“The Synapse’s organization was perfect. The main compartment held a light jacket, laptop and a couple of notebooks. If I needed a pen or my small pocket knife then it was right there in the side organizer pocket. I was constantly in and out of the other side pocket, which held my smartphone and sunglasses. The bottom front pocket held a snake charmer with my cables. The top front zippered compartment held my water bottle and a large tote umbrella. My keys were in the smaller front zippered pocket along with my train pass in a Tom Bihn pocket pouch. I’m always paranoid about losing my train pass but the pouch attached to the pack via a key strap tethered to an O-Ring gave me peace of mind that the pass would always be there when I needed it.”
“I am nearing the end of my trip to Europe (5 countries) with only my Synapse 19 and it has been awesome. Everything I packed is in the photos below. Most of my clothes are Icebreaker, Smartwool and Exoficio; my shoes and flip flops are Vans. I looked like a regular city dweller, neither tourist nor adventurer. I felt so sorry for all those people lugging their rollaways up subway stairs and along cobblestone roads. I even spent the day in the Louvre with my pack because I couldn’t check-in to my hotel until the late afternoon. heck out what a work of art the Synapse 19 is (pictured below on display at the Louvre). I am positive even bigger people can do this with the Synapse 25. It really is the perfect ultralight travel bag.”
“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”.”
“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.”
“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.
In this, the first video, Eric shows the Aeronaut in both 1050d ballistic nylon and 400d Dyneema®/420d nylon ripstop and explains the differences between the two materials. Also shown are Aeronaut Packing Cubes.
“The new Tom Bihn Synapse 25 is the larger 25 liter/1526 cubic inch version of the Synapse (now called Synapse 19). For those familiar with the original pack, the Synapse 25 keeps much of the original design. The multiple pockets, which don’t cannibalize space from the main compartment, are still there. So is the 1000D Cordura Nylon exterior, 400D Dyneema Riptop interior, water resistant YKK Aquaguard zippers and bulletproof (made in the U.S.A.) build quality. In essence, Tom has taken everything good about the original Synapse and incorporated it into a larger package with some tweaks to make it even more user friendly. Let’s take a closer look.”
“I’ve been meaning to post this for a while for those of us who are on the shorter side who think the Aeronaut is too big. I am 5’3″. The Aeronaut and the baby weighed 20 lbs each. The Aeronaut carried everything for me and the baby, including diapers for a week, feeding supplies, and even a life vest! I walked a very long way through the airport (on both ends of the trip) with this setup and it was fine.
That is a black Side Effect under the baby with our passports and my wallet.”
“Using the Gatekeeper Clips on the pocket, you can attach [the Smart Alec Modular Pockets] to the inside of the Tom Bihn Smart Alec using the webbing loops that are normally used to attach a Brain Cell. Just remove the Annex Clips and you can use both rows of webbing and the top four Gatekeeper clips on the Pocket to secure it in place.”