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Thread: Validate my Assumptions? Regular Week-long Business Trip Bags (Synapse 25, Tri-star)

  1. #16
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    There has actually been extensive discussion by both the crew and forum members on the feature of the Synapse to which you are referring (moriond help with references!). The long and the short of it is that it is NOT a design flaw of any sort that would need to be mitigated. Rather, it is a morphological consequence of the complex design of the Synapse pockets. Because the pockets are so difficult to construct, they must be done in several pieces, the shapes of which leave two spaces at the corners of the side pockets.

    Any water problems can be head off by:

    1.) Getting an insulated bottle such as a Kleen Kanteen or Hydroflask
    2.) Using a stuff sack or other bag as a liner in the water bottle pocket to catch condensation
    3.) Putting the water bottle in the bag when it is already at room temperature (any bottle that is condensing in your bag is already getting to a state of lukewarm before you drink it anyway. If you were able to drink the water cold, there would be nothing left to condensate).

  2. #17
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    I will be most likely to use the Bottle Compartment when I travel rather than Everyday Routine, as my Re-useable Water Bottle will be in my car or office.
    While travel, I will purchase those disposable 1.5L Water off the shelve from Convenience Store. Usually, last me a day.
    Hence, my earlier concern.

    I also find S25's Bottle Compartment permit easy slide in/out, compare to Brain Bag with its attachable clip and Hook.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdguy View Post
    This topic definitely interest me.
    I have never thought S25 could somehow carry 2 Laptops and even, with its Brain Cells. As many shared, Brain Bag is more suitable for such purpose.

    It would be great shall S25 works, as I prefer the look and portability of S25.

    Just for sharing purpose, I always carry my Dell Precision M4600 15.6" (376mm x 256mm x 36.8mm) Size 1. If S25, I hope to be able to squeeze in my wife XPS 16 (255 x 385 x 34) M2.
    @weirdguy I think you might have a hard time fitting a Size 1 vertical Brain Cell into the Synapse 25. It's doable with a size 4Z or 4X (older model) Brain Cell for the 15.4" MacBooks, but your Brain Cell is an inch taller. The Synapse has a tapered, ergonomic design at the top of the bag so, unlike the Smart Alec and Brain Bag, which have more rectangular top profiles, and which can both accommodate larger laptops than the Synapse 25, longer items which are also wide won't fit in as easily. You can see an example of this in the pictures at the end of the thread about A smaller Smart Alec?.
    Accessories like the Vertical Freudian Slip can fit into the Synapse 25 if it is not very full, especially if the bag uses the more flexible 400d Dyneema. But the Synapse is designed as an urban backpack where the different compartments can flex to adjust to the required space, and where laptops are carried in Caches, in contrast to, for example, the Smart Alec, with its thick bottom foam layer and large single main compartment that was originally designed to carry laptops in Brain Cells (to protect them from potentially bulky and heavy accessories sharing the same compartment), and that was only recently retrofitted to accommodate the cache on rails.

    So, while there's room in the Synapse for two laptops, it's not designed to clip in Brain Cells, and doesn't really fit the vertical Size 1 Brain Cell, I think, since that size is also used for 17" laptops. You might be able to use this bag with Caches for each of the laptops. Take a look at @Ilkyway's pictures of the Vertical Freudian Slip lying on top of the back of the Synapse 25. The bottom of the Synapse backpack padded area showing below the bottom of the Freudian Slip is part of a curved oval segment that flexes up to become the bottom of the bag when the main compartment is filled. You can see where the waist strap clips lie on the sides of the bag, and if you view the side view of the Synapse resting on the ground, you can see the waist straps positioned just above the "bottom" of the bag. (In the Smart Alec backpack none if this flexes -- there is thicker foam at the bottom, and the whole main compartment is like a canister that you fill.)

    The Cache with Rails suspension system is also designed to provide additional comfort in holding your main laptop positioned high against the back in the optimal carrying position (see @Tachiyaku's Synapse 25 and Cache with Rails review post.) I can hold a Size 4x vertical Brain Cell (about the same size as the current 4z for 15.4" MacBook Pro) in the Synapse 25, because that is well matched to the size of the back, but the Synapse is really designed for cache use.

    HTH moriond
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdguy View Post
    I just realize after reading past multiple users' experience on S25's Water Leakage to Main Compartment.
    I wonder whether S25 Current Backorder has a new design revision to mitigate such issue?
    Quote Originally Posted by mjpinter View Post
    There has actually been extensive discussion by both the crew and forum members on the feature of the Synapse to which you are referring (moriond help with references!). The long and the short of it is that it is NOT a design flaw of any sort that would need to be mitigated. Rather, it is a morphological consequence of the complex design of the Synapse pockets. Because the pockets are so difficult to construct, they must be done in several pieces, the shapes of which leave two spaces at the corners of the side pockets.

