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  1. #1
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    Need help - A30, WF, or Tri-Star

    Hi guys! I'm looking to add 2 or 3 more bags to our S25 Black Halcyon.

    My husband and I go on work trips with our laptops. I'm using a 15inch MBP and he's using a DELL 15 inch laptop but we may buy the new Surface Pro once it's launched in Singapore, or a 13-inch laptop.

    As I'm 5'3 and relatively petite, will the Tri-Star be too big for my size? My husband is 5'9. Frankly the S25 in Halcyon is a little too heavy for me when it's packed full with 2 big water bottles, 2 jackets and other items like a tablet and I need to use the hip belt to take off some weight off my shoulders.

    But I checked that the dimensions of the TS is only bigger than WF by 1-inch all around and the reason why I looked at TS is because of the middle compartment for my laptop.

    - Will I be able to zip the water bottle pocket of the TS or WF completely if I place my Zojirushi 16ounce vacuum flask?

    - Halcyon or Ballistic? There are some white scruffs on the S25 that I can't seem to remove, so I'm thinking of Ballistic so that I can shove them under the seats without worrying.

    - Do you pack your laptop in a separate bag if you choose the A30? One combination would be S25/A30, and TS/WF+ another TB bag?

    - Steel or Black or Navy (for Ballistic): Do the latest Steel Aeronauts/WF/TS still have that greenish-blue hue.

    - Has anyone used the s25 hip belt for TS/WF or A30? Will the hip belt fit these bags?

    Hoping to get my order right the first time as it cost USD45 to return the bags that weren't suitable the last time round.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    Whoa, are your water bottles empty or full? Because water is HEAVY.

    That 1 inch in all directions of the TS vs. the WF. The WF is 26 liters and the TS is 33 liters. That makes the TS a quarter bigger than the WF. However, it also has more material in it from the extra pockets, which will add some weight.

    I have Halcyon shop bags and my Nordic one shows white scuff marks where I've brushed it against a stair or floor. I prefer ballistic for luggage, so I don't have to baby it.

    I pack my 13 inch MacBook Pro in a separate bag (Pilot) if using an A30. But it fits in my WF fine inside a Cache.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 07-14-2017 at 07:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Whoa, are your water bottles empty or full? Because water is HEAVY.

    That 1 inch in all directions of the TS vs. the WF. The WF is 26 liters and the TS is 33 liters. That makes the TS a quarter bigger than the WF. However, it also has more material in it from the extra pockets, which will add some weight.

    I have Halcyon shop bags and my Nordic one shows white scuff marks where I've brushed it against a stair or floor. I prefer ballistic for luggage, so I don't have to baby it.

    I pack my 13 inch MacBook Pro in a separate bag (Pilot) if using an A30. But it fits in my WF fine inside a Cache.
    Yes they are really heavy! 1.5l in total. I'm thinking of getting another bag so that I can carry my own water bottle in that bag.

    Looks like I may need to look at the Pilot as well. And I guess I'm set on the Ballistic!

  4. #4
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    Current owner of a WF, S25 and A30. Prior owner of a TS.
    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    As I'm 5'3 and relatively petite, will the Tri-Star be too big for my size?
    I would say yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    - Will I be able to zip the water bottle pocket of the TS or WF completely if I place my Zojirushi 16ounce vacuum flask?
    It shouldn't be a problem in the TS may be close in the WF. I believe the Z16 is about 9.5" tall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    - Halcyon or Ballistic? There are some white scruffs on the S25 that I can't seem to remove, so I'm thinking of Ballistic so that I can shove them under the seats without worrying.
    I'm a bigger fan of ballistic over halcyon as ballistic holds its shape better. I've owned a WF in both and prefer ballistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    - Do you pack your laptop in a separate bag if you choose the A30? One combination would be S25/A30, and TS/WF+ another TB bag?
    I've actually never used my A30 as I recently traded my TS for one. My plan though was to use the A30+S25 when I needed more than would fit in the WF.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    - Steel or Black or Navy (for Ballistic): Do the latest Steel Aeronauts/WF/TS still have that greenish-blue hue.
    My TS was steel and was about 2yrs old. I was fine with the color though there was definitely greenish-blue hue to it some folks don't like. Its distinctive but not bad IMHO. Go with what you like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    - Has anyone used the s25 hip belt for TS/WF or A30? Will the hip belt fit these bags?
    Nope. Not sure where you would actually attach it given the backpack strap clips are recessed unlike the S25 which has a dedicated loop for them.



    Other comments.

    - The 1" additional on the TS makes a big difference as pointed out earlier in looks. If you have trouble carrying a fully load S25, I would expect you to have the same or more issues with a similarly loaded TS. I got rid of the TS for a WF as I found the TS really didn't hold much more than the WF than I could carry comfortably. Also the TS requires you to organize things differently as its 3 sections are narrower than the WF 2. I prefer the 2 wider sections rather than 3 narrower sections even given the overall increase with width.

