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Tom Bihn Synapse 25 questions

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Paulie Walnuts, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Paulie Walnuts

    Paulie Walnuts Loaded Pockets

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    I really am debating getting this bag.

    I am 6'2, 218 pds so I am assuming this bag would fit me. The only thing I don't like about it so far from the pics and videos I have seen is that there are no upper and lower compression straps. Is this needed? I like a slim line pck rather than one that is baggy/saggy looking if not totally full.

    I travel a lot and want to use this for my EDC/Carry-on. My clothes would be in another bag.

    Anyone have one? What are your thoughts please?

    Paulie
     
    T.H.Cone likes this.
  2. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    I don't have any answers for you, but it's nice to see you back around, Paulie.
     
  3. rolyat113

    rolyat113 Loaded Pockets

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    I have the 25 and use it as my edc. I don't feel like it needs compression straps at all.. But then again I don't much care if the pack is saggy looking. From what I've seen I don't think it looks very saggy. Most of the time I don't have the main compartment full. A rain jacket and a couple other small things are what stay in the main area. A fleece too if it's going to be chilly. [​IMG][​IMG]

    This is my bag with all my edc items in the different compartments minus my hydroflask that I usually keep in the bottle compartment. If you locate the synapse thread, I posted more pics a few days ago.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. maasan

    maasan Loaded Pockets

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    I've been using Synapse 25 since June 2013, and almost loved it. It boasts best organization capability among a plethora of bags I own. And in my experience it never went saggy (from my point of view) even when I threw tons of items including 13" MBA with Cache sleeve. Its craftsmanship is top notch also, among the best in the industry I think.

    The reason why I'm migrating to Camelbak HAWG is that Synapse doesn't have a solid frame sheet so it becomes uncomfortable when it's heavy, or full of bulky items which dig into my back.The pack only has a thin flexible cushion sheet between the interior and the outer mesh panel. Thanks to its ingenious design, it never look or feel saggy even when it's heavy, but it just becomes uncomfortable on my shoulders instead. In other words, I often feel the pack heavier than it's supposed to be. When I throw the same loads into HAWG or GR1 for example, they feel ligher than in Synapse 25 somehow.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Paulie Walnuts

    Paulie Walnuts Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you for such a detailed reply!

     
  6. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    You know, I gotta say.....since I've had my Synapse 25, I don't even think of switching to one of my other bags anymore. It's weird because I have my old favorites that I miss using like my GR1 and my Litespeed......I've had my eye on a mystery ranch ASAP for quite some time as well, but I just can't imagine any other bag suiting my needs as well as the Synapse. Someone else posted something on here saying that they're disappointed with their synapse because now they don't want any other bags...,it's so true!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Heavyduti

    Heavyduti Banned

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    I've never seen a TB in person and would love to do so but I can't get by the impression that it's a MUCH NICER North Face-style bag which does nothing for me visually.

    The reviews are great, the staff seems receptive and helpful too. Too bad they don't have an outlet up here in the Great White North.

    When I first read about GORUCK I was able to visit a fellow EDC member who lives about 20 miles away to see one and try it on; another member helped me buy one from a CONUS-only shipper. Sadly for my bag budget, I now own three GR bags.

    But, I'm weak!ยก
     
  8. DragonRider

    DragonRider Loaded Pockets

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    Ultimately it depends on the load IMO

    It boils down to what you carry as much as how bulky and what you are doing with the bag.

    My Synapse 19 is my go to bag, I'm 6'2", 182# and its perfect for most things....

