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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    I really don't like 2-bagging it without a roller, it takes all the slick out of wheel-less travel. The professional/utility balance was the reason I went with the Western Flyer rather than Tri-Star for a one-bag, as it breaks down more appropriately. I have done many 5 day work trips (no laundry washing) and up to 10 winter day vacations with it (with washing).

    It definitely takes some changes to routine and wardrobe selections; I generally pack fewer outfits than I will need, using fast-dry undergarments to extend their life (I also cut down on these and wash them while showering), and Tide pens to take care of stains. Clothes are folded or bundle packed in a Spacebag, then into packing cube backpack and placed in the rear compartment.

    I wear size 12 shoe, 6'3", 200#, and usually wear the largest/heaviest/dressiest items of clothing while travelling for work. I will usually carry a pair Nike Flyknit shoes for exercise + soft (squishable) casual driving loafers in a small WF packing cube taking up one side of the front compartment, with Surface 3 tablet in sleeve, and another small packing cube containing 3D cubes and pouches with toiletries and work tools on the other side. AC adaptors, backup battery, headphones, and other transit-use items go in the front pockets, and a platypus bottle in the bottle pocket.

    Before I upgraded to the Surface 3, I would place my LARGE Lenovo W530 laptop in the rear compartment naked, using the clothes in the PCB as cushioning, and swap one pair of shoes out to carry the power brick and other work tools. For 5 day-4 night no-laundry trips, this pushed the bag to it's limit, but it is indeed possible.

    I have also fit a pair of long-toe brogue oxfords vertically into the front pocket, but it was a tight fit, 13 probably wouldn't work.
    Wow, thanks for all the detail! I'm surprised you're able to fit so much clothes in the WF. I'm a big guy too - 6'4", 210#, size 13 - and my clothes are just big. They take a lot of space. So what do you use for a work bag? Do you take all your clothes out once you get to the hotel and just use the WF as your office bag?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CincyTriGuy View Post
    Thanks, I'll take a look at those threads.

    And to clarify, I'm not looking for advice to cut down to one bag. I now realize that my 2nd paragraph may have been a bit misleading but my point was that I still see needing 2 separate bags: 1 for clothes and another for customer meetings / conferences / etc. while at my destination.

    So, considering my 2 bag situation, is it realistic to expect that neither would be a roller? That's really what I'm specifically looking for feedback on because it seems like it would be cumbersome.

    Jason
    I have tried one bag travel for business and it just does not work for me. Even with a very light 11" MacBook Air and a minimal amount of paper, I find a single bag quickly becomes too heavy for my 54 year old shoulders (BTW, the TB Absolute strap does wonders minimizing the apparent weight you carry). I find it much easier to have a moderately loaded Tri-Star with my clothes and a moderately loaded briefcase with my laptop and business needs. The two bags kind of balance each other and since each one is pretty light I can easily carry them compared to a single heavier bag which just starts to hurt after a while.

    In the Tri-Star I can easily carry one or two suits (46 Long, so they are not small), 4 or 5 shirts, underwear and sometimes New Balance Minimus sneakers if I will have time to work out. The Tri-Star also holds my travel size CPAP which adds a few pounds to my load. My briefcase holds my grooming and drug items in a small TB pouch along with my business stuff.

    While one bag was my holy grail I have settled on two bags for business... but I love the leisure trips where I can just one bag it! For shorter personal trips I have just discovered the joy of traveling only with a Synapse 25... not sure why it took me so long to consider a backpack, but it's tremendously liberating to have one bag and both your hands free.

  3. #18
    Forum Member UK-Limey's Avatar
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    I have to agree with giantsteve ...

    2 bags gives you flexibility as I can take both a Tri-Star and Cadet as required. For a short trip I usually stash my Cadet inside the Tri-Star at the gate so that I have 1 bag on the plane. For longer trips, where the Tri-Star contains more clothes , the Cadet has to stay outside. As soon as I get off the plane I always take the Cadet out of the Tri-Star for a lighter load on two shoulders rather than one heavier load on one shoulder.

  4. #19
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    I'm constantly going back and forth between just using a TS or a roller + laptop bag. The TS is good for 1-2 nights usually but I'm always choosing to leave something back. I wish I had just the TS on my last trip as I ended up hauling my roller+messenger bag around downtown Chicago for around 2 miles as I was bouncing between multiple meetings.

    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    I wear size 12 shoe, 6'3", 200#, and usually wear the largest/heaviest/dressiest items of clothing while travelling for work. I will usually carry a pair Nike Flyknit shoes for exercise + soft (squishable) casual driving loafers in a small WF packing cube taking up one side of the front compartment, with Surface 3 tablet in sleeve, and another small packing cube containing 3D cubes and pouches with toiletries and work tools on the other side. AC adaptors, backup battery, headphones, and other transit-use items go in the front pockets, and a platypus bottle in the bottle pocket.

