TriStar or Aeronaut?
Help me decide what to take on my (theoretical) two week trip to Jacksonville to see my boyfriend this coming February!
I say "theoretical" because I don't know if I'm even going to Florida; however, the bag will still be useful for whenever I can get the money to make it to the UK. As this will be the first time in my young life that I have ever flown anywhere alone, and over 10 years since I've flown, period, I'm excited and also scared s---less.
I am a petite (5 feet) female (hence my forum handle...) who is "well upholstered" and working to change that but not going to be shrunk down that much for February. I love the Aeronaut, but after seeing some of the pics people have posted it looks like way too much bag for me to carry on my back if needed. (I took a measuring tape to my body, the bag is easily the length of my entire torso. I'm going to look like the Aeronaut grew legs and a head and arms...) The whole "well upholstered" thing may not work in my favor when it comes to packing the TriStar. However, I want to one bag it, so I'm not adverse to the idea of doing the wash every few days for the two weeks. Boyfriend will be coming from the UK with his father and brother to meet his brother's girlfriend. Hotels will be necessary, Boyfriend and I will be sharing a room. (yes, I have met Boyfriend before and have obviously not come away axe murdered, I get all the lectures/abuse already from my parents, please don't give them to me now...)
This may or may not be a working vacation, so MacBook plus mouse and assorted miscellany including chargers and batteries will be coming with me. Ipad may be coming with me too, plus miscellany for it. Electronics are going to be in the LCB, if the worst happens and I am parted from my TS or AN, my electronics will stay with me. So not going to use the middle compartment of the TS to stick any electronics in. I have an Eagle Creek quarter cube somewhere to corral the electronics.
Here is a theoretical packing list. I will be bringing my LCB on this theoretical trip as my personal item. Most of the toiletries/razors/shampoo/whatever I will purchase in Florida (*grumble6percentsalestaxhighwayrobberygrumblegrum ble*) as there's an "All Greens" pharmacy next door to the hotel I will theoretically stay in.
2 pairs light pants (one black, one brown or tan)
6 short sleeved shirts
4 pairs undies
3 pairs socks
1 pair walking sandals
1 pair dressier flats
1 pair flip flops
1 dress (or equivalent combo of skirt and nice shirt)
Possibly 1 nicer purse but do not care if I have to skip it
Possibly one SCB as my everyday bag because the LCB is way too large.
Assorted vitamins, prescription medications and pain relievers are going to be shoved into the LCB, along with the aforementioned electronics, ID, boarding passes, book, gum and so on. Other miscellany such as hairbrush, toothbrush, beach towel, swimsuit and I know I'm forgetting other things will have to be crammed into the larger bag somewhere.
I will be wearing 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of socks, the usual underthings, my sneakers, a thick fleece, USB medical alert tag, and a hat on the plane.
So what do you guys think? Will my stuff fit in the TS? Of course this isn't the full list, it's what I can think of off the top of my head. Again, I may be petite in height, but not petite in width, so my clothing list may be light but may only just fit in the TS. I intend on getting several packing cubes but not the backpack version. Any ideas, thoughts, recommendations?
Edit: Someone was able to fit a small padded chair into their AN, would like to know if it may fit into the TS as nerve problems make it extremely difficult to sit on hard floors for too long without being rendered nearly unable to walk. Also, since my LCB is already black/wasabi, I may have to give up my dream of a navy/iberian AN/TS unless someone can confirm that they look decent together and not as fashion wrecking as I'm imagining it in my head (going to get either black/iberian or cardinal/steel if that's the case). That said, I really really really want an indigo/solar version of the bags and would like to take it of someone's hands. :)
I'm not sure if I'm the one you're talking about with the chair in the Aeronaut, but the one I had would not have fit in anything narrower. I really don't think it would have fit in a Tri-Star (though I don't have one to try it on). This doesn't mean you couldn't fit a different type of pad in the TS to sit on.
It may have been Maverick, there was a post he made where he mentioned the crazy creek stadium chair. Someone else said "oh wow an entire chair?!?" Of course when I want to find the post, I can't find it. There's a different post by Maverick where he mentions a crazy creek longback chair. That one may be a better option for my particular condition, with beach towel tucked underneath the seat and a possible early morning flight out of Logan, I will be goddamned if I am standing for 2+ hours in the security line. I do need some form of a backrest, so tucking a pillow into the carryon may not work unless I'm lucky enough to be next to a wall.
I've currently got my Aeronaut packed with stuff very close to your packing list (2 tropical-weight wool slacks, 2 button downs, 2 skorts, one l/s, two s/s and one tank-top T, one pair of shoes, toiletries, charging cables, plug converters, ear plugs, eyeshade, blow-up pillow, folding bag big enough to tote my laptop) and there's a fair bit of extra room in there - the main compartment is loaded barely more than half-height, so the Tri-Star ought to hold all of that.
(The bad news for me is that I still need to pack a dress I forgot, plus laptop, power brick, phones, charger for one of those, wallet, Kindle, iPad and knitting, and light fleece or wrap for the plane; not sure it will all fit without taking a second bag.)
Whether you use a TS or an Aeronaut, the towel is going to pose a bit of a problem unless you're taking something extra-compressible like a PackTowl. I'd suggest just using the hotel pool towels.
