Tom Bihn Synapse 25 Review | Innovative Minimal One Bag Travel Backpack With Accessories

The Tom Bihn Synapse 25 offers a ton of internal organization and innovative thinking that puts it in a league of its own, though, we do have a couple gripes with the main compartment. View Details & Buy:

View Our Full Review:

0:35 – Material & Aesthetic
3:47 – External Components
5:47 – Inside the Pack
11:18 – Durability & Testing
11:51 – Pros & Cons
12:23 – The Verdict

The Tom Bihn Synapse 25 is a travel pack that consists of a classic design that has lasted through the ages plus a whole bunch of innovative thinking. It’s made by a reputable brand that comes highly recommended from friends and folks in the backpack space, so we’ve been excited to get our hands on this particular pack and give it a good test run.

At the time of this review, the Synapse is available in two sizes—the original 19-liter version and the 25-liter version that we’ve been testing. Overall, there are a lot of similarities between the two bags, but we’re going to be more focused on the 25-liter version for this review.

Tom Bihn puts a ton of care, effort, and detail into the decisions they make when creating packs, and the Synapse 25 is no exception. They’ve continuously made minor improvements over the years that add up to huge gains that you can really feel when you’re using the bag. Although we have a couple gripes within the main compartment and don’t love the look of the pack, the overall benefits greatly outshine these gripes. We think this system could work perfectly for you with the right gear and a bit of strategic planning.

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In this video, Tom Wahlin of Pack Hacker reviews the Tom Bihn Synapse 25, an, innovative minimal one bag travel backpack. Plus, we’ll be taking a look at some of the accessories available too.

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Mélanie Roussel says:

Take a look how Chase Reeves on youtube is getting his laptop in the pack. He actualy put it into the sleeve, so he can get a lot more space in the main pocket.

Keren Wang says:

My synapse is how I imagine having an ugly child is like. You love him, you think he is the smartest, but deep down you know he ain’t getting all the ladies.

Drew M. Snyder says:

poly-ethy-lene, not poly-thay-lene 😉 Keep up the great work!

Austin Keep says:

Fun fact, that water bottle pocket is perfectly sized for an iPad mini, and the stretch pocket in the main compartment is great for flipflops

Pack Hacker says:

How annoying are dangling straps on a backpack to you?

Doug Quesnel says:

I wonder what your thoughts / comparison would be with the Brain Bag

RobW W says:

Love you reviews as always. Really thorough. Although might be me but I thought you were going to give this a much worse rating than you did. Could maybe do with going into the positives a bit more on this one….

Chris Mays says:

Good review Tom! I must be one of the few that thinks this is the best looking pack out there, lol. Some interesting thoughts in the video. I actually removed the frame sheet on my GE version right away. I found it extremely uncomfortable. I sorta test-packed it for a trip with the sheet in and I couldn’t get everything to fit right and be comfortable. Perhaps I’m just so used to going without it with my EDC pack (the regular synapse 25 version) for the last 2+ years. I don’t use the internal sleeve for anything, so I can’t really comment on that. Don’t believe it’s ever gotten in the way though. The cache works great for me too and at airports. Also hoping you guys snag that new Guide Pack Shadow Edition, or whatever it’s called. Looks pretty sweet.

Curt Gerston says:

I’ve used a couple different iterations of the Synapse 25, overall my favorite pack of all time (though I sometimes stray to other packs). It’s versatility is definitely it’s strength (and I don’t mind the look).

The best use for me is as a daily carry AND camera pack: to do this I got a simple camera insert that just fits the front bottom pocket. It carries a mirrorless camera and 2-3 lenses easily. The rest of the pack is then free for excellent daily carry options. I’ve tried a lot of camera-oriented packs that try to also include some daily carry…none of them are close to what the Synapse can do. Love that pack.

Christopher Punsalan says:

I was just literally searching for your review of this bag 🙂

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