The Synapse 19 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Black 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Black 525 Ballistic with Wasabi (green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Black 525 Ballistic with Island (bright blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Black 525 Ballistic with Moab (brick red with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synapse 19 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic with Ultraviolet (purple with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synapse 19 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with Ultraviolet (purple with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with Wasabi (green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synapse 19 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with Moab (brick red with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. The Synapse 19 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon. The Synapse 19 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon with Iberian (red with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon with Wasabi (green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. The Synapse 19 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Taiga 400d Halcyon. The Synapse 19 in Taiga 400d Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Night Walk (grey-blue with grey grid) 400d Halcyon The Synapse 19 in Night Walk (grey-blue with grey grid) 400d Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Red Blend (purplish red) 1000 Cordura The Synapse 19 in Red Blend (purplish red) 1000 Cordura with Dawn (blue-grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Synapse 19 in Beaver Camo (olive green, brown, black, and tan camoflauge pattern) 1000 Cordura The Synapse 19 in Beaver Camo (olive green, brown, black, and tan camoflauge pattern) 1000 Cordura with Coyote (tan) 210 Ballistic interior. The Synapse 19 in Seapine (blue-green) 630 Recycled The Synapse 19 in Seapine (blue-green) 630 Recycled with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synapse 19 in Logic (powder blue) 630 Recycled The Synapse 19 in Logic (powder blue) 630 Recycled with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior.
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Synapse 19

$225.00

A backpack well suited to hiking, travel, or commuting.

19 liters (1160 cu.in.)

Night Walk 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Island 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Moab 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Constellation Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Mars Red Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Island 200 Halcyon
Ursa Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Wilderness Ballistic/Moab 200 Halcyon
Black 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Original 400 Halcyon/Island 200 Halcyon
Logic Blue 630 Recycled/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Seapine 630 Recycled/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Beaver Camo 1000 Texturized Nylon/Coyote 210 Ballistic
Profile shot of the Synapse 19 A reverse shot of the Synapse 19 showing the backpack straps, sternum strap, and hip belt. A Synapse 19 with its pockets open, containing a laptop, books, a water bottle, cables, a multitool, and a wallet and other various accoutrements. A close shot of the zipper of the Synapse 19. A close shot of the Guardian Light on the light strap of the Synapse 19. A profile shot of the Synapse 19. A person at the beach wearing a Synapse 19. A person hiking with the Synapse 19. A person at a river with the Synapse 19. A person wearing the Synapse 19. A profle shot of a person wearing the Synapse 19. A person accessing the left pocket on the Synapse 19. A Synapse 19 with a Synapse 19 Freudian Slip and water bottle. A person removing a Synapse 19 Freudian Slip form the main compartment of the Synapse 19. A person accessing a pocket in a Synapse 19 Freudian Slip while it's in the main compartment of the Synapse 19.

Description

People hike, travel, or commute with this versatile pack; where will you take it?

 

The Synapse 19 is a carefully calculated, supremely organized backpack, designed for day hiking, everyday carry, and ultralight travel. Its graceful, curvilinear exterior may on first blush look like something akin to sculpture, but in truth it is simply the judicious realization of ultimate utility. No mesh pockets clutter the exterior of this bag, nor extraneous straps festoon it; in it, you'll be able to carry more than you would imagine, and no one will be the wiser.

The Synapse 19 is designed to fit people from approximately 5'0" to 6'0" / 1.52 to 1.83m; it's the smaller version of our Synapse 25 (for those 5'6" / 1.68 m or taller or who want a bigger bag — check it out). With 30% less volume, it's ideal for those of us who just don't need to carry as much stuff.

It features our beloved Edgeless Straps; conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this strap allows it to more softly conform to your shoulder — we (and most people who have worn these straps) find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren’t too soft: the 1/2” thick EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® certified foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load.

The front of the Synapse 19 is divided into five zippered pockets, all of which zip shut with #8 YKK® Raquet-Coil water-repellent zippers:

Though you'd never guess by looking at it, the top center front pocket is deep enough for a 1-liter water bottle or 1-liter hydration bladder. Everyone who has carried a water bottle in a backpack knows how important it is to pack the water bottle wisely so it a) doesn't dig into your back and b) doesn't throw off the weight of the pack. With the water bottle kept in dead center of the Synapse 19, you won't have to worry about either. Removing the water bottle from the Synapse 19 (and replacing it) is a breeze. Note that the water bottle pocket doesn't needlessly continue to the bottom of the bag; that'd be wasted space, plus you'd have to reach farther in to pull your water bottle out. Instead, we took that volume and allocated it to the bottom pocket (where it can serve good instead of evil — see below). Also worth noting: the water bottle pocket has one O-ring. (Yes, we do listen: we're adding O-rings. Just because you asked.)

