Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 16 to 30 of 30
  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,028
    Maverick,

    If you have the time, I'd really like to see you post your Smart Alec video.

    Best wishes,

    The Mountain Man

  2. #17
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    The far west
    Posts
    4,465
    Quote Originally Posted by marbenais View Post
    Sorry, I meant how many are available in each color combination! I wouldn't be placing an order before the end of the week, if the Synapse hasn't been announced by then.
    I think you'll be OK waiting until the Synapse is announced, but I wouldn't wait that much longer than that.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  3. #18
    Registered User marbenais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    335
    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    I think you'll be OK waiting until the Synapse is announced, but I wouldn't wait that much longer than that.
    Thanks! I'm trying to decide between the Black/Crimson/Steel and the Black/Steel/Solar for the Smart Alec -- the Synapse would be in Plum, of course, if that works out, but I'm leaning more toward the Smart Alec since my girlfriend got hers and it's not as huge as I thought it was from the pictures.

  4. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,028
    Okay, I've been uploading pictures to illuminate my backpacking dilemmas. Right now, I use two backpacks: a Kensington Saddlebag I purchased through mail-order at least five years ago (receives only occasional light usage, and I'm very disappointed in how it is showing signs of wear) and a foreign-made cheap backpack (I'm guessing it to be the sized somewhere between a Synapse and a Smart Alec, but I'm not sure).

    First, the cheapie backpack:

    The cheapie backpack is an everyday bag I take to work on construction sites, on hikes, to picnics and public events, and wherever I travel by car. In this pack I typically carry at least one digital camera, walkie-talkies, a flashlight, pens, pencils, paper, binoculars, one of those small hand-sanitizer bottles, a plastic jar of handi-wipes, and maybe a cell phone, among other things. I also occasionally carry clothes. If memory serves, this backpack dates back to 2003 or 2004. Predictably for a foreign-made Wal Mart special, it is slowly falling apart.

    Note that I never carry a laptop in this cheapie backpack. It has no padding or mounting clips for such a task.

    First is a picture of the cheapie backpack and a camera sling-bag (actually a gun holster from Sportsman's Guide) for the digicam I took these images with (Canon Powershot S2IS ultra-zoom)...



    Next we proceed around to the other side of the cheapie backpack...



    Note: there are no sternum straps. Still, I love that top-handle. Nice and solid and meaty and easy to pick the bag up with and carry it even while the bag is open.

    And here we can see signs of deterioration...



    ...and here we can see that one of the zipper-pulls for the back main compartment has failed:






    Here is a look in the back main compartment, where I usually keep a digicam:



    I have a small 5 x 7 - inch tablet stashed in there now, and it gets sloshed around and mangled quite a bit.



    And here is a look at the middle compartment, or I suppose you could call it a front-main compartment, right nextdoor to the previous image. Here is where I keep the walkie-talkies, the handi-wipes, and other accessories. The handi-wipes are always residing at the bottom of the bag, and sometimes the talkies accidentally get turned on in there, so this is definitely not a good arrangement. Take a look:




    ...I also tend to carry a Case Logic pouch for my aging iPod in the walkie-talkie compartment:



    I like the Case Logic pouch, even though it isn't especially wear-resistant and I tend to carry it around in other things.






    There is also a tiny mini-pocket near the top of the backpack, next to the openings for the main compartments. I keep pens, pencils, nametags, small paperwork, and maybe I tiny 6 x 4 tablet (when I can find one) in there. Right now, you can also see an old-fashioned portable magnifying glass in there:






    Here's another pocket, located near the bottom of the bag:



    The pouch with the hook in it is meant for a cellphone; I tend to carry a flashlight there. The other mini-pocket is where I carry a bottle of hand-sanitizer and a pair of binoculars.

    There is another tiny pocket on near the very bottom of the front pouch, which is a good place to carry a ciggie-lighter power adaptor for a cellphone while on the road.



    This cheapie backpack has many, many miles on it, both in terms of road miles of places where it has been by car and in terms of hiking and getting tossed around in the dirt at work. It was never tough enough for what I need it to sustain/carry, and it is slowly letting me down.

    Candidates for replacement may eventually include:

    Tom Bihn's Brain Bag, Synapse, and Smart Alec. Bihn also faces stiff competition from the ultra-expensive Red Oxx C-Ruck.

