Synapse Impressions - w/ 15" MacBook Pro!
I got my new Navy Synapse yesterday and here are my first impressions. For some perspective, I am moderately big, 6 foot tall man.
I have been carrying a Brain Bag everyday for almost 2 years and it has been great, but the bag is so big and the weight has just gotten to be too much (I have OCBD - Obsessive Compulsive Bag Disorder - if there is room left in the bag, I have to fill it). So I wanted something smaller that would force me to leave my 15" MacBook Pro at home and just carry only what I really needed. Well, the Synapse failed me in that goal, I can fit my 15" MacBook Pro in it ;). But otherwise it is everything I hoped it would be.
The Navy color is gorgeous. I can't bring myself to buy a black bag, its just too boring for me. The Navy gives me my need for color, but is still appropriate for the workplace or other places where you don't want to be too flashy. Solar was not my first choice for the interior, but I think it turned out to be the best option. I would never want Steel, just too dark for me to see the contents of the bag. No Iberian option unfortunately. So, I had thought Ultraviolet would be best, but the only option with it is Black, and as I said, no way I could get a black bag. However, I got a couple UV pouches recently and I think maybe UV would be too dark for me too. So in the end I am really happy my Synapse has the Solar.
The pockets of the Synapse are really well laid out. I especially love the bottom pocket, I can fit my Side Effect in there and keep it separate and easy to get to. In my Brain Bag, the Side Effect would be at the bottom of one of the huge compartments and it would end up with a lot of stuff piled on top of it.
The side pockets are a little small for me, but its understandable on the bag this small overall. The pen slots are shallow and my pens stick out at the top a little much. I can also only fit mini organizer pouches comfortably. A small pouch might fit, but it would be a tight squeeze.
The water bottle pocket is amazing. Revolutionary for me. I recently started carrying a Clear2Go water bottle everyday (which I highly recommend) and being able to put the bottle completely inside the Synapse, and right in the center of gravity, is going to make carrying the bottle with me much nicer.
The small top pocket is nice too. I really like that it is a single piece of dyneema that forms a pouch with no seems on the bottom. Its a small detail, but it makes retrieving small items like coins easier.
Finally, the main compartment. It is not too large, but that is the point of the Synapse. It is just large enough to get the job done. I immediately tried to fit my 15" MacBook Pro as soon as I got the bag. And just as I had heard, it does fit. I have the computer in a sleeve, which is not a Cache, but very similar. In fact, it is a little larger that the Cache (15.13"x11.19" vs 15"x10.4"), so I would feel confident that a 15" MacBook Pro in a Cache would fit. It is a little tight, you have to pull the back of the bag over the MacBook before you zip it shut, but its really not too bad. If I were TB, I would list the 15" MacBook Pro as fitting in this bag. I also was able to fit my iPad 1 in its Mareware EcoView case and a large organizer pouch with a folder of documents inside. There was a little room left at the top where I can fit the charger for the computer. The only negative is that with this much in the main compartment, I cannot fit my water bottle in the water bottle pocket. There is only room for flatter items left in that pocket.
Overall, another great bag from TB. Maybe the best yet for what it is. I have really never seen another backpack so well laid out and executed. Here are some photos for you.
The color is not too accurate, it is a little darker and deeper in real life.
My 15" MacBook Pro in a sleeve, my iPad in a case, and a large organizer pouch in the main compartment.
The contents of the main compartment laid out.