Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 33

Thread: Key Troubles

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Key Troubles

    I am seriously considering benching my S25 as my EDC because of the hassle with storing my office keys. My S25 is typically jam-packed with laptop/books/papers/stuff. When I go to my office, I have a long line of students waiting and my hands are often full with lunch/more books/more papers/another laptop. I need to be able to get my keys out and open my office door without putting everything down in the hallway and fishing through my bag.

    My keys are currently on a 16-inch s/s attached to the o-ring behind my laptop cache. But, when my bag is full, the keys often get stuck. So, I need to put everything down and hunt through my S25 to get my keys. It is a huge hassle.

    I have tried the front side pockets, but they eject my pens/markers/sunglasses when I try to fetch my keys. The lip/chin pocket does the same--but the stuff in that pocket is even more expensive/breakable. The large front pocket always has my water bottle and getting the keys/bottle in/out is another hassle. Finally, the small front pocket is where I keep my phone. My new phone already has a big scratch from the last time I put my keys in there --that isn't an option.

    I think I have tried everything. So, I have come to the experts. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Share
    New York City
    Posts
    241
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I hate to suggest more organization for the Synapse given how many pockets it already has but I think it'd work well for you. If one pocket is close to working well but you want to keep the contents safe, consider getting an organizer for that pocket.

    For instance, a Size 1 TSS would fit great in a side pocket, but I like the Small Ghost Whale clipped inside that pocket to corral pens and markers.

    A 3DOC, Snake Charmer, or HLT2 would work great in the chin pocket.

    You could also change over to the Synik 30, but I think just for key storage it seems a bit overkill.

    Here's some other organizational ideas from around the forums and blog:
    - https://forums.tombihn.com/accessori...apse-25-a.html
    - https://blog.tombihn.com/video-packi...the-synapse-25

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,816
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First off, welcome to the Forums @synapseslouch!

    I'm assuming pants pockets are out of the question? Or a retractable ring attached to a belt loop?

    Have you tried the shorter 8" key strap that came with the bag?

    Is it one key or a whole bunch of keys?
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Share
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    354
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also a college professor, and here's the solution I've found works for me with my S19.

    1. THE KEY SETUP. I keep my keys attached to a bright pink flowered I.D. holder (with my ID in it bc sometimes my ID is the key). This holder is my don't-leave-my-office-without-it pouch, with keys, ID, USB drive, and lip balm. It also keeps my keys from getting buried in the pocket because it's big, like 3x5.

    2.) POCKET ORGANIZATION. This keys/ID bundle is attached to the o ring in the right side pocket. This pocket is assigned to be stuff I'm likely to need in between office and classroom. So usually the only other thing I keep in this pocket is my glasses.

    3.) THE MANEUVER. I drop the left shoulder strap, swing the bag horizontal across the front of my body so the right pocket is on top, so the right strap is still over my shoulder. Unzip the pocket, find the keystrap, and pull the keys out from the pocket.

    The most important of these three combined factors is the pocket organization. When I first got the bag, I organized the contents by size -- little stuff in little pockets, big stuff in big pockets. That was not helpful. Now I organize by purpose. Nothing goes in that pocket that I'll need while teaching or when I'm sitting in my office or at a meeting. It's my transition pocket, so there isn't anything extra floating around to fall out.

    Key Troubles-img_20191206_131306-jpg

    Took me a few weeks to settle on this system, but I've been carrying it this way for over a year now, and it's the best system I've ever had

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Share
    Minnesota
    Posts
    126
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It sounds like the two main issues with the current arrangement (O-ring on the "Cache" side of the main compartment) are that the O-ring (and thus the end of the Key Strap) is less accessible because it's so close to the Cache, and that the keys themselves get hooked on other stuff in that compartment

    If so, you might be able to reduce interference by attaching the ring to the opposite side of the main compartment. I could imagine running a split ring through one of those Cache loops at the top and clipping your s/s Key Strap to it, then dropping the keys into the elastic pocket. The layer of lining fabric should help reduce the chances of it getting stuck on things in the main part of the main compartment. I understand that it's not a good option if you've got unusually-shaped or fragile items in that elastic pocket.

    Good luck, and let us know if we can help! (And welcome to the forums!)

  6. #6
    Registered User yvandermeer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's another "vote" for keeping your keys in one of the side pockets. I use an S19 for my EDC. Like @carrot mentioned, I use size 1 Travel Stuff Sacks for the left and right front pockets, (one in each), attached to the O-rings using black 8" key straps. My keys are on a red 16" strap, which means that I can always find the strap with my keys very quickly and yank it out. The stuff sacks prevent me from losing anything while I have a pocket open.

    As a side note: I currently also have a mini Q-Kit in the side pocket containing my keys, which I find to be a perfect size to fill the space above the stuff sack. The O-ring in that pocket looks a little cramped though with three clips attached to it, but I find the setup works very well.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4,125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I second the mini Q-Kit to keep your keys together, prevent them from scratching other things and easy retrieval due to the very smooth 1050 Ballistic fabric.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Share
    austin
    Posts
    147
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lia View Post
    Also a college professor, and here's the solution I've found works for me with my S19.

