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Thread: Can't quite make the purchase

  1. #1
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    Can't quite make the purchase

    I'm not sure whether this post should be considered a request for future products, or comments on existing bags, or just a dump of the things going through my mind. I want a travel bag. I'm looking at both the Tri-Star and Aeronaut. Neither seems to give me exactly what I want. I think I've finally come to the conclusion that the Aeronaut might better fit my needs. The biggest factor is my own sheer laziness. The Aeronaut's large main storage compartment seems compatible with my lazy streak. It looks like I can just cram my dirties into that main central compartment without worrying about organizing anything. Whereas with the Tri-Star, there may be too much organization. While fine at the beginning of a vacation, when I'm done I'm not sure I want to make the effort of trying to properly wash, organize and repack everything into it's tiny little compartments. I want to stuff and go.

    So if the Aeronaut is the proper bag for me, why haven't I bought one yet? The problem is one of aesthetics. I hope this isn't sacrilege to you folks, but I actually find the Aeronaut to be a little bit on the ugly side. Not coyote-eat-your-own-arm-off ugly, but it's not a particularly good looking bag either. So what bugs me? I can start with the whole trapezoidal shape. I assume there's a purpose. but if so, it's lost on me. i don't get it. Next, I don't understand the handle. Why is there a long detachable handle, when there's no reason for it? There's no opening under the handle. Third, I think I want the bag to keep it's shape better. In pictures, the bag seems to sag quite a bit under the handle. I just don't find that aesthetically pleasing. I think I prefer the looks of the Tri-Star. I think I like the standard suitcase like styling it employs - rather than the duffel like styling of the Aeronaut.

    So I think what I want is a hybrid of the Tri-Star and the Aeronaut. I want the general suitcase like form factor of the Tri-Star, but with the large central compartment of the Aeronaut. I want the handles of the Tri-Star to replace those handles on the Aeronaut. You'd probably have to add some new seams to support those handles, but those new seams might also provide some of the added support I want (anti-sag).

    Other threads in this forum suggest Tom is working on a new, smaller Aeronaut. Perhaps he's considering some of these other changes as well. At least I can hope.

    Thanks for listening. Sorry if I've offended the faithful.

  2. #2
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Hello!

    Understandable - trying to determine which bag is perfect for you. Okay, no bag is perfect for everyone, hence the broad selection and uses of all the bags offered!

    What type of travel do you usually cover - business trip with a lap top? Holiday travel? Both combined? What bags do you use now, and what do you like / dislike about them? Do you feel you will need to check the bag in question, or be able to carry-on only?

    Not to be nosey, but asking yourself such can help determine what bag may best suit you!

    Any chance you live near Seattle, and can go see the bags when the store is opened? (Times and dates usually posted in advance on the Blog.)

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    I can understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    I'm not sure whether this post should be considered a request for future products, or comments on existing bags, or just a dump of the things going through my mind. I want a travel bag. I'm looking at both the Tri-Star and Aeronaut. Neither seems to give me exactly what I want. I think I've finally come to the conclusion that the Aeronaut might better fit my needs. The biggest factor is my own sheer laziness. The Aeronaut's large main storage compartment seems compatible with my lazy streak. It looks like I can just cram my dirties into that main central compartment without worrying about organizing anything. Whereas with the Tri-Star, there may be too much organization. While fine at the beginning of a vacation, when I'm done I'm not sure I want to make the effort of trying to properly wash, organize and repack everything into it's tiny little compartments. I want to stuff and go.

    So if the Aeronaut is the proper bag for me, why haven't I bought one yet? The problem is one of aesthetics. I hope this isn't sacrilege to you folks, but I actually find the Aeronaut to be a little bit on the ugly side. Not coyote-eat-your-own-arm-off ugly, but it's not a particularly good looking bag either. So what bugs me? I can start with the whole trapezoidal shape. I assume there's a purpose. but if so, it's lost on me. i don't get it. Next, I don't understand the handle. Why is there a long detachable handle, when there's no reason for it? There's no opening under the handle. Third, I think I want the bag to keep it's shape better. In pictures, the bag seems to sag quite a bit under the handle. I just don't find that aesthetically pleasing. I think I prefer the looks of the Tri-Star. I think I like the standard suitcase like styling it employs - rather than the duffel like styling of the Aeronaut.

