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  1. #1
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    Any compelling reason I should add a TriStar to my A45/Pilot combo?

    Iíve recently converted into the carry-on only camp. During my research I stumbled onto Tom Bihn bags and recently received an Aeronaut 45, Pilot, and multiple accessories. After 50 YouTube videos and more reviews than I care to count, Iím now debating whether I should add a TriStar in addition to the A45 and Pilot.

    I will have several domestic flights in the next 6 months (mostly business with no suit required). I typically have 2 international business trips per year that are 5-8 days. I typically take two 7-10 day vacations per year.

    I plan to use the Pilot as my EDC bag and personal item for flights. I will use the A45 for personal domestic trips and longer domestic business trips. My biggest reason for potentially adding the TriStar is for international business flights (although if I bought it, it would also be nice to have for short domestic business trips too). Iím concerned the A45 will not meet International carryon requirements especially from flights originating out of Europe. I have no problem carrying the size/weight of the A45, so my main factor in deciding whether to purchase is would I be forced to check the A45 on an international flight.

    Interested in any opinions about the topic. Especially interested to hear if there have been international flights where you were forced to check a packed A45. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkshooter View Post
    Iíve recently converted into the carry-on only camp. During my research I stumbled onto Tom Bihn bags and recently received an Aeronaut 45, Pilot, and multiple accessories. After 50 YouTube videos and more reviews than I care to count, Iím now debating whether I should add a TriStar in addition to the A45 and Pilot.

    I will have several domestic flights in the next 6 months (mostly business with no suit required). I typically have 2 international business trips per year that are 5-8 days. I typically take two 7-10 day vacations per year.

    I plan to use the Pilot as my EDC bag and personal item for flights. I will use the A45 for personal domestic trips and longer domestic business trips. My biggest reason for potentially adding the TriStar is for international business flights (although if I bought it, it would also be nice to have for short domestic business trips too). Iím concerned the A45 will not meet International carryon requirements especially from flights originating out of Europe. I have no problem carrying the size/weight of the A45, so my main factor in deciding whether to purchase is would I be forced to check the A45 on an international flight.

    Interested in any opinions about the topic. Especially interested to hear if there have been international flights where you were forced to check a packed A45. Thanks in advance.
    I would be more concerned with your domestic flights, as those baggage limits are tighter than on international flights. International* flights leaving from Europe will typically have the same size limits as those leaving the US (22x14x9"). It is intra-Europe flights that have stricter size limits.

    *Using International to mean from Europe to outside of Europe

    Of course, check the website of the airline you would normally use to be sure.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Artdime's Avatar
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    I travel quite a bit internationally and within Europe with my A45 and have not had any issues with its size.

    If the overheads are full and you do not want to gate check, you will need to see if you can fit the bag under the seat. This might be a little easier with the Tristar than the A45, although I have had the A45 under the seat on a Lufthansa flight in Europe without issues. The only time I had to check it was a domestic US flight.
    Today is a good day for a good day!

  4. #4
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    Agree that you need to check on the airlines you'll be flying intra-Europe... Also, besides size, the main difference between the TS and A30 is whether you prefer flat packing or more 3D packing of your stuff.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too!

  5. #5
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    I have both the A45 and the TriStar. I also consider the main difference in packing: The TriStar is a flat packing bag and thus, I prefer it for business trips as especially business shirts and a suit can be packed very well inside this bag. Shoes are more difficult but one pair is no problem. For all other purposes I use the A45 as it swallows enormous amounts of stuff. I had no problems so far with either bag as carry on (travelling mostly in Europe).
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartleby View Post
    I have both the A45 and the TriStar. I also consider the main difference in packing: The TriStar is a flat packing bag and thus, I prefer it for business trips as especially business shirts and a suit can be packed very well inside this bag. Shoes are more difficult but one pair is no problem. For all other purposes I use the A45 as it swallows enormous amounts of stuff. I had no problems so far with either bag as carry on (travelling mostly in Europe).
    I understand your comments and it pushes me toward saying there isn’t much added benefit to adding a TriStar. I view the A45 as versatile in that it “swallows enormous amounts of stuff” and is easier to pack things like shoes; however, with the use of a packing folder in the bottom (by unzipping one of the side panels), it seems like I could also pack flat items like business attire in the bottom of the A45. TriStar seems to be great if you just want flat packing style, but the A45 seems like it could handle either style or a hybrid depending on what packing cubes I use.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkshooter View Post
    I understand your comments and it pushes me toward saying there isn’t much added benefit to adding a TriStar. I view the A45 as versatile in that it “swallows enormous amounts of stuff” and is easier to pack things like shoes; however, with the use of a packing folder in the bottom (by unzipping one of the side panels), it seems like I could also pack flat items like business attire in the bottom of the A45. TriStar seems to be great if you just want flat packing style, but the A45 seems like it could handle either style or a hybrid depending on what packing cubes I use.
    I use an Eagle Creek packing folder for flat/business shirts in my A30 and unzip one end, as you say. If you're ok with that method, you probably don't need a TS, but we're a bunch of enablers, so maybe we won't say it...
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too!

  8. #8
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    ...and I think it all depends very much on what counts as Ącompellingď: Of course you can get along very well with an Aeronaut and there are a number of suggestions around how to pack business clothes in this bag. So strictly or reasonably speaking, I donĎt think there is any good reason to get a TS when you already have an A45. However, many here - including me - are happy to find just one good reason to get another TB bag
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

  9. #9
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    Iíve had a TS for 4-5yrs and recently decided on A30 after checking out A45. It you have the aeronaut already I wouldnít bother w a TS. just need proper cubes or folders for biz or biz casual. Idk. I found the tristar quite limiting for my needs especially on more casual trips.

  10. #10
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    The biggest benefits I see with the TS/WF is they are ideal business one bag solutions. If you are taking 2 bags, they lose some value. They easily transition from luggage to briefcase to backpack for multi day business trips.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the responses. I went ahead and ordered a Tri Star and the packing cubes that go with it so I could compare it to my A45. After doing some test packing comparisons for a 3 day business trip, Iíve decided I prefer the A45. My packing consisted of 3 dress shirts, 3 undershirts, socks, underwear, 1 pair of slacks, 3 workout shirts, 2 shorts, 3 running socks, running shoes (size 12.5), toiletry bag, jeans, pullover. In my work bag I have a laptop (no cache), power brick, small snake charmer with cables, notebook, pens, paper files, n/c headphones.

    The biggest issue for me is trying to squeeze my shoes in the front section of the TS. I could get them to fit (even in the smaller front section), but it was a really tight fit depth wise. I put my shirts, slacks, and jeans in a packing folder in the back section. The rest of my clothes fit in the medium (2/3) front packing cube. With the front and back sections fully packed, there was very little room left in the middle section. Iím sure I could have squeezed my laptop and toiletry kit in the middle section.

    Iíve decided that I am an A45 guy. Basically it came down to an overpacked TS vs an underpacked A45. While I didnít actually measure, the footprint for both bags looked very similar. If I had smaller shoes (or didnít need to pack an extra pair of shoes), Iíd be tempted to hang onto the TS; however I think the A45 will fill my needs without being that much larger than the TS.

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