I'm going to visit my Dad this weekend, and will be taking the train. I'm bringing my Aeronaut and my Smart Alec. The Smart Alec will hold my Side Effect purse, and magazines, sketchbooks, etc. I don't need the Aeronaut's space for clothes, but for books. Dad lives in my hometown of Portland, home to Powell's City of Books, and I plan on making my Aeronaut's first trip a test of book carrying capability. :)
But that's not the very nifty part! The very nifty part is that I was out on the deck today, taking off the lower modular pocket to slim the bag's lines down. I turned it over in my hands, and realized that I didn't want to give the pocket up. It's just so functional. So I thought, Hmmm, I wonder if I could just chuck it in the bag and use it as a packing cube/tube? And then I saw the webbing loops, and a lightbulb went off.
It works so well! I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner. You can use it for any number of things; snacks, water bottle (so it will stay centered - much like the Synapse), toiletries, hiking stuff, etc. The really neat part is that, when traveling, if you end up with too much stuff, you can always TAKE IT OUT AND PUT IT ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BAG. My love for the Smart Alec knows no bounds, which just makes me laugh considering that the first time I saw it, I thought, "Eh, it seems okay, but I like the other bags better." Now I can't imagine life without it.
In the third photo, you can see my purse SE in the interior pocket of the SA. A lot of people ask, "What is that pocket good for?", to which I always want to say, "Everything!" I can stuff a travel towel in there, my iPad mini fits in there (the iPad mini also fits nicely in the upper modular pocket), it works for dozens of things.