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Thread: Synapse or Co-Pilot

  1. #1
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    Synapse or Co-Pilot

    This fall I am going to try to go carry-on only to Ireland for two weeks. I have a Jansport Eurosak with Eagle Creek packing cubes for my main bag, but am wondering what to do about my "personal item" bag. I also have to carry a C-Pap as well but then that is a "medical device" so I am still allowed one more item. My question is that I like both they Synapse and the Co-Pilot as my options and am wondering how well both of them fit under the seat or in the bins of mid to larger sized aircraft. I am worried if I took the Synapse as well as the Eurosak, I might be asked to check a bag, plus I think the Co-Pilot might be more stylish to carry around when I get to Ireland. How are people's experiences with these bags? Thanks from the TB Newbie

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    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    What items will be in your personal bag? Both are great for organization and as day bags, the Synapse obviously has a lot more capacity than the Co-Pilot.
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  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    What airline are you flying, and what do you hope to bring with you in your personal item? That information would help a lot. If I was going to Ireland (which I'm not, grumble), I'd want the Synapse. It would contain the things that I'd likely want during the day, be useful for hiking, and the backpack straps would be comfortable for all-day carrying. However, what I would want is sort of irrelevant to you; if all you have is an iPad and a pen to carry, after all, the Co-Pilot would make much more sense.

    Either the Synapse or Co-Pilot would fit very easily under the seat. You could fit both under one seat. They'd be swallowed up by the overhead bins with no problem.

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    Jinx, dorayme.

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    I had to think a bit to know what I was putting in my personal item. My first thoughts were to have a change of clothes handy in it, but then I remembered I was carrying everything on and that was not a problem, lol. I am flying Aer Lingus from Chicago to Dublin, and flying to Chicago via United Airlines from the west coast.

    Here's what I would like to put in my personal item:

    Water bottle
    2 ballpoint pens
    Passport
    Wallet
    Map
    Paperback book
    Book of wordsearch puzzles
    MP3 player and earbuds
    Small Moleskine
    311 bag
    Pertinent guidebook pages unceremoniously ripped from my guidebooks
    Airline tickets
    Snacks
    Small 8x20 binoculars
    Ireland bird book, about 5x7x.25 inches
    Lumix digital camera, extra sd card, wall charger and extra battery
    A lightweight fleece pullover
    Possibly a GPS with european maps and charger(haven't made my final decision on this yet)

    I do plan on getting some nifty Tom Bihn pouches for some of my goodies too!

    I think that is about it. Some of these items are not going with me as I tromp about the countryside. Believe it or not, I don't plan on taking my phone and don't have a tablet at this point either. Kinda in the dark ages, lol.

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Because of the fleece, camera, binoculars, and books, I'd say Synapse. Sounds like you're going to have fun!

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    I can't tell from your post if you are male or female... if female I'd suggest you check out the Swift. I recently started carrying the Swift more and more and have decided it is the best "TB" all around bag there is. It works when the LCBs are too small. It works when the items Ihave are too irregular in shape for the Co-Pilot. ANd it works when I don't want t carry a backpack. No, it does not have a secure closure so that may be a consideration in certain circumstances.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Maria's Avatar
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    Wish there was room for me in whichever bag you choose! Wish I could go to Ireland!
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  9. #9
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    On Aer Lingus you'll be fine with a Synapse and your bigger backpack. Since the Synapse stows under the seat with no problem, you should not be asked to check anything. Enjoy those free G&Ts.

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    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    This is a silly question, but I'm not familiar with the Eurosak. Can you tell me if that's a duffel bag, or a backpack style? If you plan to carry the Eurosak as a backpack, you'll want to figure out how you will also carry the Synapse, since that's also a backpack.
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    I like either one depending on what my carry-on is. If the latter is a backpack, I take the Co-Pilot. If it is a roller - I still use a roller from time to time - then I use a small backpack as personal bag. Prior to giving away my black/UV Synapse, it was my first choice. The Synapse makes a great day bag, so I used to pack it in my backpack also and used the Co-Pilot as a personal bag.

    I always bring a large shop bag. I put my personal bag in it, before putting under the seat. The shop bag is easy to wash, handy for various uses at destination, folds flat, takes very little room.

    I am hoping to purchase a Synapse in dyneema sometime. I am guessing it compresses into a smaller footprint for packing compared to the cordura version.

  12. #12
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteStar View Post
    I can't tell from your post if you are male or female... if female I'd suggest you check out the Swift. I recently started carrying the Swift more and more and have decided it is the best "TB" all around bag there is. It works when the LCBs are too small. It works when the items Ihave are too irregular in shape for the Co-Pilot. ANd it works when I don't want t carry a backpack. No, it does not have a secure closure so that may be a consideration in certain circumstances.
    WhiteStar -- I think the Swift is a great "tote-style purse" for us ladies to putter around in. That said, I think your last point, that it doesn't have a secure closure, kills it for me for travel purposes. Granted it does have a single button closure, so you won't have to worry about everything completely rolling out if you accidentally tip it over... but here's the scenario that just ran through my head:

    -- Using the Swift as my under-seat bag, accidentally knocking it over and having things spill out without my knowledge while I sleep. Eek!

    If Tom Bihn made the Swift (or something similar) that zipped up completely, I'd say that would be a great option.

    There are a lot of choices available depending on personal preference. I carried even less... instead of using the Synapse as my personal item, I used it as my main carry-on and used a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag as my personal item... and then on my way home (after I raided the Disney Store in Tokyo of all its Stitch stuff), the Synapse became my personal item, and I used an expandable tote as my carry-on to carry all the Disney stuff.

    In my case, I wound up using an Eagle Creek expandable tote bag that I got from REI. It zips all the way across, and packs a ton of stuff. It easily packed the PCSB right into it, too.

    But I only packed an expandable tote bag because I had a suspision I might be stocking up on a lot of stuff that they don't sell in the U.S. anymore.
    Lani Teshima: A Dyneema diva with a closetful of Tom Bihn products!
    Publisher, The Travelite FAQ: Don't get saddled with baggage—free yourself & your mind by packing lightly!
    Editor, MousePlanet: Detailed park guides, daily news & stories from all over the Disney kingdom | Technical writer | Marathoner

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    I am female, Whitestar. Love the dog in your avi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker View Post
    I like either one depending on what my carry-on is. If the latter is a backpack, I take the Co-Pilot. If it is a roller - I still use a roller from time to time - then I use a small backpack as personal bag. Prior to giving away my black/UV Synapse, it was my first choice. The Synapse makes a great day bag, so I used to pack it in my backpack also and used the Co-Pilot as a personal bag.

    I always bring a large shop bag. I put my personal bag in it, before putting under the seat. The shop bag is easy to wash, handy for various uses at destination, folds flat, takes very little room.

    I am hoping to purchase a Synapse in dyneema sometime. I am guessing it compresses into a smaller footprint for packing compared to the cordura version.

    Now this is another possibility I hadn't even considered, a bag in a bag. Maybe I could get the Synapse and also stuff either a medium or small Cafe bag in it for carrying the smaller stuff around town, as I am not as likely to carry so much in town as out hiking and exploring the countryside. Practical and stylish! Hmmm....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    This is a silly question, but I'm not familiar with the Eurosak. Can you tell me if that's a duffel bag, or a backpack style? If you plan to carry the Eurosak as a backpack, you'll want to figure out how you will also carry the Synapse, since that's also a backpack.
    Not a silly question at all! The Eurosak is an older, not quite as nice as Bihn bags, maximum legal carryon sized bag. It can be carried backpack style or the straps can be stowed and it can be carried over the shoulder with a strap, or even by hand with a handle vertically or horizontally. I picked it up a few years ago on closeout at Campmor and it has been a good bag for me. I would most likely hand carry it and put on the Synapse if that is what I ended up with.

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