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Tristar, my first Tom Bihn bag

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    Tristar, my first Tom Bihn bag

    Hello folks,
    I discovered Tom Bihn and this forum a few weeks back. I took a new job about a year ago and I travel far more frequently than expected. Like most business travelers I have stressed about having a high boarding number knowing that each person boarding in front of me decreaesed my chances of getting bin space. Coupled with needing to fly standby once or twice I decided to try one bagging it. My first unresearched attempt was the purchase of a rolling bag by Samsonite that is supposed to fit under a seat. I have had zero luck even getting it close to fitting under most seats so after a search on the flyer talk forum I found out about the Tristar.

    I really over researched my purchase not wanting to make another mistake (the air boss was the runner up). It came about two weeks ago and I am very impressed with the quality and design of the bag. It is black and iberian and I will use it for a four day trip next week. Compared to a lot of folks on here I will not come close to pushing its limits but here is my list:
    -three white t-shirts, three pairs socks, three pairs undwear
    -three dress shirts and an extra pair of pants
    -running shoes and workout clothes
    -laptop and files
    -Ipad, iphone and charger
    -I may pack a sport coat or wear it on the plane

    I wish there was a Tom Bihn travel light briefcase that I could pack in the Tristar for when I get to my destination. Until I find something similar I have a medium cafe bag on the way. I will just carrry my laptop sleeve in with files inside it and put my chargers, etc. in the medium cafe bag. I am also considering a Zephyr for everyday office use.

    I have learned a lot from you folks on the forum. Many thanks for the detailed questions and answers. I feel like I am getting closer to one bag freedom with all the new knowledge I have acquired.

    Last edited by F650GS; 06-06-2012, 04:19 PM.

    Great investments! I took a green Tristar (my 1st too), accessorized with packing cubes and small organizing pouches, to Sichuan, China earlier last winter for a week. I used a short ball-bungee tie to bundle up my winter jackets which of course do not fit inside the Tristar.

    Just heard from my other friend earlier this week that the airline misplaced his check-in luggages. His bags reappeared after 2 days.

    With Aloha,



      Mike, you will love the Tristar, it is a joy to travel with and I hope you invested in some packing cubes!

      On the light travel briefcase front..you don't list your laptop size, but a Ristretto could be a perfect match for what you are talking about.


        I think the TS sounds great for your purposes. The cafe bag can actually hold files pretty neatly in the back pocket, so you might find that works well along with your laptop sleeve.


          Thanks all for the well wishes. I should have added that I have large and small packing cubes and a medium on the way since they were back ordered. I also just received M and L pockets and a wallet to use in the Tristar and cafe bag which arrived just after I sent my first post. My laptop is a Lenovo T410. I also have an extended battery pack in it so it generally doesn't fit well in most bags aside from briefcases and it is bulkier than Macs of a similar screen size.
          Last edited by F650GS; 06-06-2012, 05:00 PM.


            Welcome Mike! Once you have Bihn bags and gear, travelling light without checking luggage is so comfortable, you shall never want to go back to the old format. Your first order is impressive with well thought-out items too.
            "Buy the best, cry once" - Pasquale


              Originally posted by Maria View Post
              Welcome Mike! Once you have Bihn bags and gear, travelling light without checking luggage is so comfortable, you shall never want to go back to the old format.

              when I read Maria's post I realized that I should create an account and state my experience with my bags. I know it's kinda offtopic, but I'm pretty sure everyone will understand ;)

              I first heard of TB last year, when I read a couple of reviews of the Ristretto for the 11'' Air. But the time went by and I completely forgot about it. When I was invited to a seminar in the US late September, I somehow managed to remember that I needed a better and smaller bag and ordered one. As recommended, I also order an absolute shoulder strap and a couple of key straps.

              As soon as I checked in at the hotel, my bag was already there. I went to my room and grab a few things (camera, cell phone, jacket, wallet) put it all in the bag and went for a walk to explore Pasadena. I just returned to my hotel several hours later and the bag didn't bother me all day long. It wasn't full, but a bag always does some damage to your shoulders after some time using it. Not the ristretto. Long story short, I spent 5 days using it and I was amazed.

              When I came back to Brazil, I started to use the Ristretto as my everyday bag. As a professor, I'm always carrying folders, books, all sorts of papers, and the computer. I managed to reduce the stuff I carry to work by half, as I needed to focus on what was really important: a couple of paper folders, laptop, pens and pencils, a notebook and the book I was supposed to use in class. There was even some room for a small sandwich, my bottle of water, and a small apple.

              In short: I was in love with the bag and I caught myself spending my free time browsing the website for my new purchase.

              Last April I returned to the US and ordered another bag. This time, I bought an ID and the outcome was pretty much the same: needed to reorganize myself, do some uncluttering, and learn how to handle with my "carry-on priorities". And the ID also became my everyday bag and it engaged on a dispute against the Ristretto to decide which bag will be used each day ;)

              Did I mention I felt in love with the ID too? Yeah, I did. Now I have plans to get a third bag (maybe the tristar or the western or any other thing that is in my wish list) to use in my work trips and a cafe bag for my wife. After all, she deserves it too, right? =)


                Ok I am the road this week using my Tristar for the first time and I am very pleased with it. I have to get used to the weight but even fully loaded it easily fit under the seat in front of me. I have also enjoyed my medium cafe bag. It is really useful. When I get back my new zephyr should be there. My Tom Bihn collection has grown rather fast once I pulled the trigger with the Tristar.