How To Choose The Best Everyday Carry Bag
A good EDC bag is an important part of your everyday carry gear. There are so many different manufacturers and types of bags on the market today that it can be tough decided which one to buy. In this article, I will cover what to look for when trying to decide on the best everyday carry bag.
Some of the things that we will look at is what you will be carrying in your bag, the materials the bag is made of, and the different styles of bags. We will also look at some things to look for in your EDC bag and what to avoid. Finally we will take a look at several of the top bags on the market today. So let's jump right in.
What do you plan on carrying for everyday carry items?
The first thing you have to ask yourself is just what do you plan on carrying in your EDC bag? This will help decide the size and how you will carry it. If you have an office job that requires you to carry a laptop then you might want a bag to accommodate your computer. Whereas if you are more a minimalist then a simple pouch might do.
Let's look at a list of the most common things carried.
EDC Items Ideas
EDC Multi Tool
First Aid Kit
Now this isn't a comprehensive list but it gives you an idea of some of the things you can and will be carrying each day in your bag. It's also a good idea to get a bag that gives you some room to grow in case you discover you want to carry more items in the future.
What style and size of bag?
Now that you have an idea of what you will be carrying each day you can start to look at some of the different styles of bags. Each of these come in different sizes as well so keep that in mind. Let's take a look at a few different styles and options.
Shoulder style bags
Over the shoulder bags are perfect for somone wanting to carry a laptop or working in a professional environment. This style of bag comes in several different styles that are perfect for an office setting.
With this style of bag you will blend in with the crowd and nobody will know that you are fully prepared. The one draw back to this style of bag is mobility. In a situation where you might be required to run, this style of bag can get in the way.
Here is a few of my picks for great over the shoulder EDC bags.
Berchirly Vintage Military Messenger Bag - This bag is made from 90% canvas and 10% leather giving it an adventurous look. The metal buckles secure the flap into place insuring your main contents won't come out.
This messenger bag will accommodate up to a 17" laptop. It has one large main compartment and 4 smaller compartments giving you plenty of room for all of your every day carry items. One of the compartments is a zippered one inside so you can hide extra money and your smaller items there.
Overall this is a great bag with an adjustable strap. If there is one negative on this bag it's that it's not padded so it won't protect your computer as well as some others might.
Katee Handmade Leather Messenger Bag - This bag is all handmade leather and high quality. It has a large main compartment that has two easy open push button closures.
This EDC bag will carry up to 15.3 inch laptop computer in the main compartment. It also has 2 zipper compartments on the front and one more on the back. Inside it has another zippered pocket, 2 pen holders, a cell phone holder and wallet holder.
The interior is padded and this bag comes with a 55" adjustable strap along with an easy to carry handle if you so choose.
Backpacks are great for EDC. They are large and they allow you to carry a lot of items and weight. The design allows you to distribute the weight so that you don't become as fatigued if you are really loaded down. The also come in several different styles from tactical to professional.
Seibertron Falcon Tactical Backpack - This rugged backpack is constructed of 900D waterproof material. Most backpacks like this are made from 600D material and aren't as well built.
The Seibertron Falcon comes with a large expandable main compartment with meshed interior enclosures. It also has small zippered interior compartments so you can stash a lot of your smaller items out of the way.
It also has zippered outer compartments so storage is not an issue with this pack. The Falcon also comes with several Molle attachment points in case you would need that. It has adjustable lockdown straps to really cinch your pack closed.
It comes in khaki or black. You can also get this backpack with several different extra attaching packs for even more storage area. There is lots of options with this EDC bag.
Solo Urban Backpack - This bag is perfect for when you want a backpack but you want something that looks less tactical at the office. This pack will hold a 17" laptop in it's padded main compartment. It also has another interior compartment for your tablet or eReader.
It also has extra zipper down compartments on the side and front for even more places to put your EDC items. The padded backstraps makes it easy and comfortable to carry this pack when you have it loaded down. It also has a nice padded handle to carry if that's your style as well.
This bag is polyester/fabric and holds up well to wear and will be fine when caught in the occasional rain shower. The Solo Urban backpack is perfect for that professional and would work well during travel on a plane.
Pouches & Organizers
While over the shoulder bags and backpacks are great, sometimes you just don't want to carry something that big. At the end of the day if you won't carry it then there is no point in having an edc bag. That's why I suggest you get a smaller pouch or organizer.
Even if you decide you are going with something bigger like a backpack, I still suggest you pick up a smaller bag like these. You can slip them right inside your larger bag. Then if you decide you just want something lighter to carry, your mini kit is ready to go.
Maxpedition EDC Pocket Organizer - At only 6" x 8", the Maxpedition EDC Pocket Organizer is small enough that you won't mind carrying it. It's also large enough that you can carry all your edc essentials.
The inside is divided up into 2 slip pockets each with elastic dividers so you can organize your smaller items. It also has a tie down loop inside and a key ring organizer.
On the outside you have a rugged handle for carrying and an attachment webbing on the back. There is also velcro on the front so you could place a patch there as well. The case itself is made of high denier nylon and will hold up over time.
Tonto Concealed-Carry Mini-Messenger Bag - If you are looking for a deluxe small edc bag then this is your bag. Lots of features and options have been built into the Tonto mini messenger bag.
This bag is made from 1000D Cordura which means high quality materials. Underneath the main flap is extra webbing to store gear or to attach to. There is more of these attachment points on the side and back.
