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Thread: Help! Sensory overload. At a loss on bag choice.

  1. #1
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    Help! Sensory overload. At a loss on bag choice.

    I'm sure I've overlooked a thread somewhere on the forum that probably will answer my questions. Alas, the sensory overload has blinded me to it. I'm in need of advice on the proper bag, if it exists, to handle my needs. I carry the following items with me on every business trip. These trips usually last anywhere between 4 days and 3 weeks. I try to pack light and hand wash as much as possible. To give an idea of the size of the clothes, I'm 6'1" and 200 pounds. On with the show.

    2-Levis 511 Commuter in Khaki
    6-Golf Type, Polyester Polo Shirts - 3 each for two companies
    1-Polyester type shirt for exercise
    2-Icebreaker Wool Tees
    1-Cotton Tee for sleeping
    2-Icebreaker Wool Boxers
    2-Icebreaker Wool Socks
    1-Swimming Trunks
    1-Sleeping Shorts
    1-Khaki Type Shorts
    1-Size 11US Keen Sneakers
    1-Smallish Dopp Kit with Travel Sized Toiletries - Mostly dry to avoid the TSA zealots

    The work portion includes:
    HP Envy14
    Small digital camera
    Several pens
    Small stapler
    Clipboard
    Business card holder
    10-20 Business Invoices
    Wi-Fi Hotspot
    Related cables

    My ideal bag would hold all of these things and once on location, I could leave the clothing in the hotel and use the bag for the work related items without the bag looking ridiculously large.

    I'm contemplating the solution in the following thread,
    Cadet inside a Tri-Star, which I know will work but it is quite pricey. Not unobtainable, just a really hard pill to swallow.

    Do any of you have any other ideas or should I just swallow that pill and pull the trigger? Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Do you currently have an every-day bag that you use during the trips? Maybe keep that for now, and get a Tri-Star for the rest of your stuff. A TS and a briefcase/small backpack, carried separately, is reasonable. It depends on your size, but I find it more comfortable to carry two bags and distribute the weight on my body, rather than stuffing it all in one. If you can afford it, and it suits your packing style, I'd recommend at least one cube fitted to the bag you buy.

  3. #3
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    Is that the total of what you travel with, or what will be packed? Looks like a Tri-Star and a Cache could work out well. I agree that a packing cube is a good choice here. You will want come thing to help compress the clothing. If the TS is too big for a "briefcase", or you need the extra room, get the Cadet later. Would your PC fit in a Pilot? Perhaps the Pilot in Dyneema would be a more versatile option than the Cadet.
    > SIQUID WESTERN FLYER NON CAPIT, DOMI RELINQUENDUM EST.

    Western Flyer (ballistic backpack), MCB (parapack/dyneema), Pilot (ballistic), Cache (6Z), Travel Tray, Packing Cube (WF large), Pouches (clear, dyneema, cork, padded, large, small, medium, mini, nano), Pocket Pouch, Absolute Strap (curved), Tri-Power Whistle, a bunch of Key Straps (8" and 16")

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le_Pied View Post
    Is that the total of what you travel with, or what will be packed? Looks like a Tri-Star and a Cache could work out well. I agree that a packing cube is a good choice here. You will want come thing to help compress the clothing. If the TS is too big for a "briefcase", or you need the extra room, get the Cadet later. Would your PC fit in a Pilot? Perhaps the Pilot in Dyneema would be a more versatile option than the Cadet.
    I'm still not clear about the parameters of the requirements summarized by: "My ideal bag would hold all of these things and once on location, I could leave the clothing in the hotel and use the bag for work related items without the bag looking ridiculously large."

    For example, is there a need to look professional? Could you carry everything in a a backpack like the BrainBag (which, at 36 liters capacity, has more carrying volume than the Tri-Star's 33 liters)? Many people wouldn't consider this acceptable for showing up for work (depending on your activities), or might prefer a bag that looked more like a more conventional luggage bag when checking into a hotel, but it would certainly match your stated specifications of what you need to carry, and being able to unpack all the clothes and then use the bag for work. You could even cinch down the backpack when you carry it in for work, and the size is easily handled by your frame.

