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Thread: Synapse 25 water bottle pocket not sealed from other pockets?

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    Synapse 25 water bottle pocket not sealed from other pockets?

    My main concern when ordering the Synapse 25 was its lack of side water bottle holders, as I like to carry wet umbrellas and bottles in these pouches. After reading and watching plenty of reviews, I was assured that the unique middle water bottle pocket would do the trick.

    I just received my bag, and was bummed to see that the water bottle pocket is not fully insulated from the two front side pockets. This means that if I am to carry a cold water bottle, or wet umbrella, that I can't have anything in the other side pockets that could potentially be water-damaged.

    Has anyone experienced this problem? Any thoughts or solutions?

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    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    I use a 3 Liter freezerbag (is this what you call this bags in which you put food to freeze it in?) for that. Thouse bags can be used over and over again for this purpose and if I do not need it, it is folded in the bottom of the water bottle pocket.

    For me this works just fine.
    Ilkyway
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    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    You may already have read these ... but below are a few earlier thread posts talking about this concern. In summary, the openings between the middle and side pockets are to allow for the bag's initial construction. However, as a result, it does not keep water from flowing between the three compartments and possible damaging items at the bottom of all three compartments.

    IMHO I just found a serious flaw in the Synapse 25 :(
    Synapse 25

    The best solution IMHO (other than just not putting anything water sensitive at the bottom of those pockets) is what IIkyway wrote - a plastic bag in the compartment you will be putting something wet or potentially wet in. I would do this anyways for any bag carrying liquids regardless of whether there was good drainage. You could also tape the holes shut with duct tape to provide some protection from minor water leakage.

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 04-09-2014 at 11:03 AM.
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    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    I too noticed that today when I got mine. I thought it was a factory mistake...that someone had forgotten to finish that part.
    I wonder what the reason is for the holes? It doesnt look good and its not practical? Knowing TB there sure must be a good reason for it..?

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    Seems to me that the Co-Pilot has the same issue, as there is mesh-type material on either side of the center water bottle pocket. Am I missing something? I was planning on keeping electronics in the small front pockets off to each side, but may not do that as all my water bottles have at one point or another leaked (in non-Bihn bags). I've tried Liberty Bottleworks (same company that makes the Tom Bihn water bottles), Sigg, Nalgene, Mason jars, and others. It may not be a full leak, but some liquid has escaped from the bottles. I'm not going to use my Co-Pilot till I figure this out.
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    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    It seems so strange...and it looks unfinished in the Synapse. Just like someone has forgotten to finish the seam.

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Synapse 25 water bottle pocket not sealed from other pockets?

    The gaps in the Synapse bottle pocket ARE practical and have been explained at some exhaustive length in the other threads tpnl linked to above.

    Anecdotally: my first TB bag was a Co-Pilot. I now have both iterations of the Synapse and a Pilot as well. This whole spillage thing has never happened to me in hundreds of days of carrying a water bottle in any of my bags, with no prophylactic measures taken. I keep my headphones and extra phone battery in the side pockets, and have never given a second thought about doing so.

    Here's the thing: none of the bottle pockets in TB bags are sealed or lined with waterproof material. Neither, for that matter, are the pockets of many manufacuters' bags. There are a few out there, so if a hermetically sealed water bottle pocket is the ultimate criteria for you, that's what you should get. Either that or use your TB bag and don't carry liquids if it makes you worry.

    FWIW I use a Klean Kanteen with screw top and it's never leaked.


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    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    I often carry a water bottle in my Imago. The Imago lacks a dedicated water bottle pocket, so I just put the bottle in a stuff sack. That's also an option with the Pilot and/or Synapse if you're worried about minor leaks and/or condensation.

    I've had two bottle leaks in the past 7 years. Both were from the same style travel thermal coffee bottle that didn't clearly show that it was (or wasn't) sealed. One leak was in the Smart Alec bottle pocket. The coffee just ran out the drainage hole. The second was in my Medium Cafe Bag. That caused more of a mess. I've learned two things from these experiences. 1) I hate that damn coffee bottle. 2) I now have a pretty good habit of turning my coffee bottle upside down to test for leaks before I pack it in my bag. This saved me from a potential incident #3.
    Last edited by snowbot; 04-22-2014 at 11:12 AM. Reason: clarity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    FWIW I use a Klean Kanteen with screw top and it's never leaked.
    Quote Originally Posted by snowbot View Post
    The Imago lacks a dedicated water bottle pocket, so I just put the bottle in a stuff sack.
    I appreciate the stuff sack tip. In my experience with the brands I've tried, which haven't included Klean Kanteen, spillage is an issue, so I'm going to give the stuff sack a try as extra reinforcement if I do carry a water bottle inside a bag. I also read on an older thread about using a stuff sack clipped to the exterior of a Cafe Bag to hold a water bottle, may try that as well.