  5. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,028
    And now, on to the Kensington Saddlebag...


    Here's the front of the backpack:





    ...and here's the back of the backpack:





    Here's an image of the main flap open:



    The padded back main compartment is for the laptop. The padded middle/front main compartment is for other accessories. During my recent trip to DC, this bag was packed, stem to stern. Amidships I carried an extension cord, small cakebox of CD-Rs, some video DVDs I recorded, other cables, the La Cie Rugged HD, a camera card reader, and other goodies.

    The laptop compartment also housed folders for paperwork handouts for Capitol Hill.

    The front-most pouch typically houses little accessories, such as pens, Sharpie markers for the CD-Rs, Bluetooth mouse, VGA projector connector, USB hub, etc.




    Note in this close-up of the laptop compartment that the foam padding is being exposed due to disappointing signs of internal wear:




    NOTE: Even though I started this thread to ask questions about the Smart Alec, whenever I build up money for a trip (or maybe before then) I would like to replace the Kensington with a new computer case. My first preference would be a backpack, which definitely makes the Smart Alec a possibility. But I also want the Kensington's replacement to be "checkpoint friendly" to avoid the BS I went through at security checkpoints in airports and on Capitol Hill. That would seem to suggest the non-backpackable Checkpoint Flyer.

    I will post more photos of my DC trip in another thread.

  6. #21
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,295
    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Maverick,

    If you have the time, I'd really like to see you post your Smart Alec video.

    Best wishes,

    The Mountain Man
    Hi Mountain Man,

    Hopefully before the end of the week...

    Thanks for your patience!

  7. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,028
    Hello again folks,

    Here is the photo thread of my DC trip.


    Signing off,


    The Mountain Man

  8. #23
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    241
    how's the shipping schedule on the smart alec? I want to order one...
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

  9. #24
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    The far west
    Posts
    4,465
    Quote Originally Posted by peregrina View Post
    how's the shipping schedule on the smart alec? I want to order one...
    All colors are in-stock!
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  10. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,808
    Seeing everything you need to carry as well as your Washington pictures, it looks like a Smart Alec/Ristretto pair would be perfect if you want to keep the two bags option.

    To replace the faulty garment bag, I think either the TriStar or the Western Flyer fit the bill.

    I feel your pain about the bags falling apart.

    Before I knew of Tom Bihn Inc, I made the mistake of buying an extremely expensive, very heavy (I could barely carry it empty and when it was full it gave my husband so much of a workout that it ended up being checked in every trip) garment bag.
    Despite its high price, it could not pass the regular handling test nor the and the finish ended up pealing in various places.
    The garment holding device was also faulty and gave out on the first trip. Our hangers and the suits on them ended up loose on the bag. We still have the contraption but we only used it to protect garments during moves.


    If I ever have to take a long plane trip, I will be decked out in Tom Bihn bags only.






    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    And now, on to the Kensington Saddlebag...


    Here's the front of the backpack:





    ...and here's the back of the backpack:





    Here's an image of the main flap open:



    The padded back main compartment is for the laptop. The padded middle/front main compartment is for other accessories. During my recent trip to DC, this bag was packed, stem to stern. Amidships I carried an extension cord, small cakebox of CD-Rs, some video DVDs I recorded, other cables, the La Cie Rugged HD, a camera card reader, and other goodies.

    The laptop compartment also housed folders for paperwork handouts for Capitol Hill.

    The front-most pouch typically houses little accessories, such as pens, Sharpie markers for the CD-Rs, Bluetooth mouse, VGA projector connector, USB hub, etc.




    Note in this close-up of the laptop compartment that the foam padding is being exposed due to disappointing signs of internal wear:




    NOTE: Even though I started this thread to ask questions about the Smart Alec, whenever I build up money for a trip (or maybe before then) I would like to replace the Kensington with a new computer case. My first preference would be a backpack, which definitely makes the Smart Alec a possibility. But I also want the Kensington's replacement to be "checkpoint friendly" to avoid the BS I went through at security checkpoints in airports and on Capitol Hill. That would seem to suggest the non-backpackable Checkpoint Flyer.

    I will post more photos of my DC trip in another thread.