    - You don't mention your travel requirements (# of days, suit, dress, casual, etc). My personal opinion of the WF/TS is its used when I want to travel with only 1 bag that will hold everything. Either won't look out of place in a boardroom setting and the WF can handle 1-2 nights of clothing + gear for me; some folks have mentioned being able to do a week with just a TS. For more nights, 2 bags such as the A30+S25 is a more flexible combination.

  5. #5
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    I love my Pilot, WF, and the A30. I started out with a TS but found it was too heavy for me (5'8" male) and, due to its thinner compartments, didn't hold what I needed and I wear suits so I need deeper compartments. I use Halcyon for all my bags since weight is king for me and there is almost 1/2 lb difference. I use the A30 + Pilot for casual travel and the WF + Pilot for business travel. The Pilot holds the laptop and water very well. When I one bag it I leave the Pilot home and put my laptop in the backpack strap pocket on either bag. I always use a PCSB as a EDC at my destination. With the WF vs the A30 it depends on packing style. The WF demands folding, rolling and organizing and is harder to live out of as a dresser. The A30 is easy to live out of and doesn't require as much organization. The A30 is much better if you are packing more than one pair of shoes or if your packing cubes tend to be thick and bulky.

    All in all, both bags are great, don't get too heavy and will hold 1+ week's worth of clothing if planned correctly.
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  6. #6
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isabelle View Post
    As I'm 5'3 and relatively petite, will the Tri-Star be too big for my size? My husband is 5'9. Frankly the S25 in Halcyon is a little too heavy for me when it's packed full with 2 big water bottles, 2 jackets and other items like a tablet and I need to use the hip belt to take off some weight off my shoulders.

    - Do you pack your laptop in a separate bag if you choose the A30? One combination would be S25/A30, and TS/WF+ another TB bag?

    - Has anyone used the s25 hip belt for TS/WF or A30? Will the hip belt fit these bags?
    Hi Isabelle.

    I'll address a few of the issues you've raised... I have the A30 and the WF, as well as a few bags that work well with each of these as a personal item. I'm on the petite-side as well (5'1", curvy but very narrow shoulders) so comfort and weight distribution is a concern for me. Generally, I like to carry the heaviest bag on my back. I have a MacBook Air, so my heaviest item is often not my computer like it would be for you. I think whichever combo you choose, you’ll want to consider where it would be most comfortable to carry your 15in laptop and whether or not you want to be able to access your computer while on the plane.

    The A30 is my most used travel bag. Personally, I do not find the A30 to be comfortable to hand carry (my hands are too small for the main carry handle for extended time/distance) and it’s too awkward for me to shoulder carry it for too long. The Absolute Strap can help quite a bit with the weight distribution, but it does get heavy on my shoulder. As such, if I am traveling (plane/trains), I always prefer to have this bag on my back, making it not pair well with the S25. I once traveled with the A30 and a DLBP and it pretty much sucked. I often pair my A30 with some type of shoulder/messenger bag. My favorites are the DLBC, shop bag/Swift, or Mini Yeoman. I have the S19/25 padded hip belt, hoping it might work for the A30. YMMV, but it does not work for me. The attachment points are too high and the hip belt wants to sit on my waist rather than my hips. It’s also the case that the padded belt is too big for my waist so I can’t get a good distribution of weight since I cannot tighten it as much as I need to. I have tested a 15 in MBP in the A30 and it can fit. Some here on the forum are perfectly happy with a laptop in the A30, but it’s not a preference for me. I have been called a pretty dense packer and I can fit a lot of stuff in the A30. I definitely can’t handle a bag bigger than 30 liters even though I’m fairly strong. Recently, @Badger told me that the TS can also get too heavy for her and she’s a bit taller than me.

    The WF is a really sweet bag and I wish I used more than I currently do. Comfort-wise, it fits my frame really well, more so than the A30. I’ve one-bagged for a week, including my 11 in MBA, carrying it on my back the whole time. I’ve carried it on my back with a second bag like the ones above, and I’ve hand/shoulder-carried it with a backpack. The beauty of the WF for me is that it is much easier to carry either in my hand (single padded strap), or with an Absolute Strap. I can manage it much better than the A30, even when it is on the heavy side. A computer is very easy to store/access in the WF.

    All this to say, if you want to use your S25, I would pick the WF. The major question would be whether or not everything you want to pack, would fit. If you’re cool getting an additional bag, I much prefer to “live” out of the A30 given the duffle style. If you decide on the WF and plan to put clothes in there, I strongly recommend either getting the large packing cube or an Eagle Creek Specter folder for the rear compartment. I also prefer a medium cube and a PCSB for the front section. I’ve tried other packing cubes for this bag and it excels best when you use ones that fit perfectly. The A30 is much easier to pack with a variety of cubes or no cubes at all.

