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Synapse 19 help

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    Synapse 19 help

    Hi people

    So while im debating on what colour to get my first tom bihn in I need a little help. I'm in the UK so don't want to place another order in for all the add ons. So my question is what cubes, stuff sacks etc will go great with the synapse 19. I plan to use it as an everyday bag but also as a carry on so needs to carry all my gadgets etc . Plus I liked the idea of using it as a every day when I'm on holiday to carry my camera, water bottle etc.

    Thanks David

    Originally posted by invisible View Post
    Hi people

    So while im debating on what colour to get my first tom bihn in I need a little help. I'm in the UK so don't want to place another order in for all the add ons. So my question is what cubes, stuff sacks etc will go great with the synapse 19. I plan to use it as an everyday bag but also as a carry on so needs to carry all my gadgets etc . Plus I liked the idea of using it as a every day when I'm on holiday to carry my camera, water bottle etc.

    Thanks David
    Welcome, David! This is the best type of question. I'm sure you will get lots of answers!

    What do you want to carry in your pack, and how do you envision your items fitting? I routinely carry a Snake Charmer stuffed with diapering items and a Side Effect as my purse. The Side Effect can fit into the bottom outside pocket if it isn't overstuffed, but generally both of these are placed in the main compartment for easier access.

    As for gadget carry, are you thinking of padded pouches to give them some protection? Do you already have cases for your gadgets or are you looking at the TB caches and such?

    A size 1 or 2 TSS will fit in the side pockets. Mini pouches will fit everywhere except the pocket in front of the water bottle pocket. Small pouches fit everywhere but you might need to bend/fold them in the side pockets. It's sort of a moving target since the S19 flexes to accommodate different loads, and so do all the accessories.

    If you haven't already seen TB products in person, you might want to set up a meetup in your area. If someone nearby has an S19 for you to look at, you'll see first-hand how the pockets work. That will make guessing your initial setup a little easier, I think.
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


      How to organize within the bag is really a personal preference thing, but as for what works...

      - Size 1 travel stuff sacks fit well in the side pockets. 3D organizer cubes do too if stood on end, but not quite as well. Pocket pouches and mini organizer pouches fit well.
      - Micro organizer pouches fit nicely in the smaller front pocket. Mini org pouches just fit but are not as easy to get in and out.
      - Size 2 travel stuff sacks, small org pouches and 3D org cubes fit well in the water bottle pocket. (I wonder about the Side Effect, now that I think about it. I will try that later.)
      - 3D org cubes and small organizer pouches fit well in the bottom pocket. You can fit more than one. I can get my Side Effect in there, but it's a very tight fit and not all that easy to get in and out. I much prefer the 3D org cube there.
      - The Side Effect, packing cube shoulder bag, all the travel or yarn stuff sacks, and Aeronaut small or end-pocket cubes all fit in the main compartment. A 3D org cube or Side Effect can be clipped in at the top using the o-rings, or better yet, the rail loops. The large org pouch fits in the main compartment vertically but I have to fold the corners down and I'm personally not a huge fan. The medium org pouch is a better bet IMHO. The med org pouch, SE and 3D org cube would each fit well in the internal pocket in the main compartment; you could get all three in if you were so inclined.
      - All of the pockets have o-rings so you can tether pouches/cubes/Side Effects in with key straps.

      These are the accessories I have experience with; there may be other options. My personal set up in my S19 is:

      - Size 1 TSS with battery pack, phone/iPad cables and other tech stuff in the right side pocket.
      - Pocket pouch with gym cards and quarter for lockers on the o-ring in the left front pocket, with keys on a long key strap also on the same o-ring.
      - Micro org pouch with bus tickets in the small front pocket.
      - Water bottle in the, you guessed it, water bottle pocket.
      - Small org pouch with travel toothbrush, floss, a bit of duct tape, a few band aids and a few other odds and ends in the bottom front pocket, along with a small stick of deodorant, reusable shopping bag, rolled up mini dry sack (laundry bag for when my kids have accidents) and hand lotion.
      - Side Effect with wallet stuff, Q-kit with earbuds, PCSB with diaper kit and a small or medium yarn stuff sack with a knitting project in the main compartment, and often a book or Kindle in the internal pocket.

