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Thread: Owners of both the Synapse 19 and 25

  1. #1
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    Owners of both the Synapse 19 and 25

    Hello! I am new to the forum, and a new customer of Tom Bihn bags and I have a bit of an open-ended question for people who own both the Synapse 19 and 25. I ordered both the Smart Alec and the Synapse 19 and found that while I love the Smart Alec, the structure and the fit of the S19 is just so amazing that I am thinking of sending back the SA and getting a S25 as a replacement. The S19 works for an EDC, but I do travel a great deal and think that the extra space that the SA offers would come in handy. However, I am so very impressed with the S19, that I am thinking that if the S25 is half as wonderful, it would be worth swapping out the SA.

    My worry is that having two Synapses (Synapsi?) would feel a bit too much like having the same bag---a bit redundant, whereas the SA is a completely different bag. However, now that I have the Synapse, I am realizing that the versatility that the SA offers is a bit less useful than I thought it would be. So to those fine forum members that own both--does it feel like you own two instantiations of the same bag, or do they feel like different bags?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I don't yet have a Synapse, but from my short time on the forum, I expect you will get the advice than even different colors of the same size Synapse feel like different bags and you therefore want one of each. I'm not really a backpack guy, but I'm starting to want an S25 simply because of how much people love them.

  3. #3
    Registered User Tizi's Avatar
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    I am looking forward to see how others answer this question. I had both and returned the S25 because it was too much like my S19 which I use every day as an EDC. In exchange, I got the SA! I love this bag too. I use it for hiking mostly and for short business trips.
    Black/Steel TS, Black/Steel Aeronaut, Black/Black/Steel Brain Bag, Black/Steel Co-Pilot, Black/Steel Synapse 19, Black Dyneema/Wasabi Synapse 19, Black/Steel Cadet 11, Black/Steel Imago, Black Dyneema/Wasabi MCB, Navy/Cayenne and Black/Solar SCB, Black/Wasabi and Navy/Iberian SE and many pouches in various sizes. Tom Bihnaholic.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Owners of both the Synapse 19 and 25

    I have both the 19 and 25, and I used to have an SA. I don't feel like the 25 is redundant at all. I've been using the 25 as my EDC lately because I have lots of books to haul, but I usually use the 19. I see so much travel potential in the 25; for example, I'm planning on using it for 1-2 nights of casual travel this winter, when I need just a bit more space to accommodate heavier clothes. If you like the layout of the Synapse and could use the extra 6L, don't hesitate.

    ETA: the 25 feels the "same" as the 19 in that the layout is the same. It was instantly comfortable to pack up and use. But the increased volume makes it seem different. And yes, I got a different color (black dyneema instead of steel; very daring), which adds to the feelings of delight and novelty I experience when I gaze upon it.


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    Last edited by Badger; 12-23-2013 at 03:43 PM.

  5. #5
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    I actually think you should just get the 25 if you need the space even occasionally.

    We purchased a 25 for me, one for my wife, and a 19 for out 5 year old daughter. I've borrowed the 19 a few times and it's really just a matter of space.

    Both are excellent and the smaller one is nice when less space is needed.

  6. #6
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I'm going to agree with Badger, I also have both the S19 in Ultraviolet Dyneema and S25 in Nordic Dyneema, they are similar in layout, but completely different in how I use them, and what for. The S19 is a great daypack size for me. The S25 is better for travel or if I need to bring along my MacBook, or if I'm carrying for more than just me.
    I don't have personal experience with owning a SA, but my love for the Synapse's design directed my decision to choose the S25 over the SA.
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
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  7. #7
    JLE
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    I'm with Badger and Dorayme. The S19 is my gym bag and the S25 is perfect for larger loads.

    The way I see it, you will only ever carry one at a time, so who cares if it's essentially the same bag when the layout and overall design are so well resolved? The only real question is whether the layout of the bag is suited to your proposed use for it. If it is, I wouldn't hesitate to get the S25.
    dorayme likes this.

