An introduction to the blackhole within a Tri-Star
I'm a recent Tom Bihn convert, only getting my first, a Co-Pilot, at the end of November. After being thoroughly impressed with that bag, it's terrific organization, ease of carry and how it improved my everyday life I decided to give myself a Christmas present. With a couple short trips coming up for work and fed up with disjointed, unorganized way of traveling I've been practicing until now I splurged and ordered a Tri-Star, a set of packing cubes, a Cache for my Dell computer and an Absolute strap. When it came in the tiny shipping box I started to wonder if I made a mistake and got something too small. Pulling it out I decided to do some test packing to see how much it would hold just using what I had handy. I came away utterly amazed at the sheer volumn of clothing & gear I was able to put in the bag, all in a very nicely organized fashion. Everytime I thought I reached capacity a slight pause and a little persuasion and it would disappear within the Tri-Star with a bit more coaxing. The whole endeaver put me in mind of the nature shows where snakes swallow incredibly larger animals by disjointing thier jaws and gradually working them inside a little at a time.
I was able to put my computer in the Cache plus the power brick & a translator peripheral needed for hooking to vehicles for diagnostic work in the center section with no issue. Next I packed the large packing cube with five pair of uniform pants, a pair of jeans and a uniform shirt plus several pair of heavy wool socks. The resultant bulging cube was easily accepted by the rear compartment. The medium cube was then stuffed with a full weeks worth of underwear, socks and several tee shirts. Finally a pair of deck shoes was placed in the small cube and the two cubes were put in the front section. All up weight was about 20 lbs and the Tri-Star closed & carried very comfotably via grip, strap or back pack straps.
Still being curious, I switched the deck shoes for bulkier cross trainers, no problem. I them emptied the medium cube, put my ankle high work boots in and was still able to close the zippers. Next out of curriosity I put my high top work boots in the medium cube and tried to fit it in the front section and finally met defeat, being unable to fit it in the front compartment and close the zipper.....until I unzipped the internal divider. After that the packing cube slid in far enough to fully close the compartment. Lastly I removed the cube holding my work boots and was able to easily put my Co-Pilot with it's full EDC load plus iPad in the front and close it up.
After my test packing I came away fully confident I've made the right choice for my needs. The black/steel color combo I went with works well for my industrial use, looking professional and not showing the dirt & grease I deal with daily. The Tri-Star is small enough to use for a simple overnight holding my computer & associated gear, EDC bag and plenty of clothing etc.. and have but one bag to carry. Or I can fit plenty of gear in for a week on the road for work and leasure, with an able assist from the Co-pilot. For pure leasure travel where the computer isn't needed and my iPad & iPhone suffice I should be able to function indefinately with some occasional washing. That doesn't mean I still don't want the Synapse which is next on my list and will give even more packing & travel options. Also the Travel Tray will definately make the next order along with an Ultrasuede Screen Cloth and maybe another packing cube or two for use when the computer isn't needed. I may also look into upgrading from the Cache to a Brain Cell for everyday use & easier carry of my work computer
Thanks TB, you provide elegant, efficient and ruggedly durable solutions to a lot of life's issues. I'm really looking forward to not only travel with far more comfort & far less hassle, but to easier function in my everyday work and personal life.:)