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conversa
11-27-2012, 07:39 PM
As an experiment/challenge, I am on a 4 day wintery work trip with only my synapse. In the bag are two sweaters, one sweater vest, two dress shirts, one night shirt, one t-shirt, three pairs of socks and two undies. Also packed toiletries, two notebooks, snacks, glass bowl, utensils, phone charger and wallet. the amazing thing about the synapse is how it can be stuffed to the gills without squashing anything. The pocket placement is so perfectly engineered to maintain a cute shape and balanced weight distribution. I haven't lacked anything. Next experiment: 18 days abroad.

notmensa
11-27-2012, 11:04 PM
WOW!! That's impressive.
Are your 18 days abroad also to a cold destination?? Can't wait to hear how the challenge goes!

Lani
11-28-2012, 11:10 AM
Conversa -- that's quite a load you've managed to fit into your Synapse, but I am very curious so I feel compelled to ask: re you taking any extra pairs of pants? You've taking a ton of tops but no bottom!! Did you just decide to go with the one pair of jeans you're wearing?

drbobguy
11-28-2012, 11:35 AM
It's always interesting to see how minimal people can get, something I aspire to as well. I think though that the Synapse is definitely too small even for most minimalists. I was debating doing a 10-day trip to Russia this winter using just the Smart Alec, but I've decided against it (mainly because I ended up also ordering a Tristar!). I do think 26 liters is doable for trips of unlimited duration, but it requires extreme discipline as well as nightly bathroom sink washing.

When traveling I much prefer to do actual laundry in a laundromat once a week, so I try to get at least 6 days of clothes out of my bag. This is relatively easy if you re-wear button down shirts (with an ultralight undershirt underneath) as well as wearing pants for 4-7 days at a time. I typically travel with two pairs of jeans (once which I wear), 3-4 lightweight synthetic button down shirts, and then 6-7 undershirts, 6-7 pairs of underwear, and 6-7 pairs of socks. I know jeans and multiple items are for some reason taboo in the travel crowd. But in much of the world jeans fit in better than the alternatives, and thin jeans don't have to be super thick. Also I love putting on clean socks and underwear that smell nice after being machine washed, and considering they take up very little space, I have no issue bringing many pairs.

Here's the gear list of a guy who is taking a year-long round-the-world trip with only a Smart Alec:

Gear List - 12 Month Round the World Trip (http://www.thequestforawesome.com/rtwgearlist/)

conversa
11-28-2012, 08:08 PM
Conversa -- that's quite a load you've managed to fit into your Synapse, but I am very curious so I feel compelled to ask: re you taking any extra pairs of pants? You've taking a ton of tops but no bottom!! Did you just decide to go with the one pair of jeans you're wearing?
Lani you are right, I forgot to mention an extra pair of gray wool slacks also went in the Synapse. Since I am here for work, there was no point in wearing jeans so I wore black wool slacks on the plane. I should also mention I am a petite size 4 which might explain how I could make it all fit. I used one small travelon folder, a set of Eagle Creek specter cubes and toiletry kit, and two yarn stuff sacks. It's been a great experience!

conversa
11-28-2012, 08:14 PM
It's always interesting to see how minimal people can get, something I aspire to as well. I think though that the Synapse is definitely too small even for most minimalists. I was debating doing a 10-day trip to Russia this winter using just the Smart Alec, but I've decided against it (mainly because I ended up also ordering a Tristar!). I do think 26 liters is doable for trips of unlimited duration, but it requires extreme discipline as well as nightly bathroom sink washing.

When traveling I much prefer to do actual laundry in a laundromat once a week, so I try to get at least 6 days of clothes out of my bag. This is relatively easy if you re-wear button down shirts (with an ultralight undershirt underneath) as well as wearing pants for 4-7 days at a time. I typically travel with two pairs of jeans (once which I wear), 3-4 lightweight synthetic button down shirts, and then 6-7 undershirts, 6-7 pairs of underwear, and 6-7 pairs of socks. I know jeans and multiple items are for some reason taboo in the travel crowd. But in much of the world jeans fit in better than the alternatives, and thin jeans don't have to be super thick. Also I love putting on clean socks and underwear that smell nice after being machine washed, and considering they take up very little space, I have no issue bringing many pairs.

