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Synik 22 - questions before buying (am I making the right decision?)

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    Synik 22 - questions before buying (am I making the right decision?)

    Hi,

    I've been eyeing TB bags for a while now and am almost ready to pull the trigger on a Synik 22. But, I'm worried about making the wrong choices. I'm not in the US, so I can't easily return it if I don't like it.

    About me:
    - average sized (5'10) man with a longish torso (about 19.5")
    - my EDC for workdays are:
    1. my work computer - a medium tablet style computer that should easily fit in the laptop compartment (a Surface Pro7 (size: 292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm (11.5” x 7.9” x 0.33”))
    2. power cables,
    3. Nalgene 1L / 32 oz water bottle (I think I'll need to downsize if I want to use the water bottle pocket though),
    4. small umbrella,
    5. lunch (sometimes),
    6. snacks (protein bars, etc.)
    7. a small first aid kit (bandaids, headache and stomach meds, alcohol wipes)
    8. hand sanitizer and 2-3 masks,
    9. a A5 notebook or 2,
    10. a few pens,
    11. sunglasses,
    12. wallet,
    13. keys,
    14. iphone 11,
    15. charger for phone,
    16 in spring/summer/fall a light jacket (if I'm not wearing it) or in winter a hat and extra pair of gloves
    - if I'm flying for pleasure, I'll be carrying all of the above except: I'll have my personal iPad instead of the Surface Pro and I'll also have passports for the family, tickets, flight info, earphones + small carry on
    - if I'm flying for work (day trip), I'll have the Surface Pro and my personal iPad (if it's an overnight trip for up to a week, I'll also have a small carry on)

    My needs:
    - I usually walk to my office job (about 30 minutes in an urban environment) or I take public transport (10-15 minutes)
    - I fly about 4-6 times a year (a handful of short trips for work and 1-2 flights with the family)
    - I have a small wheeled carry-on bag that I really like (the backpack will mainly be used as a personal item)
    - Ideally, I'll be able to also use the bag when I'm out and about doing activities with my kids (sports practices, day trips, etc.)

    In my cart at the moment, I have the following:
    - Synik 22 in black ballistic
    - Everyday Cublet
    - Four ghost whale pockets in super mini to small sizes (for pens, snacks, first aid kit, small electronics, change, etc.)
    - 16" key chain for my house keys

    Questions / things I'm worried about:

    1. Is the Synik 22 the right bag for me? For my purposes, the Synik seems to tick all of the boxes on paper. But, I've read of some people finding that it looks too small on their frames and regret not getting the 30. The 30 also seems to offer a lot more versatility, but for the few times that I'd make use of the extra space I reason I can use an extra tote or something. I think the 30 will be too big to walk around with in the city everyday and for public transport, etc. Some people recommend the Synapse 25 as a good compromise, but I really want the built in laptop case in the Synik.

    2. What size water bottle can I fit in the Synik 22? I prefer Nalgene bottles over other brands. I love my Nalgene 1L / 32 oz screw top bottle, but I don't think it will fit. I'm interested to know if it might fit in the bottom pocket and/or if anyone knows the max size of Nalgene bottle that will comfortably fit in the water bottle pocket?

    3. Does anyone else use the Everyday Cublet as an internal organizer in a Synik 22? I plan to use it in the inside compartment so I'll have a safe, zippered area to store my wallet and phone instead of using an outside pocket (not a good idea on public transport). I figure it will also be a good bag to store passports, flight info and little electronic things when I'm flying. Or, would people recommend the HLT#1 (or something else) instead? The Everyday Cublet seems the better sized option for my needs and it's less expensive than the HLT.

    4. Are four ghost whale pockets too many or too few for the Synik 22? Are there any other accessories you'd recommend I buy?

    5. I know I want to purchase it in black ballistic (looks more formal for work), but not sure of the lining color I should choose. Do you have any suggestions / favorites (out of what's currently available?)

    If you've got this far, thank you for reading . I know it's a lot. I've definitely been overthinking this purchase. But, spending around $500 USD on a backpack (which is what it will cost in total once I factor in all of the accessories, tax, international shipping, duty, etc.) is a huge splurge for me. However, I figure I'll use this for the next 5-10 years (this will replace my current work bag that I've used for the past 15 years). I don't want to make a decision that I'll regret. So, I'd appreciate any advice people have for me. Thank you.



    #2
    Welcome to the Forums Tobyspruce !

    One of the cool things about the Synapse and Syniks is that they appear pretty unobtrusive underfilled...so based on that alone, if you're comfortable with the length of the SN30 (it's 20" high), I would suggest upsizing vs the SN22. I don't think the S25 or SN30 are visually that much bigger looking on someone your height than the S19/SN22.

    If you look at the Synapse pages, check out the video that shows people of different sizes wearing the bags. The basic height/width of the S19 is maintained on the SN22 and the S25 to the SN30 (it's the front to back that is different, plus features). You can also google to find threads that show folks wearing the bags.

    Since the cost difference between the two Syniks is minimal (costs of many bags go up tomorrow March 28th however) - you might find the extra capacity useful to have if you need it.
    If you don't want the extra features of the Synik, then go with the Synapse.

    I personally do not have the SN30 because my torso is too short for it to feel comfortable for long carry, but there are plenty of folks my height (5'4") who don't have any issues with it.

    I love the Everyday Cubelets and use them for portable office stuff in all my bags; your use case sounds perfect. I suggest getting a handle loop for it... makes it easy to yank out of the bag and you can carry it on your wrist if needed.
    https://www.tombihn.com/products/han...nt=16645253511

    You could alternately (or also) get the Side Kick and a pair of the medium or large swivel carabiners and also use that when flying as a 'back of the seat bag', once you pull it out of the backpack.
    https://vimeo.com/160672777

    Ghost Whales and other pouches really depend on what you want to carry. Remember that the Synapse/Syniks have a lot of built in organization already, so that really is just whatever seems a good fit to you.

    Of all the other organizers, I find that the Snake Charmers are very versatile
    You might find this thread interesting
    https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...izational-bits

    Good luck!
    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...

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome! Based on your EDC carry list, I think you're going to want the S30. The S22 is a fairly small bag because a lot of its real estate is in the organization. Unless you're a very organizer packer and eat small lunches, I don't think it's going to fit what you want. I went from a Daylight Backpack (16L) to the S22 and couldn't carry much more than my DLBP, so I exchanged the S22 for an S25. You could likely do okay with the S25, but it doesn't have the dedicated laptop area that you desire. If your torso can handle the S30 size, it's okay to have a little sag in these bags. They curve the body really well, so the extra space basically disappears when its carried.

      Regarding the accessories - The everyday cublet seems great for what you want, extra security inside the main compartment, so I wouldn't splurge for the HLT. The everyday cublet has a bit of organization inside that's probably enough for your needs. I really love that bag and occasionally carry it inside my S25. It fits in there well but is easy to find. You can also attach a 3D organizer cube or another similar pouch to the cache attachment loops inside a Synik/Snapse, and that's been my all-time favorite bag hack, but I think those aren't available at the moment. I searched for the post that shares this hack but couldn't find it; maybe someone else knows where it is. That may give you additional ideas. In regards to GWP, I don't think you can have too many of these. They're fantastic!