    Before I upgraded to the Surface 3, I would place my LARGE Lenovo W530 laptop in the rear compartment naked, using the clothes in the PCB as cushioning, and swap one pair of shoes out to carry the power brick and other work tools. For 5 day-4 night no-laundry trips, this pushed the bag to it's limit, but it is indeed possible.
    Impressive you could get all of that in the WF. I have that same laptop with the extended battery and 170 watt power brick and I hate hauling that thing around. With the TS, I put the laptop & power brick in the center, clothes in the back in an EC 18" folder and everything else in the front (other chargers, tablet, headphones, notebook, toiletries, etc). The TS doesn't really look out of place in meetings and such.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CincyTriGuy View Post
    Wow, thanks for all the detail! I'm surprised you're able to fit so much clothes in the WF. I'm a big guy too - 6'4", 210#, size 13 - and my clothes are just big. They take a lot of space. So what do you use for a work bag? Do you take all your clothes out once you get to the hotel and just use the WF as your office bag?
    I honestly don't know how the hell I pulled it off, I can't imagine going back to that. Part of it was just the excitement of being able to do it! In every instance it was pushing the bag to it's limit. Plenty of compromises to pull it off - I used the WF with Brain Cell/Freudian Slip as my work briefcase daily, but while travelling, I ditched the BC/FS for packing cubes. With the backpack straps deployed, I could fit all my clothes in the Packing Cube backpack in the rear pocket, and shoes and toiletry 3D cubes in a small packing cube - making for a quick breakdown on arrival - then it was back to the Absolute Strap.

    At my height, the length of the Absolute Strap wraps snugly around the bottom of the bag, keeping it secure in backpack mode without having to detach it and take up pocket space.

    The WF looks "just right" as a briefcase for my height, though I could probably swing a Tri-Star if I had to. I am constantly fighting the impulse to try one for longer trips, but it feels too redundant, and then I start looking at the A30...

  6. #21
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    GiantSteve - How do you pack your Tri-Star?

    Quote Originally Posted by giantsteve View Post
    In the Tri-Star I can easily carry one or two suits (46 Long, so they are not small), 4 or 5 shirts, underwear and sometimes New Balance Minimus sneakers if I will have time to work out. The Tri-Star also holds my travel size CPAP which adds a few pounds to my load. My briefcase holds my grooming and drug items in a small TB pouch along with my business stuff.
    All - I'm new to the forums after lurking for several months Smilie...

    GiantSteve - How are your clothes packed into the Tri-Star? I wear clothes of a similar size (I'm actually a 44L in suits). Are you bundle packing your suits/shirts in the compartment with the straps? I'm thinking about getting a Tri-Star, but had reservations about it as a bag for more formal business clothes...

    Thanks!

  7. #22
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    I use the large Tri-Star packing cube in an outside compartment with the suit jacket(s) folded using this technique. Jacket folding - light travel one-bag packing technique - YouTube. The jackets are held in place firmly, but not too tightly, with the hold down straps.

    In the center compartment I use a medium 18" Eagle Creek Folder. The folder holds the suit pants, shirts and ties.

    The front compartment has underwear and other things in the appropriate sized TB packing cubes.

    Using this method I can easily carry business clothing for a week (much longer using hotel dry cleaning). Wrinkles are not a problem using this method (the jacket folding technique is fantastic)

    I've tried bundle packing in the past and it just doesn't work for me... It took way too long, things got wrinkles, and the bundle took up too much room and it requires unbundling everything to get to items in the "core". I know lots of people love bundle packing but it's not for me.

  8. #23
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    Well I ended up ordering the TriStar. I'm still not 100% convinced on how well I'll handle a roller-less bag for airline travel but I guess I won't know unless I try it. I have a couple of road trips in the coming weeks to break it in. My coming trips are by car which I'm confident the TS will be fine for, it's really only navigating through airports without a roller bag that I have reservations about. But, I'll try it and see what happens.

  9. #24
    Forum Member celtical's Avatar
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    I love, love, love my WF --- on top of a 4-wheel rolling tote! First plane ride with the Aubergine/steel WF, 6 days in California. The combo was perfect for me- clothes and personal items in one, extra shoes and my travel pillows, etc in the other. A pleasure to roll together, neither bag too heavy to lift and both fit in all sizes of overheads I encountered. Room for gifts on return. My standard setup (like many others posted) for the WF is great for road trips and air travel, with another tier of rolling space for long distance.

    Also, I was happy that the SSK fit beautifully in one side of the front WF with two organizer cubes on end atop it. Tucked the Absolute strap in the zippered back pack section, along with plastic bags for protection as needed. Could not have been happier.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CincyTriGuy View Post
    I travel for work by car and air frequently and I have a roller carry on that's about 10 years old and is getting pretty tired. I've been looking at the Tristar as a replacement but honestly I just can't wrap my head around not having a roller. I have a Brain Bag - which I love - for my work / laptop bag so I'm trying to understand how I'd manuever through airports with 2 bags and neither of them a roller.

