Welcome!

We're glad you are here. This is the place to ask for bag advice, help other people out, post reviews, and share photos and videos.

TOM BIHN Forums Statistics

Collapse

Topics: 14,774   Posts: 190,634   Members: 6,657   Active Members: 262
Welcome to our newest member, Warneral.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Smart Alec with MacBook Pro Retina (13" or 15") and iPad Pro 12.9"

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Smart Alec with MacBook Pro Retina (13" or 15") and iPad Pro 12.9"

    Hi All!

    I've recently purchased a Smart Alec and really enjoy the bag. The quality is top notch!

    Lately I've been traveling with both a retina Mac Book Pro (13" or 15"), and a 12.9" iPad Pro. I'm looking for some advice on this setup. I currently have two sleeves and I just throw them in the bag, along with a snake charmer. The two devices plus a fully snake charmer at the bottom mostly keeps them in place, but I'd love to have some sort of solution where they'll stay stuck against the bag of the bag, regardless of if I have the snake charmer in there or not. Truthfully, even with the he snake charmer, they can sort of topple forward from the top from time to time.

    Ideally, I'd have something like the cache on rails, or the brain cell that attaches via annex clips to keep it secured to the back of the bag, but I'd like it to not only hold the laptop but the iPad as well. Any thoughts or ideas?

    Thanks for the help!

    #2
    From what I recall, the cache on rails keeps them in place and even slightly suspended. Not sure about the tablet one. Question, is the 15 inch MacBook well fit into the bag? I'm currently debating on a smart alec/bb/s25 and the SA's width has me slightly concerned
    Currently Own:
    Shadow Guide [Black], Guide's Edition S25 [Black], Large Cafe Bag [Black Halcyon], Brain Bag [Grey/Steel]

    Shared:
    A45 [Nordic Halcyon], PCBP[Fjord Halcyon], Small Shop Bag [Original Black Dyneema]

    Comment


      #3
      Yeah, the rails system accomplishes what I want but only holds a single cache. I wonder if anyone has come across other small inner bags or sleeves designed to hold both devices(MBP and iPad) that has some sort of loops to attach to the existing webbing loops or annex clips.

      Comment


        #4
        Quick question are you not using the pouch in the main compartment for your tablet? Or is your concern mainly for the second laptop?
        Currently Own:
        Shadow Guide [Black], Guide's Edition S25 [Black], Large Cafe Bag [Black Halcyon], Brain Bag [Grey/Steel]

        Shared:
        A45 [Nordic Halcyon], PCBP[Fjord Halcyon], Small Shop Bag [Original Black Dyneema]

        Comment


          #5
          The pocket in the SA is pretty small. I'm not even sure if it could accommodate an iPad Mini, let alone the 12.9" iPad Pro.

          Comment


            #6
            Omg. Lmao I thought u were using the s25. My fault... Sorry not sure then. I'm waiting for a smart alec in a specific color so can't comment on it yet
            Currently Own:
            Shadow Guide [Black], Guide's Edition S25 [Black], Large Cafe Bag [Black Halcyon], Brain Bag [Grey/Steel]

            Shared:
            A45 [Nordic Halcyon], PCBP[Fjord Halcyon], Small Shop Bag [Original Black Dyneema]

            Comment


              #7
              @Cronus, The two thoughts that come to mind are to use the Vertical Brain Cell for 15" Retina MacBook Pro or a Cache (with Rails) + a Freudian Slip. I'm not directly familiar with the iPad Pro 12.9", but it seems close to the dimensions of the 13" MacBook Air (except for being 0.8" shorter in length). I'd be inclined to get separate caches for each size Retina MacBook Pro, plus 1 for the iPad Pro. Then, I'd probably use the cache with rails system to suspend the Retina MacBook Pro down the back of the Smart Alec, and put the IPad Pro in its cache inside the pocket of a Vertical Freudian Slip of some variety or into one of the tiered pockets of a Daylight Backpack inside the Smart Alec (since I have this bag, and can use it for organization).

              Either size Retina MacBook will fit inside the Vertical Brain Cell for 15" Retina MacBook Pro. (I have the old size 4X vertical Brain Cell for 15" MacBook Pro that was designed for interior dimensions close to the current 15" Retina MacBook Pro, but use it for my 13" Retina Pro). I think the front mesh pocket of the Brain Cell would be too constricted for holding the 12.9" iPad Pro model. From your description, you currently just use tablet cases, anyway, so the Cache on rails should work for you.

              Exactly which Freudian Slip might work best depends on what other items you intend to carry and what other TB bags you use. I'd alternately use my Daylight Backpack inside the Smart Alec, as @Ilkway does to organize her Smart Alec in the How to carry two backpacks - Smart Alec and Daylight Backpack thread.
              Note that we both have other Freudian Slips that can also get inserted into the Daylight Backpack. You could use the original vertical Freudian Dlip (now called the Freudian Slip for Brain Bag/Smart Alec).

              ETA: For some more pictures of Freudian Slips, see @Perseffect's Freudian Slips -- underrated genius thread. I checked with my 13" MacBook Air, and you should be able to put your 12.9" iPad Pro into the bottom pocket of the Freudian Slip for Smart Alec. Then, you could use the mesh pockets on the other side to store items you were carrying in the Snake charmer. There may also be a way to hack hanging two caches with rails from the Gatekeeper rail loops of the Smart Alec. If you're carrying the Cache for 15" Retina MacBook Pro suspended from the rail loops, that laptop is probably long enough to keep the iPad Pro, inserted in a cache behind the suspended cache with rails, from falling forward. You'll have to ask others about experiment with the 12.9" iPad Pro combination.
              Last edited by moriond; 04-22-2016, 12:10 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the ideas! Unfortunately I think the Freudian slip suffers from the same problem that a regular sleeve does in that it doesn't secure to the bag itself, so if you have a lot of room left in the bag it will flop around a bit(unless it's got some attachment points that I'm unaware of!).

                The daylight backpack is a very interesting bag within a bag idea. It's basically as thin and lightweight as a sleeve, and it does have the two pouches. I wonder if the straps can be threaded through the Smart Alec's annex clips to secure it to the back of the bag?

                Comment


                  #9
                  @Cronus, The reason that the Freudian Slip would work better than just inserting your tablet in sleeve is that its length is designed to match the height of bags like the Smart Alec or the Brain Bag. That means that if you put the tablet into the back pocket of the FS for Smart Alec, it will naturally lean against the back of the bag, and not slip against the base of the Smart Alec, because the height of the FS extends to nearly the height of the Smart Alec. And with that height going up to nearly the height of your Smart Alec, the FS won't freely flop around.

                  If your iPad were not the large Pro size, and you could use a horizontal cache, there would be a way to neatly secure it via rails to the Annex Clip webbing loops, and keep it under the cache for the MacBook Pro.

                  For reference purpose, the Freudian Slip for Smart Alec extends up nearly the height of the Daylight Backpack that Ilkyway showed in her pictures in that thread I linked. Some people place the Freudian Slip for Smart Alec inside the Packing Cube Backpack for Western flyer/TriStar and slip that combo into the Smart Alec -- especially before the Daylight Backpack or other Freudian Slips were available. The vertical Freudian Slip for Smart Alec does not fit into the Daylight Backpack, because the top of the DLBP tapers -- some people originally razored the corners of that FS to make it fit inside the DLBP.

                  HTH

                  moriond

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hmmm, interesting. So if you put a freudian slip(the one for the SA), inside of an empty SA, it won't fall forward or backward? It'll basically stay in place?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      So, after agonizing over this for a few weeks now, I think I've come up with a pretty good solution. I almost pulled the trigger on a Black Halcyon DLBP the other day to use as a bag-within-a-bag. It wasn't a perfect solution, I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to secure the DLBP to the back of the bag(the straps look too wide to fit in the annex clips although I'm not 100% on this), and I didn't really like the idea of the extra weight it would add. Although I still want that DLBP, I don't really have a need for it, so I'm trying to be good. Although man, I really want something with that black Halcyon fabric now. :-)

                      So anyway, what I ended up doing is I took the included waist strap and attached the gatekeeper clips to the second lower set of webbing loops in the SA. That's it. Now, I can have my laptop in a sleeve, and my iPad in a sleeve, and can secure them to the back of the pack by buckling the waist strap and cinching. If I'm removing a device from my bag, I just slip it from the respective sleeve. If I want to take the entire device within the sleeve out to go some short distance elsewhere, I just unbuckle the waist strap. Seems to be great!

