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Returning the Synapse 25 and ready to switch to the Empire builder (almost)

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    Returning the Synapse 25 and ready to switch to the Empire builder (almost)

    I recently purchased the Synapse 25 and a variety of accessories. I am ready to return the Synapse and try the Empire Builder. But I am not quite ready to pull the trigger.

    Some thoughts and reasons:

    The cache for the 15 inch retina MB is very snug and takes two hands and quite some tugging to get the laptop out. It is secure, but not very usable.
    The grab handle is too small to fit over the handle of my roller board. I was able to rig a solution by reversing the sternum straps and I think that might work, but would be rather cumbersome. I know I should ditch wheels, but I spent a lot of time standing in airports. Rolling is nicer than schlepping.
    Getting business materials (folders, binders, books) out of the Synapse is cumbersome.
    The iPad MINI Cache is too small to use with the smart cover. Just too tight.
    The straps, while well constructed, do not fit my neck and back very well. I am 6ft and 200 pounds.
    The Synapse 25 is a great backpack, but not a great business bag.

    The cache for the iPad works perfectly for me: it holds my iPad air with keyboard and my iPad mini. Perfect fit.
    Snake charmer and side effect are very nice and useful.

    Quality of construction and materials is unparalleled.

    Some questions for the forum participants:
    Only one color seems to remain for the Empire Builder, but no back order options exist. Is the Empire Builder being redesigned and a product refresh is imminent ? I would prefer the all black with some bright color inside. According to customer service, no new color combinations are planned.
    In the experience of forum, does a limitation on colors predict a product redesign? I can wait to avoid the, "RATS! I just bought the old version!"
    I read the return policy and I will pack up the items I wish to return and ship them off. As I am wanting to exchange the Synapse and laptop cache for the Empire Builder, ultimate shoulder strap and the brain cell, is there any way to avoid a total of $30 in shipping? Not a deal breaker, but I would prefer to spend the $30 on more fun TB stuff.

    Thanks for any suggestions. I have learned so much from the forums and I hope to contribute to the community.

    Joe Rottman
    **Sorry for the repost. The first thread was corrupted in some way: 140 views, but no responses**
    Last edited by [email protected]; 08-22-2014, 08:55 AM.

    #2
    Joe

    Have you seen an EB yet?

    If I am correct in deciphering your location you are welcome to see mine if it might help determine if it will work out for you?
    Let me know.

    Ed

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
      The iPad Air Cache is too small to use with the smart cover. Just too tight.

      The cache for the iPad works perfectly for me: it holds my iPad air with keyboard and my iPad mini. Perfect fit.
      Thanks for this, I was planning to add the iPad Air Cache to my next order, but I also use the Apple Smart Cover so it sounds like it would have been too tight. Can I just check then, are you using the regular/old iPad Cache? Is it huge compared to the iPad Air + Smart Cover or just about right?

      I'm also waiting for a new batch of bags with a brighter interior (Wasabi for me), I was thinking of the EB but I would really like somewhere on the outside to store my umbrella and possibly a water bottle, so I've changed to wanting an Ego, ID or Brain Bag, but none of the currently available colour combinations light my fire yet.

      Comment


        #4
        Isn't it 10 flat fee for the return?

        Comment


          #5
          Joe,

          It's a shame you couldn't make the Synapse work for you but that's the nature of EDC - everyone has their specific needs and expectations. I'll defer to more tenured Bihnions give the final answer about the likelihood of a pending EB redesign but my gut tells me nothing is in the works for the immediate future. The TB Crew is pretty transparent about these things (especially if asked) and just this week they've specifically mentioned updates incoming to the Synapse and Aeronaut lines, but nothing of the EB.

          Regarding the return charges you're just looking at a $10 fee to ship everything back (using TB's printable shipping label). It's not a $10 per item restocking fee.

          If you're set on the EB, I'd highly recommend you take up @AVService's offer of seeing one first hand. There are several varieties of messenger bags & briefcases each with their own target audience and for me holding, wearing and manipulating the bag & it's various pockets was the only way I could make a decision between similar bags.

