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Thread: Synapse 19 or Synapse 25?

  1. #1
    Registered User Peruvian's Avatar
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    Synapse 19 or Synapse 25?

    Hello,

    I need some help! I will be starting a Master's program at the University of San Francisco in 2 weeks. I purchased a Synapse 19 a couple of weeks ago, and because of my indecisions I ordered a Synapse 25 which arrived today.

    Certainly, I will only keep one of the backpacks. I have loaded both with what I believe will be my "normal" weekly load. The 19 fits everything fine, but doesn't leave a big margin for error -I still have not received my books from school-. Obviously, the 25 loads all that "stuff" in a more comfortable and roomy fashion. Lots of room left-over for any unforeseen circumstances.

    Speaking of comfortable, the Synapse 25 felt better on my back with the same load. It even seemed to "fit" my entire body better.

    Now, here's where I need the help. If any forum members here are -or have recently been- in a Master's program where they may be more familiar with work-load, number of books/notebooks normally carried on a weekly basis, and can chime in with a recommendation for either backpack, I will greatly appreciate it!!

    Also, it is probably worth mentioning that I will be commuting via BART, on top of walking a couple of city blocks each way to the station.

    The root of my indecision lies in the fact that if I see "room" left over, I will probably try to fill it...and that's what I'm trying to avoid!!

    Thank you all in advance. Cheers!!

  2. #2
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Hola, Peruvian.
    Your book load will greatly depend upon your field of study. However, even if your bookload is on lighter side, your load of photocopied journal articles can be staggering. So, if you're on campus all day (you'll spend lots of time in library reading source materials that cannot be checked out or in labs), you'll need to be equipped daily for a number of eventualities: hunger, thirst, crummy weather. Then there's the laptop and cable, maybe a mouse...I have no experience with S19, but own an S25. My books and supplies would have needed the S25.

    Congrats to you on entering grad school. I loved, loved, loved my graduate training and felt really intellectually excited for the first time in my life.

    Monkeylady

  3. #3
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    I think you may have answered your own question.

    "Speaking of comfortable, the Synapse 25 felt better on my back with the same load. It even seemed to "fit" my entire body better."
    Synapse 19, Travel Tray, PCSB, Western Flyer, all in Dyneema, Side Effect and pouchmania

  4. #4
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I agree with monkeylady about the load varying due to subject matter and it also varies from year to year. I also agree on the potential for substantial copied resources. My graduate work was over 10 years ago, but knowing how days flow when I'm away from home for longer periods of time, I need to have the flexibility to bring more stuff, as mentioned for food, drink, and possibly a clothing augmentation (jacket or fresh shirt), or item/activity that would help to occupy time while I am waiting for the next thing like my knitting. You don't have that flexibility with a just enough bag.

    I think the clear choice is the 25. It will be more versatile in the long run. The cache/rails system cradles the laptop for better placement than just sticking the cache inside of the 19. Comfort will be very important and you mention the 25 is already a more comfortable fit for you. If you know you prefer to stash extra things due to the space, maybe this is an opportunity to discipline yourself regardless of bag size to stick to essentials. Of course another solution would be to choose the 19 and sometimes have to carry a separate co-pilot, shop bag or Cafe Bag to handle the overflow. With the 25, you could slip the cafe bag, co-pilot, or shop bag inside and have the option of stashing the backpack somewhere to have a lighter load.
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  5. #5
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Having completed two rounds of grad school, I can say with confidence that the 25 is the right choice. I own both a Synapse 19 and 25, and would have loved to have been able to use the 25 during school. Because of all the unknowns from day to day, I've always felt it's better to have more room, just in case.

  6. #6
    Registered User Peruvian's Avatar
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    Great input from all; thank you very much!! Amazing forum we've got ourselves here.

  7. #7
    Registered User bunchgrass's Avatar
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    I completed grad school in fall 2009. Since then, I bought my husband a S19 to replace his overstuffed briefcase. IMO the S19 would not be big enough to carry all that you need. The S25 would be a much better choice.

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    I'm in grad school currently, and while the S19 worked for me most of the time, it sucked on days when I hit the library and had a large haul of books to take back (either to my office/desk on campus, or home). Even at 5'5", it felt small on me. I'm much happier with the Smart Alec because there's more room when I need it. I'm sure you'll appreciate having the volume when you need it on the S25. Especially given, as has already been mentioned, that it fits you better. When I had the S19, I tended to overload the exterior pockets and the weight distribution was off on me. So don't make the same mistake =)

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    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    I completed grad school a long time ago (1997) but I remember carrying a lot in my leather pack back in the day, including a PDA (I actually owned a Newton). You may be carrying a lot of books, binders, and papers, not to mention the computer requirements of these times. I own a Synapse 19 and I am certain that the volume would not have been enough for my daily carry. Go for the 25.

  10. #10
    Registered User blackfungi's Avatar
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    19 is the bag for females. the 25 is for the guys. i rather have a bag that is too large.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfungi View Post
    19 is the bag for females. the 25 is for the guys. i rather have a bag that is too large.
    Speaking as the owner of both, I thought, and appreciate, that Synapses are not gender-specific!

  12. #12
    nsh
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    I agree- TB bags are gender neutral

  13. #13
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    I would go with the 25 - primarily based on your "comfort" impression.

    I have a Synapse19 and I find MrDaisy's Smart Alec more comfortable to wear ..

    slightly OT - does one STILL make photocopies in the library ... surely technology (and the copyright laws) have moved on to scanning by now?

    (I have no memory whatsoever of what bag I carried at uni...)
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  14. #14
    Registered User yohopee's Avatar
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    Well, I am a woman but I never thought of the 19 as a woman bag, more as a human bag. It fits my human EDC stuff such as wallet, headphones, flashlight, pocket knife and tools, electronics, water, and my martial arts uniform a couple of times a week. I could easily fit flat shoes in there as well, as it expands considerably. I still say go for the 25. Graduate school books are large, in general, and you will have room to spare for anything else that you may need to carry.
    nsh likes this.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfungi View Post
    19 is the bag for females. the 25 is for the guys. i rather have a bag that is too large.

    Ah ah ah! I had to laugh at that since my U.S domestic Travel Bag used to be a Brain Bag and a Large Cafe Bag, all 40 pounds of them, more if I was carrying one or two laptops (the white heavy iBooks).

    While I am by no mean military, law enforcement, emergency personnel or even field workers tough, I used to carry those, sometimes with very little sleep as I was in a middle of a move.

    I love my girly Synapses 19, they are great for minimalist, in my view, EDC.

    However, for a day involving multiple activities, the Field Journal Notebook as organizer, family activities/school/work/hobby planner and a laptop, I find myself wanting the room of a Synapse 25.

    During very, very busy days and when in need of a more formal setup a Tri-Star is just the ticket, now that's a girly bag!




    I have to wait on the laptop thus wait on the Synapse. I am chomping at the bits like a thoroughbred at the starting gate or even better, when it is time to get pasture time!
    Last edited by backpack; 07-21-2013 at 10:20 PM.

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