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  • 5 Post By bchaplin
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Thread: Synapse 25 in Black Parapack/wasabi

  1. #1
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Synapse 25 in Black Parapack/wasabi

    Some photos of my new Synapse.

    As background: I take a lot of short trips. I've found that a large backpack, along with a purse or Co-Pilot, works well for me. I have a Smart Alec and have used it about four times so far. Don't get me wrong, the Smart Alec is a great bag. But I find it is awkward to take things in and out of it, particularly when I'm holding the backpack (like, when I'm in the aisle of the train trying to re-pack my things, and there is no place to set it down) -- there's something about the top-loading shape that doesn't work well for me.

    And I am very fond of my 19 inch Synapse, which I often use to go back and forth to work. So despite being 5'2", technically below the recommended height for the larger 25 inch Synapse, I decided to try it out as a travel bag. I really like having a variety of outside pockets, and I prefer the overall shape of the Synapses, which seem to me to be streamlined if they aren't packed too full.

    If it works out for me, I'll probably end up selling the Smart Alec.

    I bought the black Parapack version, mostly because it was the only Parapack color offered with a wasabi interior. It's a nice combination, though I won't be 100% sure about the black until I start using it. My biggest fear is that it will pick up stains and scuffs that drive me crazy. However, I like the solid color, and it is nice to have something understated that I can use on a business trip as well as for vacations.

    Here is the bag with three stuff sacks I'll use with it. Two size 1's and one size 2. The black has a very nice sheen.
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    I was delighted to see that the small flat pouch has an O-ring now. On my older-style Synapse 19 that is missing, and I had to doctor it with a safety pin, hidden under the lip. I keep my train pass in this pocket (in a pocket pouch).
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    A view of the contrasting wasabi interior. It's kind of hard to get the shading right. This picture is a little too light.
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    I'm not thrilled with these pictures, but that's the best I could do in the few minutes of sunlight I had this morning. I will try to take some others that show off the backpack a little more.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 12-12-2013 at 07:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looks great! Thanks for the pictures!!!

  3. #3
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    I just received my black parapack/Iberian S25 today and so far I'm highly impressed on first reaction. I had originally ordered an S19 in the same color combination, but they mistakenly sent me the wrong S19 and I had second thoughts once I saw the actual size of the bag. So I upgraded to the S25 and it really fits me well (I'm 6'0" or so). The parapack is shinier than I thought, but I like the feel compared to the cordura and the lighter weight compared to the ballistic.

    I can post some photos here if anyone is interested. I'll be taking a bunch of bag photos tomorrow as I prepare to list several Bihn bags and accessories on Ebay over the weekend to clear out inventory. I don't think the Iberian interior color can be beaten - what a great contrast to almost any exterior. My S25 also is replacing a Smart Alec that I bought just before the S25 was released. Once Bihn got away from the cordura, I was sold on the S25 because of the better organization. I like the Smart Alec and will miss its versatility, but I didn't utilize the versatility as much as I thought I would. So it will be going on Ebay this weekend (black/navy/Iberian - another stunning color combo).

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reviews. I'm 5'3" and agree that the S25 can work for us shorter folks - just depends on your fit preferences and such. Since I'm completely unreasonable about these bags and don't have an S25, of course I'm kinda looking at it. The Smart Alec works great for my exercise stuff, since my shoes fit in one layer and the rest just piles on top including room for lunch containers. The organization available in the S25 is my justification - it's an entirely different bag!

  5. #5
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    I was also interested in the Guide Pack you posted about earlier, tCook, but in the end I decided that I'm looking for another travel backpack, not something to hike with, and the Synapse 25 might be more practical. I do really like the looks of the GP though! I wish I had infinite money.

  6. #6
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    More pictures of the Synapse 25, compared to my older '19'

    Here are some more photos of the new Synapse 25 in black Parapack/wasabi and my older '19' (purchased earlier this year) in steel Dyneema/wasabi.

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    This is what the pack looks like on me. Empty, it is practically flat, but I stuffed it with some clothes to give a more realistic picture of how it will wear. It's definitely large for a 5'2" woman's frame, but I think it is still ok. I would carry a small collapsible day-pack if I go somewhere that involves hiking or sightseeing, whereas someone taller might use the Synapse 25 as a daypack.

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    The older Synapse 19 was purchased before some of the more recent improvements. As pointed out before, I use a safety pin where the new one has an O-ring in the front small pocket. (I wonder if the Tom Bihn team would sell me an O-ring with a tag that I could sew in myself...?) The Synapse 25 also has a slot for the Guardian light in front.

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    However, my older Synapse 19 has one great feature: the "portable culture" tag.

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    Finally, here are the two packs side by side. The Synapse 25 seems to be completely made of Parapack, whereas the Dyneema Synapse 19 has a strip of cordura on each side. I'm not sure if this has to do with the evolution of the Synapse over time or if this is a difference between the two materials.

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    Last edited by bchaplin; 12-15-2013 at 03:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    However, my older Synapse 19 has one great feature: the "portable culture" tag.

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    For folks who are new to the forums, bchaplin is referring to the New logo text that was adopted earlier this year, switching from "Portable Culture" to "Made in U.S.A." as you can see by comparing the label shown above with its counterpart image for her new Synapse 25 in the first post.


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