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Tom Bihn Synapse 19 and Synapse 25

Thanks to all those who replied to my other topic on Tom Bihn bags!
I'd love to know if any of you have either the Synapse 19 or Synapse 25. I am an ultralight packer. I would rather purchase the 19 because I am short (5'4") and I know the 25 would be long for me because we have a similar length backpack already. It hits my hips while walking and bumps up and down, which is why I would prefer the 19. But, in order to get everything in, I'd want to put my women's size 9 Allbirds tree runners in the bottom front pocket. Can anyone with either bag give me any advice on whether or not a women's size 9 shoe will fit in the bottom front pocket of either of these bags? The shoes squish down pretty well. I have read and reread the TB website for both bags, but it's still hard to tell. They don't say exactly how big that bottom pocket is. Thank you!!

Posted by
99 posts

I have the Synapse 19 in the heavier cordura fabric. I'm short - 5'1". My size 8 Voyageur Keen hiking boots fit easily in the bottom pocket. It's a little hard to measure the pocket as it is angled a bit, but I'm pretty sure your size 9 Allbirds would easily fit. My Keens do not squish down at all, but they still fit and I could squeeze something else in there as well. This was my first Tom Bihn purchase maybe 8 years ago. It's the only bag I wouldn't give away, although if I bought it again I would buy it in the lighter weight fabric. Good luck.

Posted by
83 posts

I have both the S19 and the S25 in the Halcyon fabric. I use the S25 as a gym bag because my women's US size 9.5 running shoes fit in the bottom pocket. I just tried to put one in the S19 with no luck. I expect that if you post your question on the Tom Bihn forums somebody will have size 9s and an S19 and will know the answer.

Posted by
173 posts

Thank you Jone, Pam, and bogiesan! Your replies have been very helpful! I may just end up ordering both and sending one back...

Posted by
124 posts

I have both bags—each one has its charms. My size 12 shoes are usually vertical in the S19. However, I think you’d prefer the S19 if you’re an ultralight packer. The S25 is amazing (love how the 3D clear bag fits in a front side pocket), but it’s big. An A30 or Western Flyer might be a better form factor if S19 is too small. There was a TB forum member called LauraA—she traveled with an S19 long-term. She may have posted a packing list of what she carries. HTH - Sherry

Posted by
528 posts

Definitely take a look at the A30 and the Western Flyer too. Also the TB Forums will have a lot of information, I suggest you sign up for that forum too.

Posted by
29 posts

Tom Bihn has excellent customer service. They even have a live chat service on their website. One of their team members might be able to give you more information as well to help you make your decision. Also, if you are ever in the Seattle area, it is worth the time to stop by their factory to see the bags being made and look at the bags in person. After visiting, I felt even better about the quality and the investment in their products.