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  1. #1
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Synik 22 - Travel Review

    About 18 months ago I wrote this article
    https://forums.tombihn.com/photos-vi...C2%92-now.html

    The reason I entitled it with the phrase ‘(for now)’ was that I was a expecting a rumoured circa 20L Briefcase style bag to be shortly released. And that would have been my perfect in flight bag.

    So 18 months later and still no new bag (although we now know it's called Trinity). But I do have a completely unexpected new design backpack, the Synik 22. It went on its maiden voyage as a personal item this week.

    And I'll lead with my conclusion. The Synik 22 is the new perfect in-flight personal item (for now).



    There is just so much to cover, and a lot has been covered elsewhere. However, to start I'll cover its size which is required (for my needs) to be a true personal item size. No Synik 30 for me as it would just be too big for that purpose.

    So I’ll cover:
    Layout
    Laptop compartment
    Zips and Clamshell
    Pass through sleeve
    Comfort
    Overall size

    For reference, this was an International 4 night, 4 US state, 4 hotel, 4 flight and 1 train trip. Quite a busy week so a great proving ground for the Synik 22.

    Layout

    It's based on the classic Synpase so hard to go wrong with the layout which is really good. Great pockets on the outside and the main pocket which I’ll cover later. Not much change from the Synapse in the outside pockets unless you have an older designed one. The side pockets have the new designed layout which takes space from the central triangular bottle pocket. This is a definite improvement.

    Laptop compartment

    This is a mixed bag as its just so tight for 13 inch laptops. This is a slight frustration as feels like it just doesn’t succeed at its suggested 13 inch sizing. I have a 12.9 iPad Pro (2nd Gen) with Smart Keyboard. So this should fit fine right? Yes, but it's quite a tight fit both through the external side pocket and the internal vertical pocket. It may be that the Smart Keyboard is slightly rubbery which makes it harder to get in and out but that can’t take away from just how tight it is.

    For a 12 inch or smaller I think this would be perfect, but disappointing that 13 inch and 15 inch are standard sizes and could have been the ‘easy’ fit stand for the 22 and 30 rather than maximum sizes.

    Zips and Clamshell

    This is one of the strengths, the clamshell design is much more flexible that the half side zips. And not just for the full opening capabilities, but also for top opening where you can now open it wider and have better top access in normal use. For example, I travel with a side kick in the internal bellows pocket. The zips mean that it's much more accessible when opening from the top of the bag as the ‘mouth’ of the bag can open wider. I'm not in need of full clamshell but this is a really nice benefit of having the full zips.



    Pass through sleeve

    This is another odd one. A great feature which should be useful to me (and is) as I often travel with a small cabin size Samsonite S’Cure Spinner. But again, not quite as smooth an experience as I'd hope. With the frame sheet within the pass through sleeve, it keeps catching when you put the bag over the handle. Both when putting it on and also when taking it off as it catches the thicker handle at the top. This is even more noticeable when the bag is full which pushes the internal frame against the back panel.

    As the pass through sleeve is full height and quite a tight fit, it does mean that the bag is completely secure when over the handle. Absolutely no wobble.

    Also the straps are very geeky looking as they ‘flap over’ when the handle is in the pass through, but they very neatly stay perfectly out of the way which is really functional.

    Also, I have the smallest spinner and therefore smallest handle and the Synik 22 only just fits the width of the handle and allows about 2 inches of clearance at the top. I tried the bag on a larger spinner and the handle was too wide for the pass through.



    However, when its on, its the perfect size for accompanying a small cabin size wheeled bag. Which goes back to my original needs, a small personal item to accompany a main carry on bag.

    Comfort

    A massive bonus here as its just so comfy. Both carrying on the back (the thick backpack straps are great) and also using the the new thicker carry handle. The internal frame feels a little strange when the bag is empty, but when loaded up, it actually feels better overall. I'm 5’7” and the size of the bag/frame sits well on my back.

    And remember, there is nothing more comfy than not needing to carry it at all, the pass through is very handy here. No sweaty back going through the airport.

    Overall size

    I have to say here that my obvious thought was simply, the Synik 30 would be better. More laptop space, more flexibility with the pass through sleeve. But this defeats the purpose as I don’t need a bigger bag with more storage. The Synik 22 just needs a bit more wiggle room in the laptop and pass through sizing.

    For some of the trip I actually left the 12.9 iPad Pro naked and not in the sleeve, just left next to my paperwork. The padded bottom gave my comfort that it had some protection. Also, the 13 inch laptop/A4/Letter sized paperwork fills the main section very well, almost to the top with no wasted space. I'm sure in the Synik 30, I'd have to reach in further down to find the laptop as the bag is taller and that space at the top would be wasted.

    The 22 litres is an amazing size for a personal sized item. Great storage options, great pockets in a really comfortable and compact sized bag. The extra 3 litres compared to the Synapse 19 are always useful.
    I won’t comment on it for the purpose as a potential overnight bag as I haven’t used it for that although I'm sure I could pack everything I'd need for a short trip.



    Conclusion

    As a bag in a new category compared to the Synpase (travel bag ‘v’ EDC) then I think its a really high quality and practical option. As a replacement for an EDC which also functions as a in flight personal item, its a winner.

    Think of it as a deluxe version of the Synpase 19 in every day use. And a bag with meaningful but not perfect additional features for those rare occasions where they are needed (such as the luggage pass through).



    Interestingly, its the day to day deluxe features that are really good in the bag, and the new extra ‘travel’ features which are less impactful (although useful none the less).

    Whether you feel a 50% markup on price from the Synapse to Synik is acceptable for a Deluxe EDC with occasional use extra features, that's up to you.

    But it's definitely one of the best EDC in flight personal items (for now).




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  2. #2
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    Great post! It's kind of great timing for me, I started looking at the Synik 22 as an EDC/personal item bag, so this review is absolutely perfect for me. Hopefully Tom Bihn decides to make the Synik in both sizes when they come out with the Guide edition. I'm glad you commented on its potential onebag abilities, because when I first saw the Synik I immediately wanted to try it for that, just to see if I could. What kind of accessories/pouches are you using in there? I'm trying to figure out if I should buy a couple of little pouches as well.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skirata44 View Post
    What kind of accessories/pouches are you using in there?
    The Side Kick is my main organiser and fits perfectly into the internal bellows pocket and is my in flight bag.



    I use a 3DOC for electrical bits and a clear one for liquids when going through security. One goes in the bottom pocket and one in the centre water bottle pocket.

    I use a small ghost whale for iPad adapters and pencils which goes in the side pocket. Occasionally a mini or small q-kit which easily fits in the side pockets.

    Glad this is of help for you. I’m sure you’re not the only one hoping for a guides edition Synik 22. Fingers crossed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skirata44 View Post
    Hopefully Tom Bihn decides to make the Synik in both sizes when they come out with the Guide edition.
    Welcome to the Forums @Skirata44!

    On the Synapses, TB only did a GE on the 25L... my perception is that the larger S25 and Synik30 are more popular... if you'd like to see a SN22 GE, please consider posting that on the wish list thread, so TB knows that there is some demand :)

    https://forums.tombihn.com/general-b...wish-list.html
    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 GrussGott's Avatar
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    Nice write-up!

    One thing I've never noticed before is the Synik has the new curvy zipper design on the top front pockets versus the straight zippers of the S25 ...

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator bartleby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
    One thing I've never noticed before is the Synik has the new curvy zipper design on the top front pockets versus the straight zippers of the S25 ...
    Just went to check: The zippers on the Synik front pockets are not more curved than on the Synapse. The top zipper is almost straight, the lower one is a little curved. I think it looks different on @Perseffect pics because the bag is quite packed.

    Here you see a Synik 30 (left) vs. a Synapse 25 (right) (I don't have the smaller ones but from the picture on the product pages there seems to be no difference).

    Synik 22 - Travel Review-curved-jpg
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!) Smilie Rainbow Cheers
    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

  7. #7
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartleby View Post
    Just went to check: The zippers on the Synik front pockets are not more curved than on the Synapse. The top zipper is almost straight, the lower one is a little curved. I think it looks different on @Perseffect pics because the bag is quite packed.

    Here you see a Synik 30 (left) vs. a Synapse 25 (right) (I don't have the smaller ones but from the picture on the product pages there seems to be no difference).

    Synik 22 - Travel Review-curved-jpg
    Thanks for checking this. I don’t have my Synapse 19 any more to compare and hadn’t noticed the zips being more curved than before by design.

    The bag was definitely well packed (although not full to bursting) so that may well have caused the curved look in the photo as you say.

    I’ve just taken another photo but with the front pockets all empty and there’s still a slight curve but I guess this is the same as the synapse.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

  8. #8
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    I just got my Synik 22 (deep blue/Iberian) today! I can relate your issues with the laptop compartment. I have 12.5inch Dell laptop and it's close to being fidgety to put in from the top. Any bigger and it would be tight. I'd say 12.5inch max for it to be usable. I'm going to post a review in a week's time with lots of pictures.

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

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