Shop Tom Bihn
1-800-729-9607
emailus@tombihn.com
Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NJ / NYC
    Posts
    5

    Question S25 Size Remorse? Help!

    Hello everyone. I've been stalking the forums for a couple weeks and now I need some advice. I originally posted this in the S19/S25 thread here, but didn't want to hijack someone else's conversation.

    After 2+ weeks of research and comparison, I decided to buy a Navy / Iberian S25. It arrived today and I am stoked. I filled it up with just about anything I could think I'll need to take to / from work, and I'm afraid to say that I don't come close to filling the pack. Now, I'm not a real tall guy. About 5'8" with a normal build. The S25 feels pretty huge. I'm wondering if I should buy an S19 and compare, or if I'll grow into the S25. I'm stuck.

    Just for some background... I just got a new job that will involve commuting via public transport. I'll need to pack a laptop, keys, Kindle, a couple of moleskine notebooks, water bottle, lunch, other odds and ends. I went with the S25 over the S19 because I thought the S19 wouldn't have enough space for me to pack a pair of gym clothes and sneakers along with my other junk. Well, it seems I could fit all my junk and a weekend's worth of clothes, which may be just a bit too big for my every day use.

    I'd love some of your personal perspectives. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    425
    Quote Originally Posted by suchashorttime View Post
    Hello everyone. I've been stalking the forums for a couple weeks and now I need some advice.

    After 2+ weeks of research and comparison, I decided to buy a Navy / Iberian S25. It arrived today and I am stoked. I filled it up with just about anything I could think I'll need to take to / from work, and I'm afraid to say that I don't come close to filling the pack. Now, I'm not a real tall guy. About 5'8" with a normal build. The S25 feels pretty huge. I'm wondering if I should buy an S19 and compare, or if I'll grow into the S25. I'm stuck.

    Just for some background... I just got a new job that will involve commuting via public transport. I'll need to pack a laptop, keys, Kindle, a couple of moleskine notebooks, water bottle, lunch, other odds and ends. I went with the S25 over the S19 because I thought the S19 wouldn't have enough space for me to pack a pair of gym clothes and sneakers along with my other junk. Well, it seems I could fit all my junk and a weekend's worth of clothes, which may be just a bit too big for my every day use.

    I'd love some of your personal perspectives. What do you think?
    Hard to say. I far prefer a larger bag that I can cinch closed than a smaller bag stuffed to the gills.

    Now that you've "test packed" your S25, try repacking the way you would on a daily basis. It is unlikely that you'll pack as carefully everyday and that will take up more space. I assume you'll have a towel so you'll probably want some type of a laundry bag for your towel and used gym stuff and all that takes up space. You'll also want some sort of a lunch bag because I can't imagine comingling the sneakers and lunch.

    Once you've added all of the extra "baggage" you may find that the 25 isn't too large.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NJ / NYC
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by ceb View Post
    Hard to say. I far prefer a larger bag that I can cinch closed than a smaller bag stuffed to the gills.

    Now that you've "test packed" your S25, try repacking the way you would on a daily basis. It is unlikely that you'll pack as carefully everyday and that will take up more space. I assume you'll have a towel so you'll probably want some type of a laundry bag for your towel and used gym stuff and all that takes up space. You'll also want some sort of a lunch bag because I can't imagine comingling the sneakers and lunch.

    Once you've added all of the extra "baggage" you may find that the 25 isn't too large.
    Thanks for the advice! I may do just that.

    Also, sorry about double posting. I tried to delete this post and start my own thread so I didn't hijack OP's conversation. The delete didn't work, I suppose. Sorry OP!

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    3,515
    @suchashortime, Welcome to the forums. In your location (NJ/NYC) there is a high density of TB forum members who own Synapses of both sizes. I wonder whether one of them could let you handle/try the S19 so you can make an informed decision without having to purchase a Synapse 19? One question: what size is your laptop, and are you likely to carry it in your backpack? I have personally found that the Synapse 19 usually works for me (even when I have to carry a 13" Mac laptop among the contents of the bag), but this may just be individual preference. For people who are genuinely in doubt about which bag to get, and are in the U.S. (so postage return charges will not be excessive), I'd recommend ordering both bags, and then using the UPS return form (under the FAQ links) to send bag the items you don't want. (I believe this is a fixed $10 charge for items returned within the 60 day period).

    The Synapse 25 does tend to adjust down to a smaller profile if you don't fill it completely. Although I have both sizes of bags, I think I've only ever traveled the NYC subway/bus system with the Synapse 19. YMMV.

    moriond

    ETA: I've moved the responses to the duplicate post in the Synapse 19/25 thread to this thread, and deleted the duplicate query.
    Last edited by moriond; 02-09-2015 at 06:10 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NJ / NYC
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @suchashortime, Welcome to the forums. In your location (NJ/NYC) there is a high density of TB forum members who own Synapses of both sizes. I wonder whether one of them could let you handle/try the S19 so you can make an informed decision without having to purchase a Synapse 19? One question: what size is your laptop, and are you likely to carry it in your backpack? I have personally found that the Synapse 19 usually works for me (even when I have to carry a 13" Mac laptop among the contents of the bag), but this may just be individual preference. For people who are genuinely in doubt about which bag to get, and are in the U.S. (so postage return charges will not be excessive), I'd recommend ordering both bags, and then using the UPS return form (under the FAQ links) to send bag the items you don't want. (I believe this is a fixed $10 charge for items returned within the 60 day period).