  11. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Somewhere in the Hills
    Posts
    1,028
    If I had the money and the travel plans for a trip tomorrow, right now I would buy one or two of the following candidates:

    to replace the garment bag, in order of leading candidates:
    1: MEI/Genuine Gear's Executive Overniter
    2: Tom Bihn Aeronaut
    3: Tom Bihn Western Flyer

    to replace the Kensington Saddlebag:
    1: Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer, with Freudian Slip and Organizer Pouches
    2: Tenba Shootout Mid-Size Backpack, with Tom Bihn Freudian Slip and Brain Cell or Soft Cell
    3: Tom Bihn Smart Alec, with Brain Cell, Freudian Slip and Organizer Pouches
    4: Red Oxx Airborne C-Ruck.
    5: Tom Bihn ID or Ego, with Brain Cell, Freudian Slip and Organizer Pouches, and also a Q-AM Strap.

    To replace the red backpack I carry around as an everyday bag:
    1: Tom Bihn's Smart Alec or Synapse
    2: Red Oxx Airborne C-Ruck.
    3: Tom Bihn ID or Ego with Q-AM Strap.
    4: Tom Bihn Western Flyer or Brain Bag.

    Actually, I may be looking at more than one backpack down the road. I'm also a videographer and photographer, so the Tenba would come in handy as a camcorder case. If I did that, I doubt I would haul a Tenba Shootout backpack around for daily use. Any of the above bags could wind up being equipped with a Freudian Slip and maybe even one of these new TB "field journal" thingies if they tickle my fancy.

    It's all academic at this moment. I'm just window shopping and preparing to set goals for myself so I know what I want to raise money for. You gotta dream big, right?

  12. #27
    keb
    keb is offline
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Philly suburbs
    Posts
    226

    Follow up Smart Alec question

    How breathable is the back panel? It seems that is just the padded straight ballistic nylon as opposed to a vented material. I know when carrying my aeronaut as a backpack the only (very) minor complaint I have is the "moisture" build up on the back of my shirt. Does that happen with the Smart Alec too? (And will it happen with the Synapse?) It seems the Brain Bag has a vented material in the back panel but I think it is too big for my intermittent back pack needs...
    Western Flyer (Crimson); 4Z Brain Cell; Swift (wife); Empire Builder (Black/Steel/Wasabi); Aeronaut (Black/Steel); Side Effect (Black), 3D Cube (Olive); lots of cubes/pouches/kit; Synapse (Navy/Solar); Smart Alec (Cardinal/Steel)

  13. #28
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,295
    Quote Originally Posted by keb View Post
    How breathable is the back panel? It seems that is just the padded straight ballistic nylon as opposed to a vented material. I know when carrying my aeronaut as a backpack the only (very) minor complaint I have is the "moisture" build up on the back of my shirt. Does that happen with the Smart Alec too? (And will it happen with the Synapse?) It seems the Brain Bag has a vented material in the back panel but I think it is too big for my intermittent back pack needs...
    the smart alec has 1000d cordura on the back side, and there is padding on the back side. i haven't run into the issue of moisture build up on the back of my shirt with the smart alec, aeronaut or other bag. and i sweat easily - it's my body's way of keeping me cool . but my back doesn't end up sweaty i guess.

  14. #29
    CEO
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Upper left hand corner of the U.S. map (lower 48 states)
    Posts
    242
    I'll second Maverick's opinion here: I hike 50 - 100 miles every month with the Smart Alec, and while I sweat, the Smart Alec's back panel works fine.

  15. #30
    keb
    keb is offline
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Philly suburbs
    Posts
    226
    Thanks guys. Tom himself! Cool as always. The times that I am referring to have been transit situations-- train stations, airport terminals, taxi lines-- which may have been a bigger factor than the bag itself, or it may just be a weird interaction between my back and the bag. A puzzlement. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Aeronaut even more than I thought I would. I don't ever hike nearly that much, but I do like to have a backpack for certain trips. Looking forward to the Synapse vs Smart Alec vs both "trilemma".....
    Western Flyer (Crimson); 4Z Brain Cell; Swift (wife); Empire Builder (Black/Steel/Wasabi); Aeronaut (Black/Steel); Side Effect (Black), 3D Cube (Olive); lots of cubes/pouches/kit; Synapse (Navy/Solar); Smart Alec (Cardinal/Steel)

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0