View Full Version : Jeans in a Tri-Star (or A30)

12-14-2017, 06:00 PM
Good evening.

Been lurking for some time and I'm about to drop the hammer on a new bag. I travel for work ALOT, mostly by my work truck, but I do have random flights scattered through-out the year. I recently got addicted to carry on only and I want a "one bag" solution for me. So it has to fulfill a multi-mission role for me. In the field with work jeans one week, teaching classes in khakis another......and so far the TS in Navy has really got my attention. Here's my dilemma though...

Will 5 pair of jeans fit in one of the TS's pockets? I've measured a "practice load" and can get all 5 jeans into an 18.5" x 11" x 3.2 thick dimension. Also, I've tried to find answers if either a packing cube built for the TS or an Eagle Creek 18" folder would do better to compress the jeans, but haven't found anything yet. Or maybe just pack them straight into the bag without any cubes?

I'm also looking at the A30 as an alternative since it has a bigger main compartment, but I would really like the TS as I want to unload my clothes cubes at the hotel and use the TS as my briefcase.

I've also drooled over the Osprey Porter 46 and RO Skytrain, but to me, they just doesn't look very professional or briefcase like, so I would end up having to carry a messenger style bag to go with everything, and I'm not too happy about it..(I WANT ONE BAG FOR IT ALL!! haha)

Any help is greatly appreciated!!

12-14-2017, 06:44 PM
I packed 5 sets of relatively heavyweight (3 x Levi's 517s 29x33, Gap "Gough" Selvedge 29x34, Uniqlo 30x34) denim into a TS large PC. I packed 4 right on top of each other, folded into thirds. The last, I rolled and placed next to the stack. It stretched the PC a bit, but I wasn't worried I'd damage the PC. I personally wouldn't want to put this much in though.


This does fit in the rear section, but intrudes into the center a bit:


I did not try to pack this better, and I believe there is some wasted space. I will try an EC Fold-It.

12-14-2017, 06:45 PM
I think you can probably get 5 pairs in the TS or A30, but my concern is the stuff you would need with the five pairs of jeans.

12-14-2017, 07:07 PM
Here's the same in a non-Specter EC Fold-It (Medium/18? I forget.)


I was a little surprised, but shouldn't have been in hindsight. The Fold-it doesn't have a "rectangular solid" shape, but rather ends up in this more pillowy shape, because the sides come down to a single seam. The 3D contours of the packing cube allow it to utilize the space more. The stiffener in the Fold-it did help a little, but I also didn't like the puckered material around the corners of the loaded Fold-it. It seemed to intrude on the center section a little more.

I echo the post above - I wouldn't ever want to take this many pairs of jeans with me, if only because it was pretty darn heavy.

12-14-2017, 07:25 PM
Thank you VERY much for the detailed pictures and breakdown. That was extremely helpful and exactly the info I needed!!!

The only time I would pack 5 jeans is when I'm in the field working out of my truck. I get quite dirty each day, So 5 jeans is almost a must! But it's a short hike from the parking lot to the hotel room for the week. I also only use C9 poly shirts and wear my coat walking in so I would have plenty of room on the other side compartment for these shirts, socks, underwear, and toiletry.

Flying will find me using only a single pair of jeans, kahkis, and polos so weight would be a mute issue there.

Again thank you squaredot for the excellent pictures!

12-15-2017, 11:17 PM
I don't have a TS to compare to, but here is my Aeronaut 30 loaded with 5 pairs of mens 30-34 jeans. I'm 6'2.

Here are the 5 pairs of jeans loaded into the large A30 packing cube. They fit, but it definitely overstuffs the cube. 4 would have been more comfortable, but this is for science. Here is a front and side view of the packing cube along with a pair of size 12 mens dress shoes.

I know you want to one bag it, but here is an empty Daylight Backpack. It folds up and takes almost no space. The Daylight Briefcase is even smaller I think, and well suited to business settings.


Next, I grabbed 9 mens large t-shirts and enough underwear and socks for a few days. I stuffed these into the Aeronaut 30 half-sized cubes for the main compartment. These both will fit into the main compartment, but given how much I've overstuffed each cube it is a bit difficult to zip things up. Instead, I added one half cube to the other end pocket and put one in the main compartment with my small snake charmer (which I use as an electronics/cable bag) and the previously mentioned Daylight Backpack. There is room left in both side pockets and the main compartment. I was just running out of things to stuff in there.


Here are things packed into the Aeronaut, along with some (terrible) pictures modelling it (selfies of your back in a dark room are hard).

