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  1. #1
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    Got both the S19 and the S25 today...decision is made!

    I had recently bought the S19 with Freudian Slip but right away felt before I started using it that I owed it to myself to try the S25.

    I only did a test packing of the S19 to see how it felt. It will be primarily a daily carry and while which ever bag I choose, I will bring when I travel, the main use is EDC.

    I figured I'll usually will have the following: water bottle, ipad pro or 12/13 MP or MBP, chargers and cables, one smaller sized camera and a medium size camera (I'm a photographer), sunglasses, cell phone, assorted stuff total fit into any of the pockets...I packed it and took the S19 while I walked my dog, total weight including the S19 and Freudian Slip was around 10 lbs.

    I am 5' 11" tall, 172 lbs and male : )

    I was surprised at how I felt with the S19 on. While it wasn't 'bad' it wasn't as good as I expected. In fact, since I am not one who likes carrying anything, I felt I'd never be happy with the S19. Since I never carry a bag, I thought it was mostly my preference to not carry things and didn't fault the bag per se.

    The S25 just arrived and I threw in a bunch of stuff and right away, the larger size, even if it's hardly full, appeals to me and is easier to load up and take things out.

    The jacket I had carefully rolled up to fit in the front pocket of the S19 was just stuffed into the same pocket location on the S25..ahhh..off to a good start.

    I put my 15"MBP, not something I had in the S19, water bottle, iPad Pro, medium size camera and a bunch of other stuff including the Freudian Slip. Total weight 10 lbs with obviously plenty of room for much more.

    Here's where it got interesting. The bag felt so much better on my back than the S19!

    I had only factored which of the two would hold my stuff, no thought on comfort.

    Everybody is different of course and the S19 is a great size but even if I carry the S25 75% empty, it just feels so much better on my shoulders.

    I have one more bag arriving Friday before I make my final decision but thrilled with the S25. Much more so than I ever expected for EDC.
    Last edited by 28mm; 09-13-2017 at 08:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    Just curious, whats the 3rd bag you are waiting on? I had the same reaction to the s19, did not feel right, also looked like I had a big egg strapped to my back when it was full. The S25 is really comfy compared to that. Good luck with your bag search, I BET you will be keeping the S25! I also bought the Freudian Slip for the S25 and am working on figuring out how to use it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by anna2222 View Post
    Just curious, whats the 3rd bag you are waiting on? I had the same reaction to the s19, did not feel right, also looked like I had a big egg strapped to my back when it was full. The S25 is really comfy compared to that. Good luck with your bag search, I BET you will be keeping the S25! I also bought the Freudian Slip for the S25 and am working on figuring out how to use it.
    That's a good bet as it feels fantastic as opposed to the S19 which I couldn't get really comfortable with.

    The new aggravation is that while I had no problem at all with Black Ballistic, I got the S25 in Black Halcyon. I had a vague feeling that it looked a bit soft and maybe even feminine but went against my judgement and got it.

    I know this is all personal taste and preference but to me it's not only feminine but looks like a Diaper bag! I cursed my girlfriend for making that wisecrack which totally sealed it's fate!

    OK, now to the mystery 'third bag'.

    It's not something most people, other than photographers would consider but I love the company.

    I'd never have considered this except I was so disappointed in how the S19 felt.

    The bag that's arriving on Friday is the Tenba Shootout 18. It comes in different sizes and I am thinking that same as the S19, I'd like a larger size.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The reason I am even considering it, is that while I like having my stuff, I am a spoiled New Yorker who orders most everything online or within a 25 yard radius!

    Even though this is a serious camera bag, most of the things I need to carry should easily fit in the pockets.

    I think you are guessing right and that no matter what I get, I'm keeping the S25 (also the Freudian Slip) makes more sense for the S25 than the S19 and even has zippered compartments on both sides, when the S19 Freudian slip has none. Who knew?

    But the Dad Diaper bag has to be exchanged no matter what I decide! Smilie

  4. #4
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    I actually thought I had settled down my final decision to get Synapse 19. I'm just waiting for the right color to come by. But after reading your post, I'm going back to square one again! Oh well~

    After many reading, discussion and video-watching, I think S19 will be perfect as EDC for me, as I don't want a big backpack. I already have a Smart Alec (SA) and I feel SA is better at handling bigger capacity like S25.

    Hm... I'm definitely will like both Synapse a try to get a feel to set my expectation right.

    ----------

    I have a Tenba Messenger Mini. Perfect for 13" Laptop. Got it at very super good deal @Adorama. As much as I love photography, I do not take up as a hobby, neither own Camera Gadgets except my Cellphone Stick Out Tongue But I always amaze with how camera been transforming our life and more normal people can be as good as professional photographer nowadays. Anyway, I re-purposed the bag to be my Work's Document Briefcase for about 6 months. I really like the hard-bottom and wide-depth, plus it is quite lightweight. I don't really use the bag now, as I managed to downsize my EDC load and wouldn't need to carry so much document everywhere. I would say, Tenba's messenger/briefcase are something one shouldn't skip, if one is in the industry. Their bag is unique as Tenba, just like Tom Bihn too.

    Speaking about Tenba's briefcase, I still like to see Mini Empire Builder of Tom Bihn.
    Great organization and neat. Perfect for 13" Laptop. Business and Professional look.
    Last edited by weirdguy; 09-13-2017 at 10:29 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by weirdguy View Post
    I actually thought I had settled down my final decision to get Synapse 19. I'm just waiting for the right color to come by. But after reading your post, I'm going back to square one again! Oh well~

    After many reading, discussion and video-watching, I think S19 will be perfect as EDC for me, as I don't want a big backpack. I already have a Smart Alec (SA) and I feel SA is better at handling bigger capacity like S25.

    Hm... I'm definitely will like both Synapse a try to get a feel to set my expectation right.

    ----------

    I have a Tenba Messenger Mini. Perfect for 13" Laptop. Got it at very super good deal @Adorama. As much as I love photography, I do not take up as a hobby, neither own Camera Gadgets except my Cellphone Stick Out Tongue But I always amaze with how camera been transforming our life and more normal people can be as good as professional photographer nowadays. Anyway, I re-purposed the bag to be my Work's Document Briefcase for about 6 months. I really like the hard-bottom and wide-depth, plus it is quite lightweight. I don't really use the bag now, as I managed to downsize my EDC load and wouldn't need to carry so much document everywhere. I would say, Tenba's messenger/briefcase are something one shouldn't skip, if one is in the industry. Their bag is unique as Tenba, just like Tom Bihn too.

    Speaking about Tenba's briefcase, I still like to see Mini Empire Builder of Tom Bihn.
    Great organization and neat. Perfect for 13" Laptop. Business and Professional look.
    Sorry to set you back to square one. I can't say for everyone if they will feel as I did about the S19 but the S25 just feels like an old friend. I doubt very much the Tenba knocks it out of the equation.

    Of course there is always room for two bags..or three...

    I recently bought a really amazing tenba camera bag..It even smelled amazing..everything about it I liked..Except that when I am out shooting or with my camera, most every day, I don't like things on my shoulder. I tried it for 2 days and as great as it was, I opted to go the backpack route.

    If I had gotten the S25 first, I'd never be looking at another bag so soon but the S19 was so nothing special as far as 'feel' for me.

    I saw this link and have to try for myself.

    Shootout

    Of course I could be wrong but like Anna2222 predicts, I doubt I don't order another S25m this time in Black Ballistic and not Dad Diaper Bag..haha!

    I actually packed the S25 again tonight. It's going back to Tom Bihn so I don't want to really use it but I just packed it up to confirm my feeling and it is just super comfortable.

    The Tenba arrives Friday and that's when I decide what to do.

