The following Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 backpack review was submitted by Flissy. Read more female backpack reviews here.
My name is Flissy and I am a professional belly dancer and yoga teacher. I travel a bunch to attend trainings and conferences for yoga and dance. My husband and I also travel for fun. We love hiking and sightseeing of all kinds and we enjoy the freedom of packing light. Both of us travel pretty much exclusively with the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 — we each have one!
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45. The bag itself retails for $295. I have a bunch of packing cubes designed just for this bag, and all the accessories I have cost another $250.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
I’ve had my Aeronaut for about six years. It’s gone everywhere! Italy, Aruba, all over the US on road trips and flights.
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack?
When I bought the Aeronaut, I wanted something that looked more like luggage than a camping backpack. This was my transition from using bulky luggage I’d always check to traveling carry-on only, so I wanted a bag that maximized use of a small space. I travel frequently so it had to be rugged and comfortable to carry.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
The Aeronaut has given me so much freedom! It fits easily in an overhead bin on any plane, even when it looks crowded with other bags. I’ve also slid it under the seat in a pinch. It’s very comfortable to carry, even when packed full. This was a life saver when my husband and I went to Cinque Terre and had to hike up what seemed like a million steps to get to our hotel. I feel like I can pick up and go anywhere anytime with this bag!
I also love how well-designed the interior is with its one large compartment and well-planned smaller compartments. By using the custom packing cubes, it’s easy to keep everything organized, which is essential when I am on a long trip with multiple stops.
The downsize is, of course, the expense! Also, for a weekend trip, this bag can be too big. My husband and I will often pack both our things in one Aeronaut for a weekend.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
I’m about 5’4” and the Aeronaut is very comfortable to carry as a backpack. The sternum strap can help distribute the weight and stabilize it when it’s heavy. It has a well-padded handle on the side and it’s fine to carry that way, too. Lots of times I have a hard time carrying bags tote-style because I have short legs and big bags tend to drag on the ground if I’m not careful! There is a shoulder strap you can attach, too, but that is the least comfortable way to carry the bag.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
Yes! That was the main reason I chose the Aeronaut.
>> Read another review of the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
It’s just right most of the time. As I mentioned, for a short trip, my husband and I will pack both our things in one Aeronaut, so depending on your needs it could be too large. My husband has considered also buying an Aeronaut 30 for that reason. I have jammed my bag pretty full for some trips but I still wouldn’t consider it too small.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
About the author: Flissy has been a life-long traveler, having been spoiled by parents who took her all over the US and abroad throughout her childhood and young adult years. An E-RYT 200 yoga teacher and professional tribal style belly dancer, she loves to travel to study and teach belly dance and yoga, as well as for hiking and fun with her husband. She can be found at www.omchantress.com or on Twitter. Flissy & her husband, Steve also have a podcast about records at www.livinginhifi.com.
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