    UK-Limey, the author of the original posts in the linked thread, had a very clear definition of what he needed in the various work environments, and that included a need to "look professional" with a Briefcase style bag, which is why his solution involves a separate, smaller bag carried within the Tri-Star. If you absolutely want one bag, and the only question is the size when you appear at work (with your computer), then you might consider getting the Brain Bag, perhaps with a Cache or Brain Cell for your laptop, and a Packing Cube and some pouches.

    The Tri-Star would work as a bag, but it looks like luggage (good-looking luggage), Carrying a Cadet, or possibly the new Pilot inside, might be an option if a Backpack solution is not acceptable. Take a look at the Pilot or Cadet? thread:
    Pilot or Cadet?

    @LePied The OP might be able to use the Pilot for his laptop (9.33 x 14.01 x 1.09 inches from web search of specs for HP ENVI 14; laptop size guide says this can use the cache for the 15" MacBook Pro Cadet Cache) but they seem to be only selling the size for the new 15" MacBook Pro Retina Models for the Cache on Rails used by the Pilot, and that might be a bit too thin since the Retina model is smaller (cache interior size for 15" Retina MacBook Pro: 9.7" x 14.1" x 0.7"). Next size is the 4Z Cache (9.8" x 14.3" x 1.2"). Technically, the Pilot doesn't claim to fit the 15" MacBook Pro, but the first reports are coming in that it does, but it's a very close fit, just like the previous Co-Pilot could hold an 11" MacBook Air. Again, there are some pictures in the Pilot or Cadet? thread I linked.

    You might also read some of the comments in the Time to Invest in a new EDC bag thread regarding the Brain Bag:
    Time to invest in a new EDC bag

    There are some pictures to give you an idea of size (poster is 5'10"), as well as comments on carrying capacity. There are probably other threads you can look at if this type of solution is at all acceptable.
    Last edited by moriond; 02-11-2014 at 01:14 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Do you currently have an every-day bag that you use during the trips? A TS and a briefcase/small backpack, carried separately, is reasonable. If you can afford it, and it suits your packing style, I'd recommend at least one cube fitted to the bag you buy.
    Currently I carry an Eagle Creek Weekender for the clothes and toiletries, and a separate bag for the work related gear. I do use the packing folders and cubes with the EC so I'm certain if I purchased a TB bag I would get the cubes to go with it. I like to at least feel like I'm organized by looking at the cubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le_Pied View Post
    Is that the total of what you travel with, or what will be packed? If the TS is too big for a "briefcase", or you need the extra room, get the Cadet later. Would your PC fit in a Pilot? Perhaps the Pilot in Dyneema would be a more versatile option than the Cadet.
    The above mentioned items are what I pack. I usually travel in a pair of jeans, a tee, Clarks Desert boots, and a jacket. Given that I've never seen a TS in person I'm unsure if it would appear to be too big to use as a "briefcase". I am also unsure if my PC would fit into the Pilot. The laptop selector on the TB site does not list it as an option for the HP Envy14. The measurements BTW are listed on the HP site as: 12.88" (L) x 8.70" (W) x 0.79" (H)

    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    I'm still not clear about the parameters of the requirements summarized by: "My ideal bag would hold all of these things and once on location, I could leave the clothing in the hotel and use the bag for work related items without the bag looking ridiculously large."

    For example, is there a need to look professional? Could you carry everything in a a backpack like the BrainBag (which, at 36 liters capacity, has more carrying volume than the Tri-Star's 33 liters)?

