Question about accessories for Tri-Star
I've had a job that required sporadic travel but it is starting to pick up alot lately and I decided I wanted to get a better bag and try and go the 1 bag route. After lots of research between the tri-star and the red-oxx air boss, i've mostly settled on the tri-star because I like the extra pockets for organization.
My question though is i am a little intimidated by all the accessories and packaging options that exist on this site alone. I'm looking for some best practices/use cases for all of this. Historically i had a labtop bag that i threw a ton of stuff in (all my electronics) and a big old 2 wheel roller that sometimes i got forced to check, but was big enough that i never really sweated how to pack it.... all toiletries, meds, clothes, etc went in here.
Now if i get the tri-star can someone help me break down how and what you use accessory wise?
I see options for:
clear organizer pouches
travel stuff sack
3d mesh organizer cubes
mesh ballistic organizer pouches
3d clear organizer cubes
padded organizer pouches
shoulder packing bags,
clear packing cubes
packing cube backpack
nylong organizer puches
Like half that list just seems like different pouches of some type or another.... and i'm totally intimidated on what to get ....???
So what do you use and why?
Boy, you're really opening a can of worms. One of the great things about all these options is that each of us can tailor our purchases to what we need.
I think you first need to think about the whole "one-bag" concept and figure out what you will be packing. What you take, of course, will depend on how long you will be travelling and what you will be doing. There's lots of information online and on this website regarding tips and tricks to reduce the amount of stuff you have to carry. For example, rather than carry 3 weeks worth of clothes, get quick dry stuff and do laundry every few days.
Do you need a day bag? Do you need something 'stylish' in which to carry your laptop, for a visit with a customer, for instance?
Personally, I don't use a lot of pouches, and I have no use for a field journal. I use a 3D clear organizer cube for my toiletries and another one for electronic cables, chargers, etc. I don't have a brain cell, but I'm sorely tempted to get one. (Main reason I don't is a long story that would derail this response.) I usually like to have a day bag with me, so I either take my Synapse 25 in addition to my Tri-star, or I could bring a packing cube backpack. I use a small tri-star packing cube and a medium tri-star packing cube to keep my shirts/pants/etc organized inside the bag. I also have a couple stuff sacks to organize odds and ends. Although I typically travel for 1-week or less, I recently took my tri-star + day bag with me to Alaska for 3 weeks and had no issues carrying everything I needed.
Last edited by Mike; 09-14-2013 at 08:03 PM.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I should have mentioned, most of my trips are in the 2 to 3 day range. Couple of shirts, maybe 1 extra pants, 1 to 2 sets of work out clothes + sneakers. Labtop, charger, mouse, phone. I would need a labtop bag to goto customer site. I will maybe take my labtop bag to start with the tristar... so i have something for work.... If i get really good at this 1 bag thing, maybe ill be able to ditch the labtop bag in favor of something that fits in the tristart to take to work.... thats the goal anyway
Originally Posted by Mike
I think following Mike's advice is wise. If you can explain what sort of work you do, how many electronics and how much clothing you bring, and how long your trips take, we can be of more help. You may find the Tri-Star packing thread useful. Note that people use the TS for all sorts of travel, not just business, so what works for some may not work for you and your particular needs.
You are correct that most of the accessories you see are pouches, which come in different sizes and fabrics. Once again, as soon as we have a better idea of what you are carrying, we can make suggestions.
Packing Cubes and Accessories for the Tri-Star
I suggest that you take a look at the Tri-Star Video page on the Blog, with a list of accessories that are shown in the video. The same video was posted in the forums, and there's a link to the discussion thread.
Originally Posted by vaterp
In general, I'd suggest that you get the Tri-Star with the Absolute Strap (which you can/will use with other bags), and that at the very minimum you get the medium Tri-Star packing cube among the packing cubes. (I actually recommend the full set of small, medium, and large packing cubes, with a possible alternative of using the convertible packing cube backpack for the Tri-Star/Western Flyer in place of the large packing cube; plus using a 3D Clear organizer cube.)
The packing cubes make organization and packing really efficient, and are sized to the travel bags. The medium size cube for the Tri-Star is sized to the (larger) front zippered pocket. It also works well for a number of other bags, in case you want to convert your Synapse 19 or Synapse 25 for general 1 bag travel with clothes. The 3D Clear Organizer Cubes can be used as your 3-1-1 toiletry bag, but when they first came out, I found I was primarily using theses for laptop power bricks and cables. Now you can get the same size bags with mesh sides instead of clear, or in Dyneema as light weight, general carrying alternatives. They easily transfer to other bags-- for example, into pockets in the now sold -out Imago messenger bags, into the side pockets of the Co-Pilot (possibly secured with key straps), into the bottom front zippered pocket of the Synapse 19 (and other places), etc. These are just very multi-purpose and handy, and transfer easily among the various bags.