      I know international shipping is high and that makes returns difficult or even prohibitive, but TB bags hold their value well so reselling is always an option, albeit not always a fun option. No matter what you decide, I doubt you'll go wrong with your choice.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you G42 and Tonya! It sounds like you’re both recommending that I consider the S30. You’re right - it’s not that much bigger than the 22. I did some measuring last night and it’s pretty much the same size as the ‘standard’ backpack I carried to and from university for years. The S22 is actually a bit smaller than my kids’ backpacks. I was hoping to have something really compact, but maybe if I’m not going to get anywhere close to filling it, it’s better for my EDC carry to be a 1/4 full S30 than a 1/2 full S22. It won’t bulge out so much and I may appreciate that extra space in the S30 more often than I think. I need some more time to think about this. In the meantime, do you have any opinions on ballistic versus halycon exterior? At first I was sure I wanted ballistic, but the more I look at the black halycon, the more I think I’d prefer it instead (especially if I’m looking for something that takes up minimal space when not filled up).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Tobyspruce View Post
          I was hoping to have something really compact, but maybe if I’m not going to get anywhere close to filling it, it’s better for my EDC carry to be a 1/4 full S30 than a 1/2 full S22. It won’t bulge out so much and I may appreciate that extra space in the S30 more often than I think. I need some more time to think about this. In the meantime, do you have any opinions on ballistic versus halycon exterior? At first I was sure I wanted ballistic, but the more I look at the black halycon, the more I think I’d prefer it instead (especially if I’m looking for something that takes up minimal space when not filled up).
          Unless your children are old enough to carry their own stuff without losing it (been there & done that lol), I think you'll use the space in the S30 more than you think. If they are, then you might could get by with the S22. Again, it just depends on how well you pack, how large your lunch packs, how fluffy your jacket is, etc, on the days you carry all those items.

          Regarding the two fabrics, many love the 525 ballistic and I thought that I would also, but I actually prefer the Halcyon over this one. I don't think Halcyon compresses much more (IMO) and it can be a semi-noisy fabric, but it doesn't seem to show the scuffs and stains that the 525 does. Just to clarify, my bags in 525 aren't damaged one bit, but I think that it does tend to show dirt and scuffs a lot more easily. Again, this is all just observable opinions with my lifestyle. Road wear may vary according to user.

          Also, I don't like the weight of the 525 ballistic. When a bag is packed, a few ounces makes a difference, at least to me. Probably just psychological.


          Comment


            #6
            I love halcyon for most of my bags, so I'm no help, lol

            The Ballistic is technically more durable, but all the fabrics are rugged and how much wear you see does depend on what colour, how you treat your bag, and what bits of character bother you or not, as Tonya mentions.

            Since you're mulling it over, you can request TB mail you free swatches of which materials interest you (be sure to specify Black 525 Ballistic, Black 400 Halcyon for instance, to get the right fabric weight that's offered for an exterior). They'll ship those regardless of where you are, though it may take a while. They're a couple of square inches, not the same as seeing a bag, but better than seeing just online and you can touch the fabric, see the sheen. (If you were in a less expensive shipping environment, I'd recommend getting some of the small organizing pouches, Ghost Whales, or Cubelets to get a better idea....)
            If you do that, I'd also request the Parapack if the Navy is at all interesting to you, it's a neat fabric.
            The Night Walk is very attractive as is Taiga, they look different in person and in different lighting. Of the 525 ballistics, the Ursa is another colour that seems very different in person.
            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...

            Comment


              #7
              A bit late to the party. My response in caps to differentiate. I am not yelling.


              1. Is the Synik 22 the right bag for me? For my purposes, the Synik seems to tick all of the boxes on paper. But, I've read of some people finding that it looks too small on their frames and regret not getting the 30. The 30 also seems to offer a lot more versatility, but for the few times that I'd make use of the extra space I reason I can use an extra tote or something. I think the 30 will be too big to walk around with in the city everyday and for public transport, etc. Some people recommend the Synapse 25 as a good compromise, but I really want the built in laptop case in the Synik.

              [5-8 MORE LITERS IS 5 TO 8 MORE LITERS AND MORE LITERS IS ALMOST ALWAYS BETTER UNLESS IT SIZES YOU PUT OF SOMETHING VERY FINITE I.E. AN OVERHEAED OF YOUR PREFERRED AIR CARRIER. i AM 6'2, 200ISH WITH AND 19.5 INCH TORSO. THE S30 IS MY EDC WITH A SIMILAR LOADOUT.]

