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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.

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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    92

    Brain Bag and Smart Alec

    I've been looking for a backpack to take with me to college and my search brought me to Tom Bihn. I ended up ordering both a Brain Bag and a Smart Alec as I was having a lot of trouble deciding between the two without seeing them in person. Unfortunately, after handling, playing around with, packing and unpacking the two bags I decided that neither one is going to work for me. :( The quality of the materials is wonderful and the craftsmanship is clearly superb, but there was something about each bag that caused it to just miss the mark.

    I love the Smart Alec, but I feel that the top-loading design just isn't suited for a book bag. If I were using it for something other than school it would have been great, but even moderately full it tough to put wider books into the bag - just tough enough that it would have driven me crazy.

    The Brain Bag is great too and I almost kept it. However, no matter how I adjusted the straps, they just weren't comfortable. I don't know if it's the width of the straps themselves or the positioning of the straps on the bag, but something caused them to dig into me at the sides.

    On a happier note, I did hold on to the large solar Clear Organizer Pouch and I'm looking forward to using it for papers (as backpack recommended) when school starts. :) I may also order a Medium or Large Cafe Bag in the near future.

  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    The far west
    Posts
    5,011
    That's okay! I'm glad you got a chance to try out both backpacks and really get a feel for whether they'd work for you or not. We don't expect every bag to work for everyone. We wish you the best of luck finding a backpack that's "the one" -- there's a lot of choices out there so I'm sure you'll find one that works in time for school.
    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)

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    92
    Thanks. :) I'm sure I'll find something, I was just hoping that it would be a Tom Bihn something.

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