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Smart Alec: ergonomics, materials, shape when empty

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    Smart Alec: ergonomics, materials, shape when empty

    With the SA coming up for preorder soon I have a couple questions:

    1. I don't have a great feel for what kind of form the bag takes when it's empty or mostly empty. I've been able to find a couple pictures by searching the forum but would appreciate any more, especially of bags in the materials that will be offered in the upcoming preorder.

    2. I used to have a bag with a similar layout to the SA, and one thing that greatly annoyed me was that you couldn't open the main zipper one-handed; it would get stuck at one of the corners. The SA looks promising in this regard since the zipper is more curved and doesn't have sharp corners, plus the TB materials tend to be more rigid. How easy is it to hold the SA by one shoulder strap and open it fully with the other hand?

    3. I'm torn on which colorway I'd want partly because of the choice between 1050 and 525 ballistic. Do the answers to the above questions differ for 525 vs. 1050? Are there other factors that should affect my decision? How do the two fabrics behave differently on the SA? I like the 525 on my Synik but maybe the 1050 would be nice for a less structured bag like the SA?

    Many thanks!

    #2
    Hi bzjhezq, I try to answer your questions: I posted some pics of the Smart Alec a few days ago: https://forums.tombihn.com/forum/tom...nts#post339493) If you scroll down you'll see me wearing the empty as well as the full Smart Alec. That might give you an idea how it looks when it's empty. It is a rather stiff bag especially with the heavier materials (1050 Ballistic) and thus it won't look floppy.
    Now regarding the opening of the zipper: It's difficult to answer your question precisely as the Smart Alec used to be equipped with rather beefy YKK Aquaguard zippers which are notorious for being somewhat stubborn. Thus, even after some years of use I find it almost impossible to open the main compartment with just one hand. However, the re-issue will have different zippers (YKK Raquet-Coil) and they are a lot easier to operate. I don't know whether that will allow you to open the main compartment with one hand so I would suggest to ask the fine folks at TB customer service to try that out for you
    Finally, the fabric choice. With 1050 Ballistic Nylon the bag might be a bit stiffer and this material looks a bit more chunky. I'd reckon the bag will hold its shape equally well with 525 as the construction already gives it a lot of structure.
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood (and not Corona!)
    current bags: Smart Alec, Guide's Pack, Guide's Edition S25, Luminary 15, Daylight Backpack, Aeronaut 45, Tri-Star, Road Buddy 36, Daylight Briefcase, Small Yeoman Duffel, bits and pieces

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      #3
      I saw your other thread! Super helpful, thanks so much!

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