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Advice: Janus, Rat Wallet, or Something Else?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by schofer, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. schofer

    schofer Loaded Pockets

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    I'm looking for some kind of small organizer or pouch to hold my wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses, and occasionally other small items -- like a small bottle of hand sanitizer, chapstick, etc.

    I'd usually stick it in a backpack or messenger bag, but would like the option to use it as a stand-alone shoulder bag or waist pack by attaching a strap... for times that I'm traveling light.

    Currently I use an old Eddie Bauer waist pack (which I generally sling over my shoulder or throw in a larger bag)... but it is a bit large for this purpose and (while I'm not overly concerned about looks) is kinda ugly.

    The Rat Wallet seems like it might be to the smaller side (it couldn't hold sunglasses, but I thought I might be able to clip them on with the side-release-buckle/strap.)... but I've never seen one in person. It might not be big enough to hold an ordinary-sized wallet inside.

    The Janus seems bigger, but without a soft-lined pocket for a cell phone. I've seen some nice posts about the Janus... including people using it for similar purposes... but mainly attached to a versipack (don't have one) or a belt (not for me), or even hand-held (also not form me -- I like my hands free). I'm wondering if it would work well with some additional webbing, slung over a shoulder.

    Minor point: The Janus seems less convenient than the Rat Wallet, in that straps must be threaded through it -- so you can't easily attach/detach it. The Rat Wallet can easily be added or removed from a strap. Otherwise, the Janus seems better -- mainly due to size.

    I've also seen some Timbuk2 pouches designed to be attached to straps... though they don't seem as well designed as maxpedition stuff.

    I'm also open to other options...

    Any advice or suggestions? Thanks in advance,

    schofer
     
  2. hardcider75

    hardcider75 Loaded Pockets

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    I've owned a Rat Wallet and I can tell you that it fits 2 devices (phone, pda, iPod, etc) comfortably. And if you have a super slim digital camera, you could probably add it in with other 2. I would characterize the Rat Wallet as a really small "fanny pack." When it was on my belt, I knew it was there. And when I sat in an arm chair, I really knew it was there. If you're a minimalist, or a "miniaturist (where all of your EDC gear can fit on a keychain)" then a Rat Wallet might be for you. When I had mine I put my smartphone, iPod Touch w/ ear buds, and all my wallet junk in it with no problem.
     
  3. rule303

    rule303 Empty Pockets

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    Hi,
    I have a Janus on my Malaga that I EDC. It has been on there for about a month and I'll probably be taking it off. I don't find it particularly easy or convenient to use. I got it to hold a wallet and sunglasses. My wallet fits, barely, and there is no room for sunglasses. I think it is a good product and a lot of folks like it but I don't particularly care for it.
     
  4. Municipal_Jedi

    Municipal_Jedi Loaded Pockets

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    I bought a RAT and found it utterly useless. It is too big and too small at the same time. As the previous poster said you can only fit your phone and one other small gadget. It is very rigid in how you can use it as there are two pockets and the larger has a center divider. It doesn't ride well on a belt IMHO. I don't own a janus but it seems to be more functional than the RAT. I know you won't fit sunglasses in the RAT and I would guess the same is true of the janus.
     
  5. schofer

    schofer Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks to all for the really informative replies. It sounds like the Rat Wallet is just too small for my purposes.

    But, I didn't realize that it was hard to fit sunglasses in a Janus. Maybe it is too small, too. Can I ask: Do you think it would be possible to attach sunglasses externally (e.g., with a strip of hook velcro to the front panel, or under the elastic cord)?

    Also, if anyone has found a better option, let me know! Again, thanks...

    schofer
     
  6. Geek_Bag_AZ

    Geek_Bag_AZ Empty Pockets

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    Check this out from Maxpedition.

    http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/TacTile-Pocket-Medium-7p446.htm

    I was actually planning to order this but i went with a different Maxpedition product.

    Maxpedtion also has a smaller and larger size pouch. I personally think this medium size pouch would be good at holding all of your stuff.

    Have you thought about turning the maxpedition bottle holder into an item carry? It has two D ring clips on each end of the bottle holder just incase you decide to turn it into a over the shoulder bag.

    I hope my info helped. ;D
     
  7. nbmaine2007

    nbmaine2007 Loaded Pockets

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    +1 on the Maxpedition Tactile. I was on a similar search as you a few months back, and I settled on the large Tactile. It sounds like it may be larger than you want, but you can go small or medium. Although neither the Rat or Janus is going to hold all the stuff you mentioned...particularly sunglasses. So you may need to revisit your size need.

