I have owned more bags than shoes. I am constantly looking for a better one that fits my needs. Over the years, I have owned:
I've tried messenger bags, backpacks, and sling bags. Leather, ballistic nylon, codura. Single compartment, multi compartment.
I fly between 50,000 and 75,000 miles a year. I have developed very strong opinions on what makes a good travel bag. I have learned to pack very light and prefer a single backpack style bag that can carry my laptop, assorted work items, cables, clothes for 1-3 days and dopp bag.
I have finally found a company that "gets it" and understands what a bag needs and more importantly, what a bag doesn't. The Smart Alec is the best example of minimalist design with human form-factor that I have found in a bag. I am absolutely amazed what this bag can hold and how comfortable it is. Every detail, right down to the zippers seems to take the best of what I liked from other bags and combined them.
The versatility of this bag really adds to the best-in-class design. I ordered the Monolith and am very surprised how well it fits in the bag and doesnít seem to be an add-on at all. The size 4 is a very good fit for my laptop, apparently making the different sizes really allows the Monolith to give a custom fit. I am eagerly awaiting the Freudian Slip. Maybe I can dig one up on the used market to reduce my wait.
The company is first class. I called with some very specific questions; the typical person on the other end of the phone would normally just read from a script. I was shocked with the in-depth answers I received from Darcy. She knows the product and understands what customers are looking for. My order arrived quickly with the Monolith already installed. Nice touch!
I would say Iím now a big fan of Tom Bihn products; a more accurate term would be evangelist!