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  1. #1
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    Shadow guide vs Smart Alec

    I have a shadow Guide for my EDC and one bag travel and I love it. However due to my TB addiction Iíve started craving the SA.
    Owners of both or just the SA whatís your opinion on which is the best bag for outdoors/travel/EDC and anything else, Iím interested in hearing any and all opinions.
    A few questions:
    Is the SA easier to get things into or have a bigger opening?
    Do you find you attach much to the outside of the SA?
    Any big advantage to either bag that one canít see from photos?
    Thanks a lot in advance. Excited to hear what you TB people have to say!



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    Location: Germany / Hobbies: Photography & Guitars
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    Hi sunzi61 and welcome to the forum! I have a Smart Alec and a GuideĎs Pack and as so often they both have their merits. The SA is my work horse which I use every day for commuting with my bike. I use the GP more for travelling and hiking as it has a bigger capacity compared to the SA. For daily use I find the zippered top opening of the SA more handy compared to the drawstring/flap pocket construction of the GP. I also like the two zippered outside pockets of the SA to stow my wallet, keys, Smartphone etc. I have an upper modular pocket installed on the SA which is a very useful additional space to keep EDC stuff like tissues, pens, multitool, etc. However, the flap pocket of the GP is even bigger and I find that pocket incredibly useful for stowing the nitty gritty you need when going on a tour. In terms of carrying comfort the GP has the better hip belt option and I think it carries more comfortable with that compared to the SA because it is a bit longer (I am 6ď). Overall, I like them both and I use them for different purposes. I you have any specific questions just let me know!
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
    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

  3. #3
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    Is the guide that much bigger than the SA? Seems like the 5 litre difference could almost be made up in the top zip pocket of the Guide.
    Do you use either for travel?
    What do you mean by nitty gritty ?
    If you had to keep one which would it be ?

  4. #4
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    Location: Germany / Hobbies: Photography & Guitars
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunzi61 View Post
    Is the guide that much bigger than the SA? Seems like the 5 litre difference could almost be made up in the top zip pocket of the Guide.
    Here are two pics to illustrate the size: SA on the left with the Upper Modular Pocket installed. The GP is taller and to me it feels much larger. 5 litres doesn't seem much but it can make a big difference in space. My feeling is that I can stow more inside the GP than in the SA.

    Shadow guide vs Smart Alec-sa_gp-1-jpg

    Shadow guide vs Smart Alec-sa_gp-2-jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by sunzi61 View Post
    Do you use either for travel?
    Yes I do. Typically, I use the SA for shorter trips e.g. for business when I have to stay just for one or two nights while I use the GP more for recreational travel when I mainly need my clothes and only a few technical things.

    Quote Originally Posted by sunzi61 View Post
    What do you mean by nitty gritty ?
    All the little things you want to carry with you: multitool, flashlight, pens, medication, tissues, earplugs, chewing gum, hand cream, nutritional bars, cash, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by sunzi61 View Post
    If you had to keep one which would it be ?
    Most difficult question. I think it would be the SA, because I use it much more often and for daily carry it is unbeatable for me. I should add that I use a Freudian Slip inside the SA which has become an indispensable tool for me to keep my things organized. I also use one in my S25 and the L15.

    Hope that helps!
    ...spread joy in your neighbourhood
    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

  5. #5
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    Okay thanks a lot. Pretty sure Iím getting one if they come make them again.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunzi61 View Post
    Okay thanks a lot. Pretty sure Iím getting one if they come make them again.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sign up on the smart Alec product page to be notified if/when they make them again.... that way TB will know you're interested and can gauge numbers for any future production run.

    Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    I am for sure


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  8. #8
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    Having owned a synapse 25 for a few years I LOVED interacting with it and itís ease of use. When I purchased it I debated between that and the GP. Iíve since sold the synapse and purchased the GP. I love parapack as a material as well as the look of the GP and am enjoying it, although it isnít as functional as the synapse.

    Looking back, I probably should have taken the advice of the TB members and others on this forum and given the Smart Alec a try while it was still in stock. I didnít realize it was expandable in storage like the GP, but similar in size to the synapse. The SA likely slots right in the middle of the synapse 25 and GP. Nice large pocket like the GP but with more organization than the GP and expansion options unlike the S25.

    Hereís to hoping TB comes out with a rerun or something new and improved.

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