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Synik or Synapse for Business Travel?

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    Synik or Synapse for Business Travel?

    So I'm about to take the plunge into using a backpack for business travel and am curious if there are any who use either (perhaps experience with both) for their business travel needs. I've read a number of reviews and anecdotes about both backpacks but in every instance the backpacks were being used for EDC and included clothes and other items I won't be packing in the backpack. I'll be packing a laptop (13"), iPad Air, several pouches for electronic cables and chargers, sunglasses, eyeglasses, notebook, etc., etc.

    I'll be transitioning from an Empire Builder and have used a number of different TB bags over the years (Tri-Star, Super Ego, Pilot, and one or two that I've forgotten the name(s)!).

    The current capacity of the Empire Builder is about right so perhaps the Synik 22 is also in play but I've been contemplating between the Synapse 25 and Synik 30. For $10 more than the Synik 22 it seems the Synik 30 would be tough to pass up if I went the Synik route (unless, of course, the size of the larger one were obnoxious being dragged into business meetings).

    So I'd appreciate input around the pros and cons of each for exclusive business travel use. I'm aware the Synapse 25 is $80 less expensive than the Synik 30 ($70 less than the Synik 22) but if there are significant advantages the Synik offers to the business travel I'm willing to pay the premium.

    Thanks in advance for your guidance!
    Last edited by mhowie; 08-28-2021, 02:34 PM.

    #2
    I’ve had a Synapse 25 for about 3 years now, but will be buying my first Synik 30 when they restock on Monday. So take my reasoning with a grain of salt because I don’t have experience with both.

    But the reason I want the Synik is the laptop compartment and the location of the frame. I have a frame in my Synapse. When I travel with the frame, my work laptop, and my iPad Pro, the main compartment feels cluttered before I even add other pouches, etc. I’m hoping that with the frame and laptop out of the main compartment (as well as 5 more liters), I don’t feel as cramped.

    Comment


      #3
      My torso is too short for the Synapse 25 or Synik 30 to feel super comfortable for me, so I have the Synapse 19 and Synik 22. I really like the S19 and have more than one, all in halcyon... I have the frame sheet in when I'm EDC to work and not carrying a laptop, because I like the rigidity of the feel of it... but it didn't really bother me before the frame sheet existed and I often carry one of the bags without a frame sheet.
      When I carry a laptop (in it's own neoprene sleeve) then the frame sheet feels redundant to me - the laptop itself provides the rigidity.

      I have a SN22, partly because it was courtesy of TB for my review, though I would have bought one to try out anyway. The built in laptop section is fine, but I already had a case for my laptop. The clamshell is fine, but I rarely zip the bag all the way down and don't see myself One Bagging with it. Overall, there are neat features in the Syniks, but I don't particularly use them, it makes the bag heavier & more expensive, so the Synapse is in much more my thing and in heavier use.

      ETA, forgot to actually say that I travel with the Synapse more than the Synik, if I'm carrying one laptop.

      If I do a work trip where I'm bringing more work tools and two laptops, I actually carry the Brain Bag.

      If integrated laptop section/clamshell/one bag travel isn't a key driver, you may not need to have a Synik vs a Synapse...
      ​​​​​​
      Last edited by G42; 08-27-2021, 07:34 PM.
      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...

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        #4
        Originally posted by mhowie View Post
        So I'm about to take the plunge into using a backpack for business travel and am curious if there are any who use either (perhaps experience with both) for their business travel needs.
        If you mean one-bag business travel (and I'm assuming you've considered the WF for that use and aren't using it for some reason) - then, assuming the S30 fits your torso as G42 mentions, I'd be S30 all the way.

        I love the S25 (I have 3!) and resisted the S30 for awhile because I didn't think the extra features would be useful, but after using it this summer for all kinds of travel, it's now my go-to and I'm considering buying a 2nd ... maybe beaver camo or Night Walk ...

