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  1. #1
    Forum Member polarium's Avatar
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    Really confused as to which to choose: WF or Tri-Star?

    Hi everyone,

    I bought the Synapse 25 as my first TB bag (to be used both for university and travelling) and it is great, until it comes to shoes. Shoes are the bane for my Synapse 25, since if I need to bring another shoe I can't one bag it.

    Thus, since I almost flat pack everything, I thought of buying either the TS or WF. I bought the TS first, but after looking at it I'm thinking of returning it. I bought the Dyneema/Wasabi TS, and it seems to floppy/large. I tried packing everything in, but it seems to be too large and unwieldy to bring. Thus came the idea of buying the WF, since I can already one bag everything with an S25 (did it 3x already).

    Now, my laptop is actually a Surface 3 (tablet/laptop hybrid), so I generally either bring that or bring only my phone. With this in mind, the TS's mid section is useless to me. However, I'm just scared that in case I go somewhere, I don't have enough pace.

    So, could the WF replace the Synapse 25 with shoes?

    Thanks everyone!
    Black/Northwest Sky Western Flyer

  2. #2
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I would give it a try. The Western Flyer is really nice and does feel smaller and more manageable to me. You can always take an overflow bag for trips where you are concerned; either your S25 or something like the Daylight Backpack or Daylight Briefcase that can be flat-packed when not needed.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  3. #3
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    The WF is an amazing bag, particularly if you get packing cubes for it. It feels about 2/3 the size of my A30, but holds a similar amount. I can easily fit shoes, a computer, and several days worth of clothes in a WF.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Forum Member polarium's Avatar
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    @bchaplin yes that would be a great idea! If I need to take something heavy, I'll use another bag.

    @catherder could you tell me what you could pack into the WF? Thanks!
    Black/Northwest Sky Western Flyer

  5. #5
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    I have the both TS (1050d) and WF (dyneema). I started with the TS and used at least a dozen or so times over about a year as the only bag I carried for 1-2 nights trips (I avg 1-2 nights travel per week). The problem I ran into was it was heavy 2 days of clothes, laptop and other gear (25-30lbs). I picked up the WF as a complement to my S25 with the thought that for longer trips, I can split the load into 2 bags; gear in S25, clothes/etc in WF. This would make things easier to carry and I can pack for more days if necessary. As a side note, I've found that the extra width of the 2 WF slots vs the 3 TS slots makes it more flexible and I can carry almost the same amount of stuff even with the 7L difference. I haven't used the TS in the last 6mos since I bought WF.

    A couple differences between the TS and WF to be aware of.

    1. The single top carry handle on the WF just seems strange to me. Maybe because I've had so many bags that always had to 2 handles it took a bit to get used to.
    2. The side handles on the TS definitely are nicer.
    3. I like the tie down straps in the TS and wish the WF had them. For simple overnights, I'll put my laptop and WF PC in the back pocket but pulling out my laptop can drag the packing cube out also.
    4. The width of the 2 pockets in the WF makes it more flexible for bulkier items like shoes assuming the overall height is not an issue. The 3 narrower TS pockets require a bit more organization and the end pockets tend to cannibalize the middle one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by polarium View Post
    @catherder could you tell me what you could pack into the WF? Thanks!
    Here's an example of what I can get into the WF (besides a computer). This is fairly full but not super-tightly packed; I could get in a few more things if I had to:

    Back section:

    computer (13" macbook pro retina in a sleeve - not pictured), plus large packing cube with:

    4 cotton t-shirts (rolled)
    a pair of jeans (folded)
    a pair of khakis (folded)
    purple packing tube containing a tempurpedic travel pillow
    blue packing tube with undies

    Front section:

    WF small packing cube with 1 pair low boots (women's size 11)
    A30 end cube with toiletries, makeup, and brushes
    travel tray (island color, next to the toiletries)

    There is still plenty of room for cords, computer charger etc. either in the front section by/in the travel tray, or in the front pockets.

    Hope this helps!
    Attached Images Attached Images Really confused as to which to choose: WF or Tri-Star?-screenshot-2016-05-05-17-31-54-png 
    Last edited by catherder; 05-05-2016 at 03:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Forum Member polarium's Avatar
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    @hachkc thanks for the WF info! Yeah the WF would probably replace the TS if I try it out, just not sure yet (but judging from your comment, I'm convinced on it). What I'm more interested in is your set-up. For the WF and S25, how do you travel with them? Do you always remember to bring another, or have you ever forgot and left one of your bags somewhere? That's the only reason why I'm a bit scared of travelling with two bags.

