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 19
  1. #1
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    926
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Synik 22 review: Like, yet unlike, a Synapse

    Part 1 (this post): Luggage pass-through, new grab handle, some visual comparisons
    Part 2: The new shoulder straps
    Part 3: How two models of 13" laptops fit

    I've been having reviewer's block, turning around different ways to review the new Synik and discarding each approach nearly as soon as I thought of it. One thing I've learned from grad school (and from writing in fanfic exchanges) is that having a deadline usually helps me push past writer's block, so I decided to treat tomorrow as a deadline since the official information pages for the Syniks will go live tomorrow. (Here's the timeline in a post from Darcy about the Syniks.)

    Since the light is fading and I won't be able to take many more good photos today, I'm making this post Part 1 of my review and I'll continue with Part 2 tomorrow afternoon. Now, on to the review!

    The Synik 22: Not a bag for everyone, but maybe a bag for you
    When I first read the description of the Syniks, my immediate response was "Wow! At first glance it looks like you all took every single request for changes to the Synapse and incorporated all of them in one bag." And my understanding is that that's almost what they did--they didn't include the requests that they decided just weren't practical for this bag, but I think they incorporated every request that they could. That means some people will be very happy with these new bags, and others will be saying "but I like the Synapses just fine as they are, I didn't need these changes." I agree with both those viewpoints: I'm glad the Synapses are sticking around unchanged, but now that I've seen the Syniks I agree that they have their good points too, so I'm glad I get a chance to use both.

    The luggage pass-through and other ways of attaching to rolling luggage
    The luggage pass-through is the new feature I was most interested in. I don't use my rolling luggage very much these days because I've found I really prefer wearing my luggage as a backpack rather than dragging rolling luggage through airports, but sometimes I do still use it and it would be nice to have a pass-through feature. Unfortunately it turns out my suitcases have especially wide handles, so the pass-through feature doesn't work for me. All you fellow Briggs & Riley fans out there, their Outsider handle is too wide to work with the Synik's pass-through. In order to make the Synik pass-through area fit wide handles like the B&R ones, they'd have had to make the Syniks much wider and that would just look weird and probably not fit anyone's back well.

    However, I tried out using the Gatekeeper waist belt to attach the backpack to my rolling luggage handle (like Darcy described in this post) and that worked great! The waist-belt-turned-strap also fits nicely into the smaller horizontal pocket on the front of the bag if one doesn't want to reattach it as a waist belt when it's not in use as a luggage strap.

    I also realized that if I were worried about the strap sliding off the backpack (which I'm generally not worried about, but @G42 did mention that it could slide off in certain circumstances depending on the shape of the things in the backpack) I could run the strap through the little straps on the shoulder straps, the ones that the sternum straps slide up and down on. That was way too many uses of the word "strap" in one sentence, wasn't it? :)

    Synik 22 review: Like, yet unlike, a Synapse-befunky-collage-luggage-strap-jpg
    Photo: Synik 22 attached to Briggs & Riley Transcend rolling luggage using the Gatekeeper waist strap, with detailed view of how it can run behind the sternum strap's adjustment straps

    The new grab handle
    I really like the new grab handle! I understand that it's not intended for carrying the bag for long distances (that's what the shoulder straps are for, after all) but it seems much more comfortable to me than a webbing loop like most backpacks, including the Synapses, have. My only concern was whether it would also work well for hanging the backpack on a hook, but I tried it out and that seems to work just fine. One caveat: if you need to hang a backpack from a hook that's flush to the wall, the webbing loop of the Synapses might work better than the new grab handle on the Syniks because the new grab handle is slightly farther forward on the bag.

    Synik 22 review: Like, yet unlike, a Synapse-img_3563-hanging-jpg
    Photo: Synik 22 in Nebulous Grey hanging next to Synapse 19 in Aubergine

    Visual comparison of S19, SN22, S25
    I had to use the flash on the side view photo because the black back and side panels on the S19 and SN22 kept disappearing into the shadows, making both bags look slimmer than they really are. For these photos each backpack had a couch pillow stuffed into the main compartment, and the front pockets were mostly left empty.
    Synik 22 review: Like, yet unlike, a Synapse-img_3560-three-bags-side-flash-jpg
    Synik 22 review: Like, yet unlike, a Synapse-img_3557-three-bags-jpg
    Synapse 19 in Aubergine, Synik 22 in Nebulous Grey, Synapse 25 in Black Halcyon

    What to expect in tomorrow's review
    Tomorrow I plan to pack the Synik as though I were going on a trip, and compare that to a few other bags (probably the S19 and S25, but I'll see what seems to make the most sense to compare tomorrow).

    @TorontoSS, I haven't forgotten that I offered to compare the weight of the Synik 22 with the weight of the Synapse 25, but I realized that I can't make a very good comparison because my S25 is Halcyon vs the SN22's 525 Ballistic. However, I believe that the official weights of the Syniks will be available on the product pages tomorrow.

