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Thread: Early heads-up: Tom has updated the design of the Smart Alec

  1. #1
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Early heads-up: Tom has updated the design of the Smart Alec

    Hey everyone!

    We're working on some new photos and an official announcement, but wanted to give you an early heads-up that Tom has updated the design of the Smart Alec. Those design changes were made in this latest batch of Smart Alecs, so all Smart Alecs available for order now have the design updates. Note: Black/Black/Steel has already sold out and is available for backorder with an expected shipping date of late February 2013. Other colors may also soon sell out.

    1) Tom nuanced the shape of the front of the Smart Alec. It's a little bit slimmer at the top, which means it zips easier, and the front holds its shape better, even if empty.

    2) More loops were added to the front top of the bag. This means there's more places and ways to use the included reflective front bungee (remember: you can also remove it entirely if you don't want to use it) and in the future, we'll be offering accessory straps *and* modular pockets that attach to the front via these loops. Ride your motorcycle or bike or walk at night with your Smart Alec? Add a 5' / 1.5m Glowire kit which you can weave through these new loops. Scott, our Shipping Lead, has been testing both the modular pocket and the Glowire kit on days he commutes to and from work on his bike, and both are working out great.

    3) Tom replaced the 1000d Cordura bottom of the Smart Alec with our 1050d high tenacity ballistic nylon: it's just as durable, but less abrasive and less likely to attract lint and dog/cat hair.

    Last but not least: the 1000d Cordura back has been replaced with a Breathable Drylex Aerospacer 3D mesh back panel. Tom uses his Smart Alec as a dayhiking pack, and it's great for that, but one thing he always wanted to add was a breathable mesh back panel.
    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

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    These sound like excellent updates to a great pack. I really like my Smart Alec, but a mesh back panel is something I really wish it had. I don't think I'll be trading in my current model, but future Smart Alec owners will undoubtedly appreciate these changes. I'm excited to see the pictures!

  3. #3
    Registered User marbenais's Avatar
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    I'm excited to see the new pictures! I can't get a new one anytime soon but the idea of the mesh back is great.
    I have : many pouches & wallets & 3D Cubes & CQPCs & Stuff Sacks & Shop Bags, plum & black (C) & black/UV & aubergine/UV (B) Side Effects, steel/UV Citizen Canine, black FJN, plum/wasabi SCB, Cork Little Swift, black/steel Co-Pilot, old plum/olive (C) & black/UV (D) LCB, plum/black (C) Swift, old plum/olive (C) Imago, old plum/wasabi Ruck's Sac, steel WF/TS PCB, plum/solar & black/UV (C) & steel/UV (D) Synapses, black/iberian Smart Alec, steel Brain Bag.

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    i am very excited about the drylex aerospacer 3d mesh back! woohoo!!

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    Any chance of a Brain Bag update?? Specifically, thicker shoulder straps??

  6. #6
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Good news for future Smart Alec owners. My Smart Alec is tied with my Medium cafe Bag for favorite Tom Bihn Bag. It's the most comfortable backpack I've ever owned.

  7. #7
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    So I'm hoping mine is one of the redesigned ones, it's due for delivery tomorrow!!!
    S25 (French Blue), Brain Cell (size 5), Super Ego (Black/Black/Steel), Synapse (Black/Steel), Dyneema Organizer Pouch (Steel), Travel Tray (Steel), 2011 Mystery Gift (Cork), 2012 Mystery Gift (Navy/Nordic), Organizer Wallet (Navy), Kit (Steel), 3D Clear Organizer Cube (Steel), Mesh Ballistic Organizer Pouch (Med.), 2013 Mystery Gift (Parapack Grey)

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    That GloWire looks pretty cool. I currently have a flashing red light from Target poorly attached to my Synapse in hopes of being better seen by cars on my walk home, but I can "see" adding GloWire!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tCook View Post
    That GloWire looks pretty cool. I currently have a flashing red light from Target poorly attached to my Synapse in hopes of being better seen by cars on my walk home, but I can "see" adding GloWire!
    Completely agree with tCook! How does the TB Crew comes up with all sorts of very cool stuff?

    It looks like something that would be so useful in all kind of applications!
    tCook likes this.

  10. #10
    Registered User WenV's Avatar
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    I SO LIKE this news! Been admiring the Smart Alec for a while and really glad to see that it is being upgraded

  11. #11
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    Nice changes indeed!! The change in the back panel is almost enough to get me to sell my current Smart Alec and get an updated model......!

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    What a nice surprise! I came in here expecting to be angry, as I just got my Smart Alec yesterday and I was thinking, like some companies (Apple) TB might be selling the old model up until the day of the announcement, but lo and behold my new Smart Alec that arrived yesterday has all of the new features!

    It's a great bag, used it to go to work today and I'm very impressed!

    Also I'm going to be using it as my only travel bag for an 11 day trip to Europe this winter. I know it's small, but I pack light, and I just tried last night using an Eagle Creek "complete organizer" and it exactly fits into the interior! It completely nullifies the black hole effect of the Smart Alec.
    Darcy and Tlacltme like this.

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    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums, drbobguy! Glad you're happy with your Smart Alec.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjm3579 View Post
    So I'm hoping mine is one of the redesigned ones, it's due for delivery tomorrow!!!
    So, I've received my Smart Alec and it's one of the updated ones -- I just moved everything into it from my Synapse and also now have a place for my NetBook in the size 5 brain cell. For some reason, even with the larger load, it feels lighter to carry. Tomorrow will be my first day commuting with my new Smart Alec.
    S25 (French Blue), Brain Cell (size 5), Super Ego (Black/Black/Steel), Synapse (Black/Steel), Dyneema Organizer Pouch (Steel), Travel Tray (Steel), 2011 Mystery Gift (Cork), 2012 Mystery Gift (Navy/Nordic), Organizer Wallet (Navy), Kit (Steel), 3D Clear Organizer Cube (Steel), Mesh Ballistic Organizer Pouch (Med.), 2013 Mystery Gift (Parapack Grey)

  15. #15
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjm3579
    For some reason, even with the larger load, it feels lighter to carry. Tomorrow will be my first day commuting with my new Smart Alec.
    I find that the Smart Alec sits on my shoulders much better than the Synapse and is more comfortable in general.

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