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  1. #46
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    An alternative way to pack the Synik 22 for a weekend trip:

    Here I am showing the S22 with two small Western Flyer packing cubes, with the long sides aligned to the vertical length of the backpack. On the right side, to fill the space, I added a Side Effect. An organizer cube or Travel Cubelet would fit instead.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-2-small-wf-pcs-se-jpg

    Then I added a 3D organizer cube to the top. Any similar small organizer should be ok.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-2-small-wf-pcs-se-oc-jpg

    As before, the bottom pocket holds the Small Snake Charmer, and I packed a water bottle in the water bottle pocket. Here's the pack all zipped up. It's fine; a tiny bit more depth in the main compartment than with the single large A30 packing cube.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-packed-synik-jpg

    The side pockets still have space, though as the main compartment fills up, they are impacted.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-side-pocket-open-jpg

    A Packing Cube Shoulder bag could substitute for the small WF packing cube. I'm showing the same set-up with my Fjord Packing Cube Shoulder Bag replacing the top small WF PC.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-packing-cube-shouder-bag-instead-jpg

    I should add that I'm not showing any of the Ghost Whale pouches, because the smaller sizes (Super-Mini, Mini and Small) should fit almost everywhere and there are infinite possible combinations and places they could go. I have a bunch, and they are actually packed in the Small Snake Charmer. They fit in the side pockets as well, and obviously the main compartment.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 08-11-2019 at 01:16 PM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  2. #47
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Finally, I thought I would try to redo @Lia's packing exercise, comparing the Luminary 15 to a Synik 22 (rather than the Synapse 19).

    I did my best to replicate her things, but I think mine may have been more bulky. I used a large rather than small travel tray, my blue packing cube was packed fuller than her yellow one, and I substituted a Travel Cubelet for one of her two Side Effects.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-all-stuff-jpg

    First, the Luminary 15. I packed it quickly, and it was obviously overstuffed. With more careful placement it wouldn't have been so lumpy. But what I found interesting was that, even mis-shapen, it was very light (because it's such a wonderfully streamlined bag), and nice to carry. It really holds its shape well and stays comfortable whether it is half-empty or full.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-l15-packed-jpg

    Now the Synik 22. I do think the slightly larger size and the squared-off shape, make it a better travel bag than the Synapse 19. But others have covered that question better than I can. Here's how i packed the same items:

    Start of another Synik 22 review-s22-packing-jpg

    The Zip-Top Shop Bag went into the bottom pocket, the UV organizer cube into one side, the travel tray into the other, and the water bottle into the water bottle pocket. Everything else (packing cube, Side Effect, Travel Cubelet, and size 9 shoes in the white bag), went easily into the main compartment.

    It was comfortable to carry and not overstuffed.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-s22-packed-sideway-jpg

    Start of another Synik 22 review-s22-packed-top-jpg

    Pros and cons of these two bags:
    • The L15 feels lighter. Much lighter. It's such a noticeable difference.
    • The S22 can potentially hold slightly more (based on my packing experiments as described in earlier posts), and if you need access to items in external pockets during your trip or commute, that favors the S22.


    If I was taking a quick trip, and everything fit easily into my Luminary 15, that would be my choice due to the light weight and the comfort. However, given my typical packing load, if I was making a choice between which of the two bags to buy, I'd probably go with the Synik 22. I think it really depends on how much one wants to carry.



    PS: All that stuff fits just fine in the Pop Tote! But it's a bit heavy for holding as a tote bag. At this weight, I think that backpack straps are superior if you plan to do any walking.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-pop-tote-jpg
    Last edited by bchaplin; 08-11-2019 at 02:58 PM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  3. #48
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    Thanks for the demo packing. Really helps to see different bags with the same items.

  4. #49
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    Thank you so much for this! You confirmed many things I learned:

    1. The L15 is amazingly capacious and lightweight. What a great bag.
    2. My experiment also ended with me dumping all the stuff into my Pop Tote to take back upstairs, I also found it fit great but felt heavy. Another great bag.
    3. The S30 is the answer for me rather than the 22! It will give me a one-bag option when I travel with 15-25L. Which is at least once a month. If it's a little large and under packed, so much the better.

    So grateful to all the reviewers for helping me sort out which bag will really fill the gap in my travel needs! Super excited for Tuesday. :-D

  5. #50
    Forum Member Fabrice's Avatar
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    Greetings and thank you so much for the reviews and pictures.