              2. What size water bottle can I fit in the Synik 22? I prefer Nalgene bottles over other brands. I love my Nalgene 1L / 32 oz screw top bottle, but I don't think it will fit. I'm interested to know if it might fit in the bottom pocket and/or if anyone knows the max size of Nalgene bottle that will comfortably fit in the water bottle pocket?
              [I AM NOT A DAILY WATER BOTTLE KIND OF GUY. I AM FAMILAR WITH THE 32 OZ NALGENE FROM CAMPING WTC. I WOULD SAY A BETTER WA TO GO WOULD BE A 24 OZ NARROWER BOTTLE FOR EASE OF INGRESS/EGREE IN THE SET ASIDE SLOT FOR SAME.]

              3. Does anyone else use the Everyday Cublet as an internal organizer in a Synik 22? I plan to use it in the inside compartment so I'll have a safe, zippered area to store my wallet and phone instead of using an outside pocket (not a good idea on public transport). I figure it will also be a good bag to store passports, flight info and little electronic things when I'm flying. Or, would people recommend the HLT#1 (or something else) instead? The Everyday Cublet seems the better sized option for my needs and it's less expensive than the HLT.
              [ I HAVE BEEN USING LILHIT LABS (sp?) 2 AND 3 ZIPPER PENCIL CASES FOR WRITTING UNTENSILS AND ALL MANNER OF CORDS/BATTERIES ETC WITH GREAT SUCCESS. I SUSEPCT THAT THE CUBLETS WOULD DO YOU JUST FINE. WHILE I LIKE THE HLT, I AM NOT SURE ITS BUILD QUALITY AND BRAND INTEGRTION CLIMB OVER ITS LACK OF PERFORMANCE TO VALUE RATIO RELATIVE TO OTHER ORGANZERS OR MERE ZIPPEREED CASES.]

              4. Are four ghost whale pockets too many or too few for the Synik 22? Are there any other accessories you'd recommend I buy?
              [SEE COMMENTS ABOVE RE LILHIT LABS PENCIL CASES. HAVING SAID THAT, YOU CAN ALMOST ALWAYS FIND USES FOR ANY TB POUCH OR SELL(IF THEY DO NOT WORK IN THE END...) FOR 80-125% OF VALUE ANYTHING NEW WITH TAGS ALL DAY LONG ON EBAY/THE F GROUPS ETC.

              5. I know I want to purchase it in black ballistic (looks more formal for work), but not sure of the lining color I should choose. Do you have any suggestions / favorites (out of what's currently available?)
              [ I HAVE HISTORICALLY DEFAULTED TO HEAVIER DENIERS FOR A PRIMARY EDC/TRAVEL BAG AS I BELIEVE THE INCREMENTAL DURABILITY GAIN OUTWEIGHS (PARDON THE PUN) A FREQUENT MINIMAL WEIGHT PENALTY. IF I AM IN A SPACE WHERE WEIGHT IS REALLY IN PLAY, THE OFFERINGS OF TB ARE PEROBABLY NOT THE BEST ANSWER.]

              Let us know in the end what you do and why you do it.

              Comment


                #8
                I have the Synik 22. If your light spring/fall jacket is bulky, that might make it a no-go. You don't have many other bulky items in your packing list (except, perhaps, lunch), so I suspect the 22 would be big enough but without a lot of room to spare.

                Reading this thread, however, is making me think I should have gone for the 30...!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sammy:
                  1. The S22 as a travel bag will fit under a seat and in the overhead of many commuter and overseas carriers such that it really has it own lane and/or

                  2. You can often sell an S22 and pivot to an S30 with a relatively small amount of loss relative to almost any other brand given TB quality/value etc.

                  3. As you already own the S22, if you are looking bigger, the BB is an unsung hero. it is 36 Liters but can carry smaller with ease because of the compression straps. I fully acknowledge it does not come with a frame sheet/pass thru and dedicated laptop/tablet space. It is also 100 ish less expensive.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good points, vcdgrips! I have been very happy with the bag for around the city, and have made casual trips of up to a few days with it. It is about to take its first international trip (along with my Pilot, which is well-traveled by now!).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have a Synik 30 that I am using for a work bag and business travel. For work, I have a HP Z Book, which is a large laptop. That alone drove me to the 30 liter version, and that laptop is a tight fit in the dedicated compartment. I keep the power supply brick and other IT cabling (phone and watch chargers) in the front bottom pocket and use the large center pocket for my Hydro Flask water bottle. The inner pocket inside the main compartment holds my Bluetooth headset and the mouse. The smaller front pocket is used for my badge, parking pass, and masks. The offset pockets are for eyeglasses and first-aid stuff as well as spare doses of my Rx meds. The bag, when packed for travel, fits under coach airline seats as long as it is not one of the narrow spots using the offset seat frame. I have used it as my only bag for trips up to three days. For longer trips, I pair it with my Western Flyer. I do not use any additional organizers inside the Synik as I find the provided pockets provide the organization I need.

