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Smart Alec

Regular price $190.00
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  • Steel/Iberian
  • Steel/Wasabi
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  • Black/Northwest Sky
  • Nordic Halcyon/Wasabi
  • Nordic Halcyon/Northwest Sky
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Add 1" Padded Hip Belt: Add Smart Alec GateKeeper Strap: Add a Size of Brain Cell: Add a Size of Cache: Add Freudian Slip: Add Guardian Light: Add Smart Alec, Lower Modular Pocket: Add Smart Alec, Upper Modular Pocket: Add Snake Charmer: Add Whistle Sternum Strap Half: Add to wishlist
  • Lifetime Guarantee

    You can expect your TOM BIHN bag to give you years of hard service. Our bags are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the bag. That means if something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge.

    Same with your Skookum Dog gear: it'll give you years of hard service and is guaranteed to be free of defects in materials or workmanship. If something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge. If your dog chews something up or otherwise damages it, we'll repair it for a reasonable fee if it is repairable.

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Smart Alec

Materials:

U.S. high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon — or — ultralight 400d Halcyon/420d nylon ripstop
200 denier Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric lining
1000d Cordura® side panels
Closed-cell foam back and bottom
EVAZOTE® foam shoulder straps
PORON® foam handle
Tough Duraflex® and Nexus buckles
#10 YKK Aquaguard® coil zipper on main compartment
#8 YKK Aquaguard® coil zippers on pockets
Dri-Lex® Aero-Spacer® mesh padded with 1/4", high quality, closed-cell foam.


Construction:

Made in USA
100% finished seams
24 reinforcing bar tacks


Specs:

Dimensions: 18.5" x 11.75" x 7.75" / 470 x 300 x 200 mm
Weight:
1050d high tenacity ballistic nylon: 1 lb 15 oz / 865 grams
400d Halcyon®/420d nylon ripstop: 1 lb 12 oz / 785 grams
Volume: 1600 cubic inches / 26 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
Removable 1" / 25 mm waist strap included
.375" / 10 mm padded and contoured shoulder straps with .75" / 20 mm removable sternum strap
Total O-rings: 7 (3 in top zippered pocket; 1 in left side pocket; 1 in right side pocket


Take it around the world, on a hike, or to the office: its top-loading design and optional modular organization helps you tailor this pack to your needs.

The Smart Alec is a modular backpack system: customize it to carry your gear with a variety of interior and exterior organizational pockets.

13 webbing loops on the front of the Smart Alec and an included removable black bungee make it easy to secure a rain jacket, umbrella, yoga mat, or bike helmet to the front of the bag.

Designed to attach to the webbing loops are the optional Upper Modular Pocket, Lower Modular Pocket, and 1" Gate Keeper Straps. Each adds extra carrying capacity and custom organization to the Smart Alec.

The Upper Modular Pocket adds an extra 2+ liters of volume to the Smart Alec. Inside there are four small organizer pouches sized for the things to which you need quick access: smartphone, keys, multitool, flashlight. Two interior O-rings so you can attach keys or pouches or what-have-you. The Lower Modular Pocket adds an extra 3+ liters of volume to the Smart Alec. Fits two 1-liter water bottles, or one water bottle and other stuff, or just a lot of other stuff. Inside are two o-rings and an open-top organizer pocket sized for a wallet. 1" Gate Keeper Straps can replace the front bungee included with the Smart Alec with these straps (or leave the bungee in place and install the straps over the bungee). Useful for securing large/bulky items to the front or top of the Smart Alec: a yoga mat, snowshoes, raincoat, Christmas trees, or anything else too big or wet to go inside. Available individually or in sets of two or three; the Smart Alec has webbing loops for accommodating up to five 1″ Gate Keeper Straps. Wondering how many you need? Tom uses two 1″ Gate Keeper Straps to secure his snowshoes to the front of a Smart Alec. For more detailed information on each of these three accessories, visit the Smart Alec and Accessories page.

The streamlined main compartment of the Smart Alec opens wide, providing easy access to your gear, and zips with a #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper. Inside the main compartment you'll find two removable Annex Clips, which come in handy if you need to carry a laptop, as they allow you to securely clip the optional Brain Cell hard-sided laptop cases inside the main compartment of the Smart Alec.

