A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with a Zest (orange with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with an Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A Nebulous Grey Ballistic Synik 30 with the side pocket open showing the Cobalt Cerylon lining color. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with a Taiga (olive green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic with a Moab (dark red with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Wilderness (forest green) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Aubergine (dark purple) 525 Ballistic. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with an Acuity (light blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with a Moab (dark red with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with a Solaris (yellow with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Nebulous Grey (Medium grey) 525 Ballistic with a Wasabi (green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A side shot of the Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with a Sitka (green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with a Moab (brick red with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic. A side shot of the Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with a Taiga (olive green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with a Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon interior. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with an Island (blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with a Sangria (red) 210 Cerylon interior. The Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic with a Coyote (brown with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Black 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Burnt Orange 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with a Coyote (brown with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with a Solaris (yellow with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic with a Taiga (olive green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Deep Blue (dark blue) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Mars Red 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Constellation (light blue) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Coyote (brown) 525 Ballistic. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with an Acuity (light blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Ursa (brown) 525 Ballistic with a Cobalt (blue) 210 Cerylon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic. The Synik 30 in Ursa (brown-grey) 525 Ballistic with an Fjord (ice blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Navy (dark blue) 420 Parapack. The Synik 30 in Navy (dark blue) 420 Parapack with a Steel (dark grey) 420 Parapack interior. The Synik 30 in Navy (dark blue) 420 Parapack with a Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior. The Synik 30 in Navy (dark blue) 420 Parapack with a Mountain Grey (grey with light grey gridding) 210 Cerylon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Navy (dark blue) 420 Parapack. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Steel (dark grey) 420 Parapack. The Synik 30 in Steel (dark grey) 420 Parapack with a Navy (dark blue) 420 Parapack interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Steel (dark grey) 420 Parapack. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. The Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Solaris (yellow with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Moab (brick red with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Taiga (olive green with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. The Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Island (bright blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Zest (orange with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Black (black with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Taiga (olive green with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. The Synik 30 in Taiga (olive green with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Taiga (olive green with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon. The Synik 30 in Original (black with white grid) 400 Halcyon with a Northwest Sky (bright blue with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Night Walk (blue-grey with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. The Synik 30 in Night Walk (blue-grey with grey grid) 400 Halcyon with a Northwest Sky (light grey with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. A face shot of the Synik 30 in Night Walk (blue-grey with grey grid) 400 Halcyon. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Camouflage 1000d Cordura. The Synik 30 in Beaver Camo (camouflage) 1000d Cordura with Coyote (tan) 210 interior. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Olive (green) 1000d Cordura. A profile shot of the Synik 30 in Olive (green) 1000d Cordura with Cloud (light grey) 210 Ballistic interior The Synik 30 in Black (black with black grid) X-Pac®. The Synik 30 in Black (black with black grid) X-Pac® with a Solaris (yellow with white grid) 200 Halcyon interior. The Synik 30 in Black (black with black grid) X-Pac®.
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Synik 30

$320.00

Full clamshell main compartment. Two-point access suspended laptop compartment fits up to 16" laptops. Need we say more?

30 liters / 1830 cu. in.

Black X-Pac®/Solaris 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Taiga 200 Halcyon
Deep Blue Ballistic/Taiga 200 Halcyon
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Solaris 200 Halcyon
Ursa Ballistic/Fjord 200 Halcyon
Wilderness Ballistic/Moab 200 Halcyon
Navy 420 Parapack/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon
Beaver Camo 1000 Texturized Nylon/Coyote 210 Ballistic
Black 400 Halcyon/Island 200 Halcyon
Black 400 Halcyon/Zest 200 Halcyon
Taiga 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black Ballistic/Island 200 Halcyon
Nebulous Grey Ballistic/Island 200 Halcyon
Aubergine Ballistic/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon
Burnt Orange Ballistic/Mountain Grey 210 Cerylon
Wilderness Ballistic/Taiga 200 Halcyon
Black 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Black 400 Halcyon/Taiga 200 Halcyon
Night Walk 400 Halcyon/Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon
Night Walk 400 Halcyon/Moab 200 Halcyon
Navy 420 Parapack/Cloud 210 Ballistic

TLDR

The Synik — two sizes: 22 liters or 30 liters (you are here) — is a variation of the original Synapse 19 / 25. It includes many of the features some of you have been asking for; we added some additional features as well. What’s different in the Synik:

  • Full clamshell AKA panel zipper opening
  • Removable internal tie-down straps
  • Two-point access suspended laptop compartment
  • Fully integrated yet removable internal frame with aluminum half-stay
  • Rolling luggage handle pass-through
  • Updated grab handle
  • Label moved to lower right corner
  • A padded bottom, and a couple more o-rings
  • Meets the personal item size requirement on most airlines

The Synik 30 can fit laptops up to the 16" MacBook Pro or Microsoft Surface Book 2 15". It’s no biggie in practice, but note you’ll need to do a two-point turn to fit the bigger laptops in the exterior side access to the laptop compartment (not necessary if using the internal laptop compartment access).

Full Description

The original Synapse 19 debuted in 2009; Tom originally designed the Synapse to serve as a day-hiking backpack, but you guys saw its potential beyond and began using it as an EDC pack and as a minimalist travel backpack. Over the years, you asked us to make a slightly larger version, and we did: the Synapse 25 debuted in 2013. Then you asked us to offer an internal frame for the Synapses: done (in 2018).

You’ve also asked us for other features and sizes over the years: maybe a 22 liter Synapse, or a 30 liter version, and what if it had a full clamshell zipper opening? How about a dedicated laptop compartment? A luggage handle pass-through on the back panel? Done, done, and done: meet the Synik.

Before we get into the details of the design updates in the Synik (that’s below) let’s talk about what *didn’t* change. After all, there are reasons why so many people use and appreciate the original Synapse, and we didn’t want to mess with that.

Now, here's what's unique to the synik...

Front Exterior Organizational Pockets

With the Synapse, Tom set out to design a bag with intuitive organization — organization that even the less-organized amongst us would use and appreciate, even without thinking about it.

And it’s an abundant amount of organization: the exterior of the bag has five exterior pockets. The pockets are designed and patterned in such a way that they don’t steal space from each other and they look good (not too caved in, not too bulgy) whether full or empty.

The water bottle pocket is intentionally in the center of the bag and is integrated into the design of the other pockets; the former ensures what’s likely to be one of the heavier objects in your bag is balanced in the middle — resulting in a more comfortable carrying experience — and the latter maintains a clean, straight-forward exterior aesthetic.

Interior Banded Open-Top Pocket

Ever-useful, this elastic-topped, open-top pocket stayed exactly as is. You can slide a few books, a tablet, an extra pair of shoes, or a variety of organizer pouches in here.

Speaking of: above that open-top pocket are two O-rings to which you can attach the totally optional Size 2 Handy Little Thing (HLT) Pouch: a clamshell organizer pouch with four zippered pockets, plenty of interior elastic and webbing loops to retain cords and tools, and some clever carry methods. (The Size 2 HLT will also fit into the bottom front pocket of the Synik 30.)

Same 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.

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. It helps that both Tom and Nik do their own pattern work and sew the first prototypes; they’re less likely to ask Lisa and Fong (our Sewing Supervisors) for the crazy or impossible when it comes to manufacturing. That said, Lisa and Fong are the experts when it comes to making sure Tom and Nik’s designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.

Edgeless EV50 1/2" Shoulder Strap

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 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 spent a lot of time testing these (and having various people test them for us and provide feedback). While it’s impossible to make a strap (or bag, or world, or whatever) that everyone will unanimously love, our hope is here that we’ve made a strap a lot of people will find pretty darn comfortable.

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! There's also an optional 1" Padded Hip Belt. Worth noting: we slightly lowered the waist strap attachment point on the Synik so that it better fits a wider range of heights and tall folks in particular.

FULL CLAMSHELL ZIPPER OPENING

The main compartment of the Synik can zip fully-open — clamshell or panel-loader style. That means the main compartment zipper (it’s a beefy #10 YKK Aquaguard) zips all the way down and around the bottom edges of the bag.

