Main TOM BIHN website
 
emailus@tombihn.com

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Welcome! We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

x

First, select your desired search engine:

  • Google Search
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Original Forum Search Engine

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29
  1. #1
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,498
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Synik 30 vs Aeronaut 30...and Smart Alec

    Since a few folks have asked, here are some comparison photos between a Deep Blue/Coyote Synik 30 and an Original/Island Aeronaut 30.

    TL/DR: Same stuff fit in both bags, just a bit easier in the A30. Maximizing the Synik space means using all the pockets well. If you've been craving clamshell & built in laptop and/or love single-bag travel, you'll like the Synik family. If you've been fine with the Synapses and Aeronauts, it may not be worth getting another bag...


    I packed a generic bunch of non-winter stuff I would bring on a trip lasting a week or so, assuming a bit of washing. None of the cubes were jammed pack, as that's not how I like to pack.


    Starting on the left:

    Island A30 Small Laundry Cube : workout pants & shirt; sleep shirt & shorts
    NWSky A30 Small Laundry Cube : 5 short sleeved shirts (2 cotton; 3 synth)
    Wasabi A30 Small Laundry Cube : 7 prs undies; 1 bra; 2 prs wool socks
    Eagle Creek shoe sack: 1 pr workout shoes
    1 pr folded jeans
    Fjord Small Snake Charmer: lightly packed with a mouse; phone charger; laptop powerbrick
    Dawn Clear 3DOC : wet toiletries
    Kiwi 'The Kit' (disco'd) : dry toiletries, comb, etc.
    HP Pavilion laptop
    Original 3DOC : the random stuff I usually keep in my EDC (pens, quarters, duct tape, bandaids, etc)
    Island Travel Cubelet : my 'portable office' with checkbooks, notebook, pens, stamps, etc.

    Synik 30 vs Aeronaut 30...and Smart Alec-img_20190803_144110-jpg

    In the Synik:
    'The Kit' and Clear 3DOC in two side pockets
    3DOC, TC, and SSC in the chin pocket
    jeans flat, EC cube of shoes at the bottom, thickest Laundry Cube, then the remaining two stacked on top of each other
    laptop in the built-in compartment... my MacBook Air (larger 2013 version) also fits
    total weight was about 17.5 lbs, with the bag

    Synik 30 vs Aeronaut 30...and Smart Alec-befunky-sn30-jpg

    In the A30:
    'The Kit' and SSC in the left/top pocket, divider wall unzipped to make laptop easier
    jeans flat, 3 Laundry Cubes & Clear 3DOC in main compartment
    laptop on top - normally I'd have it in a neoprene sleeve, but I forgot to bring it home, there was definitely room for it to fit
    EC cube of shoes, 3DOC, & TC in the right/bottom pocket... the 3DOC or TC also would fit in the main compartment

    Synik 30 vs Aeronaut 30...and Smart Alec-befunky-a30-jpg

    The Syniks are a cool design that add a few features to the Synapses that many folks have been clamoring for. They're built with the expected Tom Bihn attention to detail and quality. These are fine bags that will make many folks happy.

    For me, they are solving problem(s) that I don't actually have. I use neoprene sleeves for my laptops and don't particularly care about the clamshell.
    I like my Synapse 19s a lot...unfortunately neither my work nor personal laptop will fit in the Synik 22 sleeve - I would still have to use my neoprene sleeves - though the couple extra liters is nice.

    I find the A30 easier to pack and more comfortable to carry than the SN30, but I'm also more used to it, so time will tell. Whilst I haven't traveled with the SN30 yet (only EDC), I am sure the A30 is easier to 'live out of' just due to the access/design.
    Once we get into the S25 and SN30, the backpack lengths are just over my torso length, so I don't find either of them as comfortable as the shorter packs.

    Usually I travel with a main bag on my back and a small bag for under the seat. I don't particularly feel the need to single-bag travel though I have done so.
    If I had the type of trip where I needed a laptop and also needed to haul my stuff around with me for large chunks of the days, multiple transport modes, etc., I would single-bag it. It never bothered me to use a Synapse or the Smart Alec for that use case though - I just use neoprene sleeves for the laptop(s).

    Like every other bag, whether you will like the Syniks will depend on how you like to pack and travel... hopefully this has provided another data point for you to consider.

    ETA: thanks to @aedifica for telling me about the 'Be Funky' free collage maker to help with the photos, tho I still don't have mad skills there yet

    I'll be traveling next weekend for 3 nights - I'll take the SN30 with both laptops, clothes for the trip, etc. as a single bag trip & report back.
    Last edited by G42; 08-03-2019 at 04:27 PM.
    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...

