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  1. #1
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    Synapse 19 too small for 5'5''?

    I'm a student looking into getting the synapse 19 (black halcyon). I already have a 36 L osprey pack that I use as carry on when traveling, so I wanted the synapse to be an everyday bag/school bag/personal item for travel, and one that I'll be using everyday next semester when I'm studying abroad in Europe. I was debating getting the 25, but I think it may be too large for my needs. I'm not intending on stuffing the 19 full, but it's also hard to predict how full the 19 will get on busy school/travel days.

    I'm mainly concerned the 19 will be too small on my frame. I'm 5'5'', 145 lb and slight athletic/curvy build. I have only ever seen photos of the 19 on very thin or very curvy people around my height. I'm somewhere in the middle, and I don't want the 19 to look too small on me.

    (Unfortunately, buying both and returning one is not an option for me.)

    Also, if anyone has insight into whether the synapse bags provoke pickpocket-ing, that would be greatly appreciated! I'm thinking of locking the 3 zippers (front 2 pockets and one of the side pockets), but would that be inconvenient for everyday?

  2. #2
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    I think it is a personal preference. I'm 6'2" and I don't think my S19 looks too small on me. I generally prefer smaller backpacks though.

  3. #3
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    I think the S19 could well be spot on for your stated needs. I'm seriously considering getting myself a S19 simply because my S25 is way too capacious for my everyday carry - so much so that I tend to use my 13" laptop as ballast in the main compartment, just to keep it balanced and in shape.

    The S25 really comes into its own for travel, however - it's perfectly possible to 'one bag it' with the S25, which is why I bought it in preference to the S19. But if you're looking primarily for an EDC bag, to be used occasionally as a personal item when flying, the S19 is probably your best choice.

    Have you watched the video showing people of different heights and builds modelling the S19 and the S25? You'll get a good idea from it whether the smaller pack will look right on your frame.

  4. #4
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    What will you normally be carrying on your school days? I'm 6'3" and have used an S19, and for me it's a little small for most school days. I can fit a 13" macbook pro, a letter sized spiral notebook, and maybe one textbook sized book and it starts to feel and look overstuffed.
    DLBC (black Dyneema) **Missing **, Synapse 25 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), Synapse 19 (Navy/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 Black Dyneema/Ultraviolet), PCBP for TriStar (Iberian), Synapse 19 (Navy/Solar), Ristretto for iPad (Black/Wasabi), Large Shop Bag (Island),mini Q-kit, various packing cubes, stuff sacks, and pouches.

    Retired but not forgotten: TriStar (Black/Wasabi), Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Solar), Synapse 25 (French Blue/Steel).

  5. #5
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    I had an s25 and then got an s19 thinking that the s25 was too big for EDC as well, my problem was that I am 5 ft and tend to fill whatever bag I pack. I thought the s19 would restrict me. It did, but it caused me severe pain at the base of my neck where my shoulders come together. It was so painful I had to one shoulder it. I never had that problem with my s25 and I am a shorty. I went back to my s25. To help me though, on days when not much is in the bag, I did order the s25 frame to give the bag more structure. I haven't used it yet, awaiting it's arrival before a trip to Disney next week. I just have to learn to better control myself and not overpack! Side note, I do use my A30 pcbp as my EDC in the sunnier months when I don't need extra layers and whatnot.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) 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

  6. #6
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    i typically carry my 13 in. macbook pro, a large spiral notebook, and 2 journal-sized books in addition to my normal carry (wallet, pencil case, water bottle, random things..). Most of my textbooks are electronic. There are days I carry more- like a change of gym clothes or a jacket- but they don't come that often, and I have been trying to downsize the things I carry every day.

    I placed an order for the 19, but now I'm starting to regret not getting the 25. Maybe it would have been better to get a larger bag and not fill it, but have the room for when I need it? I almost always carry around at least either my laptop or a larger notebook, so there would be something to balance the main compartment. I guess the worst that happens is I can return the 19 for the 25 if the 19 doesn't fit what I need.

  7. #7
    Forum Member 3rdCoastHighlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancingphysicist View Post
    I think it is a personal preference. I'm 6'2" and I don't think my S19 looks too small on me. I generally prefer smaller backpacks though.
    I have an Osprey Talon 22, but I needed a smaller pack to accompany my Briggs & Riley CX carry-on. So, I went with the Synapse 19 with some organizational accessories. At 5'9 215#, the S19 is perfect for me. I wish the shoulder straps were a wee bit beefier for long days hiking, but other than that, the pack is impeccably designed and assembled. I really love the S19. Highly recommended.

    edit: and it also depends on your needs, and what you need to carry. I needed my smaller Synapse 19 for flying. I use my larger Osprey 22 for other needs.
    Last edited by 3rdCoastHighlander; 12-31-2017 at 08:13 AM.

  8. #8
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    If you go to the S25 or S19 pages there's usually a video as part of the photos and it shows both bags being worn by different sized people, and it gives their (the people and the bag's) sizes.

  9. #9
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    I'm 5'6, pretty much slim at around 128lbs. As someone who used both, I suggest the S25. The extra size will help you put things in a bit more
    & loose.
    Currently Own:
    Shadow Guide [Black], Guide's Edition S25 [Black], Large Cafe Bag [Black Halcyon], Brain Bag [Grey/Steel]

    Shared:
    A45 [Nordic Halcyon], PCBP[Fjord Halcyon], Small Shop Bag [Original Black Dyneema]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fever39 View Post
    As someone who used both, I suggest the S25. The extra size will help you put things in a bit more & loose.
    Agreed.

    i'm roughly the same build as you (2" taller but that's alllll in the legs, otherwise the same) and of the two, i definitely prefer the S25. it collapses down well (especially in halcyon) if it's not crammed full, and if you do end up needing the extra space, those additional six liters can be a real lifesaver.

    i can't speak for the current version of the S19 (the shoulder straps have been changed a bit since the one i had was made), but the S25 fits the curvy spots a bit better in my opinion / experience, too.

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