With 30% more volume than the original Synapse 19, the Synapse 25 is perfect for those who need more storage space for everyday carry, ultralight travel, or a day hike or for those who are on the taller end of the spectrum.
We've kept all the features of the original:
- Comfortable, durable, edgeless straps
- Water bottle pocket with O-ring
- Front pocket with O-ring for keys, a wallet, or a small camera
- Left pocket with pen/pencil slot and 2 wide slots
- Right pocket with small organizational pocket
- Bottom front pocket for extra clothing or snacks
- 1.5"/38 mm webbing loop on exterior bottom of bag to hook on a small flashlight
- Flexible main compartment for laptop/tablet (check fit guide) with 4 unobtrusive webbing loops on the inside for attaching optional Cache (no integrated laptop sleeve) or Size 2 Handy Little Thing
- 2 O-rings inside the main compartment for additional organizational pouches, if needed
- Meets the personal item requirement on most airlines
The Synapse 25 is the big brother to the original Synapse 19. The graceful, curvilinear exterior may at first 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 will generally fit folks between 5'6" and 6'6" comfortably. As with all things general, there are exceptions and outliers but for most folks, this is a good gauge.
Five Front Exterior Organizational Pockets
All five pockets are zipped shut with #8 YKK® Racquet-Coil water-repellent zippers:
The top center pocket is deep enough to fit a 1L water bottle or hydration bladder. Removing the water bottle is super easy since the pocket doesn't continue to the bottom of the bag. By having a heavier object in the middle, the carrying experience is more comfortable since everything becomes balanced.
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 or Side Effect. 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 a flashlight — highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark.
The main compartment is designed to fit 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. Four unobtrusive webbing loops can also secure the Cache. The remaining space in the main compartment opens wide.
Interior Banded Open-Top Pocket
Also inside the main compartment is an elastic-topped, open-top pocket. It's suitable for storing a few books, an extra pair of shoes, a Size 2 Handy Little Thing, or a Tri-Star Medium Packing Cube. Some sizes of the Cache will also fit inside this pocket.
Breathable Back Panel
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 while still being gentle on your clothing.
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 and leave (almost) nothing behind. There's also an optional 1" Padded Hip Belt.
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.
Durable Materials + Expert Construction
No bag lasts forever, but choosing the best and most durable materials and taking care not to abuse it (no washing machine or dryer!) can help a quality bag serve most people well (with maybe a repair or two) for up to 10-20 years.
For the interior lining of the Synapse 25, we offer variations in 200d Halcyon or 210d Cerylon, both ultra-lightweight and ultra-tough. They have been abrasion tested by both our fabric suppliers and our in-house lab. Conclusion? 200d Halcyon and 210d Cerylon are perhaps a bit overkill for a lining fabric, and you expect nothing less from us.
This bag requires significant skill to sew and construct; it's not just any sewing factory who can pull this off and do it well, it's ours, and it's because of the talent of our crew. They're the reason why our designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.
- CalebBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Durable, Good Storage Size, Easily Adjustable, Versatile7 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Durable, Good Storage Size, Easily Adjustable, VersatileRated 5 out of 5 starsUse as Onebag, not EDC!
I've had this bag since about 2016. They market it as an EDC bag, and that is exactly what I did with it nearly every day for most activities throughout that time, but I bought it to use as a travel Onebag, and that's also what I've done with it for every single trip I've been on for these last 6 years.
Personally I believe these 40L "standard" long trip bags to be absurdly massive. Reviewers, bagmakers, marketers, all pitching bags even bigger than this one as "only good for weekend trips." Madness.
This bag has come with me on 2 week trips in Japan and France. It was my bag for a trip that started in Autumnal cold London and finished with me riding a motorcycle west to east from the French Riviera to warm Italy. It's been motorcycled across Japan, Taiwan, and the entire West Coast of the USA. It's been dragged on bus, train, car, and scooter. I've stored it in overhead compartments and under a flight seat in front of me. I've never had trouble with it being my single bag on even the cheapest of European flights. I've lived out of it for a month and a half in a feverish trip across every ecosystem the continental USA offers, finishing in Taiwan.
On top of that, I bicycled, motorcycled, bused, and trained with it to work every nearly every single day over the past 6 years in San Francisco and Taipei. Gym clothes, work gear, tupperwared lunch, after work hacking hardware for meetups, all inside with no issues. It's survived curry tupperware exploding inside of it more…
- Steven S.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, Durable1 year agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, High Quality Finishings, DurableRated 5 out of 5 starsMy every day bag of choice
Easily holds everything I need for a day (15 inch laptop, miscellaneous chargers, water bottle, odd and ends, documents, extra shirt or sweater)
Straps are the most comfortable I’ve used, even among other high end brands. They didn’t cheap out on anything, nylon and lining material are top notch (I have 525d and 200d halcyon). Zippers, hardware, and webbing are all top notch. Sewing is reinforced at stress points and back padding and mesh material are breathable. I did not notice heat building up on my back even when during a strenuous activity.
Highly recommended. It’s more expensive because more thought and care went into the design, material choices, and manufacture of the product. It’s the last bag you’re likely to need for a decade or more.
- Blisscosity2 years agoRated 5 out of 5 starsThe last backpack.
This is THE ONE. This is it. My search is over.
Except: what's my favorite color combo???
More research needed!
This is my work EDC and has been for three years. I love the pocket arrangement. It is epic. Build quality: forever.
Have used for travel, but it wasn't my favorite bag for that, since I am so not a minimalist. Use it for day trips. Love the halcyon and Guide's Edition the best.
I prefer using it without the frame sheet, but just started carrying a laptop and more work stuff, so am doing further research.
Tried the Synik 30 and did not like the shoulder strap placement, clamshell, heavier weight, but DO like the new water bottle arrangement, which gives more space to the side pockets.
Thanks, Tom & crew, for giving me this great bag in my life. I LOVE IT! Oh, and thanks to Chase Reeves, for sending me here.
- Corrine R.Verified BuyerBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, Durable, Sewn in USA7 months agoBought For MyselfProduct Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, Durable, Sewn in USARated 5 out of 5 starsLove this bag!
Black ballistic/island 200 Halcyon. Love this bag, it’s perfect for work, it holds all my paperwork needed to take from the office as well as my purse. I also have a grab bag and it fits perfectly in the front bottom pocket as well. I love the quality of the construction and it looks so great and it’s comfy to wear. I will be using this as my carry on bag for travel. I’m 5’2” and I feel it does not overwhelm my frame. I can tell I will use this for many years to come! Huge fan
- Nicholas2 years agoRated 5 out of 5 starsFavorite Backpack/EDC Ever
I've owned the Synapse 25 for over 10 years, through classes, work, commute, the subway, carryon bag, hikes, the beach, hot and cold climates in both the NE and SW. It's just a wonderfully no nonsense, incredibly well built product. I love it so much, in fact, that I'm preparing to order another one and keep the current one around as a backup/diaper bag. Can't wait for the Black Ballistic to enter production again!
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.