    Any water problems can be head off by:

    1.) Getting an insulated bottle such as a Kleen Kanteen or Hydroflask
    2.) Using a stuff sack or other bag as a liner in the water bottle pocket to catch condensation
    3.) Putting the water bottle in the bag when it is already at room temperature (any bottle that is condensing in your bag is already getting to a state of lukewarm before you drink it anyway. If you were able to drink the water cold, there would be nothing left to condensate).
    @weirdguy, The design of the water bottle pockets in the Synapse, Co-pilots, and Pilots has, as @mjpinter stated, been discussed before in the forums. There is a thread titled Synapse 25 water bottle pocket not sealed from other pockets? that I briefly summarized in this post . @mjpinter has given a list of possible solutions. If the water is not chilled, (e.g. the disposable 1.5L bottle you purchase from a convenience store), it is not likely to leak.

    HTH moriond

  5. #20
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    @moriond

    I thought so too. Too bad.
    I understand the built with Cache but I would prefer Brain Cell with its easy slide in/out and maximum protection.

    I really do like Synapse line as it is more eye-pleasing with its curvy design, colorful exterior and dyneema lining.
    Would TB somehow add Dyneema Lining in the next-next Revision of Brain Bag? It is really somewhat left-out not to include Dyneema Lining for such great Brain Bag. Also, one of the reason I love TB is I want lighter lining such as Dyneema Solar/Wasabi. That's what TB is famous for as well.

    As for Bottle, I had noted mjpinter's suggestion. Stuff Sack is a good suggestion and will be great alternative shall the Stuff Rack has longer string over one's Shoulder.

    Thanks.

    UPDATE: Just realize that Packing Cube Shoulder Bag with 300mm (11.75") Height could possibly hold a 50 oz (1.5L) Narrow-Body Bottle. Though, additional $12 - compare to Stuff Rack at $20 (Max: 9").
    Last edited by weirdguy; 07-12-2014 at 09:07 AM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdguy View Post
    @moriond

    I thought so too. Too bad.
    I understand the built with Cache but I would prefer Brain Cell with its easy slide in/out and maximum protection.

    I really do like Synapse line as it is more eye-pleasing with its curvy design, colorful exterior and dyneema lining.
    Would TB somehow add Dyneema Lining in the next-next Revision of Brain Bag? It is really somewhat left-out not to include Dyneema Lining for such great Brain Bag. Also, one of the reason I love TB is I want lighter lining such as Dyneema Solar/Wasabi. That's what TB is famous for as well.

    As for Bottle, I had noted mjpinter's suggestion. Stuff Sack is a good suggestion and will be great alternative shall the Stuff Rack has longer string over one's Shoulder.

    Thanks.
    You can always add a request for Dyneema Brain Bag linings to the Tom Bihn wish list thread. They've recently been working with Parapack to provide another light weight material that can be used for solid colors. Parapack is difficult to dye well, and currently is only available in Navy, Steel, Olive, and Black. In time there may be light colored Parapack options.

  7. #22
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    @weirdguy

    FYI - I just tested this - The Size 1 Bran Cell fits into the Synapse 25 fine IMHO. I can even fit the Vertical Freudian Slip as well with stuff in it. However, as @moriond pointed out, just the size of these items reduces the space for anything else a lot. However, I still use it as by backpack EDC with a Size 2S Brain Cell, Vertical Freudian Slip, accessories, lunch, etc. - and I am not an especially lightweight EDC carrier - there is just not as much room for anything else, perhaps room for a 2" binder or something similar in size in the main compartment before becoming a tight fit.

    Edit: I have added a few pictures:

    Close up picture of the S25 with Size 1 Brain Cell in it, my Vertical Freudian Slip and a Bose Soundlink Mini as reference for the depth left for other EDC gear. Note that it is the fact that it is not too wide that allows the tall Size 1 Brain Cell to fit in. If it were wider, it would not work as the S25's design tapers off at the top as @moriond states in the above post and this is unlike the Smart Alec or Brain Bag which are fairly square.

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    Also, in case some feel they will miss the TSA Checkpoint Friendly nature of the cache with rails by opting for a Brain Cell:
    Below is a picture of my slightly retrofitted Size 1 Brain Cell that works with the TSA Friendly setup - same as the cache with rails. All I needed to do was sew in 2 webbing strips attached at the top and bottom of the Brain Cell and 4" apart centre to centre. I then just needed to buy a set of gatekeeper rail clips from the TB parts page to complete the setup - Voila!

    Name:  S25_BrainCell_Size1_TSA.jpg
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    Note that overall the Brain Cell is a little bit harder to get in and out of the S25 than a cache. However, that is the same for any other backpacks IMHO and it will not be often that you will need to take the full Brain Cell out as you will just take your laptop out in most circumstances. I feel the benefits of the protection provided by the Brain Cell outweigh the problem of a slightly bulkier setup.

