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Thread: Co-Pilot vs Synapse19 as a sidekick to the Aeronaut?

  1. #1
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    Co-Pilot vs Synapse19 as a sidekick to the Aeronaut?

    Going to Japan at the end of the year, planning on getting an Aeronaut shipped sometime before then which will be my main luggage bag.

    My question is, what do you think will be better as a daypack to compliment the Aeronaut?
    I've been weighing up the pros and cons but it's hard for me to really choose because I only own the Synapse atm and can't physically compare.

    Synapse:
    • Can hold more (jackets, shopping, whatever)
    • Can wear on back when wearing Aeronaut over shoulder
    • I do prefer a backpack over a sling, just makes me feel more mobile, can run/jump around and not worry


    Co-Pilot:
    • More organised
    • Easier to access; beats having to take off the backpack to pull out a camera or other frequently used items
    • Probably packs into the Aeronaut better if I decide to single-bag it when jumping on the train between cities or get through the Airport checks
    • When/if in future I decide to get into my photography a bit more (been thinking about this) it does seem like the better bag for it



    While I'm here I may as well also ask if anyone has recommendations for accessories for the Aeronaut? Already have some packing cubes and a travel tray in mind, as well as an Absolute strap. Already have a 3-1-1 from when I grabbed my Synapse a while back. Missing anything?
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  2. #2
    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
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    I've been building my travel luggage the other way, with my Aeronaut and accessories first. I've got lots of various day bags already, though I've constantly been trying to figure out what TB day bag would suit me best, and I'm pretty much in the same dilemma as you are.

    If I'm only going with two bags, my initial feeling it to go with the Co-Pilot. When I have a fully loaded Aeronaut, or am walking a longer distance, it is more comfortable to use the Aeronaut in backpack mode. This would leave my Absolute strap available to use with the CP, which would still be very easily worn and accessible with the Aeronaut on my back. Organization looks great, and it looks not too big/not too small. Depending on what's in your Aeronaut, you might even be able to fit it in there when you need to one-bag it. The downside is as you noted: when that's my only bag, it is not as secured to me as a backpack would be.

    Conversely, if I went with a Synapse (or any number of other existing day packs I have), I could wear that on my back and Aeronaut on a strap, or Aeronaut on my back and other backpack on my front. Personally I think I like the Smart Alec more than the Synapse, but that's just me. This does give the most packing space and flexibility. If you don't need frequent access to what's in your pack, this is the most comfortable. It is a pain in the butt if you've got a camera kit you're always reaching back for though.

    Here are a couple other options:
    1. Co-Pilot with Packing Cube Backpack (use the PCBP on days you need to carry a little more stuff)
    2. Medium/Large Cafe bag or Ristretto with either the waist strap or stabilizer strap to secure it to you
    3. Synapse 19 and Co-Pilot (the Cadillac version of #1; CP in the S19 while in transit, then you can pick and choose what you need for that day)


    I'm heading off to Israel and Jordan in a couple of weeks, and am still really torn on this decision as well. If the Co-Pilot were available today in Dyneema, I think I would go that route and either try going with my PCBP as the backup bag, or bring another light backpack with the CP inside it during the plane flight. I'm considering a Medium Cafe bag instead, but I don't know... Seems to overlap with the CP in purpose if I were to wait out the Dyneema batch instead of ordering a BN Co-Pilot. <shrug> I've ordered a camera insert that might make that decision for me, so we shall see.

    As for other Aeronaut accessories, here is what I've found has worked for me in my regular business travels with the bag:
    • travel tray
    • packing cube backpack
    • large packing cube (or two if you don't want a Packing Cube Backpack)
    • all fabric packing cube end bag (for shoes)
    • regular packing cube end bag (could also go with stuff sacks for some of the packing cubes; depends what you're packing, but also good for just holding random small things)
    • more key straps
    • passport pouch
    • 3D clear organizer cube for 3-1-1
    • large clear organizer pouch for other assorted papers
    • Absolute strap
    Last edited by itsablur; 10-02-2013 at 07:11 AM.
    eWalker likes this.
    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.

