Shop Tom Bihn
1-800-729-9607
emailus@tombihn.com
Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
Like Tree78Likes

Thread: Western Flyer or Tri-Star?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5

    Western Flyer or Tri-Star?

    Brace yourself to read about a situation you have never heard of before.
    I am going to a small summer camp in northern Minnesota for two weeks where I shall have no access to laundry. The day it ends, I board a plane to Bulgaria where I will be sight seeing for 7 days. I am spending one day in Luxembourg between these two adventures and I can do a load of laundry here.
    Because I have the universe's greatest mother, I was taken to the store today where I purchased both a Tri-star and a western flyer to see which of the two I wanted to take on my trip. I have spent all afternoon packing, unpacking, and repacking both of them and have made no actual progress on deciding which of the two I desire.
    Does anyone have any advice/tips on whether a Tri-star or western flyer will serve my unique needs best?
    Thanks in advance!!
    My mother says I should include my packing list, so here it is.
    Tshirts x10. Sweatpants x3. Shampoo. Toothbrush. Camera
    Jeans x2. Socks x 8. Conditioner. Toothpaste. Flashlight
    Shorts x4. Underwear x10. Soap. Sunscreen. Water bottle
    Jackets x3. Shoes x3. Lotion. Notebook. Towel

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Rhinebeck, NY
    Posts
    46
    Unless you can cut back on your clothing by taking lightweight travel clothes that can be washed out in a sink, I'd go with the larger Western Flyer. I think you'll need the space on your unique trip. Have fun!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Bags: Western Flyer, Pilot, Brain Bag, Medium Café Bag

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    2,699
    Quote Originally Posted by WMW40 View Post
    Unless you can cut back on your clothing by taking lightweight travel clothes that can be washed out in a sink, I'd go with the larger Western Flyer. I think you'll need the space on your unique trip. Have fun!
    Umm… maybe you mean "the larger Tri-Star" here, if we're going by capacity?

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Rhinebeck, NY
    Posts
    46
    Yes. Sorry.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    eWalker likes this.
    Bags: Western Flyer, Pilot, Brain Bag, Medium Café Bag

  5. #5
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    883
    Have you tried carrying around the fully loaded bags? And I mean fully loaded, with every last item you're going to put in it, not just a "skeleton" list.

    If you can manage the TriStar with everything in it, I would go with that. I returned my TriStar as I'm only 5'2" and not in the first flush of youth, so a fully loaded WF is about as much as I can manage with ease. There's not much size difference between them (only about an inch in each direction), but the TS has about 25% more capacity.

    HOWEVER - check the baggage restrictions on the European airlines, as they're much stricter than in the US. And don't go by the published dimensions of the bags, either - actually measure (and weigh) the packed bag and be careful to include the thickness of any bulges. Another reason I ditched the TS is that it's borderline, size-wise, for some budget airlines and can bulge out enough to make it not fit into the luggage sizers.

    HTH!
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  6. #6
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    331
    Welcome! When you say "no access to laundry" I surmise that means no access to washer/dryer. But you may still be able to launder your clothes. When I went to summer camps, all bathing happened in the lake with requisite biodegradable soap. So can you take some Dr Bronner's and wash your clothes the old-fashioned way? They'll take forever to dry, but they'll be cleaner.
    I miss summer camp! Seems like I grew up in them. The Concordia Language Villages were my favorite (French and Chinese)
    Anyway, with your packing list, I'd go with a TriStar. Actually, I'd go with an Aeronaut, but I don't want to throw a wrench in the works!

  7. #7
    Registered User sheeshoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Austin, TX, USA
    Posts
    27
    You may not have access to actual laundry facilities, but you'll have a sink. Maybe using something like this Travel Laundry Clothesline Kit would allow you to cut a few items out and hand wash. Take clothes that dry quickly/overnight - test wash and hang dry before you go if you can. Also you may find that many of the duplicates will be unnecessary - like, do you need 3 jackets? Or will 1 work? So you might be able to edit down your packing list a lot.

