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Aesthetics....How influenced are you by the way a bag looks?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Roguetrooper, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Roguetrooper

    Roguetrooper Loaded Pockets

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    I'm on the Mystery Ranch mailing list and the latest MR missive talks around the 'form' of their backpacks and how the 'look' of a pack is becoming increasingly important to us as customers, and therefore to them as manufacturers.

    I'll be honest and say that the aesthetics of a bag are important to me; there are certain bags made by companies known for producing superior quality items, get stellar reviews and which would probably meet my needs, but which just look plain 'ugly' to me and so they don't stay on my purchasing radar.

    Conversely, I remember when the MaxP Monsoon came out, I had to buy it because I absolutely loved it's appearance, but after having used it for a while it was apparent that the aesthetics of it actually made it a (in my opinion) poor pack.

    i'd be interested in hearing from you guys as to when choosing a new pack, how important is it's appearance to you in the decision-making process?
     
  2. Torque

    Torque Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, aesthetics greatly influence anything EDC related that I might purchase. From the design/shape, to the materials, color, construction, etc. It can't be too fussy, busy, or overbuilt for what I need it for.

    Since you brought up bags, I will highlight one example for me: MaxPed. In photos everything that they made always looked way over-built to me, at least for EDC and urban settings. To me, their bags are like heavy, square-shaped luggage with straps and pals all over it. It's not that I don't like the military look, quite the opposite. I do tend to gravitate more toward military-ish style stuff (e.g., military patterns, colors like CT, FG, etc., PALS/MOLLE, cordura). But for some reason MaxPed just looked overdone, especially with their smaller packs. Many years ago I had a colleague who bought a MaxPed messenger bag (*can't remember which one) and he let me look at it and heft it over my shoulder once. Let's just say it confirmed my feelings.

    No offense intended to you or anyone else reading this who likes MaxPed stuff. I will admit that they do make great, tough, high quality bags. It's just their aesthetics that I could never get past. These are just my personal opinions/feelings on what works best for me.

    * Edit: I think it was this one. I mean, just look at the size of that thing!
    http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/catalog/0612K16_detail.jpg

    Another example - About ten years ago I was into leather messenger bags. Bought a beautiful black leather one from Victorinox, and thought it would be perfect. But about 6 months into using it daily, I found that it was just way too heavy loaded up with all my office stuff. Even with the soft shoulder strap that they provide, it still killed my shoulder by the end of the day.
     
    Last edited by Torque, Sep 16, 2016
  3. