The new Synapse 19

The recently introduced Synapse 25 wasn’t simply a larger version of the Synapse 19 — it also debuted five new design updates to the Synapse design. Four of those design updates have now been added to the Synapse 19 (the original size of Synapse.) If you already have or plan to place a backorder for the Synapse 19, rest assured that you’ll receive the new version.

The design updates include:

Webbing Loops for Cache with Rails system: Inside the main compartment are four unobtrusive webbing loops, two fore and two aft, to which you can secure the optional Cache with Rails (available in sizes specifically for Apple laptops and the iPad; most sizes fit PCs, too). When you add the Cache with Rails, the Synapse 19 becomes a “checkpoint-friendly” laptop backpack. You can even attach two laptops or devices inside the Synapse 19 (note that only one can qualify as “checkpoint-friendly” at the airport; for everyday use, it’s great). Note that all sizes of Cache with Rails fit in the Synapse 19 with the exception of the Cache with Rails, Size 4Z (for the 15″ MacBook Pro) which only fits in the larger Synapse 25.

Bottom Pocket Piping: The bottom pocket is now piped to help it keep its shape, even when empty.

Bottom Webbing Loop: Because we care about your safety, we’ve added a 1.5″ / 38 mm webbing loop on the exterior bottom of the Synapse 19 that’s ready to accept the Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount — highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark.

More O-rings: Yes, we listen — we’ve added several more O-rings to the Synapse 19, including one O-ring each in the water bottle pocket and top exterior front pocket.

Wondering what the design update was that we included in the Synapse 25 but not the 19? The reconfigured organizer pockets in the left front side pocket. In the Synapse 25 left side pocket, there’s one pen/pencil slot and two wider slots for multitools/knives. In the Synapse 19, we chose to keep the three existing pen/pencil slots just as they were.

The new Synapse 19. $160. Colors Black/Steel, Black/Iberian, Black/Wasabi, Conifer/Steel, Olive/Steel, Indigo/Steel, Navy/Iberian, Navy/Ultraviolet, Nordic Dyneema/Steel, Steel Dyneema/Wasabi, Steel Dyneema/Steel are available for backorder and ship by late May. Color Steel Dyneema/Ultraviolet is available for backorder and ships by late June.

Photos of the new Synapse 19 will be posted soon.

New: 3D Clear Organizer Cubes in Dyneema/nylon

TOM BIHN 3D Clear Organizer Cube3D Clear Organizer Cube in Wasabi Dyneema/nylon.

Our 3D Clear Organizer Cube — a one-compartment organizer cube with clear front and back panels designed to meet the TSA 3-1-1 liquids-program requirements — is now available in Wasabi, Iberian, Steel, and Ultraviolet 200d Dyneema/nylon. Our ultralight 200 Dyneema®/nylon fabric — used mainly as a lining for our travel bags and backpacks — is custom produced just for us by a mill in Japan. Its great tear strength and surprising abrasion resistance come from the grid of white Dyneema® yarns woven approximately every .25″ / 6 mm parallel to the X and Y axes (the weft and warp), forming the distinctive ripstop pattern (the Dyneema® yarns don’t accept dye and hence remain their natural white color). Now you can choose a 3D Clear Organizer Cube made out of the same material as the lining of your Aeronaut, Tri-Star, Co-Pilot or Western Flyer travel bag.

The new Handle Loop

Handle Loop w/O-ringClear Organizer Wallet clipped to a Handle Loop w/O-ring.

The Handle Loop is a loop of webbing that allows you to add a grab handle or wrist loop to many of our Organizer Pouches and Cubes. Its length is fully adjustable thanks to a clever slide part that provides enough friction to keep the Handle Loop snugged around your wrist: even if pushed to the end of the Handle Loop, it won’t come off. $3. In stock and ships within one business day. And available in two versions:

Handle Loop with Snaphook: This version, with a small-but-tough swivel snaphook, is designed to clip to a 3D Clear, Mesh, or Dyneema®/nylon Organizer Cube, a Side Effect, your keys, a knife, a multitool, or a flashlight.

