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Thread: Aeronaut 30 vs 45 for a small girl

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Aug 2014
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    Cool Aeronaut 30 vs 45 for a small girl

    I know this has been asked a couple times but I can't quite seem to find info that matches my requirements. I can't decide on the 30 or the 45. Please help! I basically need a Mary Poppins bag.

    What the bags are needed for:

    I will go on several long trips, 5 weeks in SE Asia November-December including 3 weeks in Thailand with friends (need to be stylish) and 2 weeks in Myanmar (need to be conservative) and then after a short recharge/repacking 3 months in Nepal and India (conservative for warm and cold weather). I usually use a small rolling suitcase that can most times be carried on board but I really want to have more mobility and look like less of a tourist. I want to be able to carry everything on my back and buy souvenirs. I will most likely buy more clothes while travelling. My concerns are size and weight of the bag. I'm 5'3 115 lbs. I dont want to be carrying a huge pack but I want to fit all my stuff and carry it myself. My list for Nepal might be bigger. Can I fit all of this in a 30L with room for souvenirs or is it better to get the 45? Will it be too heavy to carry? If I get the 45 is it better to wait for the update or get it cheaper? I wont be bringing a laptop only an ipad or kindle if anything at all. I can't buy both bags and return one.

    My list for Asia:

    1 light jacket

    1 sweater

    3-4 light cotton/silk pants

    3 t-shirts

    3-4 tunics/other shirts

    1 dress

    1 skirt

    1 pair of leggings

    1 pair of shorts

    7 pairs of underwear/ 3 bras

    3 pairs of socks

    1 pair of light hikers

    1 pair of sandals

    2 bathing suits

    1 3-1-1 bag

    1 small makeup kit

    1 packable backpack

    1 packable towel

    1 silksak

    electonics: iphone and charger (maybe ipad air)

    *this list is a work in progress

  2. #2
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    It depends on how you will use the bag once you get to your destination. The A45 will have the room you need, but it does get heavy. I'm 5'3" too. Carrying the A45 is comfortable for an hour or so, but not much longer. Great for getting from one end of an airport terminal to the other, but not for all day hiking. I haven't carried a Brain Bag. It has the capacity to hold everything and since it is designed primarily as a backpack, it may be more comfortable for carrying long haul.
    Last edited by Melissa; 08-15-2014 at 09:26 AM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    As far as waiting to purchase? I loved my Aeronaut setup exactly how it was. The internal dividers unsnapped to allow for one larger interior. I prefer snaps over a zippered divider. The zipper or the teeth can snag delicate fabrics. As far as whether the side pocket slants to the left makes no difference to me. And since TB shoulder straps swivel, whether the clips are attached horizontally or vertically makes no difference to me; however, YMMV! I tend to buy when a color combo I like is available as once it is gone, you never know if it will be offered again.
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  4. #4
    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
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    You sound like you are a similar build to my wife, who is about 5' to 5'1". Mentioning weight would have me divorced, but I'd say you are in the same ballpark there.

    Based on the above list (and assuming you are going to be wearing some of the heavier or bulkier items on the plane), I think that should fit in the A30, particularly if you are willing to spill over into a small carry-on should you accumulate a little too much stuff (i.e. use your packable backpack as an overflow bag, since most airlines will allow you one main carry-on, plus a personal item). The concern I'd have is the diversity of clothing you might need for Nepal vs. India. If you've got all of this clothing in versatile, light fabrics like Merino wool, then perhaps it's not an issue, but if you need to start packing bigger, heavier, and bulkier items, then your A30 will become really full really quickly. Same with if you plan on buying things. That can quickly eat up your available room.

    Personally, I'd take an underpacked A45 since it would provide me more flexibility should I want/need to acquire things. The size difference isn't enormous, but I'm a large enough human that I can wear either without it looking disproportionate (you can see the fit difference in my video review A Tale of Two Aeronauts (or my Video Review of the A30, compared to the A45)).

    I'll see if the wife can try on a packed A30/A45 this weekend since we've got to do some packing/moving anyway. Sadly, wifey is also not a super willing model, but I can try to describe where things sit/how they fit on her.

    As for the current A45 vs. the redesigned A45, that's pretty subjective to whether you think the differences are worth $30 or so (new price hasn't been announced [I think], but I'm guessing it will be at least $10 more than the A30). Main design changes: "right side up" zipper orientation, zippers instead of snap buttons to resize the interior, and one zippered plus one open side pocket versus two zippered side pockets. If money is tight, I take the old version and use that money on an Absolute Strap, or some organization.
    tpnl and vivelly like this.
    Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Night Flight (Coyote/Steel), Guide's Pack (Steel), Synapse 19 (Olive/Steel), Daylight (Navy), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Founder's Briefcase (Black), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Travel Tray (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps

    Want: EVERYTHING.

  5. #5
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    I recently returned from a trip to Italy. I am the same height as you, but not as small. I wear a size 6, so although I'm not as thin as you are, my clothes are still on the smaller side.

    My A45 was full; I think I could have fit all in the A30, but my problem was the weight of the pack on my back while waiting 2-1/2 hours in line to get through security when flying out of Milan back to the US.

    All my clothing was from "travel" brands (Patagonia, Royal Robbins, ExOfficio, etc.) that fold/roll very small, wick moisture, don't wrinkle, and dry fast when washed/rinsed...

    CLOTHING (main compartment)
    1 light silk sweater
    1 lightweight linen/hemp pants
    1 lightweight travel Capri pants
    2 t-shirts
    1 tank top
    1 tunic
    3 lightweight travel dresses
    2 lightweight travel skirts
    1 lightweight skort
    1 pair of leggings
    1 pair of shorts
    4 pairs of underwear/1 extra bra
    1 bikini

    FOOTWEAR (Left Pocket)
    2 pair no show socks
    1 pair of light hikers
    1 pair of sandals

    PERSONAL CARE (Right Pocket)
    1 3-1-1 bag
    1 small travel hair flat iron
    1 brush/1 hair comb
    3D packing cube with jewelry, hair bands, hair clips
    1 salux wash cloth - NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT!

    I also brought:

    RISTRETTO for iPad:
    iPad mini
    iPhone
    Chargers
    Adapters for wall outlets
    TB wallet for ID/credit cards
    Small OP for euros (bills and coins)
    RFID blocking pouch for passport and boarding passes
    Small OP for meds (Advil, sudafed, Ambien)
    Headphones
    Small yarn stuff sack with current knitting project

    If you will be washing clothes along the way, add a sink stopper and a small drying line to your list.
    Last edited by Melissa; 08-15-2014 at 11:06 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
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    I'm also dinky-sized and have an Aeronaut 45 and find it quite comfortable. You can definitely pare down your list if you're willing to wash things or wear them more than once. With even three tops and three bottoms you have plenty of outfit combinations.
    The thing about light packing and one-bagging is: you have to stay disciplined through the whole trip if you have just a small bag. I did 2 weeks in Italy with just a Synapse 25, and what you save in terms of weight you give up in terms of stuff you might want to add along the road. If you under pack an Aeronaut 45, you'll have room to add things. I love one-bagging and traveling light because I hate the schlepp of heavy bags, but when I was in Italy I sometimes wished I had room in my bag to buy things/take them home. I should mention the Italy trip predated my Aeronaut. That, more than the Synapse 25, would've been the perfect bag~
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  7. #7
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    Thank you! I think I'm leaning towards a 45 now for the underpacking and filling with souvenirs along the way. And I'll use my packable bag for day or a small crossbody purse. An hour on my back would be ok. I don't plan to hike with it but would be nice to atleast walk around a bit without having to run to the guesthouse. Lighter packing will come with practice, I guess.

    Organization: I'm thinking one large cube and two small. plus an end pocket bag and/or shoes bag

    If you have any pics that can show a similar sized human with the two different bags that would be great! I've tried on a patagonia MLC and it seems alright in size but of course it wasn't packed!

    Thanks for all your suggestions! I will definitely pare down my clothing list and I've been researching travel clothes like crazy. For Nepal/india, if I do any trekking I'll rent gear and maybe bring a packable down jacket and of course minus many things from that list. i'll be solo and will also want to buy clothes from India.

  8. #8
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    and the shoulder strap? is it worth it? i think i'll mostly use it as a backpack. would I even be able to use it on my shoulder if its mostly full? wouldn't it be too heavy?

    If there was a weightbearing hip strap, I'd definitely get it.

  9. #9
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Puget Sound region
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    A good friend recently returned from a trip to northern India last December. It was cold, surprisingly so. Her adult son accompanied her and he was a startlingly light packer and inspiring to her. He wore long travel pants (convertible), a travel shirt, a primaloft vest, and rain jacket. In his small pack, he carried 1 underwear, 1 pr. Wool socks, a merino base layer, 1 nonconvertible travel pant, 1 shirt, his phone and small camera. He faithfully washed every night. He was warm enough with his layers. I think of myself as a pretty light packer too, but, frankly, I think I put up with a little discomfort in deference to my vanity.

    Regarding your packing list, I'm putting my own $.02 in the hopper.

    A Marmot primaloft puffer jacket (it packs down to nada) or something like it.

    Smart Wool merino wool base layer, top AND bottom ( they come in different weights, but probably microweight is not warm enough) or similar brand. Your legs could get really cold in silk pants.

    Merino wool cardigan or quarter zip

    2 prs. Pants

    1 skirt OR 1 dress

    4 tops

    Unders

    Head covering, essential for visiting temples. A wool Buff would be just the ticket.

    I hope any of this is helpful.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    Apr 2014
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    I am nearly exactly your size and am on. 9 week land adventure from Canada to Istanbul. I have the A45 plus the co-pilot. Inspire of having to take formal clothing for a Transatlantic Liner Crossing my bag has not exceeded 10 kg. I have been able to carry my load PLUS wheel my young daughter's 22 inch case with no problems (currently we are in Southern Serbia) and we have some walking to do along bumpy streets etc. I have posted some purchases home enroute including my formal wear single pair of shoes as I picked up a spare top. If I did not have the formal clothing requirements I would have had more than enough room and may have only had 7 kg in my A45 (including my kindle and ipad). My biggest problem is my copilot as it is slung across me and is a tad uncomfortable - maybe a messenger bag would have been a better choice. (Note, it was cold in Belgium and Hungary so I added a quilted jacket and used my a shoulder bag packing cube that I attaced to the outside of my A45 using its strap and a spare luggage strap I always travel with).
    snowbot likes this.


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