The Best EDC Bag, and How To Choose It
An Everyday Carry bag is much more than just a bag. It’s an extension of you. It says something about you personal taste as well as being functional in carrying the essential items you need with you every day. EDC Bags aren’t just tactical military style bags, they can be just about anything your stuff goes into before you leave the house for school or work. Typically, there are three common types of bags used as everyday carry bags:
- Messenger Bags
While you may find others (and I’ve seen briefcases and diaper bags, for example), these make a very good place to start looking.
Already have an EDC Bag? Here’s how to decide what to put in your EDC Bag
Choose Your Everyday Carry Bag To Fit The Items You’ll Carry
In an ideal situation, you’ll want to have assembled all the items that you will be carrying in your EDC before you choose the bag or pouch. For most of us, we already have a bag that we’re using on a daily basis for work or school so you may have to just deal with space or pocket limitations until you decide it’s time to buy another bag. This post addresses the time when you choose to start looking for a new everyday carry bag.
Evaluate Your Day To Day Needs
For most of us, our work life has significantly different needs than our weekend life. What you carry in your EDC will reflect the two differences, and many of us “EDC’ers” will have two bags:
- The Work EDC – Things that we need throught the work day like breath mints, extra pens and notepads, USB storage drives and so on.
- The Weekend EDC – Things such as snacks, Family needs items and so on.
Wether you carry just one bag all the time, or have two or more for each need is up to you. Personally, I have two – a work bag that has a lot of tech, and the Weekend bag that has family needs stuff, first aid, snacks and water. It’s also worth mentioning that the Work bag is a full size backpack capable of carrying a 17″ laptop (Kenneth Cole Reaction) while the weekend bag is a tactical messenger bag that’s about 1/2 the size (G4Free Tactical Messenger bag).
Quality and Workmanship
Even above style, you will want to do some research into bags that will last while in use every day. The average individual will use a bag for just under two years before replacing it. Top quality bags will still be fully intact and ready to go at the end of their use. The only reason to stop using it at that point is either your EDC needs have changed or you just want to change your style. Keep in mind that Price does NOT equal quality in many cases. The Swiss Army backpacks have always fallen apart after 9-11 months of use for me, whereas the Kenneth Cole line lasts two years or more for about the same price.
Space Needed in the Bag
Make sure to consider the amount of space you’ll need for other items that are not a part of your everyday carry. I sometimes have to carry a second laptop, for example, so I need to know I can pack it into my bag without an issue when needed. If you’re a new dad, you’ll need room for diapers, wipes, change of clothes, food, bottles and water (and a lot more)!
Your Bag Doesn’t Have To Be A Man-Purse
One of the negative connotations that come with having an everyday carry bag is that it’s just a glorified man purse. Brian Hewitt emphatically defends the idea that an EDC or messenger bag is not a “Murse” or man purse in his article titled “In Defense Of The Murse, Or Manliness And The Messenger Bag“. While Indiana Jones carries a messenger bag most of the time during the films, no one would ever dare to call it a man purse, but if your a guy who’s wearing plaid shirts and skinny butt jeans with a Sean Jean over the shoulder clutch, well, we feel sorry for you bro… even if you do have a beard.
Side Note on Indiana Jones’ bag
The bag Indiana Jones carried in all four movies was a heavy canvas World War II-era “MkVII” British gas mask bag with the original cotton web strap replaced by a leather strap with a metal adjustment buckle. The bag used in the films was a Waring & Gilbow Ltd. make, and as a matter of fact, You can purchase a replica bag for about $50 here: http://onlinemilitaria.net/products/1913-Reproduction-MK-VII-MARK-SEVEN-Bag-as-used-by-Indiana-Jones/
Other References to Indiana Jones and Man Purses