    @catherder Thank you very much for the packing list and picture! It definitely helps out a lot and from seeing the pictures I would say that the WF would fit what I would bring.

    EDIT:
    Alright, I now have both bags in possession. The WF looks sleek and great, but when I pack everything it packs to the brim (same as Synapse 25). The Tri-Star on the other hand, has large amounts of spaces (ie. I don't use the middle pocket).

    So to my new question, would it be better to have a fully packed WF, or an underpacked TS?
    Last edited by polarium; 05-06-2016 at 09:43 AM.
    Black/Northwest Sky Western Flyer

  8. #8
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    Have you considered an A30? The center compartment is large enough that flat-packing does work, and it's between the WF and TS in size. Your laptop should be able to fit. The side compartments are also good for shoes, although something like the low boots pictured above would probably need to go in the center.

    One great thing about the A30 is that if you're one-bagging it on a plane, you can put it under the seat and use the end compartment closest to you for stuff you want access to during the flight, which is super-convenient.

  9. #9
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Have you considered the Brain Bag or the Smart Alec? The Brain Bag is 36L, so, even bigger than the TS (33L), but in a backpack layout vs. the travel bag configuration of the TS. Or, the SA (26L) gives you flexibility with your capacity: the Upper Modular Pocket adds ~2L of volume, the Lower MP adds ~3L. So if you need the space you can add it on, if not then leave it behind.

    (I'd suggest the A30, which is comparable to the SA with both pockets, but for me personally I wouldn't want to carry it as my EDC. However I seem to recall someone here on the forums bought it for their wife, who uses it for EDC with her work items, lunch, and workout gear.)

    ETA: catherder beat me to the A30 suggestion! Smilie

  10. #10
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    I believe the 2 main compartments Brain Bag which has an oversized S25, carry configuration would be good for you, it was my first TB bag and my domestic travel bag for 7 years. That was before the airlines size requirements.

    I have a Dyneema Tristar (got it and a Dyneema S45 for an oversize* trips) and I do love all the pockets and both made the weight requirements.

    If you want sleek and lightweight get, both in Halcyon aka Pinstripe Dyneema, the 2 main compartments WF or the Aeronaute 30 which can be compartmentalized extremely easily with Packing Cubes.

    I handled the WF and have seen the A30 on people in the videos, I think both could be ideal for you.

    If you want the most versatile bag in the TB line consider the Smart Alec.

    The only drawback of getting a Brain Bag or a Smart Alec would be using an airline that makes you gate check in when boarding a non-commuter size plane. There is no way to protect the straps from the conveyor belts.

    I wonder if the TB Crew would consider making a Brain Bag in Halcyon?

    * overseas, which was also oversize as we tried to visit 2 European must visit destinations in 2 different countries and my family in a 3rd.
    While the clothes during travel must be easy and casual, 2 of the destinations called for more dressed up outfits, all that in bags that had to weight much less than my usual Brain Bag/LCB 45 pounds domestic load.
    Last edited by backpack; 05-06-2016 at 04:06 PM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member polarium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherder View Post
    Have you considered an A30? The center compartment is large enough that flat-packing does work, and it's between the WF and TS in size. Your laptop should be able to fit. The side compartments are also good for shoes, although something like the low boots pictured above would probably need to go in the center.

    One great thing about the A30 is that if you're one-bagging it on a plane, you can put it under the seat and use the end compartment closest to you for stuff you want access to during the flight, which is super-convenient.
    Huh I've never considered the A30. After test-packing my WF to the max, I'm actually considering the A30 now. But for now I'll have to use the WF as I have a trip coming up tomorrow and have to bring the bag (I don't have any other bags with me right now). I also realized I won't be bringing a laptop, just a 10" tablet which I assume will fit the end pocket of the A30. If not then it could easily fit the middle compartment.

    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Have you considered the Brain Bag or the Smart Alec? The Brain Bag is 36L, so, even bigger than the TS (33L), but in a backpack layout vs. the travel bag configuration of the TS. Or, the SA (26L) gives you flexibility with your capacity: the Upper Modular Pocket adds ~2L of volume, the Lower MP adds ~3L. So if you need the space you can add it on, if not then leave it behind.

