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Review: Tri-Star, Medium Cafe Bag, Organizer Wallet, etc. :)

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    Review: Tri-Star, Medium Cafe Bag, Organizer Wallet, etc. :)

    I purchased a Tri-Star (steel/solar) with packing cubes and shoulder strap, as well as a Medium Cafe Bag (navy/cayenne), and organizer wallet and wanted to give a review.

    I'm a "less is more" kind of traveler and found the Tri-Star to fit my needs perfectly. I've used it for weekend and 5-day trips, and have been able to fit everything I need, plus my full Medium Cafe Bag in the center section, each time. I don't use the center section for a laptop, though - just an iPad with a padded sleeve on one side, and my cafe bag on the other.

    When I packed my cafe bag inside the Tri-Star, I had to reposition it on the side that wasn't against my harder cosmetics/toiletry case (on the divided side of the Tri-Star), but it fit fine when positioned against the divided side that contained my soft clothes. My cafe bag was full and included a Kindle with cover, but wasn't stuffed. I loved the packing cubes - they made packing much easier, and I was able to use the Tri-Star as a "dresser" while at the hotel instead of unpacking like I usually do.

    It fit under plane seats with room to spare. On several recent trips, the flight attendants were banning all wheeled bags (regardless of size) from being carried on due to space issues, I was able to walk right on with no issues. Instead of fighting to beat the crowds to insure overhead space, now I sit and relax while everyone else waits in slow-moving lines to board, then I walk right to my seat, pull my Cafe Bag out of the center pocket, tuck my Tri-Star underneath the seat in front of me, and have a seat. No more fighting to get in the front of the line for overhead space. I'm so care-free and relaxed that I've caught other travelers throwing some envious looks my way.


    I also love the organizer wallet, and leave it clipped onto one of my cafe bag's o-rings at all times. This has saved me on numerous (not admitting how many) occasions when I've had so much going on around me I forgot to put the wallet back in. I wouldn't even realize I forgot it until I'd see it dangling along the side of the bag, trying to keep up with me. :) I'm so glad I decided to add that to my order at the last minute. The only issue I've had with it is the zipper consistently gets stuck on the felt when I'm zipping it closed. I don't know if mine is defective or if it's a design flaw. It's a little aggravating, but leaving my wallet behind would be even more of a hassle. I'll email to see if anyone else is having the same problem. If so, maybe it's been fixed and I can exchange mine.

    I've enjoyed the wallet so much (other than the zipping issue) that I recently received some pouches and key straps, and that's added even more organizational features to my cafe bag. The only problem is that I loved the olive-colored pouch so much that now I feel compelled to order the Imago I've been eyeing just so I can get something in that color. I'm without same. :)

    I hope my sharing my experiences have been helpful to others considering these products. Let me know if you have any questions.

    #2
    Thank you for your thorough reviews of these products, it's neat to see how others use and combine products. I have a eBags maximum legal carryon the Motherlode TLS Weekender Convertible Backpack. I traveled with it and my Swift to Seattle and received similar envious looks. Especially when my connecting flight was cancelled along with many others at ORD and I had to spend the night. Getting a seat to ride the shuttle to and from the hotel, having my things close by me at all times, peace of mind and other conveniences were mine.

    While at the factory I selected a Steel/UV Western Flyer and a Steel/CorkImago. I plan to use the combo for shorter trips as my travel combo. The steel and cork fabrics look smart and distinguished. This combo will be even more streamlined than my current combination. I got introduced to one bag travel with convertible bapacpack wheelless style carry ons while researching TB bags. I doubt I will ever go back to the roller board style bags I used to carry in the past.

    The Olive/Cork combination looks sharp. If you choose to order, please share pictures with us.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

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      #3
      What a wonderful review of the Tri-Star! I was impressed to hear that it fits under the seat without a problem. That's the same feature of the Western Flyer that I enjoy, for the same reason. Relaxing in your seat sure beats wresting to find room to put your bag in the overhead and definitely keeps my blood pressure down!
      "For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe." ~ Larry Eisenberg

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        #4
        And this is one of the reasons I will be buying a travel bag, once I budget it and decide which one. I'm short and sometimes have trouble reaching the overhead easily. And I like having my stuff where I can see it.
        Indigo/Black Swift, Kiwi little Swift, Indigo Side Effect, Punch Small Cafe bag, Plum Clear Organizer Wallet, Tall Yarn Stuff sacks in Solar and Steel,

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          #5
          Thank you for your comments, everyone! I think I'll go ahead and order the Imago. Just can't resist...

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            #6


            As MyJourneys mentioned, the Tri-Star fits under the seat. This was my first trip with TB items, so I brought along my Co-Pilot, just to experiment. This was taken on a 737.
            Last edited by Just; 06-07-2011, 03:30 AM. Reason: Fixed image link

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              #7
              That is a wonderful picture, but where do you put your feet? I could not ride long without putting my feet under the seat in front of me.
              --------------------------------

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                #8
                OMG I *LOVE* that your Co-Pilot matches your Tri-Star. LOVE!

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                  #9
                  Which seat is that under?

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                    #10
                    Yes, they do make a handsome couple. Thanks for sharing the picture SusanM!
                    I really, really like TB Bags!

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                      #11
                      Hello,

                      When I took the photo of the two bags under the seat, I just wanted to see if they would both fit. You're right..... there was ZERO room for my feet. I immediately put the Co-Pilot back in the Tri-Star, which was stuffed, but not overstuffed. I was on a Southwest 737 in or behind an exit row. There was no seat to the right of the seat you see in the picture, which would have been a window seat. I had a middle seat and my husband sat to my right with lots of leg room.

                      Thank you, Just, for fixing my picture. Maybe I'll get it right next time.

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                        #12
                        Not a problem SusanM! It would have been a shame if folks weren't able to see that wonderful picture!

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                          #13
                          SusanM - I'm impressed you get get the Co-Pilot into your full Tri-Star!

                          I need a Tri-Star to go with my Co-Pilot!
                          "Buy the best, cry once" - Pasquale

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                            #14
                            Maria, I should have added that the Co-Pilot didn't have much inside of it. It holds its shape so well even empty. It will fit in the middle compartment of the Tri-Star with its long side in a vertical position, and the Tri-Star will zip closed easily provided that neither bag is really full.
                            Click image for larger version

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                              #15
                              Thank you for the additional photo. Still, impressive to fit the CO-Pilot in like that. My Co-Pilot can get pretty full!
                              "Buy the best, cry once" - Pasquale

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