Initial review of the Tristar:
I received my Tom Bihn Tristar bag about 3 weeks ago and wanted to share my initial impressions of it. What really surprised me was how substantial it was, when you pick it up you know it's something special. I also ordered some packing cubes and the absolute strap.
I haven't used it yet, I'm heading to Thailand in about a week and I plan on putting the Tristar through its paces. I chose Steel and Iberian, it's a beautiful gray that's not too light or too dark with a nice sheen. I could take it on a weekend trip wearing jeans and a t-shirt or carry it on a business trip wearing a suit and it would look appropriate for either occasion.
The Tristar's 1050d exterior feels super tough, I think the only way to damage it would be to take a sharp blade to it or throw it off a mountain top. The interior dyneema is light but tough. The construction is impeccable, you can tell a lot of care went into the crafting of the bag.
Yes, it's an expensive bag but I don't mind paying a premium price for a premium bag. Especially since Tom in-sources most of the materials used in his bag, cares about his employees and the environment. I could have gotten a cheaper, inferior bag for half the cost but wouldn't support any company that use inferior materials, cheap labor abroad and only cares about profits over everything else.
I did a lot of research on travel bags before I found Tom Bihn. I actually found a reference to Tom Bihn in a Amazon review of a bag that I was considering many months ago. I did my research and was hooked as soon as I visited the website. In my eyes Tom Bihn has no competition, most of the wannabes out there are a cheap knock off of Tom's designs and are kind of sad when you see them.
I definitely plan on writing a detailed review after my trip to tell you how the Tristar fared. Judging from the reviews I read I'm guessing it will exceed my expectations. Don't change a thing Tom, keep being unique and creating elegant US made bags and I'll spread the word and continue to buy TB bags.
Happy Thanksgiving!!! :)