    What other questions would anyone like me to try to answer in Part 2 of my review?
    Last edited by aedifica; 08-18-2019 at 02:25 PM.
    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.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Share
    SF Bay area
    Posts
    1,454
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    However, I tried out using the Gatekeeper waist belt to attach the backpack to my rolling luggage handle (like Darcy described in this post) and that worked great! The waist-belt-turned-strap also fits nicely into the smaller horizontal pocket on the front of the bag if one doesn't want to reattach it as a waist belt when it's not in use as a luggage strap.

    I also realized that if I were worried about the strap sliding off the backpack (which I'm generally not worried about, but @G42 did mention that it could slide off in certain circumstances depending on the shape of the things in the backpack) I could run the strap through the little straps on the shoulder straps, the ones that the sternum straps slide up and down on. That was way too many uses of the word "strap" in one sentence, wasn't it? :)
    That was only five instances of 'strap', I'm sure you're allowed 7 or more before the Internet Police swoop down...

    Good call out on putting the waist strap through the sternum strap bands - might take ten seconds longer, but worth it for any uncertain loads or if the bag was packed weirdly as I mentioned with my S25.
    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...

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Share
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    246
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks! The side view comparisons are very interesting. I'm looking forward to hearing if you can actually fit more in the extra 3L. :-D

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Share
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    245
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post

    What other questions would anyone like me to try to answer in Part 2 of my review?
    I would sincerely appreciate a comparison of packing a S25 vs a SN22 for a trip, including a laptop please! I have a S19 and S25, I know the S19 wonít cut it as a one bag for my daughter for 3 weeks in Asia but Iím hoping the S22 could replace her S25. She loves her S25 but she will be moving around a lot and itís tough to live out of. Iím pretty sure the SN30 would be too much bag for this kind of trip for someone her size.
    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

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    114
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you aedifica - very helpful so far. I like the photo comparison of sizes.

    I know you mentioned it wouldnít be a fair comparison due to differing fabrics but Iíd like to know which ďfeelsĒ heavier / lighter. Sometimes grams donít add up to how it feels. Things like the frame may shift weight etc. How do each (19/22/25) feel on you comparatively?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    926
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    I would sincerely appreciate a comparison of packing a S25 vs a SN22 for a trip, including a laptop please! I have a S19 and S25, I know the S19 wonít cut it as a one bag for my daughter for 3 weeks in Asia but Iím hoping the S22 could replace her S25. She loves her S25 but she will be moving around a lot and itís tough to live out of. Iím pretty sure the SN30 would be too much bag for this kind of trip for someone her size.
    Hmm. I'm happy to try, but I have the feeling that what I can show you might not really help for your daughter's use case. For one thing, there's no way I could use either bag to one-bag it for three weeks! Since I'm only moderately minimalist (and have to have room for my CPAP) I'd take my A45 for that. :) Maybe I can help more if you can give me an idea of what she needs that won't fit in an S19?

    Quote Originally Posted by TorontoSS View Post
    I know you mentioned it wouldnít be a fair comparison due to differing fabrics but Iíd like to know which ďfeelsĒ heavier / lighter. Sometimes grams donít add up to how it feels. Things like the frame may shift weight etc. How do each (19/22/25) feel on you comparatively?
    OK, I think I can do that. I have both sizes of Synapse frame, so since the Synik includes the frame I'll compare it with the S19 and S25 with their respective frames--sound good? That might not happen today (though it might) but I can do it sometime before pre-order opens.
    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.

  7. #7
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    926
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    That was only five instances of 'strap', I'm sure you're allowed 7 or more before the Internet Police swoop down...

    Good call out on putting the waist strap through the sternum strap bands - might take ten seconds longer, but worth it for any uncertain loads or if the bag was packed weirdly as I mentioned with my S25.
    Sternum strap bands! That's a much more concise description than I could come up with. :) I actually sent TB Customer Service a chat today to ask their official name and Kat said she thinks they'd call that the webbing for the sternum strap. (That was the first time I've used their chat system! It was pretty cool.)
    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.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    114
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    OK, I think I can do that. I have both sizes of Synapse frame, so since the Synik includes the frame I'll compare it with the S19 and S25 with their respective frames--sound good? That might not happen today (though it might) but I can do it sometime before pre-order opens.
    That sounds great! If itís not too much trouble would be good to know how the Synik (with frame) feels versus the S25 without frame. Donít mind waiting at all! Thanks a lot!

  9. #9
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Share
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    245
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    Hmm. I'm happy to try, but I have the feeling that what I can show you might not really help for your daughter's use case. For one thing, there's no way I could use either bag to one-bag it for three weeks! Since I'm only moderately minimalist (and have to have room for my CPAP) I'd take my A45 for that. :) Maybe I can help more if you can give me an idea of what she needs that won't fit in an S19
    Thanks for being willing to try!

    How about which and how many packing cubes fit? I have a bunch of PCSBs, 1 large A30, 2 small A30, every size of stuff sack, and both sizes of travel trays. (And Iím not adverse to ordering more haha) I have seen a few reviews for the SN30 for a trip, but nothing for the SN22 yet. Sheís pretty disciplined and will at least try to pack to fit the bag, sheís going by herself and staying with friends, so she doesnít want to be loaded down or distracted on the trains between cities.
    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

  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    926
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    Thanks for being willing to try!

