The Synapse 19 is the supreme backpack for everyday carry, ultralight travel, or a day hike. The original of the Syn- backpacks, the Synapse 19 was designed with ultimate utility in mind:
- Main compartment with 2 O-rings
- Interior, banded open-top pocket
- 5 exterior front pockets with independent volume
- Comfortable, durable, edgeless shoulder straps
- Breathable back panel
- Removable sternum strap and waist strap
- Webbing loop on exterior bottom of bag to hook items on the outside
- Meets the personal item size requirement on most airlines
- Generally fits folks between 5' and 5'10" comfortably
For a larger version, check out the Synapse 25.
The main compartment closes with #10 YKK® Racquet-Coil zipper and is designed to fit large, flat items like notebooks. On the front interior side of the main compartment, there is a banded open-top pocket. It's spacious enough to fit a wide range of items, such as books, tablet, pair of sandals, or our Clear 3D Organizer Cube. Above this open-top pocket are two O-rings for you to attach our Mystery Pouches or Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches. Between the two O-rings is a set of Cache loops where you can secure a device as large as the 13" Macbook Pro in a Cache. All these tethered items can be stored inside the open-top pocket too, if you want.
5 Front Exterior Organizational Pockets
The Synapse 19 has an abundant amount of organization for your everyday essentials, big and small: the exterior of the bag has five pockets with independent volume. The pockets are designed and patterned in such a way that they don't steal space for each other and they look good (not too caved in, not too bulgy) whether full or empty.
The water bottle pocket is intentionally centered in the bag, allowing one of the heavier objects in your bag to be balanced in the middle, resulting in a more comfortable carrying experience while maintaining a clean, straight-forward exterior aesthetic. We've found that most standard 32 oz / 1 liter bottles can comfortably fit in the water bottle pocket.
Below the opening for the water bottle pocket is another small zippered pocket that is 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 Travel Stuff Sack. The right side pocket has a small organizational pocket; the left pocket has one pen slot and two wider slots for tools or more pens.
The bottom pocket is a great spot for extra clothing or snacks and will easily accommodate a thin sweater, light down jacket, or Windbreaker-type jacket. If you care to add organization, we recommend storing a Size 1 Handy Little Thing here.
Edgeless EV50 1/2" Shoulder Strap
Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this strap allows it the more softly conform to your shoulder; we find that this increases comfort. Yet the straps aren't too soft: the 1/2" thick foam means the strap is robust enough to carry a heavy load.
There's enough length on the shoulder straps to accommodate a wide range of body types. If you need to tighten the straps to the maximum amount, don't worry about having dangling ends — we've included sewn-in strap keepers to help keep those at bay.
Breathable Back Panel
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.
Webbing Loop on Exterior Bottom
On the exterior bottom of the bag is a 1.5" / 38mm webbing loop. Originally, the Synapse was designed for hiking, so the intended use of the webbing loop was for hooking on a flashlight (highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark). If you're planning on using the Synapse for travel, we've found the webbing loop serves as an extra grab handle, allowing you to easily pull the Synapse from under the seat of the overhead compartment no matter which direction you stowed it on your flight.
Included Removable Sternum Strap + Waist Strap
As with all of our major backpacks, we include adjustable and removable sternum and waist straps: if you don't like or don't use your waist or sternum strap, remove them!
8" Snaphook/Snaphook Key Strap
As with most of our bags, we've included a key strap. 8" long from tip-to-tip, a snaphook on either end. Good for attaching your keys to.
Cord Zipper Pulls
A set of pulls to extend, quiet, or replace your metal pulls.
Size 1 Handy Little Thing (HLT)
You can attach a Size 1 Handy Little Thing (HLT) to the pair of Cache loops above the open-top pocket, or you can store the HLT in the bottom front pocket of the Synapse 19. It is the perfect clamshell organizer pouch for those looking for a lot of organization.
Packing Cube Shoulder Bag
The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag is the perfect 2-in-1 packing cube. It's big enough to store rolled up shirts. One you reach your destination, attach a shoulder strap and use it as a crossbody.
Love organizing and want even more pockets? The Synapse 19/Synik 22 Freudian Slip adds an additional ten organizational pockets to your bag. One side of the Freudian Slip has two folder pockets that can fit folders/papers horizontally or vertically, as well as three open-top pockets for a small tablet in a Cache or a notebook. The other side has two mesh pockets for bulky items, two pen slots, and a business card slot.
The Synapse 19 can accommodate a wide range of devices. If you plan on putting a laptop or smaller tablet in the interior banded open-top pocket, we recommend adding a Cache.
