I always see everyone on these forums talking about how big the Synapse is and how much stuff they can end up putting into it. I've seen people talk about how much stuff they can fit into it. My question is, ignoring the fact that there is very little padding, would it be possible to keep a dSLR and a few lenses inside of the bag?
Depending on the insert/protection you want, there would definitely be room for the camera and accessories. I actually think maverick demonstrated it here: Carrying Photographic Equipment in the Tom Bihn Synapse Backpack - YouTube
Thank you for the link! I didn't know that video existed. I'm very tempted to order a christmas gift for myself (as if the Cadet and Aeronaut were not gifts ;))
well you must have at least one Christmas present! To not have one would just be sad.
I was mulling over buying one when I purchased my mother's swift.
Originally Posted by misterN
When anyone mulls over buying anything from Tom Bihn, everyone knows that the item will make the next order or will eventually end up added to a future order.
And by the way, resistance is futile, you have been assimilated!
I have been trying to find an insert that will fit in the Synapse and so far have had no luck.
I have a Tenba insert and a Mountainsmith insert and both are just too bulky to go in there.
I an thinking of getting some lens bags next and then I know I can get a couple of good sized lens in there but the body is still a problem for me.
Meanwhile I have so many great photo bags I am just having fun using them all!
If you don't mind, I'd like to jump in with some questions of my own. I've been interested in the Synapse for a few months, and in the meantime I've tried about a dozen other backpacks -- not even kidding, I've bought that many!
The main thing I want to carry is camera equipment. But no, it's not enormous "professional" equipment, and I'm sure as heck not just going to drop the cameras into the bag without some kind of protection. So, let me run some questions past you:
I have a couple of Sony NEX-5N cameras, each with different lenses attached. These will fit into small bags like the Mountainsmith Small Zoom bag, or the Lowepro Apex 100 bag. Or, as I would prefer to carry them, they'll fit nicely into a Mountainsmith Kit Cube Insert, which is 11" wide and 4.5" deep. I don't expect the insert's height to be any problem at all, but the one thing that seems impossible to figure out from looking at pictures and reading is "what's the footprint of the Synapse's main compartment?" I would hope that the 11 inches "long" wouldn't be a problem -- the bag appears to be wide enough to squeeze that in. What I'm most worried about is the "depth" front-to-back of the main compartment -- can you get something four and a half inches "deep" in there?
The Mountainsmith insert is quite malleable -- if the fit is tight, it will "squish" into the available space pretty well. Note that this isn't Mountainsmith's "Kit Cube Traveler" insert, which is much, much larger.
If one of those could be squeezed in there, again, that would be my best option. Otherwise, I could use bags that are about 3.75 inches "deep" -- perhaps a couple of those, side-by-side, might fit.
Otherwise, the only other odd thing I would want to have in the Synapse would be my Blackberry Playbook tablet -- a seven-inch tablet about 5.5" wide and 8" tall. I'm hoping that I could get that into the center "water bottle" pocket, as I'm certainly not bringing any water along with me.
Finally, let me toss a couple more questions that I've got about the Synapse:
1. Gosh, is there like "no padding whatsoever" on the bottom of the bag? I'll set any backpack on the ground every now and then, and I sure would like a certain amount of padding to protect the camera gear I've got sitting on the floor of the bag.
2. A related question: So, how does that "front bottom pocket" influence the main compartment? Does it "go underneath" the main compartment, or is it stopped short of going under it?
Thanks in advance for any insight you might be able to provide! I'm definitely learning to value the concept of "a smaller backpack." I'm just worried that the Synapse might be a wee bit too small, but I hope not!
I just crammed the Mountainsmith insert into the Synapse and it does go in there with minimal contortion even!
The back panel of the Synapse then becomes not flat from the front to back thickness of the insert so it looks uncomfortable to put on your back this way maybe?
I imagine you could use it this way but they do not provide enough dividers for your gear and I can not figure out what they were thinking with the top cover part at all?
I had to fold it down around the insert as it is just in my way otherwise. I suppose it would work to close and carry the bag but then I can simply not open it if my life depended on it,have you tried?
Also the Velcro sucks and the dividers do not really stay where I want them.
Sticking it in there also then provides some padding in the bottom of the bag.
I can also still get my iPad in Otterbox case in the front stretch inside pocket too.
The front bottom pocket does not intrude into the main compartment it is flush with the inside front panel.
The Synapse is an amazing bag I think but I am not a backpack person really and carrying and storing my camera stuff is not my problem. For me it is a shooting bag that is the quest!
Also I have no trouble picturing your dozen attempts at all.
I feel your pain for sure,of course it is an excuse to try EVERY bag too!
Thanks for your reply!
Indeed, I fold the insert's "cover" down around it -- I really have no use for it, otherwise.
I haven't had a problem with the dividers moving around, and I only need the two that come with it -- I'm pretty happy with it to that extent.
Otherwise, it sounds like the Synapse is up to the job as I imagine it -- thanks for your thoughts about it.
I haven't been that much of a "backpack person" in the past, but I definitely don't like the usual "shoulder bag" concept -- if I'm going to hang a bag on my body, I would much prefer it to be a backpack on my back. And when I start carrying five to ten pounds (or more!) around, it sure is better to get it on my back, rather than carrying it around with a handle.
Thanks again for your thoughts -- much appreciated!
ANother interesting observation is that the MountainSmith insert in the Synapse looks like they were designed as a single unit almost.
My Solar interior is the same color as the insert interior!
There is also almost 1/2 of the space left inside the main compartment with the insert in there for other stuff.
Backpack here speaks the truth.
Originally Posted by backpack
I use my Synapse as a photo bag: see this link.
I did put a piece of one-inch thick foam that I had around the house (I am always squirreling away boxes and padding for future use) in the bottom of the main compartment to add some cushioning for my camera.
Another Synapse question: will a clear quarter packing cube, packed reasonably full, fit in the bottom pocket? (I'm thinking it's a little too big/wrong shape)
I believe that the Kit and the Snake Charmer fit best into the bottom pocket. There's a post or video about it somewhere here, but I need to be in office stealth mode right now so I can't find it ATM.
Originally Posted by WhiteStar