    As always, YMMV.

  7. #7
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    I have no problem living out of a WF. I use the Eagle Creek Specter Medium Packing folder which just fits in the back section, and I keep my clothes always folded in it, so I'm ready to go at a moment's notice.

    I also cut out the backstraps, and I use an Eagle Creek Specter Small Packing folder in the backpack section.

  8. #8
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    I also have the S25 and A30 both in black Halcyon. I love both bags, but not together. The A30 is so much better as a backpack. Carrying two sizeable backpacks sucks.

    I'm 5'9" with a long torso, and find the A30 length good for me. It's so comfortable in backpack mode I would not consider a waist strap. The length might be too long, and You would have to pack it meticulously and/or full to get any meaningful wait transfer.

    I also have a DLBC in gray cordura. Love the size but it lacks the organization I want. I've been using a Timbuk2 messenger with the A30 and my 14" Lenovo. Recently I got the New Surface Pro so I'm looking for a better shoulder bag, maybe Ristretto or Pilot to go with it.

    I wish I had a WF to report on. I have a max sized bag like the TS, but it's too big

    So my recommendation is start with an A30 or WF and the smallest shoulder bag that meets your needs. Or if you can one bag it and prefer a BP around town, try a DLBP for day trips while the A30 stays in the hotel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hachkc View Post
    Current owner of a WF, S25 and A30. Prior owner of a TS.


    I would say yes.


    It shouldn't be a problem in the TS may be close in the WF. I believe the Z16 is about 9.5" tall.


    I'm a bigger fan of ballistic over halcyon as ballistic holds its shape better. I've owned a WF in both and prefer ballistic.


    I've actually never used my A30 as I recently traded my TS for one. My plan though was to use the A30+S25 when I needed more than would fit in the WF.


    My TS was steel and was about 2yrs old. I was fine with the color though there was definitely greenish-blue hue to it some folks don't like. Its distinctive but not bad IMHO. Go with what you like.


    Nope. Not sure where you would actually attach it given the backpack strap clips are recessed unlike the S25 which has a dedicated loop for them.



    Other comments.

    - The 1" additional on the TS makes a big difference as pointed out earlier in looks. If you have trouble carrying a fully load S25, I would expect you to have the same or more issues with a similarly loaded TS. I got rid of the TS for a WF as I found the TS really didn't hold much more than the WF than I could carry comfortably. Also the TS requires you to organize things differently as its 3 sections are narrower than the WF 2. I prefer the 2 wider sections rather than 3 narrower sections even given the overall increase with width.

    - You don't mention your travel requirements (# of days, suit, dress, casual, etc). My personal opinion of the WF/TS is its used when I want to travel with only 1 bag that will hold everything. Either won't look out of place in a boardroom setting and the WF can handle 1-2 nights of clothing + gear for me; some folks have mentioned being able to do a week with just a TS. For more nights, 2 bags such as the A30+S25 is a more flexible combination.
    Thank you for your advice! Since the TS may not be able to pack significantly more than the WF, I think I should get the WF as it has more flexibility.

    My husband and I are small business owners and we don't require a suit, dress shoes, heels or anything very formal or fancy when we attend work conferences. The dress code is usually smart casual or casual.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nimikor View Post
    I love my Pilot, WF, and the A30. I started out with a TS but found it was too heavy for me (5'8" male) and, due to its thinner compartments, didn't hold what I needed and I wear suits so I need deeper compartments. I use Halcyon for all my bags since weight is king for me and there is almost 1/2 lb difference. I use the A30 + Pilot for casual travel and the WF + Pilot for business travel. The Pilot holds the laptop and water very well. When I one bag it I leave the Pilot home and put my laptop in the backpack strap pocket on either bag. I always use a PCSB as a EDC at my destination. With the WF vs the A30 it depends on packing style. The WF demands folding, rolling and organizing and is harder to live out of as a dresser. The A30 is easy to live out of and doesn't require as much organization. The A30 is much better if you are packing more than one pair of shoes or if your packing cubes tend to be thick and bulky.

    All in all, both bags are great, don't get too heavy and will hold 1+ week's worth of clothing if planned correctly.
    If a TS is too heavy for you I don't think I can handle a TS. Big Grin I have 2 PCSB. When I downsize my laptop I'll order a Pilot, appreciate your advice!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pokilani View Post
    Hi Isabelle.

