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  1. #1
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    Synapse 25 too small; BB thoughts?

    So I ordered and received the beautiful Synapse and its wee too small for me... Was thinking of switching for a Brain Bag. I like that the Brain Bag (unlike SA) has organization and side straps.
    Question: how are the shoulder straps compared? I found that when I put the S25 on my bag, and leaned forward as if I were biking, they dug into my neck a little bit. Is the BB the same strap or a little wider? Thanks all for letting me ruminate :-)

  2. #2
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    Hi bintobeen,

    I don't know if the design has changed since I got mine, but the backpack straps on my Synapse 25 are both about the same width, and they are both space about the same distance apart at the top.

    The backpack straps are cut differently on each, however -- the backpack straps on the Synapse 25 flare out as the go down, whereas the backpack straps on the Brain Bag, while they curve out and back in, they don't flare out as much.

    Here's the Brain Bag's backpack straps --
    Synapse 25 too small; BB thoughts?-tb0104_d02_700x431-jpg

    And here's the Synapse 25's backpack straps --
    Synapse 25 too small; BB thoughts?-tb0111_d03_700x431-jpg

    You mentioned the Smart Alec -- depending on how much more space you need, please be aware that the capacity of the Smart Alec is 26 liters -- not that different from that of the Synapse 25.
    -m

  3. #3
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    In general, is the S25 more "advanced" in terms of zippers, straps, backpack materials? Seems like the BB doesnt have Dyneema internally or other of the fancy S25 things.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bintobeen View Post
    In general, is the S25 more "advanced" in terms of zippers, straps, backpack materials? Seems like the BB doesnt have Dyneema internally or other of the fancy S25 things.
    Not really.
    The 2 bags are actually pretty similar if you think about it.
    The BB is designed to carry Brains in the protection of Brain Cells and there are 2 separate compartments to do so.In front of these there are the 3 pockets for other stuff on the outside of the bag, The Bag is bigger overall and has compression straps to cinch it down if not loaded full.

    The S25 has about the same compartments but there is just 1 of them and it is less structured than the BB to carry the boxy hard sided Brain Cell but the compartment does go top to bottom of the bag like in the BB.
    Then there are also front pockets like on the BB but instead of being outside and obvious they are built into a front panel and sneaky so the front of the bag is streamlined and less prone to snagging on things near the bag.
    The water bottle pocket is an obvious difference too but I have easily carried water in the large outside BB pockets many times too.

    The BB design also predates that of the Synapse so the newer more modern bag does have some newer ticks built in for sure.

    It might be tougher to build the Synapse than the BB as it has odd curves and smoother lines where the BB is more of a traditional boxy design but they are equal in toughness and thoughtful little design touches that are clear the more you use them.The BB Zippers are a lot bigger and tougher outwardly maybe but I have heard of very few issues with the zippers on the Synapse at all?
    The Dyneema must make it lighter and a little easier to sew in the Synapse but there is nothing "Fancier" about it that I know of?

    In the end the BB is just a lot bigger and more capable of bigger loads but it all really depends on your load and needs.
    Last edited by AVService; 02-24-2016 at 06:28 AM.

  5. #5
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    The Brain Bag is lined with Parapack instead of Dyneema/nylon; this is a really pleasing feature, I've found—the texture and hand of Parapack is smooth and pliable.

    I think of the BB as the Volvo station wagon of the TB line. It's boxy and capacious (sometimes I feel like I'm wearing a fridge when I'm carrying it fully loaded), and there's virtually nothing in the inside compartments to impede the storage of your laptop or whatever else you're carrying. The outer pockets can hold a crap-ton of stuff—like a packed-to-bulging Side Effect or Snake Charmer—and there are some utility pockets for pens and so forth.

    As AVService notes, the BB and S25 are not totally dissimilar in terms of layout/organization. Beyond the obvious discrepancy in volume, where they differ (at least to me) is in the design/aesthetics. The Synapse is more contoured, and is more ergonomic in its appearance. It's true that the Synapse uses Aquaguard zippers, but that's because there isn't a channel of fabric covering the zipper like the on the Brain Bag. Since the Brain Bag's zippers are protected, Aquaguard zippers aren't necessary. Once again, it's a matter of the design dictating the construction. (Also worth noting: the curves and contours in the Synapse actually make it more difficult to cut and sew, regardless of whether it's in Cordura or Dyneema; that's one reason why the Synapse is $5 more than the Brain Bag).

    I haven't found that the BB cuts into my neck when I'm leaning forward. If the contents are being shifted forward by gravity (thus causing the bag to slide towards the base of your neck), you may be able to mitigate that by using the sternum strap and optional padded waist belt to lock the bag more firmly in place.

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