Here's the gear list of a guy who is taking a year-long round-the-world trip with only a Smart Alec:

Gear List - 12 Month Round the World Trip (http://www.thequestforawesome.com/rtwgearlist/)
drbobguy, I did wear a silk undershirt for layering and to help keep my shirts fresh. for the 18 day trip I might get a pair of quick dry under shirts and wash them nightly with my undies. I might do the same with liner socks. This has been fun and I can't imagine doing it with any other carry system but Tom Bihn.

Thanks for that link. I hadn't seen it before. My inspiration for giving ultra light a shot with the Synapse was Lani and her Specter cubes. I'll try to post a photo similar to her Japan trip packing photo.

Badger
11-29-2012, 07:43 AM
My inspiration for giving ultra light a shot with the Synapse was Lani and her Specter cubes. I'll try to post a photo similar to her Japan trip packing photo.

Care to give us a teaser of where you're going so we can live vicariously through you?

conversa
11-29-2012, 03:44 PM
Care to give us a teaser of where you're going so we can live vicariously through you?

For now, the plan is London, Paris and several regions of Spain. I owe it to you since I have lived plenty vicariously through you all.

conversa
11-29-2012, 03:45 PM
WOW!! That's impressive.
Are your 18 days abroad also to a cold destination?? Can't wait to hear how the challenge goes!

I hope late spring is not cold in western Europe!

conversa
11-29-2012, 04:36 PM
My inspiration for giving ultra light a shot with the Synapse was Lani and her Specter cubes. I'll try to post a photo similar to her Japan trip packing photo.

Here is what the unpacking looked like. I also forgot to mention my external battery charger which I use for my phone, two scarf tubes (wool and regular), silk leggings, an RS laundry line, a nalgene travel bottle for my Dr. Bronner's and a gotoob for my toothpaste.

It will be trickier if I need to bring extra footwear, sunglasses, or additional electronics.

The bag was super packed but I was constantly opening pockets and pulling stuff out with no trouble. I would even say I enjoyed retrieving things out of my Synapse. This proves it; the Synapse is magic. 2925

nsh
11-29-2012, 06:19 PM
Thank you for sharing! These photos are great inspiration for me because I hope to use my Synapse for long term travels too! Are you carrying a purse or satchel in addition to the synapse?

Badger
11-29-2012, 07:06 PM
For now, the plan is London, Paris and several regions of Spain. I owe it to you since I have lived plenty vicariously through you all.

Ooh. Jealous. Late spring shouldn't be too cold, but it could be quite wet. A good rain shell and Gore-tex walking shoes (if that's the sort of traveling you're doing) will help, and since you can wear those onto the plane, it's not like they'll take up room in your bag. For the Europe trip, would you be bringing the bowl and utensils?

redranger
11-29-2012, 07:39 PM
Oh my gosh! To think, I considered myself very smugly satisfied to have used the Synapse for an overnight last weekend. Well, it was a step in the right direction for me to be sure, but I cannot hold a candle to your feat. Well done.

conversa
11-30-2012, 04:33 AM
Thank you for sharing! These photos are great inspiration for me because I hope to use my Synapse for long term travels too! Are you carrying a purse or satchel in addition to the synapse?

No additional baggage. I kept my TB wallet o-ringed in the side pocket and did the ol' swing around to get at it. At the hotel, I dumped my stuff and used the Synapse as my EDC.

conversa
11-30-2012, 04:35 AM
Ooh. Jealous. Late spring shouldn't be too cold, but it could be quite wet. A good rain shell and Gore-tex walking shoes (if that's the sort of traveling you're doing) will help, and since you can wear those onto the plane, it's not like they'll take up room in your bag. For the Europe trip, would you be bringing the bowl and utensils?

