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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    i carried my steel/solar aeronaut and indigo/solar synapse on my trip to india. neither was packed to capacity.

    in the synapse, i packed:
    Hello Maverick,

    You mention Sennheiser headphones in your packing list for the Synapse.

    Which model of Sennheisers were you using and how well do they fit in that padded pouch?

    Getting a new paid of pro headphones is definitely on my to-do list, and I'm thinking about getting some kind of protective pouch to store them in. I'm wondering what kind of fit I should expect.

    Thanks,

    --The Mountain Man

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Which model of Sennheisers were you using and how well do they fit in that padded pouch?
    the headphones are sennheiser hd 25-1 ii's.

    the pouch is the ultrasuede sleeve for the kindle, which has the same dimensions as the medium padded organizer pouch if you prefer to go that route.
    Last edited by maverick; 06-01-2010 at 12:26 PM.
    -m

  3. #18
    Registered User bltkmt's Avatar
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    I used my Dyneema Synapse in NYC a few days ago with my wife. It was a rainy day, and we spent the day walking around the Village. The Synapse easily swallowed:

    • both of our rain coats
    • two compact umbrellas
    • Sanyo Xacti camera
    • wallet, keys, Blackberry, etc
    • two baseball caps to cover rain hair
    • extra shirt/sweater for my wife
    • various items picked up during shopping


    Great bag, and I love the Dyneema!
    --------------------------------

  4. #19
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    Here is a recent packing list: I had to go to NYC on work, and I could not believe all that I got into it!
    Main compartment held:
    1. TWO two inch binders filled with flyers.
    2. 15 rolled up cloth totes--fairly thin; but still --cloth totes!
    3. A compact CIRCA notebook: 3/4inch circa rings; so not too thin
    4. Several program books--about an inch thick
    5. two mini pouches clipped on to rings with adapters, chargers, medicines and so on.

    Outside pockets had the usual assortment: phones; pens, pencils, keys, assorted paraphernalia.
    Water bottle pocket held TWO 16oz water bottles side by side.

    Bottom pocket: had two stuffed quarter gallon ziploc bags filled with buttons!

    Carried it all did all over NYC!

  5. #20
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    I think the Synapse is hands down one of my favorite backpacks. On a recent trip back from a conference out West, this is what I had in it:
    Main compartment:
    1. 2 x 1.5 inch binder

    2. rolled up Dyneema backpack cube
    3. hat, gloves, scarf: somewhat bulky
    4. 4 pouches with various stuff hanging from the O-rings here
    5. an old Kipling pouch that serves as medicine bag
    6. 2 paperback books (150 pages each)

    Water bottle pocket: had water bottle; banana; and I even managed to squeeze in a small yogurt

    Bottom pouch: had 3D organizer with toiletries

    Side pocket: two mini pouches with adapters, receipts etc.,
    Other side pocket had a leather 3x5 from levenger; a small organizer pouch; assorted pens, pencils etc.,

    It went beneath the seat of the Southwest plane.

    This time I had to take a roll aboard--long story--all my TB bags are with my cousins who are travelling non stop while they are here on a Fullbright! So all I had was this 21 inch rollaboard. I had the WF large pouch with clothes; a small TB pouch; a pair of sandals; lightweight sneakers; a shawl, a merino wool sweater...all this would have fit into my WF without a problem. Here it fit---but it weighed 28lbs for no good reason. All the clothes were lightweight......and I realized I have forgotten how to wheel things too!!
    sigh!

    s

  6. #21
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    Synapse Again!

    So, by now, everyone knows that this is my favorite go to bag! Katy will post a picture for me this time!
    I am travelling to India--after the longest time, and am so excited to be going home!
    Carrying the Synapse as my carry on item---if anyone knows anything about standard "desi" travel, you will know how terribly odd this is (other than Maverick who travels light to India!)...

    this is what I have in there:
    Main compartment:

    An Iberian packing cube shoulder bag with a full change of clothes; socks; underclothes
    An old Mountainsmith packing cube (about half cube size) with assorted stuff
    A leather pouch with documents
    A pouch with Indian currency + other documents
    A TB wallet with back up cards, Nokia phone for India
    A small organizer pouch with sundry items

    Lower pocket: 3D organizer cube with toiletry

    Right pocket: mini cork pouch with shuffle, ear buds, and charger
    Mini pouch with basic medicines
    Small pouch with keys, locks, tissues

    And best surprise of all: A big fat paperback (Verghese's tome, Cutting For Stone--close to 400 pages)--guess where? fit perfectly in the water bottle pocket!!!

    It took me a while to figure that out--and was I surprised! Amazing.....
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Katy; 05-31-2011 at 11:59 AM.
    ncb4 and TavaPeak like this.

  7. #22
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Synapse keeps its cool when it's 100 degrees in the shade

    Name:  Synapse4.jpg
Views: 1623
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    Last Monday I headed off on a day trip to Athens, Georgia: a peaceful 100-mile drive through farmland and pine woods and cotton fields, and even a national forest. My son graduated from UGA four years ago, so I've got no real reason to go there anymore, but I will find any excuse to make the trip; Athens is a great town, and the state botanical gardens are located there as well. I hit Jittery Joe's for chai and a little "café writing" on my Macbook Air, then walked around the state botanical gardens just a couple of miles outside town, taking photos. (I picked one of the hottest days of the summer to do it: aiyee!) Although I was disappointed to find out that my favorite noodle shop, Doc Chey’s, was closed for remodeling, I ate lunch downtown and people watched before I wandered around the historic North Campus. I thought I’d get there before the first rush of students, but there were already lots of kids there with their parents: the last batch of freshmen for orientation.

    On previous trips, I've loaded up my Indigo/Indigo Swift, which can carry my laptop, my camera, my notebooks and pens, toiletries, wallet, phone, iPod Touch, and thermal bottle well. There is something about the Puron handles on those double straps that help the Swift feel comfortable on my shoulder even with a heavy load.

    But since I've got a new Indigo Synapse, I decided to try that for my trip today instead. This is how I packed it:

    Bottle pocket:

    For the morning, I put my 16 oz thermal mug in there. Since I had access to my car, I switched that out after Jittery Joe's with a 16 oz. double-walled thermal water bottle that's a bit smaller, actually.

    Tiny pocket:

    •Neoprene pouch with spare batteries, memory card, remote, and lens cloth for my camera
    •Earbuds

    Side pocket with pen slots:

    •Five pens, four of them Levenger Pocketini pens (I like to write in different color inks)
    •Two Moleskine Cahier notebooks
    •Packet of Kleenex
    Room in here for more

    Side pocket with Ultrasuede pouch:

    •Plum key strap for car keys
    •Sunglasses in internal Ultrasuede pocket
    •Mini tin of Altoid mints
    Room in here for more

    Bottom pocket:

    •Detached waist strap from Synapse
    •Indigo 3D Clear Organizer Cube with Handle Loop containing all sorts of toiletries. I'm one of those "what if" packers, even with my daily bags, because I've ended up needing all the stuff inside at one time or another, including wet wipes, Band-aids, hand sanitizer, lip balm, artificial tears, comb, brush, hand lotion, and in the summer, a travel bottle of L'Occitane lemon verbena spray. (That is so refreshing to spray on when you're walking around in the steamy heat of a Georgia summer.)

    Main compartment:

    •13-inch Higher Ground Flak Jacket with my Macbook Air inside.
    [Note: This offers excellent protection, but it is kind of bulky. In future I'm going to try carrying the Air in a sleeve, placed inside the large pocket inside the main compartment. But I haven't finished that yet. I'm in the midst of sewing a form-fitting sleeve for my Air out of 3mm industrial grade felt hat offers a surprising among of cushioning with very little bulk, and it's also water-repellent. But I'm still waiting for some Ultrasuede to arrive from Etsy so I can finish the sleeve, so for this trip the Air traveled inside the Flak Jacket.]
    •Olympus e620 DSLR with 14-42mm lens attached, wrapped in a cushioned RAPS.
    •Attached with key strap to one of the O-rings was my FoT pouch that has my Air's power adapter inside
    •Attached with a key strap to the other O-ring in the compartment were a Small Clear Organizer that has spare phone batteries in it, and also a Clear Organizer Wallet with the credit cards that don't fit in my regular wallet
    • Tucked down in the large pocket was a large but flat zippered wristlet wallet/purse.

    I could definitely squeeze more in the main compartment.

    Since this was a day trip with lots of time to sit and rest, and also lots of occasions when I needed to access the bag, I detached the waist strap and wrapped the sternum strap connectors around each of the shoulder straps to tuck away the excess webbing. If I were planning to run through the airport with this on, or go on a hike, I would definitely use both the sternum strap and the waist strap, because it makes it more comfortable to carry a heavy load.

