View Full Version : Help me with my dilemma, please (Tri-Star in Halcyon vs Ballistic)

07-20-2017, 01:11 PM
It's been quite a while since I visited this forum. Two years ago I relinquished my roadwarrior status, and stopped commuting by air for work on a weekly basis. I have since rediscovered the joys - and frustrations - of occasional domestic and international air travel for pleasure.

My dilemma:
Is the lower weight of 400 Halcyon too much of a trade-off vs the structure provided by 1050 Ballistic? Losing 10oz in bag weight sounds amazing. But will the soft fabric exacerbate the bulge effect I saw in my original Tri-Star? Will more careful packing alleviate these problems without having to add something to the bag to add structure (and weight)?

One of my first TB bag purchases was a Tri-Star. It was from an early production run, in crimson ballistic nylon. I didn't love the colour because it stood out at the airport and the client office, but it was the only colour available at the time. The bag stood up to more than 200 flights over a 2-3 year period. Actually, I'd say it handled the frequency of use with aplomb! Aside from a discoloured back panel, the bag doesn't look far from new. My quibbles with the Tri-Star were that it tended to bulge too much in the middle when packed to capacity, and the weight with a laptop started to become more than I wanted over one or two shoulders. I still have the bag, but I moved away from one-bagging and found that a Western Flyer + Cadet combo balanced me better for business trips of 4-5b days.

My last big TB purchase was a Synapse 25 in black Halcyon, and I have enjoyed using it for personal travel over the last ~18 months. However I'd prefer to switch to a Large Cafe Bag for urban environments. And that means the laptop moves back into my primary bag.

Once again I'm looking at the Tri-Star, for international trips to Latin America and Europe. I see a lot more scrutiny of carry-on bags now than when I bought my original Tri-Star, and I'm concerned that I'll be forced to gate-check my crimson model more often than not. With that in mind, I'm looking to go more stealthy - either black Halcyon, black ballistic or steel ballistic. My intent is to always carry on, but I know that won't always be possible.

Thanks in advance for your input!

07-20-2017, 02:13 PM
I know that I carry mine on in Steel Ballistic and have never even been questioned about the size and mine has defied all measurement frequently aside from weight for sure!

I also know that for me 10oz seems like not worth any possible issues with less tough materials in my bag when I need it to preform at all costs!

So a lot of it is in your point of view too probably?
Mine is Ballistic all the way.

On a side note I am supposed to be up there in Longmont in the next week or so and I am eager to escape the midwest heat we are suffering now!
I go to Gunnison then where I know it will be nice!

07-20-2017, 02:40 PM
Hey, long time no see! Glad you're back.

If you're trying to avoid back and shoulder pain, I wouldn't say that a 10-oz. difference is insignificant. The Tri-Star has so much material in it that I find it sort of heavy even when it's empty. My Tri-Star is in original 400d Steel Dyneema, and it's performed very well. It can bulge in the middle if I'm being slapdash with my packing, but to be honest, it wasn't any worse than when I did a slapdash job of packing into my Ballistic Western Flyer.

Personally, I've checked Halcyon bags, including on international flights, and they've always come out on the other end just fine. It's not like they can't endure a bit of roughing up.

07-20-2017, 07:12 PM
Thanks Badger, it's good to see mostly familiar faces here after my lengthy sabbatical :D. I thought I'd bought all the TB bags any one person could possibly need or want, but I guess I should never say never... Work travel got so crazy that I got out of the habit of checking the forum. And now I have a different set of priorities with respect to travel. I'm taking my son over to the UK in 10 days to torture, err I mean entertain, his grandparents for a fortnight. I have a Luminary on its way for him, and a Halcyon LCB for me. But it seems like Tri-Stars are currently on the production floor and that little voice in the back of my head said maybe it's time to upgrade.

10oz is 10oz, and might just make a difference in comfort. My 400 Halcyon Synapse 25 is holding up fine. I can eliminate some of the bulk I used to carry now the Tri-Star is compatible with the Cache and the the rail clips. Time to retire the Brain Cell after several years' duty. I shall practice on my packing skills, assuming my choice of Halcyon Tri-Star comes off the production floor in the next few days.

07-24-2017, 09:18 PM
Tonight my choice of Tri-Star came back into inventory. Just in the nick of time! I opted for Halcyon over Ballistic. Black 400 / Island 200 will arrive on Friday, and I leave for the UK on Saturday. Along with the same colour combination in an Aeronaut 45. I'm flying Virgin Atlantic, and I just discovered their carry on policy is less generous than I've been used to. My Synapse 25 and my Cadet are both too large to qualify as personal items, but the LCB and Luminary that arrived today should be OK. I'm loathe to check anything, so we will be carrying on. Both the TS and A45 are small enough to fit their dimensional limits, and I'm restricted to 10kg / 22lb so the lighter fabric may make all the difference.

07-25-2017, 07:37 AM
Black Halcyon/Island is a gorgeous combo. I'm leaving for the UK on Saturday too, what a coincidence! I'm taking a Forest Aeronaut. Have a good trip!