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  1. #1
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    Surprising results - Tri-Star vs A30

    I recently ordered an A30 because I thought it would work better for me than my Tri-Star (and possibly be more comfortable). I finally had time to do a test pack today and found that:

    1. The Tri-Star is more comfortable. I think it's because it's shorter than the A30.
    2. The A30 was more awkward to pack than I thought it would be. The Tri-Star's organizational features work better for me, and that's the biggest surprise.
    3. I packed what I would normally take for an international trip, and the A30 was stuffed. I don't think I could've added one more thing. The Tri-Star had quite a bit of room to spare, including room for a laptop in the middle compartment, if needed.
    4. I really, really love the 1050 Aubergine color, and the combo with Wasabi looks much less "glaring" in person than the online photos would suggest. More subtle, and pretty.

    I may order a Synik 30 just to see how it compares (since I was so wrong about the A30). I want to see if it fits my organizational style and is more comfortable on my back.

    Just thought I'd share. Smilie

  2. #2
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyJourneys View Post
    I recently ordered an A30 because I thought it would work better for me than my Tri-Star (and possibly be more comfortable). I finally had time to do a test pack today and found that: The Tri-Star is more comfortable. The Tri-Star had quite a bit of room to spare
    I've found the exact same thing, except with the A45 and Western Flyer!

    Somehow I can fully pack my A45 or WF for the same trip ... I still don't fully understand how this can be true ... I'm thinking this next year I"m going to get a full set of A45 and WF packing cubes and see if that helps reveal the mystery (I already use various others).

    But yeah, for me the WF and Tri-Star are the shape.

  3. #3
    Registered User ldave1's Avatar
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    Interesting .... I found exactly the opposite, so much so that after I used my A30 I sold my TS . All I have now is a A30 and a A45, and a good assortment of packing cubes (not all TB),
    that covers all my traveling needs perfectly (It's possible now that now that I am retired, my packing needs have shifted a bit.)

    Now if I can find the right 'small 2nd underseat carry-on' for me I'd be in business. Nothing in the current lineup totally suits my wants ... although a retired design sure looks (looked..?)
    promising .... the Buzz. Wish I could find a used one.

  4. #4
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    I've always found the main difference between the WF/TS and the A30/A45 design styles is about whether you are a flat packer or more of a 3D type packer... I'm a 3D packer, so I'm happiest with the Aeronaut family.

    @ldave1, the Buzz sling style bag pops up on eBay somewhat frequently - there are two listed now in fact
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  5. #5
    Registered User ldave1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    @ldave1, the Buzz sling style bag pops up on eBay somewhat frequently - there are two listed now in fact
    Thanks - I'll check it out!

  6. #6
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldave1 View Post
    Thanks - I'll check it out!
    I think there’s going to be a new sling style bag available in the near future.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I've always found the main difference between the WF/TS and the A30/A45 design styles is about whether you are a flat packer or more of a 3D type packer... I'm a 3D packer, so I'm happiest with the Aeronaut family.
    I think you might have nailed it on that observation. I look at the tri-star and wf and wonder how people manage to pack in those...but I am a compression cube 3D packer like you are so my A45 is a great fit for me.

    I think mainly that is because I almost never need a suit, and I pack merino t-shirts and the like and roll them up and then cube them. I think if you did have a suit, the flat packing style might be what you'd need.

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator bartleby's Avatar
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    Location: Germany / Hobbies: Photography & Guitars
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    I couldn't agree more: I use the TS when I am heading of for a business trip where I need shirts and a suit and the A45 when I get along with more informal wear that doesn't need to be folded with care.
    ...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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    I've tested a TS, WF, A30 and A45 and I ended up liking the A45 best. I think I would like the TS if it was designed like the WF.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I think I would like the TS if it was designed like the WF.
    Interesting! I think of the TS and the WF like siblings, and just considered the TS a "bigger WF with a middle compartment". What differences jump out at you between them?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    Interesting! I think of the TS and the WF like siblings, and just considered the TS a "bigger WF with a middle compartment". What differences jump out at you between them?
    The WF is just a hair too small. If it was about 1/2 larger in all dimensions, it would fit my Eagle Creek Specter packing folders better. The WF compartments are deeper than the TS, which for me was better suited to my clothing and shoes. I also don't like the front pockets as they are all flat, so they take up the same space, so having only two is better than 3 pockets. Actually I wish the WF had pockets like the Pilot on the front, with a bit of depth to them. I find the TS pockets too big and too flat.

  12. #12
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    I love my A45, but I found it very impractical and awkward to hustle around NYC -- fully packed -- navigating crowded sidewalks, up and down stairwells and into jammed subway cars, and in particular hoisting it (quickly!) through the subway turnstiles.

    After walking only about five blocks, it already felt like I was lugging around a coffin.

    I suspect I'd like it better if I were a "normal" American, carrying it only from bedroom to the garage, into my car, and through airports.

    Then I got my Western Flyer. The absolute perfect shape and size for moving throughout NYC, coupled with my new Synapse 25.

    Quote Originally Posted by MyJourneys View Post
    I really, really love the 1050 Aubergine color, and the combo with Wasabi looks much less "glaring" in person than the online photos would suggest. More subtle, and pretty.
    I've never been much of a "purple" person (green is my favorite color, followed by orange). But I have to say, I've found my aubergine Pop Tote and Co-Pilot to be the most versatile Bihn colors I own (and I have verde, burnt orange, coyote, and nebulous grey).

    Because the aubergine is so muted, it's actually more of a neutral. It goes with everything: It's "cool" enough to pair nicely with black, grey, and blue, but also "warm" enough to pop nicely with browns, greens, and oranges.

    About the only color it really clashes with is red. And the few times I'm wearing red, I'll reach for my coyote or nebulous grey.

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I've always found the main difference between the WF/TS and the A30/A45 design styles is about whether you are a flat packer or more of a 3D type packer... I'm a 3D packer, so I'm happiest with the Aeronaut family.
    That makes sense to me, which is why I'm still puzzled that I like my WF so much! In general I think I'm more of an Aeronaut-style packer and my A45 is great for longer trips, but somehow the WF also works well for me. (Now that I've added an A30 to the mix, I'm curious to see what types of trips I end up using each of the three bags for.)
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  14. #14
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    Good thread! I'm in a semi quandary, deciding on a WF, possibly an A30... needing to go smaller, been using a carry on duffle for the short trips, two to four days of leisure, plane and vehicle. The duffle, while rated for carry on, is running a bit wide for my tastes these days. I'm thinking slimmer, easier to carry primarily via Absolute strap, and I have two, the older straight and the curved. Need to carry my running shoes, 10.5D when I wear Chacos, or visa versa. Have watched many videos on the WF and A30... still undecided. Leaning towards the WF... slimmer! If anyone has any thoughts, feel free. Do not want to go larger!

  15. #15
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    Hi! Just yesterday, I pulled the trigger on a second-hand WF, in large part because it's TB's only "main item" travel bag that will fit in personal-item/under-seat sizers while fully packed. (I'm paranoid about this now because I was trying to use a non-TB 20-inch-tall bag with a rigid framesheet on Frontier and ended up needing to move it up to the overhead because it poked out into foot space.)
    Others have reported that a slightly under-packed A30 also works just fine as a personal item most of the time.
    I think the product descriptions also mention that either can hold a pair of shoes: the WF in a front half-compartment (with some room to spare), or the A30 in an end compartment.

    Good luck!

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