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  1. #1
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    "2-in-1 bag" solution: carrying a slim laptop bag inside of the Tri-star?

    Hi,

    I'm looking for feedback from Tri-star owners on the following: carrying a slim laptop bag inside the Tri-star. This is a modified one bag solution; I call it the "2-in-1" bag solution.

    Goal: fit a slim laptop bag inside the Tri-star for a 3 day business trip. Packing list:

    • Business attire: 3 sets of dress shirts/pants/socks/undershirts; no suit jacket.
    • Casual clothing: a pair of jeans, several polo shirts; a thin, light-weight sweater.
    • Work-out attire: 2 sets (shirt/shorts/socks, all made out of thin synthetic materials).
    • Shoes: 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of thin casual shoes (think Pumas).
    • Miscellaneous: zip-top bag with toiletries; a small paperback book.
    • Electronics: a Lenovo laptop and power adapter; an iPad; several small cords and adapters.


    I'm a good packer and I have no worries that all of this could easily fit inside the Tri-star. The questions is whether a slim laptop bag in the center compartment would take up too much room. At the moment, I've selected the Brenthaven ProStyle Slim Pack as the laptop bag. It's dimensions are 12.5" W x 18" H x 3" D. I picked it over a Brain Cell, as it has a little more capacity for things like power adapters, cables, etc.

    Why I want to go with this approach:

    • Although I may often keep the laptop bag outside of the Tri-star, there are times when it would be nice to handle just one bag (i.e., airport security lines, getting in and out of taxis, etc.)
    • If I'm forced to check the Tri-star, I can quickly remove my laptop and other electronics. (I realize it should be rare to have to check the Tri-star, but it could happen).
    • I'd like to leave the Tri-star at the hotel and use a smaller bag when visiting clients.


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    May I suggest a Large Cafe Bag, Imago with a Cache or Ristretto for 13" Macbook/Air?

    The Cache is very lightweight and the Large Cafe Bag or Imago have plenty of space inside for computer related cables, power supplies and drives. In addition you can fit documents, I don' think it is possible in the non-TB bag.

    It would help if you could tell us the dimension of your laptop.

  3. #3
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    etm001, I do something very similar but with a smaller bag, the WaterField MacBook Travel Express case that I move between my Zephyr and my Tristar depending what I am doing. I love this approach as it serves as additional padding for the laptop, gives me some storage in addition and can be the only thing I take to a meeting when the Tristar is in the hotel room...

    The Brenthaven has more storage and it will fit in the Tristar although it may make it bulge some. My real question on this though are the backpack straps. They seem like they are superfluous on a bag this weight and size and can make it challenging to get the bag in and out of the center section of the Tristart when it is loaded.

    Perhaps you might want to wait and see what Tom has up his sleeve for a micro-briefcase?

    Just a tease at this point but it looks like they might be close and TB just does this kind of stuff so well.

  4. #4
    keb
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmac View Post
    Perhaps you might want to wait and see what Tom has up his sleeve for a micro-briefcase?

    Just a tease at this point but it looks like they might be close and TB just does this kind of stuff so well.

    +1. Always worth the wait once the official Darcy tease is posted!! Even if you decide to go a different direction, you will want to know before you do!
    Western Flyer (Crimson); 4Z Brain Cell; Swift (wife); Empire Builder (Black/Steel/Wasabi); Aeronaut (Black/Steel); Side Effect (Black), 3D Cube (Olive); lots of cubes/pouches/kit; Synapse (Navy/Solar); Smart Alec (Cardinal/Steel)

  5. #5
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    Follow-up: additional details

    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    May I suggest a Large Cafe Bag, Imago with a Cache or Ristretto for 13" Macbook/Air?

    The Cache is very lightweight and the Large Cafe Bag or Imago have plenty of space inside for computer related cables, power supplies and drives. In addition you can fit documents, I don' think it is possible in the non-TB bag.

    It would help if you could tell us the dimension of your laptop.
    Thanks for replying. I have a Lenovo T400. The dimensions are:

    H: 10 7/8", W: 13 3/8", D: 1 1/4"

    I realize now that I confused one of the external dimensions of the Brenthaven bag with an internal dimension. The height of my laptop (which, when placed on its side in the Brenthaven bag, becomes the width) is about 1.5" too long, due to my extended battery. Without the extended battery, the laptop would fit in the Brenthaven bag.