We made two minor yet worthy-of-mention updates to the design because of the clamshell opening: first, we included a set of two removable tie-down straps in the main compartment. So, you know, you can strap down clothes or even a Packing Cube without it falling out if you fully unzip the main compartment and open the bag clamshell-style. Second, we added padding to the bottom of the Synik to protect the zipper sliders and chain on the bottom of the bag; that’s a serious potential wear point and, while we’re always glad to repair bags to keep them in service for longer, it’d be rather silly to avoid an opportunity to prevent the need for repair in the first place.

What’s cool about a clamshell zipper opening? Mainly, you can pack your bag like a suitcase. As in, place it on your bed/table/floor and fully zip it open to arrange everything you’ll be packing. That visual access can make it easier to step back and assess/contemplate what you’re packing and whether you’ve forgotten an item or can pare down the packing list entirely. You get to choose exactly how far to open your bag — you can zip open just the top, or mid-way, or lower, or fully open. And the #10 YKK Aquaguard zipper we use on the Synik prevents the zipper from continuing to open on its own: the waterproof material on the interior of the zipper provides just enough resistance to prevent that. So, you really get to decide how far your bag opens (or doesn’t).

And what’s less than cool? If you don’t secure the stuff in the main compartment, it can fall out when you fully unzip the bag. This, we think, makes clamshell bags less suitable as a hiking pack (you don't want all of your gear splaying out on a narrow trail or tumbling down a scree slope!) See our original Synapse 19 and 25 for the original non-clamshell version of the bag.

TWO-POINT ACCESS SUSPENDED LAPTOP COMPARTMENT

The Synik features a built-in laptop compartment with minimal padding (less bulk, less weight, less of a bummer it’s there when you don’t carry a laptop).

The compartment is suspended off the bottom of the bag, and that means your laptop is suspended off the bottom of the bag, too. That suspension is much more effective if you use the Synik internal frame: a soft, frameless bag offers nothing from which to suspend the laptop. Worth noting: the bottom of the Synik is padded, so there's that extra peace of mind as well.

The Synik 30 can fit laptops up to 16” like the MacBook Pro or Microsoft Surface Book 2 15".

You can stow (or remove) your laptop from the dedicated laptop compartment of the Synik from two access points: the first is a zippered compartment within the main compartment of the Synik. The second is a zippered exterior side access on the left side of the bag. It’s no biggie in practice, but note you’ll need to do a two-point turn to fit the bigger laptops in the exterior side access to the laptop compartment (not necessary if using the internal laptop compartment access).

We wanted to offer you two access points to stow (or remove) your laptop because it gives you more options. Picture yourself on the airplane with the Synik under the seat in front of you: in this context, using the internal laptop compartment access will allow you to remove your laptop from the bag without pulling the bag all the way out from under the seat. Now, picture yourself at work where you just want to quickly get access to your laptop; this is when you’d unzip the side access to the laptop compartment.

You may be wondering why the internal laptop compartment access closes with a zipper: it’s on the inside after all, so why not leave it open-top? Let’s say you’ve left the main compartment of the bag zipped open and the laptop compartment is open-top; if you put your laptop in the bag through the side access point, you could conceivably push it all the way through and out of the top of the main compartment. The zipper in the internal laptop compartment is a speed bump to remind you not to do that. If you’re not worried about doing that, just leave the laptop compartment zipper unzipped, and it’ll effectively be an open-top laptop compartment.

P.S.: Both the zipper and the slider are plastic and are unlikely to scratch your laptop. Note that the main compartment has a metal zipper that could scratch your laptop, so easy with that one.

FULLY INTEGRATED YET REMOVABLE INTERNAL FRAME W/ALUMINUM HALF-STAY

For the Synapse, the bag wasn’t originally designed to accommodate an optional internal frame.

With the Synik, that functionality is seamlessly built-in. Its removable internal frame slides in and out of the back panel through an opening at the top of the panel; you won’t see the frame itself unless you’re adding it or removing it. Some may initially wonder about the opening at the top in which the frame inserts — we did too and thoroughly tested this part of the design and could find no material concern.

The Synik Internal Frame is made of die-cut .055” thick High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), with a nylon webbing sleeve sewn down the center that encases a 8-1/4" / 210mm tall and 1/2” / 13mm wide 6061 aluminum stay. Most of our bags have featured a 1” wide aluminum stay; we made a frame with a 1/2” stay to see if it added the same stability but with 1/2 the weight savings. And guess what: it did.

