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Thread: Businessmen/women in formal attire with Aeronaut

  1. #1
    FFT
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    Businessmen/women in formal attire with Aeronaut

    I've been debating the purchase of an Aeronaut, and the one thing that holds me back is that, in terms of aesthetics, shoulder/backpack bags like the Aeronaut look a little bit out-of-place in the business world. Indeed, all the pictures of Aeronaut bags and people look like the travellers are embarking on some nature hike: baseball caps, t-shirts, etc.

    I know it seems like a small issue, but I'm wondering how many of the die-hard Aeronaut fans are business travellers and typically dressed in business casual (even when travelling). As a practical example, if I'm wearing a suit or blazer, I won't want to use the backpack straps.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User PaulT00's Avatar
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    I suppose it depends what you would call business casual, but I suspect I would be on the casual end of it when travelling for work. My typical office mufti is a pair of decent trousers and a polo shirt, supplemented by a pullover. Coat as per weather requirements. I work in IT within the media industry, so it's a quite relaxed dress code. I tend only to use the backpack straps during the actual travel bit - they're a Godsend when e.g. navigating the London Underground as they leave both hands free. I also have an Absolute Strap which gets used to/from the office itself, or if I've not packed particularly heavily I just use the built-in handles.

    I rarely wear a suit and haven't ever travelled with one in my Aeronaut, but my gut feel is that it wouldn't look out of place with a suit as long as not overpacked and while not using the backpack straps. I think it might come down to personal taste, or how conservative your work environment is - a Navy or Black Aeronaut would probably fit in in most places, I would think. My Aeronaut is Crimson (the red which predated Cardinal) and nobody has ever raised an eyebrow at it. Given some of the dented, scraped rolling suitcases I've seen businesspeople dragging around in their suits while juggling separate briefcases, coats and the like, I'd go for a tidy, functional carry-on every time: function over form!
    Last edited by PaulT00; 04-02-2014 at 08:11 AM.
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  3. #3
    FFT
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulT00 View Post
    I suppose it depends what you would call business casual, but I suspect I would be on the casual end of it when travelling for work. My typical office mufti is a pair of decent trousers and a polo shirt, supplemented by a pullover. Coat as per weather requirements. I work in IT within the media industry, so it's a quite relaxed dress code. I tend only to use the backpack straps during the actual travel bit - they're a Godsend when e.g. navigating the London Underground as they leave both hands free. I also have an Absolute Strap which gets used to/from the office itself, or if I've not packed particularly heavily I just use the built-in handles.

    I rarely wear a suit and haven't ever travelled with one in my Aeronaut, but my gut feel is that it wouldn't look out of place with a suit as long as not overpacked and while not using the backpack straps. I think it might come down to personal taste, or how conservative your work environment is - a Navy or Black Aeronaut would probably fit in in most places, I would think. My Aeronaut is Crimson (the red which predated Cardinal) and nobody has ever raised an eyebrow at it. Given some of the dented, scraped rolling suitcases I've seen businesspeople dragging around in their suits while juggling separate briefcases, coats and the like, I'd go for a tidy, functional carry-on every time: function over form!
    That was very helpful. Thank you.

    I'm also from the UK (and currently in the US this week so considering the purchase, here), and as you say, going on the underground is not quite optimal with wheeled luggage. I was indeed considering either the black or navy Aeronauts. I think the issue really is that there isn't a single bag that does everything you need, and different bags have different strengths. Then again, for $300 a pop, you really need to pick one bag that covers most of your needs.

    Given some of the dented, scraped rolling suitcases I've seen businesspeople dragging around in their suits while juggling separate briefcases, coats and the like, I'd go for a tidy, functional carry-on every time: function over form!
    I would argue the opposite. One of the great practicalities of my current setup is that I can use multiple bags. For instance, my current setup is a fairly large Timbuk2 messenger bag (medium) that houses my 15" laptop. It is in fact big enough for a weekender. I then use a carry-on wheeled suitcase. If both bags are filled to the brim, then I can put the Timbuk2 on the top of the wheeled suitcase. If my wheeled suitcase is mostly empty, I can fit the messenger into the suitcase (it's a tight fit), and now I have only one item to carry. Neither of these are checked-in on international flights. On domestic flights, the suitcase needs to be stowed before embarking, but not checked in. Most of my travels are for business and so not much treking.

    On the other hand, if I go with an Aeronaut for the main carry-on, I think my Timbuk2 messenger bag will be too large as a supplement. This would also mean two bags with shoulder straps---I think hugely inconvenient. With the Aeronaut, I think it would mean that I'd need to find a lighter messenger bag. The big form constraint is a 15" Macbook Pro.

