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  1. #1
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    Really trying to one bag it... having trouble

    I have an A45, Tri-star and pilot... and a 5-day/4-night conference coming up. I want to just take the Tri-star. I bought it last year so I could just do one-bag travel... not even carry a 'personal item' on the plane. So I'm really trying to use the tri-star by itself. The issue really is my 15 inch MBP with cache. No matter what I do, it seems like the tri-star is bulging out and not sure I want to put my electronics in that.

    I have the packing cube backpack for the tri-star, and perfectly willing to use that to transport the MBP to the conference from the hotel room. But getting to the hotel, I'm trying to only have the tri-star to deal with in the airport. The MBP in the middle section with some socks pack in the side. The backpack is in the back, with underwear, night clothes, and shirts... extra pair of jeans. Front big compartment has a couple more shirts (3 shirts, 3 undershirts total in front/back... I can easily do a week with those shirts and a packet of woolite.), small section has cables, battery, dopp kit. I want to put some items in the front zippered section, but there just isn't room. The bag is just... really full. (I somewhat blame the jeans, but kinda out of options.) With the A45, I would roll my clothes in packing cubes to pack, but the tri-star seems to like being pack 'thinly'... so I flat-pack in the cubes instead. Though doesn't seem to help much.

    If I was going to take two bags, I'd forget the tri-star and buy a A30 for clothes and dopp kit and use a synapses for electronics and gear. I usually don't need the room in the A45 these days... though I did consider using it just for this trip instead of the tri-star. (Wish it had a secure spot for the laptop... not sure how I feel dumping the laptop in with just the cache but I suppose its fine.)

    I figured that if I couldn't one-bag it this trip with the tri-star, I'd sell it and get the A30 instead. Pilot works with the 15"MBP, surprisingly enough... (The pilot is an awesome bag)

    Any advice on one-bagging with the tri-star?

  2. #2
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    Wanted to reply to my post... I read this one which UK-Limey was basically talking about when to one-bag it and when to two bag it. I think perhaps I'm simply trying to do too much. I'll post pictures when I pack and show what I ended up with.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I am actually also going on a 5 day, 5 night trip shortly and will be using my Tri-Star and a Ristretto 13. I prefer to have a second bag to hold emergency change of clothes just in case I do need to gatecheck my Tri-Star and it gets lost.

    The main difference from what you are packing is a pair of shoes. So things I do to keep things from bulging:
    1) I find that "Ranger Rolling" helps to keep things as thin and compact as possible to minimize the space. 2) I also use ziplock bags to pack my clothes in as well and they can compress your clothes to be even more space efficient if you take out all the air before sealing the zuplock bags.
    3) I also find that using the back compartment compression straps make the bag more "round" than flat so I would not use the compression straps.
    4) To manage the weight while using the Absolute shoulder strap, I reduce the length to limit the bouncing which can wear on my shoulder.
    5) Put "sock padding" on the bottom of the middle compartment if not using a Brain Cell or similar hard case protection.
    6) Push the backpack straps to the sides of the bag which makes the bag more rectangular rather than bulging.
    7) I think you know this but keep the thickness of your packed items similar - ie. do not pack items of varying thickness - that will make the Tri-Star uneven and bulge.

    Here is a picture of my bag from a previous trip (4 day trip). It does get full and the front pockets are usually best for flat items only (iPad, papers, etc). Also, you could use the backpack strap pocket to hold some items.





    When I finish packing for my 5 day trip, I will take some pictures as well.

    Hope this helps
    Cheers!

    Edit:
    One other point:

    8) Distribute your items so that they take up the space right up to the edges of the bag. If you do not, it may look like the centre is bulging out. It is especially important in the Tri-Star because of its "flat" item preference.
    Last edited by tpnl; 09-20-2015 at 09:13 AM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  4. #4
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    Greetings,
    You mentioned an extra pair of jeans. Could you bring a thin pair of khaki pants instead?

    Since you plan to wash clothes anyway, would it be possible to bring one less set of shirts? Wear one, pack two.

    Good luck! elisa

  5. #5
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    I use my TS all the time as an only bag and with a 17"MBP often too.
    I would never consider packing another bag in it though for a single bag? Way too much space taken when the other bag is already,well,a bag!