        Anyway, the reason it's so useful is its built-in org, its built-in laptop compartment and the clamshell which I didn't think I'd use at all but use constantly. The laptop compartment is another thing I didn't think I'd use but the key is the dual-openings: the top is useful in an airplane seat if the bag is at your feet and most easily accessed from the top; the side is useful if the bag is packed full and sitting next to you and you don't want to open the main compartment (especially since I routinely "lock" my zippers by interweaving the pulls together).

        I also love the S30 because the EC large PC I use for the TS & WF also fits in the S30, as does the DLBP ... and you can fit two!

        The S30 is perfect to carry all your gear plus at least one large packing cube.

        Anyway, assuming the length works for you, and you don't mind a heavier BP when full, the S30 is a champ ...

        With that, depending on the org you need, you might also go for a Techonaut 30, which is backpack-based, but has additional carry options albeit less built-in org.
        Seeking Verde Aeronauts

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          #5
          I have and use both. I prefer the Synapse because it’s a little smaller and lighter. The laptop compartment on the Synik is nice, however. That’s a tough choice and either is great.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by craigmcclellan View Post
            I’ve had a Synapse 25 for about 3 years now, but will be buying my first Synik 30 when they restock on Monday. So take my reasoning with a grain of salt because I don’t have experience with both.

            But the reason I want the Synik is the laptop compartment and the location of the frame. I have a frame in my Synapse. When I travel with the frame, my work laptop, and my iPad Pro, the main compartment feels cluttered before I even add other pouches, etc. I’m hoping that with the frame and laptop out of the main compartment (as well as 5 more liters), I don’t feel as cramped.
            Great input (to you and everyone). Thanks. Will you be considering a Freudian Slip for your new Synik? I see they aren't currently in stock.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by GrussGott View Post

              If you mean one-bag business travel (and I'm assuming you've considered the WF for that use and aren't using it for some reason) - then, assuming the S30 fits your torso as G42 mentions, I'd be S30 all the way.

              I love the S25 (I have 3!) and resisted the S30 for awhile because I didn't think the extra features would be useful, but after using it this summer for all kinds of travel, it's now my go-to and I'm considering buying a 2nd ... maybe beaver camo or Night Walk ...

              Anyway, the reason it's so useful is its built-in org, its built-in laptop compartment and the clamshell which I didn't think I'd use at all but use constantly. The laptop compartment is another thing I didn't think I'd use but the key is the dual-openings: the top is useful in an airplane seat if the bag is at your feet and most easily accessed from the top; the side is useful if the bag is packed full and sitting next to you and you don't want to open the main compartment (especially since I routinely "lock" my zippers by interweaving the pulls together).

              I also love the S30 because the EC large PC I use for the TS & WF also fits in the S30, as does the DLBP ... and you can fit two!

              The S30 is perfect to carry all your gear plus at least one large packing cube.

              Anyway, assuming the length works for you, and you don't mind a heavier BP when full, the S30 is a champ ...

              With that, depending on the org you need, you might also go for a Techonaut 30, which is backpack-based, but has additional carry options albeit less built-in org.
              I find the Western Flyer just slightly too big and run into issues placing under the airplane seat (it has to go up above with my roller bag). I guess I should ask at this point, while the Synik 30 would be easier to carry than the WF (backpack vs. strap), is it also challenged for placement under airplane seats? Is the Synapse 25 a better choice in this regard?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by mhowie View Post

                Great input (to you and everyone). Thanks. Will you be considering a Freudian Slip for your new Synik? I see they aren't currently in stock.
                the Freudian slip just doesn’t match what I store in my bags, so I haven’t ever invested in one.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mhowie View Post

                  I find the Western Flyer just slightly too big and run into issues placing under the airplane seat (it has to go up above with my roller bag). I guess I should ask at this point, while the Synik 30 would be easier to carry than the WF (backpack vs. strap), is it also challenged for placement under airplane seats? Is the Synapse 25 a better choice in this regard?
                  I've never had any trouble with either, but it depends on where/how you fly of course ... the key difference is the width or thickness of the pack, meaning the distance from the backpack straps to the front pockets. The S30 expands out thicker than the S25, so if the S30 is completely stuffed full and you're sitting in a seat with limited floor-to-bottom-of-seat storage it could be a problem. Technically, based on specs, the S30 should more/less work for most all US domestic narrowbody/widebody aircraft.

