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  1. #1
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    New to Tom Bihn bags - questions about Tristar and MCB

    Hi, I just found out about Tom Bihn bags and spent a lot of time this past weekend reading through this forum (and of course, reviewing all the bags, etc.). At this time, I think I'm going to order the Tristar for my primary bag (with the Absolute Shoulder Strap) and the Medium Cafe Bag as my personal bag (and probably a few organizers as well). I have a couple of questions, though, and was hoping someone could answer them.

    First, I'm trying to decide which, if any, of the packing cubes to get for the Tristar. Do you think that it would be better to get one medium and small for one side, and leave it at that? Or one large? I've never used packing cubes before (I usually roll everything), so I'm trying to figure out if they would be beneficial.

    Also, do you think that I will need the additional ultrasuede padded strap for the Medium Cafe Bag? I plan on using it as both a personal bag and a purse while traveling (I'm heading to Europe in September) and I'm wondering if the regular strap will suffice. I will probably use it to carry a guidebook, journal, my Kindle, iPod touch, camera and misc. odds and ends.

    If anyone can think of any other information I might need, I'd love to have it. I'm very excited about these bags, and called the company early this morning to speed up my activation so that I could post. Katie (sp?) was very nice and answered some questions, but I wanted to get additional input.

    Mardee
    Last edited by Where4art; 07-12-2010 at 01:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi --
    I have both the bags you are asking about

    The medium cafe bag is awesome, and I didn't realize how much I'd want the ultrasuede strap protector until it was available. The plastic shoulder brace thingy is okay, but it slips and it's not comfortable against the neck. With the ultrasuede cover, the bag is now perfect.

    BTW, I've had my medium cafe for 3 years now and it looks brand new. Whenever it gets a little dusty, I wash as instructed on the site, and poof.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Amy - that's exactly what I needed to know about the strap. I will add it to my basket (which is growing at an alarming rate).

    Mardee

  4. #4
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Hi Mardee,

    I got the tristar recently and have the small and med packing cubes. If you haven';t used them before they are a wonderful tool. I am also using a variety of smaller Eagle creek tubes and looking at some Tom Bihn organizers. My packing goes as follows:
    med packing cube - bottoms and dress if I take one
    small cube - tops
    even smaller Eagle creek1/4 cubes- undies and socks,cosmetics and meds
    Tom Bihn small or min pouch for iTouch
    snake charmer for chargers, cords and other bits (wish list)

    I like the tb pouches because they clip in but wish they were more 3d. BTW they have a new kindle pouch.

    I operate on the rule of threes (3 tops, bottoms, undies and socks) and my bag is less than half full including moleskine and tech bits and weighs between 12 and 14 lb. lots of room left for shopping on my planned China trip!

    Janis

  5. #5
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    Thanks, Janis - I did see the Kindle pouch but mine has a leather case so I think it will be protected enough already. And I'm a follower of the rule of 3, too (although occasionally I subscribe to the "pack your old underwear and throw it away after you use it" school).
    Mardee

    http://mostlytraveled.wordpress.com
    http://mardeeinturkey.wordpress.com

    Owner of Indigo Tristar, Olive/Wasabi Medium Cafe Bag, Solar Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Steel Medium and Small Packing Cubes, and assorted organizer bags and straps.

  6. #6
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    The medium Cafe bag and the Tristar is the combo I most often travel with. Perfect for getting around easily with little fuss. The full size packing cube has been the most effective size for me. It works well with bundle packing and allows me to utilize the back compartment fully. It holds pants/sweaters/shirts, windbreaker and curling iron. This full length cube keeps clothes fairly unwrinkled and nicely compressed. I also use a small size packing cube in the middle compartment for undies and socks, etc. Laptop on one end,small cube on the other. In the front compartment I use the 3D organizer cube for toiletries, the snake charmer with snacks on one side, cords and electronics (ipod, mouse, earphones, adapters etc.) on the other and then a small camera bag. My mini umbrella goes in the water bottle pocket. I also clip in a TB large sized pouch for travel docs in the deepest pocket in the front. It wasn't until my 3rd trip that I found the clip rings in the shallow-er two pockets but now I can secure even more pouches when needed.

    I love having everything organized in various pouches and cubes, and won't be embarrassed if I have to open the Tristar for security checks at the gate (as happens at those secondary screenings at Heathrow). With my laptop packed in the Tristar, I'm closer to 20 lbs. but still have a bit of stuffing room. The Tristar is my favorite bag, it's just perfect for the way I travel.

    I don't have the suede strap on my medium Cafe bag but haven't noticed any discomfort when I wear it crossbody. Most of the time, though, when I've got the Tristar on as a backpack, I find that the little black webbing handle on the back of the Cafe bag is my preferred way of gripping that bag when I'm just strolling around the airport or on the train. I

  7. #7
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    I have to say, the Shoulder Strap Wrap makes a world of difference on the regular strap with the little pokey things! I have an Absolute Strap and, the MCB's comfort level with the Shoulder Strap Wrap is extremely close to the that of a heavily loaded bag with the Absolute Strap. So worth the investment! Also, I posted elsewhere but ... I also use the Shoulder Strap Wrap on my sealt belt to keep it from slipping and cutting into my neck.
    Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!

  8. #8
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    Thanks - this forum is filled with good information! I'm getting all kinds of ideas! I went ahead and ordered the Tristar (w/Ab.Strap), Medium Cafe Bag (w/Ultrasd Strap), the small and medium packing cube (but may later add the large), and a bunch of the smaller organizers and odds and ends.

    I am so excited! I'm sort of a luggage/purse geek anyway, but I've never been as keen to receive a package as I am about this.
    Mardee

    http://mostlytraveled.wordpress.com
    http://mardeeinturkey.wordpress.com

    Owner of Indigo Tristar, Olive/Wasabi Medium Cafe Bag, Solar Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Steel Medium and Small Packing Cubes, and assorted organizer bags and straps.

  9. #9
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    I know you will enjoy your bags and goodies for many years to come!
    Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!

  10. #10
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    Nana, are you from Minnesota? I'm heading up there in a few weeks to visit my daughter, SIL and grandson - it will be the virgin trip for my new TB loot.
    Mardee

    http://mostlytraveled.wordpress.com
    http://mardeeinturkey.wordpress.com

    Owner of Indigo Tristar, Olive/Wasabi Medium Cafe Bag, Solar Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Steel Medium and Small Packing Cubes, and assorted organizer bags and straps.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Where4art View Post
    Nana, are you from Minnesota? I'm heading up there in a few weeks to visit my daughter, SIL and grandson - it will be the virgin trip for my new TB loot.
    Yes! I am! What fun you will have with all of your "loot"! What part of MN will you be visiting?
    Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!

  12. #12
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    They live in Minneapolis, about 5 minutes from downtown in the Seward neighborhood. But we're going to spend a few days up around Grand Marais, which I'm looking forward to.
    Mardee

    http://mostlytraveled.wordpress.com
    http://mardeeinturkey.wordpress.com

    Owner of Indigo Tristar, Olive/Wasabi Medium Cafe Bag, Solar Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Steel Medium and Small Packing Cubes, and assorted organizer bags and straps.


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