First time poster here, people. I've been lurking for months in the shadows of all you professional Bihners, in awe of your collections and your adventures. My own collection has been building while we prepared to leave the US to live in Asia, knowing how much harder it is to get something shipped to me outside the US. I fell in love with TB bags as soon as I put on my Synapse 19 the first time... then I was addicted! But that's for a later time...
Recently, my family and I moved to Indonesia. Just this last week, I was sent from Bandung to Medan, which is about a two hour flight. I was going for three days, by myself. I was terribly nervous, not knowing the language yet, and flying a new airline in Asia, where they're very often completely picky about weight of bags. I knew I needed to pack light, and not check any luggage.
Plus, I have this to deal with coming out of the house where my family and I live:
See why I didn't want to take any wheeled luggage? And that's only ONE of the several just like this before I can even think about getting a taxi.
With its ingenious storage compartments, I was able to fit everything I needed into that one bag, using the middle compartment for my computer and accessories, the big back compartment for my clothes (in a large packing cube), and the front compartments for little things, my iPad, etc. I used the small and medium zippers for my passport and earphones.
It worked like a charm! I used the backpack straps to get the Tri-Star out of my neighborhood ("kampung"), and into the taxi. But at the airport, I used the Absolute Strap and it looked like a briefcase. The ticket agent never even looked twice at me, never asked to weigh the bag (even though I was a kilo or two over the rediculous 7kg weight limit for a carry-on), and let me carry it on. Then I used the backpack straps again as we walked out to the plane, directly onto the runway:
This thing held everything I needed for this trip, as well as gave me room for some things I was given there and had to bring back with me. The Absolute Strap made the load easily bearable, and made the bag into a briefcase when I needed to get to meetings with my colleagues and partners.
And the zippers and cache even kept my computer and other things dry when I got back to Bandung in the middle of the worst thunderstorm I've seen here yet.
Here's my superstar, everything zipped open so it can dry out:
Closed back up, with the other accessories that were extremely helpful on the trip: a Passport Pouch, Mesh Cube for my computer cables, and another for my non-tech accessories. All three of them were attached with keystraps.
In summary, this is the most useful travel bag I've ever used, and it truly saved me on this trip. It has now graduated to being my go-to bag for any trip of a few days' length, and is the only bag I want to take out of my house!