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Thread: Packing Cube Backpack - how useful as a backpack?

  1. #1
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    Packing Cube Backpack - how useful as a backpack?

    I've been convinced that the purchase of a Tri-Star is the way to go. Unfortunately my preferred colour (Cardinal) is not available at present but that is another story.

    I realised though that using the TS as a carry on I will not be taking my old faithful backpack with me - and I will need a backpack for the week or so I'm in NYC later this year with my wife.

    I'd thought that the packing cube/backpack would be the solution but am questioning its strength and suitability to carry a camera and the other assorted stuff you wander around a city with for a day.

    Thoughts? Comments? Experiences?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark1966 View Post
    I've been convinced that the purchase of a Tri-Star is the way to go. Unfortunately my preferred colour (Cardinal) is not available at present but that is another story.

    I realised though that using the TS as a carry on I will not be taking my old faithful backpack with me - and I will need a backpack for the week or so I'm in NYC later this year with my wife.

    I'd thought that the packing cube/backpack would be the solution but am questioning its strength and suitability to carry a camera and the other assorted stuff you wander around a city with for a day.

    Thoughts? Comments? Experiences?

    Thanks
    Mark, I'm sure that Lani and others will chime in about this. But I'll also point you to a post about using these bags. People have also been fitting out the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag for use as a small camera bag.

    moriond

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    Thanks mate

    I'm looking for something larger than a camera bag to hold camera spray jacket for rain lunches purchases etc - I think

    Possibly another case of where I need to be more exact about requirements first.

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    I carried the Packing Cube Backpack ( Aeronaut) in Steel, during 2 very hot summers, a move and doing various errands.

    It held a Clear Quarter Packing Cube, water bottle, one of those half letter size plastic envelope, a foldable rain jacket and a cardigan.

    I also used it on a vacation both as packing cube and backpack.

    It is so handy and lightweight that I bought another Packing Cube Backpack ( Aeronaut) and a Packing Cube Backpack (Tri-Star/Western Flyer) in Ultraviolet.

    Let us know what you plan on carrying, so the numerous Packing Cube Backpack (Tri-Star/Western Flyer) fans can chime in about their packing experience with it.

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    'Stuff'

    Camera, lunch, maps, spray jacket and 'stuff' that one might acquire during the day in NYC. Not really sure of anything more specific than that. I think my question is being answered by default...

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark1966 View Post
    'Stuff'

    Camera, lunch, maps, spray jacket and 'stuff' that one might acquire during the day in NYC. Not really sure of anything more specific than that. I think my question is being answered by default...

    Thanks
    How big is your camera? Is it a point and shoot or a bigger one? Is lunch a sandwich, a tortilla, a burrito? It will fit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    How big is your camera? Is it a point and shoot or a bigger one? Is lunch a sandwich, a tortilla, a burrito? It will fit.
    DSLR, Canon 350D or Rebel XT I think in the US with telephoto lense in a bag inside the backpack. I suppose my fear is that the 'backpack' will not be tough enough to be tossed around like my usual backpack. Would be really funny (not) to end up with a great, tough TS bag and then have a backpack that doesn't cut the mustard. I know it will not be as tough and durable as a 'real' backpack, especially a TB one but don't want thin and weak either!

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    OK, for those who might follow this thread looking to answer the same question....

    Video review here

    Practical Travel Gear Review here

    Practical Hacks review here

    Travelite review here

    Gadgeteer review here

    Flyertalk thread here

    Consensus seems to be that the material is strong but offers no protection so that the camera and gear will need to be protected if inside. This is probably what I was really concerned about.

    (Note: some of those reviews were for the shoulder bag cube or the Aeronaut PCBP but the material and principal will be the same)

    Thanks for listening while I thought out aloud!

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    OK, for those who might follow this thread looking to answer the same question....

    Video review here

    Practical Travel Gear Review here

    Practical Hacks review here

    Travelite review here

    Gadgeteer review here

    Flyertalk thread here

    Consensus seems to be that the material is strong but offers no protection so that the camera and gear will need to be protected if inside. This is probably what I was really concerned about.

    (Note: some of those reviews were for the shoulder bag cube or the Aeronaut PCBP but the material and principal will be the same)

    Thanks for listening while I thought out aloud!

  10. #10
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    The packing cube backpack doesn't have much in the name of structure, but it's extremely durable. Dyneema is virtually slash proof. It's strong along with being moisture, abrasion and puncture resistant. The seams are reinforced typical TB indestructible style. I wouldn't have concerns of it "holding up".

    If I had any concerns they might be:
    about whether or not my contents if fragile (camera) were padded enough to withstand bumps the bag might receive.
    whether or not over the duration I intended to utilize it, it remained comfortable to carry (no padding to the back or the straps)

    other issues may be, would it have enough organization (solved by a mirad of TB Organizer Pouches, Cubes and Stuff Sacks).

    I have a TS/WF version and have found it very useful. It holds a surprising amount like the rest of the TB lineup. And it's very functional as a packing cube and interim laundry shuttle as well.

    FWIW, on my last trip I carried an empty UV Dyneema Synapse inside of my WF and it packed in nicely without considerable loss inside my bag. (I was traveling near another TB friend and they wanted to see it). Another consideration may be a Synapse in Dyneema or Cordura. It would offer some of the organization and comfort in carrying you may find lacking in the PCBP. Of course it will add more weight thought.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

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    Mark1966,
    I can't help much with size and so on but I will say I've been abusing a ultraviolet dyneema Synapse for months. The bottom of (fabric only no padding etc..) it looks the same way it did the day I got it. If you're using a dyneema bag it'll be sturdy enough for what you want. The fabric takes a LOT of abuse and looks good as new. Of course it won't have any kind of padding but personally I'd have zero worries about the bottom blowing out becuase of weight or anything else you do to it.
    Would love to know what you decide,
    Moose
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

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    Thanks dorayme!

    I have a post pending moderator approval (it has lots of links and I think this causes challenges with newbies like me) detailing some further research I did which you have confirmed.

    I'm clearly a slow learner but am being challenged through this process to think more deliberately about what I'm doing (the days of just chucking stuff in are now gone).

    So, what do I need?

    The TS will become my main, sorry ONE, bag for domestic trips up to a week (if I can learn to pack correctly!)

    For our US trip this year the TS will be my carry on (so I lose the backpack I normally take) and we will have my wife's carry on and a checked rolling bag. My wife's carry on will go on the handle of the rolling bag, the TS on my back so I can take all the luggage and she just needs to worry about her handbag when we are transiting with luggage.

    This still leaves me without a day pack for NYC and Boston. While it seemed at first like a decent compromise the PCBP really is not designed to be treated like I treat a back pack. It is really only this type of trip I want it for and we have a checked bag so I think I'm just going to throw a small messenger style bag we have in the checked baggage or buy a light back pack locally (which costs less than $40) to throw it in the checked bag. While the Synapse is undoubtedly a great backpack it is more than I want to spend.

    While it seems a little silly to pack a bag in a bag at least it means piece of mind with a decent day pack.

    It might also mean that this $40 can be spent on some packing cubes.....
    Last edited by Mark1966; 04-15-2012 at 07:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Mark1966,
    I can't help much with size and so on but I will say I've been abusing a ultraviolet dyneema Synapse for months. The bottom of (fabric only no padding etc..) it looks the same way it did the day I got it. If you're using a dyneema bag it'll be sturdy enough for what you want. The fabric takes a LOT of abuse and looks good as new. Of course it won't have any kind of padding but personally I'd have zero worries about the bottom blowing out becuase of weight or anything else you do to it.
    Would love to know what you decide,
    Moose
    Moose,

    I thought that the Synapse was a 'real' backpack with an exterior of '1000 denier U.S. Cordura'? It seems quite different from the PCBP.

    The post I was writing while you were posting answers your question though about what I've decided.

  14. #14
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    I can appreciate not wanting to spend more than you have to on this bag. What about a Large Cafe Bag? The price is closer to what you are wanting to spend, it's TB quality and assuredly will outlive a disposable backpack. It too packs down into virtually nothing. It has a generous capacity for the items you mention. When carried with the Absolute Strap (useable also on your Tri Star) it's comfortable for a long duration. It would not interfere with the backpack carry method of your TriStar even with your wife's baggage in tow. It has nice organization for a variety of bits. The color choices are nice
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  15. #15
    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorayme View Post
    FWIW, on my last trip I carried an empty UV Dyneema Synapse inside of my WF and it packed in nicely without considerable loss inside my bag. (I was traveling near another TB friend and they wanted to see it). Another consideration may be a Synapse in Dyneema or Cordura. It would offer some of the organization and comfort in carrying you may find lacking in the PCBP. Of course it will add more weight thought.
    Dorayme, I am interested in how this worked for you. Did you attempt to use it as a defacto packing cube, fold it or just slide it into one of the compartments? I am wondering whether a Dyneema Synapse would fit into the end pocket of an Aeronaut (rolled or folded). I am after something lightweight to take as a daypack for light hikes on my Bhutan trip and I am a bit worried that the shoulder straps on the PCBPs wouldn't be up to the task.

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