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  1. #1
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    Strugling with the desire to replace my Tri Star with Western Flyer

    Long story short(er); recently work took me out into the Aleutian Islands to a rather remote village setting. My first thought was "3 connecting flights, Tri Star all the way since it will hold my laptop and all my clothes for the trip." First two flights, no problem, plenty of room in the overhead everything was smooth sailing. Until the final regional connection.

    The flight attendant immediately started telling me that I am part of the problem on these little flights, how dare I try and bring this bag on her flight, blahblahblah, obviously had been having a bad day dealing with the public, but hadn't even allowed me to attempt to put my bag into the overhead. With that said, I never put my bag under the seat in front of me. I'm tall enough and have a bad knee where I cannot sacrifice the ability to reposition my foot throughout the flight. She performs a halfhearted "See, I told you it wouldn't fit" move with my bag, and immediately removes it from the aircraft.

    So into the cargo hold the bag goes.

    Now, from what I saw it wasn't by much that the TS didn't fit, and if I would have had the opportunity to put the bag into the overhead myself it would have fit without an issue due to the compressible contents. Which brings me to the desire for a WF.

    When I'm traveling for work I generally only take three to four days worth clothes. I can fit my entire week into a single large TS packing cube if I'm not having to go into corporate mode. Its usually business casual or industrial dress. I don't think it would be much of a stretch to fit my entire week into one large WF packing cube, spiff kit on one half of front compartment, notebooks, chargers, etc on other half, and laptop with the clothing.

    Anyone out there completed this downsizing and regretted it? My laptop is a big clunker of a workstation replacement behemoth, so that might be a detrimental factor.

  2. #2
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    I don't know that I would downsize a beloved bag based on one experience like this. It sounds like the bag probably would have worked had you had a moment to remove the laptop or jiggle it into position. Probably better to chalk this up to one attendant having a bad day and move on.

  3. #3
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    I can't call it one experience, just the first experience with the TS. It used to happen (prior to the purchase of the TS) regularly on the smaller regional connections, at the time of purchase I was having a debate about TS vs WF, which is why I keep circling back to would the WF have been the better choice?

    The TS was also purchased before I learned to truly streamline my packing, back when if I had the Large, Med, and SM TS packing cubes full of clothing I thought I was doing good.

  4. #4
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    Have you looked at how much travel you have on the small regionals vs larger planes...?
    These bags are definitely expensive enough to make you pay attention, so I'm not suggesting you have both if it's not an appropriate use of your money for your lifestyle... but if you do think your travel is split between both types of planes, you may find adding a WF more useful overall than swapping out the TS completely.
    It takes discipline and a certain type of packing to keep to a small capacity... I find myself switching between bags based on what I need to bring on a trip and what mode of transportation I take...
    Best of luck to you - it's a hard decision

  5. #5
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    Strugling with the desire to replace my Tri Star with Western Flyer

    I never have problems with the regionals. Every flight I do has at least one leg on a regional. TS always fits in the upper compartment. My fallback, just in case is to pop out my cache with laptop to make it even skinnier.

    Sounds like you ran into a frustrated flight attendant.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Hi @OilfieldCowboy,

    This is just my impression from your comments, but if you are using your Tri-Star to carry a large laptop, it may not really be practical to move to a Western Flyer for your usage profile. I'm sure that for clothing the Western Flyer would likely suit your needs, according to your description. It's not so clear that you'd have as convenient a solution for your laptop, too. I have a feeling it's too large for a Daylight Briefcase. Would you carry the laptop in a separate bag, like the Cadet, during the flight?

    moriond

  7. #7
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    I bought a Western Flyer originally for the exact reason your getting at, for when I feared the Tristar would be too Ďfatí to go in regional overhead.

    To be honest though, I donít think Iíve ever actually found a time when it was so tight that the WF would have made the difference to the Tristar. Generally removing the laptop and things from the middle compartment when I get to the seat makes the bag as thin as a WF anyway.

    I do still travel with a WF on regional if I can but these usually are only short trips anyway. My longer trips infrequently use regional aircraft. So I use both for different purposes.