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    The yarn sacks come with clips that you can use to clip to the outside of a bag, but the regular stuff sacks don't. I haven't had any leakage issues with my hydroflasks. In my experience hydroflasks and kleen kanteens seem to be the most reliable leakage wise. I always keep my small electronics and cables either in one of the side pockets or the bottom pocket in a small stuff sack. The one time I did have minor leakage from a contigo autoseal coffee mug that i had placed in one of the side pockets, my electronics were well protected by the stuff sack.

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Klean Kanteens are pretty much the bomb, except for the stupid name. (Those Ks!) The normal screw-top cap is great because it really won't go on correctly if you're not creating a seal. You do have to ensure you've tightened it enough. NB: if you buy one of the insulated tumblers, there is a "cafe cap" option so that you can drink directly out of it. Those are NOT leakproof, although if you don't turn the thing upside down it will probably (maybe) be OK. There is a screw-top lid for the tumblers that works really well and creates an airtight seal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Klean Kanteens are pretty much the bomb, except for the stupid name. (Those Ks!)
    Just as I like bags, I like water bottles - so I will have to give them a try. My go-tos for taste and provenance are Liberty Bottleworks (made in USA) and LifeFactory (USA/Europe) but there are lots of good products out there. I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to put a coffee tumbler into a bottle pocket but I'm glad to hear it may be OK...my issue right now is deciding whether to keep a bag that seems to be designed, in some ways, around the water bottle pocket when I may never use that pocket as intended. Thank for the tips!

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    Registered User vivelly's Avatar
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    Just to clarify..I am not after a hermetically sealed water proof pocket for a water bottle (though not a too bad idea)

    I was only mentioning it cause its obviously not meant to be waterproof anyway...with the mesh..so why leave bits unsown. It has an unfinished look and it puzzled me and I wanted to know why they left the bits like that. TB always has a good reason...so I wondered. So is it to improve airflow to avoid condensation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vivelly View Post
    Just to clarify..I am not after a hermetically sealed water proof pocket for a water bottle (though not a too bad idea)

    I was only mentioning it cause its obviously not meant to be waterproof anyway...with the mesh..so why leave bits unsown. It has an unfinished look and it puzzled me and I wanted to know why they left the bits like that. TB always has a good reason...so I wondered. So is it to improve airflow to avoid condensation?
    @vivelly I was wondering why you didn't see this, but then I noticed that when I view the forums in the Safari web browser on my Mac, instead of on my iOS devices, it's not clear that @tpnl inserted links for two separate threads that discussed this issue. So I will simply quote Beau's (a Tom Bihn Staff member's) comments in one of the posts from the linked second thread, in response to two of the earlier queries:

    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    Glad you brought this up. Those small gaps you both noticed in the side pockets are actually necessitated by the constructions process. Because the pockets of the Synapse 25 have some pretty radical curves, it's nearly impossible to sew them-- those small gaps in the extreme corners of the vertical pocket dividers are a small compromise with the real-world of manufacturing things. They're neither flaws in the design nor the construction.

    To be brief: they're supposed to be there.
    You can read through the details in both of the two linked threads that @tpnl gave. You can also click on the "arrow" to the right of the name of the quoted person (if you're viewing this in a web browser on your computer or on the iPad), to navigate to the portion of the thread that is being quoted.

    HTH. moriond

    P.S. I'm glad you love your new Synapse 25 in 400d Steel Dyneema/Wasabi and plan on getting a Synapse 19 (according to your posts in the TB Anticipation Syndrome thread. I have this bag, too. And I also use both sizes of the Synapse.
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    Registered User heparker's Avatar
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    My Pilot has the same issue, too. I was slightly disappointed (maybe more) that the front-center WATER/UMBRELLA pocket was lined with mesh and NOT Dyneema! Will have to be tepid water in my water bottle and a dry umbrella! Great bag, so this is a minor thing!
    Last edited by heparker; 04-22-2014 at 05:26 PM.
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