Awesome post! Thanks!
Awesome post! Thanks!
I just realized that Dorayme wonderful pictures are a great help for people of all statures but also for people with all kind of curves.
The fact that it fits my frame almost exactly as it fits hers, even if my frame is much bigger, make me shake my head, everytime I see the pictures. How can Tom and the Crew design such scalable object?
Thank you for the wonderful photos! These sealed my decision and ordered my synapse 25 already. I'm 5'2" as well and I was scouting for photos to actually see the torso length fit. Not so bad when I saw your comparison. S19 would have been perfect but would not suit my needs. I regularly do 1 week of business travel to the islands and wanted something big enough to fit my biz needs plus weekend extension gear. I do beach and island trips regularly plus hikes and wanted something versatile and that one bag that won't scream backpacker as I like to blend in when traveling solo. So thanks again and I can't wait to have my S25 soon! I swore that if it will be the one backpack of a lifetime, I'd let go most of my ruck collection. I hope it will hug my back right :).
Well I have officially completed the week of camp that I decided I needed the S25 for and I have some observations to share. Previous years I have carried various bags, the last 4 years I have used a Vera Bradly Large Backpack, Synapse 19 in Plum/Solar and Synapse 19 in UV/Steel. I could definitely hold A LOT more with the 25 than any of the others. This was advantageous at times, and disadvantageous at times. I was more organized than any of the others due to the combination of dedicated pockets and o-rings. I found myself very comfortable with it minimally packed.
In main compartment
small knitting stuff sack with lace project
small knitting stuff sack with medicines
apple or other portable snack like food
In lower front
snake charmer with a few cables, ear buds, camera I didn't use
In phone pocket iPhone and oversized orange TicTacs
In organizer pocket oversized sunglasses case and my daughter's Hello Kitty kiddy sunglasses
in forehead pocket small baggie with afterbite, 2 way radio, and bandaids
water bottle pocket, large container of bubbles
I never removed the cache with rails, even if I left my MacBook in our Travel Trailer, it didn't get in my way or add a negligible weight, it did however add structure when I removed the clipboard so that the S25 stood up with minor propping. I noticed, that even when no where near capacity, the S25 still looked great. It was hard to tell exactly how much was in it most of the time, and even when I "loaded it up", it still had more room!
Loading it up meant adding my MacBook, iPad, Side Effect2 with my purse contents, a few more food/snack like items stashed in various places, a bubble blower, a light rain jacket for me and my 5 year old, her string backpack and duct tape camp kit purse we made at camp filled with the camp kit goodies, a few My Little Ponies, a 8" babydoll, water bottles, and a medium Knitting Stuff Sack with another knitting project.
I felt that when I had it loaded up fully it was not fun to carry around all day, and being at camp I had to carry it around almost all day in hot humid weather. Of course, that had to do with weight and bulkiness vs. the backpack design. Under usual circumstances I would never choose to carry all of that stuff around with me every day. I loved that when I needed to load it up though, it could handle it. I loved that it handled it rather comfortably for a big load. I loved that it could handle the storage clipboard AND the MacBook as well as all of the other stuff. I never had to worry about anything getting wet or damaged. It took a 3.5' spill off of a stack of chairs in the dining hall and thankfully neither the iPad inside of it, nor anything else was damaged.
Other than the ability to overpack and end up with something that was too heavy, the only other real complaint I had is that I found it harder to not bump people in close proximity when it was loaded and I never had this problem with the S19. I am glad I have both, there is a use and need for both! I am so happy that this was designed as an option because it is the best laptop accommodating backpack that TB has to offer.
I look forward to future opportunities to use this pack, and I see this as an excellent candidate for a student backpack of upper elementary ages and up. My children are homeschooled and therefore do not need backpacks for school, but if they did, I woud consider the S25 for them, even over a S19 due to the combined organization and ability to handle either large text books and electronics!
Thank you dorayme! These are super helpful. I also home-school my children. Each child has a Tom Bihn field journal and we use it as an assignment notebook. We insert a DayTimer yearly agenda. At the end of the year, I take out the pages, tie a string through the top hole and store it away as a record of all we've done. The portability is SO very useful, as you know home-schoolers go on lots of field trips, or as I like to call them... real world learning experiences. The field journal travels well and it also a great place to record the adventure.
