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I Miss My Synapse

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  • historygal
    Welcome the the TB forum. While I don't have a Smart Alec and can't comment first hand on its use, the design has never appealed to me. There is at least one video on YouTube, Tom Bihn Smart Alec Backpack - YouTube which helped me make the decision that I don't believe that the Smart Alec would be the "right" bag for me. While the bag is beautiful, my main objection is that it is top loading. If you have smaller items that are not attached to a tethered pouch, or items that were packed towards the bottom, it seems to me you would have to remove many other items from the bag in order to retrieve the one you were wanting. i would find this a annoying after a while. Maybe someone who loves their Smart Alec and has found a great way to organize it, can comment on this.

    There are a few people on this forum who have a "larger" Synapse on their "TB Wish List." They too love the design, but find it a little small for their needs. Who knows if and when this will ever happen. My experience is if I don't love something right away, it probably won't grow on me. The Synapse is one of my favorite TB bags. Without knowing what you were packing in your Smart Alec, you might consider a Brain Bag or Western Flyer w/ backpack straps if you are need a larger backpack than the Synapse. I don't have either of these bags, but there are plenty of people on this forum that can help with packing lists if you want to let them know what you plan on carrying.

    Good luck with your decision!
    Last edited by historygal; 05-17-2012, 12:31 AM.

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  • backpack
    My favorite Tom Bihn bag, the Brain Bag, had to do some serious growing on me.

    Despite being really, really, really busy, I was literally in the middle of a coast to coast move, I had to take the time to make the Brain Bag work with my frame then with the two iBooks I was taking as carry-on along. We also had to juggle an enormous amount of check in pieces which cost us pretty penny and our utmost concern was for our beloved cat on her first and alas last plane ride.

    So the pressure was on for the Brain Bag to perform flawlessly.
    I emailed Darcy, it was some time ago, so she was the person to talk to, and she explained how to clip the Brain Cell to the bag.
    I did a trial on packing with the oldest iBook and accessories in one of the pocket. It worked really nicely so I left it there.
    When it came time to pack up the other iBook and accessories it worked even better,
    The iBook glided inside its Brain Cell, the accessories came together and I think I used my Freudian Slip for all my papers.

    Using my Brain Bag was the only stress free experience from the move.

    Let your Smart Alec grow on you by experimenting a little bit more with it.
    I suggest getting a couple of Large Pouches as well as a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag and/or a Clear Quarter Packing Cube. They are great accessories!

    Many Smart Alec owners swear by their Snake Charmer.

    I am a big time schlepper, my bi-monthly grocery store run or a day of errands via our local Metro look like expeditions.

    Mostly because I bring my own reusable bags and a Large Shop Bag for vegies at the grocery store and use Shop Bags and Packing Cube to transport library, bookstores, stationary and craft stores finds as well as the dreaded, but necessary, wardrobe updates without cutting my hands on the plastic or string handles of retailers' flimsy bags.

    I use the Synapse and a Large or Small Cafe Bag, you might want to try the same combo or substitute a Medium Cafe Bag or the very cute Co-Pilot.
    Last edited by backpack; 05-17-2012, 07:14 AM.

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  • Stacybean
    started a topic I Miss My Synapse

    I Miss My Synapse

    I recently bought a Smart Alec with a Freudian Slip because I couldn't fit all of the things I feel compelled to shlep around in the Synapse. This seems so improbable after reading the posts of people packing for two week trips in it but i just couldn't warp the space time continuum enough, apparently. I gave the Synapse to my spouse who is delighted with it. I am not loving the Smart Alec. Certainly it is beautifully designed and manufactured but "backpack transference " has yet to occur. I am aware that this is a very high class problem.. Has anyone had a Smart Alec "grow on them"? Best, Stacy
    Last edited by Stacybean; 05-17-2012, 05:26 AM. Reason: Typing error