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  1. #1
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    Smart Alec Questions! ;-)

    Here are some Smart Alec questions to kick around. Pun intended.

    Am I correct in assuming that the Brain Cell laptop protectors can be clipped into place in a Smart Alec backpack, but other Tom Bihn laptop protectors would be free-floating if installed in there?

    What are the advantages of clipped-in as opposed to free-floating?

    What is meant by referring to the Brain Cell as a "hard sided" laptop case?

    If I had a Smart Alec and I installed a Brain Cell, and also stashed other small items in the same compartment, how easy is it for the other items to slip down and get caught in behind the Brain Cell, necessitating the Brain Cell's removal? Has anyone had this problem?

    If I had a Smart Alec and a Brain Cell installed therein, how easy is it to slide a Freudian Slip in the backpack as well? Can/should a FS also be clipped in there?

    If I had a Smart Alec and a Brain Cell clipped inside, are there still places to hang Organizer Pouches, Key Straps, Guardian Light, etc.?

    In terms of pockets and other clever built-in places to store things, how does a Smart Alec differ from a Ruc's Sack and a Brain Bag?

    Does anyone here use a Smart Alec to haul around items like a digital camera or camcorder, walkie talkies, binoculars, or other technical items? If so, how do you handle them?

    If you wanted to haul around a container of handy-wipes in a backpack like the Smart Alec, what would be the best way to make the container accessible and keep it upright so it doesn't just slosh around in there and get buried so you can never use it?

    How stable is the Smart Alec in terms of sitting it down somewhere and expecting it not to tip over or otherwise fall/roll?

    If anyone wants to post pictures or video (better yet) of how they use a Smart Alec, especially images of how you wear it and how you pack it, that would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance to everyone who shares insights on the Smart Alec.

  2. #2
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    Oh, I forgot to ask: does anyone take a Smart Alec with them on a hike, a picnic, or a day at a fair? If so, how comfortable is wearing for a day's outing?

  3. #3
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    hi mtnman,

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Here are some Smart Alec questions to kick around. Pun intended.

    Am I correct in assuming that the Brain Cell laptop protectors can be clipped into place in a Smart Alec backpack, but other Tom Bihn laptop protectors would be free-floating if installed in there?
    you are correct. the brain cell can attach via the annex clips found inside the smart alec backpack, as well as several other tom bihn bags.

    the soft cell would free float.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    What are the advantages of clipped-in as opposed to free-floating?
    the advantage of the brain cell attached to the annex clips is that the brain cell provides the most advanced laptop protection, and because the brain cell will stay in place and not move around inside of your smart alec. still, it is easily detached from the annex clips when you want to remove it from your smart alec.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    What is meant by referring to the Brain Cell as a "hard sided" laptop case?
    the brain cell is made from 4mm hard corrugated plastic shell. this provides great protection for your laptop inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    If I had a Smart Alec and I installed a Brain Cell, and also stashed other small items in the same compartment, how easy is it for the other items to slip down and get caught in behind the Brain Cell, necessitating the Brain Cell's removal? Has anyone had this problem?
    i've used brain cells and monoliths before that inside of the smart alec for more than 5 years, and have never run into this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    If I had a Smart Alec and a Brain Cell installed therein, how easy is it to slide a Freudian Slip in the backpack as well? Can/should a FS also be clipped in there?
    the freudian slip fits nicely inside of the smart alec along with the brain cell. the freudian slip does not attach to the annex clips, but free floats inside of the smart alec.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    If I had a Smart Alec and a Brain Cell clipped inside, are there still places to hang Organizer Pouches, Key Straps, Guardian Light, etc.?
    you'll find an o-ring inside of the main compartment of the smart alec, to which you can attach all of the items that you mention.

    there are also o-rings in the side compartments of the smart alec where these accessories can easily be attached.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    In terms of pockets and other clever built-in places to store things, how does a Smart Alec differ from a Ruc's Sack and a Brain Bag?
    i haven't used the brain bag, but i have used the smart alec and the ruck's sac. they offer different designs. both are very functional, but different. the smart alec is bigger than the ruck's sac.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Does anyone here use a Smart Alec to haul around items like a digital camera or camcorder, walkie talkies, binoculars, or other technical items? If so, how do you handle them?
    i've used the smart alec to carry a macbook pro inside of a brain cell, and the canon 5d with the 24-70mm f2.8L lens and the 580EX flash. all of these items were in the main compartment of the smart alec with room for other stuff. this came with me on a flight from washington, dc to banglore, india, on a flight from bangalore to new delhi, india, and on a train from new delhi up to the punjab. this was long before we had the aeronaut, and it worked great!

