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  1. #1
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    What People Mean by Magical TB Bags

    Today I saw a pack at REI that looked a LOT like my dyneema Smart Alec in form (REI Rucksack 28), with effectively a built-in upper module (which I don't have) as the top of the bag. It said 28L size, but it looked smaller than my SA. Curious, I got it and packed is AS FULL as possible (and I am a TIGHT packer, no airspace left unfilled). Then I transferred it to my Smart Alec. It ALL fit (ok, 1 water bottle didn't, but that's not fair as both water bottles stick out the sides of the REI bag, and I did somehow shove the Hydroflask into the intended side pocket)). So somehow I got EVERYTHING into a, by all rights, 2L smaller bag.

    Curiosity peaked, I tried loading my Osprey Radial 34 which I've been using for riding to school and not being COMPLETELY sweaty before class (not a good look for the prof really). A few tiny empty spaces to fit REALLY small things (like chapstick) but otherwise, STUFFED (in a bag that 8L bigger).

    Kiddo's REI 35 traverse was the only bag that could take what the SA had (and a bit more, but come on, at that points it's SUPPOSED to be friggin 9L larger, and it wasn't by all THAT much).

    TB bags, and especially those with halycon (which is still dyneema to me), really are magical bags of holding that just SWALLOW gear. I wondered how the heck I'd made it through 12 days in Italy with just my SA, and now I know.

    So if you were wondering if the holding capacity is really is what people claim, it really is

  2. #2
    Forum Member blackbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earth5 View Post
    TB bags, and especially those with halycon (which is still dyneema to me), really are magical bags of holding that just SWALLOW gear. I wondered how the heck I'd made it through 12 days in Italy with just my SA, and now I know.

    So if you were wondering if the holding capacity is really is what people claim, it really is
    I just looked up the REI pack, and the resemblance is uncanny. But you’ve just confirmed exactly why I’ll be holding on to my SA for life. The SA is a true unicorn pack. Many try to match it — in looks, build, and holding capacity — but not one of them measures up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    TB is more rigorous regarding measuring bags capacities than many other brands, they use standard so yes a let's say TB 26L is generally "bigger" than a "random brand" 26L x)
    just a Bihnion here

  4. #4
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    It is quite incredible. There is a marked difference in terms of how much more can fit when you compare a Smart Alec to a Patagonia Black Hole 25L pack, and the Patagonia pack does not have the front bungee. I have used both in varying circumstances, but the SA really shines with its capacity, especially with the UMP add on.

    The other bag that really blows me away with its ability to hold so much is the Skookum Dog medium duffel, now the Road Buddy. It's the perfect road trip bag for me.
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  5. #5
    Forum Member PaulT00's Avatar
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    I remember being amazed by the "one more thing" effect with my Aeronaut - the original 45 litre version, from before it was renamed and acquired a little brother - when I got it. It was bought used, and shipped with a bunch of other stuff to arrive at my office in London on a Friday. That morning I had checked out of the hotel and lugged various bits to the office - the bag I'd taken to carry clothing/washing, additional to my office kit, had given up the ghost while packing up. Can't remember if it was a broken zip or an actual rip in the fabric, but it was on its last legs and just about made it to the office without spilling a week's worth of dirty washing all over Great Russell Street.

    So I made it to the office and got a call from the post room, who had just taken delivery of a box for me. That box contained the A(45), a Tri-star, some packing cubes, and various other bits and bobs. I also had a Co-pilot which had arrived earlier in the week (another eBay auction). I unpacked the box and started stashing stuff in the A45 - starting with the Tri-star, flat, in the bottom. Then the clothing. Then all sorts of other stuff including the Co-Pilot and the bag I'd been using that week. Suffice it to say that the Aeronaut swallowed everything I needed it to, including its little brother and another broken bag, and still had space. As I was packing stuff in I kept thinking "surely it will be full soon!?" but it kept going...

    I ended up carrying my old Oakley Icon backpack, with laptop and office related kit, on my back; and everything else was in the Aeronaut, slung over my shoulder with the Absolute strap - which didn't even feel particularly heavy thanks to the "sprung suspension" effect of that strap. If I hadn't actually experienced it I wouldn't have believed it.
    A45CC K CQPC 3DCCGES25 SK SCBQKTTMCBLSB TT TSS4 PCSBSCBTT CQPC PQBPQK LT SETT 3DCCQKS19 TT P3DCCTS PP BBLCBCP TTRi QK NFTD A30DLBC

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