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Advice: best bag for high school

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    Advice: best bag for high school

    Hi Everyone!

    I’m a big fan of TB bags. I currently have the Aeronaut 30, Synik 30, and Synapse 25 with lots of accessories. I want to share my love of TB with my son who will be going into high school in the fall. I was considering the Synik, Synapse, and Brain Bag. He’s our first high school student, so I’m not sure how big of a bag he needs, but I suspect organization and compartments are key.

    He’s 5’ 8” and probably still growing. Which bag do you recommend between the 3 mentioned or is there another bag that might be a better option for a high school student?


    Welcome, deacsbag!

    Honestly, I would wait and see what type of bag he needs/wants after a few weeks/months before spending $200+ on a backpack he may not like, use or need. I've seen high schoolers use bags as large as the Brain Bag and as small as the Paragon, all successfully.

    Are textbooks available online? Are the kids allowed to access their lockers during the day? How large is the school building/campus? Will time allow him to access his locker between classes, if he's allowed to do so? Does he have to carry an instrument or other bag, like for sports? Is he super organized or does he throw everything into one place and keeps it moving? Does he bring his lunch, and if so, does he like to put that in his bag or carry it separately?

    There's probably more questions I could ask, but I think you get the gist. Sometimes you just don't know what the best bag for an intended use-case until you figure out what exactly you actually need. Show him the three bags in question and let him figure out which one, if any, would work well for him.
    Last edited by Aeon; 06-08-2021, 04:39 AM.
    Long live Burnt Orange! Zest! 152!

    EDC: Side Kick, Everday Cubelet, DL PCSB (planner pouch); Travel: Smart Alec + Side Kick, Small Yeoman Duffel


      My favorite is the Brain Bag, but I second the post above that you should let him choose. Bags are a very subjective/personal thing and what works great for one person may be terrible for another.

      Also be prepared for the possibility that he may not value it nearly as much as you do. If you will be upset if it gets beat up (or lost), I'd recommend going for something less expensive and easier to replace.
      Last edited by Surrealle; 06-08-2021, 07:03 AM.


        Aeon and Surrealle - Thank you so much for the helpful reply! That is great advice. We’ll learn more about how he will use his bag and let him choose. Thanks!


          Late to this thread - but he's not entering high school till the fall, right? Another option, to Surrealle's point, is to try out a secondhand Bihn pack (from, say, eBay) before taking the plunge with a new bag. At various times I've handed my kids an S19 or Smart Alec (for travel, for school, for sports, for a sleepover) to see if they like the setup. Right now one is in HS and one in middle school. Both of them have bounced around from smaller to larger-capacity bags, and back again, depending on their load. Whichever bag they're not using just goes back into the general household rotation. Maybe once they go off to college I'll give them their own brand-new TB bag of choice.


            My daughter who is a junior in High School uses a Synapse 25. She is 5”10 and thin. She can get in the main section.. 3 binders (2 inch ones) but has to put them in opposite so that not all of the thickness is on one side. One thick planner type book and an iPad in a thick case. She than puts her pencil box on top of the notebooks because the Synapse is so deep. This maxes out the main compartment. Her back pack is so heavy. She probably needs a Brain Bag but I do not want her carrying all that weight on her back. She will usually carry a text book or 2 by hand. She can not fit her lunch or anything in the main compartment. She will sometimes put a snack in the bottom pocket.

            She sometimes gets frustrated with the Synapse because when the main compartment is so full she has trouble getting her water bottle in the water pocket. I am teaching her how she has to manipulate some of the items in the main compartment to get her water bottle in.

            She is homeschooled so only attends 3 classes at the local high school. I am not sure the Synapse 25 would be big enough if she had 7-8 classes on campus. Her private school still uses actual textbooks meaning the they are not E-textbooks.

            She is an athlete so sometimes will carry a second Synapse into school with her athletic gear for practice and just stow that in her locker.


              If you're getting him one bag I'd get him a brain bag. Kids tend to want to jam everything in one place. Jackets, water bottles, books, whatever. If I had a kid though I'd be using the Haraya method of bag rotation.


                Originally posted by YRose View Post
                She sometimes gets frustrated with the Synapse because when the main compartment is so full she has trouble getting her water bottle in the water pocket. I am teaching her how she has to manipulate some of the items in the main compartment to get her water bottle in.
                I have the same trouble sometimes so I just stick it in the main compartment instead.