I don't think Maverick puts the chair inside the Aeronaut; I think he uses the carry handles to secure it to the outside of the bag.
Alright, maybe skip the beach towel and have more space for PJs, sounds like a plan.
Actually, reading the forums/looking at reviews/ browsing Flickr is slowly convincing me of buying a WF instead. I know the option for navy in the WF isn't listed, but it may be, and I want to know: will TB's version of navy clash horribly with my black LCB? (Yes I know I could ask for fabric swatches and see for myself, but 5 days to get here versus someone giving me a simple yes or no answer...)
(also *sigh* why did solar and indigo have to go away, would have been an instant sale if the bag was steel or navy or indigo/solar, though steel/ultraviolet would also be an instant sale.)
I think that going for the smaller bag and packing lighter is the way to go. The TriStar is my favorite and should work for your size, but the Western Flyer would be better. The forest/steel WF is nice and goes well with the black/wasabi LCB. Otherwise, if you love the navy bags, you should not settle for less. I wouldn't have a problem carrying the navy bag with the black bag together, I think all my Tom Bihns match regardless.
P.S. You are packing too many shoes :)
Just the right amount of shoes! :o
I was going to stick a pair of slippers in (have a thing about walking around barefoot on floors in public places because of my paranoid mother) but flip flops would easily suffice. Wondering if I could even trim that if I got a nice pair of waterproof and non blister causing sandals.
Here's the packing list from a two-week trip with my TriStar, which is also posted in the thread "TriStar goes cruising". This is way more than you propose to take, so I'll suggest that you bring more undies :o (Just on the theory that Boyfriend may not be ready to see drying undies for 3/4 of the trip)
Giant packing cube held all the stuff that was needed for the week on the boat:
large travel towel
lightweight hoodie beach cover up by Ex Officio
Patagonia baggies swim shorts
long-sleeved sun-protection shirt
medium packing cube for tops:
sleeveless Ex Officio buttoned shirt
cotton short sleeve button shirt
2 lightweight tees
dressier linen shirt to wear as a light jacket over the tank
lightweight cotton cardigan - the only item I didn't use at all on this trip
medium packing cube for bottoms:
loose linen pants
Patagonia Sol Shorts - best thing I took, because they weigh about 2 oz, dry quickly, can be long or shorter, and are the color of dirt!
Patagonia cargo skirt - also very light and functional
Lucy long-ish capris - bright orange, so I didn't wear them daily, but they were fun to have
small packing cube:
14 days worth of underwear (I know, Lani will shriek if she reads this, but I don't want to do laundry while travelling if I don't have to!)
other stuff in the bag:
Merrell sport sandals
canvas mary janes, for dressier wear
toiletries in three small bags
the usual travel detritus - bungee cord with clips for a clothes line, ace bandage, converters, chargers, a book (thank goodness I can put most of my reading material on the iPad now)
And I usually wore on the plane my travel pants with many pockets, a tee, an UnderArmour zip hoody, and tennis shoes. Carried the Co-Pilot with my electronics and on-board stuff.
I get the feeling I'll end up washing his skivvies, too, if not his laundry as well as mine. (*grumblemengrumble*) And when I lose weight I plan on getting underwear he won't mind seeing...:P
Did the 14 days of underwear include bras and undies or all undies?
Also, link to the Tristar goes cruising thread? The search function is not as useful as I like.
Try these two posts by Maverick and follow up the links for the chairs:
Originally Posted by pocketsize
Here's the link to the http://www.tombihn.com/forums/packin...-cruising.html thread
Originally Posted by pocketsize
I use the Advanced search function and the tab for searching single content type. If you use the search thread link you need to then choose advanced search. Then I usually search posts on this page:
If you're very disciplined, you can take a Western Flyer. But if you need to carry items that don't all pack flatly, then use the TriStar. And I would take fewer shoes.
Ok, first of all, you can leave the swimsuit, towel, and sandals at home. Jacksonville in February is not going to be warm enough to go near the water. I would swap out some of those short sleeve shirts for some long sleeve. Think thin layers. It will definitely be cold at nights and even colder if you are near the water. I imagine your wardrobe will change right before you leave. Be sure to check the weather. North Florida can be in the 30s in February or it can be in the 60s. I would also think about adding in a fleece or wind breaker. My North Face Denali is what I would take, but you might have something different/better that will work. While Jacksonville is Florida, it is definitely North Florida! Ithink the weather is going to be a lot different than you are anticipating.
I was going by what Boyfriend's brother said, it was continually 80F and sunny last time they went (edit: It was in February, too) and brother went about with his girlfriend in short sleeves and sandals. Maybe they had a warm streak; maybe I misunderstood; who knows.
Also, how is 3 pairs of shoes unreasonable? 1 pair of sandals/slippers, 1 pair of dressier flats as Boyfriend's birthday/Valentine's will be around that time and I intend to take him to a nice restaurant (not quite $$$$$$ but nice) and one pair of sneakers because Boston in February is freeeeeeeeezing and I am not walking about in thin sandals or equally thin but dressy flats. The flats in question are extremely lightweight and packable, the sneakers I'm wearing on the plane and the sandals are going to be packed.