If you want to use a pack-it folder or sleeve, the 18" Eagle Creek pack-its will fit nicely into the back pocket (though they're a bit too large for the Western Flyer). You can also forego the large packing cube if you're only packing items like slacks that can easily be held in with the straps (as in the video) plus using a pack-it sleeve, although I personally prefer to use the large packing cube.
For a really large number of cables and electronics, you can use the Clear Quarter Packing Cube. That's large enough to take two laptop sized hard drives side by side in each of the two clear compartments, without even accounting for the extra depth for cables, etc, But that kind of cube volume fits better in an Aeronaut or backpack with a large volume chamber. And an accessory like the Snake Charmer for cables and electronics also works best I settings like the Brain Bag or Smart Alec, or in the bottom front pocket of the Synapse 25. In most other instances I'd find it easier to use the 3D Clear Organizer cubes or their variants in mesh and/or Dyneema instead, especially for easy transfers to other bags.
Use padded pouches if you want the extra protection -- for example, for a portable USB DVD or CD drive. One or two small organizer pouches are also generally useful here. A lot of the other accessories are most useful when used with briefcase style bags (e.g. Freudian Slips let you organize papers and other accessories so you can easily transfer them from (for example) a horizontal messages bag like the ID bag in the case of a Horizontal Freudian Slip, to your Tri-Star. In large backpacks like the Brain Bag or Smart Alex, the Vertical Freudian Slip (which does not fit the Tri-Star) can be even handier at getting to selected papers/folders.
Then, too, some accessories can double up functions. The packing cube shoulder bag ia a general packing cube (about the size of the Aeronaut end pockets), that can also be used at your destination to hold light jackets, guide books, etc. I t also fits conveniently into the bottom of the Swift (tote bag), or into the (now-sold out) Imago. In a TriStar I'd use this as an additional packing cube in the middle compartment.
I don't make much use if the Travel Tray, but this is good for quickly organizing loose items from your pockets or other pouches.
I'd recommend placing one order -- the Tri-Star with Absolute Strap and Medium Packing Cube to start. Then pack it as if you were taking a trip and figure out what other accessories you'd need. Once you take a few trips, you'll likely place a few more orders as you realize what works best for your style of packing.
I've accumulated a number of organizer pouches, cubes, freudian slip, etc. along the way for very specific needs. Now I can mix and match depending on what type of trip I'm going on.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I will definitely take a look at the video posted above.
QQ: Is there a briefcase/bag that can hold a 17" labtop and still fit in the middle compartment, that looks professional?
For what it's worth, I've used my Brain Cell as a minimalist laptop bag for hotel-to-office use: the sleeve pockets on the front will hold laptop and phone chargers, and I just switch the strap from the TS to the BC.
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The Size 1 Horizontal Brain Cell should hold a 17" laptop and fit into the Tri-star. Any other briefcase bag that holds a 17" laptop is too large to fit inside the Tri-Star, I think, unless the ID bag could fit into the center compartment. I can't check this, since I'm traveling with my Tri-Star. In any case, the ID bag in normal use is wider than the central compartment, so the question is whether you could squeeze it into the center pocket with a 17" laptop.
The Horizontal Brain Cell as a minimalist laptop bag is probably a better solution. Other briefcase type bags that can hold a 17" laptop, such as the Empire Builder. Would have to be carried separately.
Let me ask you pro's something. Is it a terrible idea if I plan on 2 bagging it with a tri-star? If I stick with my labtop bag for a while? The reason is right now i have a huge and heavy 17" dell labtop (its for work, not my choice). In the medium term i expect to get a new labtop, so I'd hate to buy all this gear to one bag it and then get a different labtop which doesnt fit. All these devices (brain cell) etc are pretty pricey not to expect to use long term. Similiar question though, if i go the biggest brain cell, and then put a smaller computer in it,,,, would it still protect the smaller computer or would it bounce around too much?
What about any of the other labtop bags? The brain cells seem like a nice protection bag, but not a very good briefcase for customer visits. At least it's really hard to tell from just online browsing. Is the only one that MIGHT fit in a tri-star the ID?(Moriond, did you get a chance to test that?)
Thanks all, I so wish i lived in seattle and could just swing by to check it all out
Not a terrible idea to continue with a second laptop bag, if you hope to downsize your laptop in the near future. A Brain Cell should be sized to fit your computer, in order to give adequate protection. And I really think the ID Bag is too wide for the central compartment of the Tri-Star, but someone with a recent model of the ID Bag can probably give you a definitive answer.
Originally Posted by vaterp