And finally, since I had everything out, I decided to see if I could pack 5 pairs of Jeans and my 2013 15" MacBook Pro into the Daylight packpack. I got the MacBook and 4 pairs of jeans in the back pocket, and one pair in diagonal-zipped front pocket. I might have been able to squeeze a Side Effect in there as well, but it was tight. If you ever only need to travel with 5 pairs of jeans and a laptop for work, this might be the one bag solution for you. :o


12-16-2017, 12:55 AM
Also, based on squaredot's excellent photos, it sounds like the TriStar might be the way to go for you. Good luck!

Since my pilot was nearby, I decided to see if I could cram 5 pairs of jeans into it. Success! Three pairs in the main pocket, and one pair each in the front pockets. I also grabbed a water bottle that is a bit too tall for the pilot, but a shorter one would still fit. I couldn't fit the laptop in, though. I don't think anyone has ever asked (or even cares about) the question about how many pairs of jeans fit in Pilot. But now we know.


12-16-2017, 03:13 AM
RE: Eagle Creek Specter medium packing folder. I find if I put the packing cube plastic folder on top before closing it, and I have socks in the creases of the pants, that I get a very nice rectangular package that fits nicely in a WF or TS. However, 5 pairs of jeans is a bit too much for one folder. Nothing says you can't put 1 pair of jeans in a separate packing cube, or folder, of section of the TS.

12-16-2017, 11:16 AM
The only time I would pack 5 jeans is when I'm in the field working out of my truck. I get quite dirty each day, So 5 jeans is almost a must! But it's a short hike from the parking lot to the hotel room for the week. I also only use C9 poly shirts and wear my coat walking in so I would have plenty of room on the other side compartment for these shirts, socks, underwear, and toiletry.

Flying will find me using only a single pair of jeans, kahkis, and polos so weight would be a mute issue there.

If weight isn't an issue, I think the rear pocket works to hold 5 pairs, and leaves enough space in a TS for a fair amount of stuff in the other sections. An A30 is a slightly smaller bag, and I think that shows in the pictures. An A45 is a fair amount bigger, and you'd definitely have a ton of room - and aren't bound as much by the structure of the bag as you are with the TS.

If you're looking for a briefcase-like bag, it sounds like a TS would be a good fit for you. It is bigger than your average briefcase, if that matters. I use mine for one-bag personal & conference travel. It works well for me, and I like that it has the center for a laptop and documentation pockets. In my case, the structure suits my non-personal travel. It's big enough and flexible enough for my personal travel - but I do covet my wife's A30 from time to time. All are great bags.

Glad to hear my photos were helpful. So many others on here have been quick to help me, and it's nice to be the one to help for a change. Hope what you settle on matches up with your expectations!

12-18-2017, 07:37 AM
In my estimation, the Tristar is a pretty goofy looking briefcase. In fact, you hit right on the single biggest issue with one bag travel: a passable day/work bag that isn't floppy. If you use your travel bag as a briefcase, it'll be big and floppy when empty. Do you mind if I ask what you do?

Also consider: My impression of packing the Tristar is that it's like loading a boat or an airplane. You have to even out the load between the 3 pockets such that none is overstuffed and they're even. In contrast, packing the Aeronaut is just stacking stuff on top of stuff. The Aeronaut is almost certainly easier to pack.

Other ideas:

1. Consider doing laundry on the road with like a Scrubba (https://thescrubba.com). I've used it on the road plenty. If you have a five-gallon bucket and don't mind packing this thing, the Breath Washer (https://breathingwasher.com/) I've heard good things about.

2. In terms of non-TB bags that might perhaps fit your needs, check out the Minaal (https://www.minaal.com/) Carry On 2.0, which is a backpack that "converts" into a floppy-ish briefcase. But it was designed for travellers who sometimes have to meet clients and be semi-presentable. The backpack straps hide away and a shoulder strap can be attached. There's also a Minaal Daily Carry, which is similar but much smaller, that can be carried inside the Carry On. Then you'd have a pretty good daily carry work bag that packs perfectly inside your travel bag. In my estimation, Minaals are quite well made with quality materials, but aren't as heavy duty as Tom Bihn bags. They also don't have bright interior liners like Tom Bihn bags do, which is a big reason (IMO) to choose Tom Bihn: A bright interior liner is killer because it's like turning on a light.

3. The quality is definitely nowhere near Tom Bihn, but Aer makes some good travel bags that don't look awful as briefcases. My main complaint is that for some reason, Aer uses aquaguard zippers for your pins pocket, but not for your laptop pocket, which is baffling.

12-18-2017, 02:15 PM
I picked up the Western Flyer as a one bag, briefcase/luggage carry. I've also just picked up the Daylight Briefcase to put in it for when i want to travel from hotel room to an office just that little bit lighter