    Everyone else has given good advice. You may very well want the TS for the room unless it gets too heavy to carry or check on the Euro airlines (if they have a weight restriction). If you can fit everything into a WF, then smaller will most likely be better. Or perhaps the WF and a Cafe Bag?

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    79
    My advice -- regardless of which bag you choose -- would be to pack a LOT less and wash a few items every night or two.

    Even if there is no laundry facility at the Minnesota camp, would have access to a sink?

    If so, sink washing is your friend!

    Just pack a small stopper and a multipurpose soap (like JR Liggetts's) that you can use for washing your clothes as well as your face/body.

    The last time I traveled to Europe for two weeks, all I brought was two shirts, one pair of convertible pants, two pairs of underwear, 2 pairs of socks, and one jacket (in addition to what I was already wearing on the plane).

    If you pack items that are lightweight and dry quickly, sinkwashing one outfit per night is not time-consuming -- it just requires a little discipline -- but it saves you time wasted sitting at the laundromat. (Wouldn't it be more fun to spend your only day in Luxembourg exploring and sightseeing, instead of doing laundry?)

    Sweatpants and jeans are bulky and heavy... plus they take forever to dry. I would bring neither, and I would cut waaay back on t-shirts (especially if they are cotton) and shorts.

    Are 3 pairs of shoes and 3 jackets necessary? Again, these are bulky and heavy. If you can get by with 1 (or at most 2) of each, it will save a lot of space.

    Remember, you will be lugging all this with you through Bulgaria. A lighter load almost always means a happier traveler... and, should you find you need anything in country, you can always pick it up it in Bulgaria.

    Scribe's advice is great. Do a test pack with everything.

    Cut it down to what you think is the "bare minimum," then take some more out. Wear the bag for a while. Repeat.

    If you leave some empty space in the bag, rather than overstuffing it, you will be able to comfortably accommodate souvenirs or anything you pick up along the way.

    Given how large you packing list currently is, I would probably suggest the Tri-Star, but leave one of the compartments free for anything you might accumulate during your travels. (The Packing Cube Backpack or Shoulder Bag can be helpful if you think you might need a small daypack; a dyneema Co-Pilot or Pilot can also squash down to fit in the center compartment.)

    Best of luck and happy travels!! Sounds like you have a fun summer ahead of you... :-)
    Current Traveling Companions:
    Steel Ballistic: Western Flyer (w/Iberian), Pilot (w/UV)
    Black Dyneema: Tri-Star (w/Iberian), Aeronaut30 (w/Iberian), Synapse25 (w/Wasabi), Pilot (w/Wasabi)

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    506
    +1 to the comments made by @scribe. While both the Tri-Star and Western Flyer should be fine dimensionally for most people's heights, the weight you can comfortably carry is a key deciding factor.

    I would also recommend using packing cubes to keep bulging at a minimum and do not cinch the compression/tie-down straps too much if using the Tri-Star.

    Finally, getting a Tri-Star/Western Flyer Pack Cube Back Pack (PCBP) may help and server 3 purposes:
    1) minimize bulging as per previous comment and usable in both bags.
    2) have options to distribute the load by carrying the Tri-Star/Western Flyer separately from the PCBP.
    3) Use the PCBP as a light day pack when touring or at camp.

    Also, the PCBP in Nordic or Black is, for a limited time (get it quick!), made of the stronger 400d Dyneema and is therefore more rugged.

    Hope this Helps

    Have a fun set of trips!

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 06-18-2014 at 09:25 AM.
    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)

  10. #10
    Registered User binje's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    119
    Your packing list looks like it was dictated by the camp and like parts of it may have to fit in with a camp uniform. Plus, you've got two different climates to work during your travels. Which sound incredible! You're very lucky.

    Any chance you'll have access to a mail service where you can ship your dirties and extras (3 jackets? 3 sweatpants?) home and get some travel-friendly clean clothes before heading out? The packing list seems like it is ideal for summer camp and merely functional (and excessive and maybe a little bit boring if the bulk of the clothing is "camp uniform") for sightseeing in Bulgaria. One or two pre-paid USPS boxes could very much be your friend in this situation. At the very least, try to ditch some of your extra stuff before heading out of the country. You should be able to pack it into a pre-paid mailer and get it to a post office (you would have to get to the PO during open hours or trust someone to take the mailer for you since I'm sure it would weigh more than the 16oz you can drop in a mail box). Unfortunately, it looks like the MSP (I'm making an airport assumption here) post office is outside of the terminal and therefore not convenient. I'm also assuming you're a US resident since you mention going to the TB store.

    Definitely test-pack. If you're female, I recommend replacing at least one pair of jeans (I would ditch both or at least wear my only pair on the plane) with a lightweight travel skirt in a neutral color.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    5
    Thanks so much for all of your advice! I have taken out some things from my much too long packing list already. Currently, I'm leaning towards the WF because of the European size restraints. I also have realized that I can drop camp stuff that I won't need in Bulgaria at my grandmother's house in Minnesota. I really appreciate all of your comments! Thanks again!

  12. #12
    Registered User Mausermama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Florida (near the beach!)
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by Theminiz View Post
    Because I have the universe's greatest mother, I was taken to the store today where I purchased both a Tri-star and a western flyer to see which of the two I wanted to take on my trip.
    You do, indeed, have the best mother ever! I have only gotten my son a LCB and a Brain Bag so far, but he hasn't had any need for anything larger as of yet.

    I think everyone above has wonderful advice. My husband has the Tri-Star. I have the Western Flyer (in Nordic Dyneema). I could live out of it indefinitely if I have access to a sink and pack "travel" clothing that dries easily. I can give you this advice from a much younger and more naive me (20+ years ago). I traveled to England and Scotland for two months' study. Again, no easy access to laundry. I packed the night before (never a good idea) and was possibly slightly hung over (I am now a one-glass of wine every so often type of person). I found the hugest suitcase I could find (it was gargantuan, truly) and stuffed every imaginable crevasse that I could.

    For the next 8 weeks, I was stuck carrying (or rather dragging) said bag from hostel to hostel. There are no elevators in those places, and I was invariably at the top floor. Boy, did I learn a lesson! My back was toast at the end of the trip!

    Take as little as you can for this trip so you aren't weighed down by your stuff. Wash in the sink. Invest in a few travel type clothing items (it's totally worth it, and you can often find them at REI on discount). By doing so, you'll be able to keep your eyes focused outward rather than stressing about the stuff you have hauled along the way.

  13. #13
    Registered User binje's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by Mausermama View Post
    YI traveled to England and Scotland for two months' study. Again, no easy access to laundry. I packed the night before (never a good idea) and was possibly slightly hung over (I am now a one-glass of wine every so often type of person). I found the hugest suitcase I could find (it was gargantuan, truly) and stuffed every imaginable crevasse that I could.

    For the next 8 weeks, I was stuck carrying (or rather dragging) said bag from hostel to hostel. There are no elevators in those places, and I was invariably at the top floor. Boy, did I learn a lesson! My back was toast at the end of the trip!
    We were the same person at age 20 except that I "planned" my packing list for a summer session in Norway and it covered all imaginable scenarios and included a tent and sleeping bag and all of the books I thought I might read. With clothes for going out and clothes for lounging and hiking boots and... I had the largest backpack Lowe made at the time PLUS a Gregory Day-and-a-Half pack (which I still have and use as a gym climbing bag) that I sometimes carried in one hand and sometimes wore on my chest.

    I could have done with the advice of this forum back then.

  14. #14
    Registered User Yoda Sloth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    86
    She is young I figure if I start her properly on her "packing light" journey now, by the time she is my age, she will be able to tour Europe for a month at a time, carrying only a side effect

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    4
    My inner 10-year Girl Scout wishes to remind you to take insect repellent -- one that repels ticks and chiggers, as well as mosquitos. Wipes may be easier to fit in your 311 bag. Have a super-fun summer!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0