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Thread: Packing Cube Backpack questions

  1. #1
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    Packing Cube Backpack questions

    As you can see from my forum-signature, I currently own some of Tom Bihn's finest. In the future, I wish to expand my holdings with some travel luggage, possibly an Aeronaut. In other discussions I've had on this forum, people have mentioned the Packing Cube Backpack (PCBP) as a means of providing both a large packing cube for in-flight/over-the-road carry-on packing, as well as a way of using the PCBP as a tourist's Every-Day Carry (EDC) backpack while visiting my destination.

    I am curious about the Packing Cube Backpack. I watched a demo video on the 'net and want to learn more. I understand the pack's straps grip at the armpits, correct? How useful is this in a tourist's EDC situation? Can the lower external pocket on the PCBP hold common large pouches, like a Tom Bihn Snake Charmer or Side Effect or 3D Mesh Cube? I've heard of people using the O-rings in a Synapse 19 to suspend a pouch, such as a Side Effect, from the top of the main compartment's interior, but doesn't that require two O-rings? I understand the PCBP offers only one in its main compartment. (I first head of this practice in a demo video shown here.)

    I'd like to hear from PCBP owners: how much organization can you incorporate into your PCBP? What color is your PCBP? How often do you use your PCBP for travel? What uses have you found for your PCBP while on a trip; what do you carry? How well does your PCBP work in your Aeronaut? How long have you had your PCBP?

    Thanks!

    --MtnMan
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    It makes a fine tablecloth, after taking out the picnic, of course.


    Picnic in the park
    List under construction ....

  3. #3
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    I bought my first Packing Cube Backpack for Aeronaut, in Steel, between 06 and 09, I don't remember. I bought it with the matching Packing Cube Shoulder Bag to help with packing.

    At the time, I used my Brain Bag during all my trips.

    Those two items were lifesavers, taught me how to pack efficiently, take advantage of their lightness during very hot and humid weather. And, their durability during the 09 winter Snowmageddon, when they were carrying freshly clean laundry, which had been brought to the laundromat in plastic grocery bags.(I didn't have a Shop Bag, yet)

    I bought another set: Packing Cube Backpacks for the Aeronaut and the Tristar, as well as the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in UV, during holiday season 012 for last spring 013 big trip.

    Once more, I was delighted with them, I used all 3 on my Aeronaut. The backpacks inside the main compartment, the shoulder bag in one of the side pocket.

    It made 7 hotels stops and 6 airports lines, security and run to the gate much easier.

    The first was an iron clad packing color coded packing list so I didn't have to think much about unpacking/packing at every stop and the second was the lightness of Dyneema because invariably one has to run to get to the gate or move from dining to electronic charging areas then the gate while waiting.

    I forgot to say I have an Aeronaut in Ballistic but I bought a Nordic Aeronaut in Dyneema because I was flying a luggage weighting airline.


    I also believe that the customary 45 pounds I was carrying during domestic flights was excessive, I didn't know anything about luggage weight until I visited the factory, Tom held my bags and said how much they weighted.

    I have used public transports all my life and when an hard suitcase, nylon bag of groceries or laundry/grocery carts needed to be carried I did it.
    Last edited by backpack; 01-11-2014 at 08:30 AM.
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  4. #4
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    ^ Thanks for the detailed replies, daisy and backpack!
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  5. #5
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    Hey MtnMan, I purchased a Tri-Star with one PCBP and used it on a trip to Thailand last month. It is well constructed and light weight. I found it useful as a packing cube as well as a day pack. Note, it's good for light weight items like towels, little souvenirs, etc. It has no padding on the back like the Synapse or padded straps. That being said it was fine as a dual purpose item. Hope that helps.

  6. #6
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    I have the Aeronaut version of the PCBP in Ultraviolet. I've had it for just under a year, I think. You can achieve some organization in the bag, but it won't ever be similar to something like the Synapse; it's just not designed for that. But it functions incredibly well as a packing cube, and a basic EDC while travelling. There is only the one o-ring, so figure 2 to 3 pouches from that, the bottom pocket, and stuff sacks in the interior. The exterior bottom section will hold any of the pouches/cubes you mention with room to spare.

    This unassuming little bag is actually one of my favorites. I've travelled with it twice, so far, but it is so useful that I don't imagine I will ever travel without it. I used it on a 5 day car trip around Yellowstone - to carry my DSLR with an extra lens, point and shoot camera, water bottle, gorilla pod, extra battery & SD cards, snacks, umbrella, and random purchases. This bag was also my most useful bag for two weeks in Ireland toward the end of the summer. It generally held my coat in a stuff sack, a light cardigan, water bottle, umbrella, extra battery & SD cards for my camera, and whatever I happened to pick up that day. It hiked with me around the Glendalough mountains in the rain, climbed to the top of Skellig Michael island, and was my faithful companion on the terrifyingly narrow roads when I got lost driving. Twice. It was great on the way home too, because I was able to put the valuables I'd bought in the bottom pocket, flip the bag inside out and use it as a packing cube, and felt fairly sure that things would not be easily stolen going through security.

    On top of travel use, this has become the bag I reach for just to carry random stuff, or to take shopping (think gift festivals or fairs). It's a great pool bag, gym bag, I need to carry 15 bottles of oil to my friend's house bag. The backpack straps distribute the weight, and I've never found them to be uncomfortable, even when carrying said bottles of oil.

    I had initially debated about the functionality of the bag, but it is definitely worth having.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanisol View Post
    It was great on the way home too, because I was able to put the valuables I'd bought in the bottom pocket, flip the bag inside out and use it as a packing cube, and felt fairly sure that things would not be easily stolen going through security.
    That's a great idea, Shanisol; I knew that pocket was capable of carrying stuff when inside out, but I hadn't thought of tucking valuables in there where they'd be harder to get to.
    Aeronaut 45; Synapse 19; Co-Pilot; PCBP & other packing cubes; Swift; 2 x Little Swifts; Side Effect; 5 Shop Bags; Small Cafe Bag; 6 Travel Trays; 4 Clear Quarter Packing Cubes; Cache ; Guardian Lights; 3 x 3D Clear Organizer Cubes; 3 x 3D Organizer Cubes; 4 Yarn Stuff Sacks; 8 Clear Organizer Wallets; many, many pouches; Cafe Messenger Stabilizer.

  8. #8
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    I have a Packing Cube Backpack for both my Aeronaut and my Tri-Star. I love the utility of having an extra bag at my destination (just in case), and in my experience, it handles the packing cube aspect quite well.

    My most frequent use is for carrying my laptop. When flying, my laptop is in a Brain Cell in the center of my Tri-Star. When I arrive at my destination, the Brain Cell goes into the Packing Cube Backpack so I can get to and from my work each day. (A fairly short commute, but long enough that I don't want to carry the Brain Cell by itself.)

    I also tend to pick up various printouts while I'm working, and those fit nicely in the flat zippered pocket on the front of the PCBP.

    Of course, it's not the greatest standalone backpack (no padding, thin straps), but it works surprisingly well for me considering it adds negligible weight and space compared to the Packing Cubes I was using anyway.

    I adore my Packing Cube Backpacks.
    Last edited by BJ Nemeth; 01-15-2014 at 08:52 PM.


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