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  1. #16
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    Thanks for the review, imagineez! The pictures are incredibly helpful.

    In regards to the pack looking more wide at the top when lightly packed, I wonder if it'll naturally round out as the fabric gets broken in? I'm curious if you had a similar experience with the S25 in the ballistic material; where it started stiff and 'wide' but over time as the fabric was broken in, loosened up? I will likely rarely have a Synik fully packed out, however, prefer the 'truer' shape of the Synik when it's packed out (i.e., closer to the shape of the S25).

    Hopefully this makes sense - I'm trying to decide between Halcyon and Ballistic, and may lean towards Halcyon if it naturally looks narrower at the top than ballistic.

  2. #17
    Forum Member imagineez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yugo View Post
    Thank you imagineez for the extremely thorough photo review. Since the Brain Bag Freudian Slip fits in the Synik 30, would you recommend using a S25 Freudian Slip or Brain Bag Freudian Slip? While the Brain Bag Freudian Slip is bigger and offers more organizational space, does the fact that it fills the Synik 30's width make it bulkier to use than the S25 Freudian Slip?
    This is a great question. I took some more pics to illustrate what I realized.

    With the S25 Freudian Slip, you have access to the side o-rings at the main compartmentís back wall, by the laptop compartment zipper. The Brain Bag Freudian Slip will cover access to these side o-rings. An issue if you rely on o-rings there.



    It is slightly easier to access the zipper of laptop compartment with the S25 FS placed in front of it - though the BB FS is slightly shorter in height and itís just as easy to move/bend the FSís out of the way.



    The thickness is the same for both the FSís. Definitely a less cluttered feel with the S25 FS in place at the top, but the S25 FS tends to slump down (do a curve-in) if you donít pack the bottom two pockets or have very much placed inside the main compartment.

    If I had to pick between the two, and I already had a BB FS, I would just stick with the BB FS.

    Personally, my main go-to FS is the medium cafe bag - itís so easy to transfer between all my bags, including to my small zippered shopping bags I can also use for EDC and work purposes.

    YMMV.

    Hope this helps.






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadD View Post
    Same reaction. The new logo position does look like an after thought. Personally prefer the traditional position, and happy to have it prominent.
    Frankly, I prefer the NEW logo placement vastly compared to the old centric logo design.
    For about as long as I care to remember, I have always preferred any kind of branding to be low key. In all honesty, I might be a bit ocd about that and go to certain lengths to often remove any kind of visible branding... it's not that I mind telling an interested party what brand something is that I have - it's just that I somehow prefer the cleaner non-descript aesthetic without any logos or brandings.
    Same with my choice of clothing, I can't stand stuff with lables... that's me ;)

    and for me one of the things that I found irritating was the original logo placement - it's much more subtle this way... in my opinion ;)

  4. #19
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    Well, thanks - again!
    you go above and beyond ;) even took the photos... highly appreciated!


    excellent review... it's so far the best I've seen on the synik!

  5. #20
    Forum Member imagineez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STX21 View Post
    In regards to the pack looking more wide at the top when lightly packed, I wonder if it'll naturally round out as the fabric gets broken in? I'm curious if you had a similar experience with the S25 in the ballistic material; where it started stiff and 'wide' but over time as the fabric was broken in, loosened up? I will likely rarely have a Synik fully packed out, however, prefer the 'truer' shape of the Synik when it's packed out (i.e., closer to the shape of the S25).
    Hmm, Iím no bag mechanics or design expert, so I can only make a guess here.

    I didnít notice any difference over time with the shape of the S25 breaking in, but then again I wasnít focused on that. Iíve had halcyon and ballistic and cordura fabrics and I donít recall that the overall shape changed over time with fabric break in.

    With more material used to add to the depth of the Synik 30, along with a real beefy zipper that now runs down the whole side length of the bag and adds even more to structure (in that side panel), Iím not so sure at least with 525 ballistic if there would be a change in shape over time. I suppose a shape change would more likely happen with Halcyon as itís much more floppy.


