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Upgrading from Synapse 25 to Synik 30L ? Concerned about Airline personal Item

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    Upgrading from Synapse 25 to Synik 30L ? Concerned about Airline personal Item

    I would like the luggage pass through and dedicated laptop slot on the Synik. Ideally if they had a 24-26L Synik that's what I would go for. I'm concerned to purchase the 30L as I'm a big guy 295lbs 5'9" and I try to get exit row aisle on United usually for domestic (US flights) primarily but some international trips (on United Airlines as well) to Europe coming up. My concern is the Synik 30L may be too big/tall to fix in exit row aisle so I'll have to use that as my second carry on (usually travel with carry-on outside of backpack). My Synapse is great BUT wouldn't mind the luggage pass through so I can throw it on top of my wheeled carry-on when I travel. I usually carry the following:

    1. Peak Design Tech Pouch that I put in the bottom pocket and fills that.
    2. 20oz water bottle I put in the center water bottle pocket.
    3. Pencils/pens/lysol wipes/etc. in the 2 outside side pockets. Medicines, gum, misc stuff in there.
    4. Top pocket I put as much as I can in there like Air Pods Pro 2, gum, glasses cloth to clean them, gum, change, my watch/iPhone 13 Pro Max when I take it off to go through security.
    5. I do have a sleeve attached to the O ring. I put my MBP 14" laptop in there.
    6. Sometimes I do carry an additional personal laptop that is 15" or 16" MBP as well that goes in the main pocket.
    7. I carry a 12.9" iPad Pro as well.
    8. Usually I have a smaller 5x8 1/2 inch sized notebook like a Hobonichi Techno for instance.
    9. Trying to not use full head phones like Bose QC II 35 as I'm trying to get by with my Air Pods Pro 2 and their noise cancellation but for international trips I'd probably bring them.. probably will upgrade to Apple Max Headphones or Sony XM5's or new Bose 700 NC headphones.. all which are bulky.
    10. I don't normally put a whole clothes hence I have carry-on.
    11. I do bring stacks of paper to read or a Kindle as well in some cases and put that in the main pocket as well.
    12. I also have a veritical mouse I pack in the main pocket as it doesn't fit in the tech pouch. For longer trips, I'll bring a portable Apple bluetooth keyboard.
    13. I'll bring a Nintendo Switch as well.

    So this bag gets fairly loaded and that's before I bring back any last minute souvenirs for the family like t-shirts/etc. that I try to stuff in there at the last minute.

    My question:

    1. I think the Synik 22 is too tight for this much stuff, the Synapse 25 handles it well, but no luggage pass through. Can I get away with the Synik 30 on airlines without any issue - especially since I sit in aisle exit row where flight attendents always check if the bag sticks out/etc.?
    2. One of my only complaints about the Synapse 25 is I hate not being to able to put my phone/watch/wallet in a quick access pocket quickly and the Synapse quick access pocket will fit everything but the phone so the phone goes into the main compartment and gets lost for a bit. Not a HUGE issue... but one of my only complaints other than the luggage pass-through. Does the Synik 22 or 30 SOLVE THIS problem?
    3. My wife got me the Peak Design Everyday 30L Backpack for Christmas but returned it as it's too hard of a shell.. I know it won't sit under some of the asile/exit row seats as it is too wide... not that much bigger than the Synapse when closed at the lowest hook/rung... but width wouldn't make it as some exit row aisle seats have more intrusion into the seat underneath than other normal seats... so I can't depend on that 100% seat width all the time. Again, does the Synik 30 fit under US airline seats OK especially in exit rows in coach seating?



    Welcome to the Forums Kris !

    Airlines have different size requirements and different underseat configurations, so it's hard to make a blanket statement...but maybe you can leverage your own experience.

    Not everyone realizes, but the Synik 30 is the same vertical and left to right dimension as the Synapse 25 - only the front to back dimension is different.
    So since you have a Synapse 25 that you've traveled with, that may help how you think of the SN30.
    (Same relationship holds with the SN22 to Synapse 19, btw)

    If you're pretty comfortable with the Synapse 25 but want the pass through, then the SN30 slightly underpacked is the same basic size.
    One of your laptops could go into the built-in section and everything else packed the same way you do with the S25 and you basically have the same bag but with a pass through.

    Some folks put their phone in one of the side pockets when going through security...so you may want to think about what items you pack there that maybe could go into the main compartment in a Ghost Whale or similar.
    “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
    “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
    “That’s practically zen.”
    -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay


      I found this YouTube comparison... it does show it's much more close in size than I originally thought/looked at like you are saying as well. I think someone else mentioned this video on the forum so credit to them. Repointing it here as I think it's a good comparison. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc5Tcp3PuR4


        I have both the S25 and S30 and honestly I’m hard pressed to see the difference in size even when I put them side by side. If you’ve had no trouble with airlines with the 25, you’ll likely have no problem with the 30. In my mind they are the same basic size. The extra five liters is sort of just magically in there somewhere.
        And, I also have the Peak Design 30, and it’s much bigger feeling (because of it’s hard shell) than the S30, unless you fully pack out the Synik. It’s certainly wider then the Synik. When packed-out, the Synik becomes fatter, though, front to back. So, just avoid that and it should fit under the seat okay, though aisle seats are often smaller for space as I’m sure you know.


          I recently flew MCI-PHL-MAD- ACE with a 80% loaded S30 under the seat as a personal item on AA and Iberian Express. On the aisle. No issues beyond not being able to put my feet under the seat in front of me ( 6'3, 200 lbs, 34 inch inseam)

          On the way back it was ACE to MAD to LHR to DFW to MCI (MAD to MCI was British Airways) with a 95% loaded S30 with no issues beyond not being able to put my feet under the seat in front of me ( 6'3, 200 lbs, 34 inch inseam)

          I flew the exit row from MAD to ACE/ACE MAD on Iberian and we had to put our personal items up in the overhead during take off and landing anyway.

          Bottom Line- IMHO, 5L more is always better so long as it does not size you out of something. The clamshell/pass thru and integrated laptop space is why I chose the S30 over the S25 as my EDC knowing it would also be a superior travel bag.

          Between the S25 and S30, I would and went S30 with no regrets at all coming out of and old school 3DAP by Eagle Industries.


            Hi All,
            New to the forums...but glad to hear about the Synapse 30, I bought one and wow so much more space. But checked the United personal carry on specs, shows TB Synapse 30 is:
            +3" in length; +3.5" in width; + 2" in depth (using TB online specs). I always carry-on 2 bags, previously I had a Synapse 22" which I way-over-packed. No problem due to slim trim design, but now I am a bit worried.
            Good to hear folks haven't had a problem in domestic, AA tends to be pretty strict & Iberia (wild card), so that gives some relief. Has anyone flown UA recently on domestic with a full Synapse 30? How about domestic Lufthansa or (worse yet) Swiss Air?
            All thoughts welcome!


              Welcome to the Forums gojonnie !

              What colour SN30 did you get?
              “Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you.”
              “It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are authority.”
              “That’s practically zen.”
              -Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay