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  1. #1
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    Synapse 19 or 25???

    Hi,

    I am needing some assistance in choosing between the Synapse 19 or the 25.

    Some things about me: I'm a male that's 5 foot 7 inches tall and 138 lbs. I have 17 inch shoulders (I know this because I just had a custom suit made), so somewhat broad shouldered for my size I suppose.

    I'm wanting a new EDC bag, that I plan on using for one bag travel as well. I've seen the S19 before, and thought it was small at first, but now think it is the most perfectly sized bag for what I'm looking for in a rucksack. The thing somehow magically can hold a lot more than it would appear. I have not seen the S25, but since I know I like the S19, I feel like the 25 would be too large for me. I want a smaller bag so I do not stand out as much in a crowd. I really like the aspect of blending in when I'm in larger cities.

    That said, I have seen many threads concerning the strap placement between the two bags. I know that the S19 has reverted back to an older, more narrow, strap spacing, while the 25 is much wider. I'm confused as to which size bag I should purchase now because what if the straps on the S19 are too narrow for me? I really want the 19 over the 25, but if the 25s straps would work better for my frame, then I suppose I can deal with it. On the webpages, Tom Bihn lists the S19 for people up to 6 feet tall, which it would seem I'm about in the mid-range for what they would recommend. They recommend the S25 to those over 5'6; which would put me at the lower end of that spectrum. Can anyone help me with this issue?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Prince Vegeta; 10-12-2017 at 02:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm 6'1" and recently got a S25. I think it fits fine for me, but I am thinking of getting a S19 too, as S25 feels slightly too big as an EDC bag for me. S25 does collapse pretty nicely, though.

  3. #3
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    If you like the s19 I would buy one and a s25. It's a ton of cash but tom bihn is good on the returns. You may eat some cash on the shipping but it seems this is the most subjective issue when it comes to bihn bags.

    I'm 5'10 and weigh 160 and a s19 fits me very well. It's an older model however.

    Hope you find the answers you are looking for.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I really love my S19 and use it a ton as an EDC or personal item with a 20" rolling bag. I have used it for several 3 day weekend trips as an only bag, but it is just a little small for my taste for much longer than that. I recently bought an S25 for a 10 day trip to Central America to use as an only bag because i wanted a little more room. It seems giant, not sure if it is because i bought it in the new Ballistic and my S19 is in halcyon so it just feels bulkier, or it is just that much bigger. I would buy the one that you need based on how much you need to carry. The S19 initially felt tiny to me, but the pockets are organized so well, it is so easy to find things and stash them.
    WF-Original halcyon/UV, Pilot-Black/UV, S19-black halcyon/Island, S25 Olive/UV, SCB-Original halcyon/Wasabi, SK-black halcyon/Island, SE-Aubergine/Wasabi, SC-Fjord, shop bags and numerous bits and bobs in as many colors as i can rationalize

  5. #5
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    I'm kind of having this dilemma now, if I go with with a Synapse for a bike bag. I've been going through a few Osprey's and the current color offerings are U-G-L-Y. Yikes. There's probably a conspiracy to get me to go with a Synapse.

    Anyways........ When I was looking at backpacks a couple of years ago, I checked out both the S19 and S25. The S19 looks SO small, the pockets I mean. I'm not sure even a 3DOC would fit in them?

    But I'm 5'6'', 130lb. I prefer stuff that fits well for midgets. (I like that my Pilot is not as wide as a traditional briefcase. Thank you, Tom.) I want to avoid the "12 year old boy with a schoolbag" look.
    Last edited by zephyr; 10-12-2017 at 10:56 AM.

  6. #6
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    you and I are the same height and weight, and I'm relatively broad shouldered for a non-dude (plus I have a wicked short torso for someone my height, which can make some bigger backpacks fit oddly). I had a S19 previously and it fit well enough, but the S25 fits perfectly and imo is a lot more versatile since I can use it for work (and carrying my company issued 15" laptop), and for travel sans computer equally well. It does collapse down well, esp in the halcyon exterior.

  7. #7
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    Iím 172cm (5 foot 7 I guess) and the S25 is the right length for me. Love it.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    I found the s19 to be too small for what I needed (wanted) to carry around with me on a daily basis.
    The s25 lets me carry around everything I want and still have room for a packing cube of clothes for when I travel.

    The s25 is bigger on the inside, but it doesn't *feel* much bigger when wearing it, if that makes sense. I'm 5'6" and lets just a say I'm a fat lady and leave it at that . The s25 may be a tad long on me, but I have a shorter torso. The bag looks totally ok on my 5'6" 180 lb husband who has a longer torso and shorter legs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly S View Post
    The s25 is bigger on the inside, but it doesn't *feel* much bigger when wearing it, if that makes sense.
    YES, this is so true.

  10. #10
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    Maybe this is because I'm a smaller person (5'4 on a good day) but I first got the S25, and it never quite felt right to me. When I got the S19, it just felt perfect! It conforms really well to my back and feels a lot less in the way when underpacked. I have one of the older wider strap ones and always have to use the sternum strap though. I think torso length is probably the deciding factor here so maybe measure your torso. After I got the S19, it became really clear that the S25 was too long for me, with the bottom bumping against my butt.

    For both, their magic holding power activates when you have lots of smaller things to carry - think about what will go in all those lovely pockets. Personally I find I don't like to have too much in the main compartment, mostly just a couple big flat-ish things (pick 2 or maybe 3 of: laptop, slim lunch box (I use ebags one), textbook, sweater, flat packing cube). I thought I'd appreciate the extra space of the S25 but the main compartment can't really be stuffed there either without rounding out uncomfortably - the main compartment is mostly just taller which actually meant there was unused space above my stuff. IMO, the upgrade from S19 to S25 mostly makes sense if you have more small/medium things (i.e. want to fit more in the bottom and side pockets). Both for torso length and fitting larger, lumpier things, the Smart Alec works better for me than the S25 when I need that capacity.

    Hope that helps!

  11. #11
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    You mentioned you donít want to stand out in the crowd. I think the same Ďloadí of an S19 in an S25 will stand out less.

    What I mean is a fully loaded S19 looks like a little round turtle shell (in my opinion). Which will stick out a little.

    That same load in an S25 can be spread around a little more and therefore feels flatter packed on my back and sticks out less.

    Iím sure I could be proved wrong on this but it feels flatter so Iíve stuck with the S25.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    A vote for "Portable Culture"
    Aeronaut 45 (Black/Steel), Tristar (Steel/Island), Cadet (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Black Halcyon/Iberian), Ristretto 13 (Steel/NWS), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel), Daylight Backpack (Burnt Orange), Daylight Briefcase (Black Halcyon) PLUS more 'bits' than you can shake a stick at!

  12. #12
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    I loved my S19 but it just looked silly on me every time I carried it!
    I am 6'1" but it was the only Synapse in town at first so I sucked it up anyway.

    For me the S25 is so much better it is almost not fair to compare the two too!

  13. #13
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    Wow, the 25 looks really good on you. Not too big at all. This definitely makes things tougher. Another aspect I really like about the 19 is that it is small enough that it will almost never be in the way when say, cramped inside a car with 4 or 5 other people. The 19 is also personal item sized for airlines.

  14. #14
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    No, I understand what you mean. That's a good point.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the responses so far! It seems that the general consensus is that I should get the size that would carry what I need. Can anyone tell me how the narrower S19 straps vs the wider 25 straps would work for my frame?

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