  8. #8
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    I have two 19s and a 25, all different colors. I carry the 25 every day because of the additional space it offers. One 19 carries everything I need when participating in my favorite hobby and it is perfect for that. If you don't love the SA send it back and get the 25. I love my 19s but the 25 is even better for my every day carry needs. Oh and pictures please.
    Moose
    SE in olive, plum S19, SE, pouches and Field Journal. uv S19, Shop Bag, Yarn Sack and organizer Pouches. Synapse25 in steel/uv. Medium Cafe Bag, Western Flyer, SE, Swift & Kit in black. Absolute Strap, steel Kit and small dyneema Pouch, wrist straps, kiwi Swift, Citizen Canine & Kit. Abergine Tri Star, Kit and SE. Wasibi & uv Organizer Cube Pouches, July 4th pouch, December 2011 & 2012 Mystery Gift, 2013 parapack mystery gift and last but not least I'm proud FOT.

  9. #9
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    I hate to admit this, but in our house, we have 3 Synapse 19s (1 Steel dyneema/Solar, 2 cordura - Black/UV and Indigo/Steel), a Black/Iberian Synapse 25 (cordura) and the last Nordic Dyneema Smart Alec. I've used both the Synapse 25 and the Smart Alec on short trips, and for travel, my packing style works better in the SA. It may be because I'm, erm, "fluffier" and my clothes take up more space, but the SA's layout just works better for me. I mostly use one of the Synapse 19s as an EDC, and when I'm in need of carrying more books or a laptop, or need to stuff in a jacket, I reach for the Synapse 25. My quandary now is that none of the Synapse 19s have the webbing loops for the cache with rails I just ordered for my 11" MacBook Air. After the holidays I'll probably be selling one of the 19s to help fund yet another Synapse purchase. (Help me....)

  10. #10
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    nukediver, in your post above you say "Help me...." I would love to but I fail to see what it is you need help with.
    Moose
    SE in olive, plum S19, SE, pouches and Field Journal. uv S19, Shop Bag, Yarn Sack and organizer Pouches. Synapse25 in steel/uv. Medium Cafe Bag, Western Flyer, SE, Swift & Kit in black. Absolute Strap, steel Kit and small dyneema Pouch, wrist straps, kiwi Swift, Citizen Canine & Kit. Abergine Tri Star, Kit and SE. Wasibi & uv Organizer Cube Pouches, July 4th pouch, December 2011 & 2012 Mystery Gift, 2013 parapack mystery gift and last but not least I'm proud FOT.

  11. #11
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    nukediver, in your post above you say "Help me...." I would love to but I fail to see what it is you need help with.
    Moose
    Haha! I suppose I should have said "help me find a way to fund these Tom Bihn purchases that I keep making!"

  12. #12
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    I use a S25 (black/iberian) as my everyday carry, and as I write, I'm traveling with it and my Aeronaut (black/iberian). Not to contradict the wise majority on this forum, BUT I first bought a S19 (steel dyneema/solar). I was so excited, but when I got it... put it on... It looked like I was wearing a little girl's backpack. A cute little bump on my back. I'm a pretty big guy (and though, technically it fit comfortably) I, and others, thought the S19 looked ridiculous on me. (5'10 210 lbs). I then ordered the S25, and it is perfect for me. Because I live in South America, I sent the S19 to my sister in Texas to sell it for me. I mentioned to her that if she liked it she should keep and use it. She loves it, and it is now her edc. Just for the record, it was her saint/jerk husband that got me hooked on TB.
    Blessings!

  13. #13
    Registered User bltkmt's Avatar
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    I started with a gray Dyneema S19 a few years ago. I added a Nordic SA before the S25 was available, but have since sold the SA and bought a Nordic S25. No redundancy in my view either. I use the S25 daily and generally take the S19 on vacation. Both are great bags.
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