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Thread: TriStar vs. Aeronaut for 4 weeks of Vacation

  1. #1
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    TriStar vs. Aeronaut for 4 weeks of Vacation

    Wifey and I will spend two weeks in The Netherlands and Germany and then two weeks Israel in early October. We plan to use buses and trains for Europe and then fly to Israel for two weeks and travel the same way. My dilemma, I think the Aeronaut is too big, but the Tristar's three compartments too limiting and, I think it makes it a shade too small for my use. I have the TB WF and use it for 1-2 weeks travel. Sometimes, we will be walking with our luggage, while doing the tourist thing, before we reach our lodgings, to save time. So, I think schlepping the Aeronaut through mass transit and crowds may be awkward, so I'm leaning towards the Tristar, but...

    I doubt that, even if all my stuff (see packing list below) fits in the Tristar, that the Tristar would fit under the seat (I'm a worst case scenario kind of guy), so I might as well get the Aeronaut. I just get the feeling that the Aeronaut is more for US travel and smaller/lighter is needed for Europe.

    My packing list is basically three pairs of: socks, undies, pants, tee-shirts (that can double as undershirts), and pants (two convertible and one nicer for casual dining). All synthetic material for lightness, wash-ability, and quick drying. Also, a small toiletry kit, pocket camera, Apple mini-Pad, Scottevest Essential Travel Jacket, 1 pair of arm warmers (so I don't pack a heavier jacket... I get cold very easy), 2 pairs of shoes (Merrell barefoot sneaker and Patagonia Maui for casual dining at nicer restaurants). Lastly, I'll pack a day bag in the luggage (I haven't decided on the Synapse 19, Ego, or Imago-all of which I have; of course, this may be a good excuse to get the Id or Synapse 25, but I digress).

  2. #2
    Registered User aryabird's Avatar
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    Depending on how you pack, you could double the amount of clothes and the Tri-Star would still fit under the seat. I speak from experience
    Indigo/Solar Tri-Star, Indigo/Solar Synapse, Black/Steel, 13" Ristretto, Black/Wasabi iPad Ristretto, Forest/UV Smart Alec

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    The Tristar will be perfect for your load, you can even add a cardigan which you can buy in Europe.

    The Imago would be perfect but the Synapse 19 is handier.

    Speaking from experience, Europe this Spring with snow, rain and sunny days, mostly cold weather but I got warm while in the car.

    The getting warm from heat hitting the windows of an enclosed vehicle is the same deal on buses and trains, if you get a sunny fall, you can get too hot.

    However, you also need to plan for rainy weather, does the Scottvest has a hood? I find packing an all weather hat very handy, but, you can buy an umbrella at your destination if needed be.

    Check the weather periodically, especially a week then two days before you departure. If the weather turns nasty, you will need another lightweight layer which you can buy or add from your existing warmer clothes wardrobe.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-14-2013 at 10:47 PM.

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    I'm bald, so always travel with a derby style driver's hat and it is water resistant. I have a bit of a dilemma, because Europe will be cold, but Israel will be quite warm (around 26-28 C, typically), that's why I'm packing fleece arm warmers to go under my long sleeve travel shirt and then my middle temperature jacket.

    From advice here and Flyertalk, it seems that the TB Tristar will be adequate. I just can't seem to get over the three compartments. My usual vacation luggage is a modified MEI Convertible, which is basically one cavernous compartment with two large front pockets. My usual work luggage is the TB Western Flyer, so I'm used to two compartments with several packing cubes. At one point I was considering the RO Sky Train, but it is heavier than I would prefer and it is wider than the Tristar, so it would not fit under the seat, if the worst happens.

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    How to make an Aeronaut fit under the airline seat in front of you:

    1) Don't overpack the Aeronaut especially the end compartments.
    2) Put the Aeronaut under the seat end first.
    3) When the flight attendant comes by to do the "is everything fitting under the seat" glance, gently press the bag under the seat in front with both feet(and why it's critical not to overpack the bag.) The bag will compress under the seat and it will look like you are trying to maximize your leg room by placing both feet on the bag and not have them there to push the bag in.

    Once you take off, there's nothing they can do about it except find some space in an overhead. You can't check a bag at 30,000 feet.

    I don't know what "arm warmers" are--I know what leg warmers are since I'm old enough to remember "Flashdance"--but you might consider getting a thermal underwear top instead--especially if you get cold easily.

