@Karlalphonso Welcome to the forums! I've carried my 25 daily since the review and am even more assured it was the right decision. I had to bring my laptop home over the weekend which was no problem with the extra space - something that would've resulted in a very tight squeeze in the 19.
Both the 19 and 25 have a pocket on the front of the main compartment, however on the 25 it's large enough for anything holding standard letter sized paper (e.g. a clipboard, probably a 1 - 1.5" notebook). I keep my 12" tablet inside a pretty thick padded case (it's shown in one of my pics) inside this pocket and it's perfect.
My plan is to use this as my sole companion on any 2-4 day trip. I don't have any TB packing cubes but I do have a plethora of Eagle Creek cubes. Along with everything but the laptop from my original post, I was able to fit:
- an Eagle Creek Full Cube (6 t shirts),
- Half Cube (6 pair boxers) - fits perfectly in the bottom pocket with enough room for a small stuff sack,
- Quarter Cube (6 pair socks),
- and a Medium Fold-It (4 shirts, 1 pair jeans, 1 jacket)
Granted this isn't a standard packing list, rather something to adequately fill the cubes. The backpack was stuffed to the gills but it fit and I didn't feel like the zippers were at risk of bursting.
Hope this helps!
Originally Posted by Ineffable
It's your first paragraph that really did it for me - my concern with the 19 is primarily "will I be able to put more into the 19 that on the occasion that I do have that need" (ex. When flying/traveling). Of course more stuff is a broad term and I get that too.
Also, I'm curious to know how the 25 holds up when not completely filled? Does it feel like your stuff is moving around in there because it's just one large compartment?
I found the only way to make a decision is to have both of them in house. Borrow one or two and try them both on side-by-side one after the other until you figure it out.
Also try it in different fabrics. I did not like parapack, cordura is out because of the pet fur factor, and dyneema is divine (flexible but also therefore floppy).
Concerning your question about how the S25 holds up when not complete filled, I agree with@meekasmom concerning the dyneema based on the pictures I have seen (I have the Cordura version). The dyneema version is a bit more floppy (and shows more bulges if it is filled). The Cordura holds up very well if not completely filled and is one of the reasons I like the S25.
IMHO, the design of the Synapse series is the best if you are looking for a backpack that keeps its shape even when not completely full. @Ineffable's first post really shows this in the side view picture. The configuration of the front pockets makes the front more structured and therefore does not allow the backpack to "slouch" much if not full - even with the Dyneema version.
Hope this helps
@Karlalphonso I've honestly found that most of the things I carry daily are relegated to the various front pockets. The large main compartment is mostly my "flex" space - there if I need it but usually mostly empty. With the cache on rails secured to the back panel of the main compartment that's the first thing my back feels and as a result, even with other loose things in the main compartment I have yet to notice them.
The only things in there for sure every day are the Large Double Organizer Pouch (holds letter sized papers and other loose things), my tablet case and the empty cache. The tablet case is slid inside the cache (mostly just because the space is readily available and begging to secure something) and the DOP is tucked inside the little pocket (I say little, it's pretty substantial - in fact, if I do have my laptop then the tablet case fits in this pocket beside the DOP).
@tpnl is dead on regarding the bag holding it's shape. This is doubly true if you smartly utilize those front pockets. They are what truly gives the bag its' shape.
I have to say, it is a beautiful sculpted design. Remember this is a BACKPACK we are talking about. But its lines are fantastic. Even empty -- with piping it's not bad in dyneema. I did put a full water bottle in the center and the whole pack fell over on its face. Oops. Need to think about redistributing more weight in back (no laptop that time).
Parapack kept its shape always but the greenish hue of the steel color was off putting (to me). I have not seen cordura.
lol... you called 6'0 average. DAMN i am short. jokes aside, for all potential buyers who are contemplating, I am 5'6 with a S19 and i think my height is the max you can go with S19, any taller is for S25. to encourage my friends to convert to Tom Bihn, i had various peers of mine "try" my bag and seems like everyone taller than me thought the bag was too short. as for same and shorter, loved it.
Thank you for this! I went through the same dilemma back in the spring, and as I live in the UK and the postage/customs is extortionate, getting it right was essential. I decided that it was better to risk having a little too much room than not quite enough, so played it safe by ordering the Synapse 25 in navy/solar (all praise the genius who made a backpack with a yellow lining so you can actually see what's in the bag and not have to grope around in the dark!). Looking at your fantastic comparison, I think I made the right choice.
The Synapse 25 was on backorder, and when TB said it would be delayed a little more than expected, they even offered a free organiser pouch to compensate, so I got one of those - and while I was waiting of course I decided that I might as well add a bit more to the order and got a small organiser pouch that clips inside the outer pocket, a snake charmer bag for all those pesky charger cables, and the brilliant travel tray.
In the end, the Synapse 25 still arrived much sooner than TB estimated. I could immediately tell the difference between this backpack and the one I use for my daily commute. I'd put the Synapse in the 'luggage' category, as in both design and manufacturing quality, it's far and away better than a generic day pack. I'm delighted with all the items, and am taking them for their first outing to Edinburgh this weekend, so will get to field test it all! It's so beautiful I'm almost afraid to use it and get it dirty!
dunno how I miss this thread, but I ordered the 19 after debating... it technically would work, but I'm starting to think the 25 would just be far more versatile. Also, they sent me the wrong color, so it has to go back anyway, heh. My issue was I wanted to carry my camera daily, and the front bottom pocket is just a bit too small with padding added for my uses. Without padding, it'd work, but it'll bump up against the main compartment items too much as my daily (me: lunch in glass containers).