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Thread: 6 days in a Synapse 25

  1. #1
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    6 days in a Synapse 25

    I'm heading back to the east coast tomorrow, and I made it my goal to use only my Synapse 25. Unfortunately, holiday gifts are going to need to be carried in another bag (chicobag reusable bag - my favorite, packs up so tiny), but I got pretty close. Here are some photos (my apologies for the poor quality):

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    To the left, what I'll be wearing:
    • black leggings
    • dark blue, stretchy skirt
    • black Icebreaker merino tank
    • grey Ibex long-sleeve button-up merino shirt
    • black v-neck merino sweater (yes, three layers of merino!)
    • black ankle socks
    • leather slip-ons
    • dark grey circle scarf
    • grey knit hat
    • compactable down jacket
    • rain jacket


    The rest, to be packed. Here it is, packed up (in all my shiny new Tom Bihn pieces!).

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    In the main compartment:
    • plastic bag w/ one pair of grey sneakers
    • 15" laptop in its case
    • packing cube shoulder bag: jeans, purple tank, black t-shirt, blue cashmere sweater, pajama pants and shirt
    • size 3 stuff sack: 6 pairs underwear, 2 bras, 4 pairs socks (2 calf, 2 ankle)
    • Side Effect, attached to fabric loops as per suggestions on here: kindle, wallet, mini pouch w/ pills, mixed nuts, floss, mini comb, lip balm, pen, keys, phone (Galaxy S4, not pictured because it was taking the pictures)


    In the bottom pocket:
    • 3-1-1 liquid toiletries: primal pit paste, coconut oil (use this for lotion, lip balm, and to cook, in a pinch), toothpaste, soap (Doc Bronners mixed with olive oil), honey (for a gift)
    • pencil pouch: toothbrush, comb, razor


    In the left side pocket:
    size 1 stuff sack: laptop power cord, micro-usb charger

    In right side pocket: prescription sunglasses, lunette cup

    In the water bottle pocket: just my water bottle

    In the small front pocket: nothing right now, might move the mixed nuts here, will put the chicobag in there (clipped to the o-ring) for the trip home

    It all fits pretty well, although the Synapse does seem a little bloated when completely packed. The things in the Side Effect are a tight fit too, mostly because I really need to downsize my wallet. I think I could actually travel for quite a while with this set up.

    Questions, suggestions?

  2. #2
    Registered User Ms. Ferret's Avatar
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    Looks like a good list to me!
    I'm curious -- soap mixed with olive oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaireJ View Post
    soap (Doc Bronners mixed with olive oil)

  3. #3
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    Doc Bronners is pretty concentrated so it's recommended to cut it with water - but I find it drying so I like to mix it with olive oil instead which I find balances well. Of course, too much olive oil and it starts to feel greasy but I find I'm usually okay with 1:1, maybe a little in favor of the soap. I used to moisturize with olive oil (still do in a pinch, but coconut oil is my preference now), so it made sense.

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    There is a product called Godiva solid shampoo (Lush fresh cosmetics) which does double duty as conditioning shampoo plus also can be used as body washing soap. One cake (1.9oz) lasts at least a month with daily use. 10 different smelling shampoo bars. Bonus... it is not required to be in your 3-1-1
    Eire and jumpkick like this.

  5. #5
    Registered User Eire's Avatar
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    Very inspiring post. I have ordered a 25 myself and plan to use it as my only travel bag. I will have the packing cube shoulder bag as my seat bag with all of my inflight/train/bus/car necessities. This will go into the top of the synapse while hoofing it. Did this list work out for you? Would you make any changes? Thanks for sharing. Eire.

  6. #6
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bijoux View Post
    There is a product called Godiva solid shampoo (Lush fresh cosmetics) which does double duty as conditioning shampoo plus also can be used as body washing soap. One cake (1.9oz) lasts at least a month with daily use. 10 different smelling shampoo bars. Bonus... it is not required to be in your 3-1-1
    Baby bar shampoo also works really, really well at a fraction of the cost. Johnson & Johnson makes one as does Burt's Bees.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  7. #7
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    My personal favorite shampoo bar (I use it everyday) is J.R. Liggett's Argon Oil bar, although I also like the peppermint one. I order mine off of Amazon. They are very affordable as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eire View Post
    Very inspiring post. I have ordered a 25 myself and plan to use it as my only travel bag. I will have the packing cube shoulder bag as my seat bag with all of my inflight/train/bus/car necessities. This will go into the top of the synapse while hoofing it. Did this list work out for you? Would you make any changes? Thanks for sharing. Eire.
    This worked out really well - my only adjustment for future travel would be to not bring the laptop if possible (but I think fitting a 13" laptop in there would feel a lot less cumbersome than my 15" one). I felt like I had the perfect amount of clothes - could've gone longer if all my shirts were merino. The side effect was my in-flight bag, which was unfortunately a little small (I need lots of snacks!), but worked out so nicely clipped to the seat pocket in front of me. The whole Synapse 25 fit under the seat in front of me just fine on the way there, but I was bringing my cat on the return trip and needed to put her carrier there so I put the Synapse in the overhead bin. The PCSB would be a nice size for a seat bag, but you should think about what else you hope to put in the main compartment because I did feel like the PCSB took up much of the space. I've found that the key to packing the Synapse well is minimizing what's in the main compartment, though that may seem kind of strange at first. For me, an overstuffed main compartment is not very comfortable against my back.

    The shampoo bar suggestions sound really good! My shampoo solution is actually not using any (my hair does better now without shampoo than it ever did with shampoo, strangely), but for those whose hair needs it, sounds like a great travel solution!
    Last edited by ClaireJ; 01-11-2014 at 02:41 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User Eire's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for posting the update. Looking for a wee bit more organization than what the packing cube shoulder bag provides, I ordered a medium cafe bag. This will be used as my seat bag and walking around bag at my destination. I may also be able to use it as an EDC whereas my steel dynema PCSB wouldn't work.


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