Graduated from my Synapse 19, chose a Smart Alec, looking for other accessories
After 2 happy years with my Synapse 19, it became time to graduate to a larger bag. I originally went with the 19 in order to simplify my every day carry (EDC) bag down to only what I needed every day, and using a smaller bag forced me to go lighter, smaller and more efficient. I love the fact that the 19 can easily handle 13" Mac laptops, both the Air and my newer Retina Pro fit just fine in a Cache in the back of the bag.
Unfortunately, I'm almost always overstuffing the bag, and ended up ripping the bottom of the front water bottle pocket. Given that I really want to carry a water bottle around now, the 19 just isn't able to accommodate my ideal load out. The real issue is the Bose QC-15 headphones and their big hard-side case. I've found that I can't carry a water bottle, the laptop, an iPad, moleskin notebook and the headphones without straining the bag a bit. It all fits, mind you, but it's just at the limit of the bag in my opinion.
Why not just get a Synapse 25? Mainly because while I love my 19, I'm looking for something that doesn't quite scream "backpack!" -- I'd like something a bit more unique and given that it's my one and only bag (used for work, travel, day at the theme park, etc), I want something that doesn't seem to have a specific purpose.
I looked hard at the Smart Alec, Synapse 25 and even the Western Flyer as they all are in the same space volume ballpark. And if I was more of a airplane road warrior I probably would have leaned toward the WF -- but the wife vetoed the style as being too "dorky" for EDC and all-day playtime.
So, I went with the Smart Alec due to its versatility -- I love the pictures of people putting the modular pockets both on the outside and inside of the bag, and I'm intrigued by what can be done with the straps and cords on the front. I also like the idea of using either a Brain Cell or a Cache for my laptop -- not to mention getting a backpack packing cube if I want a smaller bag while traveling (conferences, beach, etc).
My only trouble was with the color combinations, as I like the two-toned exterior and I've come to love the Solar interior of my navy Synapse. The bright interior lining is really handy and helps me find stuff in the bag. I really wanted to like the Black/Navy/Aubergine (sp?) one, but the interior looked too tomato-like to me and doesn't seem bright enough. I also really like the Black/Steel exterior, but it only comes with the Steel interior :-( That left me with the Black/Black Solar or Wasabi combo.
I decided to go with the Black/Black/Wasabi (trying something different than the Solar interior), and I consoled myself with the thought that I can "accessorize" the exterior by getting different color cords, straps or modular pockets.
So, does anyone know where I can get Wasabi-colored shock cord and/or paracord?
I'd prefer shock cord, but I'll go with the paracord if that's all I can find in Wasabi :-)
Oh, and I can't wait for the Smart Alec to show up -- any tips or secrets to getting the most out of it?
read my review here or over at edcf...
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