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Thread: What type of rain cover should I use with the Aeronaut?

  1. #1
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    What type of rain cover should I use with the Aeronaut?

    I'm thinking of buying an Aeronaut (my first Tom Bihn purchase!!!) for a 3 week backpacking trip to Europe in December. What type of rain/snow cover would you recommend using? The weather will be raining and possibly snowy while in Europe, so I want to make sure I get the correct gear.

    Thanks!!

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Do you anticipate walking around in the rain and snow for hours and hours on end? I'm just asking because if you're going from train stations to hotels/hostels/B&Bs/other accommodations and leaving your bag while you explore during the day, I'm not sure if your Aeronaut would get exposed to enough precipitation to require a cover. I took my ballistic Aeronaut to Italy in Dec/Jan and it got rained and snowed on a few times (I was outside for 2-3 hours). It was fine—I had made sure all the zippers were closed tightly and no water seeped inside.

    In this thread, there was some mention of the Aeronaut being able to fit inside the Osprey Transporter, which could add a layer of rain protection. However, you'd then lose the Aeronaut's backpack capability, which I suppose is what you most want. My suggestion is to get the Aeronaut first of all to make sure you like it and that you think you can carry it for long distances and extended periods of time. Then, take it to REI and find a rain cover—it's possible that they make one for convertible duffels, which would accommodate the Aeronaut's more rectilinear shape. Good luck!

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    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I get ones that are wrap around and are open at the back so i can take out the backpack straps.

    The rain covers I use are from the Canadian MEC store - for example:

    MEC Pack Rain Cover (Silicone) - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

    Just select the right size for the volume of the Aeronaut - 45L or 2700 Cu In. I am sure other outdoor stores like REI will have similar ones as well.

    There are also a few other posts on this subject - try searching on Rain Cover.

    Hope this Helps

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    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    I too would be looking for a backpack cover. If you get one that is a tad big and has an adjustable tightener you should be all set. I'd look at REI, Eastern Mtn. Sports, Campmor, Cabelas, and so on. The fit won't be perfect but with the adjustable tightener it will do the job and not look hinkey.
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    Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I just ordered my Aeronaut, so I'm axiously awaiting its arrival. I'm pretty excited

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    @Wags455 I'm not sure whether you really need a rain cover for your Aeronaut, as @Badger mentioned in his reply. After you've used your Aeronaut for some time, you might want to apply another coating of NikWax to maintain its water resistance. If you want a covering for general protection, there was a recent suggestion by @Trailhiker of Sea to Summit products (with a link), when @bchaplin asked about a covering for her Aeronaut for planned bus travel during an upcoming trip in this thread about carrying TB Bags on a Bus.

    Other than that, I'll point you to a few related old thread, and quote the response I gave to @maverick in his thread: if you check in a bag, don't wait until 3 hours before you're leaving to wash it. The quoted post from that thread refers to a famous "shower test" of the Aeronaut and its zippers conducted over 5 years ago. I'll insert the post between lines with asterisks, but I won't separately embed the post Ina quote, because then it wouldn't display correctly for people using TapaTalk to read the forums

    ***begin quote (dated April 2011)***
    Maverick,

    You should have asked Zephyrnoid how long it took his Aeronaut to dry out when he did his famous shower test three and a half years ago. For the newcomers, there was an old discussion thread, Serious Rain Protection for Brain Bag, in which GaryS commented on the limits of YKK zippers holding up to extreme downpours, and challenged the comment from the earlier review of the Aeronaut that
    To test the protected zippers, we subjected Aeronaut to a 10 minute shower- Not a drop of water was discovered inside.
    with the remark
    Quote Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
    There is no way the Aeronaut would survive such a "test".
    and
    Quote Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
    Zephernoid- Yes I would like to see you put your Aeronaut in the shower for ten minutes.
    Zephyrnoid responded to the challenge:
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid View Post
    That's it! I'm shooting a video of me in the (near) buff showering with the Aeronaut- should be a hit on YouTube.Tom. There had better be a raise in this for me!
    I have to report that sadly, the original YouTube video of this test, where Zephyrnoid took his Aeronaut into the shower and also specifically hosed the zippers, is no longer up (some things man was just not meant to know). However, forum readers from that time can attest to the convincing nature of the shower test -- especially when Zephyrnoid unzipped the Aeronaut afterwards and pulled out a dry paper towel that he had placed under the zippered region.

    Here are some of the posted reactions:
    Quote Originally Posted by thalweg View Post
    You have persuaded me! Should keep the rain out of anything short of a typhoon. Thanks for the video.
    and from GaryS:
    Quote Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
    Hoo-hah! I laughed so hard I blew Diet Coke out of my nose! (What a mess.)

    You win.
    Enjoy.

    ***end quote***

    Other relevant threads (including the original thread with the shower test, but with broken links for the video, include:


    The first thread is the one that started out a s a general query about how well, the Brain Bag holds up to rain, then devolved into a general discussion on how well the zippers of Tom Bihn bags hold up, and ended up with the challenge that prompted Zephyrnoid to take his Aeronaut with him into the shower, hose it down, and demonstrate the dry contents (including a dry absorbent paper towel that was placed directly under the zippers.) The second thread discusses the NikWax that can be purchases as an Accessory or from other sources. The third thread links to a travel blog, and includes a quote with the Zanzibar Ferry episode when the Aeronaut gets dropped into the Indian Ocean, and the hard drive that was packed in the dropped bag still works when it was fished out later and tested.)

    HTH. moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 02-26-2014 at 02:39 PM.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wags455 View Post
    I'm thinking of buying an Aeronaut (my first Tom Bihn purchase!!!) for a 3 week backpacking trip to Europe in December. What type of rain/snow cover would you recommend using? The weather will be raining and possibly snowy while in Europe, so I want to make sure I get the correct gear.

    Thanks!!
    Just finished travelling in Ecuador in the mountains and Amazonian region where there is SERIOUS rain. When the rain wasn't serious my Synapse did just fine. When the rain was SERIOUS I covered myself and my back with a poncho. There are lightweight ones available which are not plastic, which breathe, dry quickly, and are big enough to cover both you and pack. If the rain was serious enough to cover my Synapse, it was serious enough to cover more of me. Although the Aeronaut would probably withstand the kind of rain you're likely to encounter in Europe, you might not want to be faced with wiping it down every time you want to open it up.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Also, where in Europe? Here in England the west is very rainy but the east is comparatively dry, so the definition of "downpour" depends on where you live
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    Data point: I've had my Tri-Star strapped to the back of a motorcycle in monsoon conditions pull off the road to avoid dying kinda weather, with driving rain and huge winds for an hour or more without the contents (including laptop) getting wet. I honestly wouldn't bother with a rain cover.
    moriond likes this.

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    Let's see if this image works:


  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    @goat: that's super impressive. That is all.


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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holygoat View Post
    Let's see if this image works:

    If this is an IQ test, I just flunked. What's going on in this picture?


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  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    It's a picture of a Tri-Star lashed onto the back of a motorcycle in the rain. Holygoat wanted us all to see how well the ballistic fabric holds up in pouring, driving rain.


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  14. #14
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    @Badger. Thanks for the interpretation. Holy cow!
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.


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