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  1. #1
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    PCBP: Tristar vs A45

    I'm in mourning that I did not get anything in Sitka (well, it IS the lining in my new A30!) and am considering the PCBP. It looks like there are two different designs and I'm wondering if anyone who has used both can comment on the placement of the second compartment and how useful each style is. To be honest, it looks unwieldy and I think the DLBP would be a better choice, but I really did want something in Sitka. Thank goodness I was able to get a SB in Fjord, or I would really be struggling. I'm a shortie: 5'1" if that makes any difference and on the scrawny side. But strong!
    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    If you are not intending to use the Packing Cube feature of them but are more looking for a very lightweight very packable backpack I'd go for the Daylight Backpack. The feextra feautures make a huge difference.

    As for the two PCBPs: If you where useing it for the gym for wxample the Aeronout lne allows you to pack your shows seperatly. Or wett things after swimming or what have you. From an estatic point of view I think the Tristar version looks better and if seperating wett or dirty items is not an issue this one allows to pack longer items.

    I bought both in Nordic a while back... because NORDIC and have not used them jet. Meaning: buying one just for the color... Might not be a good idea. My DLBPs I do use on and off because the ectra features make a world of difference.

    Just my thoughts on this matter
    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  3. #3
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    Thanks @Ilkyway. You pretty much confirmed my gut feeling, but so sad about colors. Oh well, next time I will be faster!

  4. #4
    Forum Member bunchgrass's Avatar
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    I have the Tristar version of the PCBP and I like it because the Freudian Slip from my SA fits in it. I have used the combination of the Tristar PCBP and SA on several family camping trips and it works well especially if I want to go to a different part of the campground to write or take notes. Which PCBP you choose depends on how you want to use it. If you want one that accommodates a FS, then the Tristar version is a better choice. If you need the extra pocket for shoes or a wet swimsuit, then the A30 would be the better choice.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Gumby's Avatar
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    I echo Ilkyway's thoughts about buying bags just for the color. I bought a few PCBPs a couple of years ago because I liked the colors. I ended up swapping one (Nordic, of course...) for a small cafe bag. The others are still hanging out in their Tom Bihn box. If I need a small, packable backpack, I grab the DLBP every time. I prefer the proportions and overall design of the DLBP over those of the PCBP (either variety).

    Much as I love some of the limited edition colors (Fjord makes me swoon!), I'm working hard to resist the temptation to buy a bag just for the color. Whether or not I'll be successful remains to be seen... 😊

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Synapse 19 & 25, Co-Pilot, Pilot, Side Effect, Small Cafe Bag, Medium Cafe Bag, Western Flyer, Tri-Star, A45, A30, Travel Tray, Passport Pouch, Small Organizer Wallet (this is the little guy that started it all...), several Shop Bags and Organizer Pouches. More to come, I'm sure...

  6. #6
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    I can't speak to one design over the other, but the tri-star version of the PCBP wasn't made in Sitka, only the A45 version.

  7. #7
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    At 5'3" and more on the petite side, I think the WF/TS PCBP looks more proportionate on me versus the Aeronaut, which is slightly wider. I have used my WF/TS one as a gym bag and I use a zippered pouch to hold my shoes separately, and I appreciate the versatility of the open compartment versus the Aeronaut PCBP, especially for multi-season time at the gym. It is easy to set the bag down flat and unzipper all the way to see its contents.

    If I were to choose a backpack for general use other than my gym bag, I would go with the Daylight backpack, since there are many more organizational options, and it looks sleek.
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  8. #8
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
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    I have the DLBP, as well as both versions of the PCBP, and I actually have a strong opinion on them. Since you were wondering, here are my three cents' worth:

    The DLBP is adorable and fantastic. It has quite a bit of room, and if you're thinking of using it in place of a purse, it has a ton of space. It also has a couple of really nice pockets on the inside that provide a little organizing ability.

    That said, the DLBP is not really big. If you want to pack more than light windbreaker, you will easily wind up stuffing it full.

    The Tri-Star/WF version of the PCBP is kind of like the bigger sibling to the DLBP. I would not use PCBP as a purse replacement. However, I am 5'2.5", and the Tri-Star PCBP is a GREAT size. So many backpacks are humongous and make me look like a Galapagos turtle, but the Tri-Star PCBP has some really nice lines. Plus, you can pack a TON of stuff in there. Essentially, you can fit in it, what you can fit in the main compartment of your Tri-Star, so you can really fit a lot. I can easily use it as an overnighter/light weekender bag, especially if I carry a PCSB with it, as a purse (in matching color, of course).

    As for the Aeronaut PCBP, in my opinion it has a VERY narrow niche, for me, as a gym bag. I can put a pair of shoes in the bottom compartment, and use the main compartment for my clothes.

    That said, if you don't put anything in that bottom compartment, the pack doesn't feel right... it's top heavy and the bottom compartment, when empty, looks kind of saggy (like a raisin?).

    Plus, the Aeronaut PCBP is actually wider than the Tri-Star version, so it looks different when worn. Your mileage may vary, though. I think the Aeronaut vs. Tri-Star PCBP is really a personal preference sort of thing.