    1. THE KEY SETUP. I keep my keys attached to a bright pink flowered I.D. holder (with my ID in it bc sometimes my ID is the key). This holder is my don't-leave-my-office-without-it pouch, with keys, ID, USB drive, and lip balm. It also keeps my keys from getting buried in the pocket because it's big, like 3x5.

    2.) POCKET ORGANIZATION. This keys/ID bundle is attached to the o ring in the right side pocket. This pocket is assigned to be stuff I'm likely to need in between office and classroom. So usually the only other thing I keep in this pocket is my glasses.

    3.) THE MANEUVER. I drop the left shoulder strap, swing the bag horizontal across the front of my body so the right pocket is on top, so the right strap is still over my shoulder. Unzip the pocket, find the keystrap, and pull the keys out from the pocket.
    wooooo! college professors with a synapse thread! Cool

    i use the S19, and i do almost the exact same thing that Lia described -- my keys are always in this pocket, although not attached to anything. my phone is also in this pocket, and that's usually about it. i do the same "swing it around without taking it off" method to get my keys out when i arrive at my office.

    side note: i feel like a heretic or something; i never, ever use key straps. i don't think i understand the utility; it seems like another thing to clip and unclip all the time. i'm probably missing something obvious; it wouldn't be the first time!

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Share
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    354
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I never unclip the keys. I keep them attached to the bag so I never lose or drop or forget them.

  10. #10
    Forum Member RosemaryOrchard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    63
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bluedawg View Post
    side note: i feel like a heretic or something; i never, ever use key straps. i don't think i understand the utility; it seems like another thing to clip and unclip all the time. i'm probably missing something obvious; it wouldn't be the first time!
    I use the keystrap as a way to find my keys when they disappear behind/below something else in the pocket, and also so I can "drop" my key between doors if I'm carrying something heavy/awkward that needs both hands. (I have the door to the complex, the door to my building, and then my apartment door to contend with!)
    Proud owner of a Synik 22 (Aubergine/Northwest Sky), a Medium Café Bag (Alphaviolet), and a whole host of accessories.

  11. #11
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Share
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    443
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My use-case is similar, although for business travel: I leave and then don't need to see my keys again until i return, but my hands are full, I have lots of stuff in pockets prone to falling out from the trip, etc, so ...

    I use the S25 left-hand side pocket with my keys attached to a retractable kevlar keychain, attached to the o-ring - this make them easy to find by only unzipping the pocket half way and since they float at the top of the pocket, other stuff sinks to the bottom and I rarely have a problem:

    Key Troubles-715ofcxvljl-_ac_sx679_-jpg

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    First off, welcome to the Forums @synapseslouch!

    I'm assuming pants pockets are out of the question? Or a retractable ring attached to a belt loop?

    Have you tried the shorter 8" key strap that came with the bag?

    Is it one key or a whole bunch of keys?
    Pants pockets do work, but I am the stereotypical absent-minded professor. Attaching my keys to my backpack reduces the number of times I misplace them. And the number of times I need to get the admin/security folks to let me in my office.

    And it is a big bunch of keys.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    3.) THE MANEUVER. I drop the left shoulder strap, swing the bag horizontal across the front of my body so the right pocket is on top, so the right strap is still over my shoulder. Unzip the pocket, find the keystrap, and pull the keys out from the pocket.


    Nice! I need to work on this move.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
    My use-case is similar, although for business travel: I leave and then don't need to see my keys again until i return, but my hands are full, I have lots of stuff in pockets prone to falling out from the trip, etc, so ...

    I use the S25 left-hand side pocket with my keys attached to a retractable kevlar keychain, attached to the o-ring - this make them easy to find by only unzipping the pocket half way and since they float at the top of the pocket, other stuff sinks to the bottom and I rarely have a problem:

    Key Troubles-715ofcxvljl-_ac_sx679_-jpg

    I am glad I posted here. Thank you all for the many helpful ideas!!!

  15. #15
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Share
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    5,470
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Hi @synapseslouch,

    I like @Lia's solution (even down to the access maneuver, which is something I used with my original Synapse [from the first production batch when there was only the smaller size] -- see, for example, @GEOcyle's Synapse continues to surprise. thread from 2012 about accessing the side pockets). It may be easier for you to access the Synapse 19 side pocket from having the bag on your shoulder, but here's a section of the Pack Hacker video review of the Synapse 25 that shows the presenter swinging the bag across to access this side pocket (around 7:25 into the video review; I'm only posting the screen capture so you can scrub to the section of one way to access the pocket with the bag on your shoulder):
    Key Troubles-access_s25_front_pocket-jpg
    This is from the video review at: https://packhacker.com/travel-gear/tom-bihn/synapse-25/ . where the sequence starts around 7:25 into the clip.

