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Tom Bihn Aeronaut

*Est. $240
Reviewed
March 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Tom Bihn Aeronaut

Pros
  • Extremely light
  • Very sturdy ballistic nylon
  • Splash-proof YKK zippers
  • Backpack, shoulder bag or suitcase
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Warranty doesn't cover wear or damage
  • No special laptop compartment
  • Some may prefer a rolling bag

The Tom Bihn Aeronaut has a lot in common with the top-rated Red Oxx Air Boss (*Est. $225), reviewers say. Both are made in the USA, and both are extraordinarily sturdy, lightweight and well-designed nonwheeled carry-ons, ideal for frequent travelers who like to fit everything into one very portable bag. But the two bags are laid out differently. The Air Boss has three main compartments, including one that can hold a laptop (or an entire laptop case). The Aeronaut lacks a laptop compartment, but some testers find its bigger clothes compartment (accessible through a wide U-shaped zipper on the front) and smaller side compartments fit their belongings better than the Air Boss. The Aeronaut can also convert into a backpack -- something the Air Boss can't do. But although both bags are incredibly well built and water resistant, the Air Boss's lifetime warranty covers wear and damage, and the Aeronaut's doesn't. If you're looking for less expensive backpack-style luggage, consider the top-rated eBags Weekender eTech Convertible (*Est. $60).

Travel bloggers conduct very thorough reviews of the Tom Bihn Aeronaut, with lots of photos. One of these, PracticalHacks.com, compares the Aeronaut to the top-rated Red Oxx Air Boss. Other reviews at the blog One Bag, One World and TheGadgeteer.com test the Aeronaut along with its accessory packing cubes. About.com's guide to European travel also makes the Aeronaut one of his top picks, after carrying it on a 10-week trip.

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eBags Weekender eTech Convertible
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Our Sources

1. PracticalHacks.com

This blogger specializes in one-bag travel and he likes the Tom Bihn Aeronaut even better than the top-rated Red Oxx Air Boss for that purpose. His photos show the similarities and differences between the two bags, and how easy it is to fit a lot of clothes into the Aeronaut.

Review: First Take: Tom Bihn Aeronaut Travel Bag, "Kevin", April 13, 2009

2. Onebagger.squarespace.com

The Tom Bihn Aeronaut gets a 5-star rating and is a top pick for one-bag travelers, according to this blogger. The reviewer finds a few minor design flaws, but overall he is very impressed with this sturdy, well-thought-out bag.

Review: Going Boldly with the Aeronaut -- Full User Review, "Brad", July 31, 2007

3. 1bag1world.com

This review is an update of the previous one. While substantially agreeing with "Brad's" conclusions about the Tom Bihn Aeronaut, this reviewer also describes some minor changes and updates to the bag's design in the past four years.

Review: Gear Review: Tom Bihn Aeronaut—Updated, "Frank II", Jan. 25, 2012

4. TheGadgeteer.com

Here is another well-illustrated review of the Tom Bihn Aeronaut by a blogger who likes a carry-on bag that can fit a laptop and lots of electronics. The Aeronaut fills the bill, especially when used with Tom Bihn packing cubes.

Review: Tom Bihn Aeronaut Maximum Carry On Bag and Accessories, Judie Lipsett, Aug. 15, 2006

5. About.com

James Martin, About.com's guide to European travel, gives the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 4.5 stars out of a possible 5. It holds a lot, has all kinds of convenient pouches and compartments, converts to a backpack for easy carrying and shrugs off dirt. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)

Review: Tom Bihn Aeronaut Carry-on Bag Review, James Martin, Not dated

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