                      I just ordered a Synik 22 for personal travel as my personal laptop is a much smaller MacBook Air. I also plan to use the 22-liter version when cycling and walking around my new hometown. For the latter tasks, I plan to keep my rain shell in the laptop compartment as I can access it without opening the main clamshell.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by farscott View Post
                        I plan to keep my rain shell in the laptop compartment as I can access it without opening the main clamshell.
                        That's a good idea!
                        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...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for all of the advice and suggestions. I’m now thinking of going in a different direction entirely. Does anyone use a paragon with a brain bag Freudian slip? I like the Syniks and I really really want one, but I’m having trouble convincing myself to go ahead with the purchase. For the most part, I’m just going to be carrying a tablet back forth to the office a few times a week. Our office is going 50/50 work from home / in the office, so this might be the better choice for me. I haven’t travelled anywhere in 2 years and I don’t see any business trips on the horizon until at least 2023. A paragon with a FS would make a nice portable desk / place to store all my work stuff and cables. Maybe get the paragon now for a work bag (my immediate need) and think about a synik later (more for travel / pleasure), maybe even a second hand one? If I’m patient, I can probably find a good deal through one of the Facebook groups. I keep waffling on this. If I could afford both, I think I’d just buy a paragon and a synik 30 and be done with it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Go with what you think you'll use the most right now - who knows what the future brings.
                            FWIW, I've really enjoyed my Paragon in Taiga/Taiga since it was released, for a variety of types of trips and carries... And if they make one in Night Walk, I'm getting a second one
                            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...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Tobyspruce View Post
                              Maybe get the paragon now for a work bag (my immediate need) and think about a synik later (more for travel / pleasure)
                              Multiple bags can get pricey and I know international shipping is a pain, but I am a big fan of having multiple bags for different use cases. I discovered Tom Bihn during the pandemic and it became my "shopping therapy" during the lockdowns, but overall I've ended up with:

                              - An Aeronaut 30, which I use for one-bag travel on flights or road trips.
                              - A Copilot, which I've used as a secondary bag if I need just a BIT more stuff for work on the road (like my Macbook or iPad Pro and a few supplies).
                              - A Medium Cafe Bag -- my most-used bag, which carries my iPad Pro or Macbook and supplies when I go to work in a coffee shop or other locale.
                              - A Luminary 15, which I can slip my iPad into and use instead of the MCB if I have a bit more stuff to carry that day than the MCB can handle.
                              - A Side Kick, which carries my iPad Mini and a few other essentials, if I'm going out to read rather than work; it also slips into one side of my A30 for minimalist travel purposes.
                              - An Everyday Cubelet, for if I'm walking around town or a park and just need my battery pack, a few cables, and a first aid kit for the day.
                              - Plus an assortment of pouches, cubelets, and travel trays to organize cables, first aid kits, etc.

                              Clearly I went hog-wild and you probably don't need this much stuff. XD But I would definitely consider the value of getting the small daily work bag you need now, and in the future getting a second bag more appropriate for when you're going to be doing more travel again. Good luck and have fun with your shopping and purchase!
                              ---
                              My Bags: Burnt Orange Medium Cafe BagSide Kick Luminary 15Co-Pilot Aeronaut 30
                              Canary Large Shop Bag Dawn Large Shop BagAubergine Everyday Cubelet
                              With: Island Packing CubesTravel Tray Cubelet Dawn Wallet

                              Comment

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