    The Synapse 25 does tend to adjust down to a smaller profile if you don't fill it completely. Although I have both sizes of bags, I think I've only ever traveled the NYC subway/bus system with the Synapse 19. YMMV.

    moriond

    ETA: I've moved the responses to the duplicate post in the Synapse 19/25 thread to this thread, and deleted the duplicate query.
    Thanks for consolidating the threads.

    That's sound advice. I'll be carrying my 13" Macbook, but work might be providing me another work laptop. Not sure about that, yet. I'm gonna wait until the end of the week to get some advice here and play around with my S25 at home before deciding whether or not to buy a S19 and do a personal comparison.

    Also, I should add that I bought a Freudian Slip with it. I figured it'll help me keep organized for work, then I can remove it when I use the pack for recreation. I think it'll be good for holding the many devices I carry around.

  6. #6
    Forum Member kkintea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    729
    I had the S19 first, and it felt like a kid backpack somedays (I am slightly taller at ~5'10"). Ultimately, it was adopted out. It wasn't until I got the S25 that I came down with a case of synapse-fever. I would second the comments on underpacking it. It still looks and feels great, and when you need to, it can really pack a punch and haul all kinds of things. By comparison, if you think you might ever overstuff the S19, it might not carry as well. I take the S25 on travel requiring my 13" MBA. When I can leave the computer behind, I go for the NFTD. My work EDC is the Imago, but I'm not carrying gym attire from your list. If you think you have the willpower, get the S19 to compare and send one of the bags back.

    Good luck!
    Favorite: Steel/Steel Little Swift * Latest: Coyote/Steel Swift * Wishlist: Keep Island

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Toronto, Canada (GMT+5)
    Posts
    843
    Welcome to the forum @suchashirttime

    I do not have an S19 but I have an S25 and I find I like it best when under-packed - ie. it shrinks very well. I find that it gets very oval and less stable on my back if overfilled:



    I find if I use the front compartments fully (bottom pocket, side and middle pockets) and just put my laptop / flat objects in the main compartment elastic-topped, open-top pocket, the back section compresses to conform to my back and add to its comfort and already slim streamlined profile - so the extra room is a bonus when underpacked. This is how I use it as my daily carry. Also, as others have said, I like the option to add more if needed in an emergency. I like this video by Fraser Speirs showing how the back of Synapse 25 (and 19) works to accommodate this and for using the front compartment mostly for holding his EDC:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIqK93dmbuo

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 02-09-2015 at 08:52 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    49
    Keep the S25. You'll need the space someday--I went with a 19L backpack and have on a few occasions needed a larger bag, usually to carry oversized items or thick jackets in addition to my usual load. Being unable to fit the extra stuff in the pack, I ended up having to carry two bags--not at all convenient.

    You can always get compressions straps to squeeze stuff down...

  9. #9
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    541
    Hi and welcome to the forums @suchasweettime! I've got both the S19 and S25, and have used both extensively on NJ Transit and MTA. The great thing about both packs is that even when full they are relatively low profile. I echo others here in saying stick with the S25; you'll find that having that extra space is handy when you're rushing (something we're good at here in the Northeast) and need to just swing the bag around, open a zipper, and stuff something in. Depending on where you are in relation to me, I'd be open to showing you one of my S19s. Yes, I said "one of my...". Don't judge me

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    3,194
    I second what everybody says, keep the S25.

    I am the same height but only have S19s.
    I use the S19 in public transport and this bag is fine in summer. It fits the iPad Mini, the Field Journal Notebook, 1 or 2 Large Organizer Pouches lightly packed, a cardigan, a rain shell in the main compartment. A water bottle, guess where? A Travel Stuff Sack size 1 in each side pocket as well as a 3D Cube and a Small Shop Bag in the lower pocket.

    In winter, adding a fleece vest makes the bag bulge uncomfortably.
    I forgot to practice pack with the fleece vest and on a mild afternoon, I had to remove the fleece vest and find some place to stow it. I ended up using the Small Shop Bag, not ideal because I carry the Small Cafe Bag as well.


    There was a time when the S25 was available in my favorite color, and I talked myself into not buying it, it was not a smart decision.

    If I were to bring extra shoes and workout clothes or I needed to bring books from the library or bookstore, or carried a laptop I would definitely need the S25.
    Last edited by backpack; 02-10-2015 at 08:29 AM.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,433
    I love my S19, but there are definitely days I wish I had a little more space. Like others have said, when its overstuffed, it's not as comfortable.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Exhaust the little moment.
    Soon it dies.
    And be it gash or gold it will not come
    Again in this identical disguise."
    -Gwendolyn Brooks

  12. #12
    Forum Member K9TB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    135
    I too recommend keeping the S25. I have both, and the S25 pockets are noticeably bigger, and I love organizing with the pockets. It's easy to carry the S25 under packed, and then you have the extra space for the days you need it.
    What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.

  13. #13
    Forum Member bltkmt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    376
    I have, and use both a S19 and S25. I find the S25 better for EDC purposes and use it daily. However, the S19 is wonderful for carry-on purposes when flying and then using as a daypack at your destination. I suggest you get both!
    --------------------------------

  14. #14
    Forum Member TavaPeak's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    537
    I bought an S25 I loved and returned it for an S19 in the same Dyneema. My s19 works well, but I still miss that S25. It does such a good job with a Side Effect or 3D organizer in the side pockets.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NJ / NYC
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the sage advice thus far. I think I've decided to keep it and use it as my EDC. Wish I could afford to buy multiple Bihns at a time, but I splurged on the one. Next step is perhaps a Side Effect or 3D Organizer, but I'm going to break the S25 in first. Thanks again, everyone.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •