The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic.
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Guide's Edition Synapse 25

$260.00

A limited edition version of our Synapse 25 backpack designed for the trail. Includes a removable internal frame.

25 liters (1526 cu.in.)

We've retired the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 to make way for new designs. Stay tuned for what we come up with next!
A profile shot of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A reverse shot of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 showing the shoulder straps, sternum strap, and removeable hip belt. The bottom of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 showing the two lashpoints at the bottom of the bag. A close shot of a lashpoint on the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A close shot of the Coyote (brown) zippers and trim of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A close shot of the double zipper on the bottom pocket of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A close shot of the Coyote (brown) o-ring on the interior of the pockets of a Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A close shot of the included Coyote (brown) key strap clipped to an o-ring. A shot of the zippers on the face of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. The removeable frame sheet in the main compartment of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A close shot of the removeable frame sheet of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 attached to the rail loops of the main compartment. The pull-tab of the removeable frame sheet in the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 open to show the aluminum center stay. A person closing the pull tab of the removeable frame sheet over the t-bar and aluminum center stay to lock it in place inside the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. The removeable frame sheet in the main compartment of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. An ice axe lashed to the face of a Guide's Edition Synapse 25 using the front lashpoint and ice axe loop. A close shot of an ice axe lashed in place to the lashpoint on the face of the Guide's Edtiion Synapse 25. A close shot of an ice axe threaded through the ice axe loop on the face of the Guide's Edtiion Synapse 25. A close shot of an ice axe lashed to the face of a Guide's Edition Synapse 25 using the front lashpoint and ice axe loop. A person hiking with the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. An ice hiking loadout shot of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A profile shot of a person wearing the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 with the sternum strap buckled. A person ice hiking with a Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A person preparing to ice hiking with a Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A person on a ferry wearing the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A person at a table in a ferry with the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A Guide's Edition Synapse 25 in the back of a Suzuki Samurai. A person using a camp stove in the snow while wearing a Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A person hiking in a mountain pass wearing a Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A person having lunch on a log with a Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A person hiking in a prairie wearing a Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A profile shot of a person wearing the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 with the sternum strap unbuckled. A profile shot of a person wearing the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 with the sternum strap and hip belt buckled. A close shot of a person using the included hip belt of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A close shot of the attachment point of the sternum strap on the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. A person wearing the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 with the sternum strap buckled and using the optional padded hip belt. A profile shot of a person wearing the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 with the sternum strap buckled and using the optional padded hip belt. A close shot of a person using the optional padded hip belt of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25.

Description

The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 takes all of the same clever features, bountiful organization, and top-shelf build of the original Synapse 25 and walks it all a bit further up into the mountains, a bit deeper into the woods.

Rather than the all-too-common black zippers, hardware and webbing, the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 has gone terrestrial: it’s trimmed and lined in Coyote brown. The resulting aesthetic might be taken as an homage to another time; but to our sensibilities, bags trimmed in Coyote seem to be a little more at home in the great outdoors. Brown blends in more readily with natural surroundings and doesn't show dirt as much. When it does get a bit dusty or dirty, it looks like it's supposed to. You might also find that the Guide's Edition S25’s rugged good looks solicit more than a few smiles of appreciation when you’re back wandering the canyons of Gotham.

And it's not just about the practical and handsome coyote trim–we've added several features to the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 that allow you to carry gear specific to slightly more adventurous outdoor adventures: 

New Edgeless EV50 1/2" Shoulder Strap

Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of our Edgeless EV50 1/2" Shoulder Strap allows it to 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.

Included Removable/Adjustable Internal Frame with Pre-Curved Aluminum Stay

The Guide’s Edition Synapse 25 includes an internal frame of die-cut .055” 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). Along with the included webbing hip belt or optional Padded Hip Belt, the Guide’s Edition Synapse 25’s internal frame enables you to shift some of the weight of the fully loaded bag on to your hips. Another reason to use an internal frame? It ups the ante on comfort if you over-pack or don't pack carefully: the frame keeps an overstuffed pack from barreling out against your back, and also prevents pointy objects inside from poking you. 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.

The internal frame secures via the same rail loops as our optional Cache laptop/tablet sleeve (don't worry, you can secure both the frame and a Cache to the same set of rail loops!) and a clever “T” bar holds the frame in place relative to the loops.  The lower edge of the internal frame floats 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. Your Guide's Edition Synapse 25 will come with its internal frame installed; here's instructions (text and video) on how to install and remove the internal frame.

Are you getting excited reading all of this and wishing your current Synapse 19 or Synapse 25 could have an internal frame? You can! This very same internal frame (with black trim) is also available for the regular 19 or 25: see the Synapse 19 or Synapse 25 Internal Frame page to purchase internal frames for those two bags separately.

New! Ice Axe Loop and Accessory Strap Holders

The center front of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 has one diamond accessory strap holder and a corresponding ice-axe loop below, allowing you to carry an ice axe for high-country, early-season mountaineering. If you go that route, or think you're gonna secure something else similar to the front (say, a camera tripod) make sure to pick up an optional Ice Axe Lash Strap. Being the thoughtful types we are, we added an additional zipper slider -- that makes two, not just one -- on the bottom pocket of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25. In the event that you decide to strap an ice axe or tripod on the front of the bag, the two zipper sliders will make it a little easier to access the contents of that front bottom pocket.

In addition to the diamond strap holder, we've added two strap holders on the bottom. If you opt for the optional Lash Straps (sold in pairs), you can secure foldable hiking poles, an ultralight folding chair, icy gaiters or a wet raincoat to the bottom of the pack.

As with the regular Synapses, the Guide’s Edition has a 1.5" / 38 mm webbing loop on the exterior bottom pocket that's ready to accept a Guardian Light—highly recommended if you ride a bicycle or walk in the dark.

Design

Like the regular Synapse 25, the Guide's Edition is carefully calculated and supremely organized. 

Conformity is overrated — except, perhaps, when it comes to shoulder straps. The edgelessness of our Edgeless EV50 1/2" Shoulder Strap allows it to 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.

We tend to recommend that folks under 5'6" / 1.70 m (or those who just want a smaller bag) check out the Guide's Edition Synik 22. However, this is not to say that the Sypanse 25 won’t fit you—a number of us who are between 5’1” / 1.55 m and 5’5” / 1.68 m use it all the time and find it fits very well. Regardless of your height and build and no matter which bag you get, it’s a good idea to test it, fully loaded, for fit and comfort.

Pockets

The front of the Synapse 25 has five zippered pockets, all of which zip shut with #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers.

The top center front pocket is deep enough for a 1-liter water bottle or hydration bladder (a 2-liter hydration bladder will also fit as long as it's not overfilled). This pocket centers your water bottle perfectly so it won’t throw the bag’s weight to the side. We’ve put one O-ring in this pocket, because why not?

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

The side pockets are generously sized for sunglasses (in a case or alone), a first aid kit, or even a light 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 have one O-ring—you’ll find an 8" / 200 mm Key Strap attached to one of them. Tucked inside of one of the side pockets is a pack of 8 inch Cord (8 Pack) in Coyote so you can tie your own zipper pulls; additional cord in other colors is available on the Cord Zipper Pulls page. 

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, or rain jacket. If you care to add organization, it's more than big enough for a 3D Organizer Cube (MeshHalcyonParapack, or Clear), Side Effect, or Cubelet. You can tether your cubes with a Key Strap to one of the three O-rings inside this pocket.

The Synapse 25’s main compartment can hold large, flat items like notebooks or laptops—it closes with a #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper. It has two O-rings for you to attach Organizer Pouches or other items. Also inside the main compartment are the aforementioned rail loops to which you can attach the internal frame or the optional Cache, which is available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad (PC users, click here to take a look at our Laptop Fit Guide). Adding the Cache makes the Synapse 25 a "checkpoint-friendly" laptop backpack—see here for how it works. One pair of loops is on the rear side of the compartment, and the other is on the front. This means you can have your laptop or tablet against your back or against the front of the bag, whichever seems more comfortable or convenient.

Also inside the main compartment is an elastic-topped, open-top pocket, sized generously to fit a few books or an extra pair of shoes. It can also hold a Tri-Star Medium Packing Cube, perfect for storing a change of clothing. 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.

Materials

The exterior of the Guide's Edition Synapse 25 is made of 510d 2x2 HT Ballistic nylon that’s as tough as 1000d Cordura® but smooth, so it collects little snow, pet fur or sweater lint. For the interior lining, we chose 210d 2x2 HT Ballistic nylon in Coyote Brown—because it's lightweight, tough, and beautiful.

The back panel is padded with 1/4", closed-cell foam with an exterior of Dri-Lex® Aero-Spacer® mesh and 210d 2x2 HT Ballistic 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 shoulder straps are padded with .375" / 10 mm EV50 closed-cell foam and feature an underside of ETC knit to keep you cool and comfortable. The Guide's Edition Synapse 25 features adjustable and removable sternum and waist straps with leave-no-trace hardware, a design inspired by nature: if you don't like or don't use your waist or sternum strap, remove them and leave (almost) nothing behind. Finally, at the top of the Synapse is a webbing loop: use it to hang the bag on a hook on the cabin door, or—even better—to help hoist it up and onto your back as you leave for your next adventure.

Materials

525 denier Ballistic exterior fabric
210 denier Ballistic fabric lining
Dri-Lex® Aero-Spacer® mesh upper back
210 denier Ballistic lower back
Closed-cell foam back
Edgeless EV50 1/2” / 12mm shoulder straps (EVAZOTE® OEKO-TEX® foam)
Tough Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components
#10 and #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers

Specs

Sewn in USA with globally sourced materials 100% finished seams

Dimensions: 13.4" (w) x 20" (h) x 9" (d) / 340 (w) x 508 (h) x 230 (d) mm
Weight:
With the included removable internal frame: 2 lb 10.7 oz / 1210 grams
Without the included removable internal frame: 2 lb 1.1 oz / 938 grams
Volume: 1526 cubic inches / 25 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Removable 1" / 25 mm webbing waist strap included; padded 1" waist strap optional
.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)
Want to see the specs for all of our bags?

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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100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Review posted
Reviewed by Rei
Rated 5 out of 5

I was drooling for a year before being able to buy it, I drool over each times I take it

I got mine in 2018 (fall)

I was drooling over for a year before being able to buy it, I drool over each times I take it

I fell in love with the old fashioned hiking look & earthy colors (so dreamy) ;

I fell in love with added modularity: Ice Axe Loop and Accessory Strap Holders system increases its potential so much :

- I could carry a lacy sunshade thanks to the Ice Axe Loop + centered Diamond Strap Holder ;

- I can tie a light camping tent thanks to the bottom straps sytem ;

*** I was already interest in the standard version of the bag (I made a review on Synapse 25 page) ***

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