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  6. #21
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    Thanks for this detailed review! It answers many of the questions in pictures that weren’t as clear to me until now. Really appreciate the time you took to do this.

  7. #22
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    I'm not sure if your review has hurt or helped me, lol. Very much appreciate the various fullness comparison. This looks like the bag might be a bit too large for me as my daily. But it doesn't look too bad underpack, so way more bang for my buck than the S22 since I can use it for non-daily more....

  8. #23
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    Very cool! I like the incremental improvements on solid designs better than the whole-cloth of some recent bags.

    Regarding the main compartment zipper; this configuration looks like the PCBP, which in a few cases has unzipped uncontrollably if something heavy like a tablet was placed in the outer pocket and I tried to partially unzip the main pocket to retrieve something. Did you get the sense that could be an issue if the outer pockets had a lot of stuff in them?

    One of my wish list items for the PCBP was a set of button fasteners on either side of the main pocket the inside the zipper, to prevent it from moving uncontrollably downward unintentionally.

  9. #24
    Forum Member imagineez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    Regarding the main compartment zipper; this configuration looks like the PCBP, which in a few cases has unzipped uncontrollably if something heavy like a tablet was placed in the outer pocket and I tried to partially unzip the main pocket to retrieve something. Did you get the sense that could be an issue if the outer pockets had a lot of stuff in them?
    Note that the main zipper of the Synik 30 is a #10 YKK Aquaguard water-repellent Coil zipper. That means itís a good size zipper that has some resistance when opening and closing, and even more resistance due to the added water repellent Aquaguard material underneath.

    The zipper is substantial enough that it requires some effort to open and close. In my Synapse 25, I havenít found its main compartment zipper to loosen much over time - for a comparison.

    So with the Synik 30, it actually never dawned on me that the main compartment could ever open under the weighty stress of the fully packed outer pockets. I took so many pictures holding the bag up with the main compartment open at various points along the zipper, and not once was there a problem.

    I have real confidence in this bag that there wouldnít be an uncontrollable unzipping fiasco happening.

    HTH.


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  10. #25
    Forum Member imagineez's Avatar
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    Addendum to Synik 30 Review: More Pics and Impressions

    Here are some more pictures just to show there is some space left over after putting one A45 large packing cube (or two A45 small packing cubes side by side) in the main compartment.



    See in the below pic:

    1 A45 large cube packed with
    (2) or (3) 3DOCs + (2) size 1 Stuff Sacks

    OR

    (1) size 2 Stuff Sack + (2) size 1 Stuff Sacks + (1) 3DOC

    So many endless possibilities here...


    Here is a bottom view of the Synik 30 and S25 for a side by side comparison. Note that the bottom of the Synik 30 is now padded.



    See the new Grab Handle along with the beefy #10 YKK Aquaguard Zipper



    The new back panel of the Synik 30



    Check out the new EVAZOTE EV50 0.5″ / 13mm shoulder strap foam with its edgeless design. This was designed and made in the Tom Bihn Seattle Factory. It is supremely comfortable.





    There have been questions whether it is possible for the main zipper compartment to open unexpectedly from the weight of fully loaded / weighty front pockets.

    Check out the size difference between the beefy #10 YKK Aquaguard coil zipper for the main compartment and the #8 YKK Aquaguard coil zipper of the front pockets. A noticeable difference...









    Here are some more thoughts and impressions after having had the Synik 30 for almost 7 days:

    (1) The beefy #10 YKK Aquaguard main compartment zipper is strong enough that I do not see it opening under the weight and stress of a partially opened pack (with the front pockets section of the pack).

    (2) Maximizing the use of all the front pockets in the Synik 30 really enables you to have a load out in the main compartment that puts less stress and compression on the laptop compartment - so itís easier to stow away and retrieve a larger laptop even if youíve packed a lot.

    If you pack the main compartment with one ďlayerĒ of cubes, you can pack flatter items inside the main compartmentís floppy pocket and not have a problem.

