The Tom Bihn Tri-Star is a mid-size carry on travel bag designed for short trip. It’s size is designed to meet all airline carry on size regulations (including the stricter carry on regulations in Europe and Australia). I typically use it for short trips of one to three days.
As the “Tri” in it’s name implies the bag is designed around threes:
- The Tri-Star has three main compartments of approximately equal size. The front compartment can be further divided left and right, with a zip out divider.
- On the left side are three horizontal zippered pockets. The top zippered pocket spans the full height of the bag; the second goes about half way; and the third is the shallowest of the three.
- Three ways to carry it – Padded Suitcase handles for carrying down narrow aircraft isles, Padded (and stowable) backpack straps for longer hikes, and metal attachment rings for a shoulder strap (the Tom Bihn Absolute Strap is a $30 add-on)
The front has an additional curved pocket on the right–I use it to stow my boarding documents. It can be used for stowing a water bottle as well.
The Tri-Star costs $250. As expected for a bag at this price point, has superb workmanship. The exterior made of 1-1/2 oz. per square yard urethane coated 1050 denier Ballistic nylon. The lining is Dyneema/nylon rip-stop. The stitching is superb; there are no frayed edges or stray threads.
The Tri-Star is designed to use Tom Bihn’s accessories:
- The back compartment is designed for holding your clothes. It comes with compression straps but it is also designed for holding packing cubes–I’ve used it with both Tom’s cubes and eBags cubes.
- The middle compartment is designed for holding your laptop. It has the clips necessary to secure the “Brain-Cell” laptop case (not included). It can also hold a Freudian slip which is perfect for carrying pens, pencils and critical files.
- The front compartment can be split into two compartments–the smaller of which is perfect for shoes. The bigger compartment is the perfect size for a medium Tom Bihn packing cube.
- The front zippered compartments can hold Bihn’s organizer wallets
- The bag comes with one Key Strap
The Tom Bihn Tri-Star is filled with thoughtful features:
- Like a lot of Tom Bihn’s bags the Tri-Star uses #8 YKK splash-proof Uretek zippers.
- All three front zippered pockets have an O-ring inside. Tom Bihn includes one Key Strap to hook your keys so you don’t have to dig around for your keys at the end of a long tiring trip.
- The compression straps in the rear compartment are removable.
- The bag has an extra handle for grabbing it when it is stowed away in an overhead bin.
- The bag’s liner is available in bright yellow to make it easy to find that missing cable.
A little story about this bag. We were on a weekend trip and some cretin broke into our car and stole everything–laptop, camera, iPad, even my shoes. I was most upset about losing the Tri-Star. In fact it was one of the first things replaced. It is an expensive bag, but I keep discovering little thoughtful touches every time I pack.
Tom Bihn Tri-Star
Made in Seattle, USA
External dimensions: 19? x 13? x 8? / 480 x 330 x 205mm
Weight: 3.4 lbs / 1.55 kg
Volume: 33 l. (2000 cu. in.)