          This was linked yesterday in a similar post, but you might also want to look into the Cadet. It's out of stock right now and has been removed from the various product search pages (and thus easy to overlook), but it should be back in production in the future.

          There are also 2 Empire Builder's on eBay right now. One in Black/Black/Steel which as you know is the only color combination for sale as of today. There is also a Black/Steel/Steel with several TB accessories included. Granted neither of these give you the color-pop inside you were hoping for but just making sure you're aware of the options.

          I wish you the best of luck in your search for the perfect bag - it's by no means an easy task!
          Synapse25 | Pilot | Aeronaut 45 | CoPilot | Large DOP | SideEffect | 3D Organizer Cubes | Q-Kit | #1 & #2 Stuff Sacks

          Comment


            #6
            Let me add that if you can meet in the next day or so you might not need to return your S25 at all!

            Just throwing this out there and hoping it is a black one too?

            Also I am not sure I have ever seen an Empire Builder in any color except Black on the outside?
            Mine is an early model and is blue on the inside and I can certainly see where a lighter color could be helpful to see things inside but I also view the EB as more of a business bag and in that role the more muted inside colors seem more appropriate maybe too.

            The EB is an amazing bag either way though and like every other Bihn I have(and there are several) it is more thoughtfully designed and implemented than you expect or will appreciate at first.

            The ability of the bag to just swallow things inside is crazy and I carried my EB for years as my main bag and still do fairly often.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by AVService View Post
              Also I am not sure I have ever seen an Empire Builder in any color except Black on the outside?
              Mine is an early model and is blue on the inside and I can certainly see where a lighter color could be helpful to see things inside but I also view the EB as more of a business bag and in that role the more muted inside colors seem more appropriate maybe too.

              The EB is an amazing bag either way though and like every other Bihn I have(and there are several) it is more thoughtfully designed and implemented than you expect or will appreciate at first.
              They have had different color flaps on both the outside of the Empire Builder and the (smaller) Zephyr in the past, as well as different colors for the interior lining. I remember seeing the Sapphire interior back in 2005.

              Comment


                #8
                FWIW there is a product image of Black/Navy/Wasabi
                Synapse25 | Pilot | Aeronaut 45 | CoPilot | Large DOP | SideEffect | 3D Organizer Cubes | Q-Kit | #1 & #2 Stuff Sacks

                Comment


                  #9
                  WOW!!! You guys are great. Some replies:

                  Ineffable: Thanks for the insight on if a new version might be in the works!! Hate to buy something and then have a new one come out.
                  AVService: I will private message you related to my Synapse and you EB.
                  The $30 I meant was: $10 to get the Synapse to me. $10 to send it back. $10 to get the EB to me. Again, not a deal breaker, but $30 in shipping is getting to be a lot.

                  I like the Bihnions almost as much (I hope) as the bags.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hello Gambci. I purchased the iPad Cache and the iPad mini Cache. I just purchased them a week ago. The iPad mini cache just barely fits the mini. No room for the smart cover. I tried, but was uncomfortable with how much pressure I would have to use. I have an iPad air, but I use it with a keyboard. So, I bought the iPad Cache hoping it would fit with my iPad air and my keyboard. And it does. And... I can slip my mini in there too. Hope this helps.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                      Hello Gambci. I purchased the iPad Cache and the iPad mini Cache. I just purchased them a week ago. The iPad mini cache just barely fits the mini. No room for the smart cover. I tried, but was uncomfortable with how much pressure I would have to use. I have an iPad air, but I use it with a keyboard. So, I bought the iPad Cache hoping it would fit with my iPad air and my keyboard. And it does. And... I can slip my mini in there too. Hope this helps.
                      It certainly does, I'll change my order to the iPad Cache instead of the iPad Air Cache, to give me room for the Smart Cover.

                      Thanks again,

                      Charlie

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