  4. #4
    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forums, FFT. For me, the fabric matters more than the type of luggage. I currently use a Black Parapack Synapse 19 as my office bag most days and have not felt uncomfortable even in the most formal of meetings. But before Parapack was available, I used a Steel Dyneema S19 and did feel odd on occasions among all the black suits. I now have a Nordic Pilot that I am starting to use more frequently as my office bag, but still only when I do not have formal meetings.

    For my business travel bag, I use an Aubergine Western Flyer in rolling-luggage version for short trips and just bought a Navy Tri-Star I am test-packing for longer trips. The packed TS is quite heavy so I think the backpack straps will be the more comfortable way for me to carry it, but I will still attach an Absolute strap for convenience (or for when I really do not want to wrinkle my suit jacket!)

    Bottom line, I think any TB bag in ballistic nylon in whatever color, but especially black and navy, should easily blend into any business setting. (My Dyneema Aeronaut, I save for fun leisure trips!)
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    FFT, how formal does your job require your baggage look while at the airport/hotel lobby? I'm sure much more valuable relationship building conversations can develop from carrying colorful luggage than another stiff black wheelie bag. It shows others that you actually have a personality and you are a real person, not just some robot walking the path most traveled only using other peoples ideas.

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    Dear FFT,

    Welcome to the forum!

    With regard to your question about carrying a bag in backpack form in business casual attire, I have done this many times with many Tom Bihn bags worn in backpack form. In addition to the Aeronaut, the Tri-Star, Western Flyer, Smart Alec, and Synapse 25 will all accommodate your 15" Macbook Pro.

    Since you asked about the Aeronaut - in terms of larger capacity bags, I think the Tri-Star and Brain Bag will look more at home in an office setting than the Aeronaut. Their design is also more suited to an office setting - you can more easily pull out your laptop, etc. from the Tri-Star or Brain Bag than you can the Aeronaut. Their design also allows you to, for example, keep your dirty laundry and work setup separated.

    I too find carrying two shoulder bags a bit much as the years pass. I really prefer a bag in backpack form, specially when carrying more weight. The Tom Bihn backpack straps are truly amazing! I have carried as much as 20 lb / 9 kg in my Brain Bag all the time and haven't felt fatigued! I like to bring the Co-Pilot along for long haul air travel because I have what I want access to during the flight with me, and my larger bag stays in the overhead compartment.

    With regard to your comment about a bag accompanying a rolled carry-on / gate check bag, the Empire Builder, Zephyr, Cadet, and the Western Flyer without backpack straps can be slipped on the telescoping handle of your rolling suitcase - but they cannot be carried in backpack form. But you can certainly carry a backpack on top of your rolling bag, or attach it if it has one of those attachment points (where it sits on the larger surface of the rolled bag).

    I would strongly suggest the exploration of a single backpack approach, specially for business travel, if the load you carry will allow it. You mentioned your rolled luggage and your messenger bag being full to the brim, so I understand that that may not always be possible. Though review what you are packing and see how it can be minimized. A friend of mine just came back from a trip to Japan that he over-packed for - a one week trip with a full Aeronaut and a rolling suitcase that weighed 30 lbs. He told me how miserable it was carrying that thing up stairs at times. We are the opposite when it comes to packing. He will bring 21 pairs of underwear if he is going somewhere for 3 weeks. I pack 3 changes of clothes whether I am going for a week or two weeks (or if I were to go someplace longer). But I think this last trip helped him to appreciate the joys of traveling lighter...

    Sorry for the digression, but you see my point. It is easier and more fun to travel lighter - you are more mobile and don't tire from taking your load from point A to point B. It is easier to carry a backpack than a shoulder bag or a rolling bag - the load is spread on both your shoulders and back, your hands are free, stairs or other surprises in terrain are a non-issue.

    With kind regards,

  7. #7
    Registered User PaulT00's Avatar
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    Just for background, I spent (too!) many years doing a weekly commute to London by train, initially using a rolling small Samsonite case plus a laptop briefcase. I struggled on with that for several years, then eventually changed over to a backpack (a large Oakley Icon pack) for laptop and various stuff, plus a supplementary small holdall for extra clothing, which was enormously easier to manage. I've done air travel with rolling bag, with a standard suitcase (never again!), and most recently with just a backpack (the Oakley, before I got my Aeronaut) and I definitely prefer the freedom of just the backpack, although it takes care in packing. I have also travelled with the Aeronaut and a supplementary backpack, carrying the backpack on my back and the Aeronaut on an Absolute strap over one shoulder - it was doable, but weighty!