    Hope this help

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 07-13-2014 at 06:38 AM.
    Zephyr/SA/BB/Co-Pilot (Black/Black/Steel), S25/WF/TS/A45/Pilot (Black/Iberian), DLBP (French Blue), CPF (Black/Indigo/Steel), Ego (Black/Black/Steel with Indigo Stripe), EB (Black/Steel/Steel), Vertical & Horizontal Brain Cells, Vertical and Horizontal FS, Camera I/O, PCBP/PCSB/TT (400d Nordic), SE (Black/Iberian), Lead's Pocket (Black), Tall YSS (Iberian)

  8. #23
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    Thanks, @tpnl! It's great to have this information about the Size 1 Brain Cell checked directly, and the TB bags carry more than people expect.

    ETA: Your reply got even better with the added pictures.
    Last edited by moriond; 07-12-2014 at 05:57 PM.
    tpnl and Ilkyway like this.

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    Well, I got my pieces of kit today, and took a look at them. I absolutely love the A30. That said, I am not 100% sold on the S25. Really my only reason behind that is that the Steel exterior is a different material than the steel on my A30 and Ristretto 13... I kinda like the thicker knit fabric on the A30 and R13 better...

    I will try and take some pictures and test pack and whatnot this weekend, but anyone know what the deal is with the steel fabric difference between these models, and why the different selection for the S25?

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by daijizai View Post
    Well, I got my pieces of kit today, and took a look at them. I absolutely love the A30. That said, I am not 100% sold on the S25. Really my only reason behind that is that the Steel exterior is a different material than the steel on my A30 and Ristretto 13... I kinda like the thicker knit fabric on the A30 and R13 better...

    I will try and take some pictures and test pack and whatnot this weekend, but anyone know what the deal is with the steel fabric difference between these models, and why the different selection for the S25?
    The Synapse would be murder to sew, if not impossible, if it was made with ballistic nylon. Give the Synapse a chance! It's an amazing everyday backpack.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by daijizai View Post
    Well, I got my pieces of kit today, and took a look at them. I absolutely love the A30. That said, I am not 100% sold on the S25. Really my only reason behind that is that the Steel exterior is a different material than the steel on my A30 and Ristretto 13... I kinda like the thicker knit fabric on the A30 and R13 better...

    I will try and take some pictures and test pack and whatnot this weekend, but anyone know what the deal is with the steel fabric difference between these models, and why the different selection for the S25?
    The Aeronauts and the Ristretto are made of ballistic nylon. The Synapse backpacks are made of Cordura. Different fabrics take up dye differently. Even between two lots of the same fabric (i.e. two bags of the same material bought at different times), it is possible that there could be some colour variance.

    Cordura in the denier that TB uses is lighter than BN in the denier that TB uses, so to some degree fabric selections are made based on what they are trying to achieve. It's all a trade off between weight, ease of workmanship, cost, and durability.

    some interesting reading on the different fabrics.
    The Difference Between Ballistic, 1000D Cordura, and Ripstop Nylon | Loaded PocketzLoaded Pocketz
    What's the difference between Cordura and Ballistic Nylon?
    Parapack vs Cordura vs Ballistic (linked to great post by @tpnl)
    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.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by daijizai View Post
    Well, I got my pieces of kit today, and took a look at them. I absolutely love the A30. That said, I am not 100% sold on the S25. Really my only reason behind that is that the Steel exterior is a different material than the steel on my A30 and Ristretto 13... I kinda like the thicker knit fabric on the A30 and R13 better...

    I will try and take some pictures and test pack and whatnot this weekend, but anyone know what the deal is with the steel fabric difference between these models, and why the different selection for the S25?
    The S25 has been made in cordura, parapack, and dyneema, but not ballistic to the best of my knowledge. I would guess that you have a steel cordura bag, given the current offerings. I agree with @Rocks that using ballistic on the S25 would likely be a manufacturing nightmare and also probably take away from how the bag functions. I don't think you really need that level of stiffness on this particular bag. Having quite a few steel items, the color 'steel' varies significantly between the four types of fabrics, and even within ballistic runs. Perhaps it's the color variation that is throwing you off when comparing to your other TB bags. I would also suggest first seeing if the S25 works for how you want to use it, and then consider swapping out the color if needed.

  13. #28
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    One thing about the two big bags you've considered: The Brain Bag can keep expanding (front to back) to a crazy degree, as you stuff it fuller and fuller. It really is big enough to easily carry two laptops and plenty of accessories. It will easily carry more weight than I actually want on my back. As the saying goes, "Ask me how I know."

    I think it'd be easier to stuff the BB beyond airline bag-size specs than the S25, even if in practical reality you can still put the BB in the overhead compartment with no fuss. The Synapse will look more slender I believe even stuffed to the gills than does the Brain Bag similarly stuffed.

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