    (I'd suggest the A30, which is comparable to the SA with both pockets, but for me personally I wouldn't want to carry it as my EDC. However I seem to recall someone here on the forums bought it for their wife, who uses it for EDC with her work items, lunch, and workout gear.)

    ETA: catherder beat me to the A30 suggestion! Smilie
    Yes the A30 does sound great. The bag will only strictly be for travelling, since I have another bag as EDC. I think I read that post too about the A30 being an EDC - but I prefer EDC bags at max as big as the S25. The Brain Bag and Smart Alec I dislike due to me preferring my travel bag able to be carried in either backpack form or sling bag form.

    But thank you though for the suggestion of the A30, now I will have to think more and spend more money on Tom Bihn stuff!



    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    I believe the 2 main compartments Brain Bag which has an oversized S25, carry configuration would be good for you, it was my first TB bag and my domestic travel bag for 7 years. That was before the airlines size requirements.

    I have a Dyneema Tristar (got it and a Dyneema S45 for an oversize* trips) and I do love all the pockets and both made the weight requirements.

    If you want sleek and lightweight get, both in Halcyon aka Pinstripe Dyneema, the 2 main compartments WF or the Aeronaute 30 which can be compartmentalized extremely easily with Packing Cubes.

    I handled the WF and have seen the A30 on people in the videos, I think both could be ideal for you.

    If you want the most versatile bag in the TB line consider the Smart Alec.

    The only drawback of getting a Brain Bag or a Smart Alec would be using an airline that makes you gate check in when boarding a non-commuter size plane. There is no way to protect the straps from the conveyor belts.

    I wonder if the TB Crew would consider making a Brain Bag in Halcyon?

    * overseas, which was also oversize as we tried to visit 2 European must visit destinations in 2 different countries and my family in a 3rd.
    While the clothes during travel must be easy and casual, 2 of the destinations called for more dressed up outfits, all that in bags that had to weight much less than my usual Brain Bag/LCB 45 pounds domestic load.
    Ah yes could you comment more on your international trip with the A45, such as what you brought, was it comfortable/uncomfortable, how did you prefer carrying it, etc?

    I travel overseas often, about 6x a year, and each of those trips last about 1-2 weeks and span different countries. I would love to have a onebag travel and the A45 seem to fit the bill. Just wondering on your experience for overseas trips.

    I dislike the SA/Brain Bag due to them having only a backpack orientation (hence why I sold my S25 and came to this forum to decide between a TS/WF).


    EDIT: Due to the timing of my trip (which is tomorrow), I have to choose so soon and ultimately chose the WF. The reason is the WF forces me to pack less, which means a lighter trip and more efficient trip. With the TS, I feel that I'm going to overpack a lot and I dislike bulgy bags. I packed things in the WF, but both to my dismay and delight that I overpacked a few clothes.

    The dismay is I overpacked stuff and need to take out my stuff. The delight however, came when I realized I don't need as much stuff and I could survive with less. This automatically made my packing way more efficient, and lighter so I don't have to suffer in the airport as I seemingly walk from end-to-end at every airport I go to.

    And to others who probably am wondering whether to choose the WF or TS, this is what I have to say after thinking and a lot of help/advice from @catherder @backpack @bchaplin @hachkc:

    Choose the TS when you want to pack a laptop, are getting gifts/souvenirs, or have a lot of documents/binders to bring.

    Choose the WF when you aren't packing a laptop, looking for a lightweight easy to handle carry-on item, or could pack lightweight/want to force yourself to pack lightweight.
    Last edited by polarium; 05-07-2016 at 10:53 PM.
    Black/Northwest Sky Western Flyer

  12. #12
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    Some pics from my current trip. Just 1 night, everything in the WF.

    sport coat in WF PC
    slacks, shirt, underwear, tshirt, socks in EC med folder
    Lenovo W530 w/ extd battery in grey sleeve/case


    Really confused as to which to choose: WF or Tri-Star?-bag3-jpgReally confused as to which to choose: WF or Tri-Star?-bag2-jpgReally confused as to which to choose: WF or Tri-Star?-bag1-jpg

  13. #13
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    Thanks for this thread....I just ordered a WF, since my SM keeps vanishing with my mother as she leaves after a visit.

    my NFTD isn't quite big enough on its own if i also want clothes in addition to my CPAP and my A45 is TOO big for a weekend.

    (at least this is what i am telling myself)

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