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Thread: Synapse family sizing

  1. #1
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    Synapse family sizing

    I received my order for a Navy parapack / solar S19. The decision to go with the 19 vs. 25 was based on the reviews here and elsewhere, my 5' 11" size, and the relatively "medium" amount of stuff I carry daily. I think I made the wrong choice.

    The needed role of the bag is for daily office carry, weekend hikes or urban family excursions. Basically an all-purpose general deposit area for the needs of a family, but mainly a daily carry companion; clothes, (rain jacket, beanie, scarf, gloves in winter) lunch (big), medical kit, water, mp3+headphones, chargers, flashlight, sewing kit, pens and paper, kerchief, calculator, sunglasses and cases, eyeglasses and case, wallet, knife, multi-tool, lip balm, firearm, holster, spare magazine, and keys. Plus leave a bit of room for unknowns like folders, books or a chromebook / MacBook air sized computer. Usually the firearm is concealed on my person, but not always.

    All of the above fits just fine, if a bit cramped. The rub is this; the bag is too small for me when loaded up. No problem, just return it and order the S25 right...?

    So before I spend $200 on a backpack ($10 to ship the S19 back plus $180 for the S25 shipped plus the non-refundable original S19 shipping cost of $10) or $40 to ship and return both, I wanted to ask specifics about the S25 sizing....

    Is the only sizing difference between the two found in the main and lower pockets? The 2 side and 2 upper/front pockets appear to be dimensionally the same...Can anyone chime in to answer this?

    Are the straps the same length (the padded part)? This is the most important question.

    I found the S19 straps to be almost fully extended when wearing loaded full, in order to comfortable on my back. The shape of the strap at the end length placed the load outward of the ideal spot on my shoulders due to the curve of the strap at the ends. If the straps are tightened down, the location of the straps are better (ideal I'd say) but due to the length of the bag, it rides uncomfortably high on my back.

    The difference in S19 and S25 size as it matters in fit, appears to be in the length and width increases which would (in theory) allow more ideal placement of the strap load closer to the middle part of the strap vs. the end of the strap (at least on the S19), which leads me to believe that the S25 would fit better only if the strap is longer.

    So, after seeing the huge quality difference in materials and workmanship with a Tom Bihn product, and weighing the cost involved, I can justify purchasing a S25, but not if it doesn't fit me. In that case, I'll spend $40 to try both.

    Asking for a little help with the above two questions on sizing...thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User kkintea's Avatar
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    I do not have the S25, but I can speak to the S19 - I am 5'10" and it never struck me as fitting 'right'. It was a beautiful bag, but I rehomed it to another forum user. You could also try this option in swapping with someone and only paying once more for postage (versus the sending back and buying again). I believe the answer for some taller folks is to go up to the S25. For me, I scaled up even bigger to the Brain Bag. I found that I only really 'want' to carry a backpack if I've got my DSLR and computer going on the same trip. Otherwise, I tend to one-strap it and I prefer over-the-shoulder bags instead (Imago, Swift).

    I would get an answer from someone with both bags first before deciding what to do, but I experienced the same comfort issue with the S19.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Peruvian's Avatar
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    maloosik,

    I would definitely refer you to the following thread: Synapse 25 for work

    From the middle to the bottom of the thread I believe your questions/concerns are addressed.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the help, I also found out from an email to Tom Bihn that the straps are exactly the same on both, but the 25's are attached at a wider distance from each other at the top of the bag. I think I know what I need to do now.

  5. #5
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    I'm a 5'11" female, and find the S25 straps fit better than the S19. The outer pockets on either side of the "water bottle" pocket are a bit roomier. For example, on the S25 they will easily hold a 3D clear organizer cube or a Side Effect.

    However, I exchanged my S25 for an S19 (Dyneema) because it was small enough for a personal item. The S25 felt more sized like a "regular" backpack, though I would not say it looked a lot bigger on me. I decided an S19 would fit better under an airplane seat. If I were carrying a bigger load, I might have opted for the S25.

  6. #6
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    The S25 fits under an airline seat, but I'm not sure it would comply with United's personal carry on restrictions. I recently used it that way (first half of Feb) before the recent, but inconsistent clampdown. It fit perfectly under the seat and it was stuffed.


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  7. #7
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    Yep, we're flying United next week. I didn't want to stress about it. S19 is plenty heavy when I pack the gear we need -- S25 might have tempted me to carry more than I should!


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