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Which backpack: Brain bag/Synapse or both

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    Which backpack: Brain bag/Synapse or both

    Hello fellow fans of Tom Bihn,

    This is the first time I've posted and just really need some help and your thoughts if you guys have time.

    So in a few months I'll be backpacking around Australia for a couple of years on a working holiday visa. I've spent the last few weeks trying to decide on the bags to take or the combination of bags, and now I've just got myself completely confused as to what to do.

    I currently have an Aeronaut 45 with various packing cubes, packing cube backpack, travel stuff sacks etc. This will be my main bag and I'll be happy to check this in on the flights getting to Australia. For the majority of my travels within Australia it will be in anything from cars, trains, coaches and planes. The Aeronaut I'll be happy to stow away and the backpack that I'll choose with be with me underneath my seat for example.

    Therefore I've been considering which combination will be most effective in order to accompany my Aeronaut

    1) Brain bag:

    So I like the idea of the Brain bag and the compression straps in order to change the size dependant on what your using it for. However I do feel that I will be filling this up quite a bit when I first set off or if not I'll be filling it up as I travel and acquiring new things along my trip. I therefore don't want to be lugging a heavy bag around with me all the time or emptying the contents and having to find somewhere to safely store them if I just want a lightweight bag for the day.

    2) Synapse 25:

    To be honest I was originally going to go for this bag because of the simplicity and clean design on the outside. The only negative I can draw is that obviously it's not as large as the Brain bag, also I wouldn't want to over pack this straight away and then having to be emptying it out all the time.

    Combinations

    3) Brain bag with either Synapse, Daylight backpack:

    So my next thought after some research was to have the Brain bag combined with the Synapse 25 or 19. That way giving me the freedom of lots of combinations. The drawback to this option obviously my wish list is starting to become rather expensive but I can budget for it. How have the people found this experience with this combination?

    4) The next option was to have the Daylight backpack to use within the Brain bag, this option became favourable after finding out the the Freudian slip for the synapse works within the Daylight backpack. Can anyone let me know if they have tried this and what their experience has been with this combination?

    5) Synapse 25 with Daylight backpack:

    So the next logical thought was to use the Synapse 25 with the Daylight backpack. Again can anyone let me know if this is a good combination and experiences they have had with this combo?

    Just to help a bit more the tech I'll be taking in which ever backpack I choose will be - MBP 13", Ipad, various portable hard drives, leads & Cables, go pro plus accessories, bluetooth over the ear headphones. Plus it will be various clothes and other accessories that I'll be packing for the flights and for general usage.

    I'm going to be working in various jobs whilst over there and I'm not looking to be backpacking on a budget so I'll be staying in different types of accommodation such as hostels, hotels, apartments, camper vans etc.

    So if anyone can just help me out in anyway and give me some feedback on their own experiences it will be greatly appreciated. Let me know also if you need any other bits of info.

    #2
    Others are much more skilled /experienced in this than I. But, 2 points: have you considered the Smart Alec? A Freudian slip can be used inside for organizational purposes and you also can add outer modular pockets. There are lots of SA packing tips on the forum. The Snake Charmer can rest at the bottom of the Smart Alec, holding chargers and cables, out of the way. And, you can use a FS with the DLBP for organizational purposes. Even the FS for the S19 will work in the front pocket of the DLBP, leaving the main compartment free. Again, the DLBP can fit into the SA offering some organization to it while providing you the extra option of using only a day pack when needed.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

    Comment


      #3
      Not to add more confusion, but this sounds to me like a job for the Smart Alec (SA), as marytattoo suggested! It's not as big as a Brain Bag obviously, but with the upper and lower modular pockets (UMP/LMP) gets within about 5 liters, plus you can use the LMP/UMP inside the bag when you don't need as much space and then move them outside when you do. Or even use them on their own. I occasionally use the UMP with the SA waist strap as a fanny pack. AND, you can connect the UMP to the SA's (or any other Bihn backpack's) waist strap webbing loop, then connect the was it strap to the other side of the UMP and it becomes kind of oversized hip pocket on the waist belt. I imagine this also works with a Side Effect (SE), but I don't have one of those.

      Further, the SA has either compression strap or bungees on the outside so you can stick things on the outside.

      I just got a Daylight Backpack (DLBP) and it fits almost perfectly inside the SA, so it could be used as a packing cube in the SA.

