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Thread: Packing a Synapse into an Aeronaut

  1. #1
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    Packing a Synapse into an Aeronaut

    Hello everyone,

    I have been obsessively googling and reading and googling and reading on Tom Binh's bags and I very much appreciate all the views and reviews and all the collective wisdom I am getting.

    However, there is one thing I can't seem to find.

    Question

    1) How small can you fold a synapse 19? (Dyneema or cordura)
    2) Does it take up much space when packed into an aeronaut?

    Recently, I travelled to Australia with my big hiking pack and a smaller marmot daypack and they nearly broke my back. So I am rethinking the way I pack and am very excited about using an aeronaut and a synapse together. However, I usually travel in winter for snowboarding with all teh associated clothes and then city sightseeing and tours. This means goggles, big gloves and winter wear.

    I would like to use the aeronaut (with the synapse and all other manner of magic packed inside) used for carry on and when I arrive at destination, the synapse can come out to play as a daypack for day hikes and such.

    Pictures and comments much appreciated.

    Thank you!
    eWalker likes this.

  2. #2
    Registered User terayon's Avatar
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    I don't have a Synapse so I can't comment on your questions, but I have two thoughts. First, it might be tough to get all the winter clothes into the Aeronaut (I do have one of those and some experience packing it for winter); is wearing at least the jacket while traveling an option? Can you pack the pants/mitts/goggles/etc in with your boots and board?

    Second, snow sticks to my Cordura LCB, so Dyneema might be a better choice if you're going to ride with the Synapse.

  3. #3
    Registered User PaulT00's Avatar
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    Here are a few photos of my Dyneema S19 flat in the bottom of the main compartment of my empty (Ballistic) Aeronaut. I don't think I would advise folding the Synapse, because of the foam in the back panel - but emptied and flattened it's just fractionally longer than the width of the Aeronaut main section and I would say less than an inch thick. Also, the Synapse being 'squishy' will compress further if you put stuff in on top of it - the foam will probably compress a little and the fabric will just collapse to little more than its own thickness.

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    The other thing is that the Aeronaut is pretty capacious (as long as you're not trying to fit really insane quantities of stuff in it!) and has a little 'give' itself, so I would say your best bet is to put the Synapse in the main compartment either on the bottom or on the top of the rest of your stuff - use packing cubes for the rest for best results.

    Incidentally the final pic is of Tressa the golden retriever, who was using the excuse of showing me her rope bone to be very very nosy about this interesting thing Daddy was looking at on the floor!
    A45 crim/stl TS navy/solr A30 aub/wsbi S19 nrdc/stl P nrdc/solr CP blk/stl; SE wsbi CQPC ibrn, solr Ri aub/stl 3DCC card TSS4 wsbi K card TT solr,nrdc,blk CC card/stl PCBP solr PP navy QK frst,cyte,aub + loadsa cubes!

  4. #4
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    Hi Terayon, Thanks for the reply!

    I'll be wearing a peacoat. So the boarding jacket, pants, mitts and bum pads (I fall alot and it hurts. lol) must go into the bag. The last time I packed, I vacuumed "sealed" them in a large ziploc and they were really flat.

    As for the cordura vs dyneema, you're right. I'm leaning more towards the dyneema but there's something darkly beautiful about the all black cordura synapse. The good thing is, I don't usually carry a pack for riding. Just for trekking and sightseeing albeit in the snow too.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulT00 View Post
    Here are a few photos of my Dyneema S19 flat in the bottom of the main compartment of my empty (Ballistic) Aeronaut. I don't think I would advise folding the Synapse, because of the foam in the back panel - but emptied and flattened it's just fractionally longer than the width of the Aeronaut main section and I would say less than an inch thick. Also, the Synapse being 'squishy' will compress further if you put stuff in on top of it - the foam will probably compress a little and the fabric will just collapse to little more than its own thickness.

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    The other thing is that the Aeronaut is pretty capacious (as long as you're not trying to fit really insane quantities of stuff in it!) and has a little 'give' itself, so I would say your best bet is to put the Synapse in the main compartment either on the bottom or on the top of the rest of your stuff - use packing cubes for the rest for best results.

    Incidentally the final pic is of Tressa the golden retriever, who was using the excuse of showing me her rope bone to be very very nosy about this interesting thing Daddy was looking at on the floor!
    Those are GREAT pictures! Something I've been searching for for a while now. Thanks for taking the time to take the photos. Im sure Tressa wanted to get in on the fun.