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    583
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @G42, thank you so much for your detailed comparison with great pictures. It's been super helpful in assessing whether the Synik 30 can replace an A30. For me, I don't think so. Even though I do like the luggage handle sleeve, I do not travel with a rolling suitcase very often. I only do so when I know I am going to do a lot of shopping. On the outbound flight, I pack my full A30 inside the suitcase and then check suitcase on the return while carrying the A30 on board. Then again I might order a Synik 30 just to check it out. Decisions, decisions.
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,498
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On a whim I put everything (as in original post) into my Black halcyon Smart Alec and it all fit into that 26L bag - so now you have a better idea of the actual volume of stuff...

    The SA is pretty full:

    Clear 3DOC is in one side pocket
    jeans against the back, then the laptop
    Laundry Cubes stacked on top of each other vertically
    3DOC, TC, 'The Kit', and EC cube of shoes all on top... only a small amount of room left on top, maybe another 3DOC worth

    Synik 30 vs Aeronaut 30...and Smart Alec-img_20190803_161216-1-jpg


    ETA
    Sorry, no photo but I managed to put the laptop (not in the sleeve, it doesn't fit), the jeans, two of the Laundry Cubs into the new Synik 22 main compartment
    The not-full Clear 3DOC and 'The Kit' each fit into one of the side pockets...

    So the steel 3DOC, SCC, and 3rd Laundry Cube wouldn't fit...

    It was an almost unpleasantly full bag, so I wouldn't recommend pushing it that much
    Last edited by G42; 08-03-2019 at 07:43 PM. Reason: adding more bits
    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...

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,498
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by pammy View Post
    @G42, thank you so much for your detailed comparison with great pictures. It's been super helpful in assessing whether the Synik 30 can replace an A30. For me, I don't think so. Even though I do like the luggage handle sleeve, I do not travel with a rolling suitcase very often. I only do so when I know I am going to do a lot of shopping. On the outbound flight, I pack my full A30 inside the suitcase and then check suitcase on the return while carrying the A30 on board. Then again I might order a Synik 30 just to check it out. Decisions, decisions.
    I completely forgot about the pass through... I hardly ever use a wheelie... maybe when/if I relocate cross country again. I still have one carry on size for just-in-case: if/when I manage to hurt myself enough to not be able to carry a pack but still need to travel(!).

    The Syniks are cool and for folks who are in the US and can test pack one, it may be worth the postage if you end up returning it. I can see people 'upgrading' to the Syniks if those features are things they'd use more than 50% of the time... for me, I'd use them so infrequently it wouldn't be worth it.
    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...

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    42
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I completely forgot about the pass through... I hardly ever use a wheelie... maybe when/if I relocate cross country again. I still have one carry on size for just-in-case: if/when I manage to hurt myself enough to not be able to carry a pack but still need to travel(!).

    The Syniks are cool and for folks who are in the US and can test pack one, it may be worth the postage if you end up returning it. I can see people 'upgrading' to the Syniks if those features are things they'd use more than 50% of the time... for me, I'd use them so infrequently it wouldn't be worth it.
    Thanks so much for this! This was a comparison I was hoping to see. I tried to access it in the “General Discussion”, and the pictures didn’t show up there - but found them here, so you can ignore that post. Thanks again. Super helpful to see S30 compared to A30.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    2
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can we get a picture showing the inside coyote with the blue? Thanks !

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,498
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tjharlow View Post
    Can we get a picture showing the inside coyote with the blue? Thanks !
    Welcome to the Forums @tjharlow!

    I'll try to get a picture tomorrow - the light isn't good right now.
    In the meantime, check out the Cafe bag listing - it shows Deep Blue/Coyote ballistic... it always seems lighter on my screen than in person
    https://www.tombihn.com/products/med...14478727446591

    If you'd like a small swatch of the fabrics, you can email the fine folks at Customer Service and request them... just be sure to specify 525 ballistic for the Deep Blue and 210 ballistic for the Coyote

    ETA:

    Here you go...Coyote 210 ballistic inside and Deep Blue 525 ballistic outside... photos really don't capture Coyote well though, I really think you need to request a swatch

    Synik 30 vs Aeronaut 30...and Smart Alec-img_20190804_083959-1-jpg
    Last edited by G42; 08-04-2019 at 08:48 AM.
    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...

  8. #8
    Forum Member imagineez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Share
    SF Bay Area ; He/Him
    Posts
    197
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @G42

    Curious to know if you feel any need for the Smart Alec now that you have the SN30?

    My first TB bag was an SA and I found it useful for taller larger items in the main compartment (compared to an S25). Now that the SN30 is more squared out towards the top and with more depth, I wonder if that SA functionality can be met with the SN30’s larger compartment.

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    952
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by imagineez View Post
    @G42

    Curious to know if you feel any need for the Smart Alec now that you have the SN30?

    My first TB bag was an SA and I found it useful for taller larger items in the main compartment (compared to an S25). Now that the SN30 is more squared out towards the top and with more depth, I wonder if that SA functionality can be met with the SN30’s larger compartment.
    I am not @G42, but: for me the Synik and Smart Alec definitely fill different niches. My Smart Alec is a great grocery shopping backpack because I can fit a gallon jug into the main compartment easily along with anything else that's too heavy for me to want to carry it in a Shop Bag, whereas with the Syniks (like the Synapses) part of the volume is in the front pockets. But I'm interested to hear what others think about the question!
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  10. #10
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Share
    Alabama
    Posts
    493
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @imagineez I donít have a synik, but I find I like the smart alec for its cavernous packing style. I originally had an s25 but moved away from it once my travel style evolved. The built-in storage was nice, but I started to prefer using pouches and ghost whales to the built-in. I think the smart alec will still have its fan club and uses, but the synik is definitely looking like a really nice alternative option.


    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

  11. #11
    Forum Member imagineez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Share
    SF Bay Area ; He/Him
    Posts
    197
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @aedifica @melminimalist I had thought that because of the increased depth in the Synik 30, its main compartment might approximate the cavernous quality of the SA’s main compartment and be able to pack similar type items now. Great to hear your perspectives.

  12. #12
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,498
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by imagineez View Post
    @G42

    Curious to know if you feel any need for the Smart Alec now that you have the SN30?

    My first TB bag was an SA and I found it useful for taller larger items in the main compartment (compared to an S25). Now that the SN30 is more squared out towards the top and with more depth, I wonder if that SA functionality can be met with the SN30’s larger compartment.
    I still like the basic cavern of the SA and the look of it. I sold off the module pockets as I prefer to attach a Side Effect at the top and a Travel Cubelet on the lower front - they can be removed and used at my destination. They're also more useful to me than the built in Synapse side pockets, for when I travel. At 18.5" tall, the SA also fits my torso better than the S25 or SN30. That's always been the kicker for me... most of the larger bags increase in length along with volume and the length is what makes it uncomfortable for me.
    So I will keep my lovely 26L SA and watch for a unicorn original Nordic version to pop up for sale sometime...

    For an EDC, the S19 is my favorite. If I didn't have one, I might kick up to the SN22 just for the bit more of extra space, but as I mentioned, the luggage pass through and built in laptop sleeve aren't big sellers for me (my laptops don't fit). The clam shell is nice if you're packing for a short trip but I notice that the heavier duty zippers are hard/impossible for me to open one handed...which is great to prevent it opening accidentally, but a tad annoying in an EDC. And I'd rather have travel storage space in the main compartment vs the pockets.
    So of the four main new Synik features (clam shell, pass through, laptop sleeve, capacity increase), only the capacity increase is currently attractive/useable for me in a bag that will cost more and is heavier.

    For larger volume, I'll stick to the SA, A30, and the once-a-year A45 trip.
    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. #13
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Share
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    246
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    ... At 18.5" tall, the SA also fits my torso better than the S25 or SN30. That's always been the kicker for me... most of the larger bags increase in length along with volume and the length is what makes it uncomfortable for me.
    Same here! That seems to be the Goldilocks length for a backpack in my house. It fits my 5í2Ē frame, doesnít overwhelm my skinny 15 y.o., and doesnít look ridiculous on my 6í4Ē husband. I love the BB a lot because of the length, I just lack self control and pack it to capacity most of the time, which topples me over. I canít wait to add a S22 to our bag lineup, but Iím still hopeful for a smaller volume Brain Bag.
    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

  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,498
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    I’m still hopeful for a smaller volume Brain Bag.
    I think I'd prefer a Brain Bag 22-25ish - with the short height... but that starts going back to competing with a Smart Alec :)
    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...

  15. #15
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Share
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    246
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    I think I'd prefer a Brain Bag 22-25ish - with the short height... but that starts going back to competing with a Smart Alec :)
    That would work for me �� we only have one SA and there are 4 in our house, so it would be a great addition
    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

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •