Tom Bihn is without a doubt one of my top companies when it comes to US made packs with an amazing warranty and reputation. They have a unique look, and can fight many different functions. The Aero 45 is no exception. The Aero45 is Tom Bihn’s max carry-on sized duffle that can convert to a backpack or back to a duffle depending on how you want to carry it. It preforms extremely well in a ton of different situations. I recently took it on a trip to Taylor Park CO where it held all of my clothes, tools, dog gear, shoes, and camera gear for a 3 day trip easily. I had all of the clothes sectioned off into my packing cubes and the rest of the gear in the side pockets of the pack. I have also removed the standard zipper pulls and added my own paracord/shrink pulls.
The materials used on the Aero are all top notch from the zippers to the Ballistic nylon, these bags are built to last a lifetime. The outside material is 1050d Ballistic nylon, while the inside is a light weight 400d Ripstop Halcyon. Having the outside of the Aero be a tough and thicker material is great. It adds a little bit of “padding” to the bag and allows you to not have to be careful with the pack. The highvis interior or the Halcyon is amazing and helps with packing and visibility on the interior. One of the things Tom Bihn is known for is the array of different materials and colors available on their packs. I opted for the black Ballistic exterior and the red Halcyon interior. The duffel comes in at $300 which is not cheap. The price is due to the materials used, US made and Lifetime warranty. If you can afford it and travel enough to the point you don’t want to have to worry one bit about the thing holding all of your gear you can’t go wrong with Tom Bihn or the Aero 45.
You can buy the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 HERE
U.S. high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon — or — ultralight 400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop200 denier Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric liningTough Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related componentsMain Compartment and End Compartments:
#10 YKK Aquaguard Coil Zippers with lockable sliders
Diagonal End Pocket and Interior Pocket:
#8 YKK Aquaguard Coil Zippers
Interior Divider Zippers:
#5 YKK Vislon Molded Tooth3/8" / 10mm thick back foam panel
In the main compartment I had all of my packing cubes with clothes and jackets. The Aeronaut 45 comes in at 45 liters which is normally plenty for a 2-3 trip even one up to the mountains. The main pocket does fill up pretty quick with clothes especially with the jackets but I had room. On the inside of the flap there is a small zippered pocket for smaller items you want in the main compartment. On the very bottom of the pocket there are two compression straps which allow you to really compress the clothes in this compartment and keep them secure.
On either side of the Aero there is a zippered end compartment. This is where I normally put my extra shoes, dog gear, camera gear, and whatever else I wasn’t able to get in the main compartment. They are deceptively large and can also be added to the main compartment storage via a zippered pass through. This is a great feature if you need to fit larger or bulky items in the bag.
On the very ends of the bag there are two smaller zippered pockets for smaller items . Here I normally keep meds, wallet/keys/headphones, chargers, etc. These pockets can get somewhat tight if the rest of the bag is packed full. On the very outside of these pockets there are padded grab handles which is awesome to have if you have to grab the bag or pull it without being able to grab the main straps.
One of the key features on the of the Aeronaut 45 is the option to deploy shoulder straps from the back side of the bag which allow you to be able to carry the duffle like a backpack if you want. This feature is great when traveling and makes it one of the most capable “one bag” travel options available. When you don’t need the shoulder straps they pack away very easily and don’t take up any room in the main compartments. On the top side of the bag there are two points at which you can hook a shoulder strap onto and carry like a normal duffle. This is normally how I carry the bag but for any longer distance I use the shoulder straps. The straps are not meant to be as comfortable as dedicated backpacking style straps, however they do the job.
All in all the Aeronaut 45 is one of the best carry on options you can buy. The materials, warranty, build quality, organization, and versatility, give you everything you need for a trip. With the addition of some packing cubes this pack has amazing organization and options. The deploy able shoulder straps give you the option to turn this into a larger backpack for day trips or just a different carrying option rather than the normal shoulder strap. I love using my Aero 45 for not only a carry on but for a day-trip duffle as well. Many of my other carry-ons are only used as that because of the way they are built and lack of versatility. I will continue to use the Aero 45 as my go to travel bag for almost any situation.
Made in the US
Amazing Materials and zippers
Great build quality
Plenty of pockets for a duffle/travel bag
Can be somewhat heavy due to quality of nylon.