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View Full Version : Synapse (Steel/UV) + Western Flyer combo



jblock
06-03-2014, 02:57 PM
The nature of my job has me traveling quiet often...and anyone familiar with frequently being on the move is aware that the correct travel tools are essential to surviving the road.

I've been searching for the perfect 2 bag combo for some time and finally stumbled upon the Tom Bihn website. Initially I ordered the Synapse 25 in Navy/Iberian...but the Navy just didn't quiet do it for me (however it is a very nice dark dark blue that I'm sure will appeal to a wide range of people). Thanks to Bihn's generous return policy (which really shows a company stands behind their product) I was able to swap it out for a Steel/UV version..............and it is stunning.

I was worried the colors would be too bright, but both the Steel and UV are extremely deep and satisfying. Photos online really don't do the colors justice, but I've tried to capture the contrast here:

6510651365116512

The bags are much more rugged then I expected and the Western Flyer in particular holds a lot more then I expected. Some people think it's small, but I will be using it exclusively for cloths with the Synapse supplementing my electronics and accessories. I opt for the two bag system as it gives me a robust day pack to work with and decreases the dangers of having to check luggage at the gate with larger carry ons (international airlines have stricter size and weight policies then the states).

I will be traveling to Asia for an entire month and these two carry ons will be my only luggage.

Oorah adventurers.

J

monkeylady
06-03-2014, 04:04 PM
Great photos of wonderful choices. Please let us know how the bags served you when you return. I would also be interested in your packing list for a month journey in a small bag!

scribe
06-03-2014, 11:24 PM
Nice! I'm a big fan of the "two modest-sized bags" approach to packing - you get a lot of flexibility, plus it feels less daunting than lugging one big bag. The Western Flyer is a great little carryon - big enough to hold a decent amount of stuff, small enough that even a 5'2" weakling like me can carry it easily :)

Did you get any accessories to go with your bags? Packing/organiser cubes really help to get the most out of the WF's space, and the travel tray is an amazingly handy little device that, AFAIK, is unique to TB.

dorayme
06-04-2014, 04:47 AM
Nice choices, I look forward to reading more about your trip, and how these bags perform for you. I also am a fan of two modest bags, vs. one to rule them all. I agree with the added flexibility and I can also manage the load a lot easier. Also, just the nature of having the two bags lends a certain amount of organization. If the s25 only has electronics, you have no need to look there for the misplaced article of clothing, and vice versa with the WF and your temporarily misplaced power cord.

snowbot
06-04-2014, 10:51 AM
Do you worry about airlines that might not allow two bags of the same size?

jblock
06-04-2014, 11:36 AM
@monkeylady - Thank you! I have 5 trips between now and September, so I'll be doing an in depth writeup once I take them for a proper spin.

@scribe - I didn't pick up any accessories yet, but Bihn has several things that I'm sure I will pickup within the next month or so (primarily packing cubes). I can always use more cord storage options.

@snowbot - I've never had a problem thus far with my old setup and I don't anticipate any problems with this one. Airlines rarely glance twice at a backpack because they are so common and the WF in black is low key even when stuffed. It's mostly people with roll on luggage who get singled out I've found. Let's take a quick look at...say....United's restrictions for carry on:

United Carry On: 22" x 12" x 7"
United Personal Item: 17" x 10" x 9"

WF: 18" x 12" x 7"
Synapse: 20" x 13.4" x 9"

The WF is within the regulation limits, but the Synapse is about 3" too tall and 3.4" too wide....just the way I like it. I've been traveling with my Chrome Ivan for years and have never once gotten a second glance...why? It's a backpack. The Ivan's dimensions don't even fit within the larger carry on recommended limit:

Chrome Ivan: 23" x 21" x 7"

Trailhiker
06-04-2014, 12:34 PM
Why would they?
One would b a personal, the second as carry on.

snowbot
06-04-2014, 12:39 PM
United is supposedly limiting the size of the personal item to smaller than either the WF or the S25. I've not seen that put into practice at the gate, however.

jblock
06-04-2014, 12:54 PM
@monkeylady - Thank you! I have 5 trips between now and September, so I'll be doing an in depth writeup once I take them for a proper spin.

@scribe - I didn't pick up any accessories yet, but Bihn has several things that I'm sure I will pickup within the next month or so (primarily packing cubes). I can always use more cord storage options.

@snowbot - I've never had a problem thus far with my old setup and I don't anticipate any problems with this one. Airlines rarely glance twice at a backpack because they are so common and the WF in black is low key even when stuffed. It's mostly people with roll on luggage who get singled out I've found. Let's take a quick look at...say....United's restrictions for carry on:

United Carry On: 22" x 12" x 7"
United Personal Item: 17" x 10" x 9"

WF: 18" x 12" x 7"
Synapse: 20" x 13.4" x 9"

The WF is within the regulation limits, but the Synapse is about 3" too tall and 3.4" too wide....just the way I like it. I've been traveling with my Chrome Ivan for years and have never once gotten a second glance...why? It's a backpack. The Ivan's dimensions don't even fit within the larger carry on recommended limit:

Chrome Ivan: 23" x 21" x 7"