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  1. #1
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Synapse 19 - The Perfect In-Flight ‘Personal Item’ (for now)

    I fly a reasonable amount (a lot in my opinion). It used to be European low cost airlines where I think I perfected the one bag travel; using a Tristar for work travel or an Aeronaut 45 for family/personal travel.

    At the moment, it’s mostly International UK to US, which allows for cabin bag and personal item so my focus has recently been on the ideal personal item bag. I’ve tried the Cadet, Pilot, Co-Pilot, Ristretto, Stowaway, Daylight Breifcase and Western Flyer. I even tried an under packed Tristar as a personal item (although that was pushing it a bit and was just an experiment). All worked out but never quite right, too big, too small, too cramped, too difficult to fit the items I want on a plane. The travel items needing to be carried are:

    - iPad Pro - 10.5 inch with Smart Keyboard and pencil
    - Kindle Paperwhite in case
    - Headphones (either over ear Bose QC25 or in ear Bose QC20)
    - Passport
    - Eye Mask
    - A4 paperwork
    - laptop in cache
    - A5 notebook
    - Water bottle
    - Organiser pouches with cords and bits and pieces
    - 2 iPhones
    - Importantly, space for any bits and pieces picked up on route or spare clothes etc.

    I’ve always owned an S25 but felt that size is pushing it as a personal item, it just looks big. I was lucky enough recently to pickup a Grey Cordura/UV S19. So I wanted to give it a go. Wow. I think i found it.





    What makes it work well is the pairing with a side kick. Ive used a side effect in the past as a small in flight bag, but it always felt a bit stuffed. The Side Kick solves this and it fits perfectly into the S19 main compartment.




    The side kick stayed out during the flight with documents and electronics (minus the iPad which is just a touch too big) and the S19 went in the overhead with my carry on bag. Equally the S19 could fit under a seat easily with the side kick attached to the seat back with double carabiners.


    Places for all the travel essentials

    Passport has its own home in the spacious front pocket

    You can see from the photos that I had the laptop in a cache during the day at work before my late afternoon flight. Once through security I unclipped the cache and put the laptop into my carry on bag. This gave even more room in the S19 during the flight.

    The S19 is not particularly big but that helps keep it within the personal item size. At 19 litres, its a really nice size (like the 20L Night Flight but better fitting of laptops and A4 papers). There’s rumours of a new bag coming which might fit between the 13L Pilot and 26L Western Flyer. For now, the S19 is the best option at that ‘in between’ size.

    Positives
    - Easy to carry with shoulder bag or wheeled luggage
    - Keeps a really low profile so hard to bulk out
    - Lots of small compartments for travel ‘bits’ and one large A4/laptop sized section
    - Side Kick is perfect size to fit the bottom of the S19 main compartment
    - Can remove the laptop cache as needed to transfer between bags


    Perfect personal item size

    Negatives
    - Sweaty Back. I had forgotten how a backpack can make you sweaty when travelling. Not a deal breaker but something I had forgotten to consider.
    - I’m used to using an internal frame with my S25 and wonder if the S19 might also benefit from this as occasionally I could feel items poking through when it was full.

    So unless the new designs debut a 19/20L Pilot style bag this year, I think this is my go to personal item for now paired with the side kick.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Perseffect; 04-18-2018 at 11:49 PM.
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  2. #2
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    I recent got an s19 (as in it just got delivered today) with the intention of using it as a "personal item" on the TransAtlantic flights we're taking this summer. Also because I've been carrying an s25 and realized how much empty space it always seems to have, so I'm transitioning to an s19 as my everyday carry, using it with a side kick or maybe a travel cubelet.

    I forgot how much I liked the s19. It's small, but it carries everything now (because we need less stuff for our 4 year old than we did for a 2 year old) and it just seems to be part of me instead of feeling like I'm wearing a big bag.

    I'll likely be using my side kick in the same way, except swapping a small Kindle reader for the ipad.

  3. #3
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    Really nice pictures (and those pink/violet pulls that match the inside of the bag are great).

    I think your set-up (bag within a bag that you then split) makes the most sense if you are on a plane that is not extra-full. In my recent experience, putting the S19 next to your carry-on in the over-head compartment is a no-no if the plane is full, the personal item MUST be under the seat in these cases. From what you are saying, you CAN put the S19 under the seat (which solves the problem), and then take out the side kick with the "essential essentials" in it. I have both bags so I am interested in this second version of your set-up (with everything under the seat) as I know that on Air Canada, they will not let you put a personal item in the over-head bin. The personal item size is also smaller on that airline, 17 X 13 X 6, so considering the depth of the synapse would be important. Thanks for all the ideas!

