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View Full Version : The S25 is too large for my EDC. What now?



PacificPaul
03-05-2019, 07:57 PM
Hey TBF,

Let me start by saying I love my Synapse 25. The build quality is unmatched, the organization keeps everything tidy, and I never tire seeing the island interior when I have to access something inside. However, it's too large for EDC: it's heavy, bulky, tough to squeeze between rows in class, and much of the space is unused. So, I'm trying to find an alternative. Here's what I carry:


14" Dell XPS
A notebook/textbook
Pens and markers
Cables
Power bank
Flashlight
Leatherman Wave Plus
32 oz. water bottle
Small electronics toolkit

On my radar is the Luminary 15 (https://www.tombihn.com/products/luminary-15?variant=14068102430783) and the Synapse 19. (https://www.tombihn.com/products/synapse-19?variant=53075714247) I'm leaning towards the latter, but worried that it won't fit/protect my laptop. I've seen that the new Luminary will easily hold a 15" MacBook Pro, but I don't think I'll have room for much else in there.

I wonder if you all could give me some options here. Who has a Dell XPS 15 and a Synapse 19 and could show me what all fits? Who has alternatives to the bags I've suggested, even ones other than Tom Bihn? I used the STM Haven (https://www.stmgoods.com/product/haven-15-laptop-backpack/) for a little while, but their materials are so cheap and their customer service sucks!

I want to pull the trigger on the S19, but I don't know how I feel about investing so much in a bag that probably won't fit my laptop and definitely won't protect it. This is my biggest criticism of Tom Bihn's laptop bags: no padded laptop compartment. It's 2019 and this is an absolute must for commuters, students, and travelers.

What do you all suggest?

kieri
03-05-2019, 08:20 PM
Definitely take a look at the Caches - I've valued the ability to have a perfectly-sized, removable sleeve that can protect my laptop in a backpack, briefcase, or even tossed into my Aeronaut or Pop Tote. And when my laptop size changes, I can just sell one cache and get another.

PacificPaul
03-05-2019, 08:47 PM
Definitely take a look at the Caches - I've valued the ability to have a perfectly-sized, removable sleeve that can protect my laptop in a backpack, briefcase, or even tossed into my Aeronaut or Pop Tote. And when my laptop size changes, I can just sell one cache and get another.

I have a cache for my S25 and ended up liking it more than I thought I would! I don't think an XPS 15 in a cache will fit in an S19, though.

gqb
03-06-2019, 05:31 AM
The Luminary 15 and the Synapse 19 are almost exactly the same size, so if the laptop fits (or doesn't) in one then it will be the same in the other, for the main compartment at least.

The padded back compartment in the Luminary is designed for laptops up to 13 inch - as stated in the product description - so I doubt it will be big enough for yours.



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carrot
03-06-2019, 07:55 AM
[...] no padded laptop compartment. It's 2019 and this is an absolute must for commuters, students, and travelers.

Well I don't agree at all. I've done two, two-week trips out of the Synapse 19 and multiple shorter trips, and I almost never carry a laptop either. I would consider it a serious deal-breaker for any bag like that to have a dedicated laptop compartment. I wouldn't be here on the forums today if Tom Bihn had laptop compartments where they don't belong.

I find that the Synapse 25, while a wonderful bag, is just too big for my taste and becomes too heavy for onebag travel when fully loaded.

However, I can tell you that the 15" Macbook Pro 2014 which is a beast of a laptop fits in the Synapse 19 but only just barely. It even fits with a thin slip case but anything else is pushing it.

The specs for that notebook are below:

Height: 0.71 inch (1.8 cm)
Width: 14.13 inches (35.89 cm)
Depth: 9.73 inches (24.71 cm)
Weight: 4.46 pounds (2.02 kg)

If your laptop is the most recent 8th Gen Intel XPS 15:


Height: 0.45-0.66" (11-17mm)
Width: 14.06" (357mm)
Depth: 9.27" (235mm)
Starting weight: 4 lbs (1.8kg)i with 56Whr battery, SSd, and non-touch display; Starting at weight: 4.5 lbs (2kg)i with 97Whr battery, SSD, and touch display


Then you should have enough space with a form-fitting case for the laptop, all of the other things you mentioned, and a little more.

G42
03-06-2019, 08:02 AM
I want to pull the trigger on the S19, but I don't know how I feel about investing so much in a bag that probably won't fit my laptop and definitely won't protect it. This is my biggest criticism of Tom Bihn's laptop bags: no padded laptop compartment. It's 2019 and this is an absolute must for commuters, students, and travelers.

What do you all suggest?

I would try out the S19 and see how it works for you based on your pack out. As long as you follow the FAQ on test packing, returns are easy and relatively inexpensive (if you're in the US).

As for the padded compartment being a mandatory feature - I respectfully disagree - but understand it's disappointing to not find a feature you really want.
I have slim cushioned sleeves that I use for my laptops (separate work and personal) because I put the laptops in a variety of bags, including luggage. I also bring just the work laptop from one building to the next, in the sleeve, no other bag. That type of flexibility and modularity works for me, but doesn't work for everyone. Keep looking around and you'll find the right bag for you - even if it isn't a TB one - and that's ok. We'll still want to see packout photos if you use any TB accessories :)

PacificPaul
03-06-2019, 12:25 PM
However, I can tell you that the 15" Macbook Pro 2014 which is a beast of a laptop fits in the Synapse 19 but only just barely. It even fits with a thin slip case but anything else is pushing it.

Thanks for your feedback! Could you be a little more specific in reference to the case? Would one of the caches qualify as a thin slip case?

PacificPaul
03-06-2019, 12:32 PM
I would try out the S19 and see how it works for you based on your pack out.

