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.