    Your pictures have confirmed what I thought. The synapse needs to go in flat and is unlikely to be folded into a small package (like a packable daypack). Thats a compromise I'm willing to make. Im a fan of packing cubes and am have been packing that way for quite a while now. I love the modularity and organisation that packing cubes bring.

    Just another question.

    Do you think the cordura synapse would be much thicker?
    what about if I went with teh Synapse 25L instead of the 19L? Would it make much difference to the space needed in the aeronaut or would that be negligible?

    I ask because more often than not, I travel international and I do bring nail clippers and sometimes other stuff that forces me to check in, in those cases, I like to be able to carry the essentials in a carry on so that life goes on even if I lose my check in bag. Therefore, the 25L synapse may be a better bet.

    Also, that is just something deeply attractive about the black cordura vs the steel dyneema.

    Many thanks again for the advice!
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  6. #6
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    Hi PaulT00,

    Retyping the reply as the previous one didn't show up. Sorry if there's a repost.

    Those are great photos! I've been looking for photos like these for a while and yours just answered so many of my questions. Im sure Tressa shares the love of TB bags and wanted to get in on the fun!

    Your photos have confirmed what I thought. The synapse would not be able to be packed into a small package like the eagle creek packable daypack. However, the synapse does not look like it takes up much space so it looks like it might work for me.

    A couple more questions.

    Would a cordura synapse take up significantly more bulk?
    Synapse 25 vs Synapse 19. looking at the difference, I don't think the 25 would take up more space. Maybe teh bottom may need to be folded a little. Can anyone confirm that?

    I ask because when I travel international, I am usually forced to check my bag. When that happens, I like to make sure that I have my essentials with me (change of clothes, chargers, some toiletries etc) and the 19L may be a tad too small for me. Therefore, a 25L may suit me better.

    As for cordura vs dyneema, there is something deeply attractive about the all black synapse. ( I like tacticool. lol)

    P.S.
    I carried a 65+15 Hiking backpack and a marmot 25L backpack for the last 3 trips. They never felt like they had enough space and I was constantly struggling to pack. I was going to buy an even bigger backpack (was thinking 85L) or a duffel (Northface or Patagonia) when I stumbled upon Tom Binh and the ultralight packing community.

    Now I'm convinced I'm the lousy packer and I could pack less for my trips. Raring to try that out!

    Thanks for all the replies. Keep them coming!
    eWalker likes this.

  7. #7
    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starshine View Post
    I'll be wearing a peacoat. So the boarding jacket, pants, mitts and bum pads (I fall alot and it hurts. lol) must go into the bag. The last time I packed, I vacuumed "sealed" them in a large ziploc and they were really flat.

    As for the cordura vs dyneema, you're right. I'm leaning more towards the dyneema but there's something darkly beautiful about the all black cordura synapse. The good thing is, I don't usually carry a pack for riding. Just for trekking and sightseeing albeit in the snow too.
    What do you use to transport your snowboard on the plane? Maybe you need a bigger board bag. Whenever I go on a snowboarding trip (via plane or by bus out to Vermont or Quebec), I use a 166 Burton Wheelie Gig Bag (probably the only Burton product I own). I can fit a TON in there, which makes our regular travel bags much lighter. This isn't too big of a deal since snowboards need to be checked luggage anyway. If I'm going to my local hills, I have a much smaller/lighter/thinner bag that really just fits my board/mounted bindings and small soft goods.

    I regularly pack:
    • Wife's 145 snowboard
    • My 156 snowboard
    • Backup 155 snowboard (occassionally)
    • wife's bindings (not mounted) and hardware
    • my bindings (not mounted) and hardware
    • wife's helmet, goggles, gloves, base layers (x2), knee pads, Skeletools butt pad
    • wife's snowboard pants
    • my helmet, goggles, gloves (x2), base layers (x2), knee pads, AzzPad
    • my snowboard pants
    • Snowboard tools and misc items: couple multi tool drivers, leashes, thermal hot hands/toe pads
    • wife's boots (size 6/6.5?)
    • my boots (size 9)

    It's not the lightest thing ever, but at least it's on wheels, and wife likes it because she doesn't have to carry anything but her clothes! We wear usually wear our jackets, though I can probably cram one in the bag or put it/a spare into my clothing bag. If it is just your own gear you need to carry, you can probably get all of your boarding gear into the bag. I do have it in a rather garish plaid (easy to identify in a crowded under-bus storage compartment compared to all of the black bags), which inadvertently is a close match to my snowboard jacket from a completely different manufacturer. Below is not my photo, but you can see how much room there still is with just one person's stuff.

