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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    4'8" child models middle school backpack options...

    My son, a thin, 11 year old ---is 56" tall

    The Synapse 25 and a Brain Bag....

    This is becoming a real dilemma for him.4'8" child models middle school backpack options...-100_1703-jpg4'8" child models middle school backpack options...-100_1704-jpg4'8" child models middle school backpack options...-100_1705-jpg4'8" child models middle school backpack options...-100_1706-jpg

    The BB is rather wide for his frame- but he likes the two compartments and how lazy he can be about packing it properly --36 liters is more than he needs by a factor of 2.

    The Synapse 25 (the more elegant option in my opinion) would require (20% of the time) him to be more careful placing items in the pack.

    80% of the time he would not need to fill the Synapse 25 "all the way".

    But like a true bag addict, he can see a reason to keep both....

    The red bag in the photo is NOT TB, and frankly, too small for the things he needs to bring.

    Both bags are packed with a GIANT zippered binder (required by the school), a set of gym clothes, an iPad- standing in for a netbook (provided by the school) and a tupperware container -standing in for a packed lunch.
    Last edited by lomo; 05-06-2013 at 03:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
    I feel bad for such a little sprout having to carry so much! (spoken from a dinky adult) Which one does he like better? The Brain Bag looks like it suits him!

  3. #3
    Forum Member jujigatame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    With a binder and netbook I can see where the dual compartments on the BB are handy. But when it was loaded up I found the BB got too big for my taste and I'm a fair bit larger than your son. ;)

    Packing more efficiently is a good habit to learn. Plus the Synapse has so many compartments. When I was that age I would have loved something like the Synapse.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    My intro to Tom Bihn was via the BB, so it occupies a soft spot in my heart. But it is way too big, too long since I am shorter than your son :(

    I bought my elementary school-age nieces and nephew Synapse 19s. They love them, but their thick binders do not fit. I bought the older ones. I bought the BB for the high school and college nephews and nieces. They love them, but they say they are too big.

    The joke is they should swap!

  5. #5
    Forum Member bunchgrass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    eastern Washington
    The cardinal rule, for backpacks at least, is to carry no more than about 10% of your weight on your back.
    This quote is from Frank II in a different thread in this forum about backpack weight. If the student carries a BB or Synapse 25, is the weight of the bag and its contents going to exceed 10% of his or her body weight? Is exceeding 10% in the best interests of a still growing child?

  6. #6
    Forum Member Fat Crip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I live a little South of Edinburgh in Scotland's border hills
    Poor wee lad! Those bags are so big you could fit him in either of them!

  7. #7
    Forum Member RhoFro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I like the shape of the BB on him; he looks less like a turtle. Unless he's a big fan of TMNT ;) Is the 19 not enough space for his needs?
    ~ one of virtually everything ~ Happy victim of Tom Bihn mind control

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    As a carrier of a big letter size binder most of my school years, I say, protest.

    The binder can be replaced by Tom Bihn Large Pouches color coded for each class or teacher or module or whatever the flavor du jour they use to classify stuff together.

    I assume the teachers want the binder because of hands outs required for the Endless Rounds of Tests destined to destroy the fun of learning.

    This can be remedied by placing 3 holes punched pocket folder inside the TB Large Pouch.

    To secure loose leaf punched pages and hands- outs in page protectors one uses this brass fasteners

    (image for example only)

    The plastic folders have exactly the same purpose as the humongous binder at a fraction of the weight. In most binders, the heaviest weight is the ring apparatus.

    Tom Bihn Large Pouch provides the zipper, what's not to like?

    Without the bulky binder, every student would be able to use a Synapse 25 or even 19, leaving the Brain Bag and the Smart Alec for grad school, work and hiking vacations!

    The Brain Bag does seem to suit him better, both look really nice on him.

    It is wonderful to see such a really nice put together picture from such a young person!

    PS: the brass fasteners are used in Hollywood to hold script pages (if their use was even remotely complicated, they would not longer be used)

  9. #9
    Registered User PGJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    La Jolla, CA
    It is rather ridiculous what they require kids to carry to and from school now-a-days. Is the Synapse 19 just too small? I'm 5'0" (cancer as a kid) and it works great for all that I have to carry. At present I'm a free lance consultant and have to have my office in my bag (and I use public transport).

    One important idea for minimizing: separate your NEEDS from your WANTS. It takes a bit of effort but my Mum taught it to me as a kid for a Scouts outing and it has made all the difference in my traveling and commuting.

  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern Virginia
    on him, the synapse 25 gets my vote. but seem a little big for him to have to carry, but the synapse 25 isn't as big as the brain bag.

    depending on the size of the packed lunch, i want to say that what you are describing would also fit inside the synapse 19.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    My vote is the Brain Bag....unless he's one of the older of several siblings to whom the Synapse 25 could be passed down.

    My reasoning: he will not always be a "wee lad." He will grow- all too quickly- into that Brain Bag. And even if its capacity is under-used now, it won't be in the future.

    I have 8 kids. My oldest is 13 and in 8th grade. For this past school year he has been using a Brain bag. Now granted, he is tall for his age so the Brain Bag doesn't dwarf him at all (he's 5'9). I hadn't planned on getting him a Brain Bag until high school BUT all of the Other Backpacks that I've ordered- decent ones at that- are too small. Too small for PE clothes and a lunch and 5 binders and textbooks etc etc. My son hasn't maxed out the capacity of the Brain Bag (yet) but he's so happy to have room for everything! As they get older they have crazy school projects and a myriad of extra-curriculars, all of which have "things" that must be carted around :)

    The bottom line is, of course, there's not a bad decision to be made....
    Last edited by Tlacltme; 05-08-2013 at 03:49 PM.

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