A Synapse 25 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. A Synapse 25 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with Taiga (olive green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with Wasabi (green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Red Blend (maroon) 1000d Cordura. A Synapse 25 in Red Blend (maroon) 1000d Cordura with Dawn (light purple) 210d Ballistic interior. A Synapse 25 in Logic Blue (light blue) 630d Recycled Fabric. A Synapse 25 in Logic Blue (light blue) 630d Recycled with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200d Halcyon lining. A Synapse 25 in Seapine Green (teal green) 630d Recycled Fabric. A Synapse 25 in Seapine Green (teal green) 630d Recycled with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200d Halcyon lining. A Synapse 25 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with Coyote (brown with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon. A Synapse 25 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon with a Ultraviolet (purple with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon with an Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Taiga (olive green with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. A Synapse 25 in Taiga (olive green with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Night Walk (dark blue) 400d Halcyon. A Synapse 25 in Night Walk (blue/grey with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Beaver Camo (camouflage) 1000d Cordura. A Synapse 25 in Beaver Camo (camouflage) 1000d Cordura with Coyote (tan) 210d Ballistic interior. A Synapse 25 in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synapse 25 in Alphaviolet (bright purple) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Black 525 Ballistic. A Black Ballistic Synapse 25 with the side pocket open showing the Cobalt Cerylon lining color. A Black Ballistic Synapse 25 with the side pocket open showing the Mountain Grey Cerylon lining color. A Synapse 25 in Black 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Black 525 Ballistic with Acuity (light blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Black 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Black 525 Ballistic with Tidal (light grey-blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of Synapse 25 in Black 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic with Ultraviolet (purple with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synapse 25 in Cloud (light grey) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with Coyote (brown) 210 Ballistic interior. A Synapse 25 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with Coyote (brown with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with Wasabi (green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synapse 25 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synapse 25 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic. A Nebulous Grey Ballistic Synapse 25 with the side pocket open showing the Sangria Cerylon lining color. A Synapse 25 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue) 210 Ballistic interior. A Synapse 25 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Solaris (yellow with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Nebulous Grey (medium grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Synapse 25 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic with Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Synapse 25 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic with Solaris (yellow with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. A Synapse 25 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with Dawn (purple grey) 210 Ballistic interior. A Synapse 25 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Synapse 25 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. New color / photo coming soon; an illustration of some shears and a length of fabric.
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Synapse 25

$235.00

One backpack for: Ultralight travel. Day hikes. EDC.

25 liters (1526 cu.in.)

Black Ballistic/Moab 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Sitka 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Cobalt 210 Cerylon
Black Ballistic/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon
Constellation Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Island 200 Halcyon
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Solaris 200 Halcyon
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Sangria 210 Cerylon
Ursa Ballistic/Dawn 210 Ballistic
Beaver Camo 1000 Texturized Nylon/Coyote 210 Ballistic
Logic Blue 630 Recycled/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black 400 Halcyon/Taiga 200 Halcyon
Taiga 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Island 200 Halcyon

Description

Could be your "the one" backpack for travel, hiking, and every day stuff.

The Synapse 25 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 25 is designed to fit people from approximately 5'6" to 6'6" / 1.68 to 1.98 m; it is the new big brother to the original Synapse 19 (for those under 5'6" / 1.68 m or who want a smaller bag — check it out). With 30% more volume, we hope to satisfy those who love their smaller Synapse but who need to schlep more stuff or are on the tall or big end of the spectrum.

It features our beloved Edgeless Straps; conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of this new 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 25 is divided into five zippered pockets, all of which zip shut with #8 YKK® Racquet-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 (a 2-liter hydration bladder will also fit as long as it's not overfilled). 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 25, you won't have to worry about either. Removing the water bottle from the Synapse 25 (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 small organizational pocket; the left pocket has one pen/pencil slot and two wider slots for multitools/knives or just more pens. Both side zippered pockets feature one O-ring — one comes with an 8" / 200 mm Key Strap.

The bottom front pocket of the Synapse 25 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 (MeshHalcyonParapack, or Clear) or Side Effect; three 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.) And because we care about your safety, we've added a 1.5" / 38 mm webbing loop on the exterior bottom of this pocket that's ready to accept the Guardian Light — highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark.

The Synapse 25 has one main, back compartment for large, flat items like notebooks or laptops — it closes with a #10 YKK® Racquet-Coil zipper. It has two O-rings for you to attach Organizer Pouches or Key Straps 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 25 becomes a "checkpoint-friendly" laptop backpack. Here's how it works: on the back (or bottom, depending how you look at it) of the Cache are two parallel "rails" of 1" wide lightweight nylon webbing which extend from the top to the bottom. Included (and already attached for your convenience) 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 25 main compartment, and flip it shut. Slip the Cache inside the Synapse 25, 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 25 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 or tablet from the bag. And remember, there are four loops of webbing in the top of the main compartment of the Synapse 25: 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 devices in the Synapse 25. Note that the "checkpoint-friendly" functionality will only work for one of two devices — you'll need to remove the second device at the airport security checkpoint.

