Sold Tom Bihn Guide Edition Synapse 25, Freudian Slip, and Cache

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Full Member
Aug 30, 2011
South West UK
This is special edition of the Tom Bihn Synapse 25, with a removable frame sheet (metal stay and HDPE) for hauling heavier loads. also lash points to lug a bedroll / tent and a central point for an axe etc. A more substantial waist belt is available as an add on (but for a 25L pack it's not really needed IMO).

If you're not familiar with the Synapse, it's uniquely designed around these main aspects:

- A central internal bottle pocket that rides in the 'middle' of your load, keeping weight / balance central (easily takes a 1L Nalgene, or a 600ML Camelbak and a small umbrella).

- External pockets (five) are all designed to expand outwards from the load and be fully useable even when the main compartment of the bag is packed out with gear. Each pocket has one or more O-rings so you can dummy cord items into the pockets.

- Bottom external pocket is large enough to take a insulating jacket or waterproof for quick access (I can fit a size Large Arcteryx Atom LT and a Gortetex C-Knit Alpine shell, along a merino beanie and gloves).

If you like to keep your gear organised but don't want something covered in molle / pals, this is a nice discrete option.

Bristol, UK.

Deep blue / Coyote brown (very dark blue)

525 Ballistic Nylon: around the same weight as 1000D cordura but doesn't collect pet hair (I'm told). Very similar to abrasion resistance of 1000D but with more tear resistance.

Link to product page:

Has been used for 3-4 days walking to the office. and then shelved, so is excellent almost as new condition. I treated myself to this after moving to a new role which required a walk in. Unfortunately I've ended up carrying a ridiculous 45-50 litres of stuff, so the Synapse isn't getting a look in.

Note: the sternum strap, waist strap and hydration tube clip are all included but were detached as I never use these things (they just slot / clip back on).



(Shown with cache in place)

(water bottle pocket with a 600ml travel mug to show size)

(waist belt and hardware)

(removable frame sheet in-situ - shown with cache on rails)

(RHS pocket - showing O-ring and internal pocket (sized for smart phone etc)

(LHS pocket - showing O-ring w/ extended dummy cord / key clip, three pen pockets (two large one small).

(internal pocket - showing large pocket (sized for rain coat, large note books etc), dummy cord loops its. Shown with cache installed)

(size of bottom pocket - showing one of three O-rings. Canned bear not included)


- Evazote foam shoulder straps
- #10 and #8 YKK Aquaguard water-repellent zippers.

Dimensions: 20" x 13.4" x 9" / 508 x 340 x 230 mm

With the included removable internal frame: 2 lb 10.7 oz / 1210 grams
Without the included removable internal frame: 2 lb 1.1 oz / 938 grams

Volume: 1526 cubic inches / 25 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Removable 1" / 25 mm webbing waist strap included; padded 1" waist strap optional
.375" / 10 mm padded and contoured backpack straps with .75" / 20 mm removable sternum strap
Total O-rings: 9 (2 in the main compartment; 1 in the top center pocket, 1 in the small center pocket, 3 in the bottom front pocket; 1 in the left side pocket; 1 in the right side pocket)

Blurb from Tom Bihn:

The front of the Synapse 25 has five zippered pockets, all of which zip shut with #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers.

The top center front pocket is deep enough for a 1-liter water bottle or hydration bladder (a 2-liter hydration bladder will also fit as long as it's not overfilled). This pocket centers your water bottle perfectly so it won’t throw the bag’s weight to the side. We’ve put one O-ring in this pocket, because why not?

Below the bottle pocket is another small zippered pocket, also with one O-ring: it's just deep enough for keys, a wallet, or glove liners.

