I have both the recoil (strap trim) and trimlite style bars. FWIW, I prefer the recoil for the following reasons:
(1) Always ride hooked and blessed with relatively steady sea breezes. Therefore, I generally only need to use three basic trim settings: full in, medium, and full out and generally don't fine tune much if at all in the middle of the session. I actually prefer the recoil adjustment to fine tune the setting for trimming The recoil gives a lot of 'depower' (trim out) in one of two pulls of red handle, whereas the adjustment is finer, more incremental, when trimming in ('powering up' with the black handle. So it is easy to trim it out a bit too munch and then dial the trim back in with in small fixed increments. I imagine that someone riding unhooked may have a different opinion. I also sometimes find it a bit finicky to unclear the bungee when wanting to trim in.
(2) The main complaint I have with the trim light is that, I find if I trim out all the way (ie: pull full in on the bungee), then the termination (thick) part of the bungee gets jammed in the metal part where it loops around. It becomes a two handed operation to free it. So the procedure is to drop the kite, apply a few choice swear words, and use two hands to jiggle it free. I am not sure if this is a design error, manufacturing error, or operator error. (Kamikuza opined it was the third alternative
). However, I do know that I dread having to use that bar. Of course, this is countered by the fact that my trimlite is 44 cm and I only use it on my 6 m SB and if that is the kite I am taking out I know that I am in for a fun session.
(3) I suppose that the increased weight of the recoil bar might make a difference if you have a long trek to the beach. Luckily I don't. In any case, I never notice the weight while riding. It is more of a case of the trim light seeming light than the recoil seeming heavy. But it is a shorter and a non overdrive bar so I think that has more to do with it than the trim mechanism or weight of the spring. In other words, grow a pair on the weight issue.