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  1. #1
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Saved by the Smart Alec

    I one-bagged with my Smart Alec to NYC for 5 days and got back yesterday.

    Here's the last instance of how the bag saved me, and the most important one:
    In an only-in-NYC-MTA-horror-way, I had a horrible time getting to JFK from 181st street. I got on the A train at 8:40am. My flight is at 11:35am. To save some time, I was going to transfer to the E at 42nd St. When I got there, HORROR #1 I found out it wasn't running. So I cross back over to get on the A train. Still have plenty of time.

    I get the A train. Great until HORROR #2. The train is stuck between stations for a good 20-30 minutes. I nearly lose my mind. It's after 10AM and I'm nowhere close to JFK.

    We finally get moving again, which brings me to HORROR #3. The scheduled maintenance means there's no stop at Howard Beach/JFK Air Train. I get on a shuttle bus full of similarly panicked people. I made a friend, which was nice. He works at the Aqueduct and gives himself 3 hours to get to work from the Bronx every day.
    I get to Howard Beach Air Train and get to my terminal at 10:59 AM.

    HORROR#4, and last one, phew, and how the Smart Alec saved me. The counter agent said "You missed it. I have to rebook you." and I said "it's 11AM. I'm here." so the agent calls and says "can you get one more on? No checked bag." and they say yes. I made it through security and to the gate in less than 10 minutes.

    Had I checked a bag, I would probably still be in NYC today. Which is no great shame, I know. :)

    Here's what I learned from this trip.
    -The Smart Alec is great for one bagging! I had my clothes in a Tristar medium packing cube. But since the Smart Alec was also my day bag, it was harder to live out of like an Aeronaut. I felt a little disorganized at my friend's place.
    -I packed toiletries in a clear 3D organizer cube. Medication and Via coffee in a 3D mesh organizer pouch. Both worked flawlessly.
    -The Smart Alec was very comfortable all day. It never felt heavy when I had it on.
    -After taking 2+ hours to get to the airport, I will never travel without alcohol again!

    The Smart Alec is a bit too much for my EDC needs, but I often use it anyway. I love the ability to just dump things in it. For a car-free person, that helps a lot.

    Here it is in all its simple, amazing, unassuming, useful glory.
    Saved by the Smart Alec-img_6126-jpg

    p.s. I have a black Halcyon/NWS Smart Alec on the way.

  2. #2
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    My SA has become my travel bag of choice as well.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your story, Rocks! I will likely be taking my SA for a short trip to the UK (Leave on Th, arrive on Friday, and return home on Tuesday) next May. But, I am half tempted to bring my A30 because of the living out of the bag factor because I know I will be in close quarters for two nights on this trip. But, I will likely be better off just sucking it up because the SA is a more comfortable carry for all the running around I'll do.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    I've one-bagged with the Aeronaut 45 and 30, and the Synapse 25. This was the first time with the Smart Alec. It's the most comfortable bag to wear. I think it's the barrel-ness, flat-bottom-ness of its shape that makes it so comfortable.

  5. #5
    Forum Member blackbird's Avatar
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    I’ve used my SA for everything from weekends away — for weddings and masquerade parties — to hauling large, unwieldy items, like the absolutely enormous translation dictionary I brought to work with me just this morning. It’s performed beautifully every time.

    And yes, the SA is more cumbersome to “live out of” than an A30 because it doesn’t have the A30’s dresser-like layout built in, but that just means that you might have to take a little more care in how you pack and unpack it.

    Every time I think I might want to switch to the A30 for that ease of being able to live out of the bag at my destination, I then think about what it would be like to carry the A30 through airports and new cities, and the comfort of the SA wins out every time. But who knows — once I have more room in my budget, I will probably get an A30 to be able to test it out in person.

    Suffice it to say, I love my SA! I got mine second-hand (traded an S25 that just wasn’t working for me at the time) about 2ish years ago, and it arrived in impeccable condition. It has served me well ever since.


    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.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocks View Post

    The Smart Alec is a bit too much for my EDC needs, but I often use it anyway. I love the ability to just dump things in it. For a car-free person, that helps a lot.
    This is absolutely my favorite thing about the Smart Alec, and why it was my EDC when I was car-free and commuting on foot in the city. Need to pack food for a 10 hour shift? No problem! Stopping at Target on the way home and need to fit in a set of king-sized bed sheets? Still not a problem! Walk to work in rain-proof weather-proof winter gear and need to shove it all in the bag for the warm and sunny walk home? Go right ahead!

    I got my hands on a Black/Solar SA a while back, and it is my go-to bag for 1-2 night trips plus any other day trips that may involve carrying random items home. I'm still having a mental debate about grabbing a Black (ballistic)/NWS SA from the final production run. On the one hand, it's a lot of money and pretty unlikely I would seriously damage or lose my current SA. But on the other hand, if I did damage or lose my SA and couldn't get a replacement, I'd be pretty unhappy. That bag is one of the few "replace without a second thought" items I own!

    As for the ease of living out of it at the destination, I find the Ebags small packing cubes (and probably the TB equivalent) make this pretty decent. I pack a cube for each "type" of thing I will need (PJs, workout clothes, outfit or shirts/pants depending on volume) and they stack up pretty well so it's easy to just grab the cube I need when I need it without stuff exploding everywhere. I use the Ebags cubes because that's what I've had forever (since before my first TB bag) but I believe some of the TB cubes are a similar size.
    Last edited by Meglet; 11-06-2017 at 11:12 AM.
    Rambling On. . . . .

  7. #7
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    This could be my new best bag friend. BBF
    I just got it minutes ago. I have not had a chance to use it, but I can already tell it's love. It feels lighter than the ballistic version and I like that it's all the same fabric.
    BBF
    Saved by the Smart Alec-img_6143-jpg

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