Prompted by backpack's request in the TBAS thread for comparison photos between the Brain Bag, Synapse 25 and Synapse 19 and TXGirl's question about whether or not a Synapse 25 would work on her 5'2" frame (I'm the same height). I decided to have a backpack show. I put between 2 and 4 beach towels into each bag to demonstrate fullness. I know this doesn't show weight and weight distribution, I will comment on that at a later time.
Let's start with the largest TB backpack the Aeronaut:
You can see it fits me just fine. This bag has been a pleasure for my longer trips, or trips when I want to pack for several family members into one bag. It is comfortable and just makes sense. I love the end pockets for shoes and toiletries and the center for clothing.
Now the Brain Bag (I borrowed my 8 yo son's)
My son and DH use BB for their travel bags. I like the size, but it is a bit much for a child when fully loaded. One other thing I don't like about the BB is that it doesn't open clamshell, so for a kid, even with packing cubes, keeping organized while living out of a BB is a bit of a challenge.
Now for the Synapse 25! So it's been said that it's built for taller folks. And I must admit, I love carrying my Synapse 19, but this isn't a bad fit for me at 5'2".
I think this bag and I are going to be great friends! It is so spacious. I ordered the cache with rails (my first cache or any other TB laptop containment method) for my MacBook.
It's a perfect fit, and when my MacBook is in the rails it floats in the Synapse and is very comfortable to carry. Plus there is plenty of room for all of my other stuff, AND built in organization, AND a ton of o-rings to add additional organization, AND it looks amazing in Nordic/Steel. This bag is full of win! I definitely made the right choice! (Thanks Amy).
So the final backpack is the Synapse 19, the one I have the most personal experience with:
I have used this as a gym bag, pool bag, camp bag, field trip bag, overnight/travel bag, sleepover bag, and knitting bag. It does it all. The organization cannot be beat, I haven't seen it's rival in a backpack. Also it always holds WAY more than you think it can. There seems to be some sort of blackhole inside of it!
For giggles I also took pictures of my first TB travel bag love, my Western Flyer:
See how nicely this bag just fits me?
It looks like Tom made it just for me!
I cannot extol the wondeful features of my Western Flyer enough. It is perfect for a solo trip of 5 or fewer days for me. I can always manage carrying it. It's never too heavy. The compartmentalization and packing cubes work together to contain and protect my things. And it just looks great!
So IMHO I think SP can use the big bags. TXGirl, the 25 fits me just fine :)
Here are a shot of the bags side by side for those who have one or the other.
And a final of my backpacks side by side. Note proportions are slightly off since the hooks are spaced slightly closer than the bags would be if not suspended. L to R Brain Bag in Olive, Synapse 25 Nordic/Steel, Synapse 19 UV/Steel, Ruck's Sack Sapphire/Olive
I hope this helps those who have questions about the sizing of the bags on a person.
There are more pics on flickr, but I couldn't post them all here due to post limitations.