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  1. #1
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    Questions about Smart Alec and Brainbag

    Hi folks.

    Think I've almost plumped for the Smart Alec, Monolith, Snake Charmer and Freudian Slip combo for my soon to be purchased Apple 15" Powerbook. However, as I live in London, England I can't fondle and compare the Smart Alec and the Brain Bag. So I'm relying on you guys to help me make the right choice!

    1) Is the base of either of the bags padded? What about the front (is that back?) of the bag (not the bit sitting up against your back - I know they're padded!).
    2) What are the capacities of the bags in litres? As a backpacker type, I can relate to these for storage solutions.
    3) Will I be able to fit the following in a Smart Alec?:
    Monolith, Snake Charmer (containing a mouse, power supply, etc), Freudian Slip, Sweater, small packed lunch and an Apple Keyboard. Plus other trinkets (keys, phone).
    4) Will I be liable for a whacking great big customs bill if I have you ship it direct to me in England or should I 'get a U.S. friend to buy it as a gift' if you get my drift.
    5) Is the Brain Bag small enough to be accepted as Carry On in Europe (55x40x20cm).

    Thanks in advance for any answers other forum members can give.

    All the best,

    James Lenoël
    PS. Completely unrelated but I reckon Darcy (and others) might like www.hollowtop.com. It is a wicked site for those interested in backwoods skills, simpler living and D.I.Y home building, without being too ‘Granola’.

  2. #2
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    Hi Jim,

    I will do my best to assist in your decision making process.

    1) The Smart Alec is padded on the bottom, the Brain Bag is not. Neither bag has padding on the front.

    2) The capacity of the Smart Alec is 24.16 liters, the Brain Bag holds 36 liters.

    3) I did a test with the Smart Alec and if you require a size 4 Monolith, all that you mentioned will fit inside quite nicely. If you require a size 2 Monolith, the fit would be somewhat tight but I think possible.

    4) You are subject to fees and taxes if we ship directly to you in England. Proceed as you wish.

    5) The Brain Bag is designed to be maximum carry on size and fits within the dimensions you provided.

    I hope that I've managed to be helpful. Hopefully other Smart Alec and Brain Bag owners will come along to assist as well. Please let us all know if you have further questions.

    Thanks a lot for your careful consideration of Tom Bihn products!

    Teresa DeVaney
    Shipping Manager
    Tom Bihn - Portable Culture

  3. #3
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    Hi Teresa,

    Thanks very much for all those answers. Fantastic help.

    I'll sleep on it and hopefully make a decision by tomorrow.

    Kind regards,

    James

    PS. Do my choices come with a label stating, in French, something about an idiotic president?

  4. #4
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    Hi again James,

    Indeed both the Smart Alec and Brain Bag do include a label stating something along those lines, as does the Monolith.

    I guess your choice remains equally as difficult.

    Take as much time as you need, and sleep well.

    Cheers!

    Teresa

  5. #5
    Ken
    Ken is offline
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    Talking

    Be careful, there may even be instructions on how to wash that man right out of your bag!

  6. #6
    cjr
    cjr is offline
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    Originally posted by teresa

    4) You are subject to fees and taxes if we ship directly to you in England. Proceed as you wish.
    I'm also in London, and recently ordered an ID.

    Apparently it is pot luck whether you get stung for customs or not. I did, and the worst bit about it was that Parcelfarce slap on an extra charge (~£13 in my case) if you get charged customs. They document this on their website, but it still feels quite mean.

    Just remind yourself that the exchange rate is in your favour :-))

    Cheers,

    Chris

  7. #7
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    Thanks Chris.

    Interesting you call them ParcelFarce, too!



    Bloody shambolic organisation. Last U.S package got 'lost' at their depot in Mitcham for over a week. It wasn't as if it was a small box, either!!

    I think I'm going to ask one of our American buddies to gift it to us. After adding on all the lovely Tom Bihn extras, I've got bugger all left over for paying to make ParcelFarce rich!

  8. #8
    cjr
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    Originally posted by Jaffa Jim
    Thanks Chris.

    Interesting you call them ParcelFarce, too!



    Bloody shambolic organisation. Last U.S package got 'lost' at their depot in Mitcham for over a week. It wasn't as if it was a small box, either!!
    Yes, they're useless. I asked them what an "advised" status meant on my ID bag shipment, and got a reply about a week later saying something like "we see you've got your parcel now, so we're not going to tell you." No, 'useless' doesn't really go far enough.

    I think I'm going to ask one of our American buddies to gift it to us. After adding on all the lovely Tom Bihn extras, I've got bugger all left over for paying to make ParcelFarce rich!
    That's a good plan - hope it works!

    Cheers,

    Chris

  9. #9
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    Order made!

    Well, it took me a couple of days of cogitating and ruminating but I finally decided on the smart alec...because it's small(ish) and neat looking.

    Since I am Tom Bihn's dream customer come true, I also ordered:

    A Monolith Size 4 in stealth steel
    A terragrip strap (for those days when I need the laptop and only the laptop)
    A steel Snake Charmer
    Some colourful Strapeez.



    Very excited and looking forward to seeing the gear in the flesh!

    James
    Last edited by Jaffa Jim; 04-05-2005 at 12:34 PM.

  10. #10
    I work at Tom Bihn
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    Now that you've placed your order ;)

    You should consider posting or emailing a response to my survey on the forums! It has a host of questions dealing with issues regarding international purchases which I am using in some research I am conducting for the company.

    CLICK HERE to take the questionnare.

    Nicole Palmiter

  11. #11
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    I'll get on over there and do that now...


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