      I like (love might not be too strong a term here) using the o-rings in the main compartment for small things like the Q-kit or org pouches because it totally eliminates digging.

      What should you get? I don't know. It depends on what you're going to carry (bulky stuff like sweaters? Little stuff like ear buds? Paper? Laptop?) and how you like it within the bag (all tossed in? A little organized with several things in one pouch? Hyper-organized with everything in its own pouch?), but the S19 does have a fair amount of built-in organization already. I suggest laying out your stuff, thinking about what you want together in the same pocket, and how you want it within that pocket. It is a bit of a trial and error process.
      Last edited by terayon; 08-17-2014, 06:24 AM.


        Originally posted by terayon View Post
        (I wonder about the Side Effect, now that I think about it. I will try that later.)
        The Side Effect fits in the S19 water bottle pocket. I tried it last night with a very full SE. It took some coaxing and I would only stuff the SE down there if it didn't need to be removed a lot until you are at your destination.

        I also filled an Eagle Creek half cube with t-shirts and on a whim curled it in half and shoved it into the water bottle pocket. The slippery specter material made this fairly easy.

        You can really shove a lot of stuff into this pack and for me, 10 lbs is about all I would want to carry in it. Still deciding whether I want to keep it or not but so far I like what I'm experiencing as far as loading it with required travel items/clothes and keeping it light. It's amazing actually! For kicks I tried to put the same test loadout into an Osprey Manta 25 and failed.


          I have had my Synapse 19 since they were released and the only thing I use in it every day to sub-divide the inside is a sleeve for whichever computer I am carrying.
          I can't be tied down to tiny bags inside bags in an EDC as they can take too much room inside an already tiny space to me.

          Aside from the main compartment the other spots seem designed for optimum carry of daily items just as they arrive from the Mothership.
          I have of course tried and used any number of little cases in them but mostly I use Zip-Lock baggies of some kind to keep food separate and that is about it.

          I have a few Snake Charmers for cables and accessories but I find that when Iuse them I end up carrying stuff I really don't need just because I seem to fill them up for no good reason.
          I also use small Eagle Creek cases a lot as they are so widely available but again they take up precious space too.

          I can and have carried 3 or more computers in mine at the same time so the bag will hold a crazy amount of gear but as already mentioned the way we organize is pretty individual so......

          Good Luck though,the Synapse is a great bag!


            +2 for @terayon's suggestions of SE and PCSB. Also the suggestion for Stuff Sacks is excellent, IMHO.

            While I do not have an S19 (I have an S25), I can attest to the versatility of these options as purchase once / use in multiple situations scenario.

            I found the SE unusually more useful than expected. I suspect, the goldilocks size and the 2 inner easy access pockets as well as the multiple carry options (handle loop, waist pack, shoulder bag) combined with great materials are responsible - it is now my go-to accessory to corral all the "bits" one carries.

            I also have found the PCSB very useful in many situations and it is this versatility that made me get 2. I use the PCSB in my S25, Tri-Star, Aeronaut and they fit very well in a WF, Ego, Zephyr and all the backpacks (and many other non-TB bags). If they fit in the S19 as @terayon mentions, IMHO, it is a good accessory to keep things organized with minimal increased bulk as Dyneema is very thin. Also, like the SE, there are multiple carry options.

            Stuff Sacks are fantastic to further organize things and they are really durable. I also use a YSS to hold bottles and keep any bottle "sweat" / spills from dripping into the bag.

            For other ideas, see the link below - Post#10 for how @DQBunny packed the Synapse and Post #27 for @icebeng's Synapse:


            Hope this help
            Last edited by tpnl; 08-17-2014, 09:39 AM.
            TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!


              Hi, David. Your needs are nonspecific and varied, so order various accessories and play around. Based on what I carry: for your electronic gear, a medium padded pouch (or a Cache sized to your device). A range of stuff sacks (I got one in every size, plus the large knitting sack); they are lightweight and versatile (e.g., to corral pants-pockets contents at the gym—like the Travel Tray, but smaller; to carry gadget cables; to hold hats and gloves—unlimited uses) and don't eat up space. A small pouch or wallet on a keystrap for ID, subway/bus cards, cash, etc. A passport pouch to shield chipped credit/debit cards.

