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1 Tristar for 2 people?? Plus a few other questions

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    1 Tristar for 2 people?? Plus a few other questions

    Hello all-

    I signed up for the forum after lurking for a week or so around here and on OWOB, Flyer Talk, and Practical Hacks.

    After some reason fiascoes with checked baggage traveling for my family and myself, I've decided that I want to move to a more minimal approach. I like the one bag idea quite a bit, especially when no wheels are involved.

    Part 1_________________________________________________ __________
    My girlfriend and I are headed to Kauai for a week in early September. I figure this is a great time to give this one bag thing a shot, as our packing will be light. Fun in the sun and all that stuff. My goal is to get a bag for this trip, for both of us to fit into. We've talked about taking 2 pairs of shorts each, 3 tshirts each, 2 bathing suits each, 4-5 underwear each, 3 socks each, 1 flipflops each, 1 shoes each, 1 lightweight raincoat each (mountain hardware). We will travel in jeans, shoes, and probably our light jackets. I also plan on looking into taking something to wash the tshirts/undergarments in the sink. Also we will take 13" macbook w/ small WD external, mac charger, phone chargers, and point/shoot canon.

    My ideal plan is to do this with a Tristar. Primarily because we plan on hitting Europe next year, New Zealand/Korea the year after, and on and on. I don't want to have something that will work here but might have to be checked subsequently over seas.

    I was going to originally take my Chrome Citizen as our walk around bag (worked beautifully in Chicago for a week), but after reading about the Packing Cube Backpack, I figure I can load that up stash it in the Tristar and when we arrive empty it, and use it as our day bag for wallet, jackets, water bottle and camera (I'm the king of run-on sentences). These reviews kind of sold me:
    In January I reviewed Tom Bihn’s Aeronaut and a gazillion and one little packing cubes, pockets and organizer pouches. As you may have gathered from the review, I was very keen on the packing cubes. Over the last year I’ve used these accessories, in many combinations on every trip I’ve done. I also use them to corral cables in my desk drawer.

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    I figure I can fit most of our tshirts, shorts, swim suits in the Backpack Cube in the compartment closest to the backpack straps. Laptop, camera, external drive, other tech in the middle compartment, and flip flops sacked int he 1/3 divider, and socks undies in the 2/3 compartment. If we pick up souvenirs and need more room, we can always carry on the Backpack Cube with that stuff. I'm still working out the minimal 311 dopkit situation.

    Does this seem feasible? I figure my girlfriend will most likely carry on some kind of tote or backpack on the plane that would cover over flow.

    Part 2_________________________________________________ _________
    Occasionally I travel for work for 2-3 days, and usually need a suit. Most recent trip suit requirement forced me take this enormous duffle with wheels I have. Checking was a nightmare, almost missed the flight, when everything else would have fit on a carry on. My brother's similarly checked bag ended up showing up two days later (separate flights).

    With the Tristar, following Till's suit jacket folding video (http://onebagger.squarespace.com/blo...from-till.html) do you think I could pack 1 suit jacket and trousers in this bag, or does this force me into the Astronaut? I've got a pretty small frame, 38R jacket 30W trousers, and I pack pretty light on business with an EC folder for a few shirts. I typically get around with jeans and tshirt for multiple evenings, travel in a casual jacket or blazer and usually get by with one pair of shoes (but maybe squeeze extra sneakers in Tristar).

    Final Questions/Thoughts__________________________________________ __
    My girlfriend and I are both wear pretty small clothes, so I think we can rock the Tristar in Kauai. For the future overseas ventures I mentioned, I will ideally get her a Tristar as well, but that isn't an immediate concern. Oh, I read people use cinch bags for dirty clothes. The Tristar will eliminate the nylon duffel I usually carry for that purpose. I might be overlooking them, but I only see TB cinch bags with holes in the bottom, for yarn I believe.

    Thanks for reading this rather long post, but I've been antsy the past 1.5 days waiting for the moderators to give me the go ahead to post, thus giving me time to get my thoughts in line.

    Thanks all!


    Part 1:

    I easily fit a lot of stuff in the Tristar. Shoes plus laptop may be getting challenging, however. I can easily fit a week's worth of summer clothes in the middle section and the large front section, with the stupid little things (torch, medicine, spare glasses, book, small binoculars, Kit as sponge bag etc) in the small front section. All are packed in packing cubes. Unfortunately my week long summer trips are marine biology expeditions so the rest of the stuff we take (3 large microscopes, tons of camera gear, assorted sizes of fish tank, drums of ethanol for perserving specimens, laser printer to print labels, toaster oven to "cook" the labels, supplies of vials and jars for specimens, sorting trays, dissecting kits, a library of about 100 reference books, collecting gear, bedding, food, water, etc, etc.) means a fully loaded car plus a fully loaded trailer (called "utility trailer" in the US?). The back section of the Tristar contains disposable cleaning cloths. (I was going to get back to the Tristar!) :+>

    Towels may be an issue - I pack towels with bedding and not in the Tristar.