Also in the main compartment on the back panel are two unobtrusive webbing loops (that we call "rail loops") to which you can secure the optional Cache (available in sizes specifically for every Apple laptop and iPad). When you add the Cache, the Smart Alec becomes a "checkpoint-friendly" laptop backpack. Here's how it works: on the back (or bottom, depending how you look at it) of the Cache are two parallel "rails" of 1" wide lightweight nylon webbing which extend from the top to the bottom. Included (and already attached for your convenience) when the Cache is ordered with the Smart Alec are two Gatekeeper Rail Clips: unclip the side that isn't clipped to the Cache, slip it through the webbing loops in the Smart Alec middle compartment, and flip it shut. Slip the Cache inside the Smart Alec, and pull it back out: you'll see that the Gatekeeper Rail Clips ride the rails of the Cache, allowing you to remove your laptop from the Smart Alec entirely while it is still encased in the protective Cache. Doing this at the airport security checkpoint means the X-ray machines (and TSA personnel) will have a clear, unobstructed view of your laptop — allowing you to keep your laptop in the Cache and the whole affair securely held together as one unit. (We think that's much better than having to remove your laptop and dump it in one of those buckets.) Many of us will appreciate this functionality on a daily basis as well: the rail system can be a convenient and quick way to remove one's laptop from the bag. Note that one must choose between attaching the Cache or the Brain Cell.

Inside the main compartment, you'll also find three medium-size organizer pockets: one near the bottom of the bag, and two at the top of the bag that zip shut so that, when you open the main compartment, the small stuff in those pockets won't fall out.

The main compartment has one O-ring with an included 8" Key Strap attached, ready and waiting to help you keep track of your keys. And, of course, you can clip Yarn Stuff Sacks to the O-rings.

If you need more pockets and organization for your gear, or if you carry a lot of papers or folders, you may want to consider our Vertical Freudian Slip insert. The Vertical Freudian Slip fits well inside the main compartment of the Smart Alec and has four slots for files and folders on one side; organizer pockets for cables, small electronics, business cards, pens, and more are on the other side. Best of all, you can pull the Freudian Slip out of the Smart Alec and hang it on a doorknob or near your desk, giving yourself easy access to your accessories while keeping them organized.

The Snake Charmer, a two-sided organizational pouch with mesh panels, is also an optional accessory.

The top back of the Smart Alec has a comfortable, PORON® foam padded grab handle. While you wouldn't want to use the handle as a main carrying method for the Smart Alec, the comfort of the handle makes hoisting a fully loaded Smart Alec an easier task.

The Smart Alec has two long pockets on either side of the bag that zip with #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers. We think it's important to do whatever we can to keep the elements out of your bag and we figure you'd agree. One of the side pockets has an expanding water bottle pocket that can fit water bottles up to 1-1/2 liters. The water bottle pocket has an eyelet at the bottom that will allow liquid inside the water bottle pocket to drain (just in case). The other side pocket has two pen slots and a pocket sized for a wallet or iPhone. This side pocket can also hold other items such as a book, power supply, ereader, or other small accessories. Each of these pockets has one O-ring.

The exterior of the Smart Alec is made of our custom, U.S. made, 1050 denier, high tenacity ballistic nylon fabric and 1000 denier Cordura® nylon, and the interior is lined with our ultralight 200 denier Halcyon/nylon ripstop fabric, custom produced for us in Japan. The back is made of Dri-Lex® Aero-Spacer® mesh and is padded with 1/4", high quality, closed-cell foam.

The comfortable shoulder straps on the Smart Alec are made from 3/8" (10 mm) padding that offers serious comfort without bulk. While the Smart Alec is not built to be a mountaineering pack and we don't suggest you use it as one, we regularly take it for day hikes. We even went to the extreme of testing the comfort of the shoulder straps by carrying a fully loaded Smart Alec on an 18-mile day hike in Olympic National Park. The verdict? The shoulder straps left our shoulders feeling fine (how our feet felt is another story).

The Smart Alec also comes with removable sternum and waist straps, just in case you do take it on a hike, urban or otherwise. If you do decide to remove the sternum and/or waist straps, you'll be pleased to find they leave no hardware behind.

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Laptop Fit Guide

want help choosing the right size? emailus@tombihn.com

1. Measure Your Laptop

Measure your laptop (or Google its make, model, and the word “dimensions” to find its listed dimensions).
Compare its measurements with the chart to the left (swap the Height and Width when measuring for a Vertical oriented Cache).

