6 Affordable Tom Bihn Alternatives

6 Affordable Tom Bihn Alternatives - Synapse 25 alternative and Tom Bihn Aeronaut alternative - backpackies.com
  1. Timbuk2 Command Backpack (Buy on Amazon)

  2. Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII Backpack (Buy on Amazon)

  3. Fjallraven Raven 28 Daypack (Buy on Amazon)

  4. Tortuga Travel Backpack 44 Liter (Buy on Amazon)

  5. eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Backpack (Buy on Amazon)

  6. Incase EO Travel Pack (Buy on Amazon)

Tom Bihn makes great quality backpacks that are loved by many travelers and backpack enthusiasts alike. Here we look at cheaper Tom Bihn alternatives for their popular Synapse 25 and Aeronaut bags. 

tom bihn synapse alternative

The Tom Bihn Synapse backpack has gained popularity with everyday carry and travel enthusiasts and it’s easy to see why. This backpack is multiple clever compartments for organizing and features a high quality build. Here we list three of our favorite cheaper Tom Bihn Synapse 25 alternatives that won’t break the bank. These bags are great quality and have similar features as the popular Synapse 25 backpack.

Timbuk2 Command travel backpack - Tom Bihn Synapse 25 alternative - Learn more at backpackies.com

Timbuk2 Command Backpack Review

The Timbuk2 Command backpack is a nicely designed pack especially made for daily commuters and travelers alike. We recommend the Timbuk2 Command as a Tom Bihn Synapse 25 alternative for those who want a slightly larger backpack that has internal organizers, a roomy main compartment, and a sleek modern design.

Unlike the Tom Bihn Synapse which has a 25 liter capacity, the Timbuk2 Command offers a generous 32 litters. This is due in part for the larger main compartment that is designed to hold books, jackets and more. On the outside of the bag you will find a floating pocket that is lined to protect cell phones and sunglasses. A separate TSA friendly clamshell compartment fits both a tablet and a laptop.

  • Dimensions: 13 x 11.4 x 18.9

  • Capcity: 32L

  • Padded sleeve fits laptop up to 15 inches

  • Tablet compartment

  • Side pockets for water bottles

  • Internal organizers for small essentials

  • Airmesh back panel for extra ventilation

The Timbuk2 Command travel backpack is available in a variety of colors.

The Timbuk2 Command travel backpack is available in a variety of colors.

Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII travel backpack - Tom Bihn Synapse 25 alternative - backpackies.com

Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII backpack review

Pacsafe is a travel bag and accessories brand that specializes in anti-theft designs for safer trips and journeys. Their Venturesome 25L GII features an anti-theft features called Slashguard which protects against nimble thieves from cutting through your backpack to get into the contents inside. It also features RFID blocking pockets, lock security hooks and specially designed zippers.

Like the Tom Bihn Synapse 25, the Venturesafe has an capacity of 25 liters. It also features comprehensive organizational section in it’s exterior pocket for pens, passports, glasses and other small but essential items. A 3L hydration pack compartment allows the backpack to be used for hiking. While it’s molded foam back allows you to comfortable wear the pack during day trips. This backpack is extremely versatile and will suit just about any traveler. We recommend this backpack as a Tom Bihn Synapse 25 alternative to anyone who wants a great quality backpack with extra safety features.

  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 11.4 x 7.9 inches

  • Capacity: 25L

  • Waist strap, side compression straps, and molded foam back for extra support

  • Organizational pockets and compartments in main compartment and secondary front zip compartment

  • Side stretch pockets for waterbottles, umbrellas and more

  • 3L hydration pocket

Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L is available in multiple colors.

Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L is available in multiple colors.

Fjallraven Raven 28 Daypack backpack - Tom Bihn Synapse alternative - Learn more at backpackies.com

Fjallraven Raven 28 Daypack Review

We decided to add the Fjallraven Raven to our list of Tom Bihn backpack alternatives because of it’s quality build, great features and overall affordability. The Fjallraven Raven 28 is a 28 liter daypack that is slightly larger than the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 in capacity but generally all not that larger in overall size. In fact, it looks deceptively slim when worn. The materials used in the construction are G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco which is a combo of recycled polyester and organic cotton. The bag is weather proof and can get your through a rainy day.

As for organization, the Fjallraven Raven 28 has a generous main compartment coupled with it's own zippered laptop pocket (up to 15”). Other compartments include 2 side pockets, a zippered front pocket and two additional zippered pocket with compartments in each for extra organization. We love the overall minimalist look of the Fjallraven Raven daypack as are glad to know that Fjallraven could design a backpack that is as functional as it is fashionable.

  • Dimensions: 12.2 x 18.11 x 11.02 inches

  • Capacity: 28L

  • Zippered padded compartment fits a laptop up to 15 inches

  • Fleece lined pockets for sunglasses and phones

  • Hidden internal security pocket

  • Padded back and contoured shoulder straps for extra comfort

Fjallraven offers the Raven 28 Daypack in many different color options.

Fjallraven offers the Raven 28 Daypack in many different color options.


The Tom Bihn Aeronaut is a convertible backpack duffel bag that is made for carry-on air travel. It’s 45 liter capacity and multiple organization compartments makes the Tom Bihn Aeronaut the ideal travel backpack for multi-day trips. Here we review three cheaper Tom Bihn Aeronaut alternatives that pack a lot of the same features.

Tortuga travel backpack - Tom Bihn Aeronaut alternative- Learn more at backpackies.com

Tortuga Travel Backpack 44 Liter Review

Tortuga is a maximum sized carry on backpack just like the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. At 44 Liter capacity it’s around the same size as the Aeronaut with very similar internal zip compartment and out pocket features as the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. 

Unlike the Tom Bihn Aeronaut, the Tortuga Travel Backpack does not convert into an over the shoulder bag. But it does include a sturdy top handle to allow one hand carry as a duffel. It’s clamshell design allows for easy packing and unpacking. One of our favorite features is it’s padded laptop sleeve for laptops up to 17 inches. The laptop compartment is lockable with your own TSA lock to prevent theft. These features and more make the Tortuga Travel Backpack a good candidate for anyone looking for a good Tom Bihn Aeronaut alternative.

  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9

  • Capacity: 44L

  • Separate padded compartment for laptop up to 17”

  • Lockable zipper on all main compartments

  • External side pockets for water bottles and other small items.

  • Small enough to use as a check-in bag but large enough for multi-day air travel.

eBags Mother Lode travel backpack - Tom Bihn Aeronaut alternative - Learn more at backpackies.com

eBags Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Review

The Mother Lode Weekender bag is a larger Tom Bihn Aeronaut alternative that is packed with a ton of similar features at a lower price point. The Mother Lode weekender has a generous capacity of 54L, almost 10 liters as much as the Tom Bihn Aeronaut. Like the Aeronaut, the Mother Lode Weekender is made for airplane travel is it’s dimensions fit the maximum capacity for a carry-on bag.

eBags packed a lot of great features in this bag such as useful separation walls and straps in the main compartment and a secure laptop compartment that is accessed separately. The front zip pocket is packed with organizers for pens, passport and other small items that require easy access. There is even an awesome full expansion zipper that allows you to fit even more in the bag during your travels.

  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9

  • Capacity: 54L

  • Separate access compartment for a laptop

  • Discrete water bottle pocket

  • Compression straps to keep your items in place when the bag is not full

  • Convertible: Can be used as a backpack, duffel or luggage.

The eBags Mother Lode Weekender travel backpack is available in mutiple color options.

The eBags Mother Lode Weekender travel backpack is available in mutiple color options.

Incase EO travel backpack - Tom Bihn Aeronaut alternative - learn more at backpackies.com

Incase EO Travel Backpack Review

Incase has hit a home run with their EO Travel Backpack. This backpack is a great Tom Bihn alternative for those of you who can use a smaller bag with many of the same features. Incase has emphasized tech carry so you can expect to see plenty of pockets and compartments for your laptop (up to 17 inches), tablets, cables and chargers throughout the backpack.

The main compartment is roomy enough for a weekend trip. It features a full clamshell opening that allows for easy access of your essentials. Zipped mesh compartments keeps everything neat and tidy while traveling. The backside laptop compartment also features a clamshell opening to allow for easy TSA access. All of these features make the Incase EO an ideal carry on travel backpack.

  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 12.8 x 6.3

  • Separate compartments for laptop up to 17 inches and a tablet.

  • Padded back panel and shoulder straps for extra comfort

  • Main compartment expands 35% for easy packing of clothes and other overnight essentials.

  • Backpack use only: not convertible