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  1. #1
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    Synapse 19 v Synapse 25 vs Pilot. One Bag 11 day Fall trip to Nothern Europe

    Hello! I've spent many hours lurking on this forum and it has proved to be huge help in planning my packing list. I will leave for an 11 day trip to the Netherlands on the 5th and figured I would share my packing experience with three tom bihn bags as onebag options. I am comparing the S19, Pilot and S25 for my trip. Hopefully this will help you all visualize what these bags are capable of. They are all very solid.

    Edit Having a bit of trouble uploading images. I think my file sizes are too big? Anyone have any tips on how to shrink them? It will make this post far more comprehensive. I will try to get an image of all the stuff pre-packed like the bihn videos do, plus all my photos of the bags packed with a "what goes where". Also the images are just showing up where they want to. Sorry about that. First set are the 19, then pilot, then 25.

    I packed
    • Nano puff
    • Rain Jacket
    • 2 short sleeve t's
    • 1 long sleeve
    • 2 long sleeve buttons downs (1 worn)
    • 1 pair long pants
    • 4 pairs underwear
    • 4 pair socks
    • wool buff
    • Anker power cube
    • 11 days worth of contacts
    • sunglasses
    • kindle
    • 2 passports
    • Travel tray small
    • toothbrush, deodorant, toothpaste, dr. bron soap
    • 2 eagle creek compression cubes medium/small
    • 1 pair long johns
    • Medium Halycon pouch (fits kindle and passports very well
    • Small padded organizer pouch (fits wallet)



    Synapse 19 v Synapse 25 vs Pilot. One Bag 11 day Fall trip to Nothern Europe-img_20171003_120319-jpg


    S19:

    This is my favorite bag of the bunch. It's not as spacious as the 25 but I love that I can slide the packing cubes out and just have my EDC with me in the netherlands. The Specter Compression Cube fits well sideways with the smaller cube right on top. I have my kindle and passports in the medium organizer pouch in the interior pockets clipped into my own makeshift O-Ring ( my older model doesn't have any attachment point on that side. My rain jacket goes in the bottom pocket along with my toiletries in the travel tray. Anker power cube, cables, headphones and wool buff go into the quick access pocket. The layout is great and this packing method avoids the dreaded "over packed egg" shape the S19 can take on. Contact lenses and everything else going into the side pockets. I was astounded that the bag fit this much.

    There is no room for my nanopuff (at least while avoiding the egg look). So I clip it the outside. Although if you wear the jacket that problem is avoided. Or you could do the bag hack where you hang it on the outside.


    Pilot:

    This bag fits as much as the Synapse 19. I don't really understand liters, but I was really surprised with how everything fit. The Specter Compression packing cubes are almost made for this bag. Seriously the dimensions are perfect. My clothing went into the big pocket like a glove in my cube. My kindle and passports went into the interior pocket held in the medium organizer pouch (another great fit). The smaller compression cube fit in the right exterior. Everything else fit into the left exterior. That's right, my rain coat, contacts, power cube, eating utensil, and toiletries. I was so impressed and it was actually really (dare i say it) fun packing this bag up. Everything just fit right in and I had plenty of room in the water bottle compartment. Blows the s19 out of the water in that regard.

    Like the S19 this bag didn't fit the nano puff. It if wasn't 80 degrees when I was leaving I would wear the thing. However it rests well on the pilot is very secure. All the pockets are super easy to use, I love the access without taking the bag off. Much easier than a backpack. With the absolute strap it isn't too tough to lug it around. I also really like that the absolute strap comes off and I can tuck it into the slip pocket. The sturdy handle is perfectly fine to handle in tight spaces.

    The bag also looks great. For all the clothes I have it really doesn't look tourtist-y. I love that.

    I never wear bags in this style but I am tempted to bring this as my one bag. The only thing that is preventing me is the familiarity I have with the s19. It's like an old friend and backpacks just feel right to me. But man, I sure am tempted.... really impressed with this bag!

