Best Backpack for Travel with your Laptop

Have you ever sat in the aisle seat of an airplane and gotten knocked upside the head by a traveler’s bag as they try to find their seat? Yeah. That was me. I think I have the head bopping problem solved.

I prefer to travel light, and with the airlines charging for checked baggage, the smaller the number of bags, the better for my pocketbook. I have been searching high and low for the perfect travel backpack that will keep all of my travel writing gear organized and even allow room for an outfit or two.

TOM BIHN Smart Alec Backpack is great for travelTOM BIHN knew of my backpack dilemma and asked me to try out their Smart Alec backpack (for another website). I have to admit, I had never heard of this Seattle-based manufacturer and my attitude was more of, “Sure, send it, I’ll take a look.”

The bag arrived by FedEx in a small mailer. I was a little confused at first, because I thought I was getting a backpack. I opened the package and was delighted by all the goodies that fell out on my counter. Not only did they send me the Smart Alec, but they sent me a few accessories to go along with it. Here’s my take on the backpack and accompanying accessories:

The Outside:
My first thought was that the outer fabric is sturdy and would withstand repeated trips. There’s a detachable bungee cord on the front that the website states is for a yoga mat or a windbreaker. Since I don’t carry around my yoga mat on my world travels, I’ll reserve this space for a jacket. The carry straps are very comfortable and the bag has a detachable waist strap that doesn’t leave any extra bits hanging when not in use. It comes in a few colors, but mine is red and cobalt, to match my car. The look is stylish for a man or woman.

The Pockets:
There is an expandable side pocket that will easily fit a water bottle. Me, I use that little pocket for my sunglasses and a few other personal items. The other side pocket has little areas for writing utinsels. I put my Lens Pen there, along with an ink pen and small notepad for easy access should my camera lens have a smudge or I need to hurry and take notes. The top zippered flap has a long divided zippered pocket that I use for business cards, lip gloss, change, mini earphones, phone charger, wifi card, etc. There are also some other extra pockets that line the interior. Just think, I’ve packed all these little items and haven’t even made it to the actual interior size of the bag. MSRP $130USD

The Accessories:
The Vertical Freudian Slip by TOM BIHNThe Vertical Freudian Slip: Yes, as the person who was quoted in Glamour Magazine for my “organized chaos”, the Vertical Freudian Slip has helped me keep papers in order on one side, and extra pens and my Crackberry on the other. No more crumpled up papers hiding at the bottom of my backpack! I’ve used this accessory to keep my press kits and releases organized when they are given to me on media visits. MSRP $35USD

The Clear Organizer Wallet: This is where I keep my ID handy to take out when going through security at the airport. It has a clip that attaches to an O-ring inside my Smart Alec so that the wallet is easily accessible when I need it. MSRP $12USD

Key Strap by TOM BIHNKey Strap: This little strap keeps my keys handy during the home stretch. As soon as the plane lands late at night in Baton Rouge, all the occupants jump up when the seatbelt light goes off and they scramble to grab bags, keys, turn on cell phones, and rush to the parking lot. Luck for me, my key to RedBugg is always handy with this $2 accessory.

On My Wishlist: TOM BIHN really got me when they sent me this bag. I’m a believer and I’m currently saving up so that I can purchase The Brain Cell for my laptop, Packing Cubes for ease of keeping my clothes together, and the Snake Charmer, a clear bag for cords and such.

The Best Part: The width of the backpack is narrower than any I’ve carried before. When I took this bag on a flight, I didn’t hit one person in the head. I thank you, TOM BIHN, as do my future flight companions.

Follow TOM BIHN on Twitter: @TomBihn


  1. says

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

  2. says

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what
    I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog writers?

    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  3. says

    Hello there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!

  4. says

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and let
    me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too
    few people are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I found this during my hunt for something
    relating to this.

  5. says

    Hi there. I found your website via Google at the same time as searching for a similar subject, your web site came up. It appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  6. says

    Hey there, I think your website might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Safari, it
    looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    amazing blog!

    my webpage … cialis pharmacy

  7. says

    Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  8. says

    I’m not sure why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  9. says

    Awesome write-up. I am a regular visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time.

  10. says

    Hello there. I found your blog by the use of Google whilst searching for a comparable topic, your web site got here up. It appears to be great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  11. says

    Every weekend i used to pay a quick visit this website,
    for the reason that i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this web site conations in fact
    pleasant funny material too.

  12. says

    Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and web stuff and this is actually frustrating. A good web site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thanks for making this site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  13. says

    Hello my loved one! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and include approximately all vital infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

  14. says

    Fantastic site. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to a few pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you on your sweat!

  15. says

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Thanks

  16. says

    8% from the job market investors or even the Christian Democrats continues to focus on using
    covert means. Unit Command is really a mercenary trading card game
    brought to you by Wildcat Gaming, and might be played on The game requires no download, and is often a free trading card
    game. Because the positive side is usually trying to challenge the negative we end up with all the mental game of war.

    Check out my web blog crystalises

  17. says

    you are in point of fact a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a magnificent activity in this topic!

  18. says

    Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossip and web stuff and this is really frustrating. A good blog with exciting content, that is what I need. Thanks for making this website, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  19. says

    Where can someone find more information about hypnosis.
    This is often a question many that would like to venture to a astral plane
    ask themselves. So keep on confirming and believing and you will be led to the place where you would like to be (having each
    of the right knowledge up to you not to mention the ability).

  20. says

    I will right away grab your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly allow me understand so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  21. says

    The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, however, not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but is not as fast as Safari, and possesses a clunkier interface. If you occasionally thinking about using the internet browser that’s not a worry, however, if you’re planning to look at web alot from a PMP next the iPod’s larger screen and much better browser might be important.

  22. says

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  23. says

    I conceive this site holds some real excellent info for everyone. “It is easy enough to define what the Commonwealth is not. Indeed this is quite a popular pastime.” by Elizabeth II.

  24. says

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  25. says

    Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  26. says

    Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and web stuff and this is actually frustrating. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thanks for making this web site, and I will be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  27. says

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any methods to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.

  28. says

    Hey there! I understand this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours require a massive amount work? I’m brand new to blogging however I do write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  29. says

    Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a regular visitor for a really long time.

  30. says

    Admiring the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you present. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  31. says

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the issue is something that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very completely happy that I stumbled across this in my seek for something referring to this.

  32. says

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  33. says

    However, a federal district court halted implementation of Proposition 187
    in 1994, and California Governor Gray Davis subsequently pursued mediation in 1999
    rather than an appeal, which effectively nullified its provisions.
    The 500 Euro note makes it much easier to smuggle cash out of Europe.
    Worse case scenario you will press charges and sue and get four times back
    from the tow company what you were charged.

    My page ::

  34. says

    Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar
    one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or
    anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any
    support is very much appreciated.

    Also visit my homepage :: hacks de Hay Day

  35. says

    Magnificent web site. Lots of helpful info here. I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you in your effort!

  36. says

    I have read some just right stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you place to create this kind of fantastic informative website.

  37. says

    Hello there. I found your blog via Google at the same time as looking for a similar topic, your site got here up. It looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  38. says

    It is actually a great and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  39. says

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time
    to be happy. I’ve learn this submit and if I may just I want to counsel you few
    fascinating issues or advice. Maybe you can write subsequent articles referring to this article.
    I want to learn more things about it!

  40. says

    Thank you for some other excellent post. The place else may just anyone get that type of information in such a perfect method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such information.

  41. says

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossip and web stuff and this is actually annoying. A good site with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  42. says

    Good site! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>