    The heat index was 111 degrees, so this was a tough test for my maiden voyage with the Synapse. When it’s that hot, even the lightest bag starts to feel heavy, and every step is an effort. But I truly wasn’t aware of how much my Synapse weighed; this was my first time carrying a load on my back, rather than cross-body or hanging off one shoulder, and it does make a huge difference. You can remain comfortable and rested longer carrying a heavy load if you’re doing so on your back.

    One thing I did worry about with a backpack was sweat, but the back panel of the Synapse did a good job of wicking that away from my body. With tropical heat and humidity, nothing is going to keep you from sweating, but when I took off the Synapse, my back was relatively dry. My shoulders were another matter: I had two dark wet stripes on my blouse where the shoulder straps had been. I was actually a bit self-conscious about that when the time came to head back to town from the botanical gardens (where I was the only person crazy enough to be standing out in the noonday sun). And boy, did I think about jumping in the fountain where I photographed the Synapse! But I needn’t have worried too much about my unplanned wet t-shirt ensemble: everybody in town looked just as bedraggled and sweaty as I did.

    Two comments about the Synapse. Someone else has already mentioned this on the forum, but it’s easier to pack the main compartment if you fill the bottle pocket first.

    Second, I did find that the shoulder straps dug into my underarms a bit. That may be because I haven’t carried a backpack in many years, and I need to get used to it again; or it may be because I didn’t use the sternum strap. I did test the sternum strap once, and it pulls in the straps enough that I didn’t feel that same binding sensation under my arms, so I’ll have to experiment further with this and see what works best.

    All in all, this was a great first trip with my lovely new Synapse.

  8. #23
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    That's a really great picture, ncb4.
    ncb4 likes this.

    Black/Steel/Wasabi Super Ego, Cardinal/Steel 15"/13" Cadet, Cardinal/Steel Aeronaut, Olive/Cayenne 13" Ristretto, Camera Insert/Outsert, Horizontal Freudian Slip, 13" MBA Cache, Brain Cell for 13" Macbook, Steel Snake Charmer, FoT/FoJ pouch, Organizer Wallet, and more organizer pouches than I can shake a stick at.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    Name:  Synapse4.jpg
Views: 1623
Size:  140.2 KB

    Last Monday I headed off on a day trip to Athens, Georgia: a peaceful 100-mile drive through farmland and pine woods and cotton fields, and even a national forest. My son graduated from UGA four years ago, so I've got no real reason to go there anymore, but I will find any excuse to make the trip; Athens is a great town, and the state botanical gardens are located there as well. I hit Jittery Joe's for chai and a little "café writing" on my Macbook Air, then walked around the state botanical gardens just a couple of miles outside town, taking photos. (I picked one of the hottest days of the summer to do it: aiyee!) Although I was disappointed to find out that my favorite noodle shop, Doc Chey’s, was closed for remodeling, I ate lunch downtown and people watched before I wandered around the historic North Campus. I thought I’d get there before the first rush of students, but there were already lots of kids there with their parents: the last batch of freshmen for orientation.

    On previous trips, I've loaded up my Indigo/Indigo Swift, which can carry my laptop, my camera, my notebooks and pens, toiletries, wallet, phone, iPod Touch, and thermal bottle well. There is something about the Puron handles on those double straps that help the Swift feel comfortable on my shoulder even with a heavy load.

    But since I've got a new Indigo Synapse, I decided to try that for my trip today instead. This is how I packed it:

    Bottle pocket:

    For the morning, I put my 16 oz thermal mug in there. Since I had access to my car, I switched that out after Jittery Joe's with a 16 oz. double-walled thermal water bottle that's a bit smaller, actually.

    Tiny pocket:

    •Neoprene pouch with spare batteries, memory card, remote, and lens cloth for my camera
    •Earbuds

    Side pocket with pen slots:

    •Five pens, four of them Levenger Pocketini pens (I like to write in different color inks)
    •Two Moleskine Cahier notebooks
    •Packet of Kleenex
    Room in here for more

    Side pocket with Ultrasuede pouch:

    •Plum key strap for car keys
    •Sunglasses in internal Ultrasuede pocket
    •Mini tin of Altoid mints
    Room in here for more

    Bottom pocket:

    •Detached waist strap from Synapse
    •Indigo 3D Clear Organizer Cube with Handle Loop containing all sorts of toiletries. I'm one of those "what if" packers, even with my daily bags, because I've ended up needing all the stuff inside at one time or another, including wet wipes, Band-aids, hand sanitizer, lip balm, artificial tears, comb, brush, hand lotion, and in the summer, a travel bottle of L'Occitane lemon verbena spray. (That is so refreshing to spray on when you're walking around in the steamy heat of a Georgia summer.)

