Our legendary maximum size carry-on travel bag. Carry it as a backpack, shoulder bag, or duffel.
Travel with the Aeronaut isn't like travel with wheeled luggage: you
won't ever hesitate to make your way through the crowd, down a
cobblestone alley, across the grass, or up the trail. With the load on
your back, you can navigate through not just airports, train stations,
and bus depots, but through airplanes, trains, and
buses. Hard to categorize, the Aeronaut is at once soft luggage,
a duffel bag, and a backpack. It takes the best of all those bags and
combines them into what many people have found to be their most
versatile travel bag yet.
Designed to qualify as a maximum-size airline carry-on bag (the smaller Aeronaut 30, great for intra-European flights or über-minimalist packers, is also available), the
Aeronaut can be carried as a backpack (with its zip-away backpack
straps), or with its padded handle can be carried on-edge as one would
a traditional suitcase. Of course you can add our Absolute Shoulder Strap so you can carry it
on your shoulder as well (almost any other shoulder strap will work
The downside to most duffel bags is their lack of
compartmentalization: we think we've answered that quite successfully
with the Aeronaut. The main body of the bag is divided into three
significant compartments via two zippered dividers: a large center compartment is flanked on both
ends by substantial end pockets. These end pockets can easily
accommodate size 12 running shoes (now maybe you can finally take all
the shoes you need with you). The end pockets also are great for
segregating the clean from the unclean, or perhaps socks and underwear,
from everything else. Don’t need two end compartments? Unzip one of the zippered dividers, transforming the Aeronaut into a two compartment bag. Or, unzip both zippered dividers, and the Aeronaut becomes a large one main compartment bag.
The main compartment is accessed through a curved zipper opening and
swallows a substantial stack of folded shirts/blouses/trousers/dresses;
as you pack the Aeronaut, the end pockets act like bookends, keeping
everything in the center compartment relatively flat and folded. The
inside of the opening "hatch" features a convenient zippered mesh pocket
for small items.
We make a variety of Packing Cubes sized specifically to most
efficiently utilize space inside the Aeronaut. Inside the main
compartment of the Aeronaut, you can fit two Large Aeronaut Packing
Cubes, one Large and two Small, or four Small. In either end compartment
of the Aeronaut, you can fit an End Pocket Packing Cube in either
Fabric/Mesh or All Fabric. Also available are the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag and the Packing Cube Backpack (Aeronaut): use them as packing cubes inside the Aeronaut
and once you reach your destination, unpack them for use as lightweight shoulder bags or backpacks as you explore your
If Packing Cubes are not your style, you can avail
yourself of a pair of tie-down straps inside the main compartment of the
Aeronaut. Theses straps can be handy for securing pants/slacks or a
carefully folded sports coat. If you find they are in your way you can
save a bit of weight by removing them.
The Aeronaut converts easily to and carries comfortably as a
backpack: the shoulder straps are contoured and the upper part is padded, and they feature a
removable/adjustable sternum strap; the back panel is padded with
closed-cell foam as well. An optional 1" / 25 mm waist strap attaches to
the bottom of the lower (unpadded) part of the shoulder straps. The waist strap is meant not so much as a
weight-bearing "hip belt" but rather a simple way to further secure the
Aeronaut on your body. With both the backpack straps and waist strap
tucked away inside, the Aeronaut becomes a sophisticated soft-luggage
piece, free of extraneous straps and geegaws and entirely presentable.
Because it is carry-on size, you usually won't be checking the Aeronaut
as luggage, but tucking away the shoulder straps (and waist strap) also
greatly reduces the possibility of the bag being caught in a conveyor
belt if you must check it.
The grab handles at either end of the
Aeronaut were designed to be in the right place at the right time.
Specifically, they provide an inviting and obvious place to grab the
Aeronaut and give it a yank to extract it from an overhead compartment
of a plane or other tight spot. They’re reinforced, so if you need to
pull hard, go ahead, and because they’re padded, the whole process will
be as comfortable for your hands as possible.
On both ends of the
Aeronaut are exterior zippered pockets large enough
for the Guide Michelin and a boarding pass. Included in one of these pockets is a Key Strap.
The exterior of the Aeronaut is made of our 1050 denier, high tenacity ballistic
nylon fabric (made in U.S.A.), and it's lined with our ultralight Japanese
200 denier Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric. We use #10 YKK Coil Aquaguard®
water-repellent zippers so you needn't worry so
much about bad weather impacting your gear. Sewn right side up (which means the waterproof coating is on the inside rather than the outside) the zippers are easier to operate. We include a package of our
Cord Zipper Pulls so you can add them to the
zippers for an easier grab, though many folks like how uncluttered the
Aeronaut looks as-is. Of course the Aeronaut is built, like all TOM BIHN
bags, to withstand years of worry-free abuse.
The Aeronaut in 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop:
The Aeronaut is also available in ultralight 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop. This stellar fabric
is made for us in Japan. Though one-third the weight of our U.S. made, high tenacity
1050 denier ballistic nylon, it has
comparable tear strength and very good abrasion resistance. With 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop you'll save about 20% on the over-all weight
of the Aeronaut. Note that 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop won't stand up to the all-out abuse that
1050 denier ballistic nylon can handle - you'll need to exercise care and not drag or otherwise mistreat your ultralight Aeronaut.
It's a compromise many will feel worthwhile, but it's a compromise to consider.