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Thread: Biting the bullet - ordering my first synapse!

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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    Biting the bullet - ordering my first synapse!

    I recently stumbled across Tom Bihn while doing a search for backpacks, and I've been drooling over the synapse ever since. Since I'm a poor grad student, the $160 was unfortunately over my budget. Being a bit of an organization nerd, I loved the idea of all the clips and pouches and accessories, so I ended up with some travel stuff sacks, which have proven to be immensely useful for all manner of things. I now have 4, and also ended up getting a steel/wasabi side effect (I know, I know, for the price of all those I could have just gotten a synapse for a little more. I'm an idiot).

    My side effect arrived today, and I must say although I was hesitant about the steel dyneema color, it is *gorgeous* in person. No pictures or videos do it justice. And lo and behold, right next to my new SE was a mini organizer pouch in wasabi that I hadn't ordered! At first I thought it was a mistake, but then noticed that sometimes the awesome people at Tom Bihn throw in a little thank you goodie in people's boxes It's thoughtful touches like these that make me want to continue to be a loyal customer and slowly grow my Tom Bihn collection.

    And today, while lugging my (much loved) Timbuk2 Q backpack to campus, it started raining and some of the contents inside the bag got pretty wet. Nothing was damaged thankfully, but obviously I now *need* a synapse with those splash proof zippers I'm going for the synapse 19 since I don't usually carry a lot on a day to day basis (13" macbook air, iPad, cables, a smallish book or two, some papers, a notebook, hat/gloves, 32oz hydroflask, and various small knick knacks).

    Still trying to decide on color (I love them all, the only one I'm not a big fan of is the olive). Are there any practical differences between the parapack and dyneema fabrics? What would make you choose one over the other? I don't have any pets so that's not really a consideration.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I own a steel dyneema/wasabi S25 and a black cordura?/wasabi SE. I ordered The SE in the stiffer fabric as I was worried about it keeping its shape with lots of handling as it's my EDC. That being said, I love the dyneema and have a black dyneema CoPilot. For me it's an aesthetic thing. I just prefer it, plus there are the bonuses of the dyneema being slightly lighter, which is important to me, and it being slightly more malleable.


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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    And by the way, congratulations on your new addition! You will love it! And your stuff sacks will prove to be helpful adjuncts to your Synapse.


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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    I bought a steel dyneema (wasabi dyneema interior) Synapse 19 in September and absolutely loved the organization, the size, the lightness, the cleanliness... just darn nearly everything about it... except the white-squared pattern. I always feel a bit uncomfortable walking into a meeting with it, wearing my business suits, usually dark. (But as an engineer, I get some slack when it comes to things such as carrying a backpack.) As soon as the parapack fabric was announced, I pre-ordered a black (again with wasabi dyneema interior) Synapse 19. It arrived yesterday and is perfection... to me.

    I think it comes down to the "look" of dyneema vs parapack. Having immediately transferred all my stuff to the new parapack Synapse and used it for one and a half day, I cannot tell any difference between the two when it comes to usage. But to me, the black parapack just looks and, therefore, makes me feel more professional in a business setting. Now I just have to decide between putting my dyneema Synapse on eBay or keeping it as a "leisure" pack. It's a nice decision to have to make

    BTW the olive in parapack is gorgeous. I purchased a Large Cafe Bag in that color and fabric -- wanted something I could use in winter and summer while traveling on vacations. Was surprised at how much I like olive (especially with the wasabi dyneema interior).

    Good luck with your decision and congrats on what is sure to be an awesome purchase!
    Last edited by taminca; 12-06-2013 at 08:30 PM.

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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    Thanks monkey lady! I'm leaning more towards dyneema myself, also for aesthetic reasons. I think I prefer the pattern to the solid block of color, even though they really are all beautiful.

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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    Thanks taminca. It seems there's agreement that it boils down to aesthetics. Which is great since it gives me a wider set of options

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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    (But as an engineer, I get some slack when it comes to things such as carrying a backpack.)
    Is it because you can justify it with physics? Theoretically each shoulder should be taking 50% of the load rather than one shoulder taking 100% as it would with a shoulder bag, additionally the design of the backpack straps allows for more contact area and therefor less force per square inch also the resultant forces will place most of the weight on the meatier front of the shoulders rather than the boney, nerve filled top of them.

    Tachiyaku, I'm sure whatever you pick will be great, if you like the accessories you will be blown away by the pack. I have a black 3D organizer cube in the Parapack fabric and with the splash proof zippers it looks incredibly good, very stealth! I'm also a huge fan of the wasabi dyneema, it really lightens up the inside of the bag making everything easier to find.

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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    DONE! I just ordered the steel dyneema/solar synapse! Now I suppose I ought to move to the TB Anticipation Syndrome thread....

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Congrats! Bet you don't have to wait too long........


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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    Thank you! I'm on the east coast, so it takes about 8-10 days for stuff to get here.

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Steel Dyneema/Solar is an amazing combo, and I think you'll be really pleased with the purchase. The 19 is a great bag and I think it will see you into the dissertation stage easily, at which time you may want to indulge in some retail therapy and get a 25 (you know, "to carry all those books for the lit review").


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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    OMG Badger, do you think I just ought to get the S25 from the get go? My max packing load would be something like this (though normally it would be much less):

    13" macbook air + iPad + cables
    1 or 2 slim notebooks
    3-4 books (not textbooks)
    Stack of papers (either journal articles or student papers I have to grade)
    Hat/gloves/scarf
    32 oz hydroflask
    small tupperware with a sandwich or food
    phone/keys/wallet/small knick knacks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tachiyaku View Post
    OMG Badger, do you think I just ought to get the S25 from the get go? My max packing load would be something like this (though normally it would be much less):

    13" macbook air + iPad + cables
    1 or 2 slim notebooks
    3-4 books (not textbooks)
    Stack of papers (either journal articles or student papers I have to grade)
    Hat/gloves/scarf
    32 oz hydroflask
    small tupperware with a sandwich or food
    phone/keys/wallet/small knick knacks
    Not Badger, but for me the Synapse 19 would be the perfect size (and I have both the Synapse 19 and the Synapse 25). I'd have to check on the 32 oz hydro flask, though, since the shape/dimensions of the flask makes a difference, What brand?

  14. #14
    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    Oops, that was supposed to read 24oz hydroflask, not 32: Hydro Flask | Hydro Flask - Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle - 24 oz (Medium) - Narrow Mouth

    I think I'll stick with the 19, as per your and Badger's suggestions. I'll post pics of it with my grad school gear when it arrives

  15. #15
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    I think for now a 19 would be just fine. I was sort of trying to help you justify a future purchase (you will find that we're all great at helping people rationalize their desires).

    As long as your current books aren't all the size of the Riverside Shakespeare, the 19 will work with no problems.


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