“So far I have told you about the immediately measurable attributes of the Brain Bag such as size/volume, simplicity in design and the ability to get a straight black colored Brain Bag. However, the durability element had really been speculation based on reviews I read on the internet, and based on supposed typical use of the backpack. After over three years of being put through-the-ringer, I can confidently say that the durability of the Brain bag is superb. It has survived LSAT prep, numerous trips (usually the only thing I take when I travel), and most importantly 3 years of law school. It has withstood the attempted destruction of con-law textbooks and saved me the ire of being the full-blown-travel-luggage toting law student.”
“I’ll add a couple of other notes about the lower modular pocket that might not be obvious from these photos: First, even on the dyneema version, the bottom and “back”–the side that is against the Smart Alec–are black cordura to match the pattern of the Smart Alec itself. Second, there is a small pocket against the “back”, mirroring the inside pouch of the Smart Alec. Nice design touches to have the lower modular pocket mirror the main bag in such a way.”
“Combining spaciousness, an expansive soft shell, and an attractive, clean design, the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 bag is an attractive choice for people who need versatility from their backpack. The Cache on Rails upgrade makes it checkpoint-friendly, and for bikers and hikers, you can add a safety light or a built-in emergency whistle. Pricey but well-designed, this bag is a winner for people who need a backpack with a lot of space, but also want it to look good.”
“It is a rainy cold Saturday in Boston. Naturally, I decided to practice pack for my upcoming week long June trip to Hong Kong! I am tagging along with my husband while he is at a work conference. We tacked on a few days for fun together but I will be in charge of my own fun much of the time excepting evening work dinners.”
“I use the Tom Bihn Snake Charmer (packing cube) as a diaper pouch and I swear by it. Perfect size for diapering essentials and can easily go from purse to car to bike basket to where have you. Best trade for a diaper bag I ever made.”
– Excerpted from SimplyBike’s post “bike ride to the first farmer’s market of the season”
“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”.”