Hello! I'm very interested in the Aeronaut but I have a few concerns as to whether it would fit me and my needs. Here are my considerations:
1. I travel frequently for business and must take one or two suits with me. Is there a way I can keep clothes relatively wrinkle free using the Aeronaut?
2. I travel for leisure with kids. Can you comment on how well it works as a carry-on to hold all those kids things that we parents need, e.g. diapers, wipes, toys, food, extra clothing? The primary issue is accessibility of all these various things during the flight. There's very little room on the plane anymore and opening up and rummaging around a 22" wheeled suitcase is just a huge hassle.
3. And finally the most important concern - I am a petite woman, about 5' and 100 lbs, and I'm really concerned that the Aeronaut won't fit my frame and will just dwarf me. Because of my size, once something surpasses 10 lbs (10% of my weight), it's terribly uncomfortable to use a shoulder strap. That said, I've gone backpacking with a proper frame pack with 25-30lbs as a load so it could be done.
What's your recommendation??? Thanks!
More people will be along tomorrow, I'll bet, but here's my advice:
If you wear a smaller size than an 18, if the suits are wool or wool-blend, I wouldn't worry about creasing. You can fold one shoulder into the other and then flip up the bottom of the jackets. An overnight hang/light steaming should take care of even unintentional creasing. I wear a 20, so my jackets just wouldn't fit, no matter what I did. It's the only reason I didn't buy an Aeronaut. Get the packing cubes and you shouldn't have any problem packing business attire.
As far as a kids' bag, I think it would be great! I've seen two at dog shows. You could put dry nibbles (carrot sticks, crackers, sippy cups and powdered drink mixes, that sort of thing) in one shoe pocket, toys in the other shoe pocket, and pack clothes AND a wetbag for accidental moments in the center. Again, I'd use packing cubes for speed. Just line the wetbag one with a couple 2-gallon Ziploc bags and/or a few trash bags. In case you need more room for clothes, you could always unsnap one or both of the ends and make the center compartment larger (there's snaps inside the bag so it's kind of adjustable). Outside pockets would be perfect for fast amusement like coloring books or other flat items. Have a baby? The key strap could hold a teething ring or pacifier.
I just looked at the Aeronaut description, and I don't see mention of the smaller size suspension system I think I once saw (a women-spaced one). Since I have a long back, I kind of bypassed the info until now (I usually can't find a bag long enough). You could email the company and see if it's still available.
Although you stated you didn't do shoulder carry, whichever bag you finally choose, I can't recommend any strap more highly than the Absolute Shoulder Strap. My back's so messed up I have to be careful how I carry things about, and it's the only strap I've found to be comfortable, sturdy, and fully adjustable. If you get a smaller daybag it would be invaluable for carrying it. It actually makes your load feel lighter. Ten seconds' worth of trial on my Air Boss and I was whipping out the credit card for one.
You never know when you can't use the pack straps (my old fave bag had them, as well as the grab handles and shoulder strap hooks), and this strap is perfect for those times. It's worth every penny. I've never regretted the $25 expenditure once, not in over a year.
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 .
The Aeronaut used to come in a second version, called the Breve. It was the same bag, but the backpack straps were fitted a little differently to account for those with smaller frames. However, Tom Bihn no longer manufactures the Breve version, as explained in another forum thread this spring:
Originally Posted by aiethabell
Link to full thread: Aeronaut Breve Colors
Originally Posted by Darcy
As for me, I absolutely love my Aeronaut. Unfortunately (fortunately?), I have no children, and can't give any specific advice about traveling with kids.
But I highly recommend the Absolute Strap, because it really does make a packed bag feel lighter than it actually is. Also, in my opinion, the Aeronaut is a smaller bag than it looks in the photos (but still capable of holding a lot!). Every time I board a flight, my Aeronaut seems to be the smallest piece of luggage (by a good margin) in the overhead bins.
Just a note about your frame. I'm about 5' and not very strong. I worried about getting the Aeronaut because it looks so big in the photos. It's actually a perfect bag. I ordered the Absolute Strap, as recommended, and I find the Aeronaut surprisingly light. I've used my Brain Bag for short trips in the past and the Aeronaut is so much better.
I got the last Breve but since I'm not using it as a backpack that doesn't make any difference.
I will also recommend the Absolute Strap as being an amazing strap for shoulder style.
If your goal is keeping the bag under 10 lbs then it really depends on what you pack. I'm not sure any bag will help with that. The only way to limit that would be to be sure and get small bags but then you can't bring everything so you're stuck with a roller type bag. I guess if weight is an issue then roller bags are an option. I read a review once that hated roller bags but the reviewer did admit that for some people they are a must - you may be one of them.
I think the organization of the Aeronaut would work for holding the stuff for the kids. You should have nice access to the contents without having to take it out from the overhead. One caveat would be to get yourself some pull strings for the zippers. They can be hard to find or grip if you can't see them.
I'm not sure how it would do for business clothes. I would guess just as good as any other bag provided you packed with a certain method. I've read about the bundle method where you get a center core like shoes or toiletry kit and then fold and wrap your clothes around that core in a certain way and it avoids wrinkles. Seems to work and it would fit the Aeronaut. I've given in to wrinkles as of late.
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