We considered making the internal frame of the Synik optional but ultimately decided to include it for various reasons, namely:

The internal frame of the Synik assists in ensuring a laptop stowed in the laptop compartment is suspended off the bottom of the bag and ensures there's a firm barrier between the laptop and a rolling luggage handle that's inserted through the luggage pass-through slot.

That said, because the Synik frame is removable, you can, you know, remove it if you'd rather use the bag without a frame.

ROLLING LUGGAGE HANDLE PASS-THROUGH

Some of us use rolling luggage: maybe because we need to pack more formal attire for a work trip, or because it’s more comfortable for us to carry some, but not all, of the weight of our luggage. You guys have been asking us for a backpack with a luggage handle pass-through for quite a while, and you’re probably wondering why we didn’t do this sooner. The answer is: we took our time because we wanted to come up with a solution that worked better than the quick-answer of an elastic strap sewn on to the back of a backpack.

While we wanted to come up with a solution that worked better in function and practice, we didn’t want that solution to add bulk or weight to the bag. It occurred to us that there was already an opening at the bottom of the back panel through which the internal frame could be inserted or removed — so what if we added an opening at the top of the back panel? A prototype was made, we tested it, and it worked: the internal frame remained securely in place (popped into its corners on the inside of the bag) and the bag was able to slide over the handle of rolling luggage with the handle popping out of the top opening.

Note the following:

We recommend making sure that the internal frame is closest to the bag itself and the handle of your rolling luggage is on the outside of the frame. This ensures that there’s a barrier between the laptop compartment and the luggage handle.

There are, of course, different sizes of rolling luggage with different handle lengths and widths. If you’d like to place your Synik 30 over the handle of your rolling luggage, that handle will need to be at least 470 mm / 18.5" length and at most 185 mm / 7.25" wide.

MORE SUBSTANTIAL (BUT NOT TOO) GRAB HANDLE

Does the new handle look familiar? It’s the beloved side grab handle from our Tri-Star travel bag. The depth added to the shell of the Synik gave us the real estate needed to add a more substantial grab handle. Emphasis here on grab, not so much on carry: it’s our position that because the Synik is meant to be carried as a backpack — and a streamlined looking pack at that — the addition of a thick or heavily padded handle would be overkill.

LABEL MOVED TO LOWER RIGHT CORNER

This was mostly a change made for our production and shipping/warehouse crew. While our bags are tagged and coded, the ability to visually recognize and identify a bag quickly can improve efficiency and reduce errors. Moving the label to the bottom right corner helps us differentiate the Synik 22 from the Synapse 19 and the Synik 30 from the Synapse 25, and we liked the looks of the label here too.

Front Exterior Organizational Pockets

With the Synapse, Tom set out to design a bag with intuitive organization — organization that even the less-organized amongst us would use and appreciate, even without thinking about it.

And it’s an abundant amount of organization: the exterior of the bag has five exterior pockets. The pockets are designed and patterned in such a way that they don’t steal space from each other and they look good (not too caved in, not too bulgy) whether full or empty.

The water bottle pocket is intentionally in the center of the bag and is integrated into the design of the other pockets; the former ensures what’s likely to be one of the heavier objects in your bag is balanced in the middle — resulting in a more comfortable carrying experience — and the latter maintains a clean, straight-forward exterior aesthetic.

Interior Banded Open-Top Pocket

Ever-useful, this elastic-topped, open-top pocket stayed exactly as is. You can slide a few books, a tablet, an extra pair of shoes, or a variety of organizer pouches in here.

Speaking of: above that open-top pocket are two O-rings to which you can attach the totally optional Size 2 Handy Little Thing (HLT) Pouch: a clamshell organizer pouch with four zippered pockets, plenty of interior elastic and webbing loops to retain cords and tools, and some clever carry methods. (The Size 2 HLT will also fit into the bottom front pocket of the Synik 30.)

Same 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.

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. It helps that both Tom and Nik do their own pattern work and sew the first prototypes; they’re less likely to ask Lisa and Fong (our Sewing Supervisors) for the crazy or impossible when it comes to manufacturing. That said, Lisa and Fong are the experts when it comes to making sure Tom and Nik’s designs can be made in an ongoing practical fashion.

