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  1. #1
    Registered User eltercero's Avatar
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    Newly owner of a Synapse 25, I don't find it very comfortable

    So, this Christmas I bought myself a Synapse 25 and I'm liking it a lot. With so many pocket it's a very versatile bag, and I can use in so many different scenarios that it's not even fair to other backpacks.

    The only problem I'm having is with the comfort of the bag. I algo have the internal frame for it, but with or without it I find it kind of uncomfortable. Without the internal frame I can feel everything inside the big pocket moving against my back. The internal frame is an improvement, but then it becomes too stiff and after a while it kind of hurts my back (I tried to adapt the frame but it didn't help much). Maybe I'm used to more padded backpacks?

    Is there a way to improve this? Am I doing something wrong? I usually don't carry much weight, just a book, an iPad, a med pouch and a pencil case. I put the pouch in the water bottle pocket, the pencil case in the bottom pocket and the rest in the big pocket.

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
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    How tall are you? Past forum posts have stated that the S25 is better for taller people. Maybe an S19 would be better, since it is a smaller backpack and it does not sound like you need the capacity of the S25 if you only carry "just a book, an iPad, a med pouch and a pencil case".

  3. #3
    Registered User eltercero's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention, I'm 6.36 ft (194 cm).

    I usually carry that, but sometimes I carry more. The size is fine, I've almost filled it a couple of times already.

  4. #4
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    Is it adjusted properly or are you wearing it loose and low? If the straps are too loose, the bag will hang low and be uncomfortable.
    In my experience, the internal frame seems to help the most when I've got a very full and/or heavy bag. If I'm carrying a lighter load, I just don't need that much support.
    An ipad, book, med pouch and pencil case doesn't seem like it should be uncomfortabe to carry. If it were me, I'd try to load the bag up differently, ipad against your back, then the book (assuming the book is smaller than the ipad) then put the med pouch and pencil case in the big part of the bag. I wouldn't use the "pouch" in the main compartment at all with such a small load. The closer your load is to your back the easier it will be to carry it. By putting a lot of items on the "outside" of the pouch, you may be causing the bag to pull a bit, which might be the cause of your discomfort.
    Try loading the bag differently, maybe that will help.

  5. #5
    Forum Member chaimonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eltercero View Post
    The only problem I'm having is with the comfort of the bag. I algo have the internal frame for it, but with or without it I find it kind of uncomfortable. Without the internal frame I can feel everything inside the big pocket moving against my back. The internal frame is an improvement, but then it becomes too stiff and after a while it kind of hurts my back (I tried to adapt the frame but it didn't help much). Maybe I'm used to more padded backpacks?
    I am in the minority of S25 users who find the internal frame makes the pack less comfortable. With the frame installed, I found the bag too stiff and it did bother my back. To give it structure without the internal frame, I've been using a Freudian Slip and/or a Cache, both of which give the bag some structure without making it too stiff for my comfort. Even the FS alone seems to give the pack some structure.

    Hopefully that helps!
    Small Cafe Bag in Deep Blue/Grass - Medium Cafe Bag in Alphaviolet/Cloud - Pop Tote in Olive - S19 in Deep Blue/Iberian; Side Kicks in Aubergine/Island Halcyon, Verde/Ultraviolet, and Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - Side Effect in Nordic Halcyon/Northwest Sky Halcyon - S25 in Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - S25 in Aubergine/Island Halcyon

  6. #6
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    You might find this blog post useful

    https://blog.tombihn.com/packingforweightdistribution
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  7. #7
    Registered User eltercero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly S View Post
    Is it adjusted properly or are you wearing it loose and low? If the straps are too loose, the bag will hang low and be uncomfortable.
    In my experience, the internal frame seems to help the most when I've got a very full and/or heavy bag. If I'm carrying a lighter load, I just don't need that much support.
    An ipad, book, med pouch and pencil case doesn't seem like it should be uncomfortabe to carry. If it were me, I'd try to load the bag up differently, ipad against your back, then the book (assuming the book is smaller than the ipad) then put the med pouch and pencil case in the big part of the bag. I wouldn't use the "pouch" in the main compartment at all with such a small load. The closer your load is to your back the easier it will be to carry it. By putting a lot of items on the "outside" of the pouch, you may be causing the bag to pull a bit, which might be the cause of your discomfort.
    Try loading the bag differently, maybe that will help.
    I'm not wearing it loose. I'm using the chest straps too. I'll try moving everything on the big pocket, but I like a lot having the med pouch so accesible in the water bottle pocket (I have diabetes and I use it frequently).

    Thanks for your reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by chaimonkey View Post
    I am in the minority of S25 users who find the internal frame makes the pack less comfortable. With the frame installed, I found the bag too stiff and it did bother my back. To give it structure without the internal frame, I've been using a Freudian Slip and/or a Cache, both of which give the bag some structure without making it too stiff for my comfort. Even the FS alone seems to give the pack some structure.

    Hopefully that helps!
    How does the FS alone sit on the main compartment? Isn't it a bit loose? I mean, since it does not use the loops or the o-rings, right?

    Thanks for your suggestion!

