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  1. #1
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    Synapse 25 In the Hot Heat & Sweat With Hiking

    Hey Ya'lls!

    I've been looking for a new bag that I can use for EDC, light (1-3 day) travel, and maybe some urban and rural hiking. And I was torn between the Goruck GR1 26L and the Tom Bihn Synapse 25. I do like having a water bottle pouch, a light bag, and having things in their, so I'm leaning heavily with the Synapse 25 in halcyon but I'm wondering if anyone can talk about how it gets in the hot heat and sweating with long term use throughout the day.

    Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
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    In my opinion, the Synapse 25 isn't suitable for hot weather hiking. The straps have zero venting, have thin padding, are relatively wide, and seem to be made out of a neoprene-like material that traps heat. I hate to say this, but among all the various backpacks I've owned, none have straps that trap heat like the ones on the Synapse 25. The back has a mesh covering over a foam like material. I tend to think the foam traps heat because my back gets slightly hotter with the Synapse 25 than another pack I have with a different type of ventilation system (basically a relatively hard screen like mesh).

    All that said, it's a great bag for travel and office use. I just don't think it's a great back for hiking in heat.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Aeon's Avatar
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    Can you wear the S25 while hiking? Yep. Is it the best hiking bag for airflow and ventilation? Nope. If you want that, there are bags designed to allow airflow between the back of the bag and the wearer's back. Check those out, but you are definitely getting more of a technical/outdoorsy looking bag over a more urban looking pack like the Synapse.

    I'll add this point though: I rarely sweat above my shoulders, a little from my shoulders to mid-torso, and absolutely BUCKETS from my mid-torso to hips. If I'm hot, my lower back and torso sweats. No bag I have ever tried has made me feel cooler and sweat less. None. So I just focus on carry comfort and air my clothes and bags out at the end of the day. Choosing a backpack for good or better ventilation is so low on my priority list it's not even a consideration.

    I have worn my Synapse 25 all day as a daypack in hot weather and it's been fine; no complaints from me other than having to schlepp my stuff around all day in hot weather. I do not wear it for day hiking because it's not laid out in a way I find practical for hiking. But I'm also not asking it to be a jack of all trades pack. And you know what they say about those Jacks... Wink

    So how important is a pack's airflow and ventilation to you? Realistically, how often are you going to be wearing a backpack all day in hot weather? Are you able to air the pack out after a long day wearing it?
    Last edited by Aeon; 07-08-2018 at 10:09 AM.

    Long live Burnt Orange! Zest! 152!

  4. #4
    Forum Member RmkOutdoors's Avatar
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    I can tell you right now the S25 is much more better suited for hiking than the Goruck. Goruck is literally a slab of Cordura and it is awful for hiking, at least if you want to me comfortable. I've done a Goruck tough with a Gr1 as it does great carrying weight but comfort was not the main goal of that challenge. If you want a breathable backpack the Synapse does help somewhat but not as much as a hiking pack. Osprey or Gregory would be the way to go for that but I've used a Synapse for many years and to be the build quality and organization is enough to overcome some back sweat.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    I would have to agree with RmkOutdoors and maybe consider a Osprey backpack. In no way is a Synapse great for hiking if your worried about sweating. I had a GR2 and even though its pretty much bomb proof its too heavy and it will also make you sweat. I find if the synapse makes my back sweat even just walking around the airport with a t-shirt on. Tom Bihn bags are great however they were never meant for hiking. But if I had to choose I would pick the Tom Bihn which is so much lighter and lighter is usually always better. There are so many companies making great travel bags now. I just preordered a Arcido backpack and they have a smaller backpack and both are much better for ventilation. So my very lightly used Synapse 25 (black with Island color) will be up for sale in the next few weeks.