    However, I'll offer some alternative suggestions/modifications that can either help organize the side pockets along the lines of her suggestion and/or help to contain your keys (along the lines of suggestions made by both @carrot and @yvandermeer) if you are looking for ways to keep your keys from tangling with other items in your pockets or main compartment and getting lost (although the cleanest solution would be an organization scheme that still lets you keep them at the end of the keystrap)

    It's most usually the side zippered pockets where you can improve the organization, and in addition to Size 1 Travel Stuff Sacks, I would most particularly recommend the Small Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches (GWOP) for recent accessory additions that are particularly good for organizing the Synapse side pockets. Here are some options for controlling your keys with small accessories:

    Key Troubles-img_4678-jpg
    These are Color Zipper Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches and a Mini Q-Kit
    Mini Spacer Mesh/Ultraviolet Zipper, Super-Mini ScrapBlack/Iberian Zipper, Mini Q-Kit Kiwi (retired color)

    Here's an overview with a few different sets of keys:
    Key Troubles-img_4674-jpg

    Closeup views:
    Key Troubles-img_4675-jpg
    Key Troubles-img_4676-jpg

    Closed up with keys inside these are very flat
    Key Troubles-img_4677-jpg

    From your initial post, I wasn't sure whether you wanted to use the main compartment of the Synapse 25 for tethering your keys, but just wanted a way to keep the end of the keystrap from falling down where it couldn't be recovered. One way to solve this is to use the fact that your Synapse is filled with paper, folders, etc. but move the tether point so that you're not using the O-ring that drops your keys behind your cache. I've indicated the location of that O-ring by tethering a (retired color) 16" solar keystrap to that O-ring at the left.

    You can use the same webbing loops that are used to suspend your laptop's cache with rails to tether your keystrap. What I've done here is to hook one loop of a medium size double carabiner clip into this webbing loop.
    Key Troubles-img_4680-jpg

    At this point, you have a lot of options: you can choose to tether a regular keystrap to the double carabiner clip (either to the metal opening or to the loop itself). It may not be obvious from the picture, but if you go back to the earlier picture of the Ghost Whale pouches and Mini Q-Kit with keys, and see a Wasabi double carabiner clip, you'll see an Iberian Split-Ring keystrap with a snaphook that can slide along the Double Carabiner Clip loop. This is because the surface of the clip (a hardened material that is not plastic) is both smooth, and slightly flattened.

    So, you could tether the snaphook of a keystrap to that Double Carabiner Clip (and shift the tether position so your keys are unlikely to fall down the side of your bag where you have to grope through and disentangle them). You could lay part of the key strap over the adjacent carabiner loop, to get more control of the keystrap position. You could tether one of the Ghost Whale Organizer Pouches in the Super Mini or Mini sizes that are holding your keys directly to the Double Carabiner, or you could tether them to the end of a keystrap that ends in either an O-ring or a larger metal Split Ring that is hooked to the Double Carabiner.

    All of these variant solutions still put your keys in the main Synapse 25 compartment and out of the way of the side pockets, water bottle, and bottom pocket where you're finding insufficient room. It also makes use of the fact that your Synapse is loaded with papers to make the keys or pouches sit on top of this load.

    Here's a closeup shot of how you might tether your keys in the Mini GWOP to the Double Carabiner:
    Key Troubles-img_4679-jpg

    You also have the option of using the Ghost Whale Organizaer Pouches or Mini Q-Kit to keep your keys from sprawling and put them into a side, bottom, or center pocket. If you do want to organize the side pockets, I'd suggest the Small Ghost Whale organizer pouch is likely to be the most useful size for that pocket, since it is well shaped for the narrower side pockets and is about the size of an eyeglass case (but has 3-dimensional capability).

    You can also combine this with some kind of retracting key fob, as suggested in previous posts.

    Finally, although the Double Carabiner Clips won't be on sale separately until early next year, you can still get one of these (in Wasabi Green) free, if your order contains any Knitting Tool Pouches I've linked you to the Size 2 Knitting Tool Pouch which I use to store my computer connectors (reinforced ballistic nylon ends help here; this pouch is also good for cutlery for the same reason; it can also be used as a shorter pen/pencil pouch if you want to put an A5 notebook into an A5 size Ghost Whale Organizer Pouch).

    If you happen to order any of the new Handy Little Thing pouches, a pair of Double Carabiner Clips are included

    HTH

    moriond

    ETA:
    Quote Originally Posted by bluedawg View Post
    side note: i feel like a heretic or something; i never, ever use key straps. i don't think i understand the utility; it seems like another thing to clip and unclip all the time. i'm probably missing something obvious; it wouldn't be the first time!
    Hi @bluedawg,

    I never used keystraps until I got my first Tom Bihn backpack, which was the (original) Buzz Sling Backpack If you look at the Sapphire (redesigned) Buzz photo in my post, you can see the pen pockets in the front section are angled. That's because the sling format was designed to let you swing the backpack around without taking it off your shoulder and unzip the front compartment. The angle for accessing pens, etc. and the keystrap was exactly right -- all without taking the bag off your shoulder. We had forum members reporting that this design made it possible for them to use that backpack easily even when they had their leg in a cast and were hobbling around on crutches. I still have this backpack, which predates the first Synapse.
    Last edited by moriond; 12-09-2019 at 04:39 PM.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •