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WF or TriStar and I will be checking a bag on an overseas flight

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    WF or TriStar and I will be checking a bag on an overseas flight

    While you cannot go wrong with either one of these bags I need to narrow it down to just one to start with. I need to bring my 15" Macbook Pro for photo editing. Flying from JFK to Prague via London. I read the specs and it looks like either bag will not pose a problem as carry-on luggage. I have a wonderful Waterfield Designs 6mm MacBook Laptop Sleevecase which goes into a larger computer bag however I need to trim down the hand luggage and ditch the computer bag because I also have an international compliant rolling camera bag. I can utilize either the TriStar's center slot or one of the slots on the Western Flyer for the 15" Macbook Pro in its Sleevecase. Since my husband and I are checking one main bag for the majority of our clothing, I wanted to house the laptop & its accessories, iPad, things I may want access to on the plane and any overflow clothing that will fill, but not overstuff either the TS or WF. In your opinion, for those that own both, should I start with the WF? I am 5'5" tall however I definitely do not want to overfill the TriStar and be a pack mule. I am leaning towards the WF to start with since I may end up with an underutilized/underpacked TriSar. I will also be carrying my smaller Synapse Backpack as my personal item and my husband, who hates to carry anything on any plane will be toting one item -- my camera bag. I guess another question is, does the TriStar travel well under stuffed and by putting a laptop in the WF, am I cutting myself too short? The bag looks like it can hold a lot without looking bloated.

    I did consider the smaller Aeronaut however I am not sure if the main cavity opening would be wide enough for the laptop in its slipcase - also I didn't want it to flop around in there if the bag wasn't fully loaded. I think as a starter I should stick to either the TriStar or Western Flyer.

    Welcoming your feedback. Thanks!

    I have a WF but have never used a TS. I do think that you will be able to get your laptop plus extra items in one half of the WF. I am 5 ft 4 female and would not want to carryon anything larger than the WF unless it had wheels.

    So I recommend starting with WF. it actually seems to hold a lot more than you would think. When you first see it, you will think it is too small, but then try packing it!


      I have both the WF and the TS. I would recommend the WF based on what you have described for its use. A few reasons:
      - Both under pack well so if not using for one bagging they are easy to carry
      - the WF doesn't bulge though in the way the the Tri-star can. The TS's centre pocket can let the bag flop about a bit more when empty or push the sides to bulge when full
      - this is subjective and I am 5'9" but I just feel the TS is a chunkier bag and prefer to carry the WF when I can
      - the front zip pockets are easier to use in the WF even with a filled front compartment they the compartments are deeper than the TS
      - the WF has a small enough form factor to actually use as a day bag (well more of a briefcase anyway) but the TS still feels like luggage

      I'm not saying the TS isn't a great bag but I would only use it for one bagging there I needed the extra space. For the use you describe, the WF is the way to go in my opinion. Hope this helps.

      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
      Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)


        Thanks for the advise. The bigger issue for me personally is packing LESS in general. I tend to bring way too much and have while I will have access to laundry facilities, I still need to slim things down.


          I have a TriStar (but no Western Flyer) and it works fine with the center compartment empty, but it sounds like the WF will fit your needs better UNLESS you expect to bring more back than you left with.
          When in trouble, obfuscate.


            I recently used a Western Flyer as my only carryon for an international trip. It was fairly full but not overly stuffed with: camera (2 bodies + 2 lenses, lens cleaning kit, extra memory cards, charger), iPad mini and charger, toiletries and liquids, sunglasses and several pairs of eyeglasses, extra change of clothes, raincoat, and travel documents. I did not weigh the bag, but it was about at the limit of what I would want to carry onboard and in and out of various conveyances during the trip (I am 5'7" and past pack mule prime). I never had to worry about fitting the bag into any compartment and, in several instances, didn't mind having to carry it on my lap for a short while, e.g., in the backseat of taxi.

            As you will find stated many times elsewhere in the forums, the best thing to do it test pack the bag; see if everything fits; see if it is easy to get to things you might need in flight; carry it around for a while; carry it plus your Synapse and see what that load feels like ... then reassess what things you really need to take with you.

            Someone else should weigh in on carrying a 15" MacBook Pro in a WF. I have carried my 13", but no longer do so unless I absolutely need to take a computer.


              Originally posted by Perseffect View Post
              I'm not saying the TS isn't a great bag but I would only use it for one bagging there I needed the extra space. For the use you describe, the WF is the way to go in my opinion. Hope this helps.
              I would agree with this statement. I have the TS specifically for 1bag travel (clothes and accessories in front/back sections and laptop w/charger in middle). I'm currently debating getting either the WF or A30 for those times when I want 2 bags though I think the A30 is bit more flexible than the WF.


                I'm going to differ with the majority here. I own and have travelled with a TriStar and have examined the Western Flyer at the TB shop. Especially for an international trip where you may have to pack a few extra items, IMO the TS would be a better choice. This will give you some extra room but you certainly don't have to pack it to the "bulging" point. With the Absolute Strap or the backpack straps, it should be very easy to carry.


                  I am 6'-3" and I use the WF for shorter international one-bag trips - at 5'-5" with a MacBook, I can't imagine the WF wouldn't be enough considering your packing list. Really depends on how much overflow clothing you have.

                  Either way, you'd have to carry it on the strap if you have a S25 too. Might feel like a pack animal regardless.


                    I use a WF as my carry-on for overseas flights. It becomes a briefcase when I arrive. This last point makes me happy to use the WF; while I don't have a Tristar (yet...), I would be afraid that it would be a tad big to be plausible as a briefcase. (Note that others on the forum do use a Tristar as a briefcase). My WF also gets used as a one-bag for short trips.