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  1. #1
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    Did You Downsize from the S25 to S19?

    Hi, everybody! I've been using an S25 for a few months and absolutely loving it. It's been my EDC bag to-and-from-work bag as well as my one-bag-travel savior. Most of the time, what lives in the outer pockets doesn't change at all - I have a tech pocket, Nintendo Switch pocket, water bottle pocket, and wallet pocket. The only difference between going to work and traveling is if there's a packing cube in the main compartment.

    I've seen lots of people here on the forums say that the S25 is too big for them, so they downsize to the S19. This boggles my mind; one of my favorite things about the S25 is that it does an excellent job of holding almost nothing as it does holding everything you need for a two-week trip. The way that the back panel is sewn to flatten out if it's not packed full is incredible. I can't imagine using an S19 after getting used to the size of the S25 outer pockets, even if my S25 main compartment is empty most of the time.

    I'm curious about what people who have downsized from the S25 to the S19 like better about the smaller bag. Is it the size of the bag on your back? The weight? Different organization on the outer pockets? I'm 6'0" and 250lbs, so I know I'm sure my size makes the bigger bag work better on my back. Thanks!

    He/Him

  2. #2
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    I am also curious about this. I have just gotten both of them, and I'm trying to decide which one I'll keep. So far my test packing has concluded that I need both bags, for different reasons. I'm hoping that continued testing will break the tie, but if people could chime in with why they prefer one over the other, it might help my decision.

  3. #3
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    I’m actually sizing up. I have had a S19 for 4 years. It’s great a fits lots however I think it gets over stuffed pretty often. So I’ve ordered a 25. I’m planning to sell my 19 if it works out. I will use it as an EDC.

    If I’m just going to work and back it’s fine. But what if I get groceries? It’s a problem. And if I have an extra pair of shoes or something to carry. Which would happen if I had a meeting outside the office (you need to carry heels - they hurt). So I’d constantly have my backpack plus a bag of shoes and my Bag would be stuffed because I fit a folio in it too. Started to get impractical with the smaller size.

  4. #4
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    I pop back and forth between the S25 and S19. I DO prefer the size of the front pockets in the S25 -- I always get caught up for a second when I have to rearrange a few items because they don't fit quite as comfortable in the front of the S19 as the S25. But, even though I'm large and tall, I prefer to carry the smaller bag when I know I won't have need of the extra space because it's a little less bulky, which is advantageous when, say, you're on trains or buses or in other crowded spaces or have to go through security a lot in a day (such as a courthouse). I notice the weight difference some, but that's too easily countered by what I'm carrying. Mostly I feel a little more limber wearing the S19.

  5. #5
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    I didn't downsize to the S19, but I started with that and failed to upsize to the S25. I am petite, at 5 ft 1, so the S19 is more in line with the recommended size according to the TB pages.

    I got the S19 as my first TB bag, for a daily carry on a walking commute. It easily handled lunch, camera, and the various bits I needed to carry back and forth.

    Not long after I decided I wanted a larger backpack for overnight trips, so I ordered the S25. I packed and used it a couple of times, and it was just never quite right so eventually I sold it. Oddly enough, the Smart Alec, despite being about the same size, somehow worked perfectly for both overnight trips and a larger daily carry backpack when I needed one. Where the S25 always felt stuffed and like I was a turtle carrying its home around, the Smart Alec easily swallowed the same items without ever feeling bulky. This is mostly likely partly due to shape, and partly the slightly different SA strap design.
    Rambling On. . . . .

  6. #6
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    I'm in the same boat as @Meglet, only about 2" taller... What I notice is that the overall height and width of the S25 is just big enough to make it feel uncomfortable for me... The SA is probably as 'tall' a pack as I can comfortably go... I did look at the BB as well, but the added width & depth make it far bigger than I need, though I like the organization style vs the Synapses... if there was a BB made to the SA sizing, that would be cool
    Last edited by G42; 08-05-2018 at 03:23 PM.

  7. #7
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    I have both the S19 and S25. I prefer the S19 for EDC but the S25 for travel. I have moved to the Smart Alec as my do everything backpack but the introduction of the frame sheet has me playing with the Synapse again. I didn't like the way the Synapse becomes egg shaped when full and the frame sheet solves that problem.