  6. #6
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    I usually over think things and maybe this was such a case. But to pinpoint what I was thinking of getting a bag for, I was looking for something in terms of a one-bag travel for maybe a weekend jaunt. So I'm thinking clothes and a laptop, all in the bag when I fly. Get to my hotel or AirBNB, where I'd take my clothes out and just use my backpack in an urban adventure setting. Do you think the synapse would work in this case? Maybe like 4-5 hours in urban exploration?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpgutierrez View Post
    I usually over think things and maybe this was such a case. But to pinpoint what I was thinking of getting a bag for, I was looking for something in terms of a one-bag travel for maybe a weekend jaunt. So I'm thinking clothes and a laptop, all in the bag when I fly. Get to my hotel or AirBNB, where I'd take my clothes out and just use my backpack in an urban adventure setting. Do you think the synapse would work in this case? Maybe like 4-5 hours in urban exploration?
    The S25 doesn't fit me, but I walked all over Portland, OR with a SmartAlec (waiting to get into my AirBnB) and didn't find it unbearable, though my back did get hot. I run 'hot' normally and pretty much any backpack - even the ones with great air vents - are still warm to me.
    Anytime I felt like I needed a break, I simply took it off for a bit or carried it over one shoulder for a while... normal food breaks, sitting on a train, etc., it's natural to me to take it off my back, which lets you cool off.
    I also have been known to find a good place to pose the pack and take a pic for the forum
    Smilie

    The S25 & SA are basically the same (to me at least) in terms on how the mesh back panel snugs to your back...it doesn't have air channels. A lot depends on your personal tolerance level and what climate you plan on wandering around in.

  8. #8
    Forum Member 3rdCoastHighlander's Avatar
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    I love the S19 for a EDC and for point to point traveling, where I tend to leave my pack in my hotel room. The pack design is great. But for long hiking (4-5 hours+), the straps just aren't built for that. I wish the straps and hip belt were more developed. Maybe TB makes an S19+ or an S25+ offering the same pack, but with more developed straps and hip belt (with a phone pocket).
    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.

  9. #9
    TB Crew (We Work Here) MikeV's Avatar
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    This is such an interesting conversation! I've mentioned here before that I've been blessed to do nothing in my professional life except sell outdoor products. As you might expect from someone with that professional interest, I've hiked thousands of miles in my life and handled and carried hundreds of backpacks.

    Venting or 'suspended' backpacks have come and gone with varying degress of success over the years. There is a pretty dedicated group of folks who still swear by the old external frame packs from the 70's, partially for their ability to let air flow comfortably across the back. I think the challenge has come from trying to convert that idea to much smaller, minimally or non-framed packs. Applying that principle in smaller backpacks leads to packs that can bounce and wobble a good bit, and generally not feel like part of your body the way a good dayhiking pack should.

    That's not to say it doesn't work for offering better ventilation, but that it comes at a sacrifice to some other things a lot of folks are looking for in a dayhiking pack. Out of curiosity I headed to rei.com to see what their current selection of packs is like and I noticed that out of 132 options they have (dang!), there are only 30 that have suspended back panels. My quick conclusion is that all of the designers and wear testers at the various backpack brands wrestle with, and in many cases decide against prioritizing the ventilation aspect.

    In some ways it's a similar story with the thickness and shape of the backpack straps. There are a lot of ideas that have come and gone, and the fact that they go away implies these new ideas don't necessarily offer enough benefit to outweigh whatever minor negatives might exist. It all depends on what you're after, as with many things.

    Obviously I'm going to come to the defense of the mighty Synapse but I don't think it's fair to say the Synapse backpacks won't work for hiking- even in hot weather. I (and lots of other folks) use these backpacks in that application all the time and they work really well.

  10. #10
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    I'm glad there are lots of products out there to pick from, because what this discussion tells us more than anything else is that we're all individuals and one person's strap/sweat nightmare may be someone else's perfect bag Synapse 25 In the Hot Heat & Sweat With Hiking
    I use my Synapse in hot weather and think it compares well with my more hiking focused packs in that respect.
    For me, changing my clothing choices has had more impact in terns of comfort in the heat. I like Paramo wicking base layers as these leave me feeling cooler than other brands. Unfortunately they pill like crazy, but I'd rather be comfy than look smart!

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