gmanedit.....well, I'm honestly torn. I love the look and design of the Tri-Star. Definitely appeals to the gear-geek within. But if I can make the Brain Bag work, I'm willing to do that, too, and it would be great to save the money on the Tri-Star setup. Just trying to conceptualize where stuff goes and how it all fits in 'one big space' as opposed to the compartmentalized approach of the Tri-Star.
JLE.....deep breaths! When I talked about 'cramming', that was just for a test pack to see if I could even get the sheer volume of stuff into the bag, and if so, what the bag looked like and how it carried. That's definitely not my packing style. Whether I go with the BB or the TS, I'm definitely getting packing cubes. Last thing I want in either bag, but especially my Brain Bag, is my running shoes stinking up the bag. They gotta be in a packing cube (the non-mesh version).
But what you wrote reflects what I'm seeing in the reviews I've been reading and watching, that the Tri-Star really looks like it was designed for this kind of application.
I have a question for those of you who practice 1-bag travel: what do you do once you take your seat on the plane?
In the past, I had my Tumi briefcase that I'd slide under the seat in front of me. In it, I'd have access to my iPhone, ear buds, water, snacks, and reading material. With the 1-bag approach, especially if it's in the overhead compartment, now what do I do? Would be nice to have a 'micro bag' within the primary bag that I could pull out and put in the seatback pocket in front of me.
I saw one person say they took out the horizontal freudian slip and hung it up on the seatback in front of them. Not sure how that's done.
I'm just kinda pushing back on my own thinking, making sure a 1-bag approach is a desireable way for me to travel. I'm sure there's a solution to this, interested in what others do.
If I were a true one bagger (which I'm not), I would have something like a packing cube backpack or packing cube shoulder bag (or something else very lightweight but sturdy, maybe even a Dyneema Synapse) with in-flight essentials tucked into a compartment of the main bag until I boarded, and then I would take it out before putting the main bag into the overhead.
Ok, I just spent some time really exploring what I can pack in the Brain Bag.
Yesterday I received an order that had the 3/1/1 bag and the clear quarter packing cube. The latter is a REALLY versatile bag. So, I did a test pack of my non-clothing items. Got all my 3/1/1 stuff in the 3D Clear Organizer bag, no problem. I've got all my tech stuff (chargers, cables, small digital camera) in one side of a Clear Quarter Packing Cube, and then all my non-liquid toiletries in the other side of the same CQPC. Then I'll need to buy another CQPC to hold all my food/nutritional stuff. I take a few supplements, and then I always bring along an assortment of organic food bars and then my powder blend for morning smoothies that I shake up using a Blender Bottle. The smoothie powder (which can be mixed with water but I usually go to a nearby healthfood store and get some almond milk) will fit into baggies that go into the Blender Bottle.
So in my test pack, I moved my Vertical Freudian Slip into the same compartment as my Vertical Brain Cell, then put the CQPC at the bottom (vertically oriented), and it looks like I'll be able to fit two of those puppies side by side. That leaves me a good deal of room above the CQPCs, where I think I can fit both a small aeronaut packing cube, and then at the very top my 3/1/1 bag. The fact that the 15" laptop, vertical freudian slip, 2 CQPCs, 1 3/1/1 bag and probably a small packing cube can all fit into ONE of the two main compartments of this bag is just astonishing to me.
So then I took measurements and I think in the other main compartment I can fit an Aeronaut small and then large packing cube. They add up to a couple inches more than the height of the bag, but I can slightly underpack and compress them. Would be surprised if I can't get them to fit, everything I'll be putting in them will be soft and malleable, like t shirts, underwear, shorts, polos, etc... Now, I don't have those packing cubes to test out with yet, so I took a thick, heavy beach towel and folded it up to roughly the dimensions of those two packing cubes stacked on top of each other and slid that into the compartment just to get a feel for how bulky and heavy the bag would be. The towel is probably comparable in terms of weight to the clothes that will go in there. And wow, this is workable. I know from all the reviews I read that this bag is like a clown car at the circus, you can just keep pulling more and more and more stuff out of it. But to actually see this? And I think the various packing cubes will actually nest pretty cleanly together.
I've got a serious mancrush on the Tri-Star, but if I can make the Brain Bag work the way I think I can, I just can't justify spending the extra $400 or so to get the Tri-Star with the horizontal brain cell and freudian slip. So I'm gonna order the stuff I need to test out the Brain Bag and then do a complete test pack once it gets here to verify that what I think can work actually will.
I'm also wondering, when I get to my seat on the plane, can I just take out the vertical freudian slip and slip it into the magazing holder on the back of the seat in front of me? If I could, that would rock. I could easily have my iPhone, earbuds, magazines, a book, and some snacks all in that thing. Might bend forward a little bit as it rises up past the tray table, but I wouldn't be surprised if it fits. It would be pretty easy to pull out once I got to my seat, would be a little bit more tedious to put back through all the packing cubes in that compartment, but it could work.
Just amazed at how much this bag holds and how well it sits and carries with that kind of load.
And JLE....i want to assure you, no clothes were harmed or wrinkled during this experiment.
Thanks for letting me know. I've been worried sick.
conejo23: "has anyone flown Southwest with the Tri-Star and been able to fit a reasonably packed one under the seat in front of you?"
