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drpher
01-22-2009, 08:55 PM
I've been surprised at how large and at the same time compact the Smart Alec is. What I mean by that is that it is able to hold more than I think it can, and at the same time, it feels less heavy on my back given the load. The bungee cord is great for when I have a small load and need to make the backpack smaller, or when the backpack is full to use the cord to hold my jacket.

At various times, this is what I was able to fit in it:

For a trip:
Macbook
Freudian slip (vertical) - love the organization!
cords
paperback novel
digital camera
knitting project
wallet
passport
cosmetic case
water bottle
umbrella
first aid kit

For a commute:
TWO Macbooks in neoprene sleeves plus cords for both
wallet
keys/whistle/flashlight
pocket moleskine
cosmetic bag
pocket moleskine
large moleskine
cosmetic bag

For filing my dissertation:
two reams of paper
wallet
keys
camera
(there was still room at the top for a light sweater)

Darcy
02-25-2009, 12:07 PM
In this thread, post a list or pictures of What You Carry in your Smart Alec (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/700/TB0103). We will add your packing list to the Smart Alec page to help give other people a better idea of what the bag can hold.

bluedawg
05-04-2009, 11:44 PM
i used the smart alec as my personal item on a recent vacation, and this is what went into it:

iPhone
iPod & headphones
charger & adaptor
physical therapy resistance tube
passport
wallet/pouch with ID, credit card, cash
lip balm & tinted lip balm
gum
notebook & pen
luna bars/builder bar/fruit leather
VegNews stack (bunch of magazines)
3 books
scarf/sarong
glasses
sunglasses
liquid/gel toiletries (in 1-qt. ziploc bag)

... we also used it when we did a few excursions during our trip, and we usually packed it with things like:

2 beach towels
2 swimsuits
sunblock
2 pr. sunglasses
guide book
snacks
water
2 iPhones
2 passports
1 pouch (my "wallet" with ID, lip balm, etc.)

now that we're home, i use it for my "going to campus" bag, so it's being used more traditionally:

15" macbook pro (in brain cell)
1 liter sigg bottle
1 book
2-3 journals
my lunch
wallet
iPhone
pouch with lip balm, gum, flash drive, etc.
and *plenty* of room to spare!

eVolcre
06-24-2009, 09:18 AM
Will I be able to fit a 17" MBP in a brain cell into this bag?

Darcy
06-24-2009, 10:04 AM
Will I be able to fit a 17" MBP in a brain cell into this bag?

Yes! The Size 1 Vertical Brain Cell (a perfect fit for your 17" MBP) will clip securely inside of the Smart Alec.

eVolcre
06-24-2009, 10:54 PM
Yes! The Size 1 Vertical Brain Cell (a perfect fit for your 17" MBP) will clip securely inside of the Smart Alec.

Cool. Thanks! Now I need to figure out what to do with my Empire Builder and HORIZONTAL brain cell.

Just out of curiosity, if I turn the horizontal and prop it in there vertically, would it give me any protection at all?

Kris

leviathan
06-24-2009, 11:42 PM
the wait for my Smart Alex (ordered a month ago!) is killing me. The backorder just got pushed back to LATE July. ughhhh *complain complain complain*

Darcy
06-25-2009, 12:36 PM
the wait for my Smart Alex (ordered a month ago!) is killing me. The backorder just got pushed back to LATE July. ughhhh *complain complain complain*

I'm sorry about the further delay. A combination of things - mostly that we're waiting to receive materials needed to make the Smart Alec and those won't be in until the first week of July - led to the delay. We're doing everything we can!

Darcy
06-25-2009, 12:37 PM
Just out of curiosity, if I turn the horizontal and prop it in there vertically, would it give me any protection at all?


Yes, for sure. Just not the same level of protection you'd get if you used the Brain Cell in its proper format. Also, it will be somewhat of a pain to remove your laptop from the bag that way.

leviathan
06-25-2009, 08:15 PM
I'm sorry about the further delay. A combination of things - mostly that we're waiting to receive materials needed to make the Smart Alec and those won't be in until the first week of July - led to the delay. We're doing everything we can!

I know you are, no worries, Darcy. I'm not complaining about you all. Just the wait.

Darcy
06-26-2009, 10:55 AM
I know you are, no worries, Darcy. I'm not complaining about you all. Just the wait.

I completely understand! We don't like these waits either, and we are trying to come up with some solutions.

leviathan
07-20-2009, 05:33 AM
I completely understand! We don't like these waits either, and we are trying to come up with some solutions.