    Would you please post pictures of the SN22 under packed rather than with optimum or maximum load? I am curious to see to which extent the bag compresses itself when the main compartment is empty.
    I was surprised to see that the SN22 is rated deeper than the Brain Bag (240mm vs 230 mm)!

    Here is the context for the request:

    Both I and my trusted co-pilot (such a fantastic bag) are starting to show our age after literally a hundred intercontinental travels together over the course of 5 years. To be honest, the CP aged much more gracefully than I did: its colours blemished a little due to too many careless washes, and its internal coating is flaking away in many places but it remains wholly functional; I, on the other hand, find it increasingly painful to carry around town on my shoulder for extended walks.

    Hence my current quest for a backpack to replace it as my EDC.

    - the logical choice would be (I think) the L15, but I am not quite sure how to organise vertically such a high backpack considering the side pockets will probably fit only the bare essentials, and I am concerned I will be frustrated by the loss in accessibility (one of CP's key strengths).
    - on the other hand I can probably fit everything in the SN22 external pockets, readily accessible, and use the main section only when I need to carry my work laptop or to stash purchases and items collected on the way. Access would be kept relatively easy by unzipping the main compartment fully on one side only (granting access to all the "layers" in the cavity). But it does feel silly to carry a 22L backpack without using the main compartment at all most of the time, especially if said compartment makes the whole pack project far away from the back. Please note that I own a Brain Bag, so I am not planning to use the SN22 as a travel bag.

    For additional context:
    - My typical daily carry consists of a 12.9 iPad Pro (2018) with a small independent foldable BT keyboard and a foldable stand, pens, COW, Nik's minimal. wallet, several OPs for glass cleaning clothes, IDs.., Forum gift 2018 for electronics accessories, keys on a long key strap and my Sony over ear headphones. As mentioned earlier, I irregularly carry my work-issued 13" Lenovo laptop as well.
    - I am 180 cm high (a bit under 5'11" according to my conversion app).

    Alternatively, maybe one of the wise bihnologists in the assembly will point me to a completely different option that I haven't thought about...

    In any case thank you for your patience and for any advice you may be able to offer.

    Regards,
    Fabrice

    PS: English is not my mother language - please forgive any typo or grammatical missteps.

  6. #51
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Hi, Fabrice,

    Here is my S22 almost empty. It doesn't have cinch straps but it does seem reasonably thin, particularly compared to the other backpacks I see people wearing on my commute, which project out a lot more.

    Start of another Synik 22 review-s22-unpacked-jpg

    My only caution is that this is a heavy bag, compared to the Co-Pilot. That's true with the Brain Bag as well. But despite the extra weight, I find that wearing a backpack is better for my upper back/shoulder health than a heavy cross-body bag that is not evenly balanced.

    One crazy idea that I'll throw out: You could treat yourself to a new Co-Pilot, and also get a Halcyon Daylight Backpack. The Co-Pilot will fit inside the DLBP, and when you get to your destination, the (Halcyon) DLBP will fold up into the back pocket of the CP. I tried this when I used to carry a Co-Pilot, putting keys and other frequently accessed items in the front zippered pocket of the DLBP. This kind of works but kind of doesn't, because while you have the comfort of a backpack without much added weight, the CP contents are inaccessible while you are wearing it that way. And the CP is rotated 90 degrees, which can jumble your things, depending on how they are packed.

    However, one backpack is probably a better long-term solution. I wish the S22 was lighter, but the great accessibility of all those pockets has kept me wearing it even after my "review week" is over. I do pair it with a Side Kick (Side Effect or Travel Cubelet would work as well), so that I can leave the backpack on my desk when I go to lunch.

    Hope that helps!

    Beth

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrice View Post
    Greetings and thank you so much for the reviews and pictures.

    Would you please post pictures of the SN22 under packed rather than with optimum or maximum load? I am curious to see to which extent the bag compresses itself when the main compartment is empty.
    I was surprised to see that the SN22 is rated deeper than the Brain Bag (240mm vs 230 mm)!

