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  1. #1
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    A Tale of Two Synapses

    Conifer Synapse was my first Tom Bihn bag. It arrived on a Thursday, which I remember very well because its arrival was preceded by my newly installed blinds crashing down, and breaking the ear off the real Rocks, a small clay rabbit whose name I use as my forum name, who is my alter ego and travels with me (he is fine and now part gorilla, as his ear is reattached with Gorilla glue). So Conifer Synapse arrived in a crash of blinds and broken pottery. Despite that, I loved it right away.

    I used the bag for about three years, interspersed with with my Synapse 25. Conifer Synapse is still a great bag, and it has been through the wringer. I've biked through snow and downpours, and set it down on bar floors and shoved it into lockers. There's some wear to the zipper sliders, which I don't mind at all, and some wear to the zipper coating, which made me sad. But this is not a sad story! The main zipper was replaced by TB, and while there's still some discoloration and flaking on other zips, it's hard to notice, and doesn't bother me. I should note that the wear is cosmetic and doesn't hinder function at all. They are still as waterproof as ever.

    Here is Conifer Synapse on the first day of semi-retirement:

    A Tale of Two Synapses-img_1953-jpg

    A Tale of Two Synapses-fullsizerender-jpg

    I still love this bag, but when I got a Copilot with the new style zippers, I fell for them. There is no coating to discolor, and the pulls make a jangly noise that I love. In addition, the Synapse has some evolutions that make it more appealing: more O-rings! and a light loop for nighttime biking, which I do year-round because my job in theater is at night. One minor trade-off is the wider set straps, but I like using the sternum strap anyway, and with time I think the straps will remember and conform to the shape of me.

    Here's a picture of new and old:

    A Tale of Two Synapses-img_1957-jpg

    I love black Dyneema. I love metal zipper pulls and right side up zippers. I got New Synapse yesterday, also delivered on a Thursday, with no crashing blinds to accompany its arrival, phew, and of course I already love it. Either version, old or new, is easily the best backpack I've ever had. I love Conifer Synapse because of the color and its long history with me, but from now on it's New Synapse and me striding into the night. If you have an older Synapse and wonder if upgrading is worth it, I think so. If you love your old Synapse and would never consider upgrading, I agree with that too!

    Please feel free to add your old and new observations and pictures.
    Attached Images Attached Images A Tale of Two Synapses-img_1953-jpg  A Tale of Two Synapses-img_1958-jpg 

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Wow, great story with rabbits, gorillas and a Synapse color I had never seen before. As a non-creative: impressive drawing too!

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    Wow, great story with rabbits, gorillas and a Synapse color I had never seen before. As a non-creative: impressive drawing too!

    Ilkyway
    lol, the thread tags make me laugh! I take it they're automatically generated, but I love them and could not have chosen better myself. Also, anyone can draw if I can. It's just looking and focusing.

  4. #4
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    I have a stuffed animal that travels with me. It is Toot from the book "Toot and Puddle."
    I see you have a Hobonichi Techo. I have both the A6 and the Cousin. Just got turned on to the Hobo in January this year. I love them. Great sketch of your new bag!

  5. #5
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinblack1964 View Post
    I have a stuffed animal that travels with me. It is Toot from the book "Toot and Puddle."
    I see you have a Hobonichi Techo. I have both the A6 and the Cousin. Just got turned on to the Hobo in January this year. I love them. Great sketch of your new bag!
    I have the Hobonichi A6 and Weeks. I have to stop myself from ordering the Cousin this year, but for sure I'll get it next year.

  6. #6
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    Rocks, could you share your experience about the difference in wear between the two Synapses because of the straps' placement?

  7. #7
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Rocks, could you share your experience about the difference in wear between the two Synapses because of the straps' placement?
    The old placement just feels normal. The new one needs the sternum strap buckled to feel normal. The difference is pretty slight.

  8. #8
    Forum Member adalangdon's Avatar
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    As someone who has a Conifer S19, I hear you! What a great colour. It's my favourite S19 for travel, probably because it looks nondescript and outdoorsy. I do agree that the zipper upgrade is worthwhile with regard to durability, and that while I use my older model S19s more, I very much love the O-rings in the small top pocket and the water bottle pocket in the later version. Hope your Conifer S19 enjoys its retirement-- but I'm also sure it'll want the occasional trip outside :-)

    @backpack, I think it really depends on your build. For me, there is no difference at all because my shoulder shape is such that all the strap placements (I think there have been 3 in total according to one of @moriond 's posts?) fit me fine even without the sternum strap.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adalangdon View Post
    As someone who has a Conifer S19, I hear you! What a great colour. It's my favourite S19 for travel, probably because it looks nondescript and outdoorsy. I do agree that the zipper upgrade is worthwhile with regard to durability, and that while I use my older model S19s more, I very much love the O-rings in the small top pocket and the water bottle pocket in the later version. Hope your Conifer S19 enjoys its retirement-- but I'm also sure it'll want the occasional trip outside :-)

    @backpack, I think it really depends on your build. For me, there is no difference at all because my shoulder shape is such that all the strap placements (I think there have been 3 in total according to one of @moriond 's posts?) fit me fine even without the sternum strap.
    Today I had to use my slippery jacket over a tee and cardigan and, I had to use the sternum strap on my Nordic S19.

    I was also marching with it and my SCB, I didn't feel them there, the weather and the people were lovely.
    The birds were enjoying the Spring sun and budding trees, calling to each other to start building nests and familes.

    In warmer temperatures with the same combo, even with a windbreaker, in slippery but thinner fabric, the same S19 doesn't require the sternum strap,

  10. #10
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    I've just received my new Navy/UV (Shout out to the amazing TB team who found one in this colour in stock) S19 with the new style bits and pieces.

    My experience has been with the older style S25 with reversed zippers and cord pulls.

    My first impressions are that this is the bag for me as a personal EDC. It's the perfect size and proportions (I'm a 5 ft 7 guy). Although I love my S25 in black/Iberian for work, this is the classier of the two.

    I can see myself in many years to come looking to replace my S19 with its newest variant just like @Rocks.
    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)

  11. #11
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    I have had an original S19 in Navy/Solar since they first arrived,it has been one of my all time favorite bags even though it looks somewhat silly on me I think and have been told!

    I have needed a replacement for it that would carry my 17" MBP and actually had to jump ship this time as the S25 just does not work well with that machine.

    I have a feeling it will not be too long though that I will have a new S25 anyway?
    I just need to find the right one.......after I decide which one that is of course!

    It is almost impossible to choose.

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