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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Tristar vs. 20" wheel carry on


    I'm going to be taking a 12 day trip to China.

    I'm comparing the Tristar vs. 20" wheeled carry-on (Dimensions 14" x 8" x 20").

    Is it a fact that I'll be able to pack more into the Tristar/more efficiently into the Tristar vs. the wheeled?

    On the way it will be just clothes (and I will try to cut it to as minimum as possible!) - probably no change of shoes even (maybe just shower sandals)

    I just want to make sure I'll have enough space for little things I might pick up during the trip for the return.

    You guys are all way more experienced at this - I think it's doable in both - but is there ever a time when you WOULD choose to use a 20" upright wheeled carry on vs. the Tristar??

    or is that just crazy talk!?!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    For space efficiency and lightweight travel a non-wheeled bag makes better sense. However, if you are not in a position to carry a bag in your hand or shoulders due to some reason - arthritis, injury, low strength, etc. then a wheeled bag probably makes more sense. In addition, even if you are healthy a wheeled bag makes sense if you don't want to travel light intentionally. Non-wheeled bags are mainly for light weight travelers.
    Check out my Size Fit Tool for TB's Laptop Bags (H/V Brain Cell and Cache), extensible to other bags in general

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by andylogan View Post
    is there ever a time when you WOULD choose to use a 20" upright wheeled carry on vs. the Tristar??
    If you are taking a lot of gifts there, or bringing a lot of gifts/purchases home.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Hi, andylogan.

    1. Will you be traveling throughout or staying in one place? What will the terrain (roads, stairs) be like? Can you have the items shipped? Can you pack them in a sturdy box and check it for your return flight?

    2. What is the usable space of the wheelie? The Tri-Star is 2,000 cubic inches, the wheelie 2,240. How much of that is taken up by the frame elements?

    If all that space is usable, the wheelie is 240 cubic inches larger, or 4 liters: equivalent to four Clear Quarter Packing Cubes or Kits, or a gallon of water. Is that a significant difference?

    3. Do you own either of these bags, or are you planning to purchase one or the other? (I.e., do you own a wheelie but want to buy a Tri-Star? Do you want a Tri-Star but fear it won't be quite large enough?)

    4. Can you carry a personal bag as well? The Cafe Bags start at 6 liters; the Packing Cube bags might be suitable. I would take a large Shop Bag, with a packing cube, a stuff sack, or even just a plastic bag in it to make sure nothing can fall out. It's lightweight and takes up little space. And you can use it like crazy when you get home.

    5. What bagman said: If you can't carry, then that's that.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I think a better comparison would be the Aeronaut and a 20" wheeled carryon. My wife and I took the said luggages (a Tumi 20" carryon) on a two-week trip to China last fall. The capacity is about the same and I had no problem carrying the Aeronaut with all my belongings. We were shuttled from city to city on buses so there were very little need for us to carry the luggages on our own for extended distances. We do, however, put the heavier items in the wheeled luggage because as good as Aeronaut is for one-bag traveling, the wheeled luggage is almost effortless especially just walking around the airport without any stairs.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Thanks for all your help!

    I generally won't be buying a lot of gifts - it's just if something does catch my eye or whatnot I might get it. Having just carryon pretty much makes it an easy decision whether to buy it or not!

    1. I'll be travelling to Shanghai and Beijing - just city stuff really and I think they'll be doing airport transfers so no worries there. I don't want to check anything in case flight changes, etc. I suppose I could ship things back if needed.

    3. Yup I own both - but have only used the Tristar for short-term trips and it has worked great- this one is just a bit longer though and I wanted to see what most people do.

    4. Can you carry a personal bag as well? The Cafe Bags start at 6 liters; the Packing Cube bags might be suitable.

    With the airline restrictions I think I can only have the one carry on - and then a small personal item - which I think will be my laptop.

    5. Physically it should be okay to do- but I suppose I'll have to weigh the stuff I'm taking and decide which would be best. I think it will come down to weight. Also have to consider the weight restrictions of the airline too.

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