    I also would rarely take extra pants on this case but the only suggestion I can really offer is more bag or less stuff.
    The TS is great for me.

    I also often stick things in the rear compartment with the straps or even better when they are in use,it can hold a lot of stuff like this.

  6. #6
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    I'm pretty tall and have done several 5-day conference trips out of only Western Flyer with a full-size Lenovo, and a pair of shoes, you should be fine doing it with a Tri-Star.

    I wear the jeans/jacket when I travel, and bring only wool trousers - lighter, smaller, and easier to control wrinkles on arrival.

    Also, look into travel underwear/undershirts, I like those from Uniqlo for comfort and price. Not only are they more convenient washing if necessary, but they pack much thinner than cotton so you can take more of them.

    Wearing undershirts will allow you to get more than one wear out of your dress shirts, provided they aren't so unique that people notice. Hang them in the shower after wearing to keep them fresher.

    For those longer trips, I will use a spacebag to squeeze more out of the bag. If you sit on the bag instead of rolling it to get the air out, you can save the space without adding wrinkles. This also helps keep your clothes more square in the packing cube so it doesn't bulge. Stick with less wrinkly fabrics too.

    If you are wearing it as a backpack, that saves space taken by the straps, and provides a convenient pocket for magazines and papers in-flight. Wrap the Absolute strap tightly around the bottom of the bag rather than packing it in a pocket, and you can carry it as a briefcase on arrival.

  7. #7
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    I recently did a 6 day long conference trip in my Western Flyer. The BrainCell that help my laptop took the absolute strap from my WF and became my session-going bag. The rear compartment of the WF also held my notebooks and Kindle as well as a light cardigan. My clothes for the week were pared down to just two pairs of pants, and two button downs with two t-shirts, and a pair of workout shorts. With a tie and a cardigan it made for more than enough variety for nightly networking. All of those clothes, fit in one small packing cube in half of the divided front section of the WF leaving the second half for spare shoes (stuffed with spare socks) and a 3d Clear packing cube for toiletries.
    One-bagging it was a great boon when our Saturday flights were cancelled (for a Sunday start to our conference) and we had to scramble for alternate travel plans.
    As long as you can pack minimally (perhaps I was enabled by working in a pretty informally dressed field) I think you can one-bag it for anything, and its often to a great advantage.

  8. #8
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    End result, one bag worked. (but....)

    Just got back from my trip and I wanted to documented how it went. Five-nights/four days from one tri-star. It was 'mostly fine'. The bag fit under the seat in front of me, which was good since I was in the last zone to board. I was quite nervous since they were forcing people to check bags through but they let me pass. Here's the clothes I packed:
    Really trying to one bag it... having trouble-2015-09-20-10-42-35-jpg I've got 3 shirts, 3 undershits, extra pants, underware, socks and night clothes.
    Really trying to one bag it... having trouble-2015-09-20-10-52-21-jpg I've got the tri-star bagpack packing cube with a med and small tri-star packing cube with most of the clothes.
    Really trying to one bag it... having trouble-2015-09-20-10-52-35-jpg Here I moved the small packing cube out of the way, the jeans are under both cubes. Turned out to be a big plus to put the jeans in first.
    Really trying to one bag it... having trouble-2015-09-20-11-08-42-jpg Here is the 'electronics' I used. Pretty much used everything. 15" Macbook pro with cache, Nexus 9 table, 3DS, kindle (yeah, I'm a geek) various cords, plugs, writing equipment and small skine (unused on trip, apparently). Cache and purple sack in the middle compartment. Note the front left side was a medium cube with underware. Thin stuff so I could use the 3 pockets in front for the tablet, kindle and 3DS.
    Really trying to one bag it... having trouble-2015-09-20-11-29-58-jpg And here is everything packed, minus my dopp kit which fit 'mostly' fine in the front right section.
    Really trying to one bag it... having trouble-2015-09-21-09-36-17-jpg This is truly the point. The whole bag fit under the seat in front of me. Easy access to everything. Also, this is the window seat, not the middle set which typically has a bit more room.

    The only reason why I say it 'mostly' worked was I really could have used a forth shirt instead of one of my undershirts. Having a smaller laptop could have made more use of the middle section, but I didn't have that choice. I surprisingly had a harder time packing on the way home since I tried to isolate my dirty clothes in a hotel plastic bag inside my tristar. That was fairly complicated to get right. It did work out in the end.

