Which bag? [For a trip to Italy]
> Comments: I've enjoyed your website, and have been comparing your bags to Red Oxx, eBags and others.
I am planning a three-week trip to Italy, and want to take only a carry-on. Your Aeronaut seems very nice,
but I wonder if it is too big. I don't think I need 2700 cubic inches, and with the airlines tightening down,
I wonder how long before the Aeronaut may be too large for international carry-on flights. So...I've wondered
about your Western Flyer or Brain Bag. Any advice you could offer me would be appreciated. I just don't want
to get stuck with a bag that proves to be too big or too small. Thank you for your help...Jim
I've used my Aeronaut fairly regularly for train and air travel. I'm not sure you can get down to all you need for a 3 week trip in only the Western Flyer or the Brain Bag (I have the Brain Bag as well). Of course, it depends on what you need to bring. No computer? Save some room. Only need the shoes you're wearing? Save some more room. Going during warm weather? No need for heavy sweater or coat. Not going on a conference or meeting where you'll bring papers or collect stuff? Save more room and more weight. But if the Aeronaut is seriously too much for you, then yes, maybe one of the two choices will suffice.
(Note: you can pack quite a bit in the Brain Bag.)
I have an Air Boss, but I seriously considered an Aeronaut when it came out (I bought my Air Boss over a year before the Aeronaut was available). I admit it came down to two choices: was I going to use it on business, or not? The Air Boss is better for business, IMHO. Suit jackets fit a little better, and dresses just have more width to stave off wrinkles. Don't get me wrong, here - the Aeronaut is a fine bag!
It's kind of difficult to look professional, though, when you're toting any bag through the terminal with backpack straps and you're being met by a driver. Shoulder carry's kinda out, since if it's a business trip my Zephyr or my Red Oxx Metro briefcase is on my shoulder already (the Zephyr won't fit in the Air Boss' center compartment, although the Metro will). Also, I'm large-sized, and my clothes didn't quite fit in the Aeronaut without some serious multi-folding. If I was a size 6 and going on pleasure trips, though, I'd have one in a heartbeat. The Brain Cell would slap right in and off I'd go!
Let it be said that I'm an inveterate one-bagger, and I don't tote enough clothes for more than four days before I MUST wash something (sometimes everything in cold weather). If you have to go a week without washing something out, the Western Flyer won't do. If you have to share the load between your shoulders, the Western Flyer is a sling, not a full 2-strap backpack design. Keep that in mind. The Aeronaut has 2 backpack straps, and shoulder strap hooks, plus grab handles for one-handed toting.
If you haven't actually seen an Aeronaut or Air Boss, let me assure you they're much smaller, visually, than the ubiquitous roller bags everyone else seems to have. I've never been asked to size my Air Boss, and I don't believe any Aeronaut user has either. They just don't look the size they are. So, unless you're flying the cheap seats with BA or Virgin (or any of the other international carriers with the miniscule weight allowances), I don't think you'll ever get measured or sizer-boxed into checking your bag with either the Aeronaut or the Air Boss.
Indigo Co-Pilot w' Cache, Sapphire/Olive Medium Cafe bag, Sapphire/Black and Indigo Ballistic Swifts, 50+ assorted Stuff Sacks/Pouches/Key Straps, 4 Shop Bags. 2 Absolutes, 2 Strap Wraps, a #5 Brain Cell, 3 Clear Quarter Packing Cubes , 3 Aeronaut cubes, a 3D, a Kit, a Convertible Shoulder Bag and Convertible Backpack for my Indigo/Solar Aeronaut. Last, 3 Lifefactory Bottles and my Plum Field Journal! Plus a blue (natch) FOT. All bags decked out with Tom Bihn luggage tags .
took my Aeronaut on a four-week trip to Spain
I've been traveling carry-on for the past 10 years and last month I tried the Aeronaut for the first time on a month trip to Spain. I confess I was a bit concerned with the size of the Aeronaut but it really didn't look that big compared to other bags at the airport. And I made sure I had it on my back when went into the plane because I figured that way it would look a little smaller ;) I had no problem but I didn't take any flights within Europe; all of my traveling once I got there was by train (Paris-Barcelona; Barcelona-Madrid-Segovia-Madrid-Barcelona; Barcelona-Madrid) and the Aeronaut was really a lifesaver in all the stairs I had to negotiate. My husband took the carry on suitcase with wheels and cursed many times...
You can see what I packed here:
The Aeronaut is well sized for fitting in the overhead compartment of even the smaller planes like the CRJ's and Embraer's.
For me, the Aeronaut has served well for trips as long as 2 weeks and as short a weekend trip.
The Aeronaut is great with the Absolute Shoulder Strap. It is also comfortable with the backpack straps that fold away - actually, I've mostly been using it with the backpack straps lately. Carrying the Aeronaut as a backpack allows me to more easily carry it and my son at the same time.
Good luck, and let us know what you decide on.
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