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The Synapse backpack: Q & A

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    Okay, it's official: I love this bag. It and the Large Shop Bag handle all of my daily shlepping. (The Smart Alec is too big, the Large Cafe Bag too small.)

    Comment


      Happy Synapse User

      I'm a very happy Synapse user. Before it arrived, I envisioned using the Synapse as a general purpose weekend activities backpack. I planned to continue using my BrainBag for my laptop(s) and books for work. Since it arrived, the Synapse has taken over daily duties. It holds all the little stuff, like note cards, pencils, flash drives, flashlights, camera, external USB drive, MacBook Pro, and occasionally a netbook and power supply, and a magazine and book or two. Even carrying all that, it weighs less and feels much more sleek than the BrainBag. (I haven't packed away the BrainBag, and it still does a great job when I need more capacity, like a couple bigger laptops or a scanner and laptop, etc.)

      Since I carry the Synapse daily, and it's easy to carry, I have to say I do love this bag. I also love my Aeronaut, but it's a different kind of bag. When I need the Aeronaut, there's nothing I'd rather carry.

      The Synapse is the best daily use bag I've ever owned. It constantly surprises me how much space it has for something that seems so compact.

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        Hey JoelSmith:
        A quick question: the MacBook Pro--is that a 13inch new one? and if so do you carry it by itself or in a cover of some sort?

        thanks

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          It's a MacBook Pro 13" unibody. I carry it in a vertical Cache. Fits perfect, and carries very nicely. The Cache is really nice, too. I love the fold-in flap closure. At first, I wondered about not having velcro, but silent opening can be a huge benefit.

          Comment


            Originally posted by JoelSmith View Post
            At first, I wondered about not having velcro, but silent opening can be a huge benefit.
            I have to agree. There's a sense of refinement and elegance to silent openings as opposed to the schnikkkttt of hook and loops being wrent asundered: another example of the thoughtful qualities in TB products.
            Bags: Latest: Pop Tote and Shop Bag (large) ; also have a Co-Pilot, Super Ego (w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut; Medium Cafe Bag; Large Cafe Bag; Brain Cell; Shop Bag small, (Steel); Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Accessories: Oh yeah, bunches.
            Sadly Lost to Hazmat: An Imago in Steel/Cork & MCB in Linen/Olive.
            " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

            Comment


              I Really Like My New Synapse

              Well, I took my Synapse out today for its maiden voyage. I live in Washington, DC and we had a big snow storm -- 16 inches or so. I walked to the grocery store for some food and took the Synapse to carry my groceries back. I wanted to walk hands free through the slush and snow, especially at intersections.

              I am 5' 5" tall and found the Synapse very comfortable empty and fully loaded. I removed the waist strap as I don't use them on small backpacks. It's nice that no hardware is left behind. I did use the sternum strap and found it both comfortable and easy to adjust. The two main backpack straps seem more substantial than one would expect on such a small backpack. But they are very comfortable. They may look like overkill but they feel wonderful. I put my wallet in the bottom compartment, my pocket camera (a Canon S90) in the small compartment on top. I clipped my keys in one of the two side compartments. The Synapse was full of groceries coming home. It held more than I imagined and I barely knew I had it on.

              I'm glad I bought it. The price seemed high but the quality is evident. I also didn't worry about my camera getting wet with the heavy duty zippers the Synapse has throughout.

              The Synapse is a perfect backpack for a man my size. The interior is really nice as well, which I appreciate. I bought it in black -- elegant and a color of which I will never tire.

              Here's a photo from yesterday when the snow was really coming down. And today I ventured out further with the Synapse.

              <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/enzel/4198374424/" title="Blizzard_12_19_2009-1152.jpg by dclawyer, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2615/4198374424_ff23ca7865.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Blizzard_12_19_2009-1152.jpg" /></a>

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                It's odd—the more I put in it, the lighter it feels.

                I'm so glad you like it.

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                  Traveled with my Synapse as my carry-on Saturday-Sunday, which was one of the main reasons I wanted a backpack. It performed admirably. It is consistently a pleasant surprise how much fits inside that little backpack. My only regret is I forgot to pack my chest and waist straps, so my shoulders did hurt a bit after long period of carrying, but that's not the bag's fault. =)

                  I do need to better organize the main compartment, though. I tend to have lots of smaller things (the biggest thing in my backpack was my 10" netbook) and I found myself having the "lots of things bunched in the bottom of the bag" problem.

                  Maybe I should take a picture of what I carry and see if you guys have any suggestions.
                  Owner of:
                  Imago in Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, Various organizer pouches/stuff sacks/travel trays, Small Shop Bag in Steel and Iberian, Synapse in Steel/Steel, and a Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi.

                  Comment


                    Let's see the pictures!

                    I put immediate-access little things in the shallow outside pocket; pens, small pad, glasses case in one side pocket; notebook and mini pouch (MetroCard) in the other side pocket; flashlight and small shop bag in the bottom pocket; and everything else small and miscellaneous in various bags in the main compartment.

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                      Keystraps of both sizes and pouches for them too can solve a lot of the bunching at the bottom syndrome.
                      Bags: Latest: Pop Tote and Shop Bag (large) ; also have a Co-Pilot, Super Ego (w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut; Medium Cafe Bag; Large Cafe Bag; Brain Cell; Shop Bag small, (Steel); Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Accessories: Oh yeah, bunches.
                      Sadly Lost to Hazmat: An Imago in Steel/Cork & MCB in Linen/Olive.
                      " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by gmanedit View Post
                        Let's see the pictures!

                        I put immediate-access little things in the shallow outside pocket; pens, small pad, glasses case in one side pocket; notebook and mini pouch (MetroCard) in the other side pocket; flashlight and small shop bag in the bottom pocket; and everything else small and miscellaneous in various bags in the main compartment.
                        Originally posted by ex machina View Post
                        Keystraps of both sizes and pouches for them too can solve a lot of the bunching at the bottom syndrome.
                        I'll post the pictures as soon as I fix my camera! Or steal a relatives... Or, actually, I guess I could just make a Flip Video? I could at least make stills from it. I'll do that later tonight.

                        Hm. When I get home I'll have to see if I have pouches that fit most of these things (like my DS and my psp).
                        Owner of:
                        Imago in Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, Various organizer pouches/stuff sacks/travel trays, Small Shop Bag in Steel and Iberian, Synapse in Steel/Steel, and a Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi.

                        Comment


                          I second the use of Pouches and Straps as the best organizational tools of the decade. I am surprized Tom hasn't won a design award for them.

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                            Originally posted by timarelay View Post
                            Hm. When I get home I'll have to see if I have pouches that fit most of these things (like my DS and my psp).
                            Tom has pouches in a nice variety of sizes, padded as well, and in cork too. For the gaming systems I would look toward a padded pouch, likely in medium, or the cork Kindle sleeve. Be sure to measure twice so you order right the first time. Keep us posted please, timarelay, as I am sure a few people would like to know how the pouches work out in fit with the gaming systems.

                            Merry Christmas everyone!
                            Bags: Latest: Pop Tote and Shop Bag (large) ; also have a Co-Pilot, Super Ego (w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut; Medium Cafe Bag; Large Cafe Bag; Brain Cell; Shop Bag small, (Steel); Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Accessories: Oh yeah, bunches.
                            Sadly Lost to Hazmat: An Imago in Steel/Cork & MCB in Linen/Olive.
                            " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

                            Comment


                              The problem with the padded pouches is that they're not quite the right size and add too much bulk. My DS just barely fits in a small (just barely enough that I'd rather not bother), and a medium would be far too big. What would be best would be a soft cell sort of case that has a very minimal or even no real closure. I think I might just sew simple pouches for my handheld consoles. Anything is better than the current nothing! (I do have a hard case for my psp but I recently stopped using it).

                              Anyway, I was prepping to make the video and I made the amazing discovery that psp+DS+ipod all fit together in the side pocket with the ultrasuede! Imagine that! I hadn't even thought the try before. Those pockets are far bigger than they seem!

                              So that frees up the main compartment considerably. Three fewer small gadgets (from a general total of five, the others being cell phone and flip video camera) in the main area is great. The flip and the cell phone canlikely also find homes in outer pockets, I think, and I'm all set!

                              I just still need to find some sort of a clip on hand sanitizer thing... Somehow I've just completely lucked out and haven't found any anywhere in stores.

                              Boy do I miss my digital camera (lens got stuck and then I didn't pack it right in my suitcase and the lcd is now busted). I'd love to take pictures of my current set up.
                              Owner of:
                              Imago in Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi, Large Cafe Bag in Black/Wasabi, Various organizer pouches/stuff sacks/travel trays, Small Shop Bag in Steel and Iberian, Synapse in Steel/Steel, and a Medium Cafe Bag in Plum/Wasabi.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by timarelay View Post
                                Boy do I miss my digital camera (lens got stuck and then I didn't pack it right in my suitcase and the lcd is now busted).
                                I sympathize. I butterfingered my first digital camera when the lens was extended and bent it. The money to repair it was nearly the price of the camera. So it went away and I was camera-less for a long time. Now with my new camera, I always use the lanyard having learned the hard way.

                                Glad to read your finding effective solutions for your stowage needs.
                                Bags: Latest: Pop Tote and Shop Bag (large) ; also have a Co-Pilot, Super Ego (w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut; Medium Cafe Bag; Large Cafe Bag; Brain Cell; Shop Bag small, (Steel); Packing Cube Shoulder Bag. Accessories: Oh yeah, bunches.
                                Sadly Lost to Hazmat: An Imago in Steel/Cork & MCB in Linen/Olive.
                                " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

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