    How about which and how many packing cubes fit? I have a bunch of PCSBs, 1 large A30, 2 small A30, every size of stuff sack, and both sizes of travel trays. (And I’m not adverse to ordering more haha) I have seen a few reviews for the SN30 for a trip, but nothing for the SN22 yet. She’s pretty disciplined and will at least try to pack to fit the bag, she’s going by herself and staying with friends, so she doesn’t want to be loaded down or distracted on the trains between cities.
    Actually I think the Synik FAQ may have you covered there! Check this out, then let me know what questions you have left afterward: https://blog.tombihn.com/synik-faq#cubeme

    In particular, this bit from that section of the FAQ gives two of the possible sets of packing cubes etc for the Synik 22:

    Synik 22 Minimalist Additional Organization:
    Side Effect in bottom pocket
    Aeronaut 30 Large Packing Cube in MC

    Synik 22 Maximus Additional Organization:
    Aeronaut 30 Packing Cube Backpack in MC
    Aeronaut 30 Large Packing Cube in MC
    Aeronaut 30 Laundry Travel Stuff Sack OR Small Snake Charmer in bottom pocket
    Size 2 Stuff Sack in one Side Pocket, Small and Mini Ghost Whale Pouch in other side pocket
    Nik’s Minimalist Wallet in small front pocket
    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.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    926
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Part 2: The new shoulder straps

    Today I loaded up the Synik 22 to go out for errands. I wanted to test the new shoulder straps with a heavy load, so I started by putting an 8-pound weight in the bottom of the main compartment, then adding everything I might conceivably need for my errands: purse stuff in the front pockets, and a shopping bag, hat, overshirt, and hardcover book* in the main compartment. When I was done I weighed the bag with my luggage scale and it said it was just over 15 pounds, or about 7 kg.

    Now I will back up for a minute and say that I had a chance to test an earlier version of these new straps, and I just didn't like the test version all that much. Some of my fellow testers loved them, but for me the test straps were less comfortable than the regular Synapse shoulder straps.

    On to the new straps on the Synik: these new straps are really good! I can't tell what makes them different from the test version I tried (other than that they're mounted farther apart on the bag**), but this final version is very comfortable for me. The straps conform nicely to my body, whether I tighten the straps as far as they can go or let them way out. I didn't even need the sternum strap--normally I use the sternum strap a lot on any backpack I wear, because shoulder straps often feel like they're trying to slide sideways off my shoulders and the sternum strap helps with that. I did find myself buckling the sternum strap a few times just out of habit today, but I never felt like I needed it.

    Since all bodies are different I can't promise that these straps will work as well for you as they do for me, but I'm really pleased with them and think they're likely to be good for most people.

    * The book: I've been really enjoying Donna Andrews' mysteries this spring and summer, both the Meg Langslow series and the older Turing Hopper series (Turing Hopper is an AI who collaborates with her human friends to solve mysteries!). Today's book was the last one in the Turing Hopper series.

    ** Mentioning that the straps are farther apart made me realize that some people might want to know more about that, so here are some measurements of how far apart the shoulder straps are mounted:
    S19 (from within the last year or so--I know S19 strap placement has varied over the years) : 1.5"
    SN22 : about 3"
    S25 (from about two years ago, though I think S25 shoulder strap placement has stayed about the same) : 2.5"
    and my test version of the shoulder straps, on an S19, had the same 1.5" placement as my S19 with the regular straps

    Note that on my S19 with the shoulder straps mounted only 1.5" apart I'm more likely to feel like I need the sternum strap to keep both straps on my shoulders than I am with the Synik's straps that are mounted 3" apart! That's somewhat counterintuitive. I can't say for sure, but I believe it's because of the way the new straps conform to my body. The other possibility would be that maybe the the new straps grab my clothes more and that holds the straps in place, but if that were the reason I would expect to feel like my shirt was being pulled out of place and I don't feel that happening.
    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.

  12. #12
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Share
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    245
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks! Not sure how I missed that.
    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

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    926
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DeBru View Post
    Thanks! Not sure how I missed that.
    It's a very thorough FAQ, it would be easy to miss something in it!

  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Share
    Boston; she/her
    Posts
    926
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Part 3 of the review may be delayed--I have a job interview tomorrow and this company seems to be moving fast, so for all I know I may have another job interview within the next day or two after that! I like what I know so far about the job and the company, so fingers crossed.

    (I feel like if I read a post like this from someone else I'd be torn whether to comment to say "good luck!" or whether to stay quiet and not derail the thread. Feel free to just "like" the post if you feel like saying "good luck," and I'll know what you mean! Or feel free to not "like" the post, that's fine too. :) )

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    114
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Aedifica - I donít want to derail the thread either but I know interviews are stressful! I hope you do well! Stay calm even if you get grilled (thatís part of it) - good luck!

    (Ps it might help to use the calm app! It helps me a lot!)

    Looking forward to the review but go get em first!

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
  •