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Thread: Aeronaut or Tristar

  1. #1
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    Aeronaut or Tristar

    Please sell me on which one is better and why?

    I have narrowed it down to these two plus the Air Boss by Red Oxx. I really like the the way the Air Boss looks but I think that the Aeronaut and Tristar will last longer.

  2. #2
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    Which is better? Ginger or Maryann?

    That's what you are asking. The real answer is, each is better for some things than the other. The Aeonaut is bigger, and can carry awkwardly shaped things better. The Tristar is easier to keep organized, is a bit tidier looking for when you are decamping at upscale digs, and is more convenient to use when you are toting a laptop in the middle section.

    Me, I have 'em both. They're both built with heirloom quality standards, and both have clever design features that make using them a pleasure.

    So don't make me pick...


    (OK...Tristar. But only because you made me...)
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  3. #3
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    The most important about choosing a bag is to know.

    What you are using it for?

    The amount of things you want to carry.

    What those things are.


    The Aeronaute is a very roomy travel bag which is best compartimentalized with Packing Cubes or bundle/roll of items or zip gallons/quarts plastic bags.

    The TriStar is more of a suitcase, briefcase, laptop case in one.


    I think of the Aeronaute as the typical get away bag used in films noir and the Tri-Star as the bag that Cary Grant would take in all his travel in Alfred Hitchcock movies.

    Both bags are very elegant but the Tri-Star has more of a plane/boat/train, boardroom, luxury hotel lobby versatility. As I said before, it would not look out of place anywhere, just like Cary Grant in the movies.


    Feel free to share what you plan to carry if you wish for a more practical review.

  4. #4
    Registered User blackfungi's Avatar
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    be done with this thread and get both bags!!!!! you will eventually, like all of us here.

  5. #5
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    I have had and traveled with all three of the bags and now only have the TriStar. Any of these bags will last pretty much forever - the AirBoss, Aeronaut and TriStar are all superbly built. The AirBoss is good for business-type clothing as it is the easiest to pack dress shirts and suits/sports jackets just because of its max carry-on size and fully opening on 3 sides sections. It's biggest problem is that you can put so much in it is becomes difficult to carry comfortably. Also because of the fabric used, it tends to be kind of bulgy as it gets full. The Aeronaut can hold about as much and is really flexible for non-business clothing. You can pack business clothing in it but it is a bit more of a challenge. It too can get really full and heavy but it does have the backpack straps option which is really nice. It holds its shape nicely when stuffed and rarely looks bulgy. The TriStar is a nice compromise - business clothing generally fits well if you fold carefully; it has backpack straps, holds almost more than you can carry; does not bulge when stuffed. I kept the Tristar as it was the best bag for the type of traveling I do - a combination of business and leisure - and it fits well in almost all overheads (unless I really stuff it)

  6. #6
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    I think the others have made some great assessments. I think the A__ B___ is an outstanding product. But back to Bihn...

    As to your question, I refuse to choose between them… I have them all. No concerns about durability of any of them.

  7. #7
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    It is mostly a matter of style.

    I have both and use the Tristar because that is my style. I like the organization it offers and the ability to integrate my clothes and hardware. I am at the point where i am just used to certain things being in certain pockets and it fits me well. It is easy to carry, easy to stow. I find that it forces me to be a little more strategic when packing...but I don't mind that at all. I don't like being burdened by carrying stuff and I feel like I am traveling light when I have the tristar. On those occasions that I am able to pack the computer in the tristar and leave the briefcase behind...I feel great.

    My wife likes the additional space, is not much of an organizer, and carries her work stuff in a separate bag. She finds the Tristar constraining when packing for more than one night if she has to take cold weather clothing. She uses the Aeronaut.
    ID, Horizonal Brain Cell, Brain Bag, Ristretto (for macbook pro), Tristar, Synapse (dyneema)

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    Although I do not own a Tristar, I have been using my Aeronaut extensively since I got it about a year ago. I just flew from Florida to California about 2 weeks ago with my Aeronaut and Brain Bag. On six flights ranging from small regional jets to much larger planes, I was able to carry-on both bags on each flight. The Aeronaut fit nicely in all of the overhead bins and the Brain Bag had no problem fitting under any of the seats I used. I don't think you can go wrong with any Tom Bihn bag!

  9. #9
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    Well, I still could not decide so I bought both! I have studied them for three months and still could not decide so I should have them in a week..
    I will write my review and post which one I keep.
    Last edited by bennero; 03-27-2011 at 01:10 AM.

  10. #10
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    Bennero...I am not sure that Flitcraft was kidding when he said buy both. You may have a hard time sending either one of them back!

    I personally opted for the Tristar because the organizational aspects of it work better for the way that I pack. If you are taking longer trips and are not willing to pare your packing list down, you can cram more stuff in the Aeronaut.

    Of course, that stuffed Aeronaut can be heavier than you want to carry and may not fit in the overhead of the smaller commuter jets. There are lots of pictures of the Tristar crammed under a seat in a small plane, so it is really flexible.