      Bottom line is that I'm very fond of the flexibility of the SA and it sounds like it might at least be a good option to consider.
      Last edited by rocketlackey; 08-01-2015, 06:57 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        Carrying 2 backpacks goes from tricky to impossible in a hurry. I tried that at the store, when the S19 first came out.
        I had a very full Brain Bag which needed to be carried on both shoulders, the only solution would have been to carry the S19 in the front, like a baby, I can't imagine doing it with an S25 unless you are very tall and very strong.

        However, I travelled extensively within the U.S with a Brain Bag and Packing Cubes Backpacks (before the Daylight Backpack was invented) as a main bag. Due to weight restriction for travelling abroad, I bought an Aeronaut which I paired with the S19, both in Dyneema.


        You have to make sure of the airline from the U-S to Australia carry on restriction.

        I figure that all mode of transports inside Australia would fit a Brain Bag, I hope Australian forum members will chime in.

        I don't know if, in Australia, a Brain Bag would more likely to be flagged for gate check than an S25.

        If you were to get an S25, would you consider one in Dyneema?


        Do forum members who have both bags in Cordura can feel the difference in the weight shown below?
        Brain Bag 1000 denier Cordura®: 2 lb 15 oz / 1345 grams
        S25 1000 denier Cordura®: 1 lb 13 oz / 820 grams

        The Brain Bag holds 10 liters more for just one pound difference but it is more difficult to stop oneself from stuffing the Brain Bag.

        A Brain Bag with a Cache for your computer and a Freudian Slip for paperwork and chargers in one compartment and a Daylight Backpack in the other with workout, special activities (kayaking/biking/swimming) or going out/dress up clothes can pretty much be made to stretch for a day or two or a weekend gateway.

        But... in an urban environment, commuting using public transports, the S25 would fit much better.

        If you get a Daylight Backpack, you can use it for commuting (fitted with the Cache and a Freudian Slip for the Synapse 25) as well as a Packing Cube Backpack inside the Brain Bag.

        In this case don't buy a Freudian Slip for Brain Bag.

        Below are the dimension of the various Freudian Slips:
        Brain Bag/Smart Alec Freudian Slip:
        Dimensions - 17" x 12" x .5" / 430 x 300 x 13 mm
        Weight: 10 oz / 280 grams
        Synapse 25 Freudian Slip:
        Dimensions - 18" x 13" x 1" / 450 x 330 x 35 mm
        Weight: 12 oz / 340 grams
        Note: the Synapse 25 Freudian Slip also fits in the Daylight Backpack.


        If you can afford it, order all 3 Brain Bag, S25 and the Daylight Backpack, keep the tags on and practice pack inside your house until the return deadline.

        All the while asking as much questions as you think of on this forum.

        Comment


          #5
          Welcome to the forums @moseleyl,

          On the question of carrying two backpacks simultaneously, I'd point you to the discussion in the Two Bag trave with backpacks onley? thread. In addition to the pictures of two backpack carrying combinations at the end of that thread (both @tpnl and @Ilkyway show pictures where they carrying a Smart Alec on their backs, with a Synapse 25 on a shoulder strap), there's a link to @tcook's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Style (Synapse on front) thread and picture (Brain Bag on back, and Synapse 19 in front). At the time of @tcook's posting, there was only the S19 size of Synapse. I know @maverick sometimes carried the Synapse 19 in front (again, this is from the period when there was only the smaller sized original S19 type Synapse). Here's a post (#21) with a picture of @maverick wearing the Synapse (19) in front, with his son, Jaden, on his shoulders, in the crowds at Walt Disney World. The thread is the tom bihn aeronaut, western flyer and synapse go to disney world from November 2009. Early in that thread (post #12), @backpack asked:
          It seems that you were carrying the Western Flyer as a backpack, the Aeronaute on the shoulder and also the Synapse.
          How did you manage to do that?
          and @maverick replied:
          the synapse was a pleasure to carry. i carried it on my back most of the time, but put it on my front during the parade when we were in a packed crowd.
          And then followed up with pictures of their visit to Walt Disney World, including the shot of him wearing his Indigo/Solar Synapse (19) in front:


          And here's one of the pictures showing @Ilkyway carrying Smart Alec and Synapse 25 from the thread I linked in the first paragraph. Again, there's more discussion (and pictures) if you read through the linked threads:


          HTH

          moriond
          Last edited by moriond; 08-01-2015, 10:35 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Just want to say thanks for the quick replies and detailed information on all the options.

            @marytattoo for some reason I never considered the Smart Alec as an option, can't honestly say why I didn't I just overlooked it I guess. However after reading other posts and going though the options it just seems like the most logical choice for myself. I especially like the additional modules and being able to fit the DLBP inside it also.