    Curious what you wind up doing. COming from me, someone who doesn't like to carry things, I;'d give the S25 a shot if you like the style. I was concerned that the bigger bag would be a nuisance in NYC (although large obnoxious bags are everywhere). The S25 just feels so comfortable and 'right'. I'm rooting for it over the Tenba which is such a different animal...also I use a rangefinder and only one lense so I don't need a dedicated camera bag. I don't use tripods or flashes or more than 1-2 lenses, The S25 easily can handle that as I wrap them in padding with Velcro.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot for post. I've been lurking and debating between the two bags myself. I have a very similar kit to you and want my bag to carry this gear thru non-check travel and still function as an EDC. I also HATE to carry anything-so I want the weight to disappear in a backpack. My fears are substantiated by you post. I have had the same experience with a LowePro Fastpacl BP 150AW (a small bag)::: it doesn't carry well. I think the geometry of a smaller bag ending at the 10th rib doesn't allow proper load shifting. This actually IMHO should be topic #1-how does it carry weight? I really do want the footprint of the S19, however, and I'm sure it's great with a few chatchkas in it, but I think you've saved me a mistake-I should re-look at S25. Now how does that carry? With the same load walking around for a few hours? (I'll add an aside: I just returned an Osprey Escapist 25 with an adjustable hi-tech harness that does make the weight disappear. However, the organization isn't suitable for the lumps of electronics and optics we carry) So I would appreciate a deeper field test of the S25 with a load.

    Laurence

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldmanlaurence View Post
    Thanks a lot for post. I've been lurking and debating between the two bags myself. I have a very similar kit to you and want my bag to carry this gear thru non-check travel and still function as an EDC. I also HATE to carry anything-so I want the weight to disappear in a backpack. My fears are substantiated by you post. I have had the same experience with a LowePro Fastpacl BP 150AW (a small bag)::: it doesn't carry well. I think the geometry of a smaller bag ending at the 10th rib doesn't allow proper load shifting. This actually IMHO should be topic #1-how does it carry weight? I really do want the footprint of the S19, however, and I'm sure it's great with a few chatchkas in it, but I think you've saved me a mistake-I should re-look at S25. Now how does that carry? With the same load walking around for a few hours? (I'll add an aside: I just returned an Osprey Escapist 25 with an adjustable hi-tech harness that does make the weight disappear. However, the organization isn't suitable for the lumps of electronics and optics we carry) So I would appreciate a deeper field test of the S25 with a load.

    Laurence
    Hey Laurence, I'm glad I posted my findings, as many of us are in the same boat. Interesting about the Osprey 25, I'll check it out when I am at REI.

    I got the Tenba 18L tonight and it's fantastic but a completely different product that is a rigid size, as it has to be. Feels like you're carrying a box on your back. Tenba has super quality but this would never be good to carry in crowded areas.

    I am returning the S25 (and ordering a new one) as I don't like the color or the fabric, especially compared to the Ballistic material I got on the S19. That's all personal taste of course but after my gf called it a "Dad Diaper Bag", that was the end of that. It so looks like that..not such a bad thing but not the look I'm going for these days!

    I am highly optimistic about the S25. I've packed things in it and it's easy to load and for anything I'd carry in it there's plenty of room. My gf is 4 11" and i had her try both bags out..and she liked the feel of the S19 better which is no surprise.

    I don't usually carry a laptop but if you do, you'd either want the cache for it or use the interior pocket, there's no cushioning to protect it otherwise.

    I mentioned in my other post about the Freudian Slip, which I ordered on both the S19 and S25. To me, it makes more sense for the S25 as there's more room. In addition, the Freudian Slip for the S25 has a zippered compartment on both sides of it.

    I liked the idea of the footprint of the S19 as well but in actuality, the larger dimension of each aspect of the bag just work better for me and are easier to load and unload.

    I'd be very surprised if I was disappointed in how it feels with a fuller load. For what I usually will be carrying, 10 total pounds including the bag felt light and comfortable.

    The same 10 lbs in the S19, didn't feel heavy necessarily but the fit for me wasn't great..In fairness though to anyone considering the S19, i didn't much thought in how I loaded it. Clearly it could have been better and probably would have felt a little better, even though I am convinced for my body size and shape (which is pretty 'generic" (5 11, 172), it didn't feel great around my shoulders. It wasn't horrible either but not inspiring to carry.

    The S25 on the other hand, felt perfect.

