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  1. #1
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    Oct 2011
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    Preventing bulging in my Tri-Star?

    My well-loved Tri-Star has a tendency to barrel or bulge when loaded up with packing cubes, toiletries, laptop, and so on the inner bags migrate down to the bottoms and sides of the bag, and of course the TS's front pockets all stack on top of each other.

    On smaller regional planes that can make it tricky to get in overheads: there's plenty of room once it's in, but the bulges need to be squeezed through the entrance to the compartment.

    And the rest of the time it can look a little sloppy.

    I've thought from time to time about making rigid plastic panels, perhaps with compression straps, to add some structure a kind of compression framesheet. Stick the packing cubes between the panels, cinch down, and you get a nice flat side, with no bulging between the sections of the bag.

    Has anyone tried approaches to manage barrelling and 'slop'?

  2. #2
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    It takes careful packing. I like to fill my packing cubes as "square" as possibly, and underpack the central portion of the bag, if I can - which lets it "bulge" inward. Protects my more sensitive stuff in the center.

    Limiting the bulge makes me choose more carefully about what I pack into the water bottle pocket and front pockets. I use these less for the types of things I tend to bring on personal trips, but can utilize them more effectively on business trips (more flat, paper, etc items.)

    To limit small items and other things from migrating, I tend to "edge pack" portions of the bag. E.g. rolling a jacket or scarf to sit along the bottom of the center compartment. Putting a stuff sack or bagged down jacket along the edges. Filling up space equally and fully helps.

    When I'm into it, I kind of like the challenge of maximizing my space usage, while minimizing the bulge. It can take a lot of work, persistence and creativity! I don't think there's a magical solution, but I find that rolling what I can really helps. I find that I can get more consistent thickness out of items by rolling, but rolling isn't everyone thing.

    I do use an Eagle Creek folder from time to time, which does provide some extra compression in the rear compartment.

  3. #3
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    Embrace the Bulge!

    I pack clothes in the back compartment in EC Cubes mostly,Computer and paperwork in the middle and shoes in front right and random junk next to the shoes.
    I rarely have big bulge unless just overloading in an obvious manner.
    If anything the front side bulges but the computer in the middle seems to keep the back pretty flat for me.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input so far, folks.

    That's pretty much the packing approach I take, AVService; the back bulges from the cubes, and then the front tends to slump. I suspect I over-pack the back and the front, and so even though it all fits — I only have a sleeved laptop and some pads in the middle — it fits for the wrong reasons.

    Perhaps I should just hope that Horizon switches to Embraers with slightly larger overheads…

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by squaredot View Post
    I find that rolling what I can really helps. I find that I can get more consistent thickness out of items by rolling, but rolling isn't everyone thing.
    Aye, I roll and stack inside compression and non-compression cubes. I haven't tried stacking rolled jackets and such outside cubes (mainly because I rarely pack one), but I'll give it some thought.

    I do use an Eagle Creek folder from time to time, which does provide some extra compression in the rear compartment.
    Yeah, that's the kind of thing I was thinking about, but probably with stiffer plastic than the typical folding board. Imagine two folding boards inside a folder envelope, with your packing cubes inside. If the envelope fits in the back of the Tri-Star, it shouldn't intrude into the center pocket, thanks to the rigidity, and it shouldn't bulge, either it should compress rather than bulge.

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