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Synapse, Brain Bag, Smart Alec, oh my

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    Synapse, Brain Bag, Smart Alec, oh my

    I'm looking for advice, comments or general thoughts. I have two Synapes and a Brain Bag. Its gotten to the point where the Syanpse is simply not big enough. No matter how much paring down I do. My Brain Bag on the other hand is WAY too big. In addition it seems to get really heavy really fast. I've been looking at a Smart Alec. It seems to be in the middle size wise. It still has pockets and such, which I really like.

    I usually don't carry a computer but want something big enough so I can if I need to. Every day I carry my Field Journal, Side Effect and Kit in my bag. This along with a small digital camera, small coffee kit both the size of the kleenex package I also carry. This stuff along with a book, pens, pencils, check book, small (soon to be large) shop bag and water bottle round out the package. In the winter time I also need to be able to stuff a pair of women's loafer like shoes in there too. Maybe gloves and hat on ocassion.

    Does it sound to all you experts out there like a Smart Alec might be a good fit? It could be that I unconsiously want a new backpack, nah, that can't possibly be it. Can it? One more thing I need my bag to sit up flat on its bottom, does the Smart Alec do that?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts,
    Last edited by Moose; 02-01-2012, 03:27 PM.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

    Moose, I tried to find household items corresponding to those on your packing list to see if they'd fit in my Smart Alec. The short answer is that they probably will, depending on the size of your laptop (and any laptop case) and the size of your shoes.

    I've attached a couple of photos showing the items I assembled and the packed bag.
    Click image for larger version

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    black dopp kit --> kit
    red rain coat in stuff sack --> side effect
    standard black 3-ring binder --> field journal
    gray pouch on right is a folded small shop bag.
    orange pouch --> pencil pouch (my TB one is at work)
    purple computer --> 15" MB Pro

    What isn't shown is the 15" MacBook Pro Brain Cell residing in the Smart Alec. The shoes are size 8 Women's (38 Euro). The water bottle went into the bottle pocket, and the small items into the other side pocket and the top pockets.

    The shoes and the Brain Cell made the fit a little tight, so if you pack your entire list, things won't be all be equally accessible.

    If you don't have your computer with you, it will all fit easily.
    Last edited by snowbot; 02-02-2012, 04:43 AM. Reason: autocorrect changed dopp kit to dope kit.


      I forgot to mention that my Smart Alec is a lazy bag and prefers to be rested against something, else he does tend to tip over. I think that this is exacerbated by the MacBook Pro Brain Cell.

      I also realized that the 3-ring binder is smaller than a field journal which means that the fit would be pretty tight. It all depends on the size size of your laptop and case.
      Last edited by snowbot; 02-02-2012, 05:09 AM.


        Oh my, thank you. What a lot of work, setting it and taking and loading pictures. I really appreciate it. Your choices of stuff are really close to what I'm packing around every day. Like I said seldom carry a laptop, maybe once or twice a year. I am seeing an ipad in my future. I am now pretty sure everything will fit. The real test will be will it stand up on its own. I think I'm going with black/forest/ultraviolet. I've got lots of plum & ultraviolet. But, I like the black/steel too that would match my Western Flyer. Ok, guess I'm off to make some color decisions. Again, thank you so much for going to all the trouble putting up the pictures. It really helped.
        Take care,
        List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!