‘Tom’s Smart Alec Design Update’

Looking at the changes to the Smart Alec.

Tom Bihn has done a minor design change to the best backpack: the Smart Alec. That post I linked to lays out the nitty-gritty of the update, last week Tom Bihn was kind enough to send me a new version of the bag to test out — I’ve been using it everyday since.

When I was first contacted about this, I had two thoughts:

  1. Nooo! Don’t change something that is great.
  2. Sweet! A mesh back!

So I was a bit torn. What I can tell you is that the bag I already thought was the best bag you could use, just got better.

The mesh back alone makes it an instant upgrade. When I took my Smart Alec to Macworld last year, my back was constantly warm. It felt like something was heating the bag internally, but it was just a lack of air circulation to my back. The new mesh back solves this, and does so wonderfully. It’s a minor change that makes the bag a lot better to carry for long periods of time.

Of the other changes, they all make a noticeable difference:

  • It is easier to zip the top closed — a one-handed affair at times now.
  • The bag does indeed pick up less cat hair, much to the dismay of my two cats.

I look forward to seeing the modular pockets for the bag, but overall this is a solid update. Oh, and if you were waiting to order, do so now because the price goes up next week — I am certainly going to upgrade.

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