    So I think what I want is a hybrid of the Tri-Star and the Aeronaut. I want the general suitcase like form factor of the Tri-Star, but with the large central compartment of the Aeronaut. I want the handles of the Tri-Star to replace those handles on the Aeronaut. You'd probably have to add some new seams to support those handles, but those new seams might also provide some of the added support I want (anti-sag).

    Other threads in this forum suggest Tom is working on a new, smaller Aeronaut. Perhaps he's considering some of these other changes as well. At least I can hope.

    Thanks for listening. Sorry if I've offended the faithful.
    Please see the "WINGWALKER" thread for a possibility. I replied to you there too.

  4. #4
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    This year I purchased an Aeronaut to supplement my Tri-Star. I'd had the Tri-Star for a year, and used it exclusively for 40+ weekly commutes between Denver and Chicago. It is a terrific business travel bag, and most of the time I could get away with it as my only bag (14" laptop in the center section). For 4-5 day trips, I don't find it a pain to repack my dirty laundry, but I will admit it requires a little extra thought than a large one-section bag. Every once in a while the Tri-Star wasn't enough - like when my client insisted I carry a second laptop - or I had a trade-off between carrying a set of casual clothes or workout gear in addition to my business wear.

    I became so accustomed to packing efficiently with the Tri-Star that the Aeronaut was a bit of a shock for similar duration trips. There was so much space left over. "Maybe I should add a pair of jeans, and while I'm at it, a fleece jacket. Oh, and an extra pair of shoes." Pretty soon my Aeronaut was full to capacity and I had all the extra weight to carry. After a couple of trips like this I cut back to my original packing list, and the bag was half-empty. Thanks to the compression straps, that was fine. Sure, the Aeronaut looks less structured than my Tri-Star, but unlike my first foray into one-bagging - a Patagonia MLC circa 2005 - everything is kept in place and nothing has to be ironed when I get to my destination.

    I'll choose the Aeronaut for trips lasting longer than 4-5 days, or when I'm going to a colder climate, or if I expect that I'll need extra capacity to bring back more than I left home with. Otherwise I'll take my Tri-Star. For business casual, either bag is fine. The Tri-Star looks more formal and would match a suit better.

    To your other questions: (1) Shape - unlike most bags, I don't find that overpacking one section in the Aeronaut reduces the capacity of another. Perhaps that is a result of the trapezoidal shape, I don't know. The shape also results in more structure for a soft-sided bag than you'd expect. (2) Handle - the Aeronaut allows me to stuff a fleece or a down jacket under the handle, which is great when carrying with a shoulder strap or as a backpack. I don't have that option with the Tri-Star as the two handles are pretty much flush with one another. (3) Appearance when not fully packed - the Aeronaut has more structure than my old Patagonia MLC, which would never stand upright even when fully packed. The Aeronaut's end pockets and its overall shape allow it to stand when underpacked. Aesthetically, I prefer an underpacked Aeronaut over an overpacked Tri-Star, any day of the week.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria View Post
    Hello!

    Understandable - trying to determine which bag is perfect for you. Okay, no bag is perfect for everyone, hence the broad selection and uses of all the bags offered!

    What type of travel do you usually cover - business trip with a lap top? Holiday travel? Both combined? What bags do you use now, and what do you like / dislike about them? Do you feel you will need to check the bag in question, or be able to carry-on only?

    Not to be nosey, but asking yourself such can help determine what bag may best suit you!

    Any chance you live near Seattle, and can go see the bags when the store is opened? (Times and dates usually posted in advance on the Blog.)

    Good luck!
    I believe the Aeronaut is the perfect bag for me. I like the way it's organized and contents accessed. The problem is that I'm not sold on its appearance. I think I prefer the suitcase type form factor of the Tri-Star over the duffel style form factor of the Aeronaut. If the Aeronaut could just be given a little more structure, I'd be happy.

  6. #6
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotuseater View Post
    Aesthetically, I prefer an underpacked Aeronaut over an overpacked Tri-Star, any day of the week.

    Lotuseater - You've convinced me I should have...BOTH! Just in case.

    Okay, I didn't need much arm twisting. But it's decided!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    I believe the Aeronaut is the perfect bag for me. I like the way it's organized and contents accessed. The problem is that I'm not sold on its appearance. I think I prefer the suitcase type form factor of the Tri-Star over the duffel style form factor of the Aeronaut. If the Aeronaut could just be given a little more structure, I'd be happy.
    Perfect . . . but. Does not compute.

  8. #8
    Registered User blackfungi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maria View Post
    Lotuseater - You've convinced me I should have...BOTH! Just in case.

    Okay, I didn't need much arm twisting. But it's decided!
    maria, we will be the only torontonians with both the tri star and the aeronaut. it's cool to have something that pretty much no one has in toronto.
    aeronaut[black/solar]tristar[black/red iberian]western flyer[black/steel]synapse[black/steel]side effect[black/wasabi]medium cafe bag[black/wasabi]large cafe bag[black/wasabi]shopping bag[steel].

  9. #9
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfungi View Post
    maria, we will be the only torontonians with both the tri star and the aeronaut. it's cool to have something that pretty much no one has in toronto.
    If we happen to pass each other with either bag - or carrying both! - at least we shall recognize one another!

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    I'll be in the GTA in late July, mostly Mississauga. I'll be heading into Toronto at least a couple of days though. I don't have either a Tri-Star or an Aeronaut. I do have a Swift, little Swift, small Cafe bag and Side Effect though.

  11. #11
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Maybe a Toronto get-together? Like Maverick held in the park in DC (?) a while ago?

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    I'm amused by the idea. I'll be there that last two weeks of July. I'm game for something if it's within that time frame. SO will be playing bridge for large portions of that time.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    I believe the Aeronaut is the perfect bag for me. I like the way it's organized and contents accessed. The problem is that I'm not sold on its appearance. I think I prefer the suitcase type form factor of the Tri-Star over the duffel style form factor of the Aeronaut. If the Aeronaut could just be given a little more structure, I'd be happy.
    One problem could be that with structure comes weight (I assume). So to make a large bag hold it's form might make it even heaver. To be honest, once it's filled it's not going to alter it's form. Only time it's not pleasant looking is when it's empty but then it should be in storage right? I also find the flexible nature a benefit as I am able to move the bag to fit nearly any gap I need on a plane or hotel room.

    I'd like to also own a Tri-Star but I haven't bought one yet. I find even on short trips my Aeronaut is good. Plus I already have tons of bags.
    Owner of : Imago, Aeronaut, Brain Bag, Smart Alec, Synapse, Co-Pilot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    The biggest factor is my own sheer laziness. The Aeronaut's large main storage compartment seems compatible with my lazy streak. It looks like I can just cram my dirties into that main central compartment without worrying about organizing anything. Whereas with the Tri-Star, there may be too much organization. While fine at the beginning of a vacation, when I'm done I'm not sure I want to make the effort of trying to properly wash, organize and repack everything into it's tiny little compartments. I want to stuff and go.
    I too get lazy and found that those cheap compression bags work really well with the Tri-Star. Just shove those dirty things in the bag and flatten them into a nice flat rectangle block that fits perfectly into one of the compartments. Packing cube gets thinner, compression bag gets bigger, but space stays the same (sometimes get more space).

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    Curmudgeon: "The biggest factor is my own sheer laziness. The Aeronaut's large main storage compartment seems compatible with my lazy streak. It looks like I can just cram my dirties into that main central compartment without worrying about organizing anything." I put dirty laundry in a stuff sack. The stuff sack can go in an end compartment. Easy and "organized."

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