Thanks for your feedback! I'm leaning towards giving this a shot. As long as everything fits nicely, it'll become my EDC.


I have slim cushioned sleeves that I use for my laptops (separate work and personal) because I put the laptops in a variety of bags, including luggage.

What sleeves do you use? I'd like to check them out.


Keep looking around and you'll find the right bag for you - even if it isn't a TB one - and that's ok.

I think I'll stick with TB, just because the quality is buy-it-for-life. No other backpack I've used, even the RUSH from 5.11 (https://www.511tactical.com/rush-12-backpack.html), comes close. I took a closer look at the cache and it seems to offer decent enough protection. The laptop sits on some padding at the bottom.


We'll still want to see packout photos if you use any TB accessories :)

Sure thing! I'd be more than happy to take pictures and even write a review.

carrot
03-06-2019, 12:48 PM
Thanks for your feedback! Could you be a little more specific in reference to the case? Would one of the caches qualify as a thin slip case?

Honestly I don't know. I don't own a Cache and my only experience with one is the older tuck-flap model.

I did a search on the forums, which suggested that the 2012 XPS 15 (14.6 x 9.8 x 0.91", 6#) does not fit well (probably about as well as my old 15" MacBook) but no details about the newer model.

It also looks like member @kieri (from their signature) carries an S19 with the 15C Cache (https://forums.tombihn.com/accessories-organization-strategies/11496-synapse-19-a-post155213.html#post155213), which is the size of Cache that looks recommended for your model of computer. Maybe they can help?

G42
03-06-2019, 01:16 PM
@PacificPaul

Your best bet for cache sizing is to contact the fine folks at Customer Service directly (phone, email, or live chat from the main website page) and they'll be able to make recommendations.

I have a cache from TB for my personal MacBook Air 13" and also a zip sleeve that I'll check the brand of once I'm home... Since I'm TSA pre-check, I don't tend to use the cache that much and use my old sleeve more because I usually take the whole thing out of my bag in the hotel or wherever and I don't always carry a backpack with the attachments...

My work laptop 15" HP Elitebook is in a zip sleeve from Caseling... it's a bit bigger than the laptop because I wasn't too fussy about picking the size when I bought it (I just wanted inexpensive) which has actually worked out as I sometimes put a manila file folder inside the zip sleeve when I'm running between buildings or want to keep a few papers unwrinkled when I throw it into my A30.

ETA: my MacBook Air case is by InCase and I bought it in the Apple store years back, so it fits perfectly. I like that, but I also wouldn't be able to sneak a file folder inside like I do with my work laptop sleeve....

melminimalist
03-06-2019, 03:58 PM
I like the fact that laptop compartments are not built in, but rather you add a cache to the bag system. Unless traveling for work, most people do not travel with a laptop, but rather a kindle or tablet. I was drawn to Tom Bihn precisely because they designed their bags this way. A good portion of other bag brands have this built in feature, so perhaps they would be more suitable for your needs. But I think TB bags are well rounded and designed for either kind of travel.


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kieri
03-06-2019, 05:03 PM
It also looks like member @kieri (from their signature) carries an S19 with the 15C Cache (https://forums.tombihn.com/accessories-organization-strategies/11496-synapse-19-a-post155213.html#post155213), which is the size of Cache that looks recommended for your model of computer. Maybe they can help?

For what it's worth, that was with a 14" laptop. And it was a tight fit.

PacificPaul
03-08-2019, 03:29 PM
I'd like to provide everyone with an update.

I purchased a Synapse 19 in black and island with an internal frame and a 15D cache. I went for the 15D because this will fit the laptop I just purchased--a Lenovo ThinkPad T480. (https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-t-series/ThinkPad-T480/p/22TP2TT4800)

The dimensions of the cache: 13.62" (346mm) | 9.21" (234mm) | 0.39-1.00" (10-25mm)

I contacted someone from support, who was extremely helpful, and she said the 15D in the S19 would be a tight fit. However, post number six in this thread (https://forums.tombihn.com/questions-about-bags/13007-synapse-19-thinkpad-e470-other-questions.html) suggests that a 14" x 10" case will fit in the S19 perfectly. The first picture shows how snugly it fits.

I was wondering if anyone here can provide further commentary on a 15D cache in a Synapse 19.

slightlysaltybagman
03-08-2019, 06:05 PM
I can't attest to the 15D cache, but I will say that I have a 14.25" x 10.25" x 1.75" sleeve that fits just fine in my S19 if it's not overstuffed.

With the laptop and a couple spiral notebooks, the zippers close with ease, even with water bottle and other small items. With the laptop, spirals, and 1.5" binder, it will close but takes some work. Laptop, spirals, and a 2"+ binder gets a little out of S19 territory.

GordonGeek
03-11-2019, 10:37 AM
Have a S25 and bought an S19 for that reason and it's great. Wanted more of a messenger and my ID bag is too big, so just bought (today) the DLBC the MCB was too small for my Dell XPS).

PacificPaul
03-11-2019, 11:16 AM
Have a S25 and bought an S19 for that reason and it's great. Wanted more of a messenger and my ID bag is too big, so just bought (today) the DLBC the MCB was too small for my Dell XPS).

Wait, just to be clear, you're saying your XPS fits in the S19? Do you use an XPS 13 or 15? And is this with or without a cache?

GordonGeek
03-15-2019, 10:36 AM
Wait, just to be clear, you're saying your XPS fits in the S19? Do you use an XPS 13 or 15? And is this with or without a cache?

It is the XPS that measures 12x8 closed. I don't use the TB cache, but do use another padded / protective sleeve.