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Carrying lunch to work in my Synapse 19?

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    Carrying lunch to work in my Synapse 19?

    I bought an S19 for work--a 2-mile walk each way--and it's been great except that I can never quite fit lunch (OK, to be honest, it's a small breakfast, lunch, and a few pieces of fruit or similarly sized snacks). I usually just pack leftovers into Lock & Lock containers, but they are a little too rectangular for the rounded edges of the bag. And by the time I have my laptop (in sleeve) and a cardigan in the bag's main compartment, there isn't much room left in there for anything remotely bulky.

    My usual carry is pretty light:
    • Laptop & sleeve, small notebook, cardigan in main compartment
    • clutch/wallet (with phone inside) in bottom compartment
    • miscellaneous small things (sunglasses, MOP w/teabags, reusable bag, etc.) in one of the side compartments
    • keys in tiny top compartment
    • second side compartment and big water bottle compartment left empty

    Maybe I need to find cylindrical food containers and stack them up in the water-bottle compartment? Any other tips for getting a meal or two into a Synapse? My lunches are often things like curries or soups and so whatever I use should be pretty water-tight, and ideally should fit in upright instead of on its side.


    Take a look at @jonjake's Lunchbox for Synapse 19? thread for some solutions and pictures. The Stainless Steel Lunchbox from Life Without Plastic that was mentioned in that thread did debut this summer. Maybe someone can comment more on the Zojurushi Ms. Bento models that were discussed there for soup carries?


    Last edited by moriond; 09-28-2015, 10:39 AM.


      Thank you! I did a search but didn't find that thread. I should have mentioned that I want to be able to microwave some foods, so the stainless lunchbox is out, along with being too rectangular to fit upright anywhere in the Synapse.


        Hi cara, perhaps you can leave a glass (or ceramic) bowl at work for microwaving purposes? I rely on Sanctus Mundo stainless steel containers to hold my food (inside my Smart Alec) when I commute to work. When I need to heat something up, I transfer the food to a glass Pyrex that I keep on my desk, and pop that in the microwave. It's only an extra minute or two to transfer the food. While it's heating up, I wash out my stainless steel container. So far that system has worked pretty well for me.



          What size of Lock and Lock containers do you have? I use 2 "Glasslock" brand containers - are these similar to the ones you use? If so, I find using ones that are not as thick (no more than 3") do fit better in my Synapse 25 (I do not have a Synapse 19). I could fit only one of them in the bottom compartment (but not both - even in the larger S25) but usually end up putting them at the bottom of the main compartment in a lunch bag on their side for convenience (I use a Smart Alec Lower Modular Pocket as a lunch bag). I also put them so they are beside each other and use the full width of the bag instead of one on top of each other. Below is a picture I took a while back of the 2 containers I use for Lunch and Breakfast (do not mind the Ristretto behind it as that is what I carry my lunch and EDC in currently). Just picture that exact orientation but the glass containers standing up on their side - placed at the bottom of you backpack. Are these similar to the ones you use?

          If these are the type of lunch containers you use, I will see if I can post some picks of what I use in an S25.

          Hope this helps

          Last edited by tpnl; 09-29-2015, 07:21 AM.
          TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!


            If you like curries and soups, what about a Thermos bottle? I've never had one leak on me.

            Amazon.com: THERMOS FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar, Pink/Purple: Baby


              These are all great suggestions and yet I feel like a complete pain because none of them are quite what I'm looking for. It's not you--it's me.

              I have a round Thermos food jar that would fit well in the Synapse's water bottle pocket. The thing is, I don't feel like heating up my leftovers in the morning and transferring them to a container. Considering there are microwaves at work, it's so much easier just to grab the leftovers container out of the fridge in the morning and heat it up at lunch.

              Transferring from a stainless container to a glass one for microwaving would just add an extra unnecessary step. The main issue with this, which you couldn't possibly have known, is that there is no kitchen at the office. There's a cafeteria, with a bank of microwaves outside, but no sink to rinse dishes in. I'd have to wash out the containers in the bathroom which is too much of a hassle for me if it's not necessary.

              The Glasslock containers are similar to what I use, but flatter. This would be a good option, if I wrapped them in a leakproof container. I saw in the other thread that some use a stuff sack to catch any leaks; I could try that or make something. Sometimes I freeze my leftovers, which would make leaks even less of a worry.

              Even better, I'm now seeing that Glasslock has cylindrical containers. If I can find a couple that hold about 2 cups while still fitting in the water bottle compartment, I think I have my solution.


                Originally posted by crowdgoeswild View Post
                If you like curries and soups, what about a Thermos bottle? I've never had one leak on me.

                Amazon.com: THERMOS FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar, Pink/Purple: Baby
                Thanks for your suggestion, @crowdgoeswild. Do you happen to know the diameter of this product, and whether it fits in the Synapse 19 water bottle pocket? (if it's 3.5" in diameter, it should fit, but I can't tell for sure from the description on the product page. If not, a search for "lunch jar" should turn up other possibilities.). Here's a link to Zojurushi's comparison of lunch jars (and food jars) in PDF form. I'm fairly sure that the 12 oz and 17 oz lunch jar models should fit into the Synapse water bottle pocket and leave room for another storage container, since their diameters match the taller 32 oz Hydro Flask that @Moosezilla showed fit into her Synapse 19 water bottle pocket, along with her 13" MacBook Pro and North Face jacket in the main compartment in pictures in this post (#9) from the 32oz hydro flask in as19? thread.

                (The 32 oz Hydro flask is 3.6"/91 mm in diameter and 9.4"/238 mm tall with cap, according to the graphic chart comparing all Hydro Flask models I included in my post (#2) in the 40 oz. Hydro Flask in a Synapse 25? thread.)

                I'll embed one of @Moosezilla's pictures of the 32 oz Hydro flask with Synapse 19 so people have an idea of scale:
                Click image for larger version

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                see @Moosezilla's linked post for other pictures of the Hydro Flask in the water bottle pocket, etc.

                @tpnl, the Synapse 19 water bottle pocket is similar in size to that of the Synapse 25, but because there's more room in the main compartment of the S25, there's a little more flexibility if the contents flex back into back into the main compartment. Of course, the bottom front zippered pocket of the Synapse 25 is larger for carrying lunch boxes than the bottom front pocket of the Synapse 19.

                Other thoughts: for liquid items that you want to keep leak-free and heat up at your destination, consider using Mason jars or the glass jars with screw-top lids that they sold packed with fruit in grocery stores. (I have some old DelMonte 20 oz. jars for Red Grapefruit that are 3" in diameter and under 6" in height -- or use Spaghetti Sauce jars. Many of these are "squared" for closer packing, and the screw lids have to be tight.)


                Last edited by moriond; 09-29-2015, 11:59 AM.


                  @cara while this isn't for the water bottle pocket, I am able to carry 2 stainless steel Contigo leak proof travel mugs in a #3 TSS. I cinch it closed and carry it by the cord. It works for transporting food as well. Sometimes I shuck the whole thing in my tote, etc. It can also be attached to various bags with various TB clips. Just FWIW.


                    I was thinking mason jar, but moriond beat me to it.


                      Originally posted by terayon View Post
                      I was thinking mason jar, but moriond beat me to it.
                      Great minds think alike.


                        A shorter glass jar is a great idea--squat enough to still fit a few things on top and get a utensil all the way to the bottom when eating. Failing that, I will try using flatter containers and putting them in on their side in the main compartment. Thanks for all the great ideas!


                          I have an S25 and use Snap Lock pyrex containers similar to what has been mentioned above. I generally only bring one to work, however, as I eat breakfast at home. I find that one of the round containers fits perfectly in the bottom front pocket of the S25 with plenty of room to spare, but I'd imagine it would also fit for what you're trying to do, too. Does everything need to be heated? If not, there are lots of good options out there, like the Stainless Steel above, or Lunchbots, that may provide you with some more flexibility.


                            If you do go the mason jar route, two of these will fit stacked in the water bottle pocket of the S19. I find this shape of mason jar to be the most pleasing to eat from. And you can't beat the price!

                            Ball Elite Platinum Wide-Mouth Jars, 16-oz., 4-Pk.: Model# 1440061180 | True Value


                              I have not used this product, but I think it would work well with a 24 oz. wide mouth mason jar, which fits in the S19 water bottle pocket.