    I'll address a few of the issues you've raised... I have the A30 and the WF, as well as a few bags that work well with each of these as a personal item. I'm on the petite-side as well (5'1", curvy but very narrow shoulders) so comfort and weight distribution is a concern for me. Generally, I like to carry the heaviest bag on my back. I have a MacBook Air, so my heaviest item is often not my computer like it would be for you. I think whichever combo you choose, you’ll want to consider where it would be most comfortable to carry your 15in laptop and whether or not you want to be able to access your computer while on the plane.

    The A30 is my most used travel bag. Personally, I do not find the A30 to be comfortable to hand carry (my hands are too small for the main carry handle for extended time/distance) and it’s too awkward for me to shoulder carry it for too long. The Absolute Strap can help quite a bit with the weight distribution, but it does get heavy on my shoulder. As such, if I am traveling (plane/trains), I always prefer to have this bag on my back, making it not pair well with the S25. I once traveled with the A30 and a DLBP and it pretty much sucked. I often pair my A30 with some type of shoulder/messenger bag. My favorites are the DLBC, shop bag/Swift, or Mini Yeoman. I have the S19/25 padded hip belt, hoping it might work for the A30. YMMV, but it does not work for me. The attachment points are too high and the hip belt wants to sit on my waist rather than my hips. It’s also the case that the padded belt is too big for my waist so I can’t get a good distribution of weight since I cannot tighten it as much as I need to. I have tested a 15 in MBP in the A30 and it can fit. Some here on the forum are perfectly happy with a laptop in the A30, but it’s not a preference for me. I have been called a pretty dense packer and I can fit a lot of stuff in the A30. I definitely can’t handle a bag bigger than 30 liters even though I’m fairly strong. Recently, @Badger told me that the TS can also get too heavy for her and she’s a bit taller than me.

    The WF is a really sweet bag and I wish I used more than I currently do. Comfort-wise, it fits my frame really well, more so than the A30. I’ve one-bagged for a week, including my 11 in MBA, carrying it on my back the whole time. I’ve carried it on my back with a second bag like the ones above, and I’ve hand/shoulder-carried it with a backpack. The beauty of the WF for me is that it is much easier to carry either in my hand (single padded strap), or with an Absolute Strap. I can manage it much better than the A30, even when it is on the heavy side. A computer is very easy to store/access in the WF.

    All this to say, if you want to use your S25, I would pick the WF. The major question would be whether or not everything you want to pack, would fit. If you’re cool getting an additional bag, I much prefer to “live” out of the A30 given the duffle style. If you decide on the WF and plan to put clothes in there, I strongly recommend either getting the large packing cube or an Eagle Creek Specter folder for the rear compartment. I also prefer a medium cube and a PCSB for the front section. I’ve tried other packing cubes for this bag and it excels best when you use ones that fit perfectly. The A30 is much easier to pack with a variety of cubes or no cubes at all.

    As always, YMMV.
    Hi Pokilani, wow you described very accurately the problems I'm facing with my current bags!

    I bought the 2016 MBP so it was much lighter than the 2.56kg MBP from years ago, and I do want to place my laptop under the seat instead of the overhead compartment

    I also cannot hand carry duffle bags as I have small hands it gets tiring for my hands to grab the handles for long distances. I also have a large PUMA duffle bag and it just swung on my shoulders like a large pendulum and hits my thighs, legs and basically very in the way! I intend to carry the A30 or WF in backpack style. And you also got me looking at DLBC and Yeoman as I've never considered these 2 bags.

    I guess it's A30 for my husband and WF for me!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I have no problem living out of a WF. I use the Eagle Creek Specter Medium Packing folder which just fits in the back section, and I keep my clothes always folded in it, so I'm ready to go at a moment's notice.

    I also cut out the backstraps, and I use an Eagle Creek Specter Small Packing folder in the backpack section.
    You have me checking out the Eagle Creek Packing cubes on Amazon. Big Grin

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slbear View Post
    I also have the S25 and A30 both in black Halcyon. I love both bags, but not together. The A30 is so much better as a backpack. Carrying two sizeable backpacks sucks.

    I'm 5'9" with a long torso, and find the A30 length good for me. It's so comfortable in backpack mode I would not consider a waist strap. The length might be too long, and You would have to pack it meticulously and/or full to get any meaningful wait transfer.

    I also have a DLBC in gray cordura. Love the size but it lacks the organization I want. I've been using a Timbuk2 messenger with the A30 and my 14" Lenovo. Recently I got the New Surface Pro so I'm looking for a better shoulder bag, maybe Ristretto or Pilot to go with it.

    I wish I had a WF to report on. I have a max sized bag like the TS, but it's too big

    So my recommendation is start with an A30 or WF and the smallest shoulder bag that meets your needs. Or if you can one bag it and prefer a BP around town, try a DLBP for day trips while the A30 stays in the hotel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The A30 should be perfect size for my husband. I also can't handle 2 bags in backpack mode. Thanks again!

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