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  1. #1
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    Question Comfort of backpack straps on Tri-Star vs A30, and maybe SN30?

    A little background first - I had a health condition that required me to use wheeled luggage for a few years. I'm well enough now to go back to luggage carried on my back. I prefer to travel hands-free, and wheeled luggage is too heavy for me to get into the overhead bins without assistance.

    I previously used a Tri-Star (older, with the triangular logo) for all my travel, and used it again (finally!) on a recent trip. It was so good to have my hands free again, and to be able to handle my own luggage without assistance. That said, it's not quite as comfortable on my back as it used to be (due to health changes).

    If you've carried a Tri-Star and the A30 fully packed (but not overstuffed) on a trip, do you find one more comfortable than the other? (I prefer backstraps to carrying it over my shoulder, even with the absolute strap.)

    I can also consider the new SN30, if that's more comfortable, although (based on pictures and descriptions) it seems the Tri-Star or A30 fits my travel style better. (I don't like unpacking - I prefer to use my bag as my "dresser" while traveling.

    I'm accustomed to organizing my packing to fit the Tri-Star, but think "living" out of the A30 would be even easier. But I may need to buy/utilize more organizational cubes, etc., to match the built-in organization of the Tri-Star.

    But my primary concern is comfort on my back/shoulders/arms (that's where I have lingering weakness/pain/issues).

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  2. #2
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    Springfield, MA
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    I like living out of my A30, but oh the synik is much more comfortable to carry!

    I just got my synik, but my plan is to use the synik for trips where I spend more time en route than at the destination (overnights), and the A30 for trips where I actually spend multiple nights in one place. And if I have to walk more than a mile with a bag? Definitely the synik.

    I don't have a TriStar, sorry.

  3. #3
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    Hi Lia,

    Thank you for your reply. Have you taken a trip with the Synik? If not, would you mind coming back to share your experiences after traveling with it?

  4. #4
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    Springfield, MA
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    i have traveled with the Synik 30 twice -- trip three starts tomorrow. (I travel a lot for work.) It's fabulous on the road, in airports, and between gigs because I can get to my computer, water/coffee, wallet, etc without digging into the main compartment. It's perfect for a 1 or 2 night trip, where my A30 would be too big. In the past, I'd carry a small backpack and PT for a 24-48 hour trip, but the synik lets me one-bag. A30 and S30 do fit the same volume (though require very different packing!), but the A30 isn't at its best unless it's pretty full. The synik shines when underpacked, IMO.

    For tomrrow's trip, the main compartment has my canvas/leather work bag, audience swag, clothes, and makeup.
    (Edited to add: sandals in the big inside pocket, small ZTSB in the black 3DOC attached to o-rings above the pocket)

    Comfort of backpack straps on Tri-Star vs A30, and maybe SN30?-mvimg_20191016_085033-jpg




    And the outside pockets have my coffee mug in the water bottle pocket, headphones in a super mini GWOP in the tiny pocket, clear 3DOC as my 3-1-1 bag in the left pocket, keys/wallet/classes in the right pocket, in-flight stuff and computer power cable in the bottom pocket.

    Comfort of backpack straps on Tri-Star vs A30, and maybe SN30?-mvimg_20191016_085114-jpg



    I do NOT find it to be a useful bag to use for work at my destination. It's way too big for an EDC for me. If I really wanted to go ultra minimal, and didn't care about carrying an unnecessarily bulky backpack at my job, I could do it. But I do care about the appearance thing, so it's worth it to pack a second bag inside it to use at my destination. That's what I do with my A30, too.

  5. #5
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    Springfield, MA
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    Back from my trip, and I wanted to add that the Synik's clamshell means you can use it as your dresser, and never unpack it *if* you pack it carefully with this in mind.

    Also, wow, so comfortable to carry. The aeronaut is fine, but the synik is noticeably better.

  6. #6
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    Hi Lia,

    Thank you for your feedback. I think living out of the Synik would be similar to living out of my Tri-Star. It's doable, and I've learned how to pack for it. But I think living out of the A30 would be better for me. I've been eyeing it for a while for that reason. But I need to focus on comfort, too, so my medical issues in my arms/shoulders don't get worse.

    So I'm still not sure.

    Thanks again for your pictures and descriptions. They really help!

  7. #7
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    Hi Lia,

    Just wanted to let you know that I ordered the A30, with the frame and the hip belt. I hope it'll give me the best of both worlds - I'll have the livability that I don't get as much with the Tri-Star, and the frame and hip belt will help to take the weight off my shoulders, resulting in less physical problems.

    If that doesn't work, I'll return it and try the SN30.

    Thank you, again, for your help!

  8. #8
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    I have both the A30 and S30.

    I do prefer carrying the A30 as a backpack or by the top handle. I use the absolute strap sometimes, but don't find it to be that comfortable when loaded up. And yes, the A30 backpack straps are okay...but I don't think I'd enjoy carrying it for longer than I have to. So, when I saw the proper edgeless backpack straps on the S30, I expected a significant improvement. And yes, they are much better. But I think it's important to set expectations. A fully-loaded S30 is going to be just about as heavy as a fully-loaded A30. (Maybe a tiny bit less without an absolute strap and because my S30 is in Halcyon rather than Ballistic...but when loaded, those differences are minimal.) And yes, the straps are far better on the shoulders, but 30L of weight doesn't go away on your back. So make sure you've properly calibrated expectations.

    Also, absolutely agree with the above poster who says the S30 is not a good day bag at your destination. I usually use a 19-24L bag as my personal item when I wasn't flying with the S30, and those bags are perfect for EDC...the S30 is not as great. Fully loaded, it has a lot of depth. When not fully loaded, feels wide and boxy.

    Don't let this put you off from buying one. I still like mine a lot and plan to travel with it for many years to come (when the situation calls for a one-bag and I don't need the trunk-like organization of the A30), but do calibrate expectations accordingly.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for your feedback. I use a MCB as my personal item/EDC on my travels, so I'm set there. I'll probably receive my A30 on Monday, and will let everyone know how it feels on my back compared to the Tri-Star.

  10. #10
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    I'm a little late to this discussion, but I tried the Tri-Star and the A30 and they both tipped me over backwards. I bought the A45 and I was amazed at how much more comfortable it was to wear on my back. The larger 2-D acreage not only made it easier for me to pack it, but it sat closer to my back and did not tip me over backwards. Plus, there was plenty of room to add my EDC bag (a Side Kick) so I could one bag it when necessary. I also recently bought the frame sheet and hip belt, which I think will help, too, but I haven't tried the frame sheet and hip belt on a trip yet.

  11. #11
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    Thanks, BWeaves - how tall are you? The Tri-Star doesn't pull me backwards, but I probably don't pack as heavy as a lot of people (don't carry a laptop, for example).

    I haven't received the A30 yet, so I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I may try the A45 if the A30 doesn't work for me.

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