  8. #8
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    Downsize?

    Not likely!

    I loved my S19 when it was the only one they sold and then I could not believe that I waited so long to go S25 once I had one.

  9. #9
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    Man, hearing stuff like this makes me second guess getting an S25 for EDC and travel in favor of an S19 instead.

  10. #10
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Maybe yes, maybe no. I have an s25, which I have used for a little over two years now which has been great for travel. The only problem is I have found that I have a bad habit of packing full any bag I pack. Even when I don't need much I still would fill my s25. I tried an s19 around Thanksgiving time but had shoulder pain issues (it was before framesheets) it was also the new ballistic material which I don't like, but capacity wise it was perfect. I ended up sticking to my s25. I have since gotten an older style cordura s19 which is perfect capacity, is cordura and with the framesheet makes it great for traveling, and packing without overpacking. I don't want two synapses, so I am thinking of replacing my s25 with a smart alec. I have one to try for next time I travel more than a week (s19 for a week or less). So I'll either keep the s25 and have both or I'll go the smart alec synapse 19 route. Most likely it will be the latter since I feel two synapses would be redundant.



    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

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
    Man, hearing stuff like this makes me second guess getting an S25 for EDC and travel in favor of an S19 instead.
    For me, the S19 is fine for EDC but not travel (at least as my only bag). The S25 is fine for both with more flexibility for extras like a jacket.

  12. #12
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Another petite S19 user here. I have more than one S19 but have never felt the need to try an S25. (I don't care for the proportions of the bottom pocket. Big GrinEmbarrassment) I also have the SA as my next size up, I like the unstructured nature of the main compartment when I carry bigger loads. The SA is also nice to have on trips as a backup for hauling groceries on foot, or odd-sized purchases like a lamp. Smilie (But I usually bring a LSB on trips for such uses, anyway.)

    Editing my answer because it didn't address OP's question properly, whoops. - Oddly, for our last two road trips I have found myself packing the Daylight backpack as my ultralight daypack. - I have packed my clothes in the A30 and an SA as overflow, and then at our destination I brought out the DLBP as my all-purpose daypack. It is lightweight (good for hot environments) and folds down smaller than the S19 but the interior shingle pockets and front pocket give it decent organizational power.

    For air travel:
    - if I check a suitcase, my S19 is my sole carry-on.
    - If I don't check anything, then I carry on the A30 (with Absolute Strap attached) and use either the S19 or the Maker's Bag (or MCB, if it's not a long-haul flight) as my personal item.


    For around town, I use the S19 in cold weather as my EDC - more room for stashing layers throughout the day. (Little Swift or MCB in warm weather.)

    ETA: I missed seeing the OP's height as I was skimming fast. Smilie For one-bag travel I would have to go with my SA, with an FS or org pouches for organization. (I know that is discontinued so not an option as a brand-new bag.) Frown I am by nature not very minimalist, so even as a smaller person I personally could not do with a S19 as my sole bag! Big Grin

    What [do you like about] the smaller bag? Is it the size of the bag on your back? The weight? Different organization on the outer pockets?
    The S19 is the right size for me at 4'11". And the SA works for me because if I recall correctly it has a shorter back than the S25. So those wouldn't be factors for someone 6' and 250#. I do have multiple S19 for multiple members of my family because the pockets just are brilliant for travel and EDC. I wouldn't personally use it as my one-bag though because it "eggs out" when fully stuffed, as it would have to be with all the gear I'd need for a trip. And I wouldn't want the extra weight/bulk of a frame sheet in a 19L bag, whereas the SA has enough structure (for me) to stand up by itself. Plus I just like the versatility of that big SA main compartment (vs. committing to extra pockets) if I'm only going to have one bag in an unfamiliar place. JM2C, YMMV. Smilie
    Last edited by haraya; 08-08-2018 at 08:14 AM.

  13. #13
    Forum Member bltkmt's Avatar
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    I use the S25 for EDC and the S19 for travel. Each has its place.
    --------------------------------

  14. #14
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    The S25 is great if I need to carry a change of clothes. Otherwise, the S19 works for me for everyday use.

  15. #15
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    S25 for one bag travel. S19 EDC.

    I’d love to be able to use the 19 for travel but it just isn’t big enough.

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