  4. #4
    Forum Member Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Wow, that Synapse looks sharp in grey! (Is that the "Cloud" colorway by any chance?)

    And geez, it seems like the personal item dimensions have gotten smaller over time. :-)

  5. #5
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    How did you get that aether mini pouch? I've seen a couple pictures that included one and when I questioned it on FB, the TB crew said it was a special gift for some customers. I follow the forum pretty regularly and haven't missed any forum gifts for several years, so how/when were these dispersed? Was it like a bonus when aether launched or something? I'd LOVE to get one but know my chances are slim to none. :(

  6. #6
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    Wow, that Synapse looks sharp in grey! (Is that the "Cloud" colorway by any chance?)

    And geez, it seems like the personal item dimensions have gotten smaller over time. :-)
    It’s the grey cordura rather than the cloud ballistic. I’m curious to try the cloud ballistic to see how it compares to the cordura.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  7. #7
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by majandra22 View Post
    How did you get that aether mini pouch? I've seen a couple pictures that included one and when I questioned it on FB, the TB crew said it was a special gift for some customers. I follow the forum pretty regularly and haven't missed any forum gifts for several years, so how/when were these dispersed? Was it like a bonus when aether launched or something? I'd LOVE to get one but know my chances are slim to none. :(
    That’s interesting to know. I hadn’t realised they weren’t standard. Yes, I did receive that from TB as a special gift in respect to an order issue they were resolving for me (fantastic customer service as always).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  8. #8
    Forum Member 3rdCoastHighlander's Avatar
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    A very accurate review of the S19, Perseffect. I've been using the S19 as an EDC since early 2014, and its perfect for what I need. The size has been almost exactly what I needed when using it as a personal item when I fly. Perhaps if it were 20 liters, maybe even better. As a personal item, its a very flexible bag and I love the organization possibilities for traveling, which allows me to carry a change of clothes, battery, water bottle, and other necessities.

    As an all day pack while traveling, it really wasn't a comfortable bag to carry all day like my Osprey, that is, until I added the frame sheet. Ive used this S19 on 3 long trips to Europe now, and after carrying the bag extensively, the comfort definitely improved with the frame sheet. With that said, I really wish it had a more structured back and better straps. The S19 would be legendary with beefier straps and back ventilation.
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdCoastHighlander View Post
    A very accurate review of the S19, Perseffect. I've been using the S19 as an EDC since early 2014, and its perfect for what I need. The size has been almost exactly what I needed when using it as a personal item when I fly. Perhaps if it were 20 liters, maybe even better. As a personal item, its a very flexible bag and I love the organization possibilities for traveling, which allows me to carry a change of clothes, battery, water bottle, and other necessities.

    As an all day pack while traveling, it really wasn't a comfortable bag to carry all day like my Osprey, that is, until I added the frame sheet. Ive used this S19 on 3 long trips to Europe now, and after carrying the bag extensively, the comfort definitely improved with the frame sheet. With that said, I really wish it had a more structured back and better straps. The S19 would be legendary with beefier straps and back ventilation.
    Did you use the padded hip belt together with the frame sheet?

  10. #10
    Forum Member 3rdCoastHighlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by everythingslower View Post
    Did you use the padded hip belt together with the frame sheet?
    I have not tried the padded hip belt yet. I used the hip belt that came with the pack.
    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.

  11. #11
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    I am always amazed at how much can fit in my S19.... when I get a turn carrying it! Still hoping for a 22 L Synapse, something that would max out the personal item dimensions. The S25 is such a great travel bag, but a little big for use as a day bag, and there are so many times I wish I had just a little more space in the S19.
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color 好的朋友

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    I am always amazed at how much can fit in my S19.... when I get a turn carrying it! Still hoping for a 22 L Synapse, something that would max out the personal item dimensions. The S25 is such a great travel bag, but a little big for use as a day bag, and there are so many times I wish I had just a little more space in the S19.
    You and me both ... my current employer asks me to lug around a 14-inch laptop which is a smidge too big for the S19 (which was my EDC for a couple of years when I lugged around a smaller laptop). The S25 is just too big for me as an EDC because I'm a shrimpy little person. I've returned to the Timbuk2 Void Backpack that I bought somewhere around 2005 (not the current version): it fits a 14-inch laptop perfectly and I can use all my TB pencil cases (so, so great for stuff OTHER than pencils) and Q-Kits and Cubelets for all my other nonsense.

    If the Synapse were 20L I could carry that wretched 14-inch laptop! Oh Synapse 19, I miss you.

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