I am looking for a backpack (TB, of course) for my photo trips/hikes. It needs to hold my Nikon SLR, a couple of lenses, some photo gear and misc stuff for day hikes. Ideally, I would like a way to also stow my ultra-light Gitzo tripod. I considered the Brain Bag and Camera I-O set up, but think it will be way to much for me -- more capacity than I need and too large/heavy for my 5'2" frame. The Synapses would work, except that they do not have the straps to stow a tripod. So I'm thinking of a Smart Alec.
Has anyone tried using the Smart Alec for this purpose? If so, could you tell me whether a camera insert (such as MountainSmith's) would fit in the main compartment? (I don't think TB's Camera I-O will fit.) And is the bungee enough to secure a tripod to the front or do I need the Gate Keeper Straps?
Thanks for any help!