                  I'm a two-bag traveller and my S25/30 always goes under the seat while my WF/TS/A45/T45 goes in the overhead ...

                  So I guess it depends on how much you plan to stuff into the S30 - if you've already got a roller then I'd guess not as much and you should be fine with either.
                  Seeking Verde Aeronauts

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by GrussGott View Post

                    I've never had any trouble with either, but it depends on where/how you fly of course ... the key difference is the width or thickness of the pack, meaning the distance from the backpack straps to the front pockets. The S30 expands out thicker than the S25, so if the S30 is completely stuffed full and you're sitting in a seat with limited floor-to-bottom-of-seat storage it could be a problem. Technically, based on specs, the S30 should more/less work for most all US domestic narrowbody/widebody aircraft.

                    I'm a two-bag traveller and my S25/30 always goes under the seat while my WF/TS/A45/T45 goes in the overhead ...

                    So I guess it depends on how much you plan to stuff into the S30 - if you've already got a roller then I'd guess not as much and you should be fine with either.
                    Thanks again. I also misspoke earlier when I stated Western Flyer. In reality, I used a Tri-Star (and corrected my original post). This probably better explains my comment concerning the difficulty placing it under some airplane seats!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have used both for business travel and I second what others have said here: the laptop compartment and the additional 5 litres do make a difference. I almost always prefer the larger bag or backpack just in case I have to pack some additional papers or electronic stuff and I hate bags that are stuffed (currently I am using the 33 l Shadow Guide...). In terms of carrying I also like the Synik more as the frame is integrated and not something additional (although I have one, I hardly use if on the Synapse 25). Finally, I do use a Freudian Slip (all the time on both bags) as I love the additional organization within the bag. It takes some of the space but to me that is absolutely worth it and if you have 30 l that doesn't matter too much
                      ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
                      current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I am so torn! Lots of good advice and I could make a case for the Syn22, Syn30, and S25. Each seems to have its own pros and cons for my particular usage profile. Sadly, it seems if there were a Syn25- that would be perfect!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have and have used a Synapse 25 with a frame and a Synik 22 both as EDCs and for business travel (no cubes with clothes). I also have a Synik 30 but it has seen no action due to the pandemic. Overall, I prefer the Synik 22 for the following reasons (some already stated): separate laptop compartment, more compact profile, slip-through pocket, and a more flat bottom that allows the bag to stand most of the time (and depending on how it has been loaded). I should add that I use the laptop compartment for an ipad pro, because my Thinkpad X1 does not fit in the laptop compartment of the Synik 22. Instead, I put the laptop in a third-party sleeve in the main compartment and there is still plenty of space for a large paper notebook, folders, several small pouches, and even a light jacket.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Since I have very few other places in life to share my excitement, I will say in this thread that I did order my SN30 today as I previously mentioned, and can’t wait for it to arrive. I’m hoping it comes before a trip I have to take at the end of next week.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I have a Synapse 25 and it is a great backpack for general travel purposes but isn't really designed for business travel with a laptop. The bottom is angled (probably as a design decision to make it look lower profile), so it refuses to sit upright unless I stuff the lower outside pocket. The laptop cache is pretty annoying because pulling out my laptop almost always pulls out the entire cache. The pack also doesn't have a pass through sleeve. I haven't tried the Synik but it seems to address most of these holes for business travel users.

                              I hate to say this but I bought a Tumi Brief Pack because I got so frustrated with the S25. That pack is clearly designed by people focused on travel for business. It always sits upright on the floor, has a huge padded laptop compartment, the pockets are split so I have less issues with one compartment intruding on another and crushing stuff, and has a luggage pass though. The S25 is still better for loading a ridiculous amount of stuff, though.

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