The side pockets are generously sized for sunglasses (in a case or alone), a first aid kit, or even a light jacket or down vest compressed in a stuff sack (like our Travel Stuff Sack). The right side pocket has a small organizational pocket; the left pocket has one pen/pencil slot and two wider slots for multitools, knives or just more pens. Both side zippered pockets have one O-ring—you’ll find an 8" / 200 mm Key Strap attached to one of them. Tucked inside of one of the side pockets is a pack of 8 inch Cord (8 Pack) in Coyote so you can tie your own zipper pulls; additional cord in other colors is available on the Cord Zipper Pulls page.

The bottom front pocket of the Synapse 25 is a great spot for extra clothing or snacks and will easily accommodate a thin wool/fleece sweater, light down jacket, or rain jacket. If you care to add organization, it's more than big enough for a 3D Organizer Cube (Mesh, Halcyon, Parapack, or Clear), Side Effect, or Cubelet. You can tether your cubes with a Key Strap to one of the three O-rings inside this pocket.

The Synapse 25’s main compartment can hold large, flat items like notebooks or laptops—it closes with a #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper. It has two O-rings for you to attach Organizer Pouches or other items. Also inside the main compartment are the aforementioned rail loops to which you can attach the internal frame or the optional Cache, which is available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad (PC users, click here to take a look at our Laptop Fit Guide). Adding the Cache makes the Synapse 25 a "checkpoint-friendly" laptop backpack—see here for how it works. One pair of loops is on the rear side of the compartment, and the other is on the front. This means you can have your laptop or tablet against your back or against the front of the bag, whichever seems more comfortable or convenient.

Also inside the main compartment is an elastic-topped, open-top pocket, sized generously to fit a few books or an extra pair of shoes. It can also hold a Tri-Star Medium Packing Cube, perfect for storing a change of clothing. The open-top pocket will also fit some sizes of Cache, including the 11" Air, iPad, and iPad mini sizes. (If you plan to carry a water bottle in the water bottle pocket and also an iPad or other device in the open-top main compartment pocket, make sure the device is protected with a Cache or a similar protective sleeve: the water bottle pocket is directly in front of the open-top pocket and your device is best protected from your hard water bottle.)

The remainder of the main compartment opens wide, ready to accept whatever larger items you're packing.


Price paid: $240
Shipping to UK: $45 (Tom Bihn only sell directly)
VAT + Duty: £53

Cost to me was ~ £205

I'm after £155 shipped to UK


Extras (available at additional cost):

Tom Bihn Laptop Cache [SOLD SOLD SOLD]:
These clip into the main bag, suspending the laptop well clear of the bottom of the bag (so if you drop the pack the laptop won't touch the floor). They're also quite unique in that they 'ride on rails', so you can slide the cache in and out of the main bag yet it's retained (TSA compliant style).

Hard to do it justice, so please look here -

This is the 13" laptop model. To suit the 13" MacBook Pro Retina

Interior width: 8.6" / 219mm
Interior height: 12.4" / 314mm
Interior thickness: 0.7" / 18mm
Exterior width: 9.3" / 235mm
Exterior height: 13" / 330mm
Exterior thickness: 1.3" / 34mm
Weight: 5.5 oz / 156 g


Cost to me was $40 + duty.

After: £15 with the Synapse otherwise I'll keep it as it clips into


Freudian Slip [SOLD SOLD SOLD]:
This is a drop in organiser, sized to fit the Synapse 25 but also fits nicely in other packs (fits the classic 3 day assault pack perfectly, having tried my LBT model ).

Great way to add a ton of organisation into a pack which doesn't have any. Centre of the 'freudian slip' is stiffened which makes the whole unit easy to slide in and out of a pack. Stiff enough that you can pull the stuff you need (your documents, chargers etc out of a bag and it will stand up).

This is the Synapse 25 model (obvs):
Dimensions - 18" x 13" x 1" / 450 x 330 x 25 mm
Weight: 12 oz / 340 grams

Again, I can't really do it justice so link is here:



Cost to me was $50 + duty. Quite happy to use this in another pack so after £30 shipped (as it's quite large) on its own or £20 with the Synapse.


Take the Synapse, Cache and Freudian slip for £180 shipped to UK.
Last edited:

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