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USEFULNESS OF SA UPPER & LOWER MODULAR POCKETS?

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    USEFULNESS OF SA UPPER & LOWER MODULAR POCKETS?

    I want to purchase a Smart Alec, and I am looking for some insight on the usefulness of the upper and lower modular pockets that are an add-on. I have looked at pictures of these items attached to the SA and while it seems like a neat thing to be able to add more storage, I don't quite get what is useful about them considering that the SA looks so nice and sleek without them and that if someone wanted more storage, wouldn't they just go with a Brain Bag?

    I will be using my SA for road trips more than air travel, although I may be flying a couple times this year at the most. I pack light, and I currently have the S19 and the A30. The A30 is sometimes too big and the S19 is a bit too small so the SA seems like it would fit my needs perfectly.

    I figure I must be missing the value of these two items, considering that most of the TB products make so much sense! Because I am definitely going to invest in a SA really soon, what do users of these two extra add-ons use them for? I wonder if it would be worth trying them out? How does the bag balance when these two pockets are attached? Would there be a reason to use them on a half full SA? Does it even work that way? And should I maybe consider just attaching a SE or my SK? Looking forward to your input!

    #2
    I never saw the need for the lower, but the upper, I wouldn't use my bag without it. I keep:

    - sunglasses
    - work ID
    - car keys/strap
    - work keys/secure ID/strap
    - pen
    - chapstick
    - SAK

    and whatever else needs to go in there.

    The side pockets on the SA get kind of tight (at least mine does, when it's loaded up with what carry in it), and having the pocket at the top is extremely useful. And much more room than the internal pockets (and obviously easier to get to).

    Comment


      #3
      Do you ever take the upper off or does it stay permanently on your SA? I am wondering too how quickly it can be removed? I was thinking it could double as a waist pack.

      Comment


        #4
        It's not so easy to take on and off. I leave it on always.

        Comment


          #5
          I sometimes use a side effect hooked to the top of the smart Alec via triangle clips. I find this more useful than an upper modular pocket since it can be quickly removed. I use it for all my purse stuff-- wallet, phone, keys, etc.


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
          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


            #6
            I'm torn. I keep a UMP permanently installed on one of my SA's. - I use the basic SA for carrying workout gear, and the SA+UMP for a carry-on. It's easier to keep two different setups, but I don't fly all that often so if I only had the one SA, it wouldn't be hard to switch the UMP on and off. (I may yet destash the one SA.)

            I've always been curious about the LMP, so I finally got one for Christmas, but I've yet to use it. In practice I tend to just move on up to my A30 if I need more room than the SA+UMP setup. The one thing I think I want the LMP for is as a centered water bottle pocket. When the SA is full I find it harder to get in and out of the side pockets. But I'm not sure how the LMP would work if I was stuffing the SA under the seat in front of me.

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              #7
              Has anyone ever had a problem of the SA with all pockets attached being too big to fit in the carry-on compartment while flying? Or is it ok?

              (Actually I'm not concerned about it fitting, I'm more concerned about the staff telling me I have to check the bag because it's too big)

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                #8
                Amy, do they sell the triangle clips anymore? I don't see them on the website. I have 2 side effects and would love to try that! My next order will include a few of the double carabiners. Do you use these? Wondering if I could use these instead or if that would make the SE too saggy on the SA
                Last edited by anna2222; 02-23-2017, 06:48 AM.

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                  #9
                  I dont know if triangle clips are still available. You could call and ask. Double carabiners would probably work well too. II can try it later and see.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  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


                    #10
                    @anna2222

                    The clips are under the accessories section - select parts:

                    https://www.tombihn.com/collections/...nt=16645153799

                    Select Metal Triangle Clip ( there are 2 sizes 1" and 1.5")

                    Hope this helps
                    Cheers!
                    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I too have the UMP attached at all times as an easy access top pocket. I love that. And yes the design of the SA looks very uniquie on its own without any Modular Pocket but in my opinion the UMP does not take away too much of that. And the gain deffinatly is worth the trade off.

                      The LMP I only have used on travel when I definatly needed that extra space. I enjoy the freedom of not checking a bag so attaching some extra space has turned out to be very helpfull in the past. But if I had to I could do without the LMP.

                      @Amy I have to try the SE thing. I have seen pictures but not jet tried it myself.

                      Ilkyway
                      “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

                      By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by tpnl View Post
                        @anna2222

                        The clips are under the accessories section - select parts:

                        https://www.tombihn.com/collections/...nt=16645153799

                        Select Metal Triangle Clip ( there are 2 sizes 1" and 1.5")

                        Hope this helps
                        Cheers!
                        Just wanted to note that I believe the size triangle clips @Amy used were a pair of 1.5" Triangle clips (giving a new link, since @tpnl's link points to the 1" Triangle clip in parts, which is the smaller of the two size triangle clips that he mentions). From the comment in @Amy's close-up picture of her hack about using the larger size Triangle Clip, and also from my own check of the hack at the time, and from looking again at the picture, you need a pair of the 1.5" Triangle clips. I was also able to use 1" Single Gatekeeper clips, but I think the balance and position of the Side Effect on top of the Smart Alec with the Triangle Clips might have been slightly better.



                        (You could also use Single Gatekeeper clips instead of the 1.5" Triangle Clips used to attach the Side Effect to the top of the Smart Alec, but I'm not sure that the balance doesn't work better with where she's hooked the Triangle Clips -- using single gatekeeper clips does also work.)
                        HTH

                        moriond

                        ETA:
                        Originally posted by haraya View Post
                        The one thing I think I want the LMP for is as a centered water bottle pocket. When the SA is full I find it harder to get in and out of the side pockets. But I'm not sure how the LMP would work if I was stuffing the SA under the seat in front of me.
                        @haraya, The lower modular pocket typically doesn't fit if you want to slide a Smart Alec under the airline seat in front of you. The upper modular pocket is pretty easily accessed in this mode, since you can open it while it is still attached to the Smart Alec while the bag sits under that seat. One great alternate use for the LMP @tpnl has shown is separately using it to store a water bottle or lunch inside another bag, like his Cadet.
                        Last edited by moriond; 02-24-2017, 04:57 AM.

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                          #13
                          Thanks so much, everyone for jumping in and helping me figure this out! The picture was invaluable. I think I am going to order both sizes of the triangle clips and try them out for different things. I was so pleasantly surprised with the Smart Alec when it arrived this week, there are so many loops and places to attach things!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Just wanted to point out, since the Upper Modular Pockets have been out of stock for some time, today's announcement shows they're back in stock:


                            Originally posted by MikeV View Post
                            03/10/2017 New Bags and Color Ready to Order
                            Telephone Edition

                            Smart Alec, Upper Modular Pocket, Black

                            3D Organizer Cube, Mesh, Iberian
                            3D Organizer Cube, Mesh, Wasabi
                            3D Organizer Cube, Mesh, Island
                            HTH

                            moriond

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