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Do I Need a Tri-Star?

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    Do I Need a Tri-Star?

    I am gradually becoming a minimized traveler. I have recently purchased the Aeronaut and some packing cubes, and I used them on a 2 night trip last weekend. There was plenty of room in it. I wasn't flying so I wasn't concerned about liquids - I packed two bottles of wine along with all of my belongings.

    I see that people are using the Aeronaut for week long trips, and I'm wondering if I could go smaller. What do most people use for 2 night trips if they are flying?

    I have my clothing (lightweight travel fabric), pashmina (I'm always cold), toiletries (liquid and non), 10" netbook and charger, kindle, phone charger, small power strip (love this), ipod, and the tricky part - my running clothes. The clothes aren't the problem, at least in warm weather, it's the shoes. I wear a 10.5 woman's running shoe. They fit perfectly in an end compartment of the aeronaut, but how about the tri-star? I wouldn't be packing any other shoes, with my new "packing light" philosophy.

    Would I need tri-star specific packing cubes as well, or can I use my aeronaut packing cubes? It's a big investment, but I'm up for the challenge of traveling smaller and lighter.

    So what do you think? Is a Tri-Star in my future? Or something else?

    It sounds as if your stuff might fit in a Swift.


      I've traveled for as long as six weeks out of the Tristar, so I think it might be overkill for a light-packing 2 night jaunt. Have you considered the Western Flyer? It's a bit smaller and lighter than the Tristar, but still tricked out for convenient organization of your stuff. I use it for up to week long trips when I'm trying to shave a few ounces off what I'm bringing. I use the WF less often than I might because I got the Mach 1 version with a sling strap, which it turns out I hate, so I always use it now with the Absolute Strap. If I'm going to be toting a bag any distance, I like the ability to use it as a backpack, which means using my Tristar. The current WF has a backpack option, if you want it, though.

      Because the packing cubes are soft-sided, they're very forgiving. I have a set for the Western Flyer that I use in my Tristar. I later got my husband a set of Tristar packing cubes, and guess what? We use them interchangeably no matter which bag we're using. Betcha the Aeronaut cubes are similarly adaptable. I don't doubt that the packing cubes are optimally suited for their named bags, but you'll likely be fine with what you already have.
      Last edited by flitcraft; 10-02-2010, 06:24 PM.
      Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.


        hi ams123!

        i think you could fit what you're describing in the western flyer!

        you could put the clothing, pashmina, and running clothes in the back main compartment. the front main compartment can be divided using the built-in zippered divider. on one side, you can put your running shoes (you could place the running shoes in a small packing cube). on the other side, you can put your toiletries (perhaps in a 3d clear organizer cube or in a clear quarter packing cube, depending on how much stuff you have), netbook in a cache, and the phone charger and power strip in a medium organizer pouch. the ipod can go in one of the outside pockets, and the kindle can go in the other outside pocket.

        what do you think?


        heh - it seems flitcraft and i responded at about the same time recommending the western flyer!


          Really, a Western Flyer? That is scary! But it could be a real challenge. It would save me a bit of money.

          As for a swift - well, I kind of doubt that will work for me. But thanks for the suggestion!

          OK, I'll think about the Western Flyer. Maybe I have something around here with the same capacity that I can try putting my stuff into.



            I agree that it sounds as though you could fit everything into the Western Flyer. Like flitcraft, I got the original version of the Western Flyer with the sling strap, which I thought would be great -- loved the implementation on the original Buzz -- but which just didn't work here, so I also always use the Absolute strap. In general, I use the Tri-Star far more than the Western Flyer, though. The main reason is that the Tri-Star's central compartment is so convenient to access, if I want to put in or take out items, or pack more flexibly. The usual issue that comes up for me is having to suddenly carry something odd-sized or shaped -- not clothes, which pack flat. This could be something that someone else gives to me that I suddenly have to fit in. The extra compartment and arrangement of the Tri-Star just adds lots of flexibility. If it's only a question of packing clothes for a two-day trip, then the Western Flyer is fine, since it's lighter and more compact. But I really love both the Aeronaut and the Tri-Star more for their different features. (Maybe if the Western Flyer had been available in Indigo and Solar like my Tri-Star I would have loved it more when I first bought it.) YMMV. It does sound as though a Western Flyer would be enough for you, though.


            P.S. I agree with you about the utility of the Monster Cables Outlets to Go
            Last edited by moriond; 10-02-2010, 09:01 PM. Reason: added P.S.


              I use the Western Flyer for 2-3 day trips, sometimes 4. I have used the Aeronaut for as little as 2 days and for as long as a week. I have taken them both for 10 days (without even packing light). My mens shoes fit in the WF, usually in a packing cube. I tend to wear my running shoes when I travel and pack my dress shoes.
              Western Flyer (Crimson); 4Z Brain Cell; Swift (wife); Empire Builder (Black/Steel/Wasabi); Aeronaut (Black/Steel); Side Effect (Black), 3D Cube (Olive); lots of cubes/pouches/kit; Synapse (Navy/Solar); Smart Alec (Cardinal/Steel)


                I also think that you could easily fit what you're packing in a Western Flyer. I just came back from a week long trip and everything fit in the Western Flyer. I didn't have running shoes, but all my clothes and non-fluid toiletries fit in the front compartment, while the back compartment held my MacBook in a brain cell, power adapters, and other electronics.

                For what you want to carry, Maverick's packing suggestions should work. in addition to his suggestions, the new version of the Western Flyer has two pockets in the rear compartment that are large enough for an iPad in a cache (that's where I kept my electronics, etc.). It's a great bag!
                Last edited by wennefer; 10-03-2010, 10:52 AM. Reason: Added bit about inner pockets
                Owner of Burnt Orange/Steel Daylight Briefcase , Burnt Orange/Steel Aeronaut 45, Black Dyneema/Wasabi Pilot, Crimson/Steel Western Flyer, Forest/Steel Zephyr, Olive/Cayenne Ristretto for iPad, Olive/Cork/Steel and Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Nordic/Ultraviolet, Linen/Steel and Conifer/Steel SCB, Steel Breve, Plum/Black Swift, Steel FJN, and various packing cubes, organizer pouches, caches, and other odds and ends.


                  Originally posted by ams123 View Post
                  Really, a Western Flyer? That is scary! But it could be a real challenge. It would save me a bit of money.

                  As for a swift - well, I kind of doubt that will work for me. But thanks for the suggestion!

                  OK, I'll think about the Western Flyer. Maybe I have something around here with the same capacity that I can try putting my stuff into.
                  HI ams123,
                  I'm a bit amused this morning. Last evening I had a note written to you that would suggest a Western Flyer but deleted it because you were talking about a Tri Star and I have no experience with that particular bag. I see now that I'm not the only one suggesting you take a hard look at the Western Flyer.

                  As for your running shoes, I can fit my size nine and a halfs in half of the front section without trouble. There is about an inch and a half of space left at the top and room for a "tube" style packing cube down the side with the shoes in place. I have found that the WF suits me well for five to seven days. I think I could actually do two weeks if I took the time to plan better.

                  You could always get a WF and see what you think. If it doesn't work for you, trade it for a Tri Star. I realize you'd spend a little extra on shipping, but it'd be pretty inexpensive considering how long you will use the bag.

                  If you do order a WF don't be scared when you open the box. When I first saw mine I thought, oh my I made a huge mistake, I'll never get everything in this little bag. It holds a great deal more than I thought it ever could and I love it. When I pack it for four to five days it weighs about 12 pounds. I usually take my Synapse as a second bag that weighs in at 8 pounds.
                  Happy travels,
                  Last edited by Moose; 10-03-2010, 05:47 AM.
                  List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!


                    Thank you everyone, these are great tips. What a helpful bunch of folks! I am definitely going to try the Western Flyer, I'll let you know how it goes.


                      Western Flyer, WF, Western Flyer, WF...
                      I think it is the most versatile....really. I like it better than Tri Star. And the thing is you can take WF and Synapse and carry the world; and /or WF and Smart Alec and carry the world + moon + stars---and no one comments cos they all "look" small!!


                        You made a good choice. You could always return the WF and get a Tri-Star if that doesn't seem adequate for you.
                        Me, I think it's a wonderful bag. It was my sole luggage for a 18-day trip through Europe earlier this year (Spring), and it was great. You just need to pack light/smart.
                        Like Shiva said, you can carry the world!