2. Compare Those Measurements To These

Brain Cell
Size Interior Width Interior Height Interior Thickness
Vertical Size 110.6" / 268mm15.4" / 390mm1.2" / 30mm
Vertical 13" MacBook Pro Retina8.6" / 219mm12.4" / 314mm0.75" / 19mm
Cache
Size Interior Width Interior Height Interior Thickness
Vertical PC Laptop Size 110.35" / 263mm15.1" / 384mm1.1" / 28mm
Vertical Size 110.6" / 268mm15.4" / 390mm1.2" / 30mm
Vertical Size 4Z9.8" / 249mm14.3" / 364mm1.2" / 30mm
Vertical 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina9.7" / 247mm14.1" / 359mm0.7" / 18mm
Vertical Size 6Z9.1" / 232mm13" / 330mm1.1" / 28mm
New Vertical 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina 20168.3" / 213mm12" / 305mm0.6" / 15mm
Vertical 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina8.6" / 219mm12.4" / 314mm0.7" / 18mm
Vertical MacBook Air 138.9" / 232mm12.8" / 325mm0.7" / 17mm
Vertical MacBook Air 117.6" / 192mm11.8" / 300mm0.7" / 17mm
Vertical 12-inch MacBook7.9" / 200mm11.6" / 290mm0.5" / 12mm
Vertical Surface Pro 3 or 4 w/ Keyboard7.9" / 201.4mm11.5" / 292mm0.5" / 13mm
Vertical iPad Pro 12.9"8.9" / 225mm12" / 305mm0.4" / 9mm
Vertical iPad Pro 12.9" w/ Keyboard8.9" / 227mm12.1" / 307mm0.6" / 15mm
Vertical iPad Air OR Pro 9.7"6.7" / 170mm9.5" / 240mm0.3" / 8mm
Vertical iPad7.3" / 186mm9.5" / 240mm0.4" / 9mm
Vertical iPad Mini5.3" / 153mm7.9" / 200mm0.3" / 7mm
Vertical 7-inch 1315.2" / 131mm7.8" / 198mm0.4" / 10mm

Build your own organization

your bag already has great built-in organization. that said, you may want to add these optional organizational accessories to further organize and protect what you carry.

visible variant TB0508B

1" Padded Hip Belt

The 1" Padded Hip Belt helps to offset some of the weight of a loaded pack.

visible

Smart Alec GateKeeper Strap

You can replace the front bungee included with the Smart Alec with these straps (or leave the bungee in place and install the straps over the bungee). Useful for securing large/bulky items to the front or top of the Smart Alec: a yoga mat, snowshoes, raincoat, Christmas tree, or anything else too big or wet to go inside. The Smart Alec has webbing loops to accommodate up to five 1" Gatekeeper Straps. Wondering how many you need? Tom uses two 1" Gatekeeper Straps to secure his snowshoes to the front of a Smart Alec.

visible variant TB0301-BN TB0304Z-BN TB03015R-BN

Brain Cell

The Brain Cell provides superior hard-sided protection for your laptop.

visible variant TB0321R

Cache

The Cache is a protective laptop or tablet sleeve that's available in many sizes to fit a wide variety of devices.

visible variant TB1833-BN

Freudian Slip

Adds 12 organizational pockets to the Smart Alec, of which there are: four folder pockets (folders/papers fit horizontally or vertically), two mesh pockets for bulky items, an open-top pocket for small electronics or a notebook, three pen slots, and a business card slot.

visible variant PT0001R-BA

Guardian Light

Our Guardian DF Lights are rugged, easy to use, and work as either flashing safety beacons or interior bag lights. Made in Canada. Choose Strap-Mount as an exterior bag light and Original Base as an interior bag light (includes a lanyard).

visible variant TB0103LP-BB

Smart Alec, Lower Modular Pocket

Adds an extra 3+ liters of volume to the Smart Alec. Fits two 1-liter water bottles, or one water bottle and other stuff, or just a lot of other stuff. Inside are two O-rings and an open-top organizer pocket sized for a wallet.

visible variant TB0103UP-VB

Smart Alec, Upper Modular Pocket

Adds an extra 2+ liters of volume to the Smart Alec. Inside there are four small organizer pouches sized for the things to which you need quick access: smartphone, keys, multitool, flashlight. Two interior O-rings allow you to attach keys or pouches or what have you. It should be noted that in situ the six Gatekeeper attachments make the Upper Pocket look somewhat like the paw of a polydactyl tiger. Just saying.

visible variant TB1202-TC

Snake Charmer

A handy organizer pouch with two mesh-sided compartments. Dimensions: 10.5" x 5.5" x 3.5" / 270 x 140 x 90 mm.

visible variant TB0570-EA

Whistle Sternum Strap Half

Our Whistle Sternum Strap Half features a nearly impossible-to-lose whistle integrated into the male (usually the left) half of the sternum strap buckle used on our backpacks and convertible travel bags. The Whistle Sternum Strap Half replaces just one-half of the standard sternum strap included with the Smart Alec.

Lifetime Guarantee

You can expect your TOM BIHN bag to give you years of hard service. Our bags are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the bag. That means if something goes wrong and it's our fault, we'll fix it at no charge.

Defects in materials or workmanship are uncommon and are most often evident while your bag is still new. Keep in mind that daypacks and briefcases are often subject to serious wear in everyday use. We often see TOM BIHN bags that are still solid and in use after five, ten, fifteen, even twenty or twenty-five years, with minor repairs needed here or there. But remember: only true love lasts forever.

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