    Here is the context for the request:

    Both I and my trusted co-pilot (such a fantastic bag) are starting to show our age after literally a hundred intercontinental travels together over the course of 5 years. To be honest, the CP aged much more gracefully than I did: its colours blemished a little due to too many careless washes, and its internal coating is flaking away in many places but it remains wholly functional; I, on the other hand, find it increasingly painful to carry around town on my shoulder for extended walks.
    EDIT: As someone pointed out below, the DLBP doesn't fit well into the Co-Pilot, but rather the Pilot. It's been a few years since I carried it that way and I had forgotten.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 08-12-2019 at 02:21 PM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  7. #52
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    If the weight of the bag is important for you, do consider the synapse 19 as well. It's lighter and cheaper and still fits a 13 inch laptop in the main compartment.
    I use the water bottle compartment for water, put a travel stuff sack size 1 or 3D organiser cube in the side pockets and a side effect in the bottom chin pocket.
    The inside pocket is useful for my hat or other bits and bobs I don't need instant access to.
    Small front pocket fits a mini organiser pouch, keys etc as needed.

    The Daylight Backpack idea also works with the Pilot, and the Pilot would fit your laptop (it won't fit in the co pilot).

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrice View Post
    ...I can probably fit everything in the SN22 external pockets, readily accessible, and use the main section only when I need to carry my work laptop or to stash purchases and items collected on the way. Access would be kept relatively easy by unzipping the main compartment fully on one side only (granting access to all the "layers" in the cavity). But it does feel silly to carry a 22L backpack without using the main compartment at all most of the time, especially if said compartment makes the whole pack project far away from the back. ...

    12.9 iPad Pro (2018) with a small independent foldable BT keyboard and a foldable stand, pens, COW, Nik's minimal. wallet, several OPs for glass cleaning clothes, IDs.., Forum gift 2018 for electronics accessories, keys on a long key strap and my Sony over ear headphones. As mentioned earlier, I irregularly carry my work-issued 13" Lenovo laptop as well.
    - I am 180 cm high (a bit under 5'11" according to my conversion app).
    I agree with @gqb that the S19 could work for you just great. All the little stuff will probably fit in the front compartments, laptop and tablet in the main compartment. The S19 does not look overly bulky -- its not so sleek and elegant as the L15, but plenty stealthy. If clamshell opening and laptop compartment aren't priorities, you'd save money and weight.

    For reference, here's me in my S19, external compartments full of tech accessories, water bottle, keys, wallet etc. The only thing in the main compartment is my laptop. I'm 5'7", American dress size 14. My dog is 45 pounds of cuddly sweetness.
    Start of another Synik 22 review-s19-scale-jpg

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrice View Post
    Greetings and thank you so much for the reviews and pictures.

    Alternatively, maybe one of the wise bihnologists in the assembly will point me to a completely different option that I haven't thought about...

    In any case thank you for your patience and for any advice you may be able to offer.
    I agree with @gqbq and @Lia to consider the S19. I carry it instead of the L15 because of the added organizational capabilities. I also sometimes carry a 13" HP Elitebook in a neoprene sleeve (not a cache). It fits fine (or you can get a cache). I also carry an iPad Pro 9.7 everyday and it sits in another cheap neoprene sleeve. I'm considering upgrading to the S22 because my pack can be a little stuffed when I have a laptop, iPad, lunch (which has some bulk), and misc items like a folded jacket all in the main compartment.

    For lighter loads where you want organization, the S19 definitely works well.
    Bags - S25 (Mars Red balistic/Northwest sky/halcyon), S19 (Deep blue balistic/Iberian/halcyon). SCB (Nordic)
    Accessories - Nik's #4 wallets, Q-kits, pouches, stuff sacks, travel trays.

  10. #55
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I enjoyed doing this review, and all the fun side-comments on this thread too. I'm grateful for the opportunity to try out this bag.

    Can't wait to see who opts for the Synik 22 and what combinations you choose. I think the aubergine is great -- I like it better than the previous version of ballistic aubergine offered by Tom Bihn -- and a good choice for something that is gender-neutral if you opt out of black and grey. It's definitely not purple in the sense that the Alphaviolet color is. The Deep Blue/Coyote was my close second choice.

    Happy ordering! Looking forward to seeing the comments.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  11. #56
    Forum Member Fabrice's Avatar
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    Good day and thank you all for the advice. I am starting to warm up to the S19 for my particular use case.

    I am trying to convince myself that foregoing the clamshell opening is not too big of a miss considering the relatively small size of the S19’s main compartment and the fact that I am not going to use the bag to pack clothes for a trip. For those of you with an S22 review unit and experience with the S19: would you see it as a paint point to retrieve EDC-type items from the S19 main compartment? (Basically I need a nudge to push me over the fence).

