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  1. #1
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Manhattan. I haven't flown on a plane since the '90s.
    2 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    First Trip with Western Flyer + Synapse 25 + others (including Side Kick)

    First Trip with Western Flyer + Synapse 25 + others (including Side Kick)-img_3754-1-jpg

    First Trip with Western Flyer + Synapse 25 + others (including Side Kick)-img_3650-jpg

    OK, I just got back from my 2-week trip to Pittsburgh with my new Western Flyer + Synapse 25 + Side Kick + Packing Cube Shoulder Bags + Travel Cubelets.

    My challenge has always been the need for a wide variety of clothes (business, business casual (country club meetings), casual, gym, etc.), but I always overpacked my "two" bags (A45 + small vintage Samsonite Silhouette) and found them nearly impossible to navigate through the NYC subway, much less for any extended distance.

    I've never been a "backpack" person, but I thought I'd give the Synapse 25 a try, coupled with the considerably smaller Western Flyer.

    And I think I've finally found my magic combination!

    Synapse 25:

    This was the biggest surprise. The sucker is a bottomless hole. I think I even managed to cram more into the S25 than what I packed in my WF. And no matter how much I squeezed in, it still maintained its streamlined shape beautifully. It was pretty heavy, but all those years at the gym apparently paid off; once I got it on my back, it was so well-balanced that I barely felt it was there.

    Western Flyer:

    Glad I chose this over the TriStar, which would have been too bulky with which to comfortably walk around the city and the subway. Just big enough. And the zippered pockets in the front kept all my important stuff at my fingertips.

    HOWEVER ...

    I've seen a lot of discussion about using the WF as an EDC for meetings and such during business trips. I wouldn't try this. Once unpacked, the WF looks and feels like a deflated suitcase, and not at all like a briefcase. I think you'd be better off either flat-packing or using a Daylight Briefcase or a Maker's Bag as a packing cube inside the WF.

    Side Kick:

    This was a bit of an impulse purchase, but I saw in one user's photo how perfectly it slipped into one of the two front compartments of the Western Flyer. The nebulous grey made it the ideal choice as an EDC for my business meetings and lunches, plus it served as a nice packing cube for the Western Flyer.

    Travel Cubelets:

    I used three of these for various stuff (toiletries, electronic cables, etc.), and once unpacked, combined with my Side Kick and Packing Cube Shoulder Bags, I now had SIX potential EDC bags at my disposal for casual out-and-abouts; they're the perfect size for carrying the bare essentials: iPhone, charging cord, cash stash, checkbook, tablet, pen, mints, lip balm. I spoiled myself with the colors: grass ... aubergine ... dawn (which looks smashing against blue jeans) ... and Coyote.

    Packing Cube Shoulder Bags:

    I figured -- why use just packing cubes when I could use packing cubes that double as shoulder bags? They're the perfect size for a gym bag (if I wore my tennis shoes to the gym).

    They're also just big enough to hold a tightly-folded hoodie PLUS a Travel Cubelet (with all my essentials), which came in handy the night I went to a movie screening on a hot evening inside a super-chilled theater.

    I suppose if I were a "tablet" person, these would also be the perfect size for holding both a Travel Cubelet packed with essentials plus a tablet.

    I realize this is a LOT of Tom Bihn product, and many people can't purchase all these accessories at once. But I hope that my experience can provide some ideas to anyone who might be on the fence about any of these bags.

    Bottom line -- after all of my Tom Bihn purchases I can honestly say not only have I not regretted a single purchase, I sometimes wished I'd purchased more (in different colors!).

    Happy travels!

  2. #2
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    5 Post(s)
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    What lovely colors!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Boston; she/her
    12 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm so glad your new bags are a good combination for your travel needs! And yes, they are such lovely colors.

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