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12 days in Singapore with the Smart Alec

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    12 days in Singapore with the Smart Alec

    Hey everyone! Long-time lurker, first-time poster, etc.

    I've been steadily downsizing what I bring on trips, most recently going from a 41L Eagle Creek bag to the Aeronaut 30. I love the A30, but its lack of laptop accommodation makes it a bit of a hassle at airport security when one-bagging. So for my upcoming trip to Singapore to visit family at the end of the month, I've decided to see what I can do with the Smart Alec.

    I wanted to plan for flexibility on two fronts: (1) I'll be wandering around town a lot, so I need at least one small EDC bag, and (2) given that Singapore is essentially a giant shopping mall, I will inevitably acquire stuff while I'm there that I will need to carry back with me. The obvious solution seems to be to use my Halcyon Side Effect, Side Kick, and Daylight Briefcase as packing cubes within the SA. The SE and SK will be my EDC options while I'm there, and the DLBC can be deployed as a personal item on the trip back to accommodate any overflow. Additionally, if necessary the SK can be attached to the top of the SA as an ersatz modular pocket, freeing up more room inside.

    Here's how my test-pack worked out:

    SMART ALEC + CACHE
    I just acquired this baby and all the reviews calling it a black hole are 100% accurate. It's a big, barrel-shaped (and yet surprisingly svelte) workhorse and I'm excited to be taking my first trip with it. I picked up an upper modular pocket as well, but am not planning on using it this trip. The Cache contains my Surface Pro 4 and positively disappears into the yawning maw of the SA.

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    3D ORGANIZER CUBE
    Liquids and other toiletries. I haven't had problems in the past putting them all in one bag, but in case security gets picky I'll have an all-fabric OC into which I can separate the non-liquids if necessary.

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    SIDE KICK
    My in-flight bag, containing everything necessary to keep me entertained for 18+ hours in the air: Kindle, Nexus 5x phone, Bose QC35 headphones, and their assorted chargers, plus a charmingly analog notebook and pens, eyeshades, and the all-important lip balm. There's room for some snacks, too.

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    SIDE EFFECT
    Miscellaneous bits and pieces in here: Surface charger and stylus, wireless mouse, folding Bluetooth keyboard, hairbrush and spare glasses. Not planning on accessing this during the flight.

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    DAYLIGHT BRIEFCASE
    Here's where my clothes go. I'm staying with my family, so I'll have access to regular laundry, but still wanted to pack enough clothes to last a week and cover a variety of activities from rock climbing to dinner at a nice restaurant.

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    I should note that the SE, SK, and DLBC all have their shoulder straps stored in their respective front pockets, for deployment as EDC on arrival.

    TRAVEL STUFF SACK #2
    The number one pastime in Singapore is eating, so I want to make sure I stay as active as possible to avoid getting too out of shape. Fortunately my yoga towel fits perfectly into a size 2 Travel Stuff Sack.

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    TRAVEL STUFF SACK #4
    No such perfect fit here, unfortunately! I'm planning to do a tour of Singapore's climbing gyms while I'm there, so my trusty climbing shoes and chalk bag are coming with me. They're an inconvenient size and shape, and I could only really get them to fit in a size 4 Travel Stuff Sack.

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    And here's how it all fits into the SA! (1) The Cache is already installed, and the stuff sack containing my climbing gear is placed horizontally on the bottom of the bag. (2) The DLBC goes in vertically against the Cache, while the stuff sack with my yoga towel goes horizontally in front of it, on top of the climbing stuff sack. (3) The SK sits happily on top of that stuff sack and in front of the DLBC, where it can be easily pulled out to serve as my in-flight bag.

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    Finally, the SE and 3DOC are crammed into the side pockets. The 3DOC is tethered to an o-ring by a keystrap, so I can pull it out during security checks.

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    It's pretty much stuffed to the gills, but, to be honest, I was a little shocked that it all actually fit. It's definitely not an optimal set-up to live out of (that's where the A30 shines), but, as I'll be staying in one place for the duration of my visit and will be unpacking everything when I arrive, that's not an issue here.

    I've got several weeks to procrastinate, um, i mean "refine my packing", before my trip, but right now this seems pretty optimal. Looking forward to taking my first trip with my new SA!
    EDC: Side Kick/Medium Cafe Bag | WORK: Daylight Briefcase/Synik 22 | GYM: Truck | TRAVEL: Synik 22/Smart Alec/Aeronaut 30

    #2
    I love epic first posts like yours! I have a Smart Alec too, but have always resorted to an Aeronaut for travel. I'm inspired to try the SA now.

    Comment


      #3
      Fantastic post! I like your use of the DLBC as a packing cube. You could use that as a second bag full of purchases on the way home. I love my Smart Alec. It holds a shocking amount.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
      Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful. — Shaker Philosophy

      Comment


        #4
        Wow Emerald Yam, you ROCK! And your first post, no less (don't make it your last, K?) ! Thanks for all the photos, amazing how much you have in there.

        I have the SA for the same reasons you do, the less the better, and am getting ready to buy one for my daughter so we can travel light together.

        Enjoy your trip!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Rocks View Post
          I love epic first posts like yours! I have a Smart Alec too, but have always resorted to an Aeronaut for travel. I'm inspired to try the SA now.
          Thanks! I suspect those of us with epic first posts have been just saving up months and months of repressed Tom Bihn geekery and are just searching for the right opportunity to inflict that geekery on others. :)

          I was surprised that it didn't feel like I was leaving anything out compared to my A30 packing lists! That being said, it is JAM-PACKED full, and I would not want to have to hop from hotel to hotel with it. I think for road trips I'd definitely prefer my A30, just for the flexibility.