    S25:
    This is a big bag. A big, big, bag. I had no trouble fitting everything in this bag and I had a ton of space left. The bottom pocket fits my rain coat, nano puff, plus an extra pair of shorts easily. It's massive. To much bag for me but I can see the appeal. Fit everything and I didn't have to worry at all. Just threw it all in there. That peace of mind can be very appealing. Very versatile and felt comfortable on the shoulders. What i also like about this bag is that I can easily pop groceries or my travel companions stuff inside with ease. Sometimes it's nice to have a big bag.
    Attached Images Attached Images Synapse 19 v Synapse 25 vs Pilot. One Bag 11 day Fall trip to Nothern Europe-img_20171003_120414-jpg  Synapse 19 v Synapse 25 vs Pilot. One Bag 11 day Fall trip to Nothern Europe-img_20171003_122012-jpg  Synapse 19 v Synapse 25 vs Pilot. One Bag 11 day Fall trip to Nothern Europe-img_20171003_121125-jpg 

  2. #2
    Forum Member nimikor's Avatar
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    Great post. My packing list for leisure travel is almost identical to yours (I take 1 less each of tees, undies, socks).
    I alternate between using my Black Halcyon S19 and my Black Halcyon Pilot.
    When I take the S19 I also bring a Nordic Halcyon shop bag shoved in the side of the main compartment in case I want to convert to hand carry and when I take the Pilot I bring my Nordic Halcyon DLBP tucked in the outside pocket in case I want to convert the Pilot to backpack carry.
    I have found that when I one bag travel it pays to carry a spare bag that the main bag can fit into in case I want to change the style of carry or in case I need to have extra carry capacity while at my destination.
    Enjoy your trip! Minimal travel is fun and liberating.
    DLBC, WF, S19, Pilot, DLBP, PCSB, A30, SA plus other misc goodies.
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” - Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973)

  3. #3
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Great post! Would you mind sharing your height?

  4. #4
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    Quick question, would the puff jacket fit in the drink bottle pocket?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
    Great post! Would you mind sharing your height?
    5'10 but I slouch

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregcswanson View Post
    Quick question, would the puff jacket fit in the drink bottle pocket?
    It would fit in any of the bags drink pockets if rolled right. Pilot and s25 are the most spacious IMO, but you could swing the s19

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by edward.dennihy; 10-04-2017 at 06:50 AM.

  7. #7
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    I took a Pilot as my only bag to a 3 day conference, and I had room to spare. My seat mate on the plane thought I was joking when I said it was my entire suitcase. He wanted to help me get my suitcase out of the overhead, and I patted my Pilot and I said, "This is everything." And he said, "Oh, you checked your bags." And I said, "No." He didn't believe me, but he was parked near me in the parking lot and saw that it was my only bag when I walked out to my car.

    I used an Eagle Creek Specter small packing folder in the back for all my clothing, and there was lots of room to spare. I used a TB clear 3-D cube for my toiletries in one of the front pockets, and a SE as my purse in the other front pocket, and some random stuff in the waterbottle pocket. I could have packed so much more into it, and it didn't look like a suitcase. And it passed as a briefcase when I needed it to.

    P.S. I'm a woman, and it helps NOT to pack shampoo, conditioners, or hairdryers, flat irons, etc. for such a short trip. Cutting my hair short was the best timesaver, packing saver I've ever done.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 10-04-2017 at 06:46 AM.

  8. #8
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    Here are some additional photos of the pilot and s19 all packed up plus the stuff I brought. The clothing on the far right is what I will wear on the plane so it didn't go into the bags.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by edward.dennihy; 10-04-2017 at 10:14 AM.

  9. #9
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Love this thread, great pics, thanks OP!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
    Love this thread, great pics, thanks OP!!!
    Glad to help!

  11. #11
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    I have sold all of my other TB bags and only use my S19 and Daylight Briefcase (if I need to bring my laptop) for all of my travel. It is very freeing to have only one bag or two that both fit under a seat. Last business trip, I only took the Daylight Briefcase and was able to fit laptop and everything else I needed for a 3 day trip.
    Synapse 19, Travel Tray, PCSB, Daylight Briefcase, all in Dyneema, Side Effect and pouchmania

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canonsue View Post
    I have sold all of my other TB bags and only use my S19 and Daylight Briefcase (if I need to bring my laptop) for all of my travel. It is very freeing to have only one bag or two that both fit under a seat. Last business trip, I only took the Daylight Briefcase and was able to fit laptop and everything else I needed for a 3 day trip.
    Good to know! I'll post a review about the s19 and how it went.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Lost in the Midwest
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    Just curious, Canonsue,

    Did you ever have the Western Flyer as a bag? If so, reasoning behind going with the 2 bags you kept instead of one bigger bag? I am always looking for new ideas on bag combinations!

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