    Having said that, practice packing in both of them. If anybody lives with you they will think you are crazy ( and may tell you so ;-D) but don't let that dissuade you. Just make sure you pick the back up and carry it around with you for an hour or two to make sure that you want to carry that much weight.

    The Tristar forces me to be at 20 pounds or so fully loaded. That is about as much as I want to carry across an airport, even on the backpack straps.

  11. #11
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    @ the OP. This is my current debate also. I like all of the bags. I currently have an Air Boss sitting for me at my house for me to take a look at. I just got back from a trip today. I'm sorta annoyed with Red Oxx simply for the fact that I had called to ask what shipping option I should choose to get my bag before my flight out. They told me two days, so I paid for two day shipping and...they shipped it out late, and I ended up having to go to my local REI to pick up a small carryon duffel bag. But that's a different problem!

    And yea, I'm thinking you might have a hard time deciding between the two. They're so nice from what I've watched from video reviews as well as what I've seen here on the website. Congrats on your purchase!

  12. #12
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    It took a lot of convincing my wife to do that. She thinks I am nuts about my bag collection and I probably am but after being on the forum I realize there is a group! It is a way of life and I love it. The challenge and quest of finding the perfect bag. I have the Osprey Porter and love it but it is not a Tom Bihn and does not look as professional. It does fit quite a bit and can be packed down and has great backpack straps. SO that is why I hope to like the Tri--Star better or enough to keep it over the Aeronaut. We'll see.
    I read all the comments about the Red-Oxx Air Boss. I had a Boxcar for a minute, it is to big to be a carry on. The Air Boss looks like it would be sloppy empty and does not look like it will retain it's shape when full. (Just my observation from pictures) I do love the Aviator Bags to store my Tom Bihn gear. It is awesome to have a bag filled with all the different shapes and sizes of the Tom Bihn organizer pouches.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennero View Post
    It took a lot of convincing my wife to do that. She thinks I am nuts about my bag collection and I probably am but after being on the forum I realize there is a group! It is a way of life and I love it. The challenge and quest of finding the perfect bag. I have the Osprey Porter and love it but it is not a Tom Bihn and does not look as professional. It does fit quite a bit and can be packed down and has great backpack straps. SO that is why I hope to like the Tri--Star better or enough to keep it over the Aeronaut. We'll see.
    I read all the comments about the Red-Oxx Air Boss. I had a Boxcar for a minute, it is to big to be a carry on. The Air Boss looks like it would be sloppy empty and does not look like it will retain it's shape when full. (Just my observation from pictures) I do love the Aviator Bags to store my Tom Bihn gear. It is awesome to have a bag filled with all the different shapes and sizes of the Tom Bihn organizer pouches.
    Well, as it so happens, I do currently have possession of an Air Boss by Red Oxx. I'm not certain if it was because it was in a small box, but it compresses quite a bit. Another thing is... it is very big. I probably over packed it. (Did one bundle of the following: 5 long sleeve button up shirts, 4 pairs of Khaki pants, 5 pair of boxes and 6 pair of sox.) It took a bit of coaxing, but I was able to fit it into one of the side zip down compartments. I didn't bother with a bundle for the other side--I put 5 pairs of jeans. Now, I have to say, that the bag doesn't necessarily expand out as much as it does in. The middle compartment is about 3-4 inches wide, and the sides were pushing into it. In the middle I managed to compress my camera bag, my 13 inch macbook, and my 311 bag. Obviously with the jeans and what not, the bag was heavy and pretty boxy looking.

    I'm thinking of sending it back, simply because I do not travel that much, and that I think I would rather have a bag that has some back straps to carry it with, plus, I think the bag is just too big.

    But another part of me is pretty much drooling over how the bag is made. It is just completely solid. I showed it to my father and he said that he almost wants to keep it for himself.

  14. #14
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    uh. No more clarity here either.

    I went through the same debate nearly 2 years ago. Finally, in part due to this forum I purchased the Aeronaut. I've had it and used it for over a year. It is excellent. Great storage capabilities, etc. Done week long business trips with it + extend to a long weekend holiday.

    Excellent... but it gets heavy. Just as the Air Boss might.

    I will be receiving the Tri-Star tomorrow. I've found that for myself, a 3 day trip is overkill on the Aeronaut. I'm looking forward to taking one bag, the Tri-Star for a 4-5 day trip next month. (i.e. puling a laptop in and out of a Aeronaut isn't terribly fun, or classy... )

    The form factor appears to be more professional than the Aeronaut, just as Backpack pointed out.

  15. #15
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    I have received both. I like the Tri-Star but love the Aeronaut. I think it will better serve my style of packing. I might regret it later and have to buy the Tri-Star but for now I think the Aeronaut will serve my purposes very well.

    I am not the best one bag packer but it looks like I can have the perfect bag with the amount of stuff I like to carry and be within Airline regulations with the Aeronaut.

    With them ID and Aeronaut I can tackle any trip. I just wish I could have my co-pilot back that my son has claimed for his own!

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