Hi all - I've been lurking for several months trying to decide on a bag (or two or three.) Primary use case is everyday carry (with water bottle, with and without laptop); also trying to accommodate less frequent scenarios of (1) one bag plus EDC for 1'ish week trips w/o laptop, and (2) one bag for 1-3 day work trips, including laptop.
I currently use a generic laptop backpack from my employer, which seems to be a couple inches smaller than the Synapse 25. I find the current backpack ok, but am looking for something with better organizational capabilities and better materials. (And I'm obsessed with bags.) Before that I used a medium Cargo messenger bag from Waterfield Designs, which I love, but is a bit heavy and after one bad neck pain episode, I decided I needed to switch to a backpack, even if it looked slightly less professional (I'm in IT consulting so I can get away with it.)
I finally decided to get a Synapse 19 and accessories, to see if my laptop (Lenovo T420) would fit into it well enough in a pinch. I received it on my birthday (yay) in black parapack/wasabi. I love the material inside and out, and the laptop does fit w/o sleeve without stretching the zippers too much, but at the expense of "pushing out" the bottom so to that there's not much additional capacity in the main compartment.
After some more thought I think I need to get a Synapse 25 (in black parapack/wasabi or iberian) with a cache on rails. I'm sure the S25 will fit everything I want to put into it for trips to the office and occasional short work travel, and also for the occasional 1 week vacation (I packed everything I needed for a 1 week trip to Europe last year in the generic backpack). I'm hoping it will look smaller than the generic backpack I have now when not full, even though it's actually a bit bigger. But I'm concerned it will be too big a bag for EDC w/o the computer. So I'm thinking about swapping the S19 (still unused) I have to black dyneema/wasabi (so as not to have two Synapses in the exact same color scheme). But then I started thinking about the PCBP or small cafe bag as an EDC alternative. Analysis paralysis again!
Any suggestions or things to consider among these choices?? Thanks in advance!