Another favorable Synapse review
Let me add my voice to the growing roster of those who love their Synapse. This is my first Tom Bihn bag and I really love it. For those who may not be familiar with Tom Bihn bags or who may be wondering if a Synapse is right for them, I'll briefly describe what I was looking for and how I've used it so far that has me so happy.
First, I travel often for work. Sometimes I pull a small, wheeled, Tumi rollaboard, and sometimes I would travel with a pretty good sized Tumi back pack. Because my roller bag has wheels, I am often forced to gate check it, even though it fits in almost every overhead compartment (rant for another time.) Having to gate check this bag leaves me scrambling to remove laptop, iPad, headphones, magazine, etc. The backpack I carried was just too big to pack full and carry (too heavy) and too bulky to carry around less than full. So my search for a smaller backpack that I could easily carry just the essentials began.
I got my Synapse in Navy about four weeks ago and since then have carried back and forth to work everyday. I hate to say it's my "man bag" but I throw my iPad, bluetooth headset, snacks for the day, and Moleskine notebook in there and don't have to worry about which hand I am going to try to keep free for opening or closing doors! So I guess it's a man bag. It goes back and forth to the office really well and looks good doing it.
Last week I got to try it out while flying to and from Puerto Rico for vacation. It did exactly what I wanted for flying. Headphones, keys, wallet, phone, water bottle, light jacket, book, iPad--all had a place to be in the bag and all fit with just enough room to spare. For those really full flights it fit easily under the seat in front of me, so I still had room for my feet, and I could still get to all my stuff so I didn't have to disgorge it before I sat down. Made boarding and deplaning much easier.
One day on vacation we went for a hike in the rain forest. We threw in snacks, water bottle, phone, keys, maps and wallet and took off. I put the waist straps on and it was easy to carry around without feeling like I had a pack on my back. So it passed that test, too.
Bottom line for me is this bag does exactly what I bought it for--it carries around the few things I think I need for the situation I'm in, and keeps them handy so I can get to them without being a big inconvenience. Unless you're carrying your apocalypse survival kit on your back, you should be able to make this back pack work for you, too.
I hope this helps you decide if the Synapse is right for you. I'd be glad to answer questions about how I use it to help you make up your mind. I am one happy customer!