July 26, 2021

Techonaut FAQ

Techonaut FAQ

Consider this post a work in progress. As more questions are asked, we might answer them here. It's worth noting that some folks are using our new Q&A functionality on the Techonaut pages to ask questions.

The Questions:

The Answers:

Does the Techonaut meet carry-on requirements?

Of course. The dimensions and volume of the Techonaut 45 are pretty much the same as the original Aeronaut 45 travel bag; the dimensions and volume of the Techonaut 30 are pretty much the same as the Aeronaut 30.

People have been flying all over the world with the Aeronauts for over a decade.

Techonaut 45 / Aeronaut 45 = designed to be maximum carry-on size. Will slide into the overhead compartment, and if not fully packed, might even slide under the seat of *some* planes.

Techonaut 30 / Aeronaut 30 = sized for North American regional commuter jets and intra-European flights. Will easily fit under the seat of most planes.

I see there’s an optional internal frame for the Techonaut: why didn’t you include it with the bag?

First up, the Techonaut is designed to be a carry-on travel bag — and many folks want their carry-on to be soft-sided so it’ll squeeze under the seat, into a tight spot in the overhead compartment, or an exacting luggage sizer. Inserting a hard frame into the bag will limit its ability to conform to the space it’s about to be shoved in.

Second, the Skeleton back panel structure of the Techonaut adds a surprising amount of support even without an internal frame. Add a laptop in the laptop compartment and there's even more support.

When our crew tested fully loaded Techonauts here at the factory, pretty much everyone found the internal frame for the Techonaut 30 unnecessary. With the Techonaut 45, it was 50/50: half of folks preferred carrying the bag with the frame, half preferred it without the internal frame. Still, we heard from many folks who wanted an internal frame option nonetheless... so here you go!

Why is the bowtie handle oriented the way it is?

The Techonaut can be carried three different ways: as a backpack, slung over the shoulder with a strap, or carried like a duffel/suitcase/briefcase by the Edgeless padded handle.

The “bowtie” handle on the top of the Techonaut is intended to be a grab handle — for example, it’s what you’d reach for when you’re pulling the bag out of the overhead compartment. Because the handle isn’t meant to be the method by which you regularly carry the bag, its orientation is rather arbitrary. In this case, the orientation Nik chose worked with the engineering and layout of the bag.

Worth noting: there is a webbing loop grab handle above the shoulder strap attachment points. That loop is oriented at 90 degrees from the “bowtie” handle and is intended to make hoisting the pack onto your shoulders easier.

Can you tell me more about the Edgeless duffel handle?

Sure. It’s super comfortable and we love it. Seriously, now:

The Edgeless duffel handle of the Techonaut is designed to provide comfort and cush when carrying the Techonaut in duffel mode: it utilizes the same EV50 1/2” / 12mm EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® foam as our Edgeless Shoulder Straps. Since we figure most folks will primarily carry the Techonaut as a backpack or perhaps as a shoulder bag with the optional Absolute Shoulder Strap — and carry the bag as a duffel for shorter durations —  we wanted its duffel handle to be as (if not more) comfortable yet somehow more minimal and lower-profile than the Aeronaut grab handle.

We believe we’ve achieved our goal on both accounts: you’ll, of course, tell us what you think. Note that because of the design of the original Aeronaut handle, it was effectively anchored at four corners in such a way that it did not “lift” much from the bag itself; the Techonaut handle, to achieve its goals of comfort and minimalism, is anchored at two points, and may slightly lift away from the bag if your Techonaut is packed very full.

That doesn’t impact the utility of the handle or experience of carrying the bag (and of course the handle itself is robustly secured with multiple bart,acks) but we thought we’d mention it because it behaves a little different than the original Aeronaut handle.

There’s two pockets that you say can fit *some* water bottles. What bottles do they fit? And does the pocket expand?


The pocket on the left side of the bag is the biggest; it can fit some water bottles or stuff like an umbrella or jacket. And the pocket on the top of the bag can also fit stuff like a (smaller) water bottle, umbrella, or jacket.

Which water bottles fit best depends on how fully packed your Techonaut is. Collapsible, packable water bottles are always a great option for lighter travel and they’ll of course fit easily into either of the pockets mentioned above. Bigger water bottles will fit, just know that they will indeed use up some space out of the main compartment.

It's worth noting that the exterior pockets of the Techonaut pockets do use space from the main compartment, unlike the pockets on bags like the Synik or Synapse. Why’s that, you may ask? The Techonaut 45 is designed to be a maximum carry-on travel bag that’s replete with features, yet isn’t too heavy itself — and the Techonaut 30 is sized for commuter jets and intra-European flights, on which they can be pretty picky about weight and size. For us to give you the most packing space we can (AKA more room for your stuff) and still meet those airlines requirements, the bag needs to be a rectangle. Adding an exterior water bottle pocket that didn’t use up some of that space would be a pretty tall order.

If you’re looking for a travel bag with a dedicated water bottle pocket that’s centered in the bag, check out our Synik 22 or Synik 30.

What are the dimensions of the main compartment with the end pocket zipped vs. unzipped?

It’s a bit tough to give exact dimensions because the Techonaut is a soft bag: it can slightly expand depending on how much stuff you put in it. That said, here’s some rough dimensions:

Techonaut 30

Main compartment, end pocket zipped: 16” x 11” x 6” / 405 x 280 x 150mm
Main compartment, end pocket unzipped: 20” x 11” x 6” / 510 x 280 x 150mm

Techonaut 45

Main compartment, end pocket zipped: 17.5 x 14 x 7" / 445 x 355 x 180mm
Main compartment, end pocket unzipped: 21.5 x 14 x 7" / 545 x 355 x 180mm

Why does the main compartment hatch flap open in the direction that it does?

One thing we like about the Techonaut is that, assuming it’s packed thoughtfully, it can stand up on its own. If the bag was standing up, you wanted to open it and get something out of the main compartment, and the flap was oriented the other way you’d be…. opening up the flap upside down and your stuff would fall out.

Why is the Techonaut more expensive than the Aeronaut?

The Techonaut has these additional features that the Aeronaut does not:

  • Laptop compartment
  • Breathable Skeleton back panel
  • Rolling luggage handle pass-through
  • Edgeless shoulder straps
  • Edgeless carry handle
  • Additional quick-access pocket

Do you plan to continue to offer the Aeronaut?

Yes, we do: expect it to be restocked in the coming months.

Is this the first product Nik has designed that doesn’t have his name in it?

Nik says: “I changed my name to Techo.”

Here are the bags that Nik has designed so far:

Maker’s Bag
Shadow Guide 23 / 33
Tool/Pen Wrap
Smart Alec Modular Pockets
Hip Belt Pocket
Synapse 25 (upsize from the Synapse 19)
Handy Little Thing (HLT) Size 1 and Size 2
Zip-Top Shop Bags, Small and Large
Daylight Briefcase
Side Kick
Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch
Everyday Cubelet

I’d rather have cord pulls on my Techonaut than the metal pulls. Any options for me?

You bet! We include a pack of Cord Zipper Pulls with the Techonaut just for folks like you. Most folks weave them through the metal pull, effectively silencing it. Some folks may choose to cut the metal pull off and replace it with a cord pull. If you go that route, know that there’s no going back: we can’t put the metal pulls back on for you.

For more colors of cord and more options (including knots) showcased in a how-to video visit our Cord Pulls page.

Is it possible to add Baby Yoda cord pulls to my Techonaut?

Absolutely! Here’s proof:

Many thanks to the amazing Janine for making these and sending them our way!

And here’s the video tutorial on how to make Baby Yoda pulls at home:

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