Handle Loop with O-ring: June, our Vice President of Production, came up with this one — it has an O-ring instead of a snaphook at the end, so it’s designed to clip to any of our accessories that already have a snaphook, such as our Organizer Pouches.

Handle Loop with SnaphookHandle Loop w/Snaphook clipped to a 3D Clear Organizer Cube in Ultraviolet Dyneema/nylon.

Introducing the new Side Effect

The Side Effect is a bag that has evolved directly from user feedback (mostly from folks on our Forums). The original Side Effect was a small waist pack: you guys were cutting off the waist straps, attaching Key Straps, and envisioning new ways to use the bag which we hadn’t. Other mods — more O-rings, different label placement, a removable waist belt — were not DIY-able for you all. We decided it was time to catch up, and then some.

Side Effect. $40. Available for pre-order; ships by April 19th. Colors: Black/Wasabi, Aubergine/Wasabi, Navy/Iberian, Wasabi Dyneema/Wasabi, and Steel Dyneema/Wasabi. Discuss the Side Effect in our Forums.

TOM BIHN Side Effect

TOM BIHN Side Effect

TOM BIHN Side Effect

TOM BIHN Side Effect

Pre-order: Key Straps in Dyneema/nylon

Key Straps in Wasabi and Ultraviolet Dyneema/nylon

We made a few samples of Key Straps, 16″, in Wasabi Dyneema/nylon and Ultraviolet Dyneema/nylon and liked the results. Then we asked you for your opinion; you agreed that these new Key Straps were a good thing and just like that, they’re now available for pre-order with a shipping date of late April.

16″ Key Strap in either Wasabi 200d Dyneema/nylon or Ultraviolet 200d Dyneema/nylon. $4. Pre-order now; ships by late April.

New Stuff Recap: Synapse 25, Glowire, Guardian Light, Videos

So many new things debuted last week that we thought we should post a recap, just in case you missed anything:

The Synapse 25 — a much-anticipated larger version of the Synapse 19 — was introduced. Discussion on the forums followed. Loaded Pocketz published a First Look review of the Synapse 25 and tCook posted a photo in the Forums of the Synapse 25 with the Synapse 19 and Smart Alec.

Introduced in conjunction with the Synapse 25 was the Cache with Rails — a protective laptop sleeve that allows one to use the Synapse 25 as a checkpoint friendly backpack. (See this Loaded Pocketz video demonstration of how the Cache with Rails works.)

We shared two new videos: in our Everyday video, the Synapse 25, Swift in Cork, and Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air are shown. The second video — Synapse 25 — has just the Synapse 25 footage from the Everyday video.

Ready for order is a 5′ / 1.5 m Glowire electroluminescent wire kit for the Smart Alec backpack. Tom’s design choice of allowing you to add or remove the Glowire with ease ensures not only that you can remove the Glowire on days or trips you don’t anticipate using it, but also that, should it fail, you can simply get a replacement Glowire instead of having to chuck the entire bag.

Another exterior safety light option is also now available: the Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount: it features a clever base that allows you to mount the light securely to either a 1″ / 25 mm or a 1.5″ / 38 mm webbing (strap) and works well with the Brain Bag, Synapse 25, and Smart Alec.

Introducing the Synapse 25

TOM BIHN Synapse 25

The Synapse 25 is a carefully calculated, supremely organized backpack, designed for day hiking, everyday carry, and ultralight travel. No mesh pockets clutter the exterior of this bag, nor extraneous straps festoon it; in it, you’ll be able to carry more than you would imagine, and no one will be the wiser.

You guys have been asking us for a while to make a bigger version of the Synapse 19 — here it is. Seems easy, right? Just make the whole bag bigger? Not quite. Take the water bottle pocket, for example: if we had simply made the Synapse 25 a larger version of the Synapse 19, the water bottle pocket would have been needlessly long. That’d be wasted space, plus you’d have to reach farther in to pull your water bottle out. Instead, we took that volume and allocated it to the bottom pocket (where it can serve good instead of evil).