I brought the bowl to put leftovers in a backpackable format but I didn't use it or the utensils once on this trip. I don't think they will make the cut.

moriond
11-30-2012, 01:33 PM
Really like the photos! I see you have the tangerine Eagle Creek Specter II cube. They now offer their 15" folder as a Specter II product, along with a few more options (like the "Quick Trip", which might make a reasonable option for diaper holders) and colors (red edging). But it's true that at the time of Lani's post the only 15" folder was the regular one you show in your picture.

I've wondered about using the Tri-Star medium packing cube instead (12.8" / 325mm x 11.3" / 288mm x 2.4" / 60mm; 3.2 oz / 90gr; 5.6 liter capacity) as the main cube inside the Synapse, since it's a little better matched to the maximum inner space of the main compartment and provides a little more structure when you pull it out. Any thoughts on that? Did you also consider that option?

moriond

Addendum: I thought I included a link to the current Eagle Creek Specter II products (http://shop.eaglecreek.com/pack-it-specter/l/231) in my original post, but I see this didn't show up, so I've added it in this addendum. You can see the "Quick Trip" that conversa mentions below, and the red color options.

conversa
11-30-2012, 03:34 PM
Really like the photos! I see you have the tangerine Eagle Creek Specter II cube. They now offer their 15" folder as a Specter II product, along with a few more options (like the "Quick Trip", which might make a reasonable option for diaper holders) and colors (red edging). But it's true that at the time of Lani's post the only 15" folder was the regular one you show in your picture.

I've wondered about using the Tri-Star medium packing cube instead (12.8" / 325mm x 11.3" / 288mm x 2.4" / 60mm; 3.2 oz / 90gr; 5.6 liter capacity) as the main cube inside the Synapse, since it's a little better matched to the maximum inner space of the main compartment and provides a little more structure when you pull it out. Any thoughts on that? Did you also consider that option?

moriond

I have the EC Quick Trip (it is under my toiletries in the photo). I love it as a toiletry kit because of the way it opens wide, has outer pockets and fits my toothbrush. Also, I am obsessed with the silnylon material. I like its brightness, transparency and almost invisibility in terms of weight and structure. I had considered the small WF cube but it is 3x as heavy and the handle isn't as convenient as the Specter cube for my use case. I also decided against maximizing the Synapse dimensions since I like having free space at the top of my bag for easy to reach snacks. The folder in the photo is a Travelon. I had a regular EC folder which I gave away. I hated how rough the material was; it wouldn't slip easily out of my bags. The Travelon is more slippery and I like how you can cover up the Velcro so it doesn't destroy your clothing while packing and unpacking. I was tempted by the new 15 in Specter folder but the lack of Velcro covers was more determinative than my silnylon obsession.

Badger
12-01-2012, 03:26 PM
I brought the bowl to put leftovers in a backpackable format but I didn't use it or the utensils once on this trip. I don't think they will make the cut.

If you have a travel spork or some such thing, that could be a useful addition to your travel kit. Having something like that makes it easy to buy a yogurt or something from the grocery store and eat it without worrying about where you'll get a utensil. Or, you could do what I do, which is be a cheap bastard and just grab an extra plastic spoon from the airport Starbucks.

conversa
12-03-2012, 04:04 PM
If you have a travel spork or some such thing, that could be a useful addition to your travel kit. Having something like that makes it easy to buy a yogurt or something from the grocery store and eat it without worrying about where you'll get a utensil. Or, you could do what I do, which is be a cheap bastard and just grab an extra plastic spoon from the airport Starbucks.

Normally I alternate between cheap bastard and member of the plastic resistance front. Though I am pretty excited about my bamboo utensils so I might bring them along. The idea of spreading Camembert on fresh bread by the Seine using my bamboo knife is swoon-worthy.

earth5
12-11-2012, 07:58 PM
I am AMAZED all that fit in the Synapse. Must look into these packing cubes and folders!

conversa
12-16-2012, 05:17 AM
Brought on by the recent chonie colloquy betwee badger and Janine, I feel compelled to qualify that my two undies were the wash-at-night-dry-by-morning kind. and to cause you more discomfort, the 18 day trip will be accompanied by 3 of said undies :-)