            @rocketlackey Thanks for you post and exactly what I was thinking of using the DLBP as an additional packing cube when needed, as well as a lightweight EDC. As soon as I saw the additional modules that you and @marytattoo mentioned I immediately thought of using them on their own, or within the DLBP or SA it's self.

            @backpack Thanks for all the info and suggestions. To answer your question about weight I would always consider getting Cordura, the difference in weight of the materials is really not a deciding factor for me. I prefer the more rugged and tough feeling then the lightweight version and I suspect they retain their shape a lot more when under packed. I guess the reason I was holding off from getting the Brain Bag was the fact I would most likely over pack it because of the amount it can hold. It would thus go from a backpack to almost a full on additional bag I could stow away.

            Unfortunately I live in the UK so the delivery costs are quite expensive so I wouldn't have the opportunity to order everything and then return the ones I choose not to use.

            @moriond Thanks for the thread suggestions and I especially like the idea of using the Synapse 25 with a shoulder strap. When I have the chance I'll read through those threads to get some ideas.

            I think however I will end up with a SA & DLBP with other accessories. Obviously keep the information coming if anyone else has any other suggestions and I'll keep you guys updated and show pictures when I finally get around to ordering everything. Next up is the lengthy process of deciding on the colour schemes for everything, slightly leaning toward Burnt Orange at the moment, any suggestions? lol

            Comment


              #7
              Good luck!

              I would just advise you to think carefully about what you can realistically carry before investing in any new bags. This is an issue for me, but not everyone, of course. My suggestion would be to pack up your A45 and a companion bag, and walk around the neighborhood a bit to get a feel for the weight and what you can carry comfortably.

              Definitely, the Daylight Backpack is a great addition to the lineup, because it can go flat in any of your other bags, and then be pressed into use when you want to use something light at your destination.

              If I read your post correctly, you might be checking the A45. This adds one wrinkle, as you should be sure to take with you a few changes of clothes, basic toiletries, and necessary personal items and technology in your carry-on bag, in case of your checked luggage getting lost or delayed. In years of travel I never had a lost bag... until my last trip, when I did. So it's nothing to worry about, but always good to be prepared.

              As for gate-checking, I think you should not have an issue with the Smart Alec, Synapse 25 or a similarly sized backpack. Many forum members have taken them on even very small commuter jets, when other passengers with roller bags were having them gate-checked. However, I can't remember if there were any Australia-specific posts about this.

              Sounds like a terrific experience! Hope you have time for lots of sight-seeing!
              Last edited by bchaplin; 08-02-2015, 05:10 PM.
              ----
              All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
              Edmund Burke

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by moseleyl View Post
                Just want to say thanks for the quick replies and detailed information on all the options.

                @marytattoo for some reason I never considered the Smart Alec as an option, can't honestly say why I didn't I just overlooked it I guess. However after reading other posts and going though the options it just seems like the most logical choice for myself. I especially like the additional modules and being able to fit the DLBP inside it also.

                @rocketlackey Thanks for you post and exactly what I was thinking of using the DLBP as an additional packing cube when needed, as well as a lightweight EDC. As soon as I saw the additional modules that you and @marytattoo mentioned I immediately thought of using them on their own, or within the DLBP or SA it's self.

                @backpack Thanks for all the info and suggestions. To answer your question about weight I would always consider getting Cordura, the difference in weight of the materials is really not a deciding factor for me. I prefer the more rugged and tough feeling then the lightweight version and I suspect they retain their shape a lot more when under packed. I guess the reason I was holding off from getting the Brain Bag was the fact I would most likely over pack it because of the amount it can hold. It would thus go from a backpack to almost a full on additional bag I could stow away.

                Unfortunately I live in the UK so the delivery costs are quite expensive so I wouldn't have the opportunity to order everything and then return the ones I choose not to use.

                @moriond Thanks for the thread suggestions and I especially like the idea of using the Synapse 25 with a shoulder strap. When I have the chance I'll read through those threads to get some ideas.

                I think however I will end up with a SA & DLBP with other accessories. Obviously keep the information coming if anyone else has any other suggestions and I'll keep you guys updated and show pictures when I finally get around to ordering everything. Next up is the lengthy process of deciding on the colour schemes for everything, slightly leaning toward Burnt Orange at the moment, any suggestions? lol
                I hope UK members will drop by your thread, you might be able to schedule a meet up so that you can see the backpacks in person.

                Comment

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