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrice View Post
    Good day and thank you all for the advice. I am starting to warm up to the S19 for my particular use case.

    I am trying to convince myself that foregoing the clamshell opening is not too big of a miss considering the relatively small size of the S19’s main compartment and the fact that I am not going to use the bag to pack clothes for a trip. For those of you with an S22 review unit and experience with the S19: would you see it as a paint point to retrieve EDC-type items from the S19 main compartment? (Basically I need a nudge to push me over the fence).
    NUDGE
    :)

    If you don't need the extra 3L, luggage pass through, and on board laptop sleeve, the S19 is less expensive and lighter in weight. I've never had an issue with it being a non clamshell. Most of my stuff I find easy to grab and if it's something small/weird, I can always use a key strap and o-ring to tether/fetch it.
    After having played around with the SN22, the clamshell isn't enough to push me over the edge to it, YMMV. I have three Synapse 19's and expect that they will remain my main EDCs.
    I know that's relatively easy for me to say, as I received the bag to review as a Mod, but I really believe you have to ask yourself what features you really use and what you're willing to compromise on. There's a whole host of folks who will switch to this because it meets their unmet needs...and a whole host of us who are already there...

    Good luck with your choice!
    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...

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    NUDGE
    :)

    If you don't need the extra 3L, luggage pass through, and on board laptop sleeve, the S19 is less expensive and lighter in weight. I've never had an issue with it being a non clamshell. Most of my stuff I find easy to grab and if it's something small/weird, I can always use a key strap and o-ring to tether/fetch it.
    @Fabrice — @G42 makes an excellent case for the S19. It’s a super backpack if 19L is sufficient for your needs. I haven’t had problems pulling things out when I carry the bag.

    It’s also worth looking at the L15. The S19 and L15 have almost identical dimensions, although there’s just enough difference to give the S19 4L more volume. A big difference between the 2 bags is the L15 has less organization. I carry the S19 as one of my EDCs though specifically because of the nifty organization.

    Full disclosure though...I’ve decided to add the S22 to my TB collection because I DO want the extra 3L. Don’t much care about the clamshell though.
    Bags - S25 (Mars Red balistic/Northwest sky/halcyon), S19 (Deep blue balistic/Iberian/halcyon). SCB (Nordic)
    Accessories - Nik's #4 wallets, Q-kits, pouches, stuff sacks, travel trays.

  14. #59
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    @G42 - Thanks for all your insights in your review!

    I decided to pull the trigger today and pre-order the S22. The deciding factor for me is the depth of the S22 which is as deep as the S25. I've found the S19 is a little small to carry every day and the S25 is too big for every day. The height and width of the S19 is great so here's hoping with added depth, the S22 will be the sweet spot for me for an EDC.
    Bags - S25 (Mars Red balistic/Northwest sky/halcyon), S19 (Deep blue balistic/Iberian/halcyon). SCB (Nordic)
    Accessories - Nik's #4 wallets, Q-kits, pouches, stuff sacks, travel trays.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrice View Post
    Good day and thank you all for the advice. I am starting to warm up to the S19 for my particular use case.

    I am trying to convince myself that foregoing the clamshell opening is not too big of a miss considering the relatively small size of the S19’s main compartment and the fact that I am not going to use the bag to pack clothes for a trip. For those of you with an S22 review unit and experience with the S19: would you see it as a paint point to retrieve EDC-type items from the S19 main compartment? (Basically I need a nudge to push me over the fence).
    Here's another nudge! I haven't laid hands on an SN22 yet, but I've been carrying an S19 for almost three years and the only time I've ever had any trouble with accessing stuff inside it is when it's packed too full ... hence my justification for buying the S22. It was the capacity, not the clamshell, that swayed me.

    I guess I will also mention that while the S19 is pretty much perfect for my default daily carry, enough situations arose where I needed extra capacity (groceries, books, sweater or jacket) that I often switch to an S25, even though as a result it's pretty underpacked some of the time. (OTOH, I'm tall so the S25 doesn't look huge on me.)

    TL;DR: Synapses are the best bags I've ever owned, and every time I go looking for something better I wind up back where I started. If you don't need the clamshell or the 3 liters extra capacity, by all means get an S19. You won't regret it.

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