Below the opening for the bottle pocket is another small zippered pocket, also with one O-ring: it's just deep enough for keys, a wallet, glove liners, or a small camera.

The side pockets are generously sized for sunglasses (in a case or alone), a first aid kit, or even a light Windbreaker-type jacket or down vest compressed in a stuff sack (like our Travel Stuff Sack). The right side pocket has a lined inner organizational pocket; the left pocket has three pen/pencil slots. Both side zippered pockets feature one O-ring — one comes with an 8" / 200 mm Key Strap.

The bottom front pocket of the Synapse 19 is a great spot for extra clothing or snacks and will easily accommodate a thin wool/fleece sweater, light down jacket and/or Windbreaker-type jacket. If you care to add organization, it's more than big enough for a 3D Organizer Cube) or Side Effect; two O-rings are inside this pocket. (Packing advice: tether one of the above-mentioned organizational cubes or Organizer Pouches to the O-rings via a Key Strap.)

The Synapse 19 has one main, back compartment for large, flat items like notebooks or laptops — it closes with a #8 YKK® Racquet-Coil water-repellent zipper. It has two O-rings for you to attach Organizer Pouches or tether other items. Also inside the main compartment are four unobtrusive webbing loops (also known as rail loops), two fore and two aft, to which you can secure the optional Cache (available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad; PC users, click here to take a look at our Laptop Fit Guide). When you add the Cache, the Synapse 19 becomes a "checkpoint-friendly" laptop backpack. Here's how it works: on the sides of the Cache are two parallel "rails" of 1" wide lightweight nylon webbing which extend from the top to the bottom. Included with the Cache are two Gatekeeper Rail Clips: unclip the side that isn't clipped to the Cache, slip it through the webbing loops in the Synapse 19 main compartment, and flip it shut. Slip the Cache inside the Synapse 19, and pull it back out: you'll see that the Gatekeeper Rail Clips ride the rails of the Cache, allowing you to remove your laptop or tablet from the Synapse 19 entirely while it is still encased in the protective Cache. Many of us will appreciate this functionality on a daily basis: the rail system can be a convenient and quick way to remove one's laptop from the bag. And remember, there are four loops of webbing in the top of the main compartment of the Synapse 19: one pair is on the back side, and one pair is on the front side. That means you can choose to have your laptop or tablet against your back or against the front of the bag, whichever seems most comfortable or most convenient. Using all four loops, you could even carry two laptops (or one laptop and one tablet) in the Synapse 19. Note that the "checkpoint-friendly" functionality will only work for one of two devices — you'll need to remove the second laptop at the airport security checkpoint.

In addition to the Cache, the rail loops can also tether the optional Synapse 19 Internal Frame — you can even secure the frame and a Cache to the same set of rail loops. A clever “T” bar holds the loops in place relative to the frame, allowing the lower edge of the internal frame to float freely; in all of our testing, we’ve found this isn’t much of an issue as the bag’s contents tend to keep this lower extreme in place. The frame is constructed of die-cut .060” thick High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), with a nylon webbing sleeve sewn down the center that encases a removable 1” /25mm wide 6061 aluminum stay. We’ve bent the stay to a generic spinal curve but we recommend you re-bend and/or adjust the curvature to best fit your own back (video instruction here). Some folks swear by internal frames and others find them superfluous. For more on internal frames—how they differ from "frame sheets" and the pros and cons of using one—see our Guide To Backpack Frames.

Also inside the main compartment is an elastic-topped, open-top pocket. Generously sized to fit a book or two or an extra pair of shoes. The open-top pocket will also fit some sizes of Cache, including the 11" Air, iPad, and iPad mini sizes. (If you plan to carry a water bottle in the water bottle pocket and also an iPad or other device in the open-top main compartment pocket, make sure the device is protected with a Cache or a similar protective sleeve: the water bottle pocket is directly in front of the open-top pocket and your device is best protected from your hard water bottle.)

The remainder of the main compartment opens wide — ready to accept whatever larger items you're packing.

The back panel of the Synapse 19 is padded with 1/4", high quality, closed-cell foam with an exterior of Spacer mesh and 210 denier nylon. This combination of mesh and smooth nylon is designed to provide maximum breathability while still being gentle on your clothing. The contoured backpack straps of the Synapse were custom designed by Tom for maximum comfort. We tested the Synapse backpack straps on a wide range of people — all heights, shapes, and sizes — and we think we've come up with straps that work for just about anyone: no small feat!  The Synapse 19 features adjustable and removable sternum and waist straps with leave-no-trace hardware: if you don't like or don't use your waist or sternum strap, remove them and leave (almost) nothing behind (a design inspired by nature). At the top of the back of the pack, you'll find a webbing loop: use it to hoist the Synapse 19 up and onto your back or to hang it on a coat hook.

