Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Tri Star vs A45

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tri Star vs A45

    I'm heading to Italy for three weeks in the spring and want a new carry-on for the trip. My plan is to one-bag it (as best as I can) and am trying to decide between the A45 and Tri Star. I like the the Tri Star as I also travel for business a few times a year, ranging from 1-7 nights and need to bring a laptop etc. with me, but I also like the size of the A45. Another consideration is that the carry on restriction for the Italy flight is 9 x 16 x 20 in. I think if I left the end pocket empty on the A45 I could squeeze it in there.

    So, my question is, will the following packing list fit into a Tri Star? Did I miss anything?

    Clothes
    Worn on Plane

    • 1x jeans
    • 1x long sleeve t shirt (merino)
    • 1x light jacket
    • 1x each socks and underwear (merino)
    • 1x walking shoes


    Packed
    • 3x short sleeve button down
    • 1x travel pants
    • 3x walking shorts
    • 3x t shirt/polos (merino)
    • 1x workout shorts (double as swimsuit)
    • 1x workout t-shirt
    • 1x running shoes
    • 1x sandals
    • 6x socks and underwear (merino)
    • 1x microfiber towel
    • Tech
    • iPad mini
    • iPhone
    • Anker 20000
    • 3x small cables
    • Mini flashlight
    • 1x WH-1000 M3 headphones (may get the new NC Air Pods)


    Assorted
    • Small dopp kit
    • 1x extra glasses
    • 1x sunglasses
    • 10L dry bag (for storing/washing dirty clothes)
    • Takeya 18oz waterbottle

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Share
    Minnesota
    Posts
    126
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi, @datamonkey, and welcome to the forums!

    I don't have a Tri-Star to test pack, so I can't give you a definitive answer, but I think I have seen folks report having packed at least that much into one of them. Eyeballing it, I'd expect most if not all of the "soft" clothes to fit into a single compartment (probably the back, where the tie-down straps are available), especially if you corral the smaller bits with a cube, and the shoes would probably fit into one of the front half-compartments, leaving the other side of the front for the electronics.

    Since it sounds like you've already tuned your apparel (having mentioned merino and travel pants), I think that leaves only the walking shorts and sandals as questions for space efficiency.

    For that matter, I've got a Western Flyer at home, and suspect I could fit your loadout into it.

    Hopefully someone with a TS can comment; if not, I might try the WF test-pack tonight.

    ETA: From what I've heard, the biggest difference for most people is whether they enjoy "flat-packing". If so, the TS and the WF work really well. If you expect to carry anything thick or unusual in shape, an A30 or A45 may fit you better.
    Last edited by x3n0n; 12-19-2019 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Added comments about the Aeronaut vs TS packing style

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,909
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by datamonkey View Post
    I'm heading to Italy for three weeks in the spring and want a new carry-on for the trip. My plan is to one-bag it (as best as I can) and am trying to decide between the A45 and Tri Star.
    Welcome to the Forums @datamonkey! I'm sure folks who use the TS and A45 will chime in...I'm usually using an A30.
    Italy is great - hope you enjoy your trip and post some pics!
    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...

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    Hi, @datamonkey, and welcome to the forums!

    I don't have a Tri-Star to test pack, so I can't give you a definitive answer, but I think I have seen folks report having packed at least that much into one of them. Eyeballing it, I'd expect most if not all of the "soft" clothes to fit into a single compartment (probably the back, where the tie-down straps are available), especially if you corral the smaller bits with a cube, and the shoes would probably fit into one of the front half-compartments, leaving the other side of the front for the electronics.

    Since it sounds like you've already tuned your apparel (having mentioned merino and travel pants), I think that leaves only the walking shorts and sandals as questions for space efficiency.

    For that matter, I've got a Western Flyer at home, and suspect I could fit your loadout into it.

    Hopefully someone with a TS can comment; if not, I might try the WF test-pack tonight.

    ETA: From what I've heard, the biggest difference for most people is whether they enjoy "flat-packing". If so, the TS and the WF work really well. If you expect to carry anything thick or unusual in shape, an A30 or A45 may fit you better.
    Definitely not my first rodeo, but have usually travelled with a hard shell roller bag (using packing cubes) and a personal item. Over the holidays I plan to lay everything out and pack into cubes to give me a better sense of how much space it will take. There's also the middle compartment that I can use as I won't be bringing a laptop to Italy. Am also heading to San Francisco for a conference at the end of January - that will be a good test run for whatever I chose.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Share
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your packing list can be vetted on a couple of different websites. There's also r/onebag on reddit but those whippersnappers can be brutal (and they don't like Tom Bihn much). I think you could whittle down your clothing by several pieces and plan on doing laundry more often but going light takes some practice.

    You can see the TriStar in action in a couple of YouTube clips. Same with the Aeronauts.Never used the TS so I can only attest to the Aeronaut's utility which happens to fit my style for packing almost perfectly. I find the number of slots, panels, and zippers on the TriStar to be more than I want to keep track of but that's strictly a personal hangup of mine. I've met happy TS owners who just love all that predetermined organization.Both bags seem to have the same suspension system so, if you need a back panel to carry big loads for long distances, you'd go Aeronaut. I do not carry a computer but several folks here on the forum have their iPad Pros and MacBook Airs in protective hard cases that just get packed in the main compartment of the Aeronaut. that might not be your idea of safe computer transport, though.

