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Third time's a charm ... (my 2-month bag hunt comes to an end)

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    Third time's a charm ... (my 2-month bag hunt comes to an end)

    Hey all -

    I've been on a bag-seeking adventure ever since I gave my Osprey Flare to my daughter when she started school in August. I'd been wanting to replace it anyway (solid bag overall, but the pen pockets were in an awful space and the color was a little TOO bright for me. So, when she decided she liked it, I had a perfect excuse to find something new.

    First, I recalled that I had a Timbuk2 Messenger in my closet which I'd purchased but never used. In the years since I'd had an original one, the updates they'd made were more like downgrades, and my needs had changed, so I found myself really unsatisfied with it. I gave it another shot and decided it could serve as an interim bag, but was not the ultimate choice, though I do prefer messengers.

    I started looking around. I'd known of Tom Bihn for years and years, but never seen any of their stuff in the wild. I quickly identified a number of potential candidates from different companies, and found myself looking at the Cadet as a possible option that seemed to fit my criteria. After some hemming and hawing, I ordered it. When it arrived, I realized almost immediately it wasn't going to work. While it was fine for my laptop/iPad/papers, it just lacked the organization for all my cables/adapters/other little things and wasn't big enough to hold any sort of organizer bag for the cables/adapters/little things. So, back it went.

    The search continued, and nothing seemed quite right from what I could find online. At REI, I found a North Face Surge, which had a nice range of pockets and organization, so seemed like it could fit the bill. Took it home, realized that it, at 32L, was just too damn big.

    Still hoping for a messenger bag solution, I started looking at The Maker's Bag. A bit narrower than the Timbuk2, it was also deeper, and seemed like it would provide enough space for all my stuff and overcome the organization / size limitations I had with the Cadet. So, I ordered one. After it arrived and I tried to fit everything in, I realized it wasn't going to work for me either. I thought it was close, but something wasn't quite right, and I realized I was going to be mildly bothered by it and some of the compromises I would have had to make to use it, so decided to send it back as well.

    All along, I'd been considering the Synik 22 as an option, but had been hoping to avoid a backpack. Ultimately, though, as I revised my various options again, I realized there was not going to be a good messenger solution, and that the Synik had a lot in common with the Surge - lots of pockets for organization (even more than the Surge), with the advantage of not being gigantic. I had also been looking at the Aer Tech Pack 2, but was disinclined because of it's overall look and the fact that it seemed small. I was a little hesitant about the price tag of the Synik, but it really did seem to be the best option by far.

    So, I crossed my fingers, ordered a Synik 22 (Aubergine/Northwest Sky) and a HLT1 to go in the bottom pocket, and then anxiously awaited it's arrival. (I'll take this opportunity to note that UPS is so much better than FedEx these days. The bag left TB on Monday evening and made it down here to Sacramento mid-day today. Meanwhile, I have some Levi's that are sitting on a FedEx truck somewhere in Sacramento, where they've been for 4 days now.)

    Once it arrived, I pulled everything out of my Timbuk2 bag and started my test load of the Synik/HLT and found that it was the Goldilocks bag. Pens/notebook in one side pocket, mask/tissues/microfiber/etc. in the other. Earbuds in the front center pocket. Ridiculous number of cables, adaptors, etc. and wall charger/battery into the HLT with room to spare. Laptop in the laptop sleeve, papers, notebook, DJI gimbal and desk tripod for my phone in the main pocket. Still room for more stuff if needed ice and compact and still has a little room for more stuff if needed. Normally I'm a blue guy, but the Aubergine is a great color, dark enough that it won't show dirt, but also deep and rich.

    I'm sure the folks at Tom Bihn were wondering if I was going to return this one, too, but nope, it's a keeper!

    smccready , glad you found your goldilocks bag! And welcome to the Forums!
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...