Aeronaut colors and "plays well with others" (other Bihn bags, that is)
Until pictures of the new Aeronaut in other colors make it to its product page, the blog post about the newly back in stock Smart Alec is probably the easiest way to select and compare colors. Each of the five initial color offerings for the Aeronaut (Crimson, Black, Sage, Kiwi, and Steel) is shown on that page. Having all the colors up at once makes comparisons easier, in case you want to know, for instance, how much greener sage is than steel.
I'd also like to point out that the LUX bag packs really well into the central section of the Aeronaut. In flattened form, it almost exactly matches this compartment, and provides a contrasting background similar to what you have in other Bihn bags. The bottom of the interior to the main compartment of the Aeronaut otherwise has a black (200 denier) nylon lining with a grid of white lines (somewhat like a quadrille-ruled pad of graph paper). The same material is used around the borders of the zippered mesh pocket on the underside of the top flap. This can be viewed in the picture at the imagometrics review site if you pause the browser animation showing the fully packed Aeronaut in the "opened" position -- the pattern can be seen in the thin strips on the left and right sides of the underside of the open flap. Similar lining is used on the right and left sides of the main compartment.
Anyway, with the LUX bag packed at the bottom, I get the same contrasting crimson color of the outer Aeronaut in the interior. Very handy if you will be needing another bag at your destination, or for use at a meeting where you are picking up other material as described in this post, since the LUX bag has a larger holding capacity than the large cafe bag, yet probably packs flatter. When traveling by air, I agree that you probably want to carry your laptop in a second bag (Brain Cell, ID bag, Buzz, Smart Alec, etc.) that is reinforced and more accessible for inspection.
Sage and future color options for the Aeronaut
I called in about this yesterday, since I requested sage for the smaller-frame Aeronaut that I'm still waiting for. Those smaller-frame models will be available in the originally specified range of colors (i.e. you can order sage). However, it's probably a good idea to give inputs for preferred colors now, since they're trying to decide on future color options. I gather that hunter green may be added.
Originally Posted by eristick
I boosted this color up in my selection options based on the final Aeronaut design and some of the early review statements. I think it will hold up better against dirty pavements, etc. (see the Imago Metrics review mentioned in the April 12, 2006 Tom Bihn blog), while at the same time providing a nice color contrast with the black trim used on the handles and zippers. Since there's not a second interior color (light-weight design, remember?), this also gives a little bit more color contrast on the inside (although the "bottom" is lined with 200 denier nylon in a grid pattern; see May 15, 2006 Bihn blog entry and linked detailed review with pictures).
For a more somber color choice than the very popular crimson displayed in all Aeronaut pictures to date, sage seems to be a good choice. YMMV. (And apparently the color sell-out order for the regularly sized Aeronauts was first the crimson, and then the kiwi and sage, leaving the current steel and black colors still available).