  3. #3
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    Not too much to add over the excellent advice from itsablur, but there are a few more accessories for the Aeronaut you may wish to consider. The TB Snake Charmer is highly versatile and can hold anything from small clothing items like sox and underwear to drug and personal care items. It is also great at its intended use as an organizer for wires, chargers and small electronic accessories. If you have fewer electronic accessories and cords the 3D Mesh Cube is an excellent option. TB Stuff Sacks are useful for for an array of items depending upon the size and can be even hand carried if need be. Finally, there is one non TB item I never travel without... an Eagle Creek PackIt Folder... either the 15" or the 18" will fit in the Aeronaut (although the 18" is a bit tight). The PackIt Folders keep your clothes wrinkle free and make for an amazingly organized module inside your bag. A PackIt Folder along with various TB packing cubes will maximize the amount you can carry.
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  4. #4
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    I use both the Synapse and the Co-Pilot on my daily commute, and I'm developing a strong preference for the Co-Pilot. Yes, it has limited space, and on days where I may need to carry extra things, I try to remember to put a small foldable Chicobag inside. On the Boston subways, which I'd imagine are crowded much like the ones in Japan, the Co-Pilot is much easier to maneuver with. No need to pull it off my back, and then I am not elbowing anyone while I rummage through a backpack to find things that have fallen to the bottom. If I'm standing and holding onto a support with one hand, it's easy to extract my camera or iPad one-handed and close the bag.

    However for all-day sightseeing or hikes a backpack may be preferable. It depends on how strong your shoulders are. Also, on a trip where I thought I'd have to do a lot of layering, removing clothes during the day, I'd need a backpack.
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  5. #5
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    Having both the Co-Pilot and a Synapse (the larger one) I would characterize the difference between the two as this:
    -the Co Pilot is a great EDC for urban environments because you tend to need a bunch of smaller items (glasses, chargers, small maps, books, etc)
    -the Synapse is a great EDC for rural or outdoor activities because you can cram in a lot of larger items (change of clothes, towels, jackets, bigger water bottles, etc)

    I would think that a smaller EDC in an urban environment like Japan would be a good choice, but if you plan on hiking and taking excursions outside the city, the backpack might be better.

    Frankly, if you have the space in your Aeronaut, pack the Synapse into it on the plane and use your Co-Pilot as your underwear bag on the plane.

  6. #6
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    My 2 cents: get the CP. You already have the S19. Load em both up and try em out. Send back the CP if necessary, though I'm guessing the Aeronaut in backpack mode with CP is probably gonna be your best bet.

    Accessories for the Aeronaut: PACKING CUBE SHOULDER BAG...or 2! They fit the end pockets perfectly and they give you added flexibility en route to Japan (ie: if you decide to pack the S19/CP in the Aeronaut, you can pull out the PCSB to put at your feet with any in-flight goods you may want) and once you're there.

    Good luck!
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  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    First, super jealous.

    Second, are you a Chris or are you a Daniel (watch the video if you don't know what I'm referring to)? Each of these guys traveled to Japan with an Aeronaut, and one had a CP and the other had a S19. Maybe watching that, and the companion travel video, will help you decide? Note that Daniel's S19 did not seem out of place as a daypack in Tokyo.

    Third, super jealous.

  8. #8
    JLE
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    We have a CP and a S19 in this house (and Aeronauts) and I can't add much to the excellent advice above but here goes anyway:

    1. CP packs nicely inside an Aeronaut if you need to get down to one bag. The S19 will also fit but not nearly as well.
    2. Personally Aeronaut on back plus CP on shoulder makes more sense to me than 2 backpacks but I've never been able to get my head around the whole backpack sandwich look. YMMV.
    3. Aeronaut accessories:
    (A) the 3d mesh cubes are fantastic for tech chargers, cords etc if you don't need to carry too much in this department. I have one permanently packed with my MBA cables etc and another permanently packed with "little tech" and other miscellaneous accessories like mini torch, flight safe multi-tool, retractable Ethernet cable, iDevice chargers and variety of cables (USB/lightning, USB/mini USB), adaptors if I am travelling overseas and backup noise isolating earbuds (which I almost never use since I was lucky enough to be given a set of Bose QC20i earbuds for my birthday)
    (B) RFID pouch is handy but if you plan on using it properly as a money pouch there are other styles on the market that are worn differently - worth checking out which would suit you better.
    (C) I always throw in a large travel stuff sack - so handy for a multitude of unforeseen uses! Ditto medium dyneema OPs - I usually take a couple of those too.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  9. #9
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    I have both the CP and the S19 and I am going to London for a couple of days with an Aeronaut on Friday. The CP gets my vote this trip because I will be at a trade show most of the time and I find a shoulder bag far easier to deal with than a back pack in that environment.