    (3) The build of the Synik 30 feels noticeably more substantial compared to the S25. With the padded bottom, integrated grab handle and integrated laptop compartment, Iíve noticed the Synik 30 carries easier for me with a heavy laptop plus iPad - compared to the S25. Maybe itís because the center of gravity has changed to give an overall balanced feel, despite the Synik 30 weighing more than the S25.

    (4) I would have preferred the side zipper access point to be just a little bit longer. It might have helped for those who want to put a thinner neoprene cover over their bigger laptops. If youíre worried about minor inadvertent scratches, you could always put a skin on your laptop to save on bulk.

    This is what Darcy had to say about making the side zipper opening longer:

    ďThat zipper is as long as it can be without the entire bag being made taller ó and then it wouldnít fit as wide a range of heights as it does now. You could maybe argue for the zipper to be straightened out at/near the bottom, but that would compromise how the frame stays in place along with creating more difficulty in the overall construction of the bag.Ē

    With laptops thinner nowadays (compared to my older Retina 15Ē MacBook Pro), I think it will be fine. You just have to know how to get the laptop in and out, using a maneuver of a sideways-then-turning-upward ďritual,Ē especially as the bag gets more packed out.

    (5) Someone in the forums mentioned having the option to unclip the shoulder straps from the bottom so you could stow them away in the open back panel (where the internal frame and luggage pass-through reside). I think the thought was for the straps to be out of the way when putting the pack flat underneath the seat in front of you.

    But the straps do a great job of flipping over to the front, which you can see in some of the pics above.

    For me, I like the added security of knowing my shoulder straps wonít unclip inadvertently under the stress of the weight Iím carrying (which has happened to me before, but with other cheaper made packs).

    (6) A little added touch would have been ďbuilt-inĒ strap keepers for a pack of this highest quality, but thatís easily addressed with many options on the market. I like the Strap-eez option myself, after having tried the tri-glide hack and web dominators.

    (7) I never had a strong opinion for or against a clamshell opening, but having it now in this pack makes it such a worthy addition and so versatile for different use case scenarios. If it werenít for the beefy zippers and strong build quality, I might hesitate having a clamshell out of the fear the pack could open when I didnít want it to.

    Of note - even partially opening the main zipper allows you to see much more in the Synik 30 compared to the S25 - due to the added depth now. You donít always have to utilize the full clam shell feature, which is really nice. I think it would even meet the needs of those against a clamshell opening.

    (8) For the value conscious, although the Synik 30 is more expensive than the S25, I could make the case you can get more use scenarios from the Synik 30 (if you were trying to decide between this and the S25, or maybe deciding between the Synik 30 and Synik 22).

    But then maybe the person who primarily values a pack for EDC purposes might see the Synik 30 as too big for their daily carrying needs, and not see the value there if they canít use it for EDC. It just comes down to what your priorities and needs are, and how this defines value for you.

    In my opinion, the way the Synik 30 carries is not too different from the S25. But everyoneís physical build is different and YMMV with how this pack looks on you and what you feel comfortable with.

    For me, Iím fine with the Synik 30 being a part of my EDC, though I can see myself switching out to other bags as my daily use case scenarios can always change. Then at least I know the Synik 30 will always be there for me for one (or two) bag travel.

    I do love this bag. Mightily.

    Back to the Initial Review Post...
    Last edited by imagineez; 08-01-2019 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Formatting

  11. #26
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    Replace brain bag?

