The Best EDC (Everyday Carry) Bag or Backpack You Can Buy
by Survival Sullivan After I wrote a comprehensive article on the various EDC items you can have on you at all times, it only makes sens that I pair it up with one on the best bag or backpack. Yes, for some people, the stuff they carry in their pockets is enough, but not for us. We’re going to raise the bar in this article and, with it, our level of security and our chances of surviving critical events and getting home safe when it hits the fan.
So… EDC bags. Which one is right for you? In order to answer this question, one has to look at one’s lifestyle…
What do you do every day? What’s your job? Do you work from home? Do you travel a lot? Do you live in an urban, suburban or rural place? Do you have like-minded people around you that won’t raise their eyebrows if you start carrying too much gear with you? These are all good questions to ask and ponder.
Rule #1 for your EDC bag is to never raise suspicion. Ever.
You don’t want a nosy co-worker to notice it and then talk loudly about it while laughing:
Hey, John, what’s with this? Why are you carrying a folding knife with you at the office, for? Are you afraid Mike’s going to attack you for stealing his raise?
This is a made-up reaction but it underlines just how wrongly people would take it. And that’s not really the biggest problem, the fact that your cover will be blown is. The whole idea is to keep everything concealed because news travels fast and then most of your efforts are going to be in vain.
That being said, your everyday carry pouch shouldn’t be too big. You don’t want to carry a hiking backpack with you at the office that’s full of gear. On the other hand, a smaller backpack could not only conceal your gear but also be useful to carry your laptop, documents and anything else you need on a daily basis.
This is the reason I don’t recommend you get the absolute smallest bag possible, like some people do. A larger one, such as a laptop bag could have a double purpose, meaning no one is going to stick their nose into it. It’s really all about balance.
The Best Everyday Carry Bag for You
Here’s my official list of everyday carry bags, I trust you’re going to keep in mind the questions from the debut of this article before making your choice.
The Laptop Bag
You don’t even have to carry a laptop in in, the things you need and use on a daily basis are enough to justify you having it. A lot of them have zippered pockets that can store all sorts of EDC gear.
The Messenger Bag
This is the most stylish EDC alternative for guys and I think you should consider it even if you’re not trying to dress dapper. However, keep in mind that a good bag doesn’t leave any clues as to the gear that it’s hiding inside. Many guys are wearing messenger bags in cities so it’s easy to blend in when you have one.
A Bigger Ladies Purse
Ladies, I know guys sometimes make fun of you for having big purses but you should probably consider getting bigger ones. It’s either that or sacrificing some of your less useful EDC items.
Besides, no one is going to say anything when you show up with a big purse, like they would if you showed up with a big tactical backpack. Purses are socially accepted, making them great EDC carry bags.
The Travel Backpack
A backpack is great because you get used to having weight on your back every day. It’s good practice for when you’re gonna need to carry your bug-out bag. Some of them are also laptop bags, meaning they have straps and sponges to protect it from shocks. This is a great alternative to option #1, the laptop bag (that you’d normally carry in your hand).
The Belt Pack
Belt packs are smaller and go around your waist but they’re more than enough to keep your EDC gear as well as some of the stuff you use everyday, such as your keys and your phone. If you choose one, you’re gonna have to put the rest of your EDC gear in your pockets. Plus, you can’t really fit a bottle of water like you can in a purse or a backpack so you’re just gonna have to settle for a few water purifying tablets.
Ok, let’s talk about what you should look for when choosing an everyday carry bag…
The Ideal EDC Bag Should…
- be large enough to hold all your items
- be lightweight and strong
- be discrete (nobody should suspect what’s inside)
- have plenty of pockets
- (optional) have MOLLE webbing to allow you to attach more gear to it when needed
Other Places to Hide Your EDC Items
Besides having an actual bag to keep your edc gear, you can stash some of them in other places such as:
- the front pocket of your shirt or polo shirt
- the extra pockets of your cargo pants
- on your wrist (think paracord bracelets or wrist watches)
- your phone! (to hide survival knowledge such as offline maps, your car’s owner’s manual and so on)
- around your neck (lots of things can be hung and carried around)
The Following Do NOT Make Good EDC Bags:
- large backpacks that you would normally use as get home bags or bug out bags
- camouflage bags (you’re just asking for it)
- bags that are too small (and don’t allow you to store all the items you think you’ll need)
I hope you haven’t just scrolled directly here and actually read the entire article so here goes:
- the Camelbak Urban Assault Pack (Amazon link)
- the Tamrac 5788 Evolution 8 (Amazon link)
- the TT Medic Assault Pack (Amazon link) – a little big and tactical in appearance but some people love it
- the Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II Backpack (Amazon Link)
- the Tactical Tailor Operator Urban Pack (Amazon link)
- the Mountainsmith Red Rock 25 Backpack (Amazon link)
- BFG Dapper Insert Panel (link)
- Field Operator’s Action Pack (Amazon Link)
- Quiksilver Men’s Lone Walker Waist Pack (Amazon Link)
- Messenger Bag for Laptop Briefcase Satchel (Amazon link) – very stylish and spacious
- Maxpedition Fatty Pocket Organizer (Amazon link)
- the Map 3500 3 Day Assault Pack (Amazon link)
- Oakley Mens Icon Backpack (Amazon link)
Well, that was it. I hope by now you have a pretty good idea of what to get. And if you’re still in doubt because you may need one for certain types of activities and another one for other types, why not get two of them? The advantage of EDC bags (as opposed to bug out bags, for example) is that you can just take out the contents and quickly move it into your other bag.
Before we wrap this up, I’ve got a question for you that, hopefully, will get you to think even farther than just your EDC bag.
What are some of the places you store your edc items BESIDES your bag? Around your neck? Inside the pockets of your cargo pants? Let me know in a comment below.