“Words cannot describe the love I have for the Tom Bihn Synapse backpack, but I will give it a shot. I affectionately refer to this 19 liter marvel of backpack engineering as “Marry Poppins” because of its astounding ability to hold an almost endless amount of items in a limited space. Everything you see on this list fits snugly into this bag. It’s incredibly comfortable – nice wide straps with a shoulder clip hold the bag firmly in place, and it has a waist clip as well if you ever needed to run with the bag. I have an 8″ metal plate in my left clavicle from a snowboarding injury, which the doctor said some backpackers complain about, but I’ve hiked through the jungle for 5 days with this bag on and shoulder pain was not an issue.
The bag is also waterproof – it has sealed zippers that do as good a job as possible at keeping the water out. In rain, it performs admirably, keeping my camera and computer dry. However, if you fall off a kayak while wearing this bag it may let a little water in. I know from experience. If you have your camera in the upper middle pouch, it will survive. The added benefit of having a waterproof bag is that you do not have to carry around a large bag cover, which takes up a lot of volume in the average bag (and the bigger the bag, the bigger the cover).
The structure of the bag makes everything incredibly accessible – I keep all my small electronics, sunglasses, flashlight, etc in the side pockets for easy access. An added benefit of the pocket structure is that it makes it so that there is no need to carry smaller packing cubes for organizing these items. The bag also doubles as my day bag. So when I am all checked into the hostel and my computer and other items are locked up I can take this bag out to carry my camera, water, headphones, and jacket. I don’t have to have a second “day bag”.”
“From year to year my work tools change. So, periodically I like to capture the state of my work environment on my computer. I’m a software developer (both web and iOS) who dabbles in design. Here’s the latest snapshot:
Computer: 11” MacBook Air (Mid 2011) ($$$). My employer has provided me with this laptop, and it’s the best I’ve had. Can easily power the 27” Apple Cinema display I use with it every day and runs everything I need, from Photoshop to Xcode, even with the bevy of OS X menubar items I keep running. 4 GB goes a long way on this Mac. It travels in a Tom Bihn Ristretto ($$$) which holds my laptop and a 10” iPad easily.”
Thanks to our crew, the following bags are back in stock and ship within one business day:
RFID Blocking Passport Pouch, all colors
Side Effect in colors Steel Dyneema/Wasabi, Wasabi Dyneema/Wasabi, and Aubergine/Wasabi
Other colors — Black/Iberian, Black/Wasabi, Black/Steel, and Navy/Iberian — will ship soon.
Citizen Canine, all colors
“My first outing with my new kit was a one-nighter to SLC last week. Unsurprisingly, the WF/Cadet combo fared well. But I was very curious how the pair would hold up this week on a 3-night trip to rural Idaho that involves two flights on CRJ200 jets and one short hop on a EMB 120 (the latter being a teeny, 30-passenger prop plane in which overhead bin space is practically non-existent). This was a bit of an outlier for me as most of my travel is for 1-2 nights and on larger jets like 737s.”
Several of you have asked us about the artist carrying the Swift in Cork featured in our Synapse 25, Swift, Ristretto: Everyday video. Her name is Mary Ann Peters and she’s based in Seattle; her work ranges from studio pieces to public art projects and installations (she’s currently working on a large glass art installation at the future Northgate light rail station.) Mary Ann’s work can also be seen at the James Harris Gallery.
“Over here at The Man’s Man we are sold on the packs that Tom Bihn puts out. Tom Bihn (the man) has been designing packs for more than 40 years and he feels a personal responsibility to put out a product that is unique, looks good, lasts long, and fills a niche that no one else has filled. He’s doing an excellent job at fulfilling this purpose. These packs are functional and quality made.