As some of you may recall, a packing cube messenger bag (PCMB) (i.e. a slightly larger version of the PCSB that will hold a small laptop) has been on my wish list for a while to use with my TS as my day-to-day bag for conference/workshop travel. This is, in my opinion, THE missing bag in the Tri-Star "system," and while the Pilot does fit in the center compartment, it does take up the vast majority of the center, so it's a no-go for me. (I know um-limey has had similar results with the Cadet).
I was hopeful the PCMB might be one of the new bags, I had no such luck. I had tried a Timbuk2 Packable Messenger bag, but its performance on its first trip was not acceptable. (In fact, it's currently on its way back to Timbuk2 for a warranty repair; the build quality is NOT up to the same standards as TB by a long shot). I ended up using my PCBP for the rest of the conference, and it worked well, but I don't really like backpacks for conferences, and it was far bigger than I needed, making it a tad floppy. It wasn't a major problem, but it's not my preferred solution. I'm an academic, so the level of professionalism required is, more-or-less, "Doesn't look stupid with business casual or like I'm about to go for a hike."
This leaves me needing a bag to use until TB answers my wishes and finally makes the PCMB a reality. It needs to hold an 11" MBA, power supply, conference book, and maybe a few other bits, but nothing huge. Although I can shove the 11" MBA in cache into the PCSB, it really doesn't fit well (which isn't a surprise at all).
So, for the questions:
1. Would a LCB with cheater D straps (so I can use the Absolute Strap from my TS and not carry an extra strap) work reasonably for this purpose? Specifically:
1a. How flat will the LCB lie if I wanted to put it behind a PC of clothes in the TS?
1b. Is the Dyneema significantly better than Parapack for this purpose?
1c. Does this seem like it will work reasonably well? I don't care about having the horizontal cache in the LCB, which I realize is not ideal. I'm just wondering if there are other potential challenges I'm missing.
2. Is there an alternative I'm not thinking of? I'm willing to consider a non-TB bag, though I feel somewhat burned on the Timbuk2 bag. For instance, I've seen the Herschel packable messenger bag, but I would really prefer a removable strap so I could use my Absolute strap. That said, I'm open to anything if you've had good experiences with it! I prefer a TB bag, of course.
Thanks in advance for suggestions!