    Main compartment:

    •13-inch Higher Ground Flak Jacket with my Macbook Air inside.
    [Note: This offers excellent protection, but it is kind of bulky. In future I'm going to try carrying the Air in a sleeve, placed inside the large pocket inside the main compartment. But I haven't finished that yet. I'm in the midst of sewing a form-fitting sleeve for my Air out of 3mm industrial grade felt hat offers a surprising among of cushioning with very little bulk, and it's also water-repellent. But I'm still waiting for some Ultrasuede to arrive from Etsy so I can finish the sleeve, so for this trip the Air traveled inside the Flak Jacket.]
    •Olympus e620 DSLR with 14-42mm lens attached, wrapped in a cushioned RAPS.
    •Attached with key strap to one of the O-rings was my FoT pouch that has my Air's power adapter inside
    •Attached with a key strap to the other O-ring in the compartment were a Small Clear Organizer that has spare phone batteries in it, and also a Clear Organizer Wallet with the credit cards that don't fit in my regular wallet
    • Tucked down in the large pocket was a large but flat zippered wristlet wallet/purse.

    I could definitely squeeze more in the main compartment.

    Since this was a day trip with lots of time to sit and rest, and also lots of occasions when I needed to access the bag, I detached the waist strap and wrapped the sternum strap connectors around each of the shoulder straps to tuck away the excess webbing. If I were planning to run through the airport with this on, or go on a hike, I would definitely use both the sternum strap and the waist strap, because it makes it more comfortable to carry a heavy load.

    The heat index was 111 degrees, so this was a tough test for my maiden voyage with the Synapse. When it’s that hot, even the lightest bag starts to feel heavy, and every step is an effort. But I truly wasn’t aware of how much my Synapse weighed; this was my first time carrying a load on my back, rather than cross-body or hanging off one shoulder, and it does make a huge difference. You can remain comfortable and rested longer carrying a heavy load if you’re doing so on your back.

    One thing I did worry about with a backpack was sweat, but the back panel of the Synapse did a good job of wicking that away from my body. With tropical heat and humidity, nothing is going to keep you from sweating, but when I took off the Synapse, my back was relatively dry. My shoulders were another matter: I had two dark wet stripes on my blouse where the shoulder straps had been. I was actually a bit self-conscious about that when the time came to head back to town from the botanical gardens (where I was the only person crazy enough to be standing out in the noonday sun). And boy, did I think about jumping in the fountain where I photographed the Synapse! But I needn’t have worried too much about my unplanned wet t-shirt ensemble: everybody in town looked just as bedraggled and sweaty as I did.

    Two comments about the Synapse. Someone else has already mentioned this on the forum, but it’s easier to pack the main compartment if you fill the bottle pocket first.

    Second, I did find that the shoulder straps dug into my underarms a bit. That may be because I haven’t carried a backpack in many years, and I need to get used to it again; or it may be because I didn’t use the sternum strap. I did test the sternum strap once, and it pulls in the straps enough that I didn’t feel that same binding sensation under my arms, so I’ll have to experiment further with this and see what works best.

    All in all, this was a great first trip with my lovely new Synapse.
    The key to optimum comfort with TB backpacks is to experiment with straps length and sternum strap placement when the backpack is fully packed.
    ncb4 likes this.

  10. #25
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    The key to optimum comfort with TB backpacks is to experiment with straps length and sternum strap placement when the backpack is fully packed.
    Thanks, aptly-named @backpack. I did play around very briefly with strap length, and I did find that they were more comfortable when I lengthened them. But I was also trying to keep the weight of pack up, because I've read that many people wear their backpacks too low, and this causes extra strain. I need to play around and find the happy medium, I think.

  11. #26
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterN View Post
    That's a really great picture, ncb4.
    Aw, thank you, misterN!