    You could always order both and try them on for size, and just keep the one you like better.
    Last edited by Lani; 05-15-2016 at 11:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member RDR3's Avatar
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    I like our A45 PCBPs (we have more than 3 in different colors) for 2-3 night road trips. I prefer the bottom zippered compartment for shoes or undergarments. It's light and easy for the kids to stuff their clothes in and throw in the car and when we come home exhausted, it's nice to be able to grab something light and haul into the house. And of course, Halycon material to survive my kids brutal use of their bags. As previously mentioned, it is not a comfortable bag to use as a day-hike with its box-like shape. For day hikes, we use the DLBP- now that is an awesome bag, light and functional!
    HTH

  10. #10
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    I use the TS version but have a few different limited edition colors of the Aeronaut version on the way. I thought the bottom compartment with some stuff in it would give a nice cushion for a laptop/iPad when out and about during the day.

  11. #11
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    @Lani, thank you for mentioning that you use the A45 version to store shoes. This got me thinking that the A45 PCBP might be the answer to my search for a personal item on a budget European airline (my beloved wee NFTD is too big and also doesn't handle magazines well.)

    It arrived-- in Fjord!-- and I really, really like it! It seems huge (I think the product page says it's got 17L capacity, so yeah... it's big), but still seems very low profile. It's definitely less bulky on me than carrying a NFTD on a crowded subway. It also seems really comfortable. I used it yesterday as a work bag-- with my 24oz Hydro Flask in the bottom compartment, and a bunch of crap I needed to return to some stores in main section, and it worked great.

    I'm also avowedly Team Slippers! for longhaul flights, i.e. I always change into comfy slippers, because no way I'm going into an airplane toilet in socks. The A45 PCBP is perfect for this, moreover, I can fit into the bottom compartment not only slippers but an Eagle Creek Spectre Tube Cube, which will have the clothes to change into upon arrivals. (I'll be lucky to have arrivals lounge access, so I'll be able to shower and put on fresh clothes. This just makes life easier so I'm not rooting around in my bag for stuff.) The main compartment-- into which I think I'll put a PCSB to corral things-- is ample for all the other stuff I need in flight: 3-1-1 bag, magazines, bulky Bose headphones, iPad mini, etc.

    Plus, it's Fjord.

    In other words, I'm exceptionally pleased with this backpack. It would be nice if it also had a front slash pocket like on the Tristar version (but definitely keeping the bottom shoe compartment!), and it definitely needs more O-rings. But like the Aeronauts, it solves the shoe/slipper packing issue perfectly. The A45 PCBP doesn't seem to get much love, but I really like it. Based on my test packing so far, it's much better suited to my needs than the Pilot and Daylight Backpack. Plus... it's Fjord!

  12. #12
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @turnleftbrighteyes - nice mini review of the A45 PCBP version. I agree that this version does not get much press. I did find a few good reviews of the A45 version (which you and other may already have seen):

    A45 version:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQaspL4Y6Is


    A45 and TS version:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOS7K5OTYAw

    Enjoy your new Sitka A45 PCBP - post some pictures of the Fjord if you can!

    Hope this helps
    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 05-25-2016 at 02:19 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  13. #13
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    Update!

    I appreciate all the input. I ended up going with the DLBP in Nordic halcyon. Have not used it yet and I am a little intimidated at how big it is, but I think it will be a good choice.

  14. #14
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnleftbrighteyes View Post
    @Lani, thank you for mentioning that you use the A45 version to store shoes. This got me thinking that the A45 PCBP might be the answer to my search for a personal item on a budget European airline (my beloved wee NFTD is too big and also doesn't handle magazines well.)

    It arrived-- in Fjord!-- and I really, really like it! It seems huge (I think the product page says it's got 17L capacity, so yeah... it's big), but still seems very low profile. It's definitely less bulky on me than carrying a NFTD on a crowded subway. It also seems really comfortable. I used it yesterday as a work bag-- with my 24oz Hydro Flask in the bottom compartment, and a bunch of crap I needed to return to some stores in main section, and it worked great.

    I'm also avowedly Team Slippers! for longhaul flights, i.e. I always change into comfy slippers, because no way I'm going into an airplane toilet in socks. The A45 PCBP is perfect for this, moreover, I can fit into the bottom compartment not only slippers but an Eagle Creek Spectre Tube Cube, which will have the clothes to change into upon arrivals. (I'll be lucky to have arrivals lounge access, so I'll be able to shower and put on fresh clothes. This just makes life easier so I'm not rooting around in my bag for stuff.) The main compartment-- into which I think I'll put a PCSB to corral things-- is ample for all the other stuff I need in flight: 3-1-1 bag, magazines, bulky Bose headphones, iPad mini, etc.

    Plus, it's Fjord.

    In other words, I'm exceptionally pleased with this backpack. It would be nice if it also had a front slash pocket like on the Tristar version (but definitely keeping the bottom shoe compartment!), and it definitely needs more O-rings. But like the Aeronauts, it solves the shoe/slipper packing issue perfectly. The A45 PCBP doesn't seem to get much love, but I really like it. Based on my test packing so far, it's much better suited to my needs than the Pilot and Daylight Backpack. Plus... it's Fjord!
    try one of the Freudian slips for organization...

    Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Another update on my DLBP. I have not used it yet; have not been able to get beyond its big, boxy look. But yesterday I met up with @ Imagineez to relieve him of a side effect and got a tour of his bags in the process. I mentioned my ambivalence about the DLBP and he brought out his own Nordic halcyon DLPB, which looked (forgive me here) soft and loved and alive and approachable. It was a revelation! He showed me his organization, including how great the S25 FS is in the DLPB, and suddenly, I could see how I might love this bag. I am taking it with me on my trip to the south this week, even though I don't have a FS yet.
    Also, I successfully got out of there without buying his gorgeous verde A45. It was a lot of fun to see his collection and talk TB for a while.

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