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Bag for travel to Thailand and Bali?

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    Bag for travel to Thailand and Bali?

    My husband and I are leaving in two weeks on a monthlong trip to Thailand and Bali. We are flying Cathay Pacific to Asia but will use AirAsia to get around Thailand (strict weight limits) and will be doing some travel by boat so we went searching for waterproof backpacks.

    We initially both ordered the Tristar in ballistic black fabric (I got the beautiful ultraviolet interior). My husband LOVES his but it's just too burly for me. It's not that I find it too heavy, it isn't, but I do think it is cumbersome and very hard to close (my husband has helpfully pointed out that the solution for an overstuffed bag is not a smaller one, but I don't think that's it's too full, more that the zippers and fabric are stiff -- I can still stuff a lot more in the bag!).

    I am considering a Western Flier in Halcyon (most likely), an Aeronaut 30, or mayyyyybe (but probably not) a Synpapse 25 (but really, probably too small). The only reason I am considering the WF at all is that I have read posts from many people saying you can pack almost as much in a WF as TS. I also would not mind a shorter bag because I am not using the bottom part of the TS - I'm packing for warm weather, which means a lot of my clothes just aren't long enough to cover the entire bag. So having a bag a few inches shorter would be a plus, though I wish I could retain the depth of the Tristar.

    Would welcome any and all input as well as any photos or links you might have to any of the above. I have searched YouTube and have find a surprising shortage of videos.

    Also, does anyone know if attaching the pull cords and/or switching to Halcyon would make the zippers easier to use? I understand they are made like this to be water resistant and I appreciate it, just looking for work arounds.

    Thank you!!!!!

    It looks like you've already made your decision on bags so I'm going to mostly skip past that part but I'll say the WF is fairly similar in size to the TS, but it is smaller in all dimensions. Each of the pockets does have a very similar depth between the WF and TS, it's just that the WF doesn't have the middle pocket as well. This does mean that some of the bulging on the interior walls of the bag won't have as much space to push into as both pockets will push against one another instead of into the middle pocket that probably happens some on the TS. That might be alleviated somewhat by the Halcyon fabric as it'll allow more bulge outward.

    I personally use the pull cords mostly as a silencer (when I do use them) and don't use them for leverage but I also don't tend to have much trouble with the zippers. They're stiff but in my own case I can just yank on them and have them do what I want. The pull cords definitely do offer some leverage on the zippers, but it's a subjective, YMMV situation on whether they will offer enough leverage to overcome the difficulty you're having with the zippers.


      Thank you! Very helpful. Second order has been placed but decision not yet made, so this is very helpful.


        It sounds as though you may be suffering from " Tri star bulge". This is a known feature of this particular bag [emoji6]
        In my experience, this can be alleviated by using packing cubes for your clothing and packing your socks round the corners of each one to make them rectangular and flat topped instead of fat in the middle [emoji846].
        TB sell nice packing cubes, but other brands also work well in this bag.
        An eagle creek packing folder is my husband's preferred solution - the medium size fits well in the TS.
        An internet search for "Tom Bihn Tristar bulge" produces lots of packing advice including video if that's your thing.
        The Tri star can get rather wide when fully packed. My husband likes his very much but I am a western flyer person myself.
        Have fun test packing [emoji4]

        Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk


          Yes, thank you, I was. I did use packing cubes but I think the other problem was the bag was just large relative to me. We decided on synapses and couldn’t be any happier.