    @LePied The OP might be able to use the Pilot for his laptop (9.33 x 14.01 x 1.09 inches from web search of specs for HP ENVI 14; laptop size guide says this can use the cache for the 15" MacBook Pro Cadet Cache) but they seem to be only selling the size for the new 15" MacBook Pro Retina Models for the Cache on Rails used by the Pilot, and that might be a bit too thin since the Retina model is smaller (cache interior size for 15" Retina MacBook Pro: 9.7" x 14.1" x 0.7"). Next size is the 4Z Cache (9.8" x 14.3" x 1.2"). Technically, the Pilot doesn't claim to fit the 15" MacBook Pro, but the first reports are coming in that it does, but it's a very close fit, just like the previous Co-Pilot could hold an 11" MacBook Air. Again, there are some pictures in the Pilot or Cadet? thread I linked.
    Sorry for not being a bit more specific, I work in the Financial sector so I fear a backpack style bag wouldn't be appropriate. I've added the dimensions to my PC to the quote above yours. Mine is a bit smaller than that which you've found. On a related note, I didn't believe the measurements I found so I had to break out the ruler to double check. Although I think it is taller than 0.79".

    Thanks to all of you for the comments. More knowledge equals a more satisfying purchase!

  6. #6
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    You know, I've been thinking. Since most of the garments I would wash are wool, for example, my tee shirts, socks, and briefs, I may try to travel with one set on my back and one set in the bag. Possibly even drop the polos from 3 to 2. If I can do these things and get my clothing into the EC 18" packing folder without trouble I might can get by with the Western Flyer after all. I do know that it can double as a briefcase once I'm on location. I can always get a small stuff sack sort of bag to catch the overflow. I know its not the one bag travel that I want, but it is close.

    Having said that, I'm always open to new ideas so thanks again for the comments!

    Sorry, I forgot to answer some of your questions. I currently carry an Eagle Creek Weekender plus a briefcase type bag. The EC is way too big for what I carry so I am looking to replace it. I don't mind carrying more than one bag when I drive but I do fly about 25 times a year and would rather have the one bag solution for convenience and occasionally I am required to carry a separate bag at the company's request. So the less I carry for me the better. Given that I do fly as much as I do, a TSA friendly solution is one of the deciding factors in my bag quest and I'm given to believe that the Brain bag does not meet this definition. Also, I'm in the insurance field so I'm not sure a backpack is the most appropriate of choices. The TS may be a perfect solution on its own, but having never seen it in person I have no reference as to its size. Meaning, I'm not sure if it would appear to large a "briefcase" once I've offloaded the clothing and toiletries at the hotel.

    Thanks for the replies. The more I can learn, the more satisfying my purchase will be I believe.
    Last edited by kpcrews; 02-12-2014 at 08:35 PM. Reason: wanted to address commentators replies

  7. #7
    Registered User UK-Limey's Avatar
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    Personally, I would not feel comfortable bringing a Tri-Star into the office as a "briefcase". Just TOO big ! If I am travelling back to the airport directly from the office I always leave it with reception and use my Cadet during the day. I work for a European Pharma company, you say that you are in the Finance sector; in my opinion, these are both a bit 'old-school' in their approach to corporate life and conforming to certain standards is expected.

    Ultimately I think it depends on your actual job, position and type of company you work for. Luckily TB gear has a huge variety of colours and fabrics and styles to suit every situation from kids backpacks to professional briefcases.

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    I agree with Limey on this one. I think that even with your height, the TS looks gigantic as a briefcase. [NB: in saying this, if this is how other people use the TS, I am not saying it's a bad idea or that one should not carry the TS as a briefcase; rather, that is not the purpose for which I would suggest buying the TS.] Especially if you work in a corporate climate that has certain expectations for how you dress and accessorize, I think you'd want to go the more conservative route and use a more traditional briefcase. Personally, even in my decidedly more relaxed profession (academia), I would not feel comfortable carrying a TS into a talk or meeting unless it was totally obvious that I had just arrived from or was heading to the airport.

    To reiterate bchaplin's question from post #2 in this thread, what sort of briefcase are you using now? Is it slim enough that you could possibly try it out inside the TS? I noticed that you were contemplating packing fewer clothing items; in that case, it's possible that your briefcase might be able to fit in the back compartment and you could get all of your clothes into the middle compartment.