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    That being said, while the Aeronaut is really quite spacious, if that is your only clothing bag, it's going to depend a lot on how many days you're gone and how many extra sets of clothes you want to bring. If you've got really high quality outerwear or going somewhere warm (by snowboarding standards) with thinner outerwear, you could undoubtedly squeeze it all down. If you've got avalanche gear or are going on a really long trip, you might need more room.
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    Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Night Flight (Coyote/Steel), Guide's Pack (Steel), Synapse 19 (Olive/Steel), Daylight (Navy), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Founder's Briefcase (Black), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Travel Tray (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps

    Want: EVERYTHING.

  8. #8
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    I can't comment about the snowboarding equipment, but I can guarantee that you won't have to check the Aeronaut on any but the strictest airlines. You can do a search for my post on using the Aeronaut for a trip to Italy a couple of winters ago; I flew Alitalia and no one so much as looked at me sideways. Your best bet when boarding is to carry it by the handles or over your shoulder with the strap, since for some reason it has the effect of making the bag appear lighter. This is a long way of saying that I don't think that you will need to get a Synapse 25 for the reason you are suggesting; the 19 is more than capable of containing a change of clothes, toiletries, and vital electronics if need be and if you pack sensibly.

    Regarding the Cordura vs. Dyneema Synapse: I'm looking at them side-by-side right now. While I the Cordura Synapse is a tiny bit bulkier, I'm not sure it would be all that discernible once it was flattened and squished into the Aeronaut. Plus, you are correct that Black Cordura is very handsome. I'd say, get the one you like.
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  9. #9
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    I second Badger's sound advice: The Aeronaut rocks and if you're hankering for the Synapse in black cordura, GET IT!

    Given the foam backing of the Synapse, I don't think there's much difference in squishability between cordura and dyneema. If you were talking about cafe bags or something, that might be a different story.

    I have a black cordura Synapse 19 (with UV interior) and I've had no problem with snow (and I spend a lot of time in MN and I live in the midwest). In fact, my black Synapse 19 was my first TB acquisition...and I fell promptly in love with it!! It ROCKS!
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  10. #10
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    I have a Synapse19 in cordura and a Synapse25 in dyneema. Both are great bags and I really like the 25's extra capacity. I love not having to stuff my bag full... having a little extra capacity is of great comfort to me for some reason. I think you should get whichever material you like the best. BUT I believe that the Dyneema will be/is somewhat more compactible (sp?) when packed in the Aeronaut.
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    YonkDaddy!
    Black/Iberian Aeronaut, Steel/Wasabi Synapse25, Black/UV Synapse19, Black/Steel Western Flyer, Black Checkpoint Flyer, Steel/Wasabi Side Effect, Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, Travel Tray, numerous packing cubes, organizer pouches

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    @Itsablur, I don't have a snowboard yet but when I do, your Burton Wheelie looks like a great way to lug all the gear around. Currently, I rent the board and bindings but with my own clothes and goggles and mitts.

    Thanks for all the great advice.

    Learning to pack sensibly is probably going to be the toughest part of the whole learning curve. That's why the struggle between 19 and 25. Although on paper, 6L more doesn't look like a big difference. @Yonkdaddy, I feel you, the additional space is, for some reason, comforting.

    Pretty sure this system would work now with all your help. Will post pictures when i start packing.

    Thank you!
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  12. #12
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    Not quite sure why the previous reply show up. If I'm doing anything wrong, please let me know. Sorry for the repost if it appears.

    @itsablur, I don't currently have a snowboard, bidings or boots. Instead, I rent them from where I go. I'm noob like that. But that looks like a great way of carrying snowboarding gear. I'm definitely doing that once I graduate to where I can get my own gear.

    Thanks for all the rest of the comments. I'm sure of what I'm getting now.

    Actually, on a related note, I use a deuter pack cover when I check in my hiking pack. Not too worried about the dirt and grease but it gives me peace of mind as its adds a 2nd lockable layer. So hopefully, unscrupulous thieves with itchy fingers and no one looking would be deterred by the additional "security". Therefore, if I do check in my aeronaut, I would like to cover it up as well. But the pack cover, at 15oz isn't exactly the lightest to lug around.

    Wondering if its possible to get it in Dyneema? Would it fold up real small? Would the weight difference be significant?
    Apparently, cuben fiber would be too subsceptible to punctures and abrasion to be useful. Doo correct me if I'm wrong.
    Trawling the forums, seems that there's no ideal solution yet although some recommendations for the Osprey airporter.

    Attaching a photo of the pack cover for reference.

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    As always, looking forward to the comments and views.

    Thank you.
    eWalker likes this.


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