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  1. #1
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Another S25 vs BB Thread

    Hey folks,

    It's been a long time since I've been on the forum, but have a question and thought I'd bring it back this way. I've done enough research and googling to generally understand the differences in use and functionality between the S25 and BB, but still wanted to pose my questions here.

    I travel frequently (at least 2, sometimes 3 weeks per month) and have been using an S25 as my EDC for both work and pleasure travel for around 4 years. I've found the S25 to usually be great for work and absolutely perfect as my 2nd bag when I travel personally (generally I don't bring a laptop on these trips).

    Recently I've found a need to start carrying a 2nd 13' laptop while traveling for work, which has gotten me thinking about whether it might be worth giving the BB a shot. I'm currently packing my second laptop in a sleeve in the internal kangaroo pouch of my S25, and it actually works decently, but means I have to forego packing a couple other things.

    My usual work travel carry would include the following:
    - 13' MacBook Pro (Sleeve + Kangaroo Pouch in S25)
    - 13' Dell Laptop (TB Cache)
    - 1-2 books (pleasure reading, always bring, may vary in size, packed into S25 main compartment)
    - Bose QC35 + Case (S25 main compartment)
    - 1 baseball cap (usually stuffed into S25 main compartment)
    - 1 Large Moleskine notebook (used to be in S25 Kangaroo pouch, have not carried since adding 2nd laptop)
    - 1 Side Effect for cables/batteries/misc. electronics (Bottom S25 pocket)
    - 1 3D Mesh Organizer Cube for both laptop chargers (Bottom S25 pocket)
    - 1 Extra Pair Glasses (Left S25 pocket)
    - 1 Pair Sunglasses (Right S25 pocket)
    - 2 Travel Stuff Sacks, can't remember the size, to hold misc. medicine and travel accessories (Left/Right S25 pocket)
    - Keys (Right S25 pocket)
    - Key card, business card, Various business items (Top S25 pocket)

    I've recently stopped carrying a water bottle, so the water bottle pocket on the S25 is currently empty. Honestly I found the S25 a little uncomfortable to carry with a water bottle in that pocket when it was reasonably loaded up.

    So, really the only thing I don't pack with the addition of the second laptop currently is my Large Moleskine notebook. If I were to move to a BB, I would want continue carrying everything on the list above. My concern is that, while it didn't happen frequently, there have been times when I felt like the S25 was overpacked and uncomfortable on longer work trips. I'm concerned that the addition of the second laptop will exacerbate that issue.

    What I'm really looking for guidance on is how significantly bigger does the BB feel when compared to the S25. I would try to avoid ever loading it to full capacity, but doe the BB handle, look, and carry decently when it isn't full? I also really like my cable/charger setup in the bottom compartment of the S25, how do you BB users store and carry cords and cables in the BB? I also have a Snake Charmer I could use again if that helps on the question. I'm a 5'10 male and around 185, will the BB feel and look significantly larger, when not fully loaded, on my back than the S25 does.

    Thanks in advance for the help, and for reading that long and sometimes rambling question!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2018
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    The synapse 25 is 25 liters 13.4” wide and 20” high. The BB is 36 liters 14” wide and 18” high. From a length and width standpoint the bags are very similar. The BB is slightly shorter and wider. The big difference is that when fully packed, the BB is substantially deeper. When fully packed, the BB can hold a ton of stuff and can get really heavy; however, when lightly packed, it is easy to use the 4 straps to reduce the depth. I personally like the versatility of the BB that I can let it get big (packing cubes, packing folder, laptop(s) for one bag travel if needed, but it can easily be compressed for smaller loads with a reasonable footprint.

    I prefer to use a small snake charmer in one of the front pockets for cables. You can fit a large snake charmer in the front pockets if it is underpacked.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2019
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    You can probably lighten that load somewhat by picking up a book reader (kindle/nook), but I know you want a shiny new bag! If you have a tiny frame like me (5’7” 120lbs) then the BB straps are a little uncomfortable; they feel like they’re going to come off my shoulders, but when the sternum straps are on and snapped, it feels quite cozy. But since you’re bigger than me, it should feel fine and comfortable; you probably can’t even feel the difference.

    The BB doesn’t look as handsome as the Synapse, but it’s a bag that gets the job done at all costs. Like the description says, it’s a serious bag; I call it the Damage Dealer.

    Maybe you can put all of your cables in a large snake charmer and nix the packing cube. It fits my MBP 87 watt charger with extension cord easily...I feel like it can fit three of those in one pocket.
    Last edited by Machinegun; 03-12-2019 at 04:07 AM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback! I'm very tempted by the BB and think I will probably end up adding it to the lineup, however I may try to run my current setup with the S25 for a few more trips to see if I can get it to work.

    I have a strange attachment to the S25, it's been to so many places with me now, I'm loathe to leave it behind.

    I've gotten the suggestion for a kind/nook a couple of times, I just can't seem to let go of being a paper copy kind of guy!

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Sep 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRJames View Post
    I've gotten the suggestion for a kind/nook a couple of times, I just can't seem to let go of being a paper copy kind of guy!
    I am definitely a book person...real paper books... I love nothing better than curling up to read a real book...
    But I have a Kindle for travel because all my favorite books in a tiny electronic device vs the weight/fragility of paper during travel is a win
    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...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    But I have a Kindle for travel because all my favorite books in a tiny electronic device vs the weight/fragility of paper during travel is a win
    I moved a few years ago and the public library is out of my way, on the drive home. With the Kindle, I can download books and return them without ever leaving my couch! (Or my desk at work!)

  7. #7
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    I own a BB. Carry one or two 15” MacBook Pro and a Freudian Slip, water bottle, medicine kit and lunch to work and back as my EDC. Leaves a nearly empty main compartment free for misc, such as some groceries that I pick up while in the city. Four years and counting, no signs of wear.

  8. #8
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    size comparisons: S19 S25 BB

    Here are a few pictures comparing the sizes of S19, BB and S25 (left to right). The bags are all empty.

    Front and Back (they are not really aligned. S25 is taller than BB accordig to the spec.)
    Another S25 vs BB Thread-back-png

    Another S25 vs BB Thread-front-png

    S25 is on top of BB. S25 completely hides the BB. But for some reason, BB "looks" much larger.

    Another S25 vs BB Thread-ontop-png

    I think S25 is smaller in volume because of its shape (oval vs rectangular) and the front pockets (pockets vs 2nd compartment). If you carry two laptop computers, I would use BB.
    Last edited by gadgets; 03-14-2019 at 01:04 PM.

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