- Reanna W.Verified ReviewerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Sewn in USA1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Sewn in USARated 5 out of 5 starsOnly 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.TBTOM BIHN1 year ago
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave such a kind review! And for the lovely pictures :)
- NoahVerified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USA, High Quality Finishings1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Made in USA, High Quality FinishingsRated 5 out of 5 starsThis bag will change your life
I had too much stuff to carry using a back and neck with old injuries. I loved how my packing cube and tech pouch fit in the Synik 30 and Synapse 25. I would use a padded hip belt, and halfway to my destination, I would need to lay down because my back and neck just couldn't take it. And my bag wasn't even that heavy. My body was dictating what bag I could carry, so I tuned into yet another YouTube review of a TB bag. This time, the S19. I had tried it before, and could never fit my packing cube and tech pouch in, along with everything else. This time though, the reviewer mentioned a James Clear travel list. I Googled it, and while I didn't need everything on the list or even the exact items mentioned, I began buying smaller items. My puffy that I was carrying outside of my bag because it wouldn't fit inside even the 30 liter, was changed out for a Janji thermal running jacket that packed to a tiny size. I exchanged my sun hat that would get ruined if folded or even when shipped to me after purchase, for a sun hat with built in creases (Sunday Afternoons Latitude), so it could fold and fit in between the freudian slip and the internal frame. I tried the Ultra Adventure hat, but didn't like the cape. I got rid of my bulky big box store zipper pouch, and purchased two TB clear zipper pouches, which fit perfectly on the back side of the freudian slip, secured by two (one on each pouch) 16" TB key straps. I got rid of my bulky electric toothbrush, after watching a…
- Captain G.2 years agoRated 5 out of 5 starsYour search is over - A disabled user’s perspective.
After going through about 8 different bags over the years, I finally found one that works. I’ve had the Halcyon Synapse 19 right at two years now, and it still looks nearly brand new and it’s gone everywhere with me since. As noted in the title, I’m disabled and use crutches to get around. My hands are full all the time, so carrying things has never been a strong suit of mine. Coupled with the ever-shrinking pockets in jeans and the increasing amount of stuff one needs to have at hand daily, everyone needs a bag these days. The more gimpy among us included.
I wear mine backwards and even fully loaded (for me, 15-20lbs) this bag stays perfectly balanced. I’ve not once felt unsteady with it even at its heaviest.
It holds everything I need for a typical outing and the pockets are easily accessible with one hand. I’m not sure what magic they worked into the materials, but this bag does - not - age. I’m not outright abusive toward this bag, but I don’t baby it either. It gets thrown around; tossed in the bed of the truck; friends’ kids drag it here and there and there’s not so much as a loose thread on the outside. The only noticeable sign of wear is on the mesh back where the zippers of my coat have chewed at it a bit.
The price has increased some since I bought mine, but if I had to buy this again tomorrow - my rainbow of organizer pouches, zipper pulls and frame included, I’d not think twice about it.
You can stop debating now. It’ll be the best bag you’ve ever owned.
- Kristen F.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings8 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality FinishingsRated 4 out of 5 starsBest backpack I've ever owned, but not my favorite fabric
This is the best backpack I've ever owned. I'll mention a few things that I didn't come across when I was researching this purchase:
• The vertical organizer pockets are perfectly set up for one handed access under your arm without taking the backpack all the way off.
• JUST HOW GOOD the o-ring system is. Tether your things with key straps or carabiners and the possibility of losing or forgetting things is just... gone! No more awkwardly holding stuff or dropping stuff while trying to get out other stuff.
• I'm female, 5'8" 125lb, with a narrow build other than my shoulders, and this backpack fits my body perfectly.
• Looks good full or empty.
• The zippers are super smooth. It's particularly noticeable on the main zipper, where you would usually have to use 2 hands due to the long zipper path, but it zips smoothly and effortlessly one-handed.
With that said, I got Night walk halcyon, and there are a couple of things that I don't like about the fabric:
• Within the first 2 weeks it picked up several white scuffs that won't come out, where my water bottle bumped into things. I cushioned that area from the inside with neoprene and that seems to have prevented additional scuffing. (TBH I think the bag should have come with that padding, since I'm using the designated water bottle pocket for my water bottle.)
• The different threads in the grid fabric have different water absorbency, so when the bag gets wet in the rain the fabric dimples all over. It looks bizarre. It's…
- Reanna W.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Unique1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, UniqueRated 5 out of 5 starsEven better than the original!
I've had a classic Synapse 19 since Summer of 2017 and it had the original straps, handle, zippers etc. While I love that bag to death and it holds a special place in my heart forever, I am thrilled with the small updates that have been made! I got a new black Synapse 19 in ballistic with the blue island interior. The zippers feel SOOO much smoother and easier to open/close than my older bag. And the new straps are very soft, which is nice when wearing a tank top. Couldn't reccomend this bag enough :) Will be keeping my old one for hikes now to keep the black clean for work/travel.
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 since 1972 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.