@TXGirl and roadpotato, looking forward to seeing your thoughts when your S25 arrives! I hope you love it as much as I do, it's a wonderful pack!
@ backpack, I too have wondered how the TB bags can be so scaleable, appearing to be of similar proportions to big and small alike. Unlike so many other bags, they don't overpower.
Thanks for all the photos, Dorayme! I'm looking for a new travel bag for one-bagging and have a few questions for a fellow shorty. Can you compare the carrying comfort of the Aeronaut, Western Flyer, and Synapse 25? I dislike carrying a lot of weight, so overpacking won't be an issue. I'm just wondering how each bag feels to carry, and to be honest, the Synapse 25 in steel/UV Dyneema is calling out to me to be my one travel bag..
Thanks in advance.
@Rocks, my personal favorite is still the Western Flyer as a travel bag. I like being able to open everything up clamshell fashion for both packing and finding things. I like the divided front compartment that can be open if I desire and I like the smaller front pockets to organize the bits. I have the backpack version so I do not have the rear magazine/roll a board sleeve and interior pockets. I can achieve the organization I need further with packing cubes. I chose the TT, CQPC,PCBP and PCSB as my main complements. I add others depending on the trip. This system has given me flexibility and comfort for weight distribution of my things. I am looking forward to using the Synapse 25 for more trips as my one bag, but my preference to open up my bag entirely precipitates that it probably won't be my all time favorite.
The Aeronaut is wonderful, and you can pack it with less without it looking ridiculous, but it has so much more capacity, it's easy for somebody like me who is tempted to bring everything just in case, to bring too much for most of my trips. I love using it for packing the kids things along with mine. I could wield it just fine for my 2 week trip to WA in April. It surprised my BIL, he assumed I would be unable to. It was pretty heavy, but I did it without issue.
If you are looking for something along the lines of a backpack that you use for travel the Synapse 25 would be my vote. I personally prefer a travel bag though.
eta, for last week at camp, my clothes were packed in my Aeronaut. I needed to have 9 days worth of clean clothes, without the ability to wash, and without the ability to rewear (who wants to re-wear camp clothes, ick)
Great posts, Dorayme; thank you. I'm 5'0" and have a WF (my favorite travel bag also!) and an Aeronaut. I took my Aeronaut last weekend for is maiden voyage and loved it, though, like you say, I kept packing more and more things because it fit! It was might heavy to carry, but I never pulled out the backpack straps because I was never walking more than a block or two before stashing it again.
My question is, how do you use the PCBP and PCSB on your trips? I've been traveling with the WF and my S19, which worked well. I'm wondering if I should purchase a PCBP or PCSB for the Aeronaut (or WF, for that matter) in place of the S19 on a trip. That seems a bit unfathomable to me because I love the organization of the S19 so much. I'm going to Israel next spring and want to one-bag it with my Aeronaut and am trying to plan out way in advance what I'll use so I can take it on a practice run!
Thanks in advance for any advice any of you have on this!
I received my S25 today! I am so glad I decided to go with the bigger size as it will make a great travel & work bag.
I can't wait to use it for my up coming trip :)
We just got our Synapse 19's and while I like the bag, I think the 25 is a better choice for me. The 19 looks like a small child's pack on me, I'm only 5'8" but it looks kinda silly. The shoulder straps have to be very loose to get the waist belt close to my waist so my height must be all in my torso, 30" inseam.
So, now I must decide on the Smart Alec or Synapse 25...
Got mine yay! But well technically not yet coz I had it delivered in the US. My friend will bring it over by the third week of July as I live overseas. I asked her to try it as she's a petite 5'2" - looks foine! She said it doesn't weigh like a $180 pack hahaha! Color [wasabi] me excited!
Riley, my Smart Alec is my favorite Bihn bag. I find it to be amazingly comfortable to wear (more so than my Synapse 19). If you aren't looking for a ton of internal built in organization, I highly recommend it.
@roadpotato, what does a $180 backpack weigh like?