Cpap and laptop
Which bag works best for carrying both a CPap and a Macbook Pro 13? I've looked at the Smart Alec and Brain Bag and am a bit confused? Does the Brain Bag fit under your seat in the plane or is it too big? I have a lot to carry but don't want it to be so heavy I can't handle it. And I saw a post that made it look like you could fit the copilot in the Smart Alec? Is that true...could I put Cpap in Smart Alec and copilot in there too? Thanks.
If you travel often it could be useful to purchase a second, travel size, CPAP. I use the Transcend by Sometics which weighs just under 1 pound and is about 6"x3.5"x2.8" and there is a new unit called the Z1 by Human Medical Design which is even a bit smaller. Having one of these super compact machines has made my travel life so much easier and it provides me with many options to carry my gear. I can fit the Transcend into any of my laptop bags and in a portion of one of the Aeronaut end pockets. I have a new Pilot on order and I think the unit, hose, mask and power supply will even fit in one of the Pilot front pockets! As a bonus, TSA never asks me to take it out of the bag for closer inspection, something I had to do with my larger unit more than 50% of the time.
My kids have Brain Bags and I am sure a 13" Macbook Pro (in a cache... not sure about brain cell) and most CPAP machines would fit comfortably inside with some spare room for other gear. With a micro size CPAP the Brain Bag could hold the CPAP, laptop and casual clothing sufficient for up to a week for a great one bag experience.
To answer some of your questions. The Brain Bag does fit under an airplane seat normally but may not if overpacked.
As for the Smart Alec, you can fit a CPAP and a Co-Pilot as long as you can pack the CPAP machine into dimensions around 11 x 8. (The Smart Alec should still be able to fit under the seat).
My CPAP case is 8x8x14 and I was able to shrink it to be 8x8x11 by shifting the power supply. Note that the CPAP fits fine on its own with room to spare (for laptop, etc) without needing to be shrunk by putting it in length wise (like a long tube) - but no Co-Pilot in this configuration.
Here are a few pictures I took of my CPAP machine in its case with a Co-Pilot (about 90% filled) and some small items in the top flap pockets.
Attachment 5401Attachment 5402Attachment 5403
I like giantsteve's idea of buying a travel sized CPAP. That would increase your options (Brain Bag, Synapse 25 or 19 or perhaps a Tristar?). However, if bringing your standard CPAP machine, the Smart Alec is your best bet IMHO for a backpack option unless you want to go with an Aeronaut.
Note that your 13" MBP may fit in the Smart Alec as well and with a Cache with Rails, may even be TSA friendly (I do not have a 13" MBP to try or anything similar in size but there is spare room on the sides of the CPAP case so I think there would be no issue).
Also, unlike any other TB backpack, the Smart Alec has a padded bottom as well - so more protection for your CPAP and 13" MBP.
Finally, the Smart Alec is most flexible for packing bulky things like the CPAP (or a small subwoofer for me).
The Brain bag, while bigger has 2 4" deep compartments - your non-travel size CPAP case may be too thick and you would probably need to take some parts of the CPAP Machine out and pack it on top of each other to make it fit. But, it would then fit everything you needed and more (and still fit under the airline seat if not greater than say 8" thick).
Note that I am basing all this on my regular CPAP case size of 8x8x14 but if your case is around 4" thick, you should have no problem with any of the backpacks - Brain Bag, Smart Alec, Synapse 25 to carry a CPAP, 13" MBP and even a CoPilot. I would even look at a Tristar or Aeronaut.
Hope this helps.