                      I did go ahead and order a SA gatekeeper strap in hopes that it's a little shorter so that there isn't as much loose webbing laying around, but if that doesn't work the waist strap is fine. I'll post some pictures when I'm at a computer with flash. Unfortunately the Tom Bihn forums seem to require flash to upload files. Thanks again for all the comments!
                      Last edited by Cronus; 05-16-2016, 12:01 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        @Cronus, Sounds like a good solution. The Smart Alec Gatekeeper straps are shorter, and should work better for you. Some quick shots uploaded from the web browser on my iPhone:
                        (These were emailed at lowest resolution, and with no adjustments so I could handle this quickly via image upload in the web browser of my iPhone);
                        I'm showing my 13" Retina MacBook Pro in just its hard shell, strapped into the bottom row of webbing, where the plastic Annex clips for attaching a Brain Cell have been removed, and the ends of the Smart Alec Gatekeeper strap clips hook into the empty webbing. No cache here, because black webbing on black cache makes it hard to see details!
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	23.6 KB
ID:	299806
                        Next picture shows the SA Gatekeeper strap above the webbing tier
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	35.6 KB
ID:	299807
                        Final shot shows the length of the Smart Alec Gatekeer strap at full extension on top of the 13" RMBP case. I use the Gatekeeper straps sometimes in place of the super long waist strap when I wear the Side Effect around my waist. Width of 13" RMB Pro should be about the width of your size iPad Pro, I think.

                        In the first shots, the webbing is secured with a Tech Zone Chunky Cable Tie Velcro fastener. I carry some around in my Side Effect front zippered pocket (inside a Coyote Mesh Pouch), along with some other parts like Double Carabiner Clips, Triangle clips, and Gatekeeper clips for bag hacking. And, the right end of the clip just happened to be inserted upside down from the left -- they work in either orientation.

                        HTH. Sorry for the poor picture quality. You shouldn't need to have Flash on your computer to upload pictures -- none of my computers do.

                        moriond
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	28.1 KB
ID:	299808

                        HTH

                        moriond
                        Last edited by moriond; 05-16-2016, 02:27 PM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          @moriond - that's great to hear! Thanks for the followup. The gatekeeper strap might be a tight fit for two devices each within their own sleeve, but I'm looking forward to trying it out. I fit doesn't work, they'll still be useable in other places on the bag.

                          As far as requiring flash for this forum - that's very strange, because the file picker/uploader really does not work at all for me on iOS devices(no flash), and it doesn't work on my mac until I've installed flash in my browser. When I use a browser with a flash blocker, I have to unblock the flash widget to make it work. Perhaps you're on some other platform and they're doing something different for those platforms?

                          Anyway! As promised, in case anyone is curious, below are three photos showing my setup.

                          The first shows the waist strap connected to the right gatekeeper clip:
                          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1627.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	615.5 KB
ID:	299814

                          Here you can see both of the gatekeeper clips connected:
                          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1632.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	538.3 KB
ID:	299816

                          Here you can see both of my devices, in sleeves, cinched down:
                          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1629.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	599.2 KB
ID:	299815

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My new set of TB goodies arrived today, along with my Smart Alec Gatekeeper strap! I'm extremely pleased to confirm that it fits my needs perfectly. The width of the strap is a bit smaller (which is nice), and there is more than enough length without the excess strap being too annoying or unpleasing to the eyes. I'm digging it! I'm posting a couple of pictures below. I hope I'm not annoying anyone by keeping this thread open, but figured maybe someone would find the information helpful in the future when making purchasing decisions.

                            Here you can see the strap completely wrapping my two devices within their sleeves:
                            Click image for larger version

Name:	strap_below_small.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	453.1 KB
ID:	299830

                            I noticed that with my particular sleeve, I can actually snap the top loop above the SA Gatekeeper strap for an even more secure, and tidier look:
                            Click image for larger version

Name:	strap_above_small.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	966.7 KB
ID:	299829

                            Comment


                              #15
                              "Annoying anyone"? Holy moly, no. I have absolutely no need to do whatever you're showcasing here, with straps and multiple devices and sleeves, etc., but I'm oogling the insides of your Smart Alec and these pics might just take me over the edge to actually buying a Smart Alec, which I've been lusting after for.... well... a couple years now. Thank you for posting! People don't have to read it if the open thread annoys them! Thank you!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X