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Thread: Tristar or Western Flyer

  1. #1
    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    Tristar or Western Flyer

    So last year I ended up purchasing an Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender bag because it held 41 litres and I really thought I needed that much space. Also, I was trying to save money (it was $150). While I like the design of the bag (clamshell, FTW!), I actually want (NEED) a new travel bag. This wanting (NEEDING) is for two reasons:

    1. The bag is actually TOO BIG. For real, YO.

    I took a six day trip to the UK and one 10 day trip to the UK/Ireland (I like, totally love the UK), and packed everything in one side except for my shoes (a pair of ladies desert boots, my favorite shoes for walking). On the return leg of the six-day trip, I actually packed my Smart Alec in one side and carried everything in that bag (on the longer trip I couldn't do this, because I bought a full length COAT in Camden Market, because I am stupid). So anyway, obviously I need to size down, and I think the Western Flyer will suit my needs, but I'm not 100% sure. Does anyone use the Western Flyer specifically for trips up to say 2 weeks?

    2. I carry a Smart Alec as my "personal item", and I want my main bag to be as sturdy as my personal item. I think the ECAW was a good jumping off point for carry-on only, but I want a better bag, and the Tom Bihn bags are THE CADILLAC OF CARRY-ONS (Get Shorty (8/12) Movie CLIP - The Cadillac of Minivans (1995) HD - YouTube). This probably isn't a good reason, but it's a reason nonetheless.

    So anyway, I'm leaning toward the WF, but I think that maybe the Tri-Star is a little more versatile. I'm 5'2 (and a HALF)", and I think the WF will also suit my stature a bit better. Thoughts?

    GRACIAS in advance, BIHN-ATICS

  2. #2
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    I don't have a Tri-Star so I can't comment on the comparison -- but I'm 5'0" and love the WF as a travel bag. The WF has the same volume as the Smart Alec -- so maybe check and see if the stuff you'd be putting in the new bag fits in your SA, and if it does (with room to spare), get the WF (if it doesn't, get the Tri-Star)?

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    It all depends on how lightly you pack. I'm sure some folks on here can do a 2 week trip with only the smart alec.

    For most, I expect that your SA plus a WF would be plenty for a week, and for longer trips you'll just do some laundry as you go.

    I don't own a WF, but I just returned from a 3-week trip where I used only my Tri-star and a backpack... I could have easily done without the backpack, but I got suckered into bringing 25 pounds of snacks for everyone for the trip. I needed to bring a daypack anyway, so might as well fill it up. See how that works? I ended up hauling around a bunch of stuff I didn't really need, because I had space for it.

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    From a stature standpoint they both have really similar dims with the TS actually only being an inch bigger in each dimension.

    Biggest reason to go with the TS over the WF is also its biggest downside. The center section is brilliant for packing electronics but it breaks up how you can pack the bag a bit.

    Also, not sure the TS is much smaller than the ECAW.

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    Hardware and basic build quality is much better on the TB stuff.

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    The size of your clothing (and whether or not you have access to laundry) is another consideration worth keeping in mind. I mean, I'm 5'3" but built like a brick you-know-what so I can't get the same mileage out of a WF as the estimable and (teeny-tiny teacup fairy-sized) Lani Teshima, who I think can get like 86 articles of clothing into a baggie. I'd also consider the season. Do you tend to travel in summer or winter? While you certainly can and should look for lightweight but warm winter garments, you can still pack more summer-weight clothes than winter clothes. Finally, I've found that the TS can better accommodate shoes than the WF, but that might just be my shoes.

    Because it can hold more, the TS can definitely feel heavier to carry than the WF, but I haven't really found it difficult to carry. I do think that if you can fit all your stuff in a SA, the WF+ SA combo should be more than enough for you.

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    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    Thanks, everybody. You all made some great suggestions, and instead of following them I just ordered the WF, because I want it NOW!!!!! LOL.

    With the WF + SA, I figure I get go a fairly long time, especially considering that my current bag is 41 litres and I only fill it up half way. If not, I can just buy the Tri-star at a later date! WIN-WIN.

  7. #7
    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    Got my UPS tracking number within 10 minutes of placing my order. Beat that, AMAZON.COM.
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    Sounds great! Be sure to let us know how it turns out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegolas View Post
    So last year I ended up purchasing an Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender bag because it held 41 litres and I really thought I needed that much space. Also, I was trying to save money (it was $150). While I like the design of the bag (clamshell, FTW!), I actually want (NEED) a new travel bag. This wanting (NEEDING) is for two reasons:

    1. The bag is actually TOO BIG. For real, YO.

    I took a six day trip to the UK and one 10 day trip to the UK/Ireland (I like, totally love the UK), and packed everything in one side except for my shoes (a pair of ladies desert boots, my favorite shoes for walking). On the return leg of the six-day trip, I actually packed my Smart Alec in one side and carried everything in that bag (on the longer trip I couldn't do this, because I bought a full length COAT in Camden Market, because I am stupid). So anyway, obviously I need to size down, and I think the Western Flyer will suit my needs, but I'm not 100% sure. Does anyone use the Western Flyer specifically for trips up to say 2 weeks?

    2. I carry a Smart Alec as my "personal item", and I want my main bag to be as sturdy as my personal item. I think the ECAW was a good jumping off point for carry-on only, but I want a better bag

    GRACIAS in advance, BIHN-ATICS
    Funny, I bought the same ec weekender as a carryon for trip to europe last may. It was too big for us as well. After using it, hubby wanted a carryon piece with wheels , as he has bad back and ended up carrying it. I am thinking about wf. So will eagerly await your review.

  10. #10
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    Can anyone tell me if an iPad (regular, not mini), will fit in the front pocket of the Western Flyer?

  11. #11
    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    iPad in a cache, I should add . . .

  12. #12
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
    Can anyone tell me if an iPad (regular, not mini), will fit in the front pocket of the Western Flyer?
    Alas, no; see picture below:



    However, it does fit very well in the divided front pocket:



    Hope this helps.

  13. #13
    KmK
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    I did a month with a TriStar/Smart Alec combo. Talk about dynamic duo. Three pairs of pants, three polos, one skirt, one nice blouse, PJs, one pair of Chacos, six underwear, several Rhodia notebooks, a pencil case, my 311, and assorted personal care whatnot, all easily fit in the Tristar...leaving the SA for all other bits and bobs including a dozen tennis balls, a couple packages of balloons, a biography of Pablo Neruda, a pack of individual servings of peanut butter, and several granola bars.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KmK View Post
    I did a month with a TriStar/Smart Alec combo. Talk about dynamic duo. Three pairs of pants, three polos, one skirt, one nice blouse, PJs, one pair of Chacos, six underwear, several Rhodia notebooks, a pencil case, my 311, and assorted personal care whatnot, all easily fit in the Tristar...leaving the SA for all other bits and bobs including a dozen tennis balls, a couple packages of balloons, a biography of Pablo Neruda, a pack of individual servings of peanut butter, and several granola bars.
    I want to hear the story on the tennis balls and balloons!


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