    I find a lot of these small Maxpedition pouches like the Rat to be cutesy, but completely impractical. I had one, and never used it. A good description by someone below: "It's too big and too small at the same time." That's a great way to describe it, again I think because the cutesy pockets, corners, clips add bulk but not funtionality.

    I keep the Tactile in the concealed carry pocket on my Maxpedition Mongo. I have a light and a LM Wave in it, and keep it unzipped. So if I need ithe rof those tools, I unzip my Mongo pocket, reach right in. The Tactile fits in there like it was meant to ride there.

    If I don't want to take the Mongo somewhere, but still want something to consolidate my keys, phone, Moleskine, etc., I'll just slide that out, load it, and take it with me. I don't have a strap or attach it to anything.
     
  8. marsos52

    marsos52 Loaded Pockets

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    i do the same thing onlyi have a maxpedition monkey adm pouch i use
     
  9. SEDACON

    SEDACON Loaded Pockets

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    Is your glasses flat or form fitting like my Oakleys? I own WAY too many maxpedition products (It's like a drug) including all the above pouches you are inquiring about. And all are a bit smaller than they seem on Youtube and/or in pics on here. Will you be carring this on your belt primarily or in a cargo pocket? Janus is flatter for better pocket EDC. The Rat Wallet is....well....a novelty. Very nice looking but hard to figure out what to use it for. The M-2 or the M-1 is a better bet if you want to carry on your belt primarily. The M-1 can get VERY big...if you dont care about having the Bat-belt effect....lol. Also, parachord, S-biners, ect. really enhance features on all these pouches.
     
  10. schofer

    schofer Loaded Pockets

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    I'm always impressed with the amount of knowledge on this forum...

    Geek and nbmaine: Thanks! I'll check out the tactile... that might do the trick. (...heading to Youtube to look for reviews...)

    I have Oakleys, which aren't flat...

    I guess I could carry in pockets or on a belt, but actually I was thinking of something I could attach to a shoulder strap -- for use with a shoulder bag and also independently on its own strap if I'm traveling "light". I was hoping for something smaller than a "man-purse" type thing... but there may be no way around it, given what I want to carry. Or, maybe I should consider a belt option more seriously.

    Sedacon: Thanks for the comments -- it is especially helpful since you actually own the options I'm considering. It sounds like the Rat Wallet is definitely not going to do the job. Regarding the Janus: I was thinking it might carry a bit more than it appears, since you can attach extra stuff with the elastic straps/bungees. Am I over-optimistic about that?

    Anyhow, thanks for all the help. Please let me know if you have any additional ideas/suggestions.
     
  11. SEDACON

    SEDACON Loaded Pockets

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    With the Janus, you can attatch items through the bungee. Very good elasticity. It really just depends on the bulk/funtionality factor vs form fitting/asthetic look....if that is even an issue for you. For example of items, I own a 4Sevens Quark 123(2) light. It is apx 4 1/2 inch tall. I can put it in the Janus standing straight up and it fits. I own a T-Mobile HD2, It fits sideways in the side pockets(w/ the retension straps) with about 1/2 inch give on both sides. I can place it in the middle (main) pocket standing up. No problem closing the zippers. You may have seen videos with people stashing cell phones, lights, knives, first aid kits, and the kitchen sink in the Janus. You can do this, but it will eventually resemble a giant egg...lol. if you are looking for it to stay relitivley flat, you can put a cell phone, wallet, knife, light, pen, and smllet items like a lighter, ect. If you pack items one on top of each other and don't mind digging around to get what you want, with imagination you can make the Janus work wonders. If you like quick access and organization to your EDC, then the Janus will be more of a quick grab bag for you. Also, on carring it on your belt, if you take the strap off you could fit the Janus on prob a 3 1/2 inch strap or belt. But the molle straps on the same side are vertical as well, so if you use a narrow belt, prob. 1 inch or smaller, you can have a tighter fit around your waist. Hope this helps.
     
  12. dmanny

    dmanny Loaded Pockets

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    I have the RAT wallet and use it as an add on "pouch" for my Jumbo. I cut out the center divider and it allows for more room in the big zipper compartment. I use it for my Blackberry and Ipod. I sometimes keep my real wallet in it. I find it handy for change and battery storage as well. I see no use for it as an actual wallet but as an add on pouch it works fine.
     