    Yeah I realize the Tristar is probably big enough to carry my laptop and work gear so I could get down to one bag, but when I arrive at my destination I still need a bag to take into my customer meetings and the Tristar would be way too big for that. Plus that would require emptying all of my clothes out of it at the hotel and I don't normally do that.

    I guess I'm just interested in feedback from anyone that's gone from a roller to a Tristar (or similar) and what your experience was like. How did you adjust, did you make any changes / compromises, etc?

    Jason
    This is something I've been thinking about as well. Here's a bit of insight that I've had: my work/laptop stuff is actually the heavy part of my load. (I carry a laptop, notebook, iPad, charging cables, extra hard drives, etc). The clothing is bulky, but light. So I have a rolling briefcase from Tumi which is sized to be my airplane personal item. It is small enough to fit under the seat, but big enough to hold all the heavy computer/work stuff. (if you need a more portable briefcase once you get to your destination-- you could even fit something like a Pilot *inside* that rolling briefcase). The bigger bag is the one that goes on my back. Since it is stuffed with clothes, it's fairly light. I use my husband's Aeronaut 40. But I've been eying a TriStar. So maybe reverse your thinking-- make your personal carry-on item a rolling bag, stuff all the heavy items in that, then fill the TriStar with clothing and use that as your larger overhead-bin item.

  11. #26
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CincyTriGuy View Post
    I travel for work by car and air frequently and I have a roller carry on that's about 10 years old and is getting pretty tired.
    Me too, and after trying just about everything for business travel (from a huge B&R check-only suiter to convertibles to trollies to most of the competition, e.g., Red Oxx), I settled on a WF and S25 which i more/less posted about here. For me, I had to learn how to pack (I use a combo of rolling, bundling, and regular) and I don't consider myself going light either: I carry a full size BT speaker, full-size headphones, and all the clothes I need including workout clothes and shoes. Also, for reference, I'm 6'2" 200 lbs and can do a full week of travel with suits this way. The trick is how to pack.

    As for moving around in an airport ... this is primary reason I moved away from rollers!

    I don't like to worry about overhead space, like to be free to leave an airplane on a whim, like to vault airport obstacles, like to fly up/down stairs and avoid escalator / elevator / customs lines plus rollers require wheels and handle weight and space which isn't needed, especially if you're picking up your roller a bunch to do the above. Of course all of this is because I can and like to move quickly through and around crowds - if you have reasons you can't / don't want to do that, then it's less valuable to you.

    As for the bags, I like the WF vs the Tri-star as it requires me to pack very smart and keeps the bag small and light so it fits in any aircraft overhead, even under a seat if needed - if you fully pack a tri-star it can become unwieldy and won't fit underseat / in some commuter overheads. That said, having travelled extensively with the S25/WF for 2+ years, i'm probably going to buy a Tri-star simply to have a stitch more room as I'm no longer worried about overpacking as I my pack down thus the tri-start will just give me a bit more space when I want it for certain trips including personal ones.

    As for electronics, I only have the one 15" laptop I bring for business travel so the S25/WF is great, but if I had more equipment I needed I'd switch to a BB/WF setup.

    With a tight-n-light pack it's so easy to move through airports I can't imagine going back! For example, one routine trip i take, everyone (with rollers) bunches up getting off the aircraft, then they bunch up again at the escalator to get out of the terminal then bunch up again at the elevator down to the rental cars. With my setup I'm driving away and typically drive past the groups waiting to cross to the rental car center. Again, I just hate waiting if I don't have to, but maybe others would say who cares.
    Last edited by GrussGott; 10-29-2019 at 06:27 PM.

  12. #27
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    One thing I see a lot of in airports is people wearing 2 backpacks, back and front. On the back they might have a larger bag like a Brain Bag, and on the front something lighter like a S19. It does look like a decent solution; keeps some things marsupial for convenience, helps balance the weight on the back, even if it looks difficult to get on and off.

  13. #28
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    One thing I see a lot of in airports is people wearing 2 backpacks, back and front. On the back they might have a larger bag like a Brain Bag, and on the front something lighter like a S19. It does look like a decent solution; keeps some things marsupial for convenience, helps balance the weight on the back, even if it looks difficult to get on and off.
    I'd love TB to add absolute shoulder strap clips to their backpacks; we're about the same size and use the same techniques, for me the S25/WF, although sometimes I bump up to the S25/A45 and I'd love the option to move the A45 to backpack mode and absolute-shoulder-strap the lighter S25.

    One thing I do with my current set up is I have one WF shoulder strap out and for long walks i'll wear the S25 and the WF on one BP strap which, for some reason, feels like a switch-up from the absolute strap on long walks. so basically as I'm walking I switch the WF between shoulder strap and BP strap.

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