And we didn’t stop there. The Synapse 25 debuts five design updates:

Webbing Loops for Cache with Rails system: Inside the main compartment are four unobtrusive webbing loops, two fore and two aft, to which you can secure the optional Cache with Rails (available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad; most sizes fit PCs, too). When you add the Cache with Rails, the Synapse 25 becomes a “checkpoint-friendly” laptop backpack. You can even attach two laptops or devices inside the Synapse 25 (note that only one can qualify as “checkpoint-friendly” at the airport; for everyday use, it’s great).

Bottom Pocket Piping: The bottom pocket is now piped to help it keep its shape, even when empty.

Bottom Webbing Loop: Because we care about your safety, we’ve added a 1.5″ / 38 mm webbing loop on the exterior bottom of the Synapse 25 that’s ready to accept the Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount — highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark.

More O-rings: Yes, we listen — we’ve added several more O-rings to the Synapse 25, including one O-ring each in the water bottle pocket and top exterior front pocket.

Reconfigured Organizer Pockets: Instead of three pen slots in the left front zippered pocket, the Synapse 25 has one pen/pencil slot and two wider slots for multitools/knives or just more pens.

Synapse 25. $170. In colors Black/Steel, Black/Wasabi, Black/Iberian, Olive/Steel, Navy/Iberian, Navy/Ultraviolet, Steel Dyneema/Steel and Steel Dyneema/Wasabi. Available for pre-order; ships by mid-May.

TOM BIHN Synapse 25 Organizer Pockets

Video: Synapse 25, Swift, Ristretto — Everyday

Synapse 25 | Swift in Cork | Field Journal Notebook | Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air

New: Glowire for the Smart Alec

Glowire for the TOM BIHN Smart Alec

Ride your motorcycle or bike or walk in the dark with your Smart Alec? Weave a 5′ / 1.5 m Glowire electroluminescent wire kit through the webbing loops on the front face of the Smart Alec and set its 360° glow (very similar to neon) to Constant, Slow Flash, or Fast Flash for increased visibility.

One really important thing: installing or uninstalling the Glowire is easy and takes only a few moments. We’ve seen other bags with built-in LED strips or electroluminescent wire: cool idea, but what happens when those lights reach their end of life? Though Glowire is a top-quality product, it’s unlikely to last as long as your Smart Alec. Tom’s design choice of allowing you to add or remove the Glowire with ease ensures not only that you can remove the Glowire on days or trips you don’t anticipate using it, but also that, should it fail, you can simply get a replacement Glowire instead of having to chuck the entire bag. Plus, if you tire of one color, it’s easy enough to swap it out for another.

TOM BIHN Glowire for the Smart Alec backpack

Included in the kit: 5′ / 1.5 m of electroluminescent wire in the color of your choice, connected to a 3-volt driver/power supply. Batteries aren’t usually included in Glowire kits, but we didn’t want you to have to run to the store to pick up batteries before you could even test it, so we’ve sourced and included two AA batteries (batteries made in USA).

Glowire. $18. Available in Lime Green, Aqua, or Yellow. In stock and ships within one business day. Made in China by Glowire.

New: Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount

New at TOM BIHN: Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount

Our Guardian Dual Function Light is now available in two versions — our current Guardian DF Light Original Base and the new Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount.

The Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount features a clever base that allows you to mount the light securely to either a 1″ / 25 mm or a 1.5″ / 38 mm webbing (strap). This is great for those who will use their Guardian DF Light primarily as an exterior light or safety beacon. For a forward-facing light, you can mount it on the 1″ / 25 mm webbing of your backpack shoulder strap, or mount it anywhere along a 1.5″ / 38 mm shoulder strap for a shoulder bag or messenger bag. For safety from vehicles approaching from behind there are numerous potential attachment points on the backside of most backpacks and other bags, TOM BIHN or otherwise. Note that the Brain Bag, Smart Alec, and Synapse 25 all have webbing loops added to the front designed specifically to work with the Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount. You can also attach a Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount to your dog’s 1″ / 25 mm collar or harness and set the light to flashing mode for added nighttime visibility and safety.

Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount. $18. Available in Red or White. In stock and ships within one business day. Made to military specifications in Canada.

TOM BIHN: Guardian DF Light Strap-Mount

We’ll continue to offer the Guardian DF Light Original Base; paired with its included TOM BIHN made lanyard, it makes for a great interior bag light.