    To sumerize, the tri-star can work for a small trip. The next 'size' up would have to be the A30+Pilot for me though. After that, the A45+daylight backpack packed into the A45 for travel.
    Last edited by CodeHead; 09-27-2015 at 01:16 PM.

  9. #9
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    What part of this gave you problems?
    Looking at your bag compared to when I do this,yours looks almost empty to me?
    I am only 1/2 kidding too.

    I also just do not understand the under the seat on front of you concept at all?
    I need that space for me and could never use it for a bag.

    Anyway I am just curious as I travel with mine a lot and its fine for the time you did but I have a lot more stuff......I think?

  10. #10
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    @CodeHead, for a first trip, I'd say you did pretty well—in a couple more trips, you and your Tri-Star will become better acquainted and the whole process will get easier, hopefully going from "mostly fine" to "completely normal; business as usual."

    Two ideas you might consider: if you have/get an Eagle Creek 18" packing folder, you could easily compress four dress/collared shirts. The best thing is that the folder fits really well in the middle section, even with a Cache already in there.

    For laundry on the way home, maybe a space bag would be a good solution. You can then roll all the air out and also keep the clean stuff away from the dirty stuff.

    @AVService: depending on when you board the plane, there may not be overhead bin space. So the bag either goes in front of you or in the hold.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    This was far from my first trip... but it was my first 'solo' tri-star trip. All the ones before it I used two bags, once for my clothes, one for electronics.

    I'll try the EG folder. BUt the laundry sack doesn't seem like it'll work in the tri-star. Tri-star wants things thin. I've failed at rolling my clothes in him like I do the A45. I have to fold my dirty laundry to get it in there just fine. Note that for me, I want to use the three zipper pockets in front... so I can't have too much space used up elsewhere.

    @avservice: The bag coming home was harder to pack, partially because I forgot the order I packed things in coming to my conference. I could have fit more I suppose, but then the laptop would be really tight in there, which I'm concerned about.

    As far as the seat space... I don't mind shoving the Tri-Star under the seat... at least for a few hours. I like to travel light incase plans change... they always do for me. I'm 5"9', very middlen... but even on American Airlines the room worked. Better then fighting for a space in the overhead when I'm zone 5. This was my real concern for one-bag travel. I cannot check my bag if its the only one I have. I cannot afford to lose my laptop and some fresh clothes when I travel. I really cannot trust the airlines. Reduced legroom is fine provided I have my stuff in front of me.

  12. #12
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    I just also have to say how much I love this forum. I've been traveling since I was a baby, for 45 years, long before the demise of Eastern. Bag packing was a family thing. From 2 adults and 3 kids on a weekend trip in a cj-5, to puddle jumpers in the Caribbean... packing was always a serious topic. This is the only place I can discuss it these days. So I say to you all...

    Thank You.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodeHead View Post
    it was my first 'solo' tri-star trip.
    That is what I was referring to.

    Quote Originally Posted by CodeHead View Post
    BUt the laundry sack doesn't seem like it'll work in the tri-star.
    I should have been more clear. You wouldn't use the space bag as a laundry sack—i.e., wadding up all your clothes and just stuffing them in there. You'd still have to fold things so that the total external dimensions of the laundry match the internal dimensions of the Tri-Star. But by expelling the air out of the bag, you won't have to re-pack quite as carefully since stuff in a space bag is guaranteed to be thinner than the the same amount of stuff just in packing cubes. Sometimes I use big ziplock bags in my Tri-Star for this purpose, which is how I know it works—I suggested the space bag since it is a more sustainable solution. But re-folding the laundry in the same configuration as it went in originally will also work, which is what I do most of the time.

  14. #14
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    I know space bags get a bad rep here, but you just need to learn to use them. At the very least, there is no reason not to use one for dirty laundry. And I have found that they can help reduce wrinkles when I am lightly packed, as it helps stiffen the bundle so pulling things in and out of the bag during transit won't facilitate more wrinkling of loosely-packed clothes in a packing cube. As I mentioned previously, don't roll them and they should keep wrinkles they impose to a minimum.

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