Shop Tom Bihn
Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    17" Powerbook: Smart Alec or Brain Bag? Help!

    The Smart Alec looks great, but seems a little small. The Brain Bag looks great as well but seems a little too big.

    The Smart Alec has no external pockets. The Brain Bag has many external pockets.

    In terms of overall padding...Is one more protective than the other?

    Does either bag come with a cell phone or water bottle holder?

    Is there a place to attach dangling straps that are not in use?

    I'm inclined to buy the Smart Alec on looks alone...but feel I need the extra space for short travels (weekend trips).

    I wish the Smart Alec was just a little bigger. Are there any plans for a larger Smart Alec?

    Your comments are greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    The far west

    We did just speak on the phone, but just so no one thinks we've decided to ignore you on the forum...

    The Smart Alec actually does have two hidden, exterior pockets the length of the bag on either side of the bag, though the Brain Bag definitely does have more exterior organizer pockets. The Smart Alecs organizer pockets are inside of the bag.

    I wouldn't say one is more protective than the other - what provides the laptop protection is the Monolith insert. The Monolith has a hard shell, soft foam padding, and a suspension system on the bottom.

    The straps on the Smart Alec are mostly removable - so if you don't use a waist strap, you can simply remove it. The straps on the Brain Bag are not removable, but can be easily cut off. There is no system to tuck away the straps, but they can sort of be tied up.

    There are no plans for a larger Smart Alec. The Brain Bag definitely offers much more space. I'd say you could fit the following inside a Smart Alec:

    Your Laptop inside the Monolith
    A change of clothes
    Laptop accessories
    The usuals - wallet, keys, cell phone, PDA, etc.
    A book or two
    A bottle of water

    Inside the Brain Bag, you could fit all of those items plus another laptop and two text books.

    Hope that helps a bit!
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine, Founder's Briefcase, Synapse 19 (day hikes), Guide's Pack (longer day hikes), Yeoman Duffel (winter/emergency stuff for the car), Aeronaut 30 (travel), Night Flight Travel Duffel (camera bag), Moveable Feast + Shop Bags (food)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts