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Question on Tri-Star expandability

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    Question on Tri-Star expandability

    Hi folks,

    I’d asked this question of the good people at Tom Bihn, but figured I’d also tap into the collective wisdom here. I’m looking at buying a Tri Star but want to understand how wide an item can realistically fit in each side chamber. I have a Peak Design Tech Pouch and Wash Pouch - Each is about the size of a Large Snake Charmer (9 x 5 x 4.5) and I also wear Size 13 shoes. I’d be putting all three of these in 1 side compartment.

    So a few questions:

    1. The Tri Star height is advertised as 13 inches. Anyone actually fit a size 13 shoe vertically in here?

    2. With my pouches, I’d be putting items about 4.5 inches wide in one side compartment, in a bag that’s supposed to be 8.1 inches wide. Does the bag bulge outwards or would this reduce the space in the center compartment? I’m looking to put a 17’ laptop in there and am worried that if the bag bulges inwards this might put pressure on the laptop and bend it.

    3. Is there any padding at the bottom of the center compartment? Do I need to put my laptop in a sleeve?

    Thanks!




    #2
    Originally posted by Chan74 View Post
    Hi folks,
    1. The Tri Star height is advertised as 13 inches. Anyone actually fit a size 13 shoe vertically in here?

    2. With my pouches, I’d be putting items about 4.5 inches wide in one side compartment, in a bag that’s supposed to be 8.1 inches wide. Does the bag bulge outwards or would this reduce the space in the center compartment? I’m looking to put a 17’ laptop in there and am worried that if the bag bulges inwards this might put pressure on the laptop and bend it.

    3. Is there any padding at the bottom of the center compartment? Do I need to put my laptop in a sleeve?
    These are all kinda tough questions to answer because it depend on your packing style and your materials ... I'm a size 13 as well, so let's talk about that

    Here are size 13 shoes & a large snake charmer in a Halcyon WF - they both fit as long as you cram the toes of these shoes a little, the zipper and halcyon fabric stretches enough to zip without too much effort:

    Click image for larger version

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    With different shoes and different fabric (and this is a TS), however it's a different story ...

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    These shoes have more of a stabilization heel which makes the toes stick out more so I'd have to be ok with squishing the toes down and the shoes probably wouldn't fit top-to-top like in the pic above.

    You can also try the side-lay method on the other side:

    Click image for larger version

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    That can work, but better if the shoe is rotated to be bottom on bottom, and then, again, if you lay another shoe on top it's not ideal and it'll take up about 1/2+ the depth of this pocket depending on how much you jam them in there & what type of shoes they are.

    in this pic you can also see an XPAC dopp kit, which is sort of my stand-in for you PDTP, here are the rough dimensions:

    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    Overall I'd say it'll fit if it's not too stuff, and in the first pic you can see the LSC which is understuffed, but could hold more.

    As to the bulging, it's an interesting story: you can definitely overstuff the bag, but if you're strategic about where you stuff things it's an easy carry. I actually prefer to overstuff the end with the backpack strap clips as that makes the bag carry very nicely on your hip, but here's kind of the overall width:

    Click image for larger version

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    Here's mine strategically overstuffed:
    Click image for larger version

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    You can kinda see the backpack strap part is bulging out - that rides in front of my hip and makes the bag super comfy to carry
    Click image for larger version

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    With that, in general, I don't carry my shoes in my TS - I've found it's much better for me to 2-bag travel and use a backpack as a personal-item / underseat bag which has my shoes and any electronics I carry, but NOT my laptop (for flights I prefer that to be in the overhead), which goes in a cache into the center of the TS (no, there's no padding in there). If I want more room in a shoulder bag I upgrade to an A45 and put my laptop in the backpack strap compartment (never had a problem with that). I've also got a T45 on pre-order so that'll be my more-room-in-a-backpack-type solution.

    As for my normal backpack, I use an S25 or S30 (usually the S30 now) and here's what the shoe look like in there:

    Click image for larger version

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    As you can see, TONS of room in an S30 for shoes (PCSB below, DLSR above that, lens case on the left, laptop in the sleeve on the back as this was a driving trip).

    Hopefully that answers your questions ... for me, if I have a lot pouches with doodads for cameras, electronics, & the like, the luxury of 2-bags can't be beat!
    Seeking Verde Aeronauts

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome to the Forums Chan74 !

      And GrussGott that was a fine set of comparison photos
      I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

      Comment


        #4
        I have carried size 13 dress shoes vertically in the front 1/3 compartment of my Tri-Star (it’s the ballistic one) successfully. I think I used a plastic convenience store bag to protect the bag - I have the small Tri-Star packing cube for that compartment but shoes didn’t quite fit in the cube, but was able to jam them in somehow anyway.

        Other note on shoes is, figure out which of the ones you’re taking are biggest or least squishable, and just wear those on the plane. Always easier when you optimize the items for the bag wherever possible.

        On the tech pouch, I’d recommend breaking the tech up into two thinner pouches if you can swing that. A 4.5” wide pouch does cut into the middle and wouldn’t be ideal. I’ve heard (but don’t own) that the Western Flyer gives you more depth since there are only two compartments. The TS is pretty unforgiving with depth overall.

        Agree that you need to have padding or a cache for a laptop in the middle. I often carry an entire Daylight Briefcase in that middle section, with a laptop (13”) inside of that. Usually I’ll take it out before boarding so I can have a bag with me under the seat, TS goes in the overhead.

        Comment


          #5
          GrussGott, portlandia, Thank you both for your insights. Looks like my shoes/electronics combo would work in a Western Flyer but would be iffy in a Tri Star due to the third compartment. I actually have a Synik 30 but figured I could not get away with a Synik 30/Tri Star combo on a plane as the Synik would be too big for a personal item. Maybe I should get a Western Flyer instead and use the Synik for all my pouches/shoes and the Western Flyer for my electronics. Then reach the destination and swap out the electronics to the Synik for going to work.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Chan74 View Post
            GrussGott, portlandia, Thank you both for your insights. Looks like my shoes/electronics combo would work in a Western Flyer but would be iffy in a Tri Star due to the third compartment. I actually have a Synik 30 but figured I could not get away with a Synik 30/Tri Star combo on a plane as the Synik would be too big for a personal item. Maybe I should get a Western Flyer instead and use the Synik for all my pouches/shoes and the Western Flyer for my electronics. Then reach the destination and swap out the electronics to the Synik for going to work.
            Sorry for any confusion! The WF & TS are close to the same size, but the Tri-Star is larger than the WF in every dimension!

            Tri-Star: 18.9" (w) x 13" (h) x 8.1" (d) <- larger in every dimension
            Western Flyer: 17.9" (w) x 12" (h) x 7.1" (d)

            What I was trying to show is, all size 13 shoes aren't equal - some will fit in the smaller WF while others won't fit in the larger Tri-star!

            With that, I'll say the WF / S30 combo is an awesome one - i travelled for years that way (S25 though) ... and I used one other trick: I lined the bottom of my S25 with an empty Pilot - then at my destination I swapped my work stuff into the Pilot and used it as my work briefcase. That said, your laptop wouldn't fit in a pilot, but just another little thing to consider if you have a smaller laptop. The Pilot is, for me, the best work bag ever.
            Seeking Verde Aeronauts

            Comment


              #7
              Thought I would post a couple of real world shots. Here, you see my Steel/Wasabi Tri-Star. The set up is I'm trying three different pairs of shoes, all size 13, in the narrower side of the split front compartment:

              - Brooks running shoes
              - Dress shoes
              - Merrell Jungle mocs

              What I found was, the dress shoes fit best. The Merrell mocs only fit with the divider unzipped. The Brooks runners were tight - question if the zipper would have closed fully, although I feel like I might have been able to squeeze the shoes a bit further.

              Pics below.

              Comment

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