A Staff Pick from Ben Kaufman – Vice President, American Station
I’ve been traveling lately — from Chicago for my college roommate’s bachelor party to Jackson, Miss., for work and to hear my father-in-law play bass for the Uncle Sam Band. I’ve also been to New Orleans for a friend’s wedding and to the Mississippi Delta for the opening of a civil war tourist site in Helena, Ark. I drove to some destinations and flew to others. I stayed in hotels, condos, and the Shack Up Inn (look it up). Though each trip required different wardrobes and different equipment, I managed to successfully get to each destination and enjoy each travel experience with the Tom Bihn Tri-Star carry-on travel bag.
For starters, every Tom Bihn bag is made in the company’s Seattle factory, with only a small number of accessory items manufactured in Montana. Tom Bihn only sells products made by people who are fairly compensated for their labor. The company is obviously dedicated to creating quality products and quality jobs. So even before I packed an item or placed the bag on my shoulder, I felt good about traveling with it.
The Tom Bihn Tri-Star is a carry-on bag with an assortment of fantastic features. I used it for both business and pleasure and was not once disappointed with the amount of space available or the ease in which I was able to store it on an overhead compartment of an airplane. The Tri-Star holds 33 liters and weighs 3.4lbs measuring 19″ x 13″ x 8″ which makes it about the size of two bed pillows stacked on one another.
With three main compartments large enough to hold a laptop, a weekend’s worth of clothes, and my wife’s two pairs of shoes, it is amazing that it still counts as a carry-on. I used the tie-down straps to keep my pants and shirts wrinkle-free, which to my delight worked very well. The bag comes with an optional Brain Cell sleeve, a laptop sleeve that actually clips into the bag for a bit of extra security.
I haven’t needed to use all three pockets (ranging in size) on the front yet, but they were convenient for my phone charger, electric razor, toiletries and boarding passes.
All of this boils down to the fact that I was able to pack for three very different weekends with this bag with absolutely no problems whatsoever in regards to my required space.
The bag also has optional hide-away backpack straps that I enjoyed. Additionally, the bag is stylish. I have an indigo blue bag with a “solar” see “yellow” lining. The yellow really made it easy to find things in the bag; it really does make the bag light up. The zippers move easily and they’re splash proof, which means water stays out of your bag.
A special note on the shoulder strap: My bag has the Absolute Shoulder Strap. I have owned many shoulder bags in my life, and this is, without a doubt, the most comfortable strap that I have ever used. I am not sure how they did it, but it is remarkable. I never once felt the need to switch shoulders while trucking through the airport or hauling myself through a hotel lobby.
At $240, the Tri-Star is a real value considering you’re really getting three bags for the price of one. I was able to go from airplane to hotel to boardroom with a single bag and not look out of place in any of them. Plus, all Tom Bihn bags come with a lifetime warranty, and purchases have a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee.
The final word on the Tom Bihn Tri-Star is that this bag is the only bag I will be traveling with for any extended weekend trips. With airlines’ extra bag fees, it is fantastic to be able to pack all of my clothes and work needs in a single carry-on bag. Not to mention the convenience of not having to take more than one bag through security or around the airport when meeting a connecting flight. The bag is comfortable, convenient, and looks stylish enough to carry into any office building. Not to mention that it is made right here in the USA, what else can you ask for in a bag?