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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsHPGHPGAston House v. AHBC v. Lindi+Tara for International Carry-on Travel?Aston House v. AHBC v. Lindi+Tara for International Carry-on Travel?
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10/14/2018 8:41 AM
 

Over the next year, I'm planning to do a fair amount of international travel ... ten days in Peru; four weeks in southeast Asia; another four weeks in Europe. For a month now I've been researching backpack options. After looking at everything from Osprey, Cotopaxi, Tortuga, Minaal, Goruck, and Tom Bihn, I've come to appreciate the small companies that make packs for backcountry hunting, including HPG, for their build quality and comfort while carrying a decent load.

So here's what I have in mind ... I want a main pack that fits within European carryon rules, and a smaller pack or bag I can use for EDC, one that will carry a 12 inch Macbook and fly as a personal item. The smaller bag should strap to the larger to keep hands free when I'm carrying both.

The combination of an Umlindi and Tara is appealing, but I wonder if I'd be better off with the larger volume of an AH or AHBC. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. What would you take under those circumstances? And if you'd recommend an AH or AHBC, what would you use for the smaller EDC?

Thank you.

 

 
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10/14/2018 6:49 PM
 
I love a top loader for backpacking but for travel I prefer a panel loader by a wide margin. I wish the AH and AHBC had been out when I bought my travel packs because I'd love to try them out for it.

It sounds like you're planning for carry on only and I too ruled the GoRuck out for that. The GR1 doesn't have quite enough capacity for business travel (I have one and use it for short overnights and casual trips) and the GR2 is wonky and eats into the weight limitation to much. You didn't ask but I have an Osprey Farpoint 40 and, aside from the laptop compartment being useless, it's a good pack for carry on only travel with one exception. That is, mine isn't wearing the best because the fabric they use is just a little to thin. Especially the back panel. When it's dead I plan to replace it with an AHBC if the dimensions are suitable (which I'm assuming they are since you're asking about it).

I've tried an Umlindi and Tara for just what you describe and didn't care for it. It'd be fine if the Tara is kept empty of everything but waht needed in flight and you're fine with a top loader but, personally, I hate how far that combination can stick out and there's no dedicated laptop compartment so getting a laptop out at a security checkpoint can be a pain. Essentially I had to unpack the Umlindi to get my business class laptop and its case out and back in. A small ultrabook or a tougher case locked in between the two packs might work better.
 
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10/15/2018 6:28 AM
 
Thanks for all that, veriest1. I go back and forth on top-loaders. I have a Mission Workshop Rambler that I bought years ago when I was commuting by bike, and I've sometimes used it as a carry-on. I don't mind it as long as they're nothing inside I need to retrieve while in transit. And yes, I've thought about Farpoint 40, and tried one with weight at a nearby REI. It's my fallback position if I can't find something else and just want something that will work for a few years without costing too much money.

 
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10/15/2018 10:24 AM
 

The Osprey will work but don't expect much out of it. I know the reviews on the travel websites tend to like it (and those reviews are part of how I ended up with one) but in use it acts more like a one compartment pack.  It's easy to make the main compartment eat up all the room in the "laptop" compartment as it expands outward. The laptop sleeve is one area where the GoRuck excels btw. 

The little pouch at the top of the Farpoint is pretty handy and more useful than one would think. I clip my car keys there once I'm at the airport so I don't lose them on the road somewhere, toss a couple of snacks in, and a pair of sunglasses. 

The water bottle pockets are pretty useless but I've collapsed a plastic water bottle and stored it there while going through security (then filled it back up on the other side). 

Interestingly, for those of us who prefer carry on only travel, the AH is listed at 3.8 pounds and 50 liters while the AHBC is listed at 4.4 pounds and 48 liters. I figured it would be opposite of that give what appears to be a simpler design on the AHBC. Can anyone weigh in on these how those little differences work? I don't like going over 4 pounds for a carry on pack but I like the simple one compartment "suitcase" look of the AHBC because I like to be able to toss my pack on the bed at the hotel and live out of it like suitcase-sized closet.

 
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10/15/2018 10:31 AM
 
The AH has more dividers, which add weight as does the extra 6/12 on the front slot pocket. The extra volume comes in because the divider is missing so you can pack more into it. Remember it is not a hard sided cube, but with the stiffener in the divider it acts more like one for the back pocket of the AH.

I think you are on the right track with the AHBC, but I would need to know a bit more about what you are looking to carry in the smaller pack, because it sounds to me that an attache might work well for the 2nd bag. I wouldn't even strap it on just put it under the Aston Panel and carry it that way. I like a panel loader for very few things, but the travel you describe is on of them because as has been pointed out you can lay it flat and open it and no unpacking is needed.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/15/2018 10:42 AM
 
Thanks, Scot. An attache would work. And it hadn't occurred to me to just stuff the attache under the Aston Panel, but that should work fine too. (When I'm trying to think things through, I sometimes make them more complicated than they need to be.)
 