    In any case, I definitely wish I'd got the Aeronaut a few years earlier than I did! - but as with so many things, everything is a compromise and ultimately it's a case of horses for courses, of course.
    A45 C/S TS N/S A30 A/W BB N/S S19 N/S P N/S CP B/S; SE W SCB C/O CQPC I,S Ri A/S 3DCC C,F TSS4 W K C TT S,N,B CC C/S PCBP S PP N QK F,C,A

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    As a business traveler myself, and generally visiting clients in the financial sector, I've recently switched to a steel ballistic nylon Aeronaut and find it doesn't look too out of place, even if I'm in a suit.

    I generally carry it with the Absolute Strap, though will sometimes switch to the backpack straps through the airport, as my other carry is a Briggs and Riley Verb briefcase.

    Sent from my SM-N900W8 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I tend to agree that any TB travel bag in the more conservative colours should look fine for business travel - and if you like to carry your laptop in a messenger bag, the Tri-Star or Western Flyer (with backpack straps) might serve you a lot better than the Aeronaut. The TS is amazingly capacious (see how much I squeezed into it on a trial pack) and as has been said, will also swallow a good-sized laptop if you need it to.
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  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @FFT

    IMHO, I do not think an Aeronaut would be out of place in a Business Environment - especially in conservative colors like Black, Navy or Steel as mentioned in earlier posts. I bought mine for the dual purpose of business and then sightseeing. See some of the pictures I posted on the Aeronaut in black, especially the last two:

    Will the Pilot fit inside the Aeronaut?

    It looks very professional (rectilinear, good dimensions). The Aeronaut in black just looks like a slightly bigger stealth briefcase IMHO. Also, anything in dark colors creates the optical illusion of looking smaller than it really is. One tip - do not overpack it (this applies to any TB bag you choose) but also do not underpack it (the Aeronaut is less structured than the Tri-Star / Western Flyer and may sag a bit - packing cubes will help stop this) ...

    ... and, if you spend even MORE and get a Pilot (warning - if you do this, you will probably catch TBAS - Tom Bihn Acquisition Syndrome, no known cure, none wanted ), you can fit it in the Aeronaut (as the linked post discusses) - voila - one bag you can take as carry-on and just pull out the pilot when you go into the boardroom while leaving the Aeronaut at the front desk. I believe the Pilot will fit a 15" MBP based on this post - Pilot or Cadet?. Also, you can just fit the 15" MBP in the aeronaut with a sleeve or a similar case to the Pilot.

    If you can pack more minimally, a Tri-Star or Western Flyer are good options too - same reasoning as above but they are smaller. The Tri-Star was designed with the Business Traveller in mind. Here is a comparison on the sizes.

    http://www.practicalhacks.com/wp-con...8/DSC_1021.JPG

    Incidentally, I do not think using the Aeronaut as a backpack is out of place when travelling - even with a business jacket. I see many people in suits carry regular backpacks while travelling - you can return it to a shoulder bag configuration when you get to the office for the true business formal look.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 04-02-2014 at 10:59 PM.
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  11. #11
    ceb
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    The Aeronaut looks perfectly fine in a business setting. I used my black aeronaut a couple of times in an office setting (generally dark suit, white shirt, conservative tie) before I sold it as it didn't fit my packing style. I'm now using a TriStar and that blends in well - but still looks "different" in a good way.

    I generally wear a suit on travel (and pack just shirts and different colored pants to match the jacket) and I've found that while the backpack on a suit may look a bit unusual, it does far less damage to my back and suit shoulders that trying to drag around a wheeled bag and a laptop bag that invariably wrinkles up the shoulder of the suit.

    If you are traveling on your own then your co-workers won't see you. If traveling with co-workers then you'll have time to explain why you are using a backpack and you'll end up converting them.
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  12. #12
    FFT
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    There were so many informative posts here that I wasn't sure how to jump in. In the end, I decided to bite the bullet and put an in order for a Navy Aeronaut with the Absolute Strap. I've been considering the purchase of an Aeronaut for over a year, and this coincides with a business trip to the US.

    I still have some reservations (my two main reservations were the perceived aesthetics and also the fact I would have to change my current Timbuk2 messenger bag setup), but ultimately, I think the risk is low. I know that I can re-sell the Aeronaut in the UK for what I paid (likely more, given the prices I've seen these bags go on the UK Ebay). I like the idea of going with a packable bag within the Aeronaut (I did look into the packing cube backpack, but TB were out of the black and steel colors), and this is something I might incorporate.

    Thanks everybody for your help! Looking forward to seeing this bag next week.

  13. #13
    Registered User Peruvian's Avatar
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    FFT, If you are already using a Timbuk2 Messenger bag as your briefcase/laptop (and more) carrier, there is absolutely nothing you should worry about in terms of the Aeronaut being out of place in a business setup.

    Cheers


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