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Thread: Tristar and a Day Laptop Bag

  1. #16
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    First of all, thanks to everyone for their help. This is an amazing community.

    With all the input, I'm now considering these two directions:

    Tristar with Brain Cell

    Pros: slightly cheaper than option below
    Cons: have to completely remove laptop at checkpoints, tight fit for cables

    Tristar with Cadet

    Pros: Cache on Rails, ample storage for cables
    Cons: Expensive, possible tight squeeze with Retina MBP in middle Tristar pocket

    I'm leaning towards getting the Cadet even though I wasn't looking to part with that much money. That said, I don't want to regret spending a little less and not getting a good system in place.

    Feel free to chime in if anything here looks crazy.

    Thanks again!

  2. #17
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trailhiker View Post
    Remember, Tom Bihn bags are much like the TARDIS from Doctor Who.
    The word TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension in Space.
    "The TARDIS is dimensionally transcendental, meaning it’s bigger on the inside than the outside.
    The interior exists in a different, relative, dimension to the exterior."
    Also worth noting - the Doctor's TARDIS looks like a 1960s police phone box because its chameleon circuits are broken and he's never bothered to get it fixed. TARDISes can look like anything...
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  3. #18
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by widepipe View Post
    ...
    I am thinking that I can pack up the Macbook, Cache, power supply, various cables and iPad/Kindle in the Packing Cube Backpack to take into the office. In talking with someone at Tom Bihn, they felt like the "light" nature of the Packing Cube Backpack may not be the best way to do this. I know the Brain Cell would work for this, but I hate to lose the checkpoint-friendly nature of the Cache on Rails. Is there another bag that I should be considering for my "day" bag?
    ...
    @widepipe
    If looking at a PCBP solution, I agree with the TB crew that the PCBP is would not have enough padding for your MBP - even when in a cache. However, you can fit a 4z (even a size 1) Brain Cell in the PCBP. This gives the PCBP some real structure and makes a very good slim, simple backpack IMHO. I also put in a Vertical Freudian Slip for organization - voila - minimalist bag with big time laptop protection AND great organization. Also, the O-Ring in the bag adds even more organization possibilities.

    If using a Brain Cell as your solution and you feel a bit adventurous, you can modify it to use the cache rail system. All you need to do is get a tailor to sew in webbing strips that are 7" apart and sewn top to bottom. I did this for my vertical brain cells and I can now use the cache rail functionality (need to buy the gatekeeper rail clips too) in my Synapse 25, Brain Bag and Smart Alec. Note that the Brain Cell is not officially TSA compliant ... But I have never had an issue with keeping my laptop in the bag. The issue is with the pockets - but they are mesh and see though and do not impede the x-rays - which is the key to being TSA compliant. See the link below for some picture of what I did and how it work on my backpacks:

    tpnl's idea - Brain Cell with rails

    Note the above will void the warrantee on the Brain Cell - but it works great for me!

    Another thing you can do if the Brain Cell option does not give you enough storage for a day bag, you could add a PCSB or Lead's Pocket to "piggyback" onto the Brain Cell - hooking to the Brain Cell Annex Loops via Double Carabiners.

    Having said that, overall, if you can afford it, I think a Pilot with a Cache is you best bet for a "day" bag for the Tristar IMHO. It is a horizontal configuration which is what the tristar is designed to use and very compact. Plus, if you get it in Nordic Dyneema, it will even look Tardis like!

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 05-12-2014 at 09:39 PM.
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    @widepipe
    Have said that, overall, if you can afford it, I think a Pilot with a Cache is you best bet for a "day" bag for the Tristar IMHO. It is a horizontal configuration which is what the tristar is designed to use and very compact. Plus, if you get it in Nordic Dyneema, it will even look Tardis like!

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    @tpnl I think the Pilot (or Cadet) In the Tri-Star is a good solution, if the OP can afford it. I'm not sure how tight the fit is for the 15" Retina MacBook Pro in the Pilot. Officially, the Cadet will support a 15" Retina MacBook Pro in a Cache with rails. Some forum members are carrying 15" MacBook Pros in the Pilot, although that bag is not officially rated to fit in the Pilot, just as a number of forum members are comfortable with carrying the 11" MacBook Air in a cache in the Co-Pilot, even though that bag is not officially rated for that size laptop.

    The Brain Cell is sturdy, but it is a heavier solution, and cannot be used as a general personal item bag to carry a diversity of other items.

  5. #20
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    Hi all, interesting thread ...

    As per the thread link from moriond I do use a Cadet inside a Tri-Star. But I have also purchased a packing cube backpack as well. This gives me the flexiblity of using either the Cadet or the Backpack depending on how much space my clothes have taken up.

    Longer trip = more clothes, less room for laptop, so either 2 bag (Cadet plus Tri-Star) or 1 bag (Backpack inside Tri-Star).
    Shorter trip = less clothes, more room for laptop, so 1 bag (Cadet inside Tri-Star).

    Whatever combination, I always use my laptop cache inside the Cadet, Tri-Star or Backpack. The Pilot was not available when I purchased my Cadet; as moriond mentions, the Pilot will 'squash' easier into a Tri-Star as it is less rigid.

    Yes, the bags are expensive, but you certainly get value for money (in my opinion). Ease of travel through airports combined with a truly flexible approach to laptop storage has definately been worth some $$$ of my money.

    Whatever you buy - enjoy !

  6. #21
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    For me it would have to be the Tri-Star Cadet option. A bit more expensive today but you will have them for years. I think this pair gives you a great deal more flexibility than the other option.
    Moose
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  7. #22
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    @widepipe

    In case you did note see, the prices for items like the Tristar and Aeronaut are going up May 14th. See the post below:

    http://www.tombihn.com/forums/just-r...ce-update.html

    I agree with everyone that a Cadet or Pilot fits very will with the design of the Tristar (Horizontal Orientation, Cache with Rails). I especially love that the cache with rail system is preserved (bag with rails in a bag with rails ).

    For some pictures of a Pilot and 15" MBP, see the link below with excellent pictures provided by HYPEractiv and Trevorro:

    Pilot or Cadet?

    From what I read, Trevorro using the Pilot in a Tristar too.

    That being said, moriond is correct that the 15" MBP is not officially rated to fit in a Pilot.

    Also worth noting is that the Cadet has built in padding on the back and bottom for extra protection of your laptop. However, I do very much feel that a Brain Cell has fantastic protection with its hard sides - great for protecting the edges which is usually where the maximum impact damage can occur (max energy directed to a single point as opposed to distributed across a whole side).

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 05-13-2014 at 05:53 AM.
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  8. #23
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    tpnl's warning about the prices going up forced me to make a decision today.

    I went ahead and spent the extra cash on the Cadet. While I hate to part with that much money, it seems like the choice without compromise. I like the idea that I can also use the Cache with the Tristar if I don't need the day bag on a trip.

    Thanks again to everyone who helped me make this difficult decision!

  9. #24
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Great choice!
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  10. #25
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    I would second that - enjoy !!

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