The padded interior is perfect for carrying your concealed weapon if you so choose. The Tonto comes with a side pouch that can fit a soda can when closed. On top there is a rubbery gripped handle for easy carrying. It also comes with a shoulder strap in case you would prefer to carry it that way.
Crossbody or Slings
One of the great things about crossbody or sling EDC packs is they are easy and comfortable to carry. The combine a lot of the great features from a backpack and an over the shoulder style packs.
With this style of bag, you have quick access to the contents which makes them good for concealed carry. You also have a secure pack in case you need to be more mobile and run. Finally this design lets you have both hands free for other tasks.
Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack - The Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack is one of the most popular types of sling bags out there and for good reason. It's a quality built bag with lots of areas for storage and attachments.
This bag comes with a non slip shoulder pad and a waist belt. It also has a nice built in handle if you prefer to carry it that way instead. It's made from high quality nylon and is virtually indestructible.
The Jumbo pack has 4 compartments including a large main compartment that is perfect for a concealed weapon. There is also a side compartment that will hold a water bottle. It also has a secret pouch in the lid of the main compartment.
There is several attachment points on this bag from Velcro to web attachments. You can also buy accessories to add to this bag for extra magazines and more storage options. Frankly if I could only choose one bag, this is it and that's why it's my main EDC bag.
CrossPaq Cross Body Bag - One of the more interested EDC bags is the CrossPaq. It has several compartments that allow you to organize and carry your EDC items. It has 6 padded pockets with different enclosures from zippered to magnetic.
But probably the best feature of this pack is the way it's carried. With it's non slip shoulder padding this pack is perfect for bikers or anyone that wants their hands free for other tasks. This is also a great EDC bag to use on vactions.
My only complaint with this is it's not overly adjustable. It's recommended for people between 5'3" to 5"11 tall. So if you are taller than this, the pack might not fit or be comfortable to wear.
Top features to look for in an everyday carry bag
Here is some of the features that I look for in a bag. Try to incorporate as many of these into your selection of your bag if they make sense in your situation.
Quality Materials & Craftsmanship
I can't stress this enough but you need to buy something that is quality for your EDC bag. This is something that is going to take a lot of wear and abuse. It's going in and out of your car, office, or another bag thousands of times over it's life.
Things to look for include strong quality zippers. Other things include reinforced edges and corners, reinforced stitching, and strong attachment points. When looking at a bag if you are basing your decision solely on price you are going to be disappointed in the long run. Pay upfront once.
Molle & other attachment points
By having extra attachment points on your every day carry bag, you expand your options. It allows you to add extra gear whenever you want to. Say you want to include extra magazines today because you are going to the range. Easy. Just attach it to your bag and off you go.
The best bags have these features standard. Molle attachments, webbing, lash points, and D-rings all work well to give you more options when purchasing an everday carry bag.
By having extra pockets you can be more organized. This means that in a desperate situation where you might need your first aid kit for example, it's only seconds away. Extra dividers and organizers within these pockets are also nice features that I tend to look for in my edc bag as well.
Another feature I like to have in my EDC bag is good adjustability. An edc bag can get heavy if you have a large one and really load it down. With good adjustable straps, you can evenly distribute this weight making it much more comfortable to carry. Things like padded and grippy handles also help when you have longer distances to carry your bag each day.
Mobility is important for 2 reasons with your choice of an EDC bag. First, is the bag small enough and light enough that I will carry it every day? If not then what's the point. You could have the greatest EDC kit but if it's not when you then it's no good.
Second, if I need to move quickly is my EDC back going to slow me down. If you are required to run in an emergency situation can you with your bag? Bags like backpacks, pouches, and slings work good for this in these situations.
So just make sure you choose a bag that you will carry and one that you can be fairly mobile with if the need arises.
We all wish it could be sunny everyday. That's not going to happen. Eventually you are going to get caught out in the rain or snow. Having a bag that some sort of weatherproofing can mean the difference between your edc gear being safe and dry to being ruined. Most high quality bags offer some sort of weatherproofing and can protect your items against some moisture.
Depending on where you work or where you are going to carry your bag you may want a bag that's discreet. If you work in a high rise office building, you may stand out carrying in your tactical backpack. However, a nice leather messenger bag looks professional and nobody needs to know that you have your full EDC kit stashed away inside.
Features to avoid in your EDC bag
Well we talked about some of the best features I look for in an every day carry bag. But what about things you don't want in an EDC pack?
One Single Compartment
While you can throw a lot more items into a single huge compartment, you will never find it when you need it. All of your items will be mixed up and could even become damaged because of this. Instead choose a bag that gives you several different options inside and out to organize all your EDC gear.
Too Large of a Bag
I see this one all the time. Some people think to be prepared they need the "kitchen sink" in their EDC bag. Not true and what usually ends up happening is they don't carry the bag at all because it's too cumbersome. If anything I'd say go the opposite way and start off with too small of a kit. This pouch or organizer an always be added to a larger bag later.
So what is the best everyday carry bag?
At the end of the day, you need to decide that for yourself and your situation. Someone working in an office won't carry the same kit as someone who is a truck driver.
I've given you ideas on what to look for and what you don't want in an EDC bag. I've also given you 4 different types and 8 examples of bags. Choose the one that fits your situation the best and work to improve what you carry and how you utilize the bag.
Hope this helped, now go get your bag and be prepared!