          Originally posted by Amy View Post
          Fantastic post! I like your use of the DLBC as a packing cube. You could use that as a second bag full of purchases on the way home. I love my Smart Alec. It holds a shocking amount.
          It really does! Also, if I (a) use the DLBC as a second bag, (b) attach the SK to the modular pocket loops, and (c) clip the SE into the SA's hip belt so it serves as a sort of integrated waist pack, that adds 13.5 extra liters of space!

          Originally posted by anna2222 View Post
          Wow Emerald Yam, you ROCK! And your first post, no less (don't make it your last, K?) ! Thanks for all the photos, amazing how much you have in there.

          I have the SA for the same reasons you do, the less the better, and am getting ready to buy one for my daughter so we can travel light together.

          Enjoy your trip!
          Thank you! I'll try to keep posting. I'm sure there's a lot more fun TB-inspired adventures in my future. :)
          EDC: Side Kick/Medium Cafe Bag | WORK: Daylight Briefcase/Synik 22 | GYM: Truck | TRAVEL: Synik 22/Smart Alec/Aeronaut 30

          Comment


            #6
            @EmeraldYam,

            As others have stated, this is a great first post and pictures. Just a quick comment on your nice configuration plans to use your Side Kick as an upper modular pocket on the Smart Alec. You've probably already checked this out, but I'd just thought that I'd comment that although @Amy's method of using a pair of 1-1/2” Triangle Metal Hooks to attach a Side Effect or Side Kick works for older Smart Alecs, such as my late 2012 Aubergine Ballistic Nylon/Wasabi Smart Alec, the webbing loops of recent Smart Alecs, like my Black Halcyon/Island Smart Alec, seem to be much tighter, and I need to use a pair of 1.5" Single Gatekeeper Clips instead, as @eliza did. (The 1.5" long Gatekeepers currently appear to be out of stock, but the link should be correct for the location if these get restocked).

            Here's @Amy's attachment picture
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            Note that the webbing loop has to accommodate a curved triangle metal clip.

            Here's @eliza's used of the 1.5" single gatekeeper clip on a Side Effect:
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            I posted pictures of the Side Kick attached this way (with a pair of 1.5" Single Gatekeeper clips) in the Halcyon Smart Alec + Ballistic Upper Module Pocket (UMP) thread.

            The reason for using the 1.5" long Gatekeeper clips instead of the 1" Gatekeepers is that the height of the Side Kick means that it pretty much covers the top of the Smart Alec. Given the position of the webbing loops, it will either ride unusually high or unusually low on the top of the Smart Alec if you use the 1" long Gatekeepers, and will look and feel less balanced.





            (The extra length of the 1.5" Gatekeeper lets the Side Kick sit centered on the top of the Smart Alec)

            Notice that an Upper Modular Pocket (in Black Halcyon) looks more balanced for the top of the Smart Alec:
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            HTH

            moriond
            Last edited by moriond; 05-04-2017, 08:19 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              I didn't realize that newer smart Alecs have smaller loops that don't allow you to fit the triangle clip.

              One reason I like the triangle carabiner clip method is that it lets me clip on the side effect via its side rings very quickly and easily, no threading through webbing required. The gatekeeper method looks a little harder to attach and remove. But it does look more streamlined.


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
              Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful. — Shaker Philosophy

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Amy View Post
                I didn't realize that newer smart Alecs have smaller loops that don't allow you to fit the triangle clip.

                One reason I like the triangle carabiner clip method is that it lets me clip on the side effect via its side rings very quickly and easily, no threading through webbing required. The gatekeeper method looks a little harder to attach and remove. But it does look more streamlined.


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
                I recently purchased a Smart Alec + Side Kick as UMP combo in large part to your and @moriond's pictures of attaching a Side Effect/Kick to the Smart Alec. I can tell you that it is very quick and easy to attach and remove the Gatekeeper clips once I reacquainted myself with how to do so. It only takes me about 30 seconds to add or remove my Side Kick from the Smart Alec. (Actually, removing the SK takes about 10 seconds and attaching it clocks in at about 30 seconds.) I had thought it would be much more tedious than it turned out to be, especially given that the SK will be clipped on and off multiple times on some days.
                Long live Burnt Orange! Zest! 152!

                EDC: Side Kick, Everday Cubelet, DL PCSB (planner pouch); Travel: Smart Alec + Side Kick, Small Yeoman Duffel

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by moriond View Post
                  @EmeraldYam,

                  As others have stated, this is a great first post and pictures. Just a quick comment on your nice configuration plans to use your Side Kick as an upper modular pocket on the Smart Alec. You've probably already checked this out, but I'd just thought that I'd comment that although @Amy's method of using a pair of 1-1/2” Triangle Metal Hooks to attach a Side Effect or Side Kick works for older Smart Alecs, such as my late 2012 Aubergine Ballistic Nylon/Wasabi Smart Alec, the webbing loops of recent Smart Alecs, like my Black Halcyon/Island Smart Alec, seem to be much tighter, and I need to use a pair of 1.5" Single Gatekeeper Clips instead, as @eliza did. (The 1.5" long Gatekeepers currently appear to be out of stock, but the link should be correct for the location if these get restocked).
                  Hahaha, thank you! I did my research and read all of your posts on the subject before ordering my SA. I'm probably the reason the 1.5" Gatekeeepers are out of stock, as I snapped up two pairs of them along with my SA. I've tested it out and it works very nicely, exactly as illustrated by your extremely helpful photos!
                  EDC: Side Kick/Medium Cafe Bag | WORK: Daylight Briefcase/Synik 22 | GYM: Truck | TRAVEL: Synik 22/Smart Alec/Aeronaut 30

                  Comment

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