In addition to the Cache, the rails loops can also tether the optional Synapse 25 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 few books, an extra pair of shoes, or a Tri-Star Medium Packing Cube (for an extra set of clothes — perfect if you're using the Synapse as your personal carry-on item). 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.

For the interior lining of the Synapse 25 we chose 200d Halcyon/nylon because it's ultra-lightweight and ultratough. We've used this fabric for several years now with virtually no complaints or failures; it's been abrasion tested by both our fabric suppliers and our in-house lab. Conclusion? 200d Halcyon/nylon is perhaps a bit of overkill for a lining fabric, and you expect nothing less from us.

The back panel of the Synapse 25 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 (we even tested it: see here) while still being gentle on your clothing.

The Synapse 25 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 25 up and onto your back or to hang it on a coat hook.

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

Materials

Upper Back

Spacer Mesh

Back Pad

Closed-cell foam

Straps

Edgeless EV50 1/2” / 12mm shoulder straps (EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® foam)

Aquaguard Zipper Bags

1x #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper with metal slider (main compartment)
5 #8 Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers with metal sliders (all other exterior zippers)

Colors:
Taiga 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black 400 Halcyon/Taiga 200 Halcyon
Constellation 525 Ballistic/Cloud 210 Ballistic
Ursa 525 Ballistic/Dawn 210 Ballistic

Racquet-Coil Zipper Bags

1x #10 YKK Racquet-Coil water-repellent zipper with metal slider (main compartment)
5 #8 YKK Racquet-Coil water-repellent zippers with metal sliders (all other exterior zippers)

Colors: Everything not Aquaguard

Specs

Dimensions

13.4" (w) x 20" (h) x 9.1" (d) / 340 (w) x 508 (h) x 230 (d) mm

Weight

400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop: 1 lb 13 oz / 832 grams
630d Recycled: 1 lb 13.2 oz / 827 grams
525d Ballistic: 1 lb 15.8 oz / 900 grams
1000d Cordura = 2 lb 0.3 oz / 914 grams

Volume

1526 cubic inches / 25 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)

Straps

.375" / 10 mm padded and contoured backpack straps with .75" / 20 mm removable sternum strap

Total O-Rings

9

(2 in the main compartment
1 in the top center pocket
1 in the small center pocket
3 in the bottom front pocket
1 in the left side pocket
1 in the right side 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 5.0 out of 5
Based on 66 reviews
average rating 5.0 out of 5
Based on 66 reviews
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100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Quality
Rated 5 out of 5
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Review posted
Reviewed by Luis G.
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Myself
Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Sewn in USA
Rated 5 out of 5

Great

I've been wanting to get this backpack for a while now. I bought the Aeronaut a few years ago for travel and I love it. Again I bought this backpack for an upcoming trip and couldn't be happier. Love the quality and the fact that is made in the US.

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Reviewed by mike s.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Unique
  • High Quality Finishings
Rated 5 out of 5

Sleek and stylish

I really enjoy the look and feel. It’s my work bag and I switched from a traditional briefcase.

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Reviewed by Jonathan S.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Sewn in USA
  • High Quality Finishings
Rated 5 out of 5

Excellent Backpack

I have three Tom Bihn bags, and each is excellent: a Maker's Bag for guitar cables and gear, a Pilot as a briefcase for work (I'm a teacher with a travel component to my job), and the Synapse 25 for everything else--biking into town, stopping by the farmer's market, hauling snacks and gear to my kids' soccer practices and games, packing for trips to nearby lakes and day hikes in the region--basically any time I need to be hands-free with a pack. The Synapse 25 is the most comfortable backpack I've owned, and it is plenty big enough for my purposes. I have a couple of Tom Bihn organizer pouches and cubes that I switch from bag to bag; doing so is fast, easy, and ultimately a time saver--I always have everything I need on me. The water bottle compartments on both the Synapse 25 and the Pilot are genius, and I use them daily. The front organization on the Synapse 25 is perfect and is in fact much of what makes this bag so great to use. My Pilot and Maker's Bag are in ballistic nylon, and my Synapse 25 is in halcyon; both materials looks great and clean up very easily. For what it's worth, I debated between the Synapse 25 and the Synik 30, and I'm glad I went with the Synapse. The full clamshell opening would be great for a bag dedicated to travel, but for an all-around, multi-purpose bag, I prefer a zipper that doesn't open all the way. Your mileage may vary, of course. This is a great bag all around; without question the best backpack I've used.

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Reviewed by Brent H.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Sewn in USA
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Comfortable
  • Good Storage Size
Rated 5 out of 5

Brent

Great pack!

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Reviewed by Emmanuelle H.
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Product Standouts
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Comfortable
  • Sewn in USA
  • High Quality Craftsmanship
  • Versatile
Rated 5 out of 5

Well-made, roomy, and well-organized

We bought this to serve as a diaper bag of sorts for our toddler. We love the many pockets to store and keep organized all the various accoutrements we need to have with us — bottle, snacks, diapers, changing pad, change of clothes, my own wallet and keys. Even when you think you’ve maxed out on capacity, I’m surprised to find there’s still more space…

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