Any idea how soon these are shipping?

leviathan
08-30-2009, 07:31 PM
I finally got to test the full extent and ability of my new Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec this past weekend. I was asked to head out on a last minute adventure selling merch for pop-rock band Switchfoot. I was out for 3 1/2 days including stops in Atlantic City, NJ, New York, NY, and Hampton Beach, NH. I traveled by bus, train, plane, and car. And I lived out of one backpack for the duration of the trip. Which is saying a lot for me. I'm a heavy packer. Here's my list:

- Smart Alec backpack
- 13" Macbook
- 13" Incase neoprene Macbook sleeve
- Macbook charger
- Toshiba 320 GB external passport hard drive
- USB cable
- iPhone charger cable
- Canon Rebel XT with a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 wide angle lens attached
- USB transfer cable (for the camera)
- 2 lithium-ion batteries (for the camera)
- screen cleaning cloth

- 2 t-shirts
- 2 button up plaid shirts
- 1 pair of shorts
- 3 pairs of boxer briefs
- 5 pairs of ankle socks
- 1 zip up hoodie
- 1 "cab driver's" hat
- 1 necklace
- 1 pair of sunglasses w/ case
- wallet
- emergency money in another pocket ($5 and whatever change I accumulate)

- 3 magazines (latest issues of Wired, Popular Photography, and Maxim)
- pens and a sharpie
- house keys
- safety kit (a ziplock bag containing: bandaids, advil, claritin, neosporin)
- shower supplies (another ziplock bag with travel size soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and my toothbrush)
- hair straightener (kept in the water bottle pocket (boys have unruly hair too))
- earplugs and case
- poncho (which I used yesterday in NH as the tropical storm was hitting the coast)

All that and I STILL had a little room to spare at the top. Plus I had the set of clothes i was wearing at any given time including another shirt, another pair of socks, boxer briefs, and a pair of jeans and a belt. I considered myself traveling light. I didn't leave or forget anything behind and I felt like I was fully prepared for everything that could have come my way.

Thank's for an awesome bag. Can't wait for the camera insert. I nestled my baby Rebel in a cushion made out of all of my clothes I packed. haha

Shiva
08-31-2009, 09:43 AM
Leviathan: good lord..that is quite a bit to pack into that bag!!! Did you use a cube of any sort to put your clothes in? I have been looking at the Smart Alec for a while--mostly, I am tempted cos the zippers are inward, and is much less theft prone than a standard backpack especially on mass transit. I am impressed that the Canon went in with the lens along with the Mac.
A question about the Mac in the neoprene case: was that adequate padding for what you were doing? and how easy was it to retrieve in and out for security?

leviathan
09-04-2009, 10:07 PM
Leviathan: good lord..that is quite a bit to pack into that bag!!! Did you use a cube of any sort to put your clothes in? I have been looking at the Smart Alec for a while--mostly, I am tempted cos the zippers are inward, and is much less theft prone than a standard backpack especially on mass transit. I am impressed that the Canon went in with the lens along with the Mac.
A question about the Mac in the neoprene case: was that adequate padding for what you were doing? and how easy was it to retrieve in and out for security?

No cubes of any sort. Just careful folding. Dirty clothes went in a grocery bag at the bottom, fresh clothes closer to the top. And I surrounded my camera with various pieces of clothing for transport. The bag is huge. Way bigger than I expected it to be.

My last backpack, bought at Target, had a dedicated "laptop pocket" closest to your back. It was a slim pocket and my computer and sleeve just slid right in. My only qualm with the neoprene case right now is that if my bag isn't stuffed it slides around. I can't afford a Brain Cell just yet, so I'll have to deal. Access to it was pretty easy. I used the magazines I took along for the trip as a barrier between the computer and the clothes. So even when I took the computer out of the bag, my pack still maintained it's basic shape.

leviathan
09-06-2009, 10:20 PM
Thanks for featuring my list on the blog, Darcy! Hopefully it helps someone buy this bag. I keep recommending it/Tom Bihn to people every week.

Darcy
09-08-2009, 10:36 AM
Thank /you/, leviathan. I think your packing list gives a good sense of what a Smart Alec can hold.

leviathan
09-08-2009, 09:37 PM
The bag itself is way bigger than I expected when I first ordered it. My daily office routine hardly utilizes 1/3 of its capacity. With any luck I'll be back on the road soon and using the bag to it's full potential on a daily basis. I look forward to finding an organization and packing list that satisfies my daily needs.

This includes the upcoming camera insert. I can't wait to safely carry my camera with me everywhere. My current camera bag (LowePro Slingshot AW100 - http://products.lowepro.com/product/SlingShot-100-AW,2034,4.htm) isn't practical unless I'm on a dedicated shoot.

notmensa
09-09-2009, 03:06 AM
Thanks for this review leviathan. I ordered my Smart Alec about 19 hrs ago... though I live in Sydney, Australia so it will take a few days to arrive. You would not believe how excited I am!!!

JustIain
01-13-2010, 06:27 PM
Hello All, :confused:

All I have at the moment for travel is the Smart Alec and the Clear Quarter Packing Cube. I plan on leaving my MacPro and Vertical Brain Cell at home.

Now what I would to know is what packing cubes would fit optimally?

This would be for a minimalist 10 day long trip to England this summer. Laundry will be available so... It might stretch to 2 weeks (adding France) if the lady friend joins me.

Any suggestions (hint, hint, it doesn't mention on the packing cube webpage nor on the Smart Alec webpage)?

Many Thanks,
Iain