Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 & Co-Pilot Combo for 2 Week Italy Trip

Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 & Co-Pilot Combo for 2 Week Italy Trip

I recently took a two-week trip to Italy & France. We visited 4 different cities: Rome, Florence, Venice, and Paris. For transportation, we traveled on three planes, fours trains, six taxis, two water taxis, and TONS of walking. This lead me down the path of packing lightly and gave me a good reason to finally purchase the Aeronaut 45 in Black Ballistic Nylon/Wasabi (something I’ve wanted for years).

I also wanted a small personal bag that would hold important items like my passport, money, etc, and also fun stuff like my iPad Pro 9.7”, Bose headphones, kindle, and Patagonia Down Sweater. I was a little nervous about theft, so I didn’t want to take my Synapse 25. Instead, I purchased a Black Halcyon Co-Pilot. Wow do I love this bag (more on that later).

Packing List

I packed about a week’s worth of clothes and used laundry service at our hotel in Florence once so I would have clean clothes for the entire trip. I used Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Original packing cubes which worked out really well.


Most of the items in the Aeronaut were in packing cubes.

Large Packing Cube
  • 2 Gap sweaters
  • 1 Henley
  • 2 Button-ups
Large Packing Cube
  • 3 button-ups
  • 1 sweater
Half Packing Cube
  • 6 undershirts
Half Packing Cube
  • 8 underwear
Half Packing Cube
  • 8 socks
Toiletry Kit
  • Razor
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Floss
  • Beard trimmer
  • Hair cream
Free in bag
  • Jeans
  • Sneakers


  • iPad
  • Cables
  • Backup battery
  • Headphones
  • European plug adapters
  • Side Effect

Thoughts on Aeronaut

I had zero doubts that I would love this bag, and I wasn’t wrong. It’s truly incredible how much you can fit inside. I mostly used it in backpack mode which kept me nice and nimble.

The Eagle Creek packing cubes worked really well inside the Aeronaut. I was able to fit 2 large and 2 mediums in the main compartment. I had another medium cube in the side pocket and my sneakers in the other side pocket. I found out I really didn’t need 2 pairs of shoes, so that should free up even more space for my next trip.

Between all the planes, trains, and automobiles the Aeronaut was simply the best travel bag I’ve ever used. I plan on taking many more trips with it.

Thoughts on Co-Pilot

In the past, I’ve traveled with my Synapse 25 as my personal item, so I was unsure about this bag initially. The main reason I started looking at it is because of potential theft issues for backpacks in crowded places.

On the Plane, Train, and Car

This is the perfect personal bag for travel. It easily fits on my lap, under seats, and on tray tables. The built-in organization of the bag made it super easy to things in/out of it.

Out and About

This was my day bag for the entire trip. During the day I would pack it with my Patagonia Down Sweater (it folds into its own pocket), Side Effect with passport, money, etc, a water bottle, and some snacks. Just what I needed and nothing more. Perfection.

Carrying it with the Aeronaut

Since I mostly carried the Aeronaut in backpack mode, I would either sling the Co-Pilot over my shoulder or simply hand-carry. Both worked well.


It was our first time in Europe and we had such a great experience. I truly believe that these two bags made our trip better. I wasn’t stressing about the safety of our items or lugging them around. They gave me peace of mind.

I think the Side Effect was overkill and will probably end up getting rid of it.

I ended up loving the Co-Pilot so much, I just purchased a Pilot in Navy/Northwest Sky.