    As soon as the new one comes in, I'll write up my thoughts on it!
    Last edited by 28mm; 09-16-2017 at 01:33 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by anna2222 View Post
    Just curious, whats the 3rd bag you are waiting on? I had the same reaction to the s19, did not feel right, also looked like I had a big egg strapped to my back when it was full. The S25 is really comfy compared to that. Good luck with your bag search, I BET you will be keeping the S25! I also bought the Freudian Slip for the S25 and am working on figuring out how to use it.
    Anna, you won the bet!Cool

  9. #9
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    @28mm,

    LOL, awesome! What color did you go with? They have a lot of their new fabrics out on the S25, which I can attest, are pretty amazing. I don't care for the dynema either, but for a different reason, I actually think it looks pretty cool, but it scratches more easily than the ballistic. I also think the ballistic (and the new 525 fabric now that I have tried some of them) looks really sturdy (because it is!) and sleek, even professional if you need that, even in a backpack.

  10. #10
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    I'll take it in Black Ballistic, with Sky or Red inside. The Ballistic 525 is pretty perfect material for me and while I'm curious how the Cordura is like, not curious enough to order yet another bag and probably waste another month if I find out I prefer the Ballistic 525!

    I need my S25 already!

    I've gone through a few bags over the years that I've bought, not used and given away. The only one that I've used consistantly is an 11 year old Kelby. When I discovered Tom Bihn bags, I googled my Kelby bag so I could make comparisons and help in the selection process.

    Only then did I discover my model Kelby is a Woman's bag! Oh, the humiliation! I read the reviews, one of which said it was more about 'fashion" rather than function! That hurt!

    I was ready to abandon it on the street when I had the idea of making it the official food shopping bag for my girlfriend who is Trader Joe addict. So now she loves her 'shopping bag' and I've got nothing!

    Except an S19 new in the box and an S25 that I know I'd regret keeping in Halcyon!

  11. #11
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    Well, I packed up the S19 and the S25 and off they went back to Tom Bihn!

    I went to REI today to find something as I wait for the S25 in Ballistic 25 with a Sky Halcyon inside or any color inside as I need the thing already!

    I spent 45 minutes looking with the seasoned eye of someone who knows what he wants, after a couple of hundred hours of research, haha.

    Nothing was right for me, even as a temporary bag. I know it sounds nuts but nothing even faintly clicked. I'd be better off randomly walking around in the city and getting a $10 backpack from one of many street vendors.

    I happily gave up as it's starting to get old looking at bags and I headed up Lafeyette Street in Manhattan. Right across the street was a dedicated Timbukto store. http://www.timbuk2.com/home?form_s=g...xoC-ksQAvD_BwE

    I'm sure it was my imagination that I got almost veiled eye rolls as I explained what I was looking for. The clerk said something very helpful though, "You just described half the bags in the store. Why don't you look around?"

    It can't just be me but the retail experience is more annoying than ever. Maybe because I don't have to do it much anymore thanks to the Internet.

    While some of the Timbuktu bags looked interesting, none felt right to me. I imagined the process of actually going back to return it and i felt vaguely nauseas!

    Off I went next door for a $10 pressed juice...Is this Manhattan or Santa Monica? Everything's changed!

    As I walked home, I called Kat at Tom Bihn (Hi Kat if you're reading) and told her my plight, which probably sounded slightly insane to her although she seemed to hint that Tom Bihn customers share certain particular qualities. She did say this in a nice way!

    Anyway, she told me S25's were coming in and I'd get a notification most likely tonight.

    True to her word, I did and promptly ordered a Black Ballistic S25 with Northwest Sky!

    While it's true there's never going to be the perfect bag, for now I can rest easy knowing I did my homework and the S25 fits the bill better than anything else I looked at...and I looked at a lot!

    I'll "review' it when I get it and spend some time out in the wild of NYC streets with it on my back!

    ]
    Last edited by 28mm; 09-18-2017 at 09:09 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 28mm View Post
    I went to REI today to find something …
    Obligatory shout out for the REI Trail 25.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucep View Post
    Obligatory shout out for the REI Trail 25.
    That looks really good! would have been perfect while i wait for the S25...luckily it's shipping today!
    Last edited by 28mm; 09-19-2017 at 08:15 AM.

  14. #14
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    Did someone predict I'd wind up with both the S19 and the S25?

    Just received the S19..again..

    : )

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 28mm View Post
    Did someone predict I'd wind up with both the S19 and the S25?

    Just received the S19..again..

    : )
    How do you get your camera in and out while walking around with your S25?

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