    If worse comes to worse, wear the Scottevest.
    Last edited by Frank II; 08-15-2013 at 07:59 AM.
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    OK. I've decided to get the Tristar. From the many threads I've ready, it seems more conducive to mass transit travel. Since I will be using trains and buses, this makes more sense. Now the question is Dyneema vs. Ballistic nylon. A lot of threads of threads, said that if they could only have one bag it would be the Aeronuat in ballistic nylon. I'm just extrapolating it to the Tristar. Any comments?

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    I have the Tristar in Dyneema, love it!

    The advantage over the Aeronaute are the compartments, it is like a Brain Bag that can become a suitcase or a briefcase at a moment notice, very versatile.

    It is very easy to see if one has over packed or packed incorrectly because the Tristar, which empty is virtually flat, bulges.

    Using Packing Cubes for maximum capacity flat packing mitigate the effect, they work like the compression straps on the Brain Bag.
    They don't compress anything but help keep the streamlined profile of the Tristar intact by providing a way to hold, fold or roll garments and keep them ultra flat.

    Before the Packing Cubes, I used zip plastic bags, it took so long to fold a set of lightweight dress and casual tops then, remove air from the bags, that they are permanently packed in this manner in a out of use non-Tom Bihn bag.

    Right now, the warm weather casual tops have been removed to unwrinkle in prospect of a future trip.

    Many people also roll their clothes inside the Packing Cubes.



    The Western Flyer seems to be a closer version of the Brain Bag, which can do the same thing for petite people.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-29-2013 at 07:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roegmann View Post
    OK. I've decided to get the Tristar. From the many threads I've ready, it seems more conducive to mass transit travel. Since I will be using trains and buses, this makes more sense. Now the question is Dyneema vs. Ballistic nylon. A lot of threads of threads, said that if they could only have one bag it would be the Aeronuat in ballistic nylon. I'm just extrapolating it to the Tristar. Any comments?
    I've never had an issue with my Aeronaut on mass transit. It's been on transit buses, commuter buses, commuter trains, subways, airplanes, shuttles, taxis, pretty much everything but a motorcycles or a tuk-tuk. Yes it's bigger than a Tri-star, but it's not unwieldy or anything.

    That said, if I were to get a TS, I think I would get it in dyneema as a compliment to the BN Aeronaut I have. Plus it would also be more regularly used when travelling by my petit wife, who would likely value to lighter weight material and the more give it has if she were overpacking it on the return trip. But yes, I'm glad my first and currently only real TB bag (I'm not counting the PCBP) is a BN Aeronaut. She's invincible!
    Own: Aeronaut (Navy/Iberian), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Travel Tray (Iberian), organizer wallet (Wasabi), passport pouch (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps
    Want: Synapse or Smart Alec

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    I have a Dyneema TS and a ballistic WF so hopefully I'm doing an apples-to-apples comparison. I really like the look of ballistic, and if you are planning on using your bag for any future business travel, its more conservative profile might be appealing. However, for the casual travel you're doing right now, I think either fabric would be just fine in terms of looks and durability. I will say that my Dyneema TS does feel a little bit more flexible, or a bit more willing to accommodate more items. This is not necessarily a good thing, however! I do prefer its lightness and smoothness, especially when traveling by air.

    In a nutshell, both are great fabrics. The Dyneema will save you a bit of weight, but the ballistic will give your bag more structure. I don't really think you can go wrong. (FWIW, I also have a ballistic Aeronaut and I love it dearly.)

  10. #10
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    I remember receiving my first Aeronaut and my first thought was a slight spence of disappointment that this supposed gargantuan, all consuming behemoth was so small! In almost three years, I have yet to find it lacking in capacity in any circumstance, but I have equally never found it too big. I've never had to check it, it's fitted under seats even in tiny Dash-8 planes, it goes on the back of my portable electric scooter, even as a disabled person, it isn't too big to sling over my shoulder on an absolute strap. For a longer trip, therefore, it is always my first choice.

    This is not to knock the Tri Star, which is generally my wife's first choice, it's a great bag too. I just prefer the Aeronaut as it's easier to pack, more flexible and more capacious.

    I also like the packing cubes and regularly use either the packing cube shoulder bag or the packing cube back pack as my holiday day bag.

    Finally, I love the Dyneema cloths, but my first choice for a main travel bag remains ballistic nylon. It feels stronger and longer lasting obviously but it also packs neater and looks less strained even when filled to bursting. It's marginally heavier and in Europe that can matter with 10kg carry on limits, but, if your careful, it's easy enough to avoid ever having your bag weighed. Never take an over weight anywhere near a checking desk, keep it on your back and never show that you're finding it at all heavy. I've never, ever had my carry on bag weighed.
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