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Thread: How to pack a Smart Alec

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    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    How to pack a Smart Alec

    I am considering the Smart Alec backpack for certain trips where I want to travel light, or at least as an excursion bag if I want to leave my main suitcase in the hotel and take a short side trip. (I am NOT an ultralight traveler!) If it is not holding any computer equipment, which packing cubes, and how many, fit well in this bag? I would appreciate insight from those who have used it.
    THANKS!

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    Registered User jilytibrme's Avatar
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    bchaplin,

    I'm interested in feedback also. I have a Synapse, it holds an amazing amount of stuff. With it, I would be comfortable using on multi-day trips, using the clothes rolling method of packing. I travel with these as well iPad, iPhone, chargers, shave kit, marmot light light rain jacket, water bottle, etc...

    Come on folks, help him out
    Cheers

  3. #3
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jilytibrme View Post
    Come on folks, help him out
    Cheers
    Thanks!
    I am not sure why my postings always come across as if I'm a guy, but in fact it's the opposite. Not that it matters for answering this question, but I wanted to point out that I am female.

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    If I had to guess I would say 2 Aeronaut small would fit with room to spare for other stuff. I own the SA and the small packing cubes but I use them in my Aeronaut. You might have better luck with stuff sacks since the SA has an irregular shape. The bottom of the bag flares out and can really hold a lot so anything that is shaped like a rectangle or square isn't going to fit easily. You could probably fit a lot more in the SA if you rolled your clothes and put them into the bag instead of trying to use a cube. I haven't tried it, just thinking out loud.

    For excursion trips I bet you could get by with the Synapse. The SA would be better when only taking one bag on a short trip since it does hold a lot.
    Owner of : Imago, Aeronaut, Brain Bag, Smart Alec, Synapse, Co-Pilot

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    Hi everyone,
    This pic of the Smart Alec might help. The SA is huge! From memory, I still had room to spare after packing everything in the photo. I ended up swapping the SA for a Synapse to use as my everyday bag. I've also used the Synapse a few times as an overnight bag, and it works if I don't need to pack my running shoes.
    Let me know if you want some photos of the Synapse with the Western Flyer small and large packing cubes.
    -n
    Last edited by notmensa; 08-02-2012 at 06:34 PM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User jilytibrme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    Thanks!
    I am not sure why my postings always come across as if I'm a guy, but in fact it's the opposite. Not that it matters for answering this question, but I wanted to point out that I am female.
    Ms bchaplin, whoops! I think, when I saw "Chaplin" I thought of Charlie Chaplin and my pea brain just went with it, sorry.

    Jim

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    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks, notmensa! I did look at the picture; that was helpful. I think that a few packing cubes along with some stuff sacks would work. I'm just trying to figure out the best sizes. I already have some of the larger packing cubes for other uses so it would just be a matter of buying 1 or 2 small ones.

    jilytibrme, I think that's the problem! I should probably get a better (more descriptive) 'handle' for internet use but I am so used to this one now.

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    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    I don't have any TB packing cubes (at least not yet!), but I did just use my Smart Alec on my last trip and was able to fit 1 large and 1 medium eBags packing cube in there, along with a long-sleeve quick dry shirt, iPad in case, Kindle in case, 3D Clear Organizer (311 bag), Clear Quarter Packing Cube (the rest of my toiletries), large OP with all my trip paperwork, medium OP (with iPad and Kindle chargers, headphones, Ultrasuede Screen Cloth, and stylus), underwater housing for Canon SD-1100IS camera, two Canon SD-1100 IS cameras (in a pouch), spare glasses (in one of the top pockets), ans some snacks. I'm sure I've forgotten something, and am now wishing I'd taken a picture of the bag contents to share. Hope this helps!

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    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    Wow! That's an impressive packing list. It just keeps going on and on with the goodies and things you put in. . .
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
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    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    Is the SA too big for my "personal item" on a plane? It looks like it'll fit under seat, and the dimensions are ok, but I'm afraid it will look kind of huge on me (I'm 5'2 1/2" - we tiny people like to make known that extra half inch. It matters!). I think I've finally settled on this one. I just love that when you unzip it there's a huge cavern inside, but it kind of looks sleek when all closed up!

  11. #11
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorayme View Post
    Wow! That's an impressive packing list. It just keeps going on and on with the goodies and things you put in. . .
    Even though I've had a Synapse for awhile, and am totally aware of its magical goodness when it comes to filling it up, the Smart Alec just totally impressed me, all over again!

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    I have used my SA with a large packing cube for the Aeronaut and a Tristar large together in the bag. That was a bit unwieldy as each cube just had stuff in it and I prefer more organization and more cubes. Recently I packed a 15 in Eagle creek packing folder with 4 shirts and I pair of slacks, 2 small tristar cubes for underwear, socks, etc; a small kit bag for toiletries, a horizontal freudian slip, ipad in a Waterfield sleeve, power brick and cable. This was all in the main compartment. The side pockets had snacks, phone, pens, glasses, etc in them. There are a bit more room in the bag as well.

    pegolas - the SA will fit under an aisle seat (it will also fit under the others but the aisle seat usually has the least space) as a personal item with all the stuff noted above as long as you do now have an entertainment box sharing the space. It also fits in the overhead bin of a CRJ200 with all that stuff in it - altho you do have to squeeze it a little to get thru the opening.

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    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegolas View Post
    Is the SA too big for my "personal item" on a plane? It looks like it'll fit under seat, and the dimensions are ok, but I'm afraid it will look kind of huge on me (I'm 5'2 1/2" - we tiny people like to make known that extra half inch. It matters!). I think I've finally settled on this one. I just love that when you unzip it there's a huge cavern inside, but it kind of looks sleek when all closed up!
    Hm.... why are you flying around in airplanes when you have a Tardis?



    In all seriousness: How it will work as a personal item will depend on the airline, how full you have the bag packed etc. I don't think the Smart Alec would look too large on you . I agree, the sleakness of the Smart Alec is amazing! It really is a stunning bag .
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    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    @rabergnc - thanks! I was hoping it would work. My plan is to have it only about 1/2 full when I depart for my trip, and that way I'll have loads of extra space in case I go on a shopping frenzy (which has been known to happen upon occasion...).

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    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy View Post
    Hm.... why are you flying around in airplanes when you have a Tardis?



    In all seriousness: How it will work as a personal item will depend on the airline, how full you have the bag packed etc. I don't think the Smart Alec would look too large on you . I agree, the sleakness of the Smart Alec is amazing! It really is a stunning bag .
    It took me a second to figure out how, exactly you knew about my Doctor Who love. I totally forgot about my avatar. Lol. It's possible that I like the SA because when you unzip it, it's all, Bigger on the Inside. Ha.
    Katy and bchaplin like this.

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