    Until last week it was the perfect bag containing the following

    Main Compartment
    Mac Air 13, in a sleeve
    iPad Mini
    Nexus 7
    PSU
    Levenger Binder
    Moleskinne
    Anker Keyboard
    Apple Magic Track Pad
    Roost Mac Stand

    Middle Compartment
    17oz KleenKanteen
    8' 550 cord at bottom

    Side Pocket 1
    Meds in a Tom Bihn stuff sack #1
    Pen, Sharpie, Tablet stylus

    Side Pocket 2
    Trama kit kept in side pocket

    Bottom Pocket
    Misc Cables and computer stuff in a #1 Stuff Sack

    Now I have to commute with extra stuff and it wouldnt work by adding 7#'s of a work computer, its PSU, mouse

    I looked at getting a new bag and the reason I went away from the Synapse 25 were the following:

    1) The backing material gets 'fuzzy' easy, but this is unique to me I think due to the sights on my gun tearing it up, once I started being careful how I slung the Synapse 19 over one shoulder the problem didnt get worse

    2) with the heavier load and upcoming travel I was going to be much harder on my bag

    3) No frame sheet not only to protect my back, but to add some rigidity to protect the Air under heavier loads.

    I ended up with a GR1 and am happy with it so far, added a ITS Tactical Water bottle carrier and called it a day.

    Hope this helps
     
    powerring likes this.
  9. freddy russo
    • In Omnia Paratus

    freddy russo Loaded Pockets

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    Ya I bought a GoRuck GR0 and then I bought a synapse 19, the synapse is great for organization but for some reason the Gorucks just feel a lot better on the back. If your not gonna carry a huge load of things they synapse should be fine but you can't go wrong with a GoRuck either


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    CANNIBALdinner. likes this.
  10. RobF

    RobF Loaded Pockets

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    The Synapse 25 (and I assume 19) have this weird thing where they can self compress when empty. I'm not sure if Tom Bihn added elastic straps internally but the bag doesn't flop around when empty and unloaded. In fact, it holds thin like there are some invisible straps compressing it down. Comparing to the Goruck GR1, it's always in the same size, either full or empty, there's not much room to expand.
     
  11. coloradogps

    coloradogps Loaded Pockets

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    I have both packs, the GR1 & the Synaspe 25.

    They are both well made bags, but the organization of the Synapse 25 makes it my preferred bag.
     
  12. BeantownJ

    BeantownJ Loaded Pockets

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    I ran into the same issue as some of the previous posts. I have had and sold or traded almost every popular EDC pack ever - the top choices, in order, being the TAD Litespeed (previous version), GoRuck GR1, Tom Bihn Smart Alec, Tom Bihn Synapse 25, Mystery Ranch ASAP and TAD Litespeed (new version). I will say that the Synapse 25 would have ABSOLUTELY 100% been my favorite EDC pack of all time and I would still be using it if it had an internal frame sheet of some sort. Because it didn't, the pack just didnt ride right for me and loads carried much heavier than they should have (Laptop, iPad, chargers, notebook, extra shirt, first aid, random EDC gear). The Mystery Ranch ASAP was my pack of choice for a while but the the new TAD Litespeed is by far and away the best I have every had. If it was slightly less tactical looking, it would be perfect. With that said, NOTHING would beat the Synapse if it had a frame sheet. The quality, organization and logistical layout is just remarkable. To answer the original question, I never found compression straps needed - it was always very streamlined and stayed tight.
     
  13. comeonbabylightmyfire

    comeonbabylightmyfire Loaded Pockets

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    I thought that this was a thread to list 25 questions about the TB Synapse. D'oh!

    You can tell I don't own one. Sadly.
     
  14. dcmassena

    dcmassena Loaded Pockets

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    I've got one and I really like it. Like others mention it doesn't handle heavy loads as well as other packs, but the organization and layout are the best of any pack I've used. I travel occasionally for work and the cache with rails system is great. I've also got a snake charmer that stores in the bottom pocket and that system is outstanding. For a bag to and from the office or just around town I don't think it can be beat. I probably wouldn't take it out on day hikes with heavier loads though.

    [​IMG]DSC_0175 by FunkyColdMassena, on Flickr
     
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  15. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    I have reviewed both the 19 and the 25 as well as the Pygmy Falcon II (and others). The 25, IMO, doesn't need the compression straps because of how the bag is laid out. The side pockets and "water bottle spine" make it very well shaped on your back. Not much I'd change, honestly. I get the compression strap thing, but I don't think it needs it. I also like its unassuming look. I have had enough MOLLE to last me two lifetimes.