    you could place your walkie talkie in the side compartment of the smart alec. the binoculars should probably go in the main compartment.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    If you wanted to haul around a container of handy-wipes in a backpack like the Smart Alec, what would be the best way to make the container accessible and keep it upright so it doesn't just slosh around in there and get buried so you can never use it?
    i've seen the skinny packets of wet-ones and other wipes. you can put the open pack into the side pocket of the smart alec. place more in a medium organizer pouch in the main compartment, depending on how many you'll need.

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    How stable is the Smart Alec in terms of sitting it down somewhere and expecting it not to tip over or otherwise fall/roll?

    If anyone wants to post pictures or video (better yet) of how they use a Smart Alec, especially images of how you wear it and how you pack it, that would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance to everyone who shares insights on the Smart Alec.
    quite stable - let me see if i can shoot a little video.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Oh, I forgot to ask: does anyone take a Smart Alec with them on a hike, a picnic, or a day at a fair? If so, how comfortable is wearing for a day's outing?
    hi mtnman,

    i've taken the smart alec for a hike and picnic at sugarloaf mountain, and it worked very nicely.

    understand that this was not a huge outing - suitable for kids ranging from age 3 and up .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    Oh, I forgot to ask: does anyone take a Smart Alec with them on a hike, a picnic, or a day at a fair? If so, how comfortable is wearing for a day's outing?
    Tom uses the Smart Alec as his day-hiking backpack. He's hiked 22 miles in one day wearing the Smart Alec. I used to use the Smart Alec as my day-hiking backpack (and I once hiked 18 miles in one day with it) but have since moved on to the Synapse. It's great for hiking, very comfortable.
    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

  6. #6
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    How will the Synapse compare with the Ruc's Sack and the Smart Alec, size- and amenities-wise?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    How will the Synapse compare with the Ruc's Sack and the Smart Alec, size- and amenities-wise?
    i believe the synapse is sized somewhere in between the ruck's sac and the smart alec.

  8. #8
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    The Smart Alec's two-tone exterior shell is easy on the eyes, but why is the "main body" color only black? Would TB be willing to consider making the SA available with Steel as the "main body" color? This backpack would look great with the exterior colored Steel with the stripe colored crimson or grape. Just my 2.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    The Smart Alec's two-tone exterior shell is easy on the eyes, but why is the "main body" color only black? Would TB be willing to consider making the SA available with Steel as the "main body" color? This backpack would look great with the exterior colored Steel with the stripe colored crimson or grape. Just my 2.
    i like the idea of the steel 1000d cordura + crimson 1050d ballistic + steel dyneema!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    The Smart Alec's two-tone exterior shell is easy on the eyes, but why is the "main body" color only black? Would TB be willing to consider making the SA available with Steel as the "main body" color? This backpack would look great with the exterior colored Steel with the stripe colored crimson or grape. Just my 2.
    I would LOVE a Steel/Grape Smart Alec. That would be the best color combination, in my opinion :-)

  11. #11
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    Great answers as always Maverick...I hope your family is doing better; and I am still waiting for the Smart Alec video!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    Great answers as always Maverick...I hope your family is doing better; and I am still waiting for the Smart Alec video!
    hey shiva,

    check your forum private messages - i sent you a link to the unedited video. let me know if it didn't come across and i can resend it.

    i should hopefully have the edits done this weekend.

  13. #13
    Registered User marbenais's Avatar
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    Just throwing this out there -- what's the availability for the different colors for the Smart Alec right now? I'm still waiting for the Synapse preview to decide which one to get, but I want to know which options I'll have.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by marbenais View Post
    Just throwing this out there -- what's the availability for the different colors for the Smart Alec right now? I'm still waiting for the Synapse preview to decide which one to get, but I want to know which options I'll have.
    hi marbenais,

    the smart alec is currently available in black/black/steel, black/crimson/steel, black/steel/solar, and black/indigo/solar.

  15. #15
    Registered User marbenais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    hi marbenais,

    the smart alec is currently available in black/black/steel, black/crimson/steel, black/steel/solar, and black/indigo/solar.
    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.

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