I’ve been eyeing (okay, stalking) the Aeronaut 30 and Pilot for what feels like forever. I finally dropped some bills and couldn’t be happier with my purchases. Granted, I haven’t even used them but that doesn’t matter! I love them and I know I will love them even more when they’re actually put to use!
There are a ton of reviews about the Aeronaut 30 and Pilot (I know because I have read and watched all of them… multiple times), so these are some of the ones that I referenced to over and over again (and then once more just to be sure) to help solidify my choice.
Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 Review by everythingsablur
Brief Aeronaut 30 Review by adampaul on the Tom Bihn Forum
Gear Review: Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 by Frank@OBOW
Tom Bihn Pilot Review by everythingsablur
Tom Bihn Pilot Carry On Bag by James Martin
When I travel, I like to carry as little as possible, so I prefer luggage that fit carry on requirements. I avoid checking in luggage because 1.) I’m paranoid of my luggage getting lost and 2) I hate waiting around for luggage! I value every single precious minute on vacation so I don’t want to waste it being stuck in a crowd of people and conveyor belts. Therefore, I needed the perfect carry on bag that I could bring along for all my adventures.
After much perusing, the Aeronaut 30 seemed like the bag that could fit all my needs. It was simple yet functional with a fantastic design – no crazy bells or whistles. It’s also pretty lightweight and durable and, by the looks of the videos I’ve seen, can still hold a lot (if you’re looking for something with a little more space, check out the Aeronaut 45. I’m short and weak so the 30 was better for my stature).
At first I was debating between Black and Coyote, but I ultimately chose Aubergine because I love the color purple. Aubergine was the right hue for me in that it didn’t look childish, but the color still stood out in a nice way. I’m so glad the Pilot came in Aubergine too because I am all about matching and coordination. If only the Small Cafe Bag came in Aubergine, I could have the perfect trio of travel bags!
I don’t have Tom Bihn packing cubes, but I do have the ones from eBags. The medium sized cubes can fit inside the main compartment. Packing cubes are a lifesaver and help me stay organized while packing as well as throughout my trip.
If the Aeronaut 30 is out of your budget, another bag I constantly looked at was the e-Bags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Junior. This bag has a lot of pockets and compartments as well as a laptop compartment. I ultimately chose the Aeronaut 30 because I didn’t need all the compartments the Mother Lode offered. The Aeronaut 30 is also more aesthetically pleasing to me.
I had a mini dilemma choosing between the Pilot and Co-Pilot before eventually choosing the Pilot. Although the Pilot is bigger, it can still be considered a personal item and fit right underneath your airplane seat. It has a few compartments that can neatly store all the knick knacks I like to have on hand during a flight (especially long hauls!), or random things that just didn’t quite fit into my Aeronaut. Since I don’t really pack too much, I think I could also use the Pilot for quick overnight or weekend trips.
Now to decide on a trip to christen my new babies…