  8. #8
    Forum Member chaimonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eltercero View Post
    How does the FS alone sit on the main compartment? Isn't it a bit loose? I mean, since it does not use the loops or the o-rings, right?
    It fits a little loose in the front to back dimension if (1) the FS itself is not loaded up with stuff and (2) the bag itself is not loaded up with enough stuff. I usually have enough contents in the FS to weigh it down and enough in the S25 other than the FS to keep everything from shifting around too much. For instance, I always have a Side Effect in my S25's lower pocket that carries a folded rain jacket, and a Cubelet in the water bottle pocket that carries my meds, hair ties, etc., and those both take up room that displaces some of the free space in the main compartment.

    Your everyday carry may not be as substantial as mine.
    Small Cafe Bag in Deep Blue/Grass - Medium Cafe Bag in Alphaviolet/Cloud - Pop Tote in Olive - S19 in Deep Blue/Iberian; Side Kicks in Aubergine/Island Halcyon, Verde/Ultraviolet, and Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - Side Effect in Nordic Halcyon/Northwest Sky Halcyon - S25 in Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - S25 in Aubergine/Island Halcyon

  9. #9
    Registered User eltercero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    You might find this blog post useful

    https://blog.tombihn.com/packingforweightdistribution
    I'll check it out, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by chaimonkey View Post
    It fits a little loose in the front to back dimension if (1) the FS itself is not loaded up with stuff and (2) the bag itself is not loaded up with enough stuff. I usually have enough contents in the FS to weigh it down and enough in the S25 other than the FS to keep everything from shifting around too much. For instance, I always have a Side Effect in my S25's lower pocket that carries a folded rain jacket, and a Cubelet in the water bottle pocket that carries my meds, hair ties, etc., and those both take up room that displaces some of the free space in the main compartment.

    Your everyday carry may not be as substantial as mine.
    I see, it may not work for me. Thanks a lot!

  10. #10
    Forum Member chaimonkey's Avatar
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    I think you might like the S19 better. It's more compact, with a smaller capacity (which means less excess capacity for stuff to slide around in), and that might address some of your issues. For me, the S19 is too small for most purposes, but it might be perfect for you.
    Small Cafe Bag in Deep Blue/Grass - Medium Cafe Bag in Alphaviolet/Cloud - Pop Tote in Olive - S19 in Deep Blue/Iberian; Side Kicks in Aubergine/Island Halcyon, Verde/Ultraviolet, and Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - Side Effect in Nordic Halcyon/Northwest Sky Halcyon - S25 in Black Halcyon/Island Halcyon - S25 in Aubergine/Island Halcyon

  11. #11
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    I am also in the minority who felt S25 was uncomfortable. I returned my Guide Edition S25, and the internal frame made it worse for me. I felt the bag, especially the shoulder straps (even the zippers), was too "stiff". I wondered if it would be better as it breaks in if I wear it longer but I was not sure. I may want to try a halcyon S25 again later. Is yours a halcyon or ballistic?

  12. #12
    Registered User eltercero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaimonkey View Post
    I think you might like the S19 better. It's more compact, with a smaller capacity (which means less excess capacity for stuff to slide around in), and that might address some of your issues. For me, the S19 is too small for most purposes, but it might be perfect for you.
    Yeah, maybe it'd be better, but it's no easy for me to replace it now :\ But yeah, I'm starting to think that it's too empty, if that makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadgets View Post
    I am also in the minority who felt S25 was uncomfortable. I returned my Guide Edition S25, and the internal frame made it worse for me. I felt the bag, especially the shoulder straps (even the zippers), was too "stiff". I wondered if it would be better as it breaks in if I wear it longer but I was not sure. I may want to try a halcyon S25 again later. Is yours a halcyon or ballistic?
    Mine is halcyon. I feel like I'm getting used to it; sometimes it's better with the frame, sometimes better without it. I think I'd still prefer a non-removable padded frame, but I understand why they chose to go this way.

  13. #13
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    I use the frame with my Synapse 25, but I removed the aluminium 'straw' on the inside of the frame.
    When I am biking (as a Dutchie i do every day) I found that this aluminium inside poked to much in my back, and my back is curved to much on the bike i guessed for the frame.

    Maybe removing this part helps you with finding the right level of comfort!

  14. #14
    Forum Member wavebeam's Avatar
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    +1 for removing the aluminum (aluminium Big Grin). That is useful for loads beyond my needs, but the plastic sheet really improved things. Before that, I would put something soft and thick between the back of the bag and my laptop, or it'd really dig into me. Now it's perfect.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flex View Post
    I use the frame with my Synapse 25, but I removed the aluminium 'straw' on the inside of the frame.
    When I am biking (as a Dutchie i do every day) I found that this aluminium inside poked to much in my back, and my back is curved to much on the bike i guessed for the frame.

    Maybe removing this part helps you with finding the right level of comfort!
    Quote Originally Posted by wavebeam View Post
    +1 for removing the aluminum (aluminium Big Grin). That is useful for loads beyond my needs, but the plastic sheet really improved things. Before that, I would put something soft and thick between the back of the bag and my laptop, or it'd really dig into me. Now it's perfect.
    Two things I would check:

    1. That the frame sheet isn't in the wrong way around. It has been known to happen! (And it should not be poking you in the back)
    2. Did you know you can adjust the bend in the post?

    I would read this page carefully and watch the video:
    https://blog.tombihn.com/synapseframe

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