    Hi everyone- and thanks for the great review!
    I've been using a brain bag for most of the last seven or eight years... daily to and from work and throughout the day going to meetings and the gym. Also I've brought it on many trips as my "personal item" - though packed with the camera I/O and laptop, iPad etc it would get incredibly heavy and I'm glad it never got weighed before getting on a flight in Australia or Europe!
    Anyway most days I have my 13" touchbar MacBook Pro (thinner and smaller than yours I believe), the same 12.9" iPad you have (but I always have the apple Smart Cover keyboard attached to it, so a big question I have is whether that'll make it too big for the side load pocket along with the mbp).
    I usually have a water bottle in the mesh pocket, some tech accessories in one front side pocket and the top pocket and gym stuff (in a packing cube backpack) and lunch in the other main compartment (iPad and mbp in the main compartment closest to my back).
    All this gets quite heavy! I keep the mbp in a vertical brain cell (are those discontinued? I was so sad to read that!) cause i love it and it protects so well and I can grab it and go with the absolute strap that's always attached. The iPad Pro lives in a horizontal cache while inside the brain bag.
    So again, my big questions for you (besides just general fit for the above stuff) regard the mbp and iPad pro together in the side load laptop pocket. They seemed to both fit for you... but again I wonder if the Smart Keyboard cover will add more thickness and make them not fit. On the other hand my laptop might be thinner than yours since you mentioned it's an older model and the think the touchbar ones got thinner.
    The major protection I use for tablet and laptop is partially due to the lack of padding at the bottom of the brain bag, but the new bag has some good protection in that pocket especially with the frame installed right?

    Thanks again and sorry for the long reply everyone!
    Adam
    Ps I'm selling an empire builder to someone and hopefully finding a buyer for a parental unit so I can fund this new purchase! ;)

  12. #27
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    @afstein

    Your MacBook Pro 13" touchbar height is 0.59" or 1.49cm.
    My older Retina MacBook Pro 15" height is 0.71" or 1.8cm.

    The basic 12.9" iPad Pro smart cover and the Smart keyboard cover height difference is very minimal (just the sleight height of the keys inside).

    So like you pointed out, it all cancels out and your setup should fit fine inside the side laptop compartment. Plus you have a smaller laptop than I have, which would make some difference with fit too - in your favor.

    The laptop compartment is suspended off the ground too (with the internal frame present). Plus there's a padded bottom on the bag.

    You should be good.

  13. #28
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    Sounds great! Thanks so much for your quick reply!

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by imagineez View Post
    @afstein

    Your MacBook Pro 13" touchbar height is 0.59" or 1.49cm.
    My older Retina MacBook Pro 15" height is 0.71" or 1.8cm.

    The basic 12.9" iPad Pro smart cover and the Smart keyboard cover height difference is very minimal (just the sleight height of the keys inside).

    So like you pointed out, it all cancels out and your setup should fit fine inside the side laptop compartment. Plus you have a smaller laptop than I have, which would make some difference with fit too - in your favor.

    The laptop compartment is suspended off the ground too (with the internal frame present). Plus there's a padded bottom on the bag.

    You should be good.
    Thanks again, imagineez... any thoughts about the rest of my EDC stuff? I have some TB packing cubes (forget which ones exactly) and a nice green side effect.

    How about the water bottle pocket size? I'm currently carrying a steel 14oz/420ml bottle with a tapered shape...

    Adam


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  15. #30
    Forum Member imagineez's Avatar
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    Synik 30 Review: The New Pack for You?

    Quote Originally Posted by afstein View Post
    Thanks again, imagineez... any thoughts about the rest of my EDC stuff? I have some TB packing cubes (forget which ones exactly) and a nice green side effect.

    How about the water bottle pocket size? I'm currently carrying a steel 14oz/420ml bottle with a tapered shape...

    Adam


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Keep in mind that without using the brain cell anymore, youíre freeing up a lot of space!

    Translating where you put your stuff in the Brain Bag to where it could be stowed in the Synik 30, I would make the following assumptions of where things could fit:

    Gym stuff in the large packing cube backpack goes in the Synikís main compartment.

    You can likely fit your lunch in the main compartment too (look at my pics of different configurations to pack) - so itís all ďone layerĒ of cubes - depending on how large your lunch is. Or else put your lunch in the main compartment pocket area. Or in one of the outside front side pockets. Or bottom front pocket if it doesnít fit in the front side pocket.

    Tech stuff can fit in the lower bottom front pocket, or divvy it up between the two side pockets if the lunch is in the bottom pocket. There really is a lot of space in there.

    Not sure about your water bottle size, but it would likely fit. If it doesnít, consider those collapsible Vapur bottles to go in the water bottle compartment.

    Hope I didnít forget anything from your list.

    HTH.
    Last edited by imagineez; 08-01-2019 at 05:41 PM.

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