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  1. #1
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    Question Companion backpack with shoulder bag (PU or NF)?

    Hi All. I'm interested to hear people's suggestions on a companion backpack with the Parental Unit.

    Just had my first kid this year (one positive thing this crazy year!) and we were gifted the Parental Unit. I also own the Co-Pilot and Night Flight that I used on personal travel. Now that the kiddo is here, PU will be dedicated for him but if I need to carry some things for myself, I'd like to use a backpack for that.

    Things I'd consider carrying would be more for a day outing than a full on vacation - so iPad mini, A5 notebook, watercolor pallet (if there is time for that anymore!), water bottle, snacks, sweater or small blanket, and Side Kick/Side Effect (wallet/phone, etc).

    I have the original Luminary, but it's a bit tight for what I'm looking for and I'd really like to get the bag in halcyon which the newer Luminary styles aren't offered. Also, one day when flying is on the table, I'd like to be able to stuff it under the seat in front of me along with the PU/Night Flight. I'm on the shorter side so having to reach for the overhead can be annoying.

    What combos have worked for you?

  2. #2
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    If you'd prefer backpack and halcyon, then try the Synpase 19
    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...

  3. #3
    Forum Member nsh's Avatar
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    First, congratulations on the baby!!
    I absolutely love my PU and use it daily though my child is now 6. It is just the best.

    Next, I agree with G42- The Synapse 19 works well as a companion backpack. This is actually the combo I use.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Thanks @G42 and @nsh !

    Thank you, he's our first kid. So I'm sure there's going to be tons of trial and error. But I really love how rugged TB bags are, which is why the PU was on my wishlist. I'm hoping to use it for life really (I did scour the forums to see what people thought of it not just as a diaper bag). Which is why I'm trying to be extra judicious on the backpack. The Luminary is so comfortable, but I found myself carrying something like the Side Kick extra on the side to be able to get to things like my phone/wallet because it wouldn't fit. If I don't end up reselling it, maybe I'll leave it for the kid to use if he doesn't find alphaviolet too garish for him haha.

  5. #5
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    I did see the Daylight BP also came in halcyon. But will I miss the organization that the Synapse provides? Is it too close to the Luminary?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnemo View Post
    I did see the Daylight BP also came in halcyon. But will I miss the organization that the Synapse provides? Is it too close to the Luminary?
    Luminary original smaller size is way smaller than the daylight backpack in terms of capacity. If you need extra space the daylight backpack is well worth your consideration. The pockets inside are great for organising and it is very easy to see everything inside because it opens up way wider than the luminary.
    It also has the advantage of being much cheaper than the synapse 19 (which I also love but might be overkill for your situation)

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    If you want a pack for life, I'd go with the Synapse 19. It's a little more substantial than the Daylight BP and I think will be better for in-flight use some day. I am shorter too Smilie and I like the external organization of the S19 for the tight quarters of a plane seat. For that situation, the Daylight is less structured and would lie flatter on the floor than the S19 (--> harder to reach for my short arms).

    (I actually like packing the Daylight in my suitcase/carry-on for use once I arrive at my destination, because it's lightweight and takes up little room when packed. It has good internal organization (the shingle pockets) which is useful for sightseeing. But it's harder to access stuff from the inside pockets when you're buckled into your seat.)

    If you aren't sure yet that you want to jump for the S19 - you could check eBay for a gently-owned model. Then if it works out, you can hand it down to the baby when he/she is old enough for school, and choose a brand-new one in your preferred colors. Smilie

    Quote Originally Posted by mnemo View Post
    Hi All. I'm interested to hear people's suggestions on a companion backpack with the Parental Unit.

    Just had my first kid this year (one positive thing this crazy year!) and we were gifted the Parental Unit. I also own the Co-Pilot and Night Flight that I used on personal travel. Now that the kiddo is here, PU will be dedicated for him but if I need to carry some things for myself, I'd like to use a backpack for that.

