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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Feb 2008
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    37

    Tri-Star vs. Western Flyer

    As the owner of a Western Flyer and Aeronaut I wondered if the Tri-Star had anything to offer, and I finally took the plunge, bought one and used it on a trip this weekend. In hopes that my observations may be of use I offer this: the Tri-Star feels a lot bigger than the Western Flyer, affording just enough extra space to make packing, for example, an extra sweater, a gift acquired during travel or a larger camera, comfortable. The backpack straps, at least on this 6'2" male, are incredibly comfortable — more so than my Aeronaut and even my Smart Alec. In short, although with packing cubes it's an expensive purchase it's one I'm glad I finally made.

  2. #2
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    439
    Interesting comments. I am debating between the two bags. I'd like to get both...eventually. I hoped the Western Flyer would be for shorter trips and the Tri-Star for lengthy stays of course. But which to get first?

    I'm not keen on back-pack straps at all, and thought I'd go for the Western Flyer first as it has the option of ordering the bag with the back pockets rather than the backpack straps. However, with all the news about flight delays due to weather conditions in Europe and the east coast in the States and Canada....I wonder if the backpack straps would come in handy if I were ever in such a situation. Although in a crowd especially, I'm nervous of having my posessions behind me rather than in front of me.

    I'm only 5' 4" and weigh just over 100 lbs so I think the Tri-Star when packed and used in backpack mode may be too much for me. (Although looking back to high school when I was given a backpack for my heavy books, I never used it that way. I wore it slung over my arm with my elbow bent, or maybe with one of the backpack straps over a shoulder and the bag under my arm. There was even a picture of me in the yearbook carrying my backpack on my arm in front as people said I was the only one in the school who owned a backpack and didn't use it "properly.")

    Suggestions / advice would be appreciated! (But as I stated, I'd like to eventually get both bags.... just have to save up a bit more.)

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Dec 2009
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    13
    I have a WF and at first was thinking that I wouldn't use the backpack straps. Of course, this was when it wasn't an option.

    Having said that, in the year that I've owned it, I have used them on at least 4 occasions, and on those 4 occasions I was EXTREMELY grateful that I had them.

    Any time you have to carry anything else....any time you are going a long distance....any time you are running tight on a connection and need to run through an airport.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2008
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    333
    I'm not quite 5 foot 1 and I use the backpack straps on my Tristar a lot. But at least half the time, I keep the straps stowed and use the Absolute strap. It really is Absolutely essential to any of these bags.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  5. #5
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    Toronto, Canada
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    439
    Thank you for the thought provoking comments rdu flyer and Flitcraft. Maybe I'll go with a Tri-Star first and experiment. I do have an Absolute Strap with my Co-Pilot...I know it's overkill for such a small bag but I knew I could order a simple strap with my next bag order and just switch the Absolute Strap for the larger bag. I find the Absolute strap actually a little too wide for my shoulders and it can be uncomfortable, but that is probably just me. ("Thin" shoulders?)

    I can appreciate having the backpack straps when you are standing in a long line and with a bag - be it heavy or cumbersome or both! - it is not comfortable to switch it back and forth between each shoulder. Just have to remember to hold in the abs to compensate for the weight on the back.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2008
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    Maria, Just wait till you use the Absolute Strap with a weighty bag--that's where it shines. The grippiness keeps the strap from slipping off the shoulders, the width distributes the weight painlessly over your shoulder area, and the 'give' in the strap acts like a shock absorber when moving with the bag. When using it with the Tristar (or Aeronaut or Western Flyer, for that matter), I use it across my body. That way, when waiting in line, I can use the grap handle on the top of the bag in my left hand to support a bit of the weight of the bag as well.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  7. #7
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
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    439
    Yes, the Absolute Strap lives up to all the positive reviews. To compare - I tried lifting my stuffed Co-Pilot by the handle, and then with the AB in hand - it did feel "springier"!

    So I can adjust the strap to handle the bag across the body? This makes me think of my two future purchases. The Tri-Star with the backpack straps for when I have more to carry for the backpack straps may come in handy waiting in long lines at the airport. PLUS perhaps the Western Flyer without the straps so I can place is across the body ... also nice to have the two bags for choice / options. (I like the idea of the Western Flyer with the back pockets - for a magazine, and boarding passes being held close to the body for security but easy access.)

    Thanks Flitcraft!

    Now...what colour?

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southeastern NC
    Posts
    408
    Having had the opportunity to use both a Western Flyer and TriStar, going with the TriStar first is a good move. It will provide more flexibility in what/how much to take when you travel (within limits of course!). The extra weight of the TriStar is not really noticeable on those short trips where the Western Flyer shines, and the extra space available with the TriStar for longer trips outweighs (forgive the pun) the weight advantage of the Western Flyer. The TriStar does quite nicely with smaller loads - even overnight trips. I don't think you'd be sorry getting the TriStar first

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    Nov 2008
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    49
    Quote Originally Posted by rabergnc View Post
    The TriStar does quite nicely with smaller loads - even overnight trips. I don't think you'd be sorry getting the TriStar first
    This was a nice surprise about the TriStar. It keeps it shape and handles smaller loads really well. I can take it half loaded, strap the packing cube in the back compartment and clothing arrives with no additional wrinkles, even when it's only a couple of pieces. Very impressive.


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