View Full Version : Synapse 25: 15" MacBook Pro and iPad Pro 12.9

07-31-2018, 02:41 PM
I'm considering buying a Synapse 25 and want to consider how I would carry my gear. I carry the iPad Pro every day (with a Brydge keyboard), and occasionally will carry a 15" MacBook Pro (2018) and the iPad (probably without the keyboard). I also carry an Apple Pencil, Beats Studio 3, 25 oz Yeti water bottle, a mess of associated cables, and various odds and ends.

My questions are:

- Should I get 2 pieces of Cache for the iPad and MacBook, or does the Synapse have a sufficient pocket to safely carry the iPad when I both with me (and then I just use MacBook Cache when it's the iPad by itself)?

- Is the Synapse the solution for me? I like the design over the Brain bag, but I'm open to opinions. I will note that I'm a big guy, and I'd like my bag to be as low profile as possible when I've got my stuff in it. Also, smaller bag straps are uncomfortable on my shoulders.

- What accessories would anyone suggest? Especially for safely stashing the Pencil...

Thanks all for your help!

07-31-2018, 03:23 PM
The S25 has zero cushioning on the bottom. If you tend to throw your bag down onto the floor, you may want a sleeve or cache. If you aren't traveling through airport security frequently, a simple sleeve from Amazon is going to be cheaper and maybe more flexible vs. a cache as some of the sleeves have thin handles for carrying them separately.

I have a 20 oz Hydro Flask with a straw top and it barely fits into the bottle pocket. A 25 oz Yeti may be too big.

You don't really need to buy anything to store a pencil. The S25 has pencil pockets.

07-31-2018, 05:12 PM
If you're in the US where the shipping is reasonable, you might want to consider ordering both the Brain Bag and S25 so that you can test pack them in your home and return the one that doesn't work for you - nothing beats a head to head test pack comparison!

The neat thing about the BB is that it has cinch straps to reduce the 'size' of the bag...

Since the organization is very different between the Synapse and BB, it might be worth checking out to see if you're assumptions about how you'd pack & use it bear out...

Check out the FAQ for how to correctly test pack & return...

08-15-2018, 02:51 PM
You've probably already made your decision but I'll respond anyway....

I'd recommend a cache for each device. And the organizer pocket will keep your pencil safe.

I bought a S25 last year. At that time I carried a 13" MacBook Air, a 9.7" iPad pro, an Apple Pencil, and a 32oz Nalgene (among other things). The S25 accommodates two separate rail hooks -- on both the internal wall and back wall of the big compartment. I attached the MBA cache to the back wall and the Pro cache to the inner wall. The internal pocket would hold your iPad but it won't offer anything in terms of padding or protection. I don't always carry both devices with me day-to-day but I usually just leave both caches in the pack.

Again, the pencil fits perfectly in the back-most pencil slot in the organizer pocket. I use the pencil almost every time I use the iPad so it has made many a trip in and out of that pocket without any signs of being worse for the wear.

I considered the Brain Bag, too, but the organization of the S25 won me over. It strikes the perfect balance between being too free-form and too restrictive. I'm not a big guy. In fact, I'm a trim, slightly taller-than-average woman. I can see where some women might find the S25 to be too big but it's absolutely perfect for me. I can stuff it full with a down jacket, 2 devices, notebooks/textbooks, lunch, and every dongle/accessory I might need or I can carry nothing but my iPad and wallet and it's comfortable either way. I appreciate that it doesn't look saggy and ridiculous when under-packed.

As for accessories, I bought several I never use: a freudian slip and side effect, in particular. What I do use all of the time are a set of cubelets. One holds my laptop charger and the other one holds every dongle a girl might need: ethernet adapter, VGA adapter, USB/lightning cable, plug thingy for charging cube, etc. Depending on your organization preferences you could buy something for your pencil but I prefer the easy-to-access pencil slots. A large Q-kit feels like a must and a couple of zippered pouches might come in handy. I use a clear one for my business cards and a halcyon model for my earbuds.