After months of dreaming of a Tom Bihn backpack suitcase -- and hours of agonizing over which size to buy -- I finally bought a Tri-Star in September for a two-week business trip to Europe that included a weekend trip to Stuttgart for Volksfest. I was concerned my 21" rolling suitcase might not fit carry-on requirements for Europe, so that justified buying the Tri-Star. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
My bag arrived early -- two days before I left for my trip -- so I had time to pack and repack several times. My requirements were for something that would work as a clothing carry-on with enough clothing for 7 days of business meetings, plus casual clothing for the weekend trip and travel days. And on the weekend, I would be leaving business clothing behind at my UK hotel, but carrying all my electronics in the Tri-Star. I was concerned about weight, since I'm a middle-aged 5'5" woman. Fully packed the bag was between 17 and 20 pounds.
Everything worked well and I returned from the trip with only one shirt that I didn't wear and a lot of good exercise from carrying my world on my back. What I had not considered was that I had undergone 3 months of physical therapy for a frozen shoulder early in 2013, and perhaps carrying a 20 pound backpack would aggravate that. It did, but it was managable as long as I wore both shoulder straps, not carrying it by the handles or with the shoulder strap.
I traveled with 2 or 3 bags (a small purse, an Eagle Creek travel gateway tote as my laptop bag, and the Tri-Star). I flew through all of the airline check-ins without any complaints about my carry-on sizes or numbers. An unexpected bonus was that since I carried my luggage on from the UK, I was able to use Houston's new One-Stop immigration/customs line, where there were only 6 people ahead of me instead of 600. I'm not sure I'll take this with me on every trip, but I will whenever I plan European side trips on small planes.
Overall, a great bag. Worth the price, but packing takes thought.