I posted this here last year. The photo was taken on a Southwest 737. It shows my Tri-Star and Co-Pilot. http://i714.photobucket.com/albums/w...edImage2_1.jpg
Maybe it will help.
SusanM....that is very helpful, thanks!
And beautiful bags, looks like Indigo. I wish they'd bring that color back for more of their bags. Looks so rich and vibrant.
I can't wait to see how it works out! I really think the Brain Bag could work out and I can't wait to see photos of your bag all packed up! ;).
I can definitely understand your Tri-Star crush. I hardly ever travel but I own one. I needed it!
Great talking to you, too!
If it works out, I'll get everything packed into it and then show photos of it fully packed, and then maybe a video of me taking everything out of it. Looking forward to seeing how it works out!
Ok, I got my packing cubes to complete a quick test pack. The main thing I wanted to see is how the cubes fit into the Brain Bag and how many clothes I can fit into the packing cubes. What I found was that I could pack all the clothes I needed for a 4 night trip into a large Aeronaut packing cube. Going from memory, that included 4 sets of underwear and socks, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 long sleeve t shirts, 3 short sleeve t shirts, a swimsuit, hat, a polo shirt and a few small misc items. That impressed me. And, I could fit the packing cube into one of the compartments of my Brain Bag with no problem.
Then I had two clear quarter packing cubes I needed to pack. One contained food/nutritional stuff, like small containers with various supplements, baggies with my morning breakfast shake, and some organic food bars. The other had tech items on one side (like chargers, digital camera, travel surge protector, some cables) and non-liquid toiletries on the other. Now on top of the Aeronaut packing cube, a snake charmer would fit perfectly. But I wanted to see if I could get these two cubes to fit, and with a little bit of working them in there, yes, they do. Once I had those 3 things in that compartment, that compartment was now full.
And another note: I could easily fit my 3D Clear Organizer Cube into one of the front side pockets of the Brain Bag.
In the other compartment I had my laptop and my freudian slip. With the other compartment full, you could still fit some other things into the second compartment, but it would be really tight. And moreover, once you did, no way you're pulling the freudian slip out of there or putting it back without first having to take all that stuff out of that compartment.
So, here's my summary from this experiment. Yes, the Brain Bag DOES have enormous capacity, and if I had to, could I use it as my "one bag" for a 4 night/5 day trip? Yes, I could. But do I want to? No, I don't.
When the bag is that loaded down, I just have this sense that I'm trying to fit a round peg into a square hole and that I'm using the wrong tool for the job. The bag grows outward as you stuff it, with the center of gravity moving further and further away from your back. With that much stuff in it, first, there is absolutely zero chance it's fitting under a seat. Second, while it's not necessarily uncomfortable to carry, it feels much less comfortable than when it's just loaded for EDC use. Third, because you're stacking everything vertically, if you want to get at something at the bottom, you have to take out everything above it. And fourth, God help me if I want to buy ANYTHING on my trip to take back home.
The bag has terrific capacity, and I think it would work really well and be much more comfortable for a 1-2 night trip as opposed to a 4 night one. But for a 4 night trip, I just don't think the bag is designed to make efficient use of its space in THAT scenario. There is still theoretical room in the compartment that has the brain cell and slip, but from a practical standpoint it would be very difficult to access.
So, I'm looking at options. If I need to use my Brain Bag AND a second bag, then I might as well just stick with my Tumi rolling carry on. But I suspect that the Tri-Star, while not having the sheer capacity of the Brain Bag, probably makes more efficient use of its space for this kind of packing usage. The space it has is all accessible because of its compartmentalized approach. That's my guess, given that I don't have the bag. From reading and watching written and video reviews of the bag, doesn't seem like you're cramming stuff into deep nooks in the bag. It would be like having a Brain Bag where you could fully unzip each compartment and then pull that compartment away to reveal the other, then be able to lay the bag on its back and just pack each compartment in that manner.
If I could get all my stuff to fit into the Tri-Star so that it was accessible and reasonable to carry and I only needed 1 bag and could leave the Brain Bag at home, then I'd rather do that than bring two bags. So, now I'm debating about ordering a Tri-Star to see how everything fits into that. If it all fits comfortably and is good to carry, I keep it and I've got my solution. If not, then I'd probably want to return it and just stick with the rolling carry on solution.
One issue I have with the Tri-Star is I'm not sure how it accommodates Clear Quarter Packing Cubes. I REALLY like these things, you can fit an enormous amount of stuff into them and it does a nice job of organizing all that stuff. But I just don't know how they'd fit into the Tri Star. Could I put two of them along with a medium packing cube into the large rear compartment, for example? It's like putting pieces to a puzzle together.
In the divided front compartment I'd like to use the smaller side of it for shoes. What then fits into the other compartment? I know it's designed to accommodate a medium packing cube. I doubt two CQPCs fit into it. Would 1 and a small packing cube fit? If anyone has experience fitting CQPCs into a Tri-Star, I'd love to hear how you do it and where they go.
Her is what I did on my Maiden Voyage in the TriStar.
I don't have any Bihn packing cubes but I have and already had the Eagle Creek models so that is what is in there.
As you surmise the cubes will slide in and out allowing more ready access to the cubes and contents than when the same things are in the Brain Bag,I tried that too.
Hope this helps