    Getting your carry-on actually carried on international flights is a fun topic on the interwebs. While the A45 may be a bit over your carrier's published limits, it really doesn't look like that large and easily slips by gate attendants who are looking for folks trying to sneak by with huge oversized bags. And your re correct, if it's not stuffed, it will slip into the sizer and then into even crowded overhead bins. Seen it done.

    Fun thing: watching for other Aeronauts and TriStars in terminals and in boarding lines. Good conversation starters.

    Have fun with the decision, I think you're going to bye very happy with either unit. Come on back to the forum and tell us about your trips. Safe travels.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for your input. I've been creeping r/onebag for a few months. As much as I appreciate their insights I'm not a 20 something backpacking around Europe or SEA for months. Those days are long gone! I'm sure I can cut a few pieces of clothes but we also like to get cleaned up for a nice dinner. After I posted this, I thought to look at the packing cube dimensions for both the A45 and TS. I have some cubes that are pretty close to the dimensions so over the holidays I'll see what I can fit.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Share
    Minnesota
    Posts
    126
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    I've got a Western Flyer at home, and suspect I could fit your loadout into it.

    [...] I might try the WF test-pack tonight.
    I was curious because my Western Flyer hasn't had its first "real" trip yet, so I was excited to try a test pack.

    Tie-down straps: 3 long-sleeve button down shirts and a pair of travel pants
    Top cube: 6 underwear, 6 pairs of socks, and a tank top (with room to spare after zipping)
    Bottom cube: 3 casual shorts, 1 workout shorts, 3 tees (pretty snug)

    The pictured packing cubes are off-brand, but each is almost exactly the same size as a WF small packing cube.
    Not all WFs have tie-down straps, but I believe all of the Tri-Stars do.

    Tri Star vs A45-img_20191219_210302-jpg

    With all that in the back compartment, a pair of size US 10.5 sneakers and a pair of sandals fit in one half, leaving the other half for tech and miscellany.

    Tri Star vs A45-img_20191219_210442-jpg

    The Tri-Star compartments are a bit thinner (roughly 2 3/4 inches) than the WF's (roughly 3 1/2 inches), but are a full inch larger in each of the other two dimensions.

    In short, I think the Tri-Star will easily hold your packing list with room to spare.
    Last edited by x3n0n; 12-20-2019 at 06:39 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you have any packing cubes that approximate the Western Flyer cubes, I'd suggest test packing for the WF. I feel like you could get all, or almost all, of the clothing on your list into one of the WF's two compartments. The tech and remaining clothes would fit in the other compartment and the water bottle would likely fit the water bottle pocket.

    I've been test packing my WF lately for an eleven day international trip I'm taking in January. It'll hold everything I need. If I get some time this weekend, I'll do a test pack that approximates your list.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ah, @x3n0n beat me to it! Tri Star vs A45 Gotta love how much the WF can handle!

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    I was curious because my Western Flyer hasn't had its first "real" trip yet, so I was excited to try a test pack.

    Tie-down straps: 3 long-sleeve button down shirts and a pair of travel pants
    Top cube: 6 underwear, 6 pairs of socks, and a tank top (with room to spare after zipping)
    Bottom cube: 3 casual shorts, 1 workout shorts, 3 tees (pretty snug)

    The pictured packing cubes are off-brand, but each is almost exactly the same size as a WF small packing cube.
    Not all WFs have tie-down straps, but I believe all of the Tri-Stars do.

    Tri Star vs A45-img_20191219_210302-jpg

    With all that in the back compartment, a pair of size US 10.5 sneakers and a pair of sandals fit in one half, leaving the other half for tech and miscellany.

    Tri Star vs A45-img_20191219_210442-jpg

    The Tri-Star compartments are a bit thinner (roughly 2 3/4 inches) than the WF's (roughly 3 1/2 inches), but are a full inch larger in each of the other two dimensions.

    In short, I think the Tri-Star will easily hold your packing list with room to spare.
    That is amazing that you can fit all that into a 26L bag. I have a Pacsafe 28L bag and struggle to get half that amount in it. Thank you! I just have to decide if I want the extra space of the A45 but I'm liking the Tri Star more and more.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I prefer the A45. What size shoes do you wear? I wear 13s and they fit in an end pocket in the A45, but very challenging to cram into the Tri Star.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Share
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    “As much as I appreciate their insights...” I’m sure you really meant “insults”. Bunch of entitled little dweebs but the overall push to reduce and to use quality gear has been helpful for me although, honestly, decades of bicycle touring and ultralight backpacking prepared me adequately for packing light for Europe.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Share
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, X3, nice work on the test pack and photos.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4,138
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your load can fit on the Tristar, depending on your clothes and shoes' size.

    The A45 will give you more flexibility to extend your wardrobe on future trips, with more dress clothes, more warm pieces or more electronics or a lightweight backpack or shoulder bag to bring as a sightseeing/souvenir gathering bag.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •