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  1. #1
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    Synapse Backpack straps

    I recently found Tom Bihn backpacks and am so amazed by the supportive community here on the TB forum. After weeks of reading reviews, I finally purchased my very first TB bag - Synapse 25. I picked the deep blue 525 ballistic and love the color. The pics on the website do not do it justice. The bag seems to be very durable and I can tell it will last for a long time. The only thing I am worried about is that the backpack straps seems very thin and do not have a lot of padding. So for those who are long time TB users, what are your experiences with the backpack straps? Any issues with comfort and durability?

    Thanks in advance for anyone who will answer my question.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    I have a five year old Synapse and the straps are the same as when I bought it. The foam hasn’t degraded at all. You’re right in observing they’re not heavily padded. They’re more firm than cushy. I think they’re comfortable but that’s a subjective thing.
    Enjoy your new bag! We like pictures.

  3. #3
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
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    Strap durability has definitely not been an issue for my four-plus year old, well-used S19. The fabric has faded slightly (we’ve spent a lot of time in the sun), but the padding has really not weakened at all.

    As for comfort, I have been very pleased - this is the most comfortable backpack I’ve ever had. I think it’s more about where the straps sit on your body, rather than the thickness of their padding, that matters most here.

    The only way to know how they’ll work for you, though, is to try it. You might load up the pack and then wear it around the house for a bit to see what you think. If the tags are still on, you can return it if it doesn’t work for you.

  4. #4
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    No issues on the s25; however, I briefly owned an s19 and though I am small in stature (5ft, 120lbs) the straps caused me a ton of pain at the base of my neck where it meets with my spine and shoulders. I used it for one trip and had to return it. This is unusual, when I posted on it, doesn't seem like anyone else had an issue and if anything the super tall people were the ones who said the s19 didn't sit right. I absolutely love my s25 and recommend the frame sheet, it is a game changer! I own the padded hip belt as well, but honestly haven't used it, I just use the gatekeeper strap that comes with.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  5. #5
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    5 years old S19, not problem with the straps, great fit.

    11 years old Brain Bag, no problem with the straps, great fit.

    11 years old Packing Cube Backpacks, no problem with the straps, great fit.

    5 years old Aeronaut 45, no problems with the straps, great fit.

    5 years old Tristar, no problems with the straps, great fit.

    1 year old Daylight Backpack, no problem with the straps, great fit.


    S25: I am quoting Melminimalist: "I briefly owned an s19 and though I am small in stature (5ft, 120lbs) the straps caused me a ton of pain at the base of my neck where it meets with my spine and shoulders. I used it for one trip and had to return it."

    Switch S19 to S25, replace small in stature to big and tall, replace I test packed it indoor and you have my experience with it.

    First return, ever, since I became a Tom Bihn customer in 2006.

    I believe the framesheet and the padded belt might be a game changer, as well.
    However, I'd rather test pack at the Mothership, between exited chats with The Lovely Crew.

    I am in the U.S, I already visited the Mothership once, when it was the new factory warehouse, before the brightening up of things, renovation.
    Last edited by backpack; 01-20-2018 at 01:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Member 3rdCoastHighlander's Avatar
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    I purchased the Synapse 19 to accompany my carry-on for a tip to Europe, since my Osprey Talon 22 was going to be apparently too large for the airline. I absolutely love the impeccable design and craftsmanship of the S19 (as well as the other TB items I use). The S19 was fantastic for traveling. And as an EDC, it absolutely fab.

    The one critique that I have of the S19 are the thin shoulder straps. While out and about exploring for 10-12 hours a day, the straps were the pack's weakness, especially when standing around in museums, etc. I never overloaded the pack. All I carried during the day were my field journal, water bottle, external battery, raincoat, sunglasses, and small items like a pen/pencil/highlighter. My Osprey's straps and back system are much more structured, which makes the pack more comfortable to carry for longer periods.

    With that said, the S19 is a great EDC. I'd buy it again, and I'll take it back to Europe due to the size. I'm hoping that the new internal frame makes the difference.
    Synapse 19, Black Halcyon/Island with multiple organizer accessories. Black Halcyon/Island Side Kick, 7-8 TB Shopping totes.
    Briggs & Riley CX Carry-on.
    "You can't have a narrow mind and a thick passport."- Pauline Frommer
    Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2016
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    I've been on the fence about a Synapse for a while now. The frame looks very tempting. I'd take a hard look at the padded waist strap that came out around the same time.

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