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10/16/2018 3:24 PM
 
scothill wrote:
The AH has more dividers, which add weight as does the extra 6/12 on the front slot pocket. The extra volume comes in because the divider is missing so you can pack more into it. Remember it is not a hard sided cube, but with the stiffener in the divider it acts more like one for the back pocket of the AH.

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Scott, your response makes it sound like the AHBC is lighter and has more capacity than the original AH and that's exactly what I expected. Are the stats listed on the product pages backwards?
 
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10/16/2018 7:01 PM
 
veriest1 wrote:
Scott, your response makes it sound like the AHBC is lighter and has more capacity than the original AH and that's exactly what I expected. Are the stats listed on the product pages backwards?

******************************************

Veriest1, I was wondering the same thing, so I just weighed my ranger green/khaki AHBC. It is 4lbs, 6oz without a belt (or any delta straps).  That translates to 4.4 lbs, so as far as I can see the listed weight is correct.  

 
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10/16/2018 7:07 PM
 
I forgot about dual stay vs single. That is going to be a difference that counter balances the other stuff now that ai think about it.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/16/2018 8:45 PM
 

Are the frame sheets interchangeable? Interchangeable with my Umlindi?

What I'm thinking of is an AHBC set up as light as possible for travel.

 
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10/17/2018 9:49 AM
 
The frame sheets are interchangeable between the AHBC and the AH, and you could probably fit in an umlindi one, but it shouldn't be much difference from the AH on. My recommendation is just pull the stays and see if that makes a weight difference to you when you actually carry it, and if you miss the load carriage they add. On my to do list is to add AHBC frame sheets to my AH packs for the better load carriage. I get wanting a light pack for air travel since my pack seems to gain 5-10lbs for every hour I sit on a plane on each trip, but with the weight in it I am glade for the stays for comfort.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/17/2018 10:45 AM
 
Scot ... From your posts it's my impression that you're using an AH for travel. If that's right, I'd be interested in hearing why you prefer it over the AHBC. Thanks!
 
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10/17/2018 11:02 AM
 
The AH was largely designed based on my experience with business traveling. I have been a frequent traveler for over 14 years at this point, and for most of that time it meant flying once a week. Now I get to drive more then I fly which is a blessing. I am still using the original production sample for my "briefcase" for lack of a better term. It has everything I need in it to complete my job and stay comfortable and safe to do that. I prefer it over the AHBC for its organization. That being said I don't use it for a clothes bag it is my carry on/in for computer, camera, jacket, warm layer, cables, meds, etc... I use a small roller duffle, which gets checked for clothes and toiletries. If that doesn't show up I can always hit walmart for a shirt, socks, deodorant, etc..., but without what I am carrying I wouldn't be able to work.

I actually have a 2nd one, that I started using instead of my Conner. The back pocket closest to the body stays empty, and the front and Aston pocket carry all my stuff. I have a couple of BFG 10 speeds in the slot pocket. The set up means I have extra space to put stuff in and it is out of the way otherwise. This is especially useful traveling by car since I can put my 300blk in the back pocket and have it fully contained for walking in and out of hotels. That way I am not leaving it in the car, and I am not obviously carrying a gun bag either. Although having two of the same pack probably looks a bit strange.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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10/20/2018 2:48 PM
 
Thanks, Scot. The difference between the AH and AHBC reminds me of discussions about certain Tom Bihn travel bags. Their Aeronauts are essentially a duffle with backpack straps. Their Western Flyer and Tri-Star have much more organization. The WF, in particular, is strikingly similar to the AH in one respect -- it's divided into a front and back compartment, each 3-1/2 inches deep compared to the AH's four inches. It seems to come down to packing style and personal preference. There's a vocal minority of people who strongly prefer the WF or Tri-Star as a clothes bag. Because I haven't tried both, I'm not sure which way I'd go if I had a choice.
 
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10/20/2018 11:32 PM
 

I definitely worry more about staying under the weight limit for carry ons than I do comfort and the extra capacity and suit case like nature of the AHBC appeals to me because I don't bring a checked bag. Running one with a lighter frame sheet shouldn't be an issue for running around airports.

I think the AHBC will be my next travel bag. Hopefully I have a lighter computer by then so the little bit of extra weight won't be an issue. Right now I'm normally wothin a pound or so of the maximum with the lighter Osprey pack.

 

 
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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsHPGHPGAston House v. AHBC v. Lindi+Tara for International Carry-on Travel?Aston House v. AHBC v. Lindi+Tara for International Carry-on Travel?