              To keep miscellanea together, many forum members use a Side Effect or 3D fabric cube. I haven't tried them because I use the discontinued Kit. A stuff sack might suffice.

              If you combine shopping in your routine, a Small Shop Bag might come in handy. Love those padded handles!


                What I like best for S19 carryon is:

                -- the Side Effect (lower front pocket, or clipped with 2 nifty S carabiner clips in the top 2 0-rings of the main pocket). SE is brilliant when clipped to the plane seat pocket.
                -- 3D clear organizer for 3-1-1 toiletries in the center water bottle pocket. A long key-strap clips 3D to an 0-ring for going through security. I keep a smaller water bottle in one of the side pockets instead.
                -- 1-2 mini organizer pouches and clear wallet
                -- size 4 square pouch (see the Knitting Tool Pouches) - perfect for iPad cords/chargers. (Note that size 2 is great for extra pens, and not as long as the pencil pouch, so it fits in S19 side pocket well)
                -- Packing cube shoulder bag - main section, for storing change of clothes or sweater en route. Doubles as small day bag.
                -- I think a medium organizer pouch will fit in a side pocket if the bag is not overstuffed
                -- a clear Guardian Light (strap mount) for exterior bottom loop on bag - a good backup light for dark hotel rooms
                --Strapees velcro strips to secure loose backpack strappage

                I love that everything can be clipped and secured to the bag. This sounds like a lot of extras (I curated mine over time), but I use each one of these things often.


                  I didn't expect such detailed answers so thank you. I'll give some more info.

                  I will definitely get a cache for my mac.

                  As for gadgets I like to carry a pocket torch, keys in bag on lanyard, Leatherman Skeleton tool, maybe phone but at min in pocket, sunglasses, sun cream in summer, few pens sharpies etc, recipe book (im a cocktail bartender so keep all my own to hand), few chargers like the idea of keeping these separate, micro fleece in winter plus gloves hat etc.

                  I like the idea of the laundry bag but where is best to put this.

                  Also like the idea of the travel tray and the toiletries bag for when having to fly.

                  Never used stuff sacks or packing cubes before but I am really organised person so like the idea of them. Main thing I like is one for shoes.


                    I plan to use the bag for everything even hiking and I know it can be adapted for a lot of use. Main reason I like them plus it's bit more minimalist looking than some other bags I have.


                      You have great suggestions here already, but I figured I'd chime in. Here are the accessories I use with my S19:

                      - 3D mesh organizer for macbook power square, lightening cable, USB power thingy
                      - Small dyneema organizer pouch for Fourservens MiniMA light, Skeletool
                      - Medium dyneema organizer for extra toiletries (tissues, etc)
                      - Padded small organizer for headphones
                      - Lots of keystraps :-)
                      - Cache for my macbook

                      I also always have a first aid kit, swiss army knife (Camper?) in one of the pen holders, plus two other pens.

                      On weekends, it becomes a diaper bag, so I switch out the cache and mesh organizer, and use two eagle creek packing cubes for diapers, baby clothes, etc. And a 3D clear organizer for liquid baby stuff.

                      Sometimes I take a larger bag for work (Patagonia briefcase), and using the pouches, etc, makes it easy to move my EDC from one bag to another.

                      I'd also recommend a size 2 and 3 stuff sack, just all around useful things to have. And the clear organizer is great for liquids when flying.

                      I recently bought a travel tray, and I'm using it on my desk at home for mail and other misc.; haven't tested it on a trip yet...


                        Consider a utility strap and/or key straps for your torch and leatherman.


                          Thanks people. Still going through everything but much appreciated


                            Originally posted by invisible View Post
                            Thanks people. Still going through everything but much appreciated
                            Just another thought for you David:

                            I have the S19 (I am in the UK too). It is really good when not brim-full. However, some of the kit lists on this thread are going to make the bag balloon out a bit. This is not a problem if you are small in stature, but if you are a bug guy like me (very big shoulders), the net effect is that the straps pull back on your shoulders and it becomes uncomfortable after an hour or so. I would recommend that bigger people get the S25 which is longer in the back.



                              Does the laundry bag size a30 fit in the bottom pocket?

                              Just got to decide navy /iberium or black /iberium....