Edgeless EV50 1/2" Shoulder Strap

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 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 spent a lot of time testing these (and having various people test them for us and provide feedback). While it’s impossible to make a strap (or bag, or world, or whatever) that everyone will unanimously love, our hope is here that we’ve made a strap a lot of people will find pretty darn comfortable.

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! There's also an optional 1" Padded Hip Belt. Worth noting: we slightly lowered the waist strap attachment point on the Synik so that it better fits a wider range of heights and tall folks in particular.

Now, here's what's unique to the Synik...

Now, here's what's unique to the Synik...

FULL CLAMSHELL ZIPPER OPENING

The main compartment of the Synik can zip fully-open — clamshell or panel-loader style. That means the main compartment zipper (it’s a beefy #10 YKK Aquaguard) zips all the way down and around the bottom edges of the bag.

We made two minor yet worthy-of-mention updates to the design because of the clamshell opening: first, we included a set of two removable tie-down straps in the main compartment. So, you know, you can strap down clothes or even a Packing Cube without it falling out if you fully unzip the main compartment and open the bag clamshell-style. Second, we added padding to the bottom of the Synik to protect the zipper sliders and chain on the bottom of the bag; that’s a serious potential wear point and, while we’re always glad to repair bags to keep them in service for longer, it’d be rather silly to avoid an opportunity to prevent the need for repair in the first place.

What’s cool about a clamshell zipper opening? Mainly, you can pack your bag like a suitcase. As in, place it on your bed/table/floor and fully zip it open to arrange everything you’ll be packing. That visual access can make it easier to step back and assess/contemplate what you’re packing and whether you’ve forgotten an item or can pare down the packing list entirely. You get to choose exactly how far to open your bag — you can zip open just the top, or mid-way, or lower, or fully open. And the #10 YKK Aquaguard zipper we use on the Synik prevents the zipper from continuing to open on its own: the waterproof material on the interior of the zipper provides just enough resistance to prevent that. So, you really get to decide how far your bag opens (or doesn’t).

And what’s less than cool? If you don’t secure the stuff in the main compartment, it can fall out when you fully unzip the bag. This, we think, makes clamshell bags less suitable as a hiking pack (you don't want all of your gear splaying out on a narrow trail or tumbling down a scree slope!) See our original Synapse 19 and 25 for the original non-clamshell version of the bag.

TWO-POINT ACCESS SUSPENDED LAPTOP COMPARTMENT

The Synik features a built-in laptop compartment with minimal padding (less bulk, less weight, less of a bummer it’s there when you don’t carry a laptop).

The compartment is suspended off the bottom of the bag, and that means your laptop is suspended off the bottom of the bag, too. That suspension is much more effective if you use the Synik internal frame: a soft, frameless bag offers nothing from which to suspend the laptop. Worth noting: the bottom of the Synik is padded, so there's that extra peace of mind as well.

The Synik 30 can fit laptops up to 16” like the MacBook Pro or Microsoft Surface Book 2 15".

You can stow (or remove) your laptop from the dedicated laptop compartment of the Synik from two access points: the first is a zippered compartment within the main compartment of the Synik. The second is a zippered exterior side access on the left side of the bag. It’s no biggie in practice, but note you’ll need to do a two-point turn to fit the bigger laptops in the exterior side access to the laptop compartment (not necessary if using the internal laptop compartment access).

We wanted to offer you two access points to stow (or remove) your laptop because it gives you more options. Picture yourself on the airplane with the Synik under the seat in front of you: in this context, using the internal laptop compartment access will allow you to remove your laptop from the bag without pulling the bag all the way out from under the seat. Now, picture yourself at work where you just want to quickly get access to your laptop; this is when you’d unzip the side access to the laptop compartment.

You may be wondering why the internal laptop compartment access closes with a zipper: it’s on the inside after all, so why not leave it open-top? Let’s say you’ve left the main compartment of the bag zipped open and the laptop compartment is open-top; if you put your laptop in the bag through the side access point, you could conceivably push it all the way through and out of the top of the main compartment. The zipper in the internal laptop compartment is a speed bump to remind you not to do that. If you’re not worried about doing that, just leave the laptop compartment zipper unzipped, and it’ll effectively be an open-top laptop compartment.

