This carry on changed my life. Not gonna lie, I was a firm believer in the roller bag only lifestyle. Why would I ever want to carry my luggage when I just glide through the terminal with ease? As much as I adore my eBags eTech 2.0 Mini Wheeled Duffel, I hate gate checking it in all the time. So, the downside of flying standby is that when you’re the last one to board 95% of the time ALL the overhead compartment space is occupied. You think watching paint dry sucks? To me, nothing is more boring than standing in Baggage Claim, watching everyone else’s luggage come out of the shoot on to the carousel before yours. Anyways, I felt it was time to add a dope backpack/duffel to my luggage family. In my research, I found out that most travel bloggers opt for backpacks because of their convenience and versatility. When traveling, it is extremely important to be as hands-free as possible. Especially, with constantly fumbling with passports and plane tickets. Even more so when you’re traveling by yourself. I stumbled upon the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30/45 and I swear it was love at first sight. I knew it was true after watching this video:
Reasons Why I Love This Bag
1. It’s ssooooooo roomy.
Okay, so my Harry Potter fans out there you know Hermione’s little purse that holds every single thing. The Aeronaut is the backpack version of that! I was debating of getting the larger 45 option, but I ended up with the 30 because of it’s compability with smaller European airplanes. Don’t let the size fool you, the Aeronaut’s main compartment is built like a trapezoid so it gets deeper and wider towards the bottom. The left and right compartments also zip open so you can easily fit those extra souvenirs. With the 30 version, I easily packed 5 days worth of clothes and my toiletries. To maximize on space, I suggest you get packing cubes so you can effectively use all the space.
2. It’s built to last.
The Aeronaut was designed with function in mind. My favorite aspect about this bag are the backpack straps that can be easily put away and turned into a shoulder duffel. The straps are also wide and padded, so they’re very comfy. My biggest pet peeve are backpacks with thin straps. The outer shell is made out of High Tenacity Ballistic Nylon so it can withstand some man handling Apparently, this is a super-tough fabric and according to the Tom Bihn website this fabric is originally designed for use in bullet-proof vests. The main body of the bag is split into three significant compartments: a large center compartment in between two end compartments. Fun Fact: the end compartments can accommodate a pair of size 12 men shoes. (Sorry, size 13 and above!)
side compartments perfect for shoes or toiletries
3. It fits underneath the seat of a plane.
I know this point technically belongs in point #2, but I feel this is a very important aspect. Don’t you just love it when passenger bum rush standing up and try to race opening the overhead compartment? The cabin door wouldn’t be open yet and the infamous aisle seaters pop up like prairie dogs reaching that handle. As people are stressing, I am stretching because I don’t have to worry about rushing to grab my bag because, it’s right in front of me! Ah, you have no idea how dreamy it is having all your items in arms reach. Nothing is more sucky than storing your carry on 5 rows behind you. It’s actually more convenient to store your luggage in the compartments before your seats, but if you have major trust issues don’t even bother!
Reasons Why You Wouldn’t Want this Bag
1. It’s kinda expensive.
This bag is definitely at the upper end in price for travel backpacks. The Aeronaut 30 retails at $285. That’s practically a plane ticket. If you do minimal traveling, I suggest you look at Osprey which is around $100 cheaper. However, if you do lots of traveling like 6 or more times a year, I highly recommend the Aeronaut 30. When if comes to luggage, cheaper isn’t necessarily better. With more and more airline restrictions, companies are constantly improving luggage design and technology, so it’s best to keep up with latest design to maximize your packed items.
Honestly, that’s the only reason I wouldn’t get this bag. The first time I stumbled on Tom Bihn was in 2013 and I barely purchased the Aeronaut 30 for myself this year. College student Joelle wasn’t down to drop $285 for a backpack way back then, haha. I have no regrets in buying this bag. It’s aesthetically pleasing, made to last and even if it doesn’t it’s covered by lifetime warranty. It has been such a great investment, and the Aeronaut has made traveling a lot less stressful. So if you’re looking to treat yourself, get the Aeronaut 30!