OK, I posted a review of the Tristar on my blog...but is too long to paste into here! Click on my blog link below if you are masochistic enough to want to read it.
The summary though I think sums it up for all of us!
"Final thoughts on the Tristar? It is insanely well made, attractive and has a sort of bete noir charm that makes me feel a bit like a 40′s film star when I carry it around. A thousand little touches of organization and forethought that have gone into details as small as handle placement on the Tristar. This almost guarantees that you will love this bag as much as those that made it obviously do.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of owning a Tom Bihn bag is that as soon as one arrives, you are already figuring out which one you need next!"
Great review. I really like the Tri-Star, but bought the Aeronaut as I thought I'd need the extra space. However, I've found that weight rather than space is more often the limiting factor. I most often travel between my homes in Scotland and Spain and I have duplicates of things like toiletries, power adapters, disability aids etc. so I don't really need to carry much other than a few clothes - hardly a challenge. But when I took a trip to Bristol and Cardiff for business, I had to take everything for a five day trip including both formal and casual kit. I flew with Easyjet, so as you'll know from my guide to European travel guide, have size, but not weight limits so the Aeronaught was perfect, and I mean perfect. It was exactly the maximum size, fitted in the size tester and carried everything I needed even my disability stuff, toiletries, MacBook, client files, iPad etc., etc. The back pack straps fit over the back of my disability scooter so I needed absolutely no assistance at all. I like that as even though I have serious issues, I value my independence very highly. Recently a bit of European Union legislation gives me the right to keep my own scooter right to the steps of aeroplane, but at Alicante airport in Spain they haven't quite got with the program yet so they put me in a wheelchair so I have to be pushed around. I HATE THAT!!!!!! But, in the main, the Aeronaut helps me stay independent.
Thanks Eric. After my trip next week I may wish I had bought the Aeronaut!
For me I just thought the vertical slot would be a lot easier with a laptop. Guess I may have to breakdown and get a brain cell though.
I second Eric, great review. FWIW several key straps can be attached to the same o-ring, allowing you to get more organization in that center laptop section like you desire. The color straps can keep you more organized by showing you at a glance which tether to pull on to extract it from your bag.
Also the water bottle pocket also holds a folding umbrella nicely (sounds like you won't be carrying one, but jic) and there are platypus collapsible water bottles that may be nice to keep inside of your water bottle pocket and fill at your destination fwiw. :)
Happy trails, and enjoy your trip, looking forward to your report and update on the Tristar when you return :)
<long slow blink>
Dorayme, I really hate it when I miss the obvious. Thanks for the tip on the O rings. I will now go sheepishly do exactly that!
Thanks as well for the well wishes and water bottle tips. I leave in 4 days so I am starting to obsess a bit already...
Yes, Dorayme, I have a full set of coloured straps (4 short & 2 long) plus 3 short and one long black ones for just that reason. Though I don't of course, use them all at once. In the Aeronaut's big end pockets you can use a strap attached to an o ring (there's just one per pocket) and on the other end attach a split ring, like you might find on a key fob, of, say 1 or 1.25" diameter, and to that attach any number of pouches. I attach around four at a time to each strap that way. Then, when you open the big pocket, you don't have to worry about the pouches heading South unexpectedly. This is especially important for me as I can't pick things up from the floor without using a grabber. This usually leads to people rushing forward to help me followed by me being embarrassed and then getting grumpy with the people who only want to help! I'm sure that Tom didn't dream up his bag system to help the cripples of this world, but this crip, is certainly glad he did dream them up, thank you!
Thanks for the mention in your blog and....you're welcome.
I took my first trip with my new Tri Star last week - a four day trip to a warm destination. I also carried my Little Swift.
The Tri Star was perfect. I packed my travel clothes that I get at J.Jill, a pair of sandals, my bag of liquids and bags of non-liquid toiletries, my netbook, kindle and ipod with respective chargers, underwear and pj's.
I am taking a 6 day trip to another warm destination in two weeks, and I plan to pack basically the same things (I did get some new J.Jill travel clothes last week, because everything I owned was black and I thought lighter colors would be handy to have).
On one of our flights we were the last to board, and they were making passengers gate check their bags. No need for me to do that - my tri star fit under the seat in front of me.
In the compartment with the compression straps, same side as backpack straps, there are 2 sections of fabric that are the same color as the exterior.
I get the impression that these have some purpose. Really, I can't imagine a TB bag with a feature that hasn't been thoroughly thought out and tested.
However, the only things I can come up with to use these loops are:
a) Tuck my Eagle Creek packer into them (doubtful if it's packed)
b) Fasten items to this because I can, not because it makes sense.
So, I'm wondering:
a) What do you use them for?
b) Why did Tom design them into the bag?
Looking forward to my first trip with my Tri-Star. Air Boss is on the auction block.
Those are actually the pockets that the buckles for the backpack straps are recessed into...
So they are more a feature of the outside of the bag and not the internal feature set.
Thanks for the reply here and on FB, jeffmac.
Originally Posted by jeffmac
Curious if anyone has a practical hack or suggestion of making use of those?
The only thing I can think of is to use them for additional attachment points within the case. Maybe some pics will give somebody a flash of brilliance?
Excellent review Jeffmac! Well written, spot on with the pros (and yes, the cons) and entertaining.
Awww, Maria, now you are making me blush!