P.S.: Both the zipper and the slider are plastic and are unlikely to scratch your laptop. Note that the main compartment has a metal zipper that could scratch your laptop, so easy with that one.

FULLY INTEGRATED YET REMOVABLE INTERNAL FRAME W/ALUMINUM HALF-STAY

For the Synapse, the bag wasn’t originally designed to accommodate an optional internal frame.

With the Synik, that functionality is seamlessly built-in. Its removable internal frame slides in and out of the back panel through an opening at the top of the panel; you won’t see the frame itself unless you’re adding it or removing it. Some may initially wonder about the opening at the top in which the frame inserts — we did too and thoroughly tested this part of the design and could find no material concern.

The Synik Internal Frame is made of die-cut .055” thick High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), with a nylon webbing sleeve sewn down the center that encases a 8-1/4" / 210mm tall and 1/2” / 13mm wide 6061 aluminum stay. Most of our bags have featured a 1” wide aluminum stay; we made a frame with a 1/2” stay to see if it added the same stability but with 1/2 the weight savings. And guess what: it did.

We considered making the internal frame of the Synik optional but ultimately decided to include it for various reasons, namely:

The internal frame of the Synik assists in ensuring a laptop stowed in the laptop compartment is suspended off the bottom of the bag and ensures there's a firm barrier between the laptop and a rolling luggage handle that's inserted through the luggage pass-through slot.

That said, because the Synik frame is removable, you can, you know, remove it if you'd rather use the bag without a frame.

ROLLING LUGGAGE HANDLE PASS-THROUGH

Some of us use rolling luggage: maybe because we need to pack more formal attire for a work trip, or because it’s more comfortable for us to carry some, but not all, of the weight of our luggage. You guys have been asking us for a backpack with a luggage handle pass-through for quite a while, and you’re probably wondering why we didn’t do this sooner. The answer is: we took our time because we wanted to come up with a solution that worked better than the quick-answer of an elastic strap sewn on to the back of a backpack.

While we wanted to come up with a solution that worked better in function and practice, we didn’t want that solution to add bulk or weight to the bag. It occurred to us that there was already an opening at the bottom of the back panel through which the internal frame could be inserted or removed — so what if we added an opening at the top of the back panel? A prototype was made, we tested it, and it worked: the internal frame remained securely in place (popped into its corners on the inside of the bag) and the bag was able to slide over the handle of rolling luggage with the handle popping out of the top opening.

Note the following:

We recommend making sure that the internal frame is closest to the bag itself and the handle of your rolling luggage is on the outside of the frame. This ensures that there’s a barrier between the laptop compartment and the luggage handle.

There are, of course, different sizes of rolling luggage with different handle lengths and widths. If you’d like to place your Synik 30 over the handle of your rolling luggage, that handle will need to be at least 470 mm / 18.5" length and at most 185 mm / 7.25" wide.

MORE SUBSTANTIAL (BUT NOT TOO) GRAB HANDLE

Does the new handle look familiar? It’s the beloved side grab handle from our Tri-Star travel bag. The depth added to the shell of the Synik gave us the real estate needed to add a more substantial grab handle. Emphasis here on grab, not so much on carry: it’s our position that because the Synik is meant to be carried as a backpack — and a streamlined looking pack at that — the addition of a thick or heavily padded handle would be overkill.

LABEL MOVED TO LOWER RIGHT CORNER

This was mostly a change made for our production and shipping/warehouse crew. While our bags are tagged and coded, the ability to visually recognize and identify a bag quickly can improve efficiency and reduce errors. Moving the label to the bottom right corner helps us differentiate the Synik 22 from the Synapse 19 and the Synik 30 from the Synapse 25, and we liked the looks of the label here too.