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncb4 View Post
    Name:  Synapse4.jpg
Views: 1623
Size:  140.2 KB

    Second, I did find that the shoulder straps dug into my underarms a bit. That may be because I haven’t carried a backpack in many years, and I need to get used to it again; or it may be because I didn’t use the sternum strap. I did test the sternum strap once, and it pulls in the straps enough that I didn’t feel that same binding sensation under my arms, so I’ll have to experiment further with this and see what works best.
    I have a fabulous steel/steel dyneema snapse that I have never been able to carry due to the shoulder straps issue, too. No matter how I adjust the straps, I can't get them comfortable; they're either cutting off circulation or pinching a nerve (not sure which). Must be my body type or middle age that's the problem! I probably need to sell or trade it for a non-backpack bag so I can try out some other wonderful Tom Bihn bag. I've been extremely happy with all the rest of my other TB bags and accessories.

  13. #28
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    Hi Everyone -

    I've been a Tom Bihn fan for about 6 months now, having purchased a Western Flyer, 2 Co-Pilots, a small cafe bag, several pouches, and a Synapse. I finally decided to take some time to post about my newest purchase, the indigo Synapse. Brian graciously helped me decide how to spend my birthday money last week, and we agreed the Synapse would be the best all-around bag for me. I'm absolutely thrilled with it! Here's what I carried yesterday on my first trip with it:

    Main compartment:
    - A pair of tennis shoes (womens size 6)
    - A pair of heavyweight fleece sweatpants
    - A tank top
    - An extra pair of socks
    - A 3D organizer cube with toiletries
    - Several papers in the pocket on the back

    Top zippered compartment:
    - Business card and gift certificate

    Water bottle pocket:
    - Stainless steel 1 liter water bottle

    Bottom zippered pocket:
    - Wallet attached a key strap
    - Checkbook

    Side pen pocket:
    - Flashlight attached to a key strap
    - 2 Clif bars

    Side phone pocket:
    - Snack bag of trail mix
    - Keys attached a key strap
    - iPhone in ultrasuede pocket

    Of course, there was a lot of room to spare.

    I'm only 5 feet tall, and many bags look huge on me and feel pretty heavy, but not this bag. The Synapse felt light as a feather as I carried it around all day. I've never felt straps that comfortable, and they actually fit my narrow shoulders! I just bought a MacBook Air 13" today (another thrilling moment!), and it will fit into the Synapse perfectly. Bags, and gadgets - what a great week!

  14. #29
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    Packing Ultralight for China

    Hello! I recently bought my first Tom Bihn bag: an olive/solar Synapse. I purchased it to take on a four-week trip to China. It was the only bag I took with me, which was a big change in my packing habits. I used to carry an old school-size backpack on short trips, and rolling luggage on long trips. The old backpack made my back feel awful, and rolling suitcases don’t mesh well with staircases. It was definitely time to try something new, and I was inspired by online articles and blogs to pack as little as possible.

    I'm just over five feet tall, so the Synapse is the perfect size. I'd never owned a backpack with a waist strap before, but I quickly learned the advantage of letting the weight rest in its proper place. When fully packed the weight of the Synapse was a little much for me (yes, I'm weak), but I could walk around for a couple of hours before it became a problem. On most days I was able to leave the majority of my gear behind at the hostel anyway.

    In the main compartment I packed my clothes (one spare set and pajamas), a manila folder with my documents, a pair of foam flip-flops, a sarong, and other odds and ends. To pack my clothes I put them in a 12" Loksak and then sealed it while sitting on it to eliminate any extra air (always fun). I still had room for snacks and a sandwich / cup o' ramen.

    I didn't bring a water bottle, but I bought ones along the way and there was always room in the water bottle pocket. Normally I use a reusable water bottle, but drinking tap water in China isn't a good idea. I did wish I'd brought a mug or thermos because hot, boiled water was nearly always available.

    In the little pocket I packed the couple of cords I needed and a rechargeable battery. The only electronic device I brought with me was a smart phone I could put in my pocket. I filled the side pockets with toiletries, including all-in-one soap. In the bottom pocket I packed a thicker cord to charge the battery, a universal plug adapter (never used it), a glasses case, and my rain jacket in its pouch.

    Everything else I brought I either wore or put in my pockets or money belt. Sometimes it was inconvenient to have so little, like when I had to dry my clothes by wearing them. And I missed my laptop. But it was liberating to be so mobile, and I had an awesome trip.

    My packed bag at the airport in Chengdu:

    Name:  2011-11-05 16.40.31.jpg
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  15. #30
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    Firewatch, I do believe you hold the record for light packing! Four week trip with only the Synapse! And your bag does not look like it is packed cramp from the photo. Congratulations!

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