    Another option, of course, would be to get the Cadet first and throw it into your Eagle Creek bag when you fly. I know you said it's too big for what you carry, but maybe you'll find that it works as a one bag solution that can accommodate everything on your packing list plus the Cadet (I take it you can't fit your current briefcase into it?). My thinking behind this is that it might be easiest to gain appreciation for TB if your first bag is one you'll use day in and day out. My love for TB products increased exponentially when I started using the Synapse 19 as an EDC; I began to get a more complete understanding of the packing style required to get the best utility from the bag and found I could apply this knowledge to increase the usability of my TB travel bags. While I think that the Cadet/TS combo is probably the nicest-looking TB option for sleek business travel, I'm also a big advocate of economizing and trying to see if people can incorporate TB items into their current travel gear rather than replacing everything all at once. Whatever you choose, I think you'll be pleased with the quality and workmanship.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    To reiterate bchaplin's question from post #2 in this thread, what sort of briefcase are you using now? Is it slim enough that you could possibly try it out inside the TS? I noticed that you were contemplating packing fewer clothing items; in that case, it's possible that your briefcase might be able to fit in the back compartment and you could get all of your clothes into the middle compartment.
    I'm currently using a Wenger Signal 3 gusset briefcase which would be too big to pack into the TS and it has become too big for my needs as well. Over the last few years I have been able to downsize what I need to carry in it.

    In addition to the TS and cadet combo I've had the thought that a Brain bag, while not proper to take to work, could work as a bag to carry my clothing and maybe a Cadet? Then I would also have a nice backpack for personal trips. A hat tip to moriond for this.

  10. #10
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    As an exercise in curiosity, I packed all of my clothing into an Eagle Creek 18" packing folder. It fit but the folder was holding on for dear life. If I had to guess, the folder was about 6" thick. I'm not sure if I can get it any smaller.
    Last edited by kpcrews; 02-16-2014 at 08:26 PM. Reason: deleted incorrect info

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    kpcrews

    I agree with moriond regarding the Brain Bag. How I usually travel is with the Brain Bag as my main bag to carry my clothes and a Checkpoint Flyer for a laptop and a single change of clothes. That way, if for whatever reason they do not allow me to carry even carry-on size luggage (e.g. weight or just not enough room on the plane), I still have at least a change of clothes with me in the briefcase and my precious laptop. You could probably do the same with the cadet.

    For me:
    Brain Bag and Checkpoint Flyer (or Empire builder / Zephyr / Cadet) is great for those trips where the first part is business but some sight-seeing afterwards.
    For just short (2-3days) business trips, Tristar with small briefcase in centre of fully loaded Checkpoint Flyer works for me.
    For long business trips with perhaps some personal, Aeronaut and Checkpoint Flyer.

    Cheers
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-16-2014 at 10:23 PM.
    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot/Cadet (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  12. #12
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    So I went ahead and ordered a Cadet in Black/Wasabi with the proper Cache for my laptop. I'll have to think on my packing needs to decide if I want the Brain bag or not. Ideally I would get my packing list down to the point I could just get a Western Flyer and use it for my clothing, laptop, and the like. In which case my son would inherit the Cadet. Judging by the smile he just flashed I think he's hoping that's the case.

    Now to get that packing list down and for some proper colored WFs to arrive. No offense to those who do like Aubergine for their exterior.

  13. #13
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    So the Cadet is a beautiful bag but just a tad too small for carrying all of my work related items. As a result, I've decided to take moriond's advice and I've ordered a Brain bag. It will be large enough to pack all of my personal and business items for travel to and from loactions. Once there I can unload the personal items at the hotel and cinch the straps down to avoid a sagging bag while carrying just the business items. I may still, down the line, adopt UK-Limey's approach.

    I am kicking myself for having returned the WF I bought a couple of months ago. I should have kept it and just bought a second bag for the work stuff.

    BTW, has anybody tried to fit an Eagle Creek 18" packing folder into a Brain bag?
    Last edited by kpcrews; 03-04-2014 at 09:42 PM. Reason: needed to add a question


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