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  1. #1
    Forum Member
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    Dec 2017
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    Smart Alec - first version vs redesigned

    Been looking for SAs on 2nd hand marketplaces and came across one at a great price from a highly-rated seller, who indicated it was a first generation SA. 1050d ballistic, with green accent panel. (maybe he is also in this forum lol)

    Does anyone know what is the difference between the first version of the bag and the current one? For one, he told me there is no elastic cord nor tabs for it.

    From this 2008 thread (i did trawl the forums lol) https://forums.tombihn.com/general-b...ackpack-q.html I learned that there was the pocket bottle in the re-design too.

    Any other things I'm missing out? o-rings (or lack of them?) Lining fabric? Straps and placement? (fwiw i'm 5'0)

    I just want to make an informed decision for my purchase.
    Might consider sewing on the tabs for elastic cord myself, which would be a nice to have, but not a need to have.
    thanks in advance!

    (i regret not buying the SA when it was available. i had gotten the S19 and i love mine very much. but want an SA for travel)

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    120
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    Green accent panel? If that is the elusive Sage, snap it up. The bag is Cordura; only the accent panel is ballistic.

    I have the first-gen version. I like it without the outside tabs—sleek.

    The zippers are sewn in with the teeth inside. The zipper tabs are black. There are O-rings. The lining fabric is the lighter-weight Cordura. The lid is wider. No Cache attachment thingies.

    I don't know if there was back-and-forth about the strap placement. If Moriond shows up, she can fill you in. She remembers EVERYTHING.

    "I just want to make an informed decision for my purchase." As the bag is no longer in production, your decision is to buy this one or hope a newer one becomes available—which it will, someday. When do you go traveling?

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    579
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    Check out this post and you can see the elusive sage Smart Alec. But could it instead be kiwi? Both are green.

    https://forums.tombihn.com/questions...e-current.html

    As you can see, the first gen SAs don't have the bungie tabs. I have an all black one that I keep in the car. Sorry, I don't have time to take pictures of it, but ilikepie is correct, the interior is cordura instead of the later versions with halcyon.

    Post a picture of it if you decide to buy it. We love pictures here on the forum.
    Seeking Solar shop bags and Solar packing cube shoulder bag Also coveting an Iberian Synapse or Copilot

  4. #4
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Honolulu, HI
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    @pammy has already linked my post showing the Sage Smart Alec. It's possible that it could be Hunter (green), which was around for a while overlapping the version 1 Smart Alec. Take a look at @maverick's comments in A smaller Smart Alec?. The original design has a sleek outside. The inside tends to look dark, because it's just the other side of the Black Cordura or Ballistic Nylon without a lining. The pockets that are built into the Upper Modular Pocket are on the other side of the lid. There were a few different redesigns, because they tended to unbalance the bag a bit when you flipped them up for use.

    As for getting around the lack of webbing tabs to secure a cache, you could try this hack that @Darcy suggested (#7 in the Is there a replacement for the 13" Brain Cell? thread near Christmas 2017 -- involves inserting the double gate keeper clips for the cache in the webbing loops for the Annex Clips in case of inserting a Brain Cell.

    There was also another hack that involved using the Smart Alec Gate Keeper Strap sold for the newer version SA. Look at my post in the Smart Alec with MacBook Pro Retina (13" or 15") and iPad Pro 12.9" thread for pictures. @Cronus secured both a Retina MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro in caches to the back wall of the SA using a regular waist strap (which is a bit more dangly than using the Gate Keeper Strap -- but also doable).

    HTH

    moriond

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Firstly, thank you all @ilikepie @pammy and @moriond for your replies - they really helped in my making an informed decision regarding the bag. Apologies for late reply, but I just collected the bag from the seller and will give it a wash, so pics will be coming in the next few days. I'm impressed that the urethane coating has held up so well over the years (est 10-15 years)

    It is the kiwi smart alec first gen! (from the pics in this post of @moriond's shared by @pammy. which I skipped cos I thought it was on subsequent design changes, but actually contained much information on the first iteration of SA.)

    Thank you @moriond for sharing the hacks of using the annexe clips for cache rails and gatekeeper straps. I have a couple spare gatekeeper and can try the various methods out I didn't intend to use my SA to carry around my laptop but you never know

    thanks again for the great advice.

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