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Pondering between luggage bags...

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    Pondering between luggage bags...

    Hello again,

    I find myself in need of some advice, and I know that the lovely people on this forum probably will be able to steer me in the right direction. I am stuck on that hard decision between a Tri-Star versus Aeronaut (I don't think the Western Flyer would work for me, just too small.) I don't travel a lot, at least not currently (I work as a Tutor in a Middle School. Apparently coming out of college with a degree in Political Science during a recession was a bad idea.) Maybe once a year I'll fly south during Spring Break, otherwise it's mostly car trips to friends around Wisconsin and Great Lakes Area. I currently have a bag I picked up last minute from REI. It's sort of big, and not very structured. See below.

    When I look at the Tri-Star, I see the potential for actual one bag travel. The middle compartment is idea for me to put my computer and charger in. I like the three pockets in the front. I worry slightly about the main clothing compartments. It seems like the two options are bundle wrapping your cloths, or using packing cubes. (Question later on packing cubes below.)

    When I look at the Aeronaut, I see a familiar concept to me. A duffle-type bag with a large middle compartment and end pockets.

    I know there are packing cubes for both bags. How do you find the cubes to work? Are they something that a casual traveler would want to invest in?

    Between the new colors, and the 4th of July Organizer, I am very tempted at purchasing one--but I'm still up in the air about which one to chose. I think I remember why I haven't been checking in on the site as much now that I've practically purchased everything possible for my Super Ego.

    Thoughts/opinions/whatnot appreciated.
    Super Ego w/Seat Belt Buckle [Black/Steel/Wasabi], Cadet 13/15 [Cardinal/Steel], Aeronaut 45 [Cardinal/Steel], 13" Ristretto (Old) [Olive/Cayenne], Synapse 19 [Indigo/Iberian], Camera I/O, and a whole bunch of other goodies.


    I do not own both but I am a huge Tristar fan. To me it really comes down to what you are carrying. I am at the beach as I type this and i am packed in my Tristar with three packing cubes. If you are going to carry electronics, the Tristar is a better choice and I can pack for 8 days in it. If you want to max out your clothes, carry the Aeronaut, it is a better choice.

    If all of your trips are four days or less you won't even have to be careful in the Tristar unless you have a shoe fetish!


      You're just right in your observation that the Aeronaut is similar in layout to the classic three-compartment duffel. In fact, I think I have one of the REI duffels in your photo! But I also got an Aeronaut this spring, and I'm finding it amazing! The configuration of the 3 compartments is very clever; on a week-long trip to a conference recently, I was able to fit a pair of light trainers AND my spin cycling shoes in one end compartment (size 43) and my 3-1-1 bag and my TRX trainer in the other. AND I was able to fold a sportcoat into the top of the main bag. You can use bundle-packing or the perfectly-sized packing cubes. It's VERY easy to organize.

      The configuration & sewing of the bag is also amazing. Even when stuffed really full, it holds its' rectangular shape extremely well. With a 25-pound load, it very easily goes into every overhead I've encountered since I've had it. And the two-part, snap-together handle is a great place to stash a rolled fleece or softshell for quick access.

      While I don't have a Tristar, I do have a Patagonia MLC that I've kept for when I am taking a VERY short trip. The strict rectangular layout is "comforting" in that it's much like the rollaboard we're all used to, but I think it allows less-flexible packing.

      I'm firmly in the Aeronaut column!
      Black/Iberian Aeronaut, Steel/Wasabi Synapse25, Black/UV Synapse19, Black/Steel Western Flyer, Black Checkpoint Flyer, Steel/Wasabi Side Effect, Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, Travel Tray, numerous packing cubes, organizer pouches


        I have a TriStar and I second JeffMac's comments about the shoe fetish. Umm... it may be a problem I have.

        The TriStar is great for business travel. There's a compartment for a couple of days of clothes. There are compartments for toiletries and misc and the center room for a computer and power cables. All this in a very clean and neat looking bag that essentially looks the same lightly packed and fully packed. But, if your trips are longer and/or multifunction, the strict separation of variables in the TriStar can become a hinderance. For those trips, the open floorpan bags shine. Although I lust after an Aeronaut, I don't have one because my Osprey Porter 46 is still fully functional and fills my open floorplan bag needs.