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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.

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  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Is the Cadet not an option?

    I like the idea of a minimalist approach with using one bag for multiple purposes. I think if you go with the Tri-Star then you should consider carrying with the strap at all times. Visually I think this makes it look less like an oversized briefcase to the casual observer. Plus the added size means added weight which probably requires the strap for comfort. Just a thought.
    Owner of : Imago, Aeronaut, Brain Bag, Smart Alec, Synapse, Co-Pilot

  2. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I've carried a Maxpedition Operator computer bag/briefcase for the last several years which is 17"x13"x6" compared to the TriStar's 19"x13"x8" and while the TS is a bit longer and wider in those specs, when I make use of the end pockets on the Maxped they are pretty much the same size. The TS collapses down well in size when it's not stuffed and beats the Maxped in every other way IMHO. No it's not a minimalist computer bag like some folks carry, but as a salesman I see a number of my compatriots carry equally big if not larger computer bag/briefcases. It'll do fine for what you have in mind.

  3. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I had a Maxpedition Operator bag too and it was fine until I found the RedOxx CPA which was fine until I found the TriStar. My biggest gripe about the Maxpedition was the material. It was stiff and it was difficult to work some of the zippers - and then there were the miles and miles of velcro. That's where the CPA came in, much better materials, far more pliable and everything was easy to use. No more ripping sounds either - but it didn't really have much organization (aside from the two stretchy compartments on the inside front and back) and it seemed a bit "industrial" like the Operator.

    Then I found the TrisStar - lovely materials, great organization, well thought out and looks quite professional. Looks fine half empty and looks half empty when it is full. If I could only have one bag it would be the TriStar. If I could only have two then it would be the TriStar and a Western Flyer, three and I'd add a RedOxx AirBoss (the WF fits inside the airBoss nicely)
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  4. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Quote Originally Posted by traveler38 View Post
    I only need two compartments for daily office use, but I will need the third compartment for travel purposes. Instead of getting one bag for daily office use and another bag for travel, I was just trying to see if it would be possible to make do with one bag for both purposes.
    If the third compartment is only to be used for travel purposes (thus you would only be packing stuff like clothes in there, which do not weigh too much), I'd suggest going with a combo of a WF and a Packing Cube Backpack. WF would be the "office part", and when you need to travel, you unfold your PCBP, pack it with clothes, travel with it on your back and the WF in your hands/on your shoulder. And when you arrive you leave the PCBP in the hotel and go on your way to a client site or whatever. Of course, in a scenario when you arrive in the morning and go to a meeting directly from the airport, the PCBP would be the odd bag out... but I think it's pretty OK, when you arrive, to throw the PCBP somewhere in the corner or in the front office, asking the secretary to keep an eye on it, or whatever. I doubt somebody would want to rummage through your shirts and underwear. That would save you the trouble of carrying an admittedly oversized Tri-Star every day, not just when you are traveling.

    I've had the experience of having to go directly from the train to a meeting with my small rolling suitcase. People do understand that you have just arrived.

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