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Thread: Ready... Get set....

  1. #1
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Ready... Get set....

    Not quite go, but it's 3:45a.m. here and I'm already showered, shaved, booted and spurred! My new 400d Dyneema (steel/wasabi) Aeronaut is packed, my wife's new 400d Dyneema (steel/steel) Tri-Star is almost packed (make-up, the tiniest hair straighteners in Christendom etc. are still to go in) and I'm having a last coffee before we head to the airport.

    So far the Aeronaut is looking super cool and to quote the lovely Christa Giles "full of awesomeness!". The jury's still out on the Tri-Star though. I repacked it last night as it was looking too barrel like and it's much better. Re-packing the large packing cube and the packing cube shoulder bag to be more rectilinear helped big style, and then not using the tie downs let everything sit flat. I left them round the packing cube loosely in case of a zip failure, but I think that's pretty unlikely. The biggest problem is that Heather's new Medium Café Bag (Plum/wasabi) is in the 2/3 front pocket and, really it has too much in it! More thought needed there, but, to be fair, this is Heather's first time using just one bag for a two week trip! And here in Europe one bag means one bag... absolutely no personal item here!

    But, the bottom line is we got everything in! Actually the Aeronaut could take more, but here you have to be careful that its not too fat - RyanAir's baggage frame is only 20cm (8") deep as opposed to the standard 25cm (10"). And, as we used the Tri-Star's centre pocket for my MacBook 13", it actually weighs more than the Aeronaut! 12.5kg vs. 10kg.

    So.... Here we go!
    JonP and TavaPeak like this.

  2. #2
    Registered User JonP's Avatar
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    Tri Star only for two weeks is impressive. I'm happy when I have a little room in my Aeronaut. Both bags are great, and I would just love to get one in the 400d Dyneema.
    Steel/Ultraviolet Aeronaut, Steel/Solar TriStar, Black/Steel Checkpoint Flyer, Steel Packing Cube Backpack, Steel Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, Solar Travel Tray, Snake Charmer, Pouches, 3D Clear Organizer Cube, etc.

  3. #3
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Well, we pick up the story eight hours later, and, with barely a hitch, we arrived at our beautiful little holiday home at La Peraleja Golf in Murcia Spain (Peraleja Golf holiday Villa rental with golf, log fire, disabled access, balcony/terrace, air con, internet access, TV, DVD). We let it out over the very hot summer, but come the end of October we rule out the diary till spring and it's all ours, so we keep a lot of stuff here, but it's still surprising to me how much we still have to bring out and take home! So we threw two well stuffed TB travel bags on the bed, and before we put them away, we thought we'd show you just how much was in them.

    The Tri-Star swallowed a Large Packing Cube plus a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag full of clothes, plus a Medium Café Bag containing an iPad and two Kindles and all of the other things we'd want to have handy on the plane (iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, earphones, money, airline/car hire paperwork etc., etc.). In the middle pocket was a MacBook Pro 13", a makeup bag, a water bottle and some socks in the bottom (I don't have a Brain Cell) and the liquids bag. It weighed in at a mighty, and rather worrying 12.7Kg plus the 1ltr of water (the RyanAir allowance is only 10Kg!). On the other hand, it fitted easily behind my feet on the floor of my disability scooter.

    The Aeronaut didn't have so many dense items, so it was only a little over the 10Kg allowance. The main section contained a large Packing Cube with my clothes in it (jeans, chinos, fleece jumpers and some shirts for a 250lb guy), a Packing Cube BackPack containing Mrs. FC's overflow (hair things, a leather handbag, clothes etc.), Mrs. Fc's coat, my helping hand grabber and two large clear/dyneema pouches of business papers. The end pockets each contained an End Pocket Packing Cube. One had the rest of my clothes (a fleece jumper and some base layers) and was only half full, while other had my travel tray filled with spare glasses, a camera charger, button hook, and a few odds and ends; a Small Stuff Sack jammed full of my medications; an Apple Disc Drive sized Padded Pouch with my Canon G10 camera; a small steel Pouch with the Mac power supply in it; and finally a wasabi Dyneema 3d Organiser Cube containing, amongst other things my Blue Ultrasuede Friend of Tom pouch with my Ray Bans. The zipped end pocket had a small Solar Dyneema/clear pouch with cash and my Forrest/Steel christmas gift. This hangs, using the rucksack straps, on the back of my scooter (poor wee thing).

    I wasn't sure about using packing cubes, but just using them once has me sold! The bags felt just as solid as my Ballistic Aeronaut, but were noticeably lighter and they seem to slide in and out of the car and plane even more easily. So far, therefore I'd say these bags are a big hit! Well done TB!
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  4. #4
    JLE
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    Great pack. It's amazing how much fits in a Tri-Star. But 12.7kg is heavy. Did you have to carry that weight very far or was it always on the scooter?

  5. #5
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    H says she carried it for miles, and she did carry it a little till we worked it out!

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    Thanks for the great update! I'm very interested in both of these bags. If you had a choice of buying another, which would you choose?