  13. bobbyc

    bobbyc Loaded Pockets

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    I think it might be helpful to think about your carry as "sunglasses + everything else". Sunglasses have special needs: they don't like to be smooshed/crushed, and they like to remain in a scratch-proof environment.

    I elected to get a Civilian Labs "Pod" for my great big sunglasses (which I need due to my great big head), and it's worked out nicely. It normally lives in the side water pouch on my Maxped Sitka, but I can PALS it to the straps on the side if I'm carrying water.

    For the rest of your gear, I agree with SEDACON - it comes down to functionality vs form. Frankly, I just keep everything in the great big pockets of my Barbour Border jacket as they are cavernous.
     
  14. SEDACON

    SEDACON Loaded Pockets

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    Ditto on using that CL"Pod"....or....you could just wear them on your head....lol.
     
  15. schofer

    schofer Loaded Pockets

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    :) Yes, well I do wear them sometimes! :)

    Seriously, though, sunglasses are exactly the kind of thing that I need to organize. For example: If I'm running errands and go into a dark store, I need a place to put my glasses (not to mention wallet, etc). It isn't a problem when I happen to be wearing cargo pants/shorts, but my oakleys don't fit easily into the pockets of my jeans.

    It isn't so much that I need long-term protective storage for my glasses on extended hikes. More like I need some way to hang onto them periodically.

    Anyhow, I'll look into the CL gear. I'd seen it in the past but somehow it didn't grab me. I'll give them a closer look..

    Sedacon: thanks for the detailed info on the size of the Janus. Extremely helpful. I can't thank you enough.

    I guess I'm leaning toward trying the Janus... It is on the smaller side, but in a way that's good -- I won't carry everything-and-the-kitchen-sink all the time. And, it seems the most flexible of the smaller options -- works on a strap, belt, or thrown into another bag. (Obviously, a tac-tile is more flexible, but it seems like a larger size of bag...)
     
  16. SEDACON

    SEDACON Loaded Pockets

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    Here are some pics....

    Janus, Rat and Oakley Radar
    http://img26.imageshack.us/i/ratqnw.jpg/
    Janus and M1
    http://img17.imageshack.us/i/47048728.jpg/
    Janus, Rat,M1,4x3,Pocket organizer and some EDC items
    http://img841.imageshack.us/i/comparei.jpg/
    Oakleys on top
    http://img231.imageshack.us/i/ontopr.jpg/
    Oakleys inside
    http://img219.imageshack.us/i/insideeb.jpg/
     
  17. QDaddy

    QDaddy Loaded Pockets

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    I originally purchased my Janus for my Fatboy mounted on the strap and it served me well. I got used to using it as my extended wallet (checkbook, insurance cards, SD-MSPD-CF cards in an Altoids, thumb drives, pay stubs, and document keeper) because it was so accessible. When I switched to my Malaga, I really didn't want to mount it to the strap. I used the pals to mount it to the side of the Malaga and bingo I had the perfect setup. When I swing the bag around to the front, my Janus is sitting right there ready for use. While it is a softshell, it isn't very well suited for sunglasses, but that is not it's purpose. Depending on the contents it will expand and flatten as needed. The various mounting options are a huge bonus.

    The Janus is on the right and on the left are a pair of Cocoon pouches.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. schofer

    schofer Loaded Pockets

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    WOW! They ARE smaller than I realized... You told me so and I believed you -- but somehow the pictures still surprised me. :) I have an EDC organizer... so the group shot gave me a really clear idea of the sizes.

    Questions:

    What is in the top-right of the groups shot? I like the way it looks... maybe as a camera case or something.

    Would you say the Janus is significantly thicker than the EDC organizer... or not really that different? (The Maxpedition website lists them as 1.5" versus .75 inches... but in the pictures the Janus didn't seem much thicker.)

    Anyhow, the photos have pretty much convinced me to try the Janus. It is small, but hopefully just big enough for the job.

    Now to choose a color... I usually go for light colors -- to help with visibility, especially when looking for stuff inside. But, I think I'll go for black in this case.

    Many thanks!
     
  19. SEDACON

    SEDACON Loaded Pockets

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  20. SEDACON

    SEDACON Loaded Pockets

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    Go ahead, buy it, then show us some pics of your creation! :)censored:, I should ask Maxped for comm. sales...lol)