    I donít think the WF can be a Tristar replacement but it can work if you pack ultralight for longer trips or you are doing 1-2 day trips, itís going to remove the fear of it not fitting.

    Also as itís marginally smaller in all dimensions, itís also easier to use under the seat with a little more leg room.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  8. #8
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    It's really the height and length that differentiate them; unless you are packing it tight, the fatness is really about how much you pack with either bag. Almost every other bag in the marketplace will get the ire of a flight attendant before either of these do, I wouldn't make the investment over that.

  9. #9
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    My husband was a pilot in the Aleutians for awhile and based on my experiences traveling with him, I would not encourage you to downsize beyond your comfort level. It is very common to get stuck for 3-4 days waiting for the weather to clear, and resources are both limited and expensive. I would also encourage you to focus packing carry-on items that could be most valuable to you in an emergency (warm clothes, extra food, water).

    I also wouldnít be surprised if they would give you a similar hassle with the WF as a carry on. Flying in the Aleutians is very different because of remoteness, terrain, lack of alternate airports, high fuel loads, etc. and pilots need to account for that as they load the plane. I would suggest using any bag that meets your needs, but being prepared to pull out your laptop at the last minute to hand carry it and gate checking the remainder as you board the plane. That way you know that your luggage is on the same plane as you and your valuables are safe.

    That said, these are precautions for flying in remote Alaska, so please take it with a grain of salt if you donít fly there often!

  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I downsized from a TriStar / S25 to a A30 / Ristretto combo for 4-5 trips. It was successful for me. However, I did only carry a 14" laptop. The A30 could hold a 15.6" laptop if I unzipped one internal side if that is the size of laptop you have. IMHO, I would find a separate bag to hold your laptop underseat - perhaps a Cadet if your laptop is the 15.6" size and as the Cadet is thin, you perhaps still have room for your feet either on top of the bag or beside it if it will fit vertically underseat (or slip it in the Overhead).

    The benefit is the A30 is long and narrow so could better fit the shallow height overhead cabin bins.

    Here is a picture of my A30 (resting on a comfy pillow after a long flight to Texas) with 5 Day of Clothes for a Conference

    Strugling with the desire to replace my Tri Star with Western Flyer-a30_5day-trip-jpg

    Here is a picture of my TriStar I used a few years ago for a 5 Day Conference

    Strugling with the desire to replace my Tri Star with Western Flyer-tb-tristar-airport-jpg


    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 04-24-2018 at 03:39 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  11. #11
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    Wow, the Tristar looks absolutely massive compared to the A30. Maybe it's just the rectangular shape and numerous zippers that are throwing me off, but I'm surprised by how stretched out it looks in the picture.

  12. #12
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    Are the A30 zippers that much bigger? Those are throwing me off, no way the Tri-Star is that huge!

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I will double check but they are the same size (both bags use 2 sizes). The black color or the TS ones hide their size better. Also, the TS has more of the smaller zippers in the front where you see them in my picture. The A30 has the smaller ones on the 2 end pockets and the backpack pocket if I recall.

    Based on the TB website info, both bags use 2 sizes of zippers on the outside - Size #10 and #8 YKK Aquaguard Coil Zippers

    Good eye @imperator !!

    Cheers!

    Edit - Yes my TS looks very large compared to the A30. This is partially due to the design (I was fitting some thicker items into the 2.5" sections making it bulge more). Also, the TS picture was taken on my return flight - so I was not as organized with my packing (translation - I used more of a "stuffing" packing methodology Smilie ).
    Last edited by tpnl; 04-25-2018 at 03:33 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  14. #14
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    Wf vs TS

    I have both. I find the WF, even though is only marginally smaller, is MUCH more portable and convenient.

    If fits with ease under the seat and in pretty much all overheads, so never have to sweat it, no matter how full the flight.

    Since I pack less, the lower weight makes it easier, too.

    If you can fit what you need into it, I say go for the WF.

    Unless you are going to remote rugged areas, Though I'm a fairly muscular and fit guy, to me, once you get bigger than the WF, I hate to say it but roller bags (heresy!) are more manageable/practical.

    TS is right on the edge of what I want to handle.

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