    Things I'd consider carrying would be more for a day outing than a full on vacation - so iPad mini, A5 notebook, watercolor pallet (if there is time for that anymore!), water bottle, snacks, sweater or small blanket, and Side Kick/Side Effect (wallet/phone, etc).

    I have the original Luminary, but it's a bit tight for what I'm looking for and I'd really like to get the bag in halcyon which the newer Luminary styles aren't offered. Also, one day when flying is on the table, I'd like to be able to stuff it under the seat in front of me along with the PU/Night Flight. I'm on the shorter side so having to reach for the overhead can be annoying.

    What combos have worked for you?
    Last edited by haraya; 06-27-2020 at 10:47 AM.

  8. #8
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    Congrats!

    I donít have a PU (the original version didnít work for me when my kid was a baby so I mostly used my S19 and later Smart Alec instead), but Iíd say that a Daylight Backpack would fit your items and be generally more compatible with a shoulder bag because the shoulder straps are so thin.

    I personally donít like wearing more than one bag at a time though, especially since I often wore my baby/toddler. A small crossbody bag with a backpack was usually my max, aside from travel days. I'm assuming you've tried your PU with a backpack and are ok with it, but I'd also consider how committed you are to carrying two bags at once. What worked for me was a more modular approach to separate baby/kid stuff and move into other bags as needed. The Packing Cube Shoulder Bag transitioned well from diaper kit (changing pad, diapers, wipes, extra clothes, diaper cream, etc.) to activity kit (books, markers, stickers, etc.). A medium double organizer pouch also made a great very minimalist diaper kit (thin disposable changing pad, one diaper, small pack of wipes, one disposable baggie).

    As for comparisons between backpacks, here's what I have and my evolution between them:
    - Synapse 19: I used this primarily when my daughter was a baby. It fits me really well (I'm short too) and limited what I'd bring with us, but generally required packing things just right.
    - Smart Alec: I would use this when we had a longer day out and I needed more stuff. It also became my more primary kid carry when she became a toddler - I wore her less (Tula carrier fit inside) and she was learning to use the potty (a portable potty also fit inside). Another benefit to the cavernous main compartment is ease of throwing things in if you have to quickly run after your kid. Smilie It also fits me well height-wise, though when fully packed it bulges quite a bit.
    - Daylight Backpack: Once we moved past the carrier and travel potty, the SA became too big for most outings. I briefly returned to the S19 but found the main compartment too small/restrictive, and the organization made it harder for transferring things between bags. The DLBP fits bulkier things like a cooler bag or Side Kick more easily, and it also feels like less backpack. I love how packable and versatile it is. And as I mentioned earlier, the thin straps make it more tolerable to wear with another bag (usually Side Kick).
    - Luminary 12: This is on its way to me right now so I can't speak to it yet, but I'm looking forward to its slimmer profile and shorter height (DLBP is just a tad long on me) for shorter pandemic outings. I'm also excited about the water bottle pocket, which is one shortcoming of the DLBP.

  9. #9
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    Love the comment about the portable potty. Found the one we used with the kids recently and while we are hoping for grandchildren some day, I will keep the potty and Smart Alec pairing in mind for the future.

    Also while I never used a Parental Unit with baby supplies, I found the bag hard to use with too many compartments for daily use. But I am not an organized packer which is why I like the ďtoss it inĒ Smart Alec with a few packing cubes.
    Last edited by BrendaH; 06-28-2020 at 08:50 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gqb View Post
    Luminary original smaller size is way smaller than the daylight backpack in terms of capacity. If you need extra space the daylight backpack is well worth your consideration. The pockets inside are great for organising and it is very easy to see everything inside because it opens up way wider than the luminary.
    It also has the advantage of being much cheaper than the synapse 19 (which I also love but might be overkill for your situation)
    Price is definitely a huge factor. Which is why I'm not pulling the trigger right away Smilie Thanks for the points of comparison with the Luminary. Sometimes it's just hard to visualize the differences between the bags when they seem similar.