    I also use a packing cube backpack for the Aeronaut which gives you even a touch more flexibility without using up anymore room in the Aeronaut.

  10. #10
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    First, super jealous.

    Second, are you a Chris or are you a Daniel (watch the video if you don't know what I'm referring to)? Each of these guys traveled to Japan with an Aeronaut, and one had a CP and the other had a S19. Maybe watching that, and the companion travel video, will help you decide? Note that Daniel's S19 did not seem out of place as a daypack in Tokyo.

    Third, super jealous.
    This post is super funny!
    eWalker likes this.
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the suggestions - after reading everyones posts I'm kind of sold on the Co-Pilot (then I'll have both anyway haha)

    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    First, super jealous.

    Second, are you a Chris or are you a Daniel (watch the video if you don't know what I'm referring to)? Each of these guys traveled to Japan with an Aeronaut, and one had a CP and the other had a S19. Maybe watching that, and the companion travel video, will help you decide? Note that Daniel's S19 did not seem out of place as a daypack in Tokyo.

    Third, super jealous.
    Me and my cousin were joking about this, because we had planned all this Japan stuff earlier, then my cousin linked me to the videos and goes "look TB is spying on us" haha.
    I'll take some pics of my Aeronaut on a bullet train for you Badger
    eWalker likes this.

  12. #12
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hahaitme View Post
    I'll take some pics of my Aeronaut on a bullet train for you Badger
    Have a bowl of ramen for me and stab my jealous heart out while you're at it, haha.
    eWalker likes this.

  13. #13
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    Hi Itsablur...I recently returned from a 2 week Ireland trip and I definitely support the idea of using the PCBP as a backpack at your destination. This was the first time I have actually used mine for this purpose...and I loved it. It was so comfortable I forgot I was wearing it. The Dyneema easily adjusts so no load is "too small". I used stuff sacks and travel cubes as needed for internal organization. The pocket was the perfect place to store items for quick access (again, the Dyneema adapted to accommodate flat (maps/papers) and 3D (water bottle/umbrella). I wear a ScottEVest to keep all my "valuables" secure, so few worries about the backpack. An added thought for anyone still trying to decide between a TS and a WF, the same PCBP fits both. You might consider purchasing the PCBP and using it for a while while you think about how much space you need. It can even be used inside a roller board...for some people it may provide a bridge to escape into the land of the "wheel less".
    eWalker likes this.
    Lots of assorted purples, some blues, and a bit of black: 2S19, 5SE, 2WF, MCB, SCB, Imago, 2S, LS, TT, K, 2QC, 5 3D, 4WFSBPC, 2WFBPPC, FJNB, 4Wallets, 4LSB, 2SSB, DLBP, Pilot, Assorted sacks, packing cubes, organizer pouches, key straps :-)

  14. #14
    Registered User Hollie's Avatar
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    As a lover of both bags, I'll second what's already been said, in my own words:

    The CP is great for urban environment. I use it as my EDC, and it's fantastic for going on errands, in and out of restaurants or theaters or stores, having to reach into it all the time to pull things out, etc. It's great for city life. Days where I'm either standing or sitting most of the time, that's a CP day.

    I use my Synapse when I know I'll be needing to spend a lot of time just walking. If I have a trip where I know I'll be walking loooong distances, then I need the weight of my bag to be on my back, and the Synapse is perfect. On and off buses, walking from one side of town to the other, taking walking tours of places, picking up items while I'm out, that I'll have to carry back, etc. That's a Synapse day.

    Sometimes it's hard to know exactly how the trip will go, in which case I will use the Synapse as my travel-there bag (my "personal item" on the plane), and then stuff my Dyneema CP in my main bag, as an impromptu packing cube. YAY DYNEEMA! It's so light and this is very easy to do.

    Seriously, my Dyneema CP is kind of my little soul bag. I don't know what I'd do without that thing.
    Seriously, like, so much Nordic Dyneema I don't even know what to do with myself anymore. They will bury me in it. "Where's Mom's urn? WHERE DID YOU GUYS PUT THE SYNAPSE 19 WITH MOM'S ASHES?"


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