    Part 3:

    The stuff sacks don't have a hole in the bottom - there's the opening at the top which is closed by the drawstring. I use the large one for dirty washing and it works well.


    (Apsolidium falconerae was named after me for my efforts.... :+> )



      That sounds like you get quite a bit in your Tristar. Glad to hear you fit a weeks worth of summer clothes in there, as that is pretty much what we will be taking. We are only going to pack our flip flops, which will be low profile, and wear our shoes there. We had not thought about towels, but I kind of figured we would "borrow" the towels each day from the hotel we are staying at.

      Those sound like fun trips. I got a bio degree in college, and came very close to transferring to a school on the Gulf for marine bio (I thought it was too hot at the time, post college I now live in the area...). I looked up your species at the Museum Victoria, but could not read the scale on the image. That's quite an achievement I must say



        I can't speak for the TriStar, however I do have and *love* my Aeronaut. I've traveled all over the world with it on many types of small planes and have never had to check it. I do a lot of multi-day business travel, with suits, laptop, evening clothes etc. I've never had trouble with the Aeronaut.

        If you are looking to purchase just one bag, I would probably start with the Aeronaut since it should cover all cases. Then you can buy your girlfriend a TriStar for your upcoming European adventures. You should both be able to travel quite comfortably with the combination Aeronaut/TriStar and you can borrow her TriStar for your shorter business trips.


          That is good to hear that you have not had to check it. Perhaps some carriers are getting more lax, or people were over exaggerating, or I'm being overly cautious. I do like that the more I think about it. Grab her the Tristar, and then I have a choice of two different bags on business trips depending on my needs. Ah, you said exactly that, haha.

          A few more questions have arose. Do you use the waist strap on the Aeronaut, or on the Tristar? They look a bit thin, as if they aren't for support but just to keep the bag stable. My hiking backpack has a serious waste strap that helps adjust the weight from shoulders down onto the hip/kidney area. I'm curious about their function. I've made some mad dashes across airports, and understand the need of a stable bag on your back.

          How tall are you Surly, and how does the Aeronaut balance on your back...I'm 6'0" even and don't imagine the Tristar would be to un-wieldy on me by any means, but the Aeronaut is a bit larger.

          Thanks again.



            Hi Kyle,

            I don't use the waist strap on any of my Tom Bihn bags. Not because they aren't functional, rather just because I haven't really needed to. I do plan a much more adventurous, personal trip to Africa early next year and will certainly use the waist strap on my Aeronaut for that.

            I wouldn't plan on doing lots of backpacking or hiking with the Aeronaut - it just isn't really made for that. But if you are "doing the OJ" through the airport, the waist and chest straps will definitely keep the bag stable on your back.

            I'm 5'8" tall. I don't feel like the Aeronaut is unwieldy at all. For the record, I was once an Airborne Ranger for dear old Uncle Sam. As such, I'm very particular about the way my gear fits, behaves, etc. The Aeronaut is fantastic for the business travel that I do.



              Thanks for the info. I have no intentions hiking/camping with the thing...I would take my REI Lookout 40 for short trips, and borrow one of my brother's more substantial bags for anything longer than that.

              "Doing the OJ" is really my only concern, that term is also hilarious. I will always stuff some kind of day bag in it when I travel anyhow, and just stash it at hotels.

              That sounds like a fun trip...we came very close to going to SAfrica this year for the WC, but passed on tickets due to inflated prices making the trip to pricey for us.

              That sounds like a glowing endorsement coming from a Ranger. I actually just pulled the trigger on a used Aeronaut on ebay, that came with the strap everyone loves and 4 packing cubes (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...torefresh=true). I'll let you guys know what I think when I get it in.



                I just received my Aeronaut from Ebay. Apparently it's been used one time, it smells very clean and looks brand new. I found a scratch on a buckle and that is about it. It came with 4 packing cubes, 2 end Packing Cubes (mesh), 2 large Aeronaut Packing Cubes (1 mesh, 1 non-mesh). It also came with the Absolute Strap.

                First impressions:
                1. This bag is smaller in outside dimensions than expected. This is good, I just assumed it was going to be more like the size of my old soccer bags.
                2. This seems incredibly constructed, it feels as if it will take quite a beating and then some.
                3. For all it's size, it is incredibly light.
                4. The shoulder straps are very nice, as well as the absolute strap. The airport is going to be pretty easy I think.

                To Do:
                1. Determine how to wash the packing cubes. I can tell the person I bought them from cleaned them, but I'm not to into the scent of the detergent.
                2. Pack this up with a bunch of weight and see how it sits on my shoulders.
                3. Decide Packing Cube Backpack I want. I haven't decided if I really want/need the "shoe" compartment of the Aeronaut version for running around.

                Thanks again for the info I've received on the forum/thread leading to this.



                  Hi, Kyle.

                  Hand-wash the packing cubes with mild detergent. Rinse and hang up to dry.

                  Congrats on your new stuff.