Upper Back

Spacer Mesh

Back

Closed-cell foam back

Straps

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

Components

Duraflex®, Nexus, and Woojin buckles and related components

Zippers

1x #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper with metal slider (main compartment)
6x #8 Racquet Coil water-repellent zippers with metal sliders (all other exterior zippers)
1x #5 coil zipper with plastic slider (interior laptop compartment zipper)

Specs

Dimensions

13.4" (w) x 20.0" (h) x 8.0" - 10.8" (d) / 340 (w) x 508 (h) x 205 - 275 (d) mm

Weight

Bag with Frame:
400d Halcyon: 2 lb 13.7 oz / 1295 grams
1000d Cordura/210d Ballistic Lining: 3 lb / 1360 grams
525d Ballistic/200d Halcyon Lining: 3 lb 0.1 oz / 1365 grams
525d Ballistic/210d Ballistic Lining: 3 lb 0.7 oz / 1380 grams
420d Classic Parapack: 3 lb 1.0 oz / 1390 grams

Frame Sheet:
5.1 oz / 145 grams

Volume

30 liters / 1830 cubic inches (ASTM Standard Measure)

Shoulder Straps:

.5" / 13 mm padded and contoured backpack straps with .75" / 20 mm removable sternum strap

Laptop Compartment Maximum Dimensions

14.15” x 9.75” x 0.75” / 359mm x 248mm x 19mm

Luggage Pass-Through Sizing:

Minimum Length: 20" / 510mm
Maximum Width: 7.25" / 185mm

What's Included:

1x 8-inch Black Webbing Snaphook/Snaphook Key Strap
1x Black Zipper Pulls w/ Plastic Ends (8-Pack)
1x Sternum Strap Assembly
1x Gatekeeper Waist Strap
1x Internal Frame w/ Aluminum Half-Stay
1 pair Tie-Down Straps

Total O-Rings:

11

(1 in the water bottle pocket
1 in the small middle pocket
1 in the left pocket
1 in the right pocket
3 in the bottom pocket
4 in the main compartment)

Choosing an Exterior Fabric

You like choices and we like to give you choices! That's why the Synik 30 is typically available* in three different exterior fabrics. Our Materials Glossary explains each fabric in great detail, but here are some quick facts that may help you decide which to choose. And we're always here if you have questions: emailus@tombihn.com

400d Halcyon

Weave
plain weave with 1/4” / 6mm ripstop
Fibers
400 denier type 6 filament nylon (base fabric); 420 denier ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene ripstop grid
Coating
light urethane
Made in
Japan

Choose this fabric if

  • You want a lighter weight alternative to traditional nylon fabrics that has remarkable tear strength and good abrasion resistance.
  • You're looking for a fabric with a modern, "technical" appearance.
  • You have pets: 400d Halcyon doesn't collect pet hair, reducing your monthly lint roller costs.

525d High Tenacity Ballistic Nylon

Weave
2x2 “ballistic” weave
Fibers
525 denier type 6,6 (high tenacity) filament nylon, twisted
Coating
heavy urethane
Made in
South Korea with Canadian Yarn

Choose this fabric if

  • You want your bag to be soft and supple yet tough as nails.
  • You want a fabric that's stately enough to be at home at work, the mountains, or a nice hotel.
  • You don't want your bag to collect pet hair or abrade your clothing.

420d HT Nylon Classic Parapack

Weave
1x1 plain weave
Fibers
420 denier type 6,6 (high tenacity) filament nylon
Coating
heavy urethane
Made in
U.S.A with U.S.A. yarns

Choose this fabric if

  • You want your bag’s fabric to have a soft, smooth hand yet be quite durable and have an interesting backstory.
  • You want a fabric that's stately enough to be at home at work, the mountains, or a nice hotel.
  • You don't want your bag to collect pet hair or abrade your clothing.
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 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.

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4.9
Rated 4.9 stars
Based on 271 reviews
99%would recommend this product
271 reviews
  • Brian K.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size, Made in USA
    7 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size, Made in USA
    Rated 5 stars
    Keep coming back to Tom Bihn

    So I’ve never actually worn out a bag or backpack that I’ve purchased from Tom Bihn. This is either my 5th or 6th bag and it’s been 15+ years since my first purchase. I’m still using the original bag I bought to this day which is the Empire Builder. I also have a Brain Bag that I love using for when I need to take a lot of stuff on trips. The reason I bought the Synik 30 is I wanted something a bit smaller than the Brain Bag by big enough to carry 2 laptops and an iPad Pro when needed. I also have a Synapse 25 that I was using ore pandemic, but my son loved that bag so much he borrowed it and won’t use anything else now. The differences between the Synapse 25 and Synik 30 were enough to make me not worry about picking up another bag. The side entry for the laptop makes it easy to quickly access my iPad Pro which is what I store there. I also have a MacBook Pro 16” in a sleeve attached with the older clips to the front of the inside large compartment. When needed, I also carry an Alienware m17 R3 gaming laptop in between the two and can use my old Brain Cell for extra protection. Additionally the extended zipper makes it easy to open the entire large compartment and make even more efficient use of the space. Another great bag, which is why I’ll keep using and recommending your products.

  • Michael W.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, Versatile
    8 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Good Storage Size, Versatile
    Rated 5 stars
    Pack perfection

    I am a back pack fanatic. I have owned and loved multiple packs from Kiffaru, GoRuck, Hill People Gear, Mystery Ranch and many others. Tom Binh’s packs have always been on my radar but for some reason (probably my preference for military styled packs) this is my first time trying one. I shouldn’t have waited. This is the perfect EDC pack. I feel like it lacks the exterior toughness of the aforementioned packs and I have to struggle a little to fit my 16” MacBook but the light weight, comfort and pockets are such a treat. My new favorite pack.

  • Jesse H.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Durable, Comfortable
    4 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, High Quality Craftsmanship, Sewn in USA, Durable, Comfortable
    Rated 5 stars
    Incredible Carry, Minor Complaints

    Love this bag and the brand. The Synik 30 does so many things right and does it in a steady, solid, and unassumingly stylish way.

    It's comfortable empty or full, the pocketing on the front is fantastic, and the way pockets have their own volume makes such a big difference in how you load it out - it's much more useful. The blacked out logo on the lower right looks a lot better to my eye, though I generally prefer low-key carry. You can configure it with all manner of pouches or accessories, or you can carry everything well as it is - this is not a bag that locks you into a system. For me, it hits the sweet spot between flexibility and purposeful space. Size wise, I'm 6'1" and this works for both daily carry (laptop and office things) and overnight/short trips. This bag can be the one bag to rule them all for many folks - it's that good.

    What's not to love? Minor quibbles. I don't love that they've swapped the external laptop compartment zipper pull for a piece of cord - it doesn't match the other pulls and feels lower-quality (a relatively new swap due to a zipper change per customer service). The bottom front pocket (which I love for cables and chargers) is not lined on the inside front face - there's probably a good reason for this but I don't love that it doesn't match the other exterior pockets in having the liner. The padding on the laptop sleeve feels a bit thin, but this may just be because it's somewhat transparent (I've not had any issues, fwiw). I'm picking nits…

  • Manuel G.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Unique, Sewn in USA, Thoughtful Design
    3 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Unique, Sewn in USA, Thoughtful Design
    Rated 5 stars
    I love the Halcyon fabric and the Synik 30 is the perfect all-around bag!

    I sort of stumbled into the Synik 30 after struggling with a few other bags from competitors that never quite gave me what I was looking for in a bag. The Synik 30 hits the perfect sweet spot between organization, large main open space, clamshell opening for travel, and an AMAZING Halcyon internal and external fabric. I've taken this to work a couple of times carrying a heavy load and it worked perfectly. I can't wait to take this on some upcoming personal and business trips, and can already tell it will significantly simplify my travels. Despite it being 30L, Tom Bihn is right that the pack magically zinches up to look smaller than its size making the Synik look clean and professional when not fully loaded. My only suggestion would be to have an easier spot to attach an external side carabiner which I usually use in other bags to hold an extra mask or a small water bottle. My girlfriend is now jealous of my bag, so I'll be saving up to get her one for her travels.

  • Phil M.
    Verified Buyer
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size
    3 months ago
    Bought For Myself
    Product Standouts Thoughtful Design, Comfortable, High Quality Craftsmanship, Durable, Good Storage Size
    Rated 5 stars
    First Tom Bihn Purchase…

    This was my first TB purchase and I was not disappointed one bit. The quality and craftsmanship is noticeable and I cannot wait to use this pack for life. I was skeptical of the center-of-the-pack water bottle pocket because I tend to carry an oversized water bottle. It doesn’t fit my largest bottles but I was surprised when it fit a 32 oz bottle. There is so much room in this pack for being 30L. One bag travel for multiple days is easily doable. I love the Ursa Brown color as well. Very happy with my purchase.

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