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  1. #1
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    My Synapse 25 Thread

    EPISODE I: Arrival
    Hello,

    This is my first thread (and post) so I would like to introduce myself and my new Synapse 25. I received it just a couple of weeks ago now, I agonised for a few days about whether to buy it or not but I needed a new backpack and my trusty old Dakine backpack had finally busted the zipper on its main compartment. After a bit of research I found the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 to be most analogous to my Dakine and also with additional functionality and durability above and beyond my previous pack. I also considered getting a new Dakine but was very impressed with the history and mission statement of the Tom Bihn company. This kind of product/customer first ethos appeals to me and despite the hefty cost of getting a Bihn bag to Melbourne Australia (exchange rates not being as kind as they once were in these matters) I told my cat that she was on plain label food for the next year and freed up the requisite funds for the purchase.

    Next problem was a colour scheme. I narrowed down the available choices to just two (maybe three). It was either to be black cordura with a wasabi lining, or red blend with North West Sky. My third option was to wait for navy/Iberian on backorder, but I am not patient man, and thus my vacillation was focused on the two available bags. Back and forth I went between the two bags like an agile panther stalking its prey, each thought bringing me closer to a decision, only for the next thought to sway me toward the other option. This went on for what seemed like days before I settled on my decision.

    Red. Blend. North. West. Sky. The words bounced around in my head until they no longer had meaning. I was either going insane or waiting eagerly for the package to arrive at my doorstep. After a week or so the package finally arrived! Woohoo! I eagerly ripped it open to behold the majesty:

    My Synapse 25 Thread-box-jpg

    It was a nicer colour than I had anticipated, more burgundy blood than McDonalds fries pack. I stroked it furtively at first, then more lovingly once I realised what a nice fabric the Cordura was. Tick to me for selecting that, though Iím sure the halcyon would be equally as striking in its own way. The only accessory I ordered was a wasabi key strap, if only because I felt that I needed to sample at least something from the vast buffet of Bihn paraphernalia.

    Now to get rid of my trusty old Dakine. But first, a comparison shot:

    My Synapse 25 Thread-comparison-jpg

    I tearfully said goodbye and tossed it like the piece of rubbish it now was into the ether. Back to my new toy, and to test pack it. But first a couple of other random shots I took while intoxicated with its newness:

    My Synapse 25 Thread-interior-door-jpg
    My Synapse 25 Thread-loaded-side-jpg
    My Synapse 25 Thread-rear-jpg
    My Synapse 25 Thread-tag-jpg
    My Synapse 25 Thread-wasabi-strap-jpg

    Coming up next: Episode 2... Anticipation

  2. #2
    Forum Member adalangdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrislp View Post
    I told my cat that she was on plain label food for the next year
    Don't think she'll mind once she gets to sit on your S25 or in the box it came in.

    Nice colour choice! (says I, owner of a RB/NWS S19)

  3. #3
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    NICE. love that color, and the light grey of the NWS is great for finding stuff and looks awesome with all TB accessories! enjoy.

  4. #4
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    Nice looking bag. Big time upgrade for you. Pretty soon you'll be adding some accessories to go with it as we all do. (:

  5. #5
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    Episode II: Test packing

    It was time to put my new bag to the test so I gathered up all the stuff I had been carrying in my old bag to see how I would organise it.

    This is pretty much all the stuff in my current EDC:

    My Synapse 25 Thread-edc-jpg

    Most important is my lunch bag which has my Thermos insulated container, my plastic container which I use for nuts, dried fruit and other snackables, as well as whatever other stuff I want to put in for lunch. I put this in the main compartment, though I was surprised to find that it fit snugly in the lower compartment, which really is the best asset of the bag from my initial pack. This lower compartment, for example, fits a pair of shoes -- very handy.

    I have eyes that are quite sensitive to light, so I carry my sunglasses everywhere I go, and all year round. This, in fact, was one of the reasons that I had the synapse at the top of my list. I needed a bag that allowed easy access to my sunglasses, with its own dedicated pocket. That the synapse has two such pockets on either side of the bag made it a very appealing option. I put the sunglasses on the left side (looking at the bag) and my deodorant on the right hand side pocket, along with my pill bottle in the small pocket inside the right pocket. I have since added some coloured heat shrink to the zipper pull of the sunglasses case pocket so it's easy to find without having to remember which is which. That's a small criticism of the bag that is relatively easily worked around.

    At the time I didn't have a water bottle for the water-bottle pocket so I used a plastic Powerade bottle which worked pretty well and fit nicely inside the pocket. I have since switched to a Klean Kanteen 27-ounce bottle which I am reasonably impressed with so far.

    I stuck my macbook 15-inch retina in the main compartment too, inside a Colcasac sleeve that I've had since I bought it. I opted not to buy the cache sleeve Tom Bihn offers and I feel like the Colcasac does its job pretty well. I stow the iPhone and Macbook chargers in the bottom pocket along with some cleaning cloths, earbuds and other miscellaneous stuff that I need for work.

    My first couple of weeks with the bag has been excellent, as SKIMT said it has been a nice upgrade from my Dakine in terms of looks, functionality and intangibles. I really loved my Dakine, but I'm already impressed with the improved organisation and functionality that the Tom Bihn has achieved. And I'm looking seriously at an Aeronaut 45 too, though I really shouldn't...

  6. #6
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    Well I have hit the four year anniversary with my trusty red Tom Bihn Synapse 25 and I am pleased to say that it has been everything that I had hoped that it would be. I have carried it on many interstate and international trips, used it as an EDC bag for work and also used it as an overnight bag on occasion when called away for work. I work a lot in construction so it has been on many job sites and been covered in dust, mud, rain, snow, sleet, hail, clay, line marking paint, glue, plaster (drywall), regular paint, and even solder. It has been kicked, thrown, dragged through gravel and across carpet too many times to count.

    It's been thrown in the back of cars, vans, utes (pickups), aeroplane overhead bins, aeroplane check-in and even been posted once when I had to leave it at my folks' house over 2000km away. It has been overpacked a million times and stuffed so full the zipper would only half close, and carried loads full of tools and equipment that would make one of those specialty rucking packs blush. It's even been through a pandemic! I have used it almost every day in some of the tougher conditions that a bag would endure in civilian life, and what is the result of all of this wear and tear and life that ol' red has been through?

    Still works as good as the day I excitedly unboxed it back in 2016. As someone who really uses their EDC bag and wanted something that would both last and be a great companion through my life, I cannot recommend the Tom Bihn Synapse more highly. I will take some photos in the next few days to show the battle scars and hard won wrinkles that it has developed, but I can safely say that I am looking forward to another four years of using this bag and then another four after that. Each day that I use it just makes it more wonderful and makes me love it even more.

    If anyone is on the fence about using one of the Tom Bihn bags as a daily carry, I can only put forth my experience and say that it has been the best bag that I have ever owned. Yes it is more expensive than a lot of bags out there, but I have long forgotten the price and smile every time I put it on my back.

    Thanks Tom and team for making such awesome bags, you have in me a customer for life.

  7. #7
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    @harrislp that was a great followup!
    Great to hear that the Synapse is still going strong - it was fun to read your original review post :)
    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...

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