    The only Tom Bihn bag that might work is a large Cafe Bag combined with a sleeve of some sort. The Cafe Bag is nice, but wasn't my first choice. On the other hand, it's very slim and compact.
    Last edited by etm001; 10-06-2011 at 11:48 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmac View Post
    etm001, I do something very similar but with a smaller bag, the WaterField MacBook Travel Express case that I move between my Zephyr and my Tristar depending what I am doing. I love this approach as it serves as additional padding for the laptop, gives me some storage in addition and can be the only thing I take to a meeting when the Tristar is in the hotel room...

    The Brenthaven has more storage and it will fit in the Tristar although it may make it bulge some. My real question on this though are the backpack straps. They seem like they are superfluous on a bag this weight and size and can make it challenging to get the bag in and out of the center section of the Tristart when it is loaded.

    Perhaps you might want to wait and see what Tom has up his sleeve for a micro-briefcase?

    Just a tease at this point but it looks like they might be close and TB just does this kind of stuff so well.
    Thanks for the reply - I wasn't aware of the micro briefcase. I don't have a Mac, but the dimensions might work with my Lenovo T400 (see my other reply, it includes the dimensions of my laptop).

  7. #7
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    IBM-Lenovo Thinkpad T400 4-cell battery, is it this one?

    The Size 4Z Cache (Vertical) has interior dimensions of approximately 14.3 9.8 0.9 inches (364 249 24 mm), exterior dimensions of approximately 15.0 10.4 1.8 inches (380 265 46 mm), fits it.

    Large Cafe Bag Size measures 12" x 13" x 3".

    I have a size 4 Soft Cell (Cache ancestor) for my 15" iBook and it fits the Large Cafe Bag.


    Imago: 14.5" x 12.25" x 3.5" dimensions, a Black/Black/Steel will be right up your alley, long enough, plenty of pocket, slim and lightweight, not to mention stylish.

    I also think that it would be worth waiting for the Micro-Briefcase.
    Last edited by backpack; 10-06-2011 at 12:06 PM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies

    Thanks for everyone for the quick replies. It sounds like it's definitely worth waiting to see what the micro briefcase is all about.

    On a related note, the Timbuk2 Quick for Laptops also looks promising: slim and compact, 2 nice sized pockets for cables, etc.. It has a handle and can also be carried on the shoulder.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    IBM-Lenovo Thinkpad T400 4-cell battery, is it this one?

    The Size 4Z Cache (Vertical) has interior dimensions of approximately 14.3 9.8 0.9 inches (364 249 24 mm), exterior dimensions of approximately 15.0 10.4 1.8 inches (380 265 46 mm), fits it.

    Large Cafe Bag Size measures 12" x 13" x 3".

    I have a size 4 Soft Cell (Cache ancestor) for my 15" iBook and it fits the Large Cafe Bag.


    Imago: 14.5" x 12.25" x 3.5" dimensions, a Black/Black/Steel will be right up your alley, long enough, plenty of pocket, slim and lightweight, not to mention stylish.

    I also think that it would be worth waiting for the Micro-Briefcase.
    Yes, it's a T400, but I have an extended battery, which pushes the short dimension out to 7/8". (It really sticks out a bit from the back of the laptop).

    I agree that it's worth waiting to see what the Micro Briefcase is all about.


    You're right, the Imago is not a bad looking bag, and black/black/steel would work.

  10. #10
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    My T410 with extended battery fits - snugly - inside a Horizontal 3S Brain Cell, as did my T62 beforehand (same dimensions). After I first acquired my Tri-Star last year, that combination went into the central compartment for weekly (4 days/3 nights) travel. However, the centrally mounted clips meant that it was a struggle to squeeze the power supply and other stuff alongside the Brain Cell.

    I stopped mounting the Brain Cell on the clips and that helped, but it still took up a lot of space to provide a degree of protection that wasn't necessary on the sides, given the clothing in the front and rear compartments of the Tri-Star.

    After a few trips I put some padding in the bottom of the Tri-Star's central compartment and I switched to a TSA approved checkpoint friendly Briggs & Riley slimline case for a 15" laptop. There was enough space for a packed Snake Charmer to fit alongside the laptop.

    The main downside to the BR case is no shoulder strap. I am curious to see what the Micro Briefcase looks like.
    Enlightened traveller since 2009


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