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Thread: Tri-star or Western Flyer

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    Question Tri-star or Western Flyer

    Well I have decided to buy a TB bag. I already have (some of you may be familiar with) a Deuter Futura 28, an Osprey Porter 46, and a Rick Steves original bag door bag. The Porter is similar in size to the Aeronaut. The Tri-star similar in size to the Rick Steves bag and the Western flyer is similar in size to the Deuter.
    BUT the Tri-star is designed better than the RS bag because of the 3 compartments where RS bag only has one big open compartment. Also the Western flyer is designed better than the Futura in the sense that the Deuter bag is a backpack and not a streamlined suitcase. I want to be able to put the bag in front of me under the seat and I always pick an aisle seat-I believe there is less space on the aisle seat and the most in the middle seats. Of course I will be putting it inside a trash bag before it goes under the seat (see Moose's post here: Under seat bag storage about the scariness of airplane under-seats and front pouches).
    I think my Deuter being a backpack will be too fat to put under the seat.
    So now I am thinking maybe get the Tri-star. Has anyone seen them side by side? Does the Tri-star fit under the seats?
    I thought the WF would be good because it would be my smallest bag then and I have seen HOW MUCH STUFF people are still able to load into the WF. I am striving to be an ultralight woman packer.(another reason I was considering the WF). I am not petite either so my clothes would be bigger than some other women's clothes-like a petite person for example. That's why I'm wavering between the two bags.
    I'm going now to recheck the specs for the tri-star.
    Any opinions either way?

  2. #2
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Gmoskal, I have both a Tristar and an Osprey Porter 46. I never pack as much into the Osprey bag as would theoretically fit. Which bag I take on a trip often comes down to which set of spare shoes I'm packing. I find that bulkier shoes don't fit so well in the Tristar if I'm packing it fairly full. (They are not a problem if I'm packing really lightly, in which case a WF would be perfect if I had one.)

    From what I've read, it sounds like shoes may fit better in the WF. For my travel, I think a 2-compartment bag would fit my needs perfectly. A BinaryStar bag is on my 2012 TB wish list.

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    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I love my WF and am looking forward to overnighting with my Co-Pilot! I am 5'2" and wear size ladies M clothes, 38EU shoes. I can pack in my WF for a week if I use sensible packing and clothing that can be layered/combined for more than one use.
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    Do they all fit under the airplane seats? I mean WF and TStar? I am going to WDW for 2 weeks and I want to show off to my friend the concept of ultralight packing. She just purchased a 3 piece set of Heys bags. OMG my worst nightmare. Anyway they will have those giant wheeled behemoths on the trip and I want her eyes to bug out when she's sees how small the WF (I am leaning to the WF) is and how giant their bags are. I will wear my biggest shoes on the plane.
    On the plus side I have shown her this site and she will be buying the small cafe bag for the trip. So there is still hope for them.....

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    Take a look at the Practical Hacks photos comparing the Western Flyer and Tri-Star. The First Take article on the Tri-Star contains pictures of the Tri-Star, Western Flyer, and Aeronaut side by side. The earlier First Take article on the Western Flyer has comparison pictures with the Red Oxx Air Boss and Patagonia MLC.

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmoskal View Post
    Do they all fit under the airplane seats? I mean WF and TStar? I am going to WDW for 2 weeks and I want to show off to my friend the concept of ultralight packing. She just purchased a 3 piece set of Heys bags. OMG my worst nightmare. Anyway they will have those giant wheeled behemoths on the trip and I want her eyes to bug out when she's sees how small the WF (I am leaning to the WF) is and how giant their bags are. I will wear my biggest shoes on the plane.
    On the plus side I have shown her this site and she will be buying the small cafe bag for the trip. So there is still hope for them.....
    Are you staying at the resort itself, or in some other accommodation nearby? If you have access to a W/D, you can pack very lightly and just wash stuff once in a while.

    In terms of getting the bag under the seat: I've never had a problem with the WF, even on tiny regional jets. Even larger bags like the Aeronaut (I have no experience with the Tri-Star) will fit under the seat in front of you if they're not packed solid. Case in point: I flew from ORD to FCO this winter with a pretty full Aeronaut. There was no overhead bin space so I stuck it under the seat (window, but in one of those funky rows where the space is really small). While it was a pain not being able to stretch my feet out, it still fit.

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    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Warning: Incoming long meandering answer.

    What Badger asked: Are you staying on-property? Are you guys staying in a DVC resort? *MOST* hotels in and around WDW should have laundry facilities. For your two-week trip, you really shouldn't need more than 3 or 4 days' worth of clothes. Assuming you're going in the next few months, it will have warmed up enough that you won't need to any winter clothing with you. If you're flying from somewhere cold, keep the bulkiest coat at home, and try getting to the airport wearing a few layers. You can work the layers in to your daily wardrobe once you get to Florida.

    You should have no trouble traveling with just a Western Flyer and a purse. Unless you are sitting in an aisle seat, you should be able to stuff the WF under the seat (the aisle seats often have a bar that under the seat that makes for narrower space). And actually, the WF doesn't take up a whole lot of room in the overhead, either. You could shove that thing in the overhead and just keep your purse by your feet.

    The trick, I think, is to adjust the size of your "purse" based on how much you can fit in your WF. The Co-Pilot is definitely a good choice, as is a Medium Cafe Bag. You can easily toss your 3-1-1 toiletry kit into your purse that way.

    One thing that tends to take up a lot of bag space is shoes... so if you're taking a pair of sneakers, consider wearing them for the flight, and packing your lighter sandals etc. in your WF. That will give you more room.

    If you *really* want to show off by traveling with JUST your WF and no purse, and still want to keep some items by your feet during the flight, what I've done in the past is pack the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in one of the half pockets of the WF. I pack it with things like the 3D Clear Organizer Bag with my 3-1-1 toiletries, snacks, etc. When I get to my seat, I pull the Shoulder Bag out of the WF, stow the WF in the overhead, and now I have a purse by my feet.

    As for how to pack your not-petite clothes... the key here is to layer layer layer layer. Here's a sample wardrobe:

    - Would you wear camisole/tank top/sleeveless shirts? Wear one on the flight, under whatever else you're wearing. On some days, wear it alone. On some days, wear a button shirt over it, but unbuttoned (think Hawaiian shirt or something along those lines). On the days you wear a shirt over them, you will have a totally different look.

    - Women's T-shirt. Take one or two (if you take two, consider wearing one over your camisole on the flight). I don't mean those baggy men's T-shirts, but one that's shorter, and a slightly better fit, with a nice neckline. Go with a solid color if you can. You can wear this alone or with a buttoned shirt over it.

    - Take a couple of light buttoned shirts that can be worn either buttoned up, or totally open (see previous point). Again, this gives you a lot of versatility on how to look. Also, unless it's super hot and you're sweating a lot, on those days when you wear the buttoned shirt over your T-shirt, you won't need to put your buttoned shirt in the laundry pile after a single day.

    Between the camisole, T-shirt(s) and buttoned shirt(s), you've got yourself 4 days worth of a wardrobe right there.

    - Don't know if you like wearing jeans--typically I'd say leave them at home because they're very bulky... unless you want to wear it on your flight. You can wear jeans for multiple days without a wash... but I'd only take them if you really like wearing jeans.

    - Loose/longer shorts or capri pants: These won't take nearly so much room in your bag. If you don't like wearing shorts (too revealing, etc.), capri pants are an awesome solution. I love them, and it's a rare trip to a Disney park where I don't pack one. They keep you cool on the warmer days, a little warmer on the cooler/breezier days, and look OK whether you're wearing sneakers or sandals.

    If you take a pair of shorts, capris, and wear long pants, that's 3 days worth of clothes right there. If your party is doing a Disney Dining Plan and you have some Advanced Dining Ressies for a nicer restaurant, you might want to pack a longer (not long) skirt in with the mix. It's definitely not necessary, but I usually like to dress a little nicer when I go to places like California Grill at the Contemporary (I assuming you guys aren't dining at Victoria & Albert).

    With this kind of packing list, you will likely want to do your laundry every 4 days or so. Just plan to do it say during the middle of the day when you schedule in your down time... it could be on those days when you have plans for a nicer dinner, or want to go see an evening show of Fantasmic or Illuminations, and you don't want to be in the parks all day (that's sooo tiring).

    Some of the on-property resorts like the All-Stars actually have the laundry facilities next to a pool, so you can even lounge around in your bathing suit while you get *all* of your laundry done.

    A small warning: It's easy to buy too many souvenirs, so be mindful of how you're going to pack them home. You might want to take a stowaway duffle bag with you and you can take the bag as your second carry-on. You can always try to buy things that are smaller/flatter, too.

    The longest I've ever spent at WDW is 6 days. Two weeks sounds like such a luxury! Are you guys buying an AP?

    [Shameless plug]

    As part of your planning, don't forget to visit MousePlanet.com (I'm on staff there). We have a weekly park update for WDW that gets posted on Mondays, so you can be completely up-to-date with all the important news. There are a ton of great sites out there (Deb Wills' Allears, as well as The DIS boards), but the Monday park update is a terrific nugget of interesting info.

    [/Shameless plug]

    [Topic hijack]

    If you have an iPhone, just released its free and official Disney Parks app in the iTunes app store this week (it used to be available only for Verizon smartphone users). It's not as comprehensive as its website, but it has some nice interactive features like adding a show to your phone's calendar.

    [/Topic hijack]
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
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    JLE
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    I have a TS and have recently ordered a WF for my husband to use on short business trips (1-2 nights). I use my TS for trips up to about 8 days without needing to wash (and obviously longer if I wash en route). If I packed it more heavily it could take more; it can hold a lot more than you expect (to the point where it becomes too heavy to carry if you do not exercise discipline in your packing list). It is certainly compact enough to fit under the seats of larger jets, takes up very little room in overhead bins and from what I have read it poses no problems in US regional jets. Of course the WF is smaller. My husband is on a very significant downsizing journey from a huge Tumi rolling check-in case that I have nicknamed "The Crate", to carry on for trips of up to a week. I will let you know how he goes once his WF arrives!

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    gmoskal, I've not ever had a problem getting my WF under the seat in front of me. I usually end up on the small regional planes. I'd bet if you have a WF and a not stuffed medium Cafe bag you could get both under the seat in front of you. I can get seven to ten days in my WF and Synapse. I think the real key is packing really light. If you can take just five minutes each evening to wash out a few things you can travel with next to nothing. I'd love a steel/uv Tri Star. Its tops my list of things to add to my collection. Please let us know what you end up with, and pictures please.
    Take care,
    Moose
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLE View Post
    My husband is on a very significant downsizing journey from a huge Tumi rolling check-in case that I have nicknamed "The Crate", to carry on for trips of up to a week. I will let you know how he goes once his WF arrives!
    This puts a smile on my face, JLE. Your husband is on a wonderful "enlightening" journey!!! If you get around to it, I would LOVE to see photos later. Maybe comparing a before/after, etc.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    If you can take just five minutes each evening to wash out a few things you can travel with next to nothing.
    A friend and I were talking this weekend about how different people have different thresholds of Ick! and what triggers them. We specifically were discussing contact lenses. She got totally freaked out when I mentioned dropping my contact lens in the sink, picking it up, washing it off and putting it in my eye. She says when she drops one of hers, she throws it away and gets a new one. She was totally grossed out at the idea that I have picked mine up off the floor, and put them back in my eye. (Thank goodness I didn't go into details about what kind of floors I've retrieved them from, or she might have passed out....)

    The conversation then moved around to one of my Ick items. I am totally dependent on my washing machine. I am so grossed out by the idea of washing my clothes by hand and then wearing them again. ICK! Yuck! Can't do it! Realistically I know it's fine, that they will be clean enough. But. I. Just. Can't. Do. It.

    Now, can I put my bag on the floor, or under the seat of plane and feel okay about it? Yup. But I know this a major Ick! item for a lot of people on this forum.
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    Hi gmoskal-
    I am also a not-petite woman and recently went through the same dilmma of Western Flyer / TriStar / Aeronaut and determined that the TriStar was the right bag for me. I believe both bags will fit under a seat on most airlines if they are not overpacked. One warning is the TB bags are very forgiving in the capacity department so you could stuff these bags to the point that they won't fit. I did some experimenting with various packing lists when I received my TriStar and got it to 20 lbs of non-electronics stuff, but it was pretty wide. The difference between the WF and TS is an extra inch in all directions on the TS. For my use I determined the TS would provide more flexibility. It holds my size large clothing and a pair of field boots (US mens 7.5) I need to take on some trips. I did pretty much 'lose' the third compartment with the addition of the boots, but with my business packing list I was able to put in ample clothing and my 15 inch computer in the center section. I don't have a special case for the computer (never have), a small pad on the bottom of the bag and clothing on both sides provide ample protection in my opinion <I do back up often, should my opinion prove faulty>.

    While you are dropping dollars I highly recommend the packing cubes specifically designed for your ultimate bag of choice; the backpack packing cube and the travel tray. I used to toss in a mesh backpack in my carry-on but the BP/PC eliminates the need for the extra BP. I used to travel with a nice travel tray from I think Magellan's and a plastic shopping sack stuffed in a corner to put all my pocket contents and belt during TSA screening. The TB Travel Tray does double duty here and the cinch on top assures I don't spill the contents. When not in use, the tray squishes to a very minimal size and is easily carried in one of the outside pockets. So, some worthy friend is going to be receiving the Magellan's.

    Good luck with your decision!
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  13. #13
    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    This puts a smile on my face, JLE. Your husband is on a wonderful "enlightening" journey!!! If you get around to it, I would LOVE to see photos later. Maybe comparing a before/after, etc.
    He is very sensitive about it and doesn't like to be to be complimented on how his packing has improved, so I am treading gently! I am sure I will be able to rustle up a photo of the WF stuffed loosely into an exterior pocket of The Crate, though! Still waiting with great anticipation for the arrival of the goods...

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    Warning: Incoming long meandering answer.
    Are you staying on-property?
    Yes we will be at POFQ and I will be washing as required in my br sink. My friend will also be doing a load 1/2 way thru our stay


    One thing that tends to take up a lot of bag space is shoes... Yes will be packing my sandals and flipflops and wearing sneakers

    If you *really* want to show off by traveling with JUST your WF and no purse, and still want to keep some items by your feet during the flight, what I've done in the past is pack the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in one of the half pockets of the WF.This is what I will do if I buy the WF or Tri-star for this trip
    Here's my list so far (clothes only):
    3 ex-officio underwear, 2 bras, 3 socks, 1 swimsuit
    1 button up long sleeve shirt, 2 tank tops, 1 short sleeve t-shirt, 1 long sleeve t-shirt
    2 pants: 1 technical and maybe one lightweight jeans, 1 skirt, 1 skort, 1 shorts, 1 k-way rain jacket, and 1 light cardigan (which I am hopefully going to be able to buy when I get there
    I will also buy a disney t-shirt when I am there so that's another shirt.
    So I will probably be wearing half my clothes on the travel days.
    I have tried on a couple pairs of capris and I really don't like the look.


    If your party is doing a Disney Dining Plan and you have some Advanced Dining Ressies:Yes we will have the Dining plan and are going to many nice restaurants. We went to Victoria and Albert last time (gotta go once)

    As part of your planning, don't forget to visit MousePlanet.com (I'm on staff there). We have a weekly park update for WDW that gets posted on Mondays, so you can be completely up-to-date with all the important news. There are a ton of great sites out there (Deb Wills' Allears, as well as The DIS boards), but the Monday park update is a terrific nugget of interesting info.I know all these sites and visit them all regularly!

    If you have an iPhone, just released its free and official Disney Parks app in the iTunes app store this week (it used to be available only for Verizon smartphone users). I will be getting the iphone 4s just before I leave. I'm that that anyone can get that app now. What is it called?
    [/Topic hijack]
    Thanks everyone for your input I will let you know what I end up getting. I am not leaving until September.
    JLE: Good for your husband going the travel light way. You show him, he will wonder why he didn't change a long time ago.
    My pet peeve is people who think they are travelling light when they have those dumb wheeled suitcases that are the MAXIMUM carry on size. Drives me nuts.
    Last edited by gmoskal; 04-03-2012 at 01:26 PM.

  15. #15
    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmoskal View Post
    Thanks everyone for your input I will let you know what I end up getting. I am not leaving until September.
    JLE: Good for your husband going the travel light way. You show him, he will wonder why he didn't change a long time ago.
    My pet peeve is people who think they are travelling light when they have those dumb wheeled suitcases that are the MAXIMUM carry on size. Drives me nuts.
    I so agree, gmoskal! There is a big difference between light travel and one bag travel IMO! Of course, the holy grail is if you can get the two to coincide...

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