Cadet inside a Tri-Star
First post from me !
I had done my research, I was sure EXACTLY what I needed. But, (as most of you reading this will be aware), it is VERY difficult to order just what you actually need, it is always what you want. And this was the story when I logged onto the TB site; what started out as a 1-bag order moved to a 2-bag order and then to accessories, etc, etc, etc.
Over $750 later I was finished ! But I had an excuse - if I ordered everything now it would only be ONE shipping charge to the UK. Therefore in the long run I would save money. At least that's what I kept on telling myself. It was fun tracking the parcel across the globe, less fun paying the UPS guy the UK import taxes. Would it be worth all that cost in the end ?
Several trips later I can confirm YES exactly that, TB comes up with the goods once more ...
My work is either :
(1) From my home office
(2) From my company office
(3) Short-haul travel (2-3 days) in Europe
(4) Long-haul travel (1 week) to USA / Brazil
I needed a system that would provide me with a laptop bag and a travel bag in one. After much deliberation and checking through the forums on various web-sites, I chose a Cadet and a Tri-Star. Along with the (almost mandatory) packing cubes and caches and straps and pouches and accessories ! It provides me with a perfect system :
(1) and (2) At home and at the office I use the Cadet as a laptop bag
(3) and (4) For travel, I place the Cadet inside the middle compartment of the Tri-Star
This means I never have to disconnect the laptop cache from my Cadet. All I do is remove a Side-Effect containing mouse, power-brick, etc from the front pocket of the Cadet and place it into the vertical pocket on the front of the Tri-Star. Same for my iPad mini in the cache into the large Tri-Star front pocket. This helps keep the Cadet nice and slim so it goes into the Tri-Star easily. I always need a 'professional-looking' laptop bag when I travel; this is the reason I chose the Cadet as I felt the Brain-Cell was not capacious or workman-like enough. Obviously if the Cadet was full to bursting, it would not fit well into the Tri-Star and would also limit the packing in the outer compartments.
For me, the bonus is that if I ever needed all 3 compartments of the Tri-Star for clothes for a longer trip, I could keep the Cadet separate as a 'personal item' and still use the Tri-Star as hand luggage.
The Wasabi interior of the Tri-Star, Cadet and Side-Effect looks great. I am really loving the TB system of pouches and key straps to keep everything safe and secure. Everything I purchased has found a use and I am 110% happy with the great service and products. Fantastic USA manufacturing standards as well.
I just wish there was a TB shop in the UK ... but I would probably buy FAR too much for my own good !
Thanks TB !! :-)
It is wonderful that you found a system that works for you. I adore the streamlined look of the Cadet and the Tri-Star is a great bag too.
I want to do almost exactly the same thing. I have a Tri-Star and it really does hold everything I need, but then I don't have a personal item with pleasant distractions for those long plane trips. I thought about getting a personal item and a Western Flyer (since it'd be about the same thing as a Tri-Star, but then it occurred to me I could have the best of both worlds by just stuffing the personal item into the central compartment of the Tri-Star.
I am hoping this will be possible with the Pilot. The length and height look good, but it looks slightly thicker than either the Cadet or the Founders Briefcase, both of which I know fit inside the Tri-Star.
Hi. For the middle compartment of the Tri-Star, the primary concern is the width of the bag being placed there. The Pilot is shorter but fatter than the Cadet. Therefore (in my opinion) it would be more difficult to fit inside. The Pilot & Founders were not available when I purchased my bags but even now I would choose the Cadet. I cannot fault it at all. Good luck in your deliberations ...
The two bags (Cadet and Pilot, extrapolating from the design of the Co-Pilot) are differently shaped when not completely filled, and inserted into the center compartment of the Tri-Star. In the case of the Cadet, the width (or more properly the depth) of the main compartment is close to the width of the center compartment (about 3.5"). Not completely filling the bag means that you don't load in lots of items in the front compartment that would cause it to bulge out. However, the Cadet's front and back walls are reinforced with foam, making this more rigid. Someone asked at the beginning of January about carrying a Lenovo W530 laptop, with wide screen and extended life battery in a personal item bag in the center of the Tri-Star. The Cadet is unquestionably the better choice of a bag for that laptop, over the Pilot (that was not yet announced). That laptop is too big for a standard cache, and with the weight, it requires some protection. It fits almost exactly into the 15/13 Cadet's main compartment (I checked this with a W520 laptop of the same size); the internal pocket in the main compartment can be used for papers, and the foam padding reinforcement in the front and back faces of the Cadet provide protection for the laptop, even without a large cache (which would have to be for a size 1 or so, I think).
Originally Posted by UK-Limey
However, the Pilot is being designed for laptops that are a lot smaller and lighter than that Lenovo W530: something like a 13" MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. The Ballistic Nylon Co-Pilot can be flattened and packed into an Aeronaut or TriStar, because the sides are just Ballistic Nylon without reinforcement. That kind of compression is totally not possible with a Cadet. So even though the Pilot is "shorter but fatter than the Cadet", it would not be more difficult to fit inside the Tri-Star (I believe, based on the design of the Co-Pilot, which it is scaled up from). It does mean that you should use a separate cache and/or shell for the laptop protection, and that you should not plan to use very large and/or heavy laptops with the Pilot without giving its design due consideration.
HTH. Beau or other members of the Tom Bihn staff can correct me if any of this information is incorrect.
You're right, it ultimately depends on what is inside the smaller bag. Unfortunately I have to put up with a large(ish) Dell laptop. So the Cadet works best. If only I could persuade my boss to get me shiny new MacBook Air. It would give me a good excuse to order a new Pilot ...
I use the same stategy: Cadet 11 MBA inside the center section of the Tri-Star. I used this combo on a recent trip. Love the utility of both bags together. I might try to post up some pics.
Here is my Cadet for 11 MBA inside of my Tri-Star. Plenty of room for cables etc next to the Cadet in the center compartment. I use the Cache with Rails inside of the Cadet with my Surface Pro 2. Use that for quick security check then to the gate. Once through security, I pull it out and stow the Tri-Star.
^ WOW! You really could fit a larger Cadet in there, if necessary. Those photos are very informative, Tizi!
Hi MtmMan. You are absolutely right. My Cadet is the larger version. When I next pack for a trip I'll post some photos ...
Originally Posted by MtnMan
Spoke too soon ... got a call to ask me to go to Madrid & Lisbon next week.
So added 4 photos.
(1) Contents for Tri-Star
Cadet & laptop, large & small packing cubes for clothes, 2 cubes (1 clear still to be filled) for toiletries, Side Effect for wallet & passport and 'stuff', Travel Tray for laptop electrics, clear pouch for Euros & receipts
(2) Cadet inside middle of Tri-Star. Whilst @ airport I leave the Cadet open so the cache & laptop can easily slide out.
(3) Packed and ready to go !
(4) Cadet ready for action at the other end.
If only the airlines themselves could be this organised ...
Attachment 5462Attachment 5463
File upload not working well ...
Got there in the end ...
You mean that wasn't just a ploy to get me to press the "Like" button multiple times? *grin*. Very handsome combination. And I see you have the Size 4 Knitting Tool Pouch for your receipts.
Originally Posted by UK-Limey