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Thread: Synapse 25 for travel?

  1. #1
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    Synapse 25 for travel?

    I know there are a thousand threads and opinions, and I've read a lot of them... and still can't decide :-)

    I was/am looking for a new travel bag. Had decided on the BrainBag, as that seems to have a style I like, was "big enough" and affordable.

    But they are on backorder.

    Half of the things I want are on backorder :-) (which I'm sure is a good problem to have, and speaks well of the quality).

    Ideally I would get a Tristar and a Synapse 19 as a "personal item" and be well set, but money doesn't really allow.

    Really trying for something I can use day-to-day as my laptop/stuff bag to the office, and then still use on vacation.

    What do you guys think of a Synapse 25 for travel? In the past I haven't been a "lightweight" traveler, but am trying to mend my ways...

  2. #2
    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
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    Welcome!' I've one-bagged with a Synapse 25. I think you can look at my profile and find threads I've posted in. One about Italy and one about Tetris packing the Synapse 25. It worked out very well with the right assortment of pouches. I used the bottom zip pocket for toiletries and medications, packed all my clothes in a medium Tristar packing cube, shoes in a packing Cube Shoulder Bag (which I used as my walking around bag) with room to spare.
    The Synapse 25 really is an amazing bag.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdillahu View Post
    I know there are a thousand threads and opinions, and I've read a lot of them... and still can't decide :-)

    I was/am looking for a new travel bag. Had decided on the BrainBag, as that seems to have a style I like, was "big enough" and affordable.

    But they are on backorder.

    Half of the things I want are on backorder :-) (which I'm sure is a good problem to have, and speaks well of the quality).

    Ideally I would get a Tristar and a Synapse 19 as a "personal item" and be well set, but money doesn't really allow.

    Really trying for something I can use day-to-day as my laptop/stuff bag to the office, and then still use on vacation.

    What do you guys think of a Synapse 25 for travel? In the past I haven't been a "lightweight" traveler, but am trying to mend my ways...
    Depends how you pack and length of trip.

    This guy travelled 6 months with a Synapse 19. The S25 give you 6 extra liters! He does mention within the blog that he would take the S25 next time.

    The challenge of one-bag, lightweight travel is a fun one to meet. I have not travelled with the S25 but had one in my possession and to me, it's huge. I think I could travel anywhere with it .... as long as it didn't end up busting my spine with weight. Plenty of space, danger of filling it. As always.

  4. #4
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    Is your need urgent? You say you decided on the Brain Bag. It's on back order till late October. That's at most six weeks.

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    How about one bagging using a Western Flyer - good for business and vacation AND could fit as a personal carryon if packed lightly.

    Two weeks in Europe with a Western Flyer

    If you needed more perhaps get a Daylight Backpack or a Packing Cube Back Pack for the TriStar/Western Flyer. Would that meet your budget?

    What is your laptop size and the formalness of your work place? That may also help to narrow things down.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; Yesterday at 07:02 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks all for the ideas and suggestions!

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikepie View Post
    Is your need urgent? You say you decided on the Brain Bag. It's on back order till late October. That's at most six weeks.
    Going on a trip in 2.5 weeks, which would want the "solution" for... otherwise, may just wait until afterwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    How about one bagging using a Western Flyer - good for business and vacation AND could fit as a personal carryon if packed lightly.

    Two weeks in Europe with a Western Flyer

    If you needed more perhaps get a Daylight Backpack or a Packing Cube Back Pack for the TriStar/Western Flyer. Would fit meet your budget?

    What is your laptop size and the formalness of your work place? That may also help to narrow things down.
    Was actually just reading a WF review in another tab :-)

    Office is "formal", but they don't care really what bag I schlep in here with... especially if it's black :-)

  7. #7
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I regularly use my Western Flyer or Smart Alec for short (2-5 day) trips - they're 26 and 28 litres (with UMP) respectively. Considering that my travel often requires bulky items such as thick paperback books and/or smart clothing, I'm sure I could manage a longer trip with an S25, provided it was a) casual tourism and b) didn't involve too wide a range of climates.
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  8. #8
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    Synapse is very good for organization and smaller items and it holds a lot more than you'd expect. Unless you're quite tall you'll most likely find the brain bag quite large. I personally find the brain bag uncomfortable when it is fully loaded and I've started using my S25 a lot more often for short trips.

  9. #9
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    Have you called to find out if there are any Brain Bags available in the store? That's how I got my gorgeous French Blue brain bag just 2 weeks ago. =)
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    No, hadn't considered that store inventory might be 'separate'... Thanks for he pointer...

  11. #11
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    BTW, I now have the Synapse 25 and the Brain Bag and I love the Brain Bag! You will undoubtedly find someone else on the forum with the exact opposite opinion but my love for the Brain Bag far exceeds that of the Synapse 25. I posted about it when I first got the bag..."Not too filled up for work today but I love how it can be underpacked without looking sad. In other Tom Bihn bags I have, sometimes the bags fit everything but it takes a little work to get things in or out. The size of the Brain Bag tells me I would have to work really hard to get to the point where it strains at capacity!

    As I was walking around with it, I thought it seemed to me a compromise between the Synapse 25 (which I have) and the Smart Alec (which I bought and returned). There's more internal organization than the Smart Alec (but less than the S25) and it has the easy access of the S25 (e.g. zippers around) that you don't get with the Smart Alec. I hope that makes sense!"

  12. #12
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    My feeling is that you could stick to your ideal Synapse 19/Aeronaute by saving a little while longer.

    The Brain Bag is extremely popular with students and some lines of work due to its very big capacity.
    It is a great travelling bag, I have used it in this manner for many years before the airline baggage size restrictions.

    I have use an Aeronaute and a Tristar (a little bigger than the Western Flyer) while travelling in Europe, last year, both were in Dyneema.(I was switching between the two with my husband)

    After the first class performing Brain Bag, I was nervous, but their built, lightweight and all around smarts won me over.

    I also took a Synapse 19, while it was a tight fit to bring everything: travel related paperwork, currencies, big headphones, medications (over the counter and prescriptions), tablet, minimalist makeup kit... I think I can make it work by organizing better and switching from one TB accessory to another.

    The main advantage of the Aeronaute over the Brain Bag, is its ability to be carried 3 was (the backpack straps, the shoulder strap and the handles), it makes a tremendous difference in long lines, on long international airports corridors, when fast connecting between flights, trains, buses, shuttles... are needed.

    The Western Flyer which I don't have and the Tristar which I do have, use the same 3 way carrying abilities but with, a briefcase like, form factor.
    Last edited by backpack; Today at 05:36 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nolo View Post
    Have you called to find out if there are any Brain Bags available in the store? That's how I got my gorgeous French Blue brain bag just 2 weeks ago. =)
    I must thank everyone for their extreme helpfulness and opinions.

    A callout to Nolo for pointing out that the store inventory isn't included in the web page. Hannah was able to fix me up with a Brain Bag (along with answering several of my questions) which should be on its way shortly. Given this was my original direction, I think it will work well for me.

    Impressed with the helpfulness and attitude of everybody involved... really appreciate it!


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