    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    If you aren't sure yet that you want to jump for the S19 - you could check eBay for a gently-owned model. Then if it works out, you can hand it down to the baby when he/she is old enough for school, and choose a brand-new one in your preferred colors. Smilie
    Thanks for this suggestion too. Especially in regards to the cost point @gqb pointed out. Also for the traveling... I thought about that option of packing the DBP in luggage. I actually did that with my Co-Pilot when visiting France last year. Mainly because I read that when visiting museums and sites, security tends to not accept backpacks.

  11. #11
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    Thanks @teresapoet !

    It's true, wearing more than one bag isn't ideal. However, I just find myself doing that somehow fairly often lol. But it's not for long periods of time now. My SO and I do trade back and forth kid or bag carrying. It's just awkward when I find myself holding the PU and my small shoulder bag purse at the same time lol.

    The bag evolution make sense. And maybe I'm just thinking too far ahead. I'll just stick with what I need now which is probably the simpler design of the Daylight BP. I can stuff it in something when not in use - like the backseat of my car until needed. I'll wait until we're actually traveling farther and maybe we won't be using the PU by then and instead could use a larger backpack than the S19 as just one bag.

    I also agree with @BrendaH . I will have to put the portable potty on my future list. Smilie

  12. #12
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Just to complicate matters further, Darcy mentioned the discussion of a variation on the Daylight backpack. Not sure when they plan for it to come out but the idea is that it's a Daylight with the edgeless straps. Slight design changes - straight-across pocket instead of the slash; and at least for the first go-around they were planning a Guide's Edition look with the coyote patches.

    One thing about the current Daylight design - it doesn't have a sternum strap. If you have narrow or sloping shoulders, you may find that the straps slip off more easily. I sometimes tie a bandana or scarf around the straps to approximate a sternum strap.

    Babies grow and change so quickly - I'd probably get the Daylight as it is now, it's very versatile and you won't regret having it. And then you can decide if you want a different TB pack down the road! (warning, they are like potato chips! Or gremlins. Smilie)

    (Oh, re: museums - I used to toss a small Shop Bag or a large plastic bag with handles in whatever pack I used for sightseeing. Then if security was strict about wearing a pack, I could carry it in the tote bag. In a pinch, many museums have a gift shop where you can buy a souvenir tote for a small sum - same idea.)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Just to complicate matters further, Darcy mentioned the discussion of a variation on the Daylight backpack. Not sure when they plan for it to come out but the idea is that it's a Daylight with the edgeless straps. Slight design changes - straight-across pocket instead of the slash; and at least for the first go-around they were planning a Guide's Edition look with the coyote patches.
    Funny you mention that, there was a little discussion about it Saturday on the facebook BST group, and Darcy came in to say that the metal dies for the back panel have been ordered, and she expects to debut it in August/September. So I'm guessing it'll be October/Novemberish when we can finally get our hands on them.
    Guide's Edition Synapse 25, Pilot, HLT2

  14. #14
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    I love my DLBP so very much. I wasn't sure about it when I first ordered it, but it's amazing. I use it to commute back and forth to work with my SE, laptop and whatnot. So, I vote for that!
    Current Carry: Swift (Verde/UV), SK (Steel/Iberian) & SSC (Sitka)

  15. #15
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    My favorite part of the DLBP: you can fit either x1 size large Western Flyer packing cubes inside, or x2 size small. I test-packed the new Ursa DLBP I got this week, and it easily holds a couple pairs of socks, two pairs of underwear, 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of running shorts, 2 tees and 2 button down shirts, with enough room on top to fit either a 3DOC or Cubelet for your toiletries (still leaving the front zippered compartment open). Packing everything first into a packing cube makes it easier to remove all the contents at once - I used to pack items in the DLBP for weekend travel without a cube, and it got frustrating if I needed something from the bottom, because it would undo all my organizational work. In the event you outgrow the DLBP, you can use it as a packing organizer inside another larger bag, and then it doubles as a lightweight daypack at your destination, once unpacked.

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