot for work, but prefer driving whenever it's reasonable. Every summer, I drive from Atlanta to Las Vegas to work the World Series of Poker, and usually take a slow, meandering route home in July/August so I can enjoy some new places that I've never been. In 2010, I went on a 50-state road trip (taking a ferry to Alaska and flying to Hawaii) with my dog, Rhapsody.

    And my Aeronaut has been my primary piece of luggage since 2007 (or whenever I bought it).

    On longer trips I pack additional clothes into my Brain Bag, and bring a laundry bag to keep the dirty stuff away from the clean stuff. But the Aeronaut is always my primary bag, where I keep the clothes that I'll be wearing while I'm on the road. (If it's a road trip with a destination, I can usually unpack everything and do laundry.)

    I often sleep in my car (I can't afford hotels when I'm traveling on my own dime), which means brushing teeth, cleaning up with deodorant, and changing clothes within the car itself. I keep my toiletries in one of the Aeronaut's side pockets (in my Clear Quarter Packing Cube), and it works great.

    When I fly somewhere with my Aeronaut, I use packing cubes -- it makes it easier for me to pack and unpack. But when I'm living out of my car, I don't use packing cubes, because I never unpack -- I just pull out the clothes I need one outfit at a time.

    Finally, I find the clam-shell style opening of the Aeronaut works much better than most luggage when you're opening it inside a car. Opening most luggage requires a lot of space, but the Aeronaut is easy to access and effectively uses the same amount of space whether it's open or closed.
    Last edited by BJ Nemeth; 03-14-2013 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Cleaned up and clarified a couple of sentences.

  14. #14
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    I mostly do road trips and always use my Aeronaut bag and either my inCase DSLR sling pack (camera gear + iPad) or Booq Boa Squeeze backpack (heavy HP laptop - if I have to work). It works well for me since I only have to carry from my apartment to the parking garage. Almost never had the need for the backpack straps so far. The packing cubes are a must in this bag. I may order another 1/2 size one later!

    I have a MINI JCW so the trunk is small - my gear takes up around 1/2 of the trunk leaving room for my wife and dog's gear.

    I'll be flying next week and due to carry-on requirements I must check my Aeronaut. :-( The limit is 5KG carry-on. My sling pack with camera, electronics and iPad is close to that weight!
    Last edited by walk0080; 03-14-2013 at 10:17 AM.


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