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  1. #1
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    Replacing my swanky Tumi briefcase with a Bihn backpack, but which?

    I work in the financial services profession, and have used a Tumi briefcase for about 15 years. It has held up well and been with me all over the world. However, I'm finding it impractical these days. Mostly because:

    • A company-issued laptop has become part of my everyday carry, and it can get a bit heavy over my shoulder.
    • I now make frequent Amtrak trips to NYC. They're usually one-nighters, and I'd rather carry just one bag.


    A few years ago, people in my business used to mock backpacks and say "you're not in elementary school anymore." Now they've become downright respectable-- and all of the luxury companies have started pushing them. I'd much rather have a Tom Bihn than one of these pompous brands: Bihns lighter, tougher, and designed for carrying real things in the real world. But you all know that, since you're part of the fan base!

    I've settled on a Synapse 25, and am torn between black halcyon dyneema and regular denier. I like the look of dyneema, but will it hold up to the beating it may take on trains? Will it resist a sudden downpour? Or is the standard denier a better long-term choice for my needs? Opinions and real-world experience would be most appreciated!

  2. #2
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    I don't have one, my DLBC is Cordura, so I can't answer how well the Halcyon holds up over time, but let me throw this tidbit out there:

    The reason I went with the Cordura over the Halcyon was because of it's looks. Both the checkered pattern itself, and the fact that most of the product photos make it looked wrinkled, didn't seem as 'professional' looking as the Cordura/Ballistic photos. I debated for a while between it's looks and the fact that the Halcyon's tend to be lighter, but in the end, I required a bag that fit into a professional setting.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Muni_Jedi's Avatar
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    I prefer halcyon myself. I have an old school S25 in white grid nordic that I've had for for a good while that looks exactly the same as it did when I opened the box. It will resist rain as well as ballistic and cordura and I find it compress and expands a bit more, which to me makes it a bit more flexible. The fabric definitely feels less substantial than the other options but in practical terms you shouldn't have a problem. There is a thread (maybe with a video) around where a halcyon pack is thrown off the roof of a car at speed and it survives with only a small scuff.

    I like the look and feel of halcyon and if I can get a pack in that it's my go to option.

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    I also work in the financial industry and I have found the S25 works very well in my professional environment. I find the natural low profile nature of the backpack gives it that sleek streamlined look that works so well in a professional environment.

    In my daily carry, I actually can fit things in the front compartments with just my 14" laptop put in the open pocket of the main compartment. But, on those days I need to carry 2 laptops, it still works (to my surprise) - see this pic:



    I have had both the Cordura and Grey Grid Black Halcyon version. The Cordura is good but the black color does show dirt a bit more and may require a bit more maintenance. However, because of the durability and professional look, it was great for me.
    When the Grey Grid Halcyon version came out, I felt that it was good because that fabric shows no dirt IMHO and the new version is so close to pure black. It also is fantastic at water resistance and can slide in and out of spaces more easily than the Cordura version. It is true that the Halcyon version seems more "wrinkly" but when I compared it to my Cordura version, it really was more that the wrinkles were there in both version - the Halycon version was just more crisp while the Cordura version was slightly softer. Overall, the only minus side is the slightly less durability of the Halcyon version. I have accidentally nicked the bottom of my Halcyon slightly so I know it is not as "thow it anywhere" capable as the Cordura version but it is acceptable for me to be slightly more careful as I did also nick my Cordura version too (but it does not show damage as much due to the nature of Cordura being a more "fuzzy" or rougher material).

    Bottom line, IMHO, the trade-offs were good enough for me to keep my Grey Grid version. Another plus for a financial professional environment IMHO is that the Grey Grid version has a more urban, technical look as opposed to the Cordura which has a more cotton canvas casual look. Now, if they came out with a ballistic nylon version .... whoa ... Smilie

    Here is my Halcyon Pack as EDC (Front compartments filled with only laptop in the main compartment):




    Here is my Cordura version as EDC:




    Hope this helps
    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 01-18-2017 at 02:15 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    Another plus for a financial professional environment IMHO is that the Grey Grid version has a more urban, technical look as opposed to the Cordura which has a more cotton canvas casual look.
    Love that look, and it's perfect for almost any environment I might find myself in. Thanks for that great assessment and pics!

  6. #6
    Forum Member Peruvian's Avatar
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    I also work in the financial services industry and own a Black Halcyon Synapse 25. Although I don't use it for work, as my carry is minimal (paperless environment,) I use my S25 frequently on non-business related situations. Water repellency is impressive.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    I work in a professional and conservative environment and have used a black cordura S25 in the past and now a grey cordura S25 (and owned a navy cordura synapse also). I also have a Black grid halcyon DLBP so can give a reasonable view in my opinion.

    I think that both would work but the cordura would always be my preference as the slightly harder wearing fabric overall. The cordura also is a very 'solid' fabric (both in terms of weight/quality and colour). I liked the black one i had (with Iberian interior) but prefer my grey/UV.

    The UV inside is my slightly rebellious side encapsulated in a very 'corporate' appropriate grey. Sounds a bit dull but it just looks great. I prefer it over the black cordura and much more than the navy cordura.

    I love the Black dyneema in the smaller DLBP and use that as a destination bag when travelling for work so it still looks corporate enough in my view. In a larger bag like the S25, I guess I'd still go for the cordura.

    Great choice on the bag though, you can't go wrong.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  8. #8
    Forum Member mel_h's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muni_Jedi View Post
    I have an old school S25 in white grid nordic that I've had for for a good while that looks exactly the same as it did when I opened the box.
    Seconding. I don't know how it's possible because I am a rampant bag abuser. I have a white grid S25 and I've leaned on dirty walls with it, set it on the floor of metro trains, shoved it under plane seats and in overhead compartments, and dragged it around the house with two shedding cats and two messy dogs. Looks the same.

  9. #9
    Forum Member sose's Avatar
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    Which Tumi are you leaving behind, out of curiosity?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Virtus junxit, mors non separabit.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sose View Post
    Which Tumi are you leaving behind, out of curiosity?
    They no longer make it, but it's similar to a model now called the Three Way Brief. It has served me well on travels all over the world... and it's my go-to bag for just about every occasion where I'm not carrying my beastly company-issued laptop.

    Having said that, I would not buy a Tumi today. They're overpriced and the quality has declined. They also have become status symbols and theft magnets.

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