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    I just took a 3 week trip with just a tristar. It was packed to the brim, too much, to the point that getting things in and out was a chore (stopped by security for bag unpacking a few times. In the future I am not going to pack it that much again. My big mistake was doing 7 days worth of clothes, also packing a pair of jeans (I always wear some when traveling, but I brought a second pair packed, next time I'll bring lightweight pants). It was 11.3kg (25.0 lbs) though, which was too heavy to comfortably shoulder carry. I left with it in absolute-strap mode, but after my first 2 hours going from train to airport I stopped and switched it to backpack mode. It worked fine in that mode, and even fit into every overhead bin I tried (Delta, Alitalia, Air France, Aeroflot).

    I'm definitely going to whittle down my pack list to under 20lbs and shed some bulky items. Part of my issue was I was going to Russia during winter, so I had to bring scarf/gloves/hat in the bag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runway1R View Post
    Thanks for the great update! I'm very interested in both of these bags. If you had a choice of buying another, which would you choose?
    I own the Tri-Star, Aeronaut and Western Flyer, all in ballistic nylon. It really depends on the type of trip you're taking and the duration. I find the Tri-Star's strength is for 4-5 day business trips where you want to carry a laptop in the centre compartment; the Aeronaut works best for extended trips, or when travelling to colder climates and need to pack bulkier clothing; the Western Flyer is a jack of all trades but maxes out with 4 days' clothing (sans laptop) for me and is my new favourite. Put simply, the large compartments of the Aeronaut give maximum flexibility; the Tri-Star and Western Flyer require more careful packing to make the most of the available space.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Crip View Post
    .I wasn't sure about using packing cubes, but just using them once has me sold! The bags felt just as solid as my Ballistic Aeronaut, but were noticeably lighter and they seem to slide in and out of the car and plane even more easily. So far, therefore I'd say these bags are a big hit! Well done TB!
    Eric, I hear you on the doubts of adding more weight to a bag that you bought specifically to cut it. But I do find the cubes indispensable when packing my Tri-Star and Western Flyer. They really help to keep my stuff organised.

    I've never loved the crimson on my Tri-Star. It was the only colour available when I needed one. My Western Flyer is black, and I like it for the lower weight. I've owned a couple of rucksacks made in 210d steel dyneema (from Mountain Laurel Designs) and think I may be ready for a Tri-Star in 400d steel dyneema...
    Enlightened traveller since 2009

  10. #10
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runway1R View Post
    Thanks for the great update! I'm very interested in both of these bags. If you had a choice of buying another, which would you choose?
    Aeronaut every time, but we've just used the Tri-Star once so we're not quite sure how it all works... the jury's still out! One things for certain though, and that is that both are excellent bags. I just feel so comfortable with the Aeronaut having used it at least 50 times, even travelling by myself. Being tetraplegic, everything has to be right or things can go very wrong very quickly. Little things like a burst zip or slipping strap can really spoil things if you can't reach the ground and you only have limited use of your hands. I need things I can rely on and that's why I like TB kit. When I get the hang of it, the Tri-Star may prove my first choice for times when I need better organisation and I'm particularly enamoured of the centre computer section... it certainly makes security easier. Though it's perhaps a small thing, but being able to open the zip in advance and not having to re-zip it till afterwards would help a lot.

  11. #11
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotuseater View Post
    Eric, I hear you on the doubts of adding more weight to a bag that you bought specifically to cut it. But I do find the cubes indispensable when packing my Tri-Star and Western Flyer. They really help to keep my stuff organised.

    I've never loved the crimson on my Tri-Star. It was the only colour available when I needed one. My Western Flyer is black, and I like it for the lower weight. I've owned a couple of rucksacks made in 210d steel dyneema (from Mountain Laurel Designs) and think I may be ready for a Tri-Star in 400d steel dyneema...
    More is less clearly! I think the packing cubes are great and 400d Dyneema is excellent too! I just want more colours!

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    Lotuseater, I'm looking pretty seriously at the Aeronaut, as it seems to be a more versatile bag for my needs. I would be using it for long distance travel and casual week long trips to the family compound. My wife could also borrow it on occasion for going to the gym. I have been holding off getting one because my preferred color combinations have been out of stock, and I was also waiting to see what new announcements might be coming forth from Tom Bihn for Spring. I'm seeing there may be a few new products up on the site 1/15. I will call Beau to make sure the color choice I want is in stock before I order. TB customer service has been outstanding!

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    Fat Crip, thanks for the information! You have confirmed my choice... I too need reliable equipment, and like you, I need protection for my traveling technology. The photos you posted were great, and I am amazed at what can fit inside of both bags.
    I've recently retired after 40 years of teaching, and am looking for a bag that is "user friendly". It sounds like the Aeronaut has been working out for you pretty well. I hope you and your wife have a great trip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Crip View Post
    More is less clearly! I think the packing cubes are great and 400d Dyneema is excellent too! I just want more colours!
    FC, have you read of any plans to make the 400d Dyneema bags in colors other than Steel or Nordic? I'm contemplating my first TB bag - currently leaning towards Steel 400d Dyneema TriStar but it changes daily. I'd be terribly sad if I ordered and then a new fabulous Dyneema color became available.

    Great review and thanks for posting all the pictures!

  15. #15
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runway1R View Post
    I hope you and your wife have a great trip!
    Thank you. So far, so good! The sun is shining and the sky is blue!


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