Need Help Deciding Which Bag I Need
First off, long time lurker here. I love these forums and the Tom Bihn company as a whole! I am the proud owner of a Co-Pilot, a Brain Bag, a Camera I-O, 2 travel trays, 2 organizer cubes, and several organizer pouches and key straps. So I am well aware of the quality and craftsmanship that comes with the Tom Bihn brand.
What I currently need is what I would call a "weekend trip duffle" bag. Not necessarily for flying, but definitely for road trips, weekends at the lake house, camping, and any other random excursion I need to pack for.
Now I realize the users here may be biased towards TB, but I haven't ruled out a couple of bags from another company. So I'm going to mention those as well. Please don't tell me to ask about those bags elsewhere. If you don't know anything about them, then that's fine. I'm not expecting a full comparison from you guys. But I figure it can't hurt to explain my thoughts. And anything you care to share would be greatly appreciated!
My predicament is simple, but killing me because I don't know what to choose. I have narrowed my choices down to 3 great bags:
First up is Tom's own Aeronaut. I love everything about this bag, except the price. It seems very versatile and more than functional enough for my current needs. This is the roomiest bag of the 3, and has cool features like backpack straps and optional packing cubes. This thing is fully loaded.
That said, I have also been admiring a couple "duffle" style bags from Red Oxx for quite some time (in fact, longer than I have even known of TB).
The first bag from Red Oxx is the Safari-Beanos PR5, which won Outside magazine's Gear of the Year 2004 award. This thing comes with a lifetime warranty, monkey-fist pulls, great metal hardware, a handy top that has 2 rows of zippers, and is pretty darn rugged looking. As much as I love the Aeronaut, something about this bag keeps stopping me from making a final decision.
The second bag from Red Oxx is the Flying Boxcar. This bag's only advantage over the PR5 is the padded bottom. I still don't think I'd choose this over the PR5, but if anyone has experience with them I am all ears.
The Red Oxx bags are $185 + shipping, while the Aeronaut is $250 ($280 w/ Absolute) + shipping. While price is important (I just landed a job out of college), it's not the final say. I need a bag that will meet my needs more than anything.
So please let me know what you think, and what you would choose if you were in this dilemma.