Enough said. Now get one and get out of here.

Materials

Specs

Dimensions

11.4" (w) x 16" (h) x 7.9" (d) / 290 (w) x 410 (h) x 200 (d) mm

Weight

400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop: 1 lb 9 oz / 708 grams
525d Ballistic: 1 lb 11 oz / 752 grams

Volume

1160 cubic inches / 19 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)

Total O-Rings

8 (2 in the main compartment; 1 in the top center pocket, 1 in the small center pocket, 2 in the bottom front pocket; 1 in the left front pocket; 1 in the right front pocket)

Lifetime guarantee image

Sewn in Seattle

Our bags are designed and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

That allows us to be control freaks in the best way possible; we have direct control and oversight of the quality of our materials, our products, and the jobs and working environment that we help create. It also offers us a unique spontaneity: when we have an idea for a new product or accessory, we can design it, figure out how to build it, add it to our website and be ready to ship it out our front door all within just a few weeks. How cool is that?

Intrigued? You can find out more about the unusual way we do business on our Company Philosophy page.

THE BIHN Guarantee

Everything you buy from us here at TOM BIHN is satisfaction guaranteed. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and we stand behind what we make.

If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it for free. Repairs due to normal wear and tear or due to other things that are not our fault will be performed, when possible, at a reasonable charge right here in our Seattle factory where your bag was made. Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and almost always evident while the product is still new. Keep in mind that bags and packs are often subject to extreme wear in everyday use: do not expect them to last forever. Only true love lasts forever! You can expect a TOM BIHN product to give years and years of hard service.

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Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 23 reviews
average rating 4.9 out of 5
Based on 23 reviews
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100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Quality
Rated 4 out of 5
Customer photos and videos
Review posted
Reviewed by Harry B.
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Bought For
Gift
Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Good Storage Size
Rated 5 out of 5

Versatile, well organised and good looking

I bought this for my daughter (10) since her old bag made her back hurt. The Synapse 19 is exactly the right size for her needs. It offers lots of well designed compartments that makes it easy for her to organise herself. The back pain is gone due to the excellent balance and shoulder straps of the bag. The water bottle has its own place now and the colour is one of her favourite colours. Needless to say that the quality and feel of the bag is great.

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Rated 5 out of 5
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Reviewed by Reanna W.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Durable
  • Sewn in USA
Rated 5 out of 5

Only backpack I ever need

Just wanted to stop by and say how much I still love this bag 5 years later. This is my go to bag for any and all occasions and has held up flawlessly. I’ve taken it on short and longer trips as my only bag, as a daily carry for my work laptop, on any hikes I’ve been on etc. I tried quite a few different backpacks last year to try something new for aesthetics, but nothing compares for comfort, quality, durability and most of all functionality. If something ever happens to my current one I will either have it fixed by TB or get another of the same style. The pockets are so well thought out and a place for everything. Love that it’s water resistant as well and never shows dirt (other than the straps a little since they’re black, but just clean off with water/rag) Attached some pics from adventures with Synapse 19 over the years :) - Also, gotta love that TB products are made in USA, that is a huge plus for me.

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TOM BIHN

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave such a kind review! And for the lovely pictures :)

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Reviewed by Jae K.
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Bought For
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Compact
  • Versatile
Rated 5 out of 5

Goldilocks Backpack

Wanted a smaller pack for warmer tshirt weather where a regular 30L backpack would feel too much but a small 3.5L sling would be too little. and wow, this guy is just perfect.

Admittedly, it is on the tighter side of 19L, and in hand seemed smaller than I envisioned. But that doesn’t really matter as the incredible organization more than makes up for lost space and it wears oh so comfortable.

It actually forces me to be more mindful of packing and yet again, makes it that much easier and quicker to get to the things i need most… which is everything!

And i do like how rather lightweight vs many other packs in its class. Also, the ursa is a fantastic color and nice departure from all my black bags. Understated yet unique.

A classic for sure!

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Rated 5 out of 5
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Reviewed by sally b.
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Bought For
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • High Quality Finishings
  • Made in USA
  • Good Storage Size
Rated 5 out of 5

Great everyday bag.

GREAT. Super well made - love all the pockets. Feels like its going to last forever.

Also loving the blue interior.

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Rated 5 out of 5
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Reviewed by Eric F.
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Bought For
Myself
Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Made in USA
  • High Quality Finishings
Rated 5 out of 5

Lives up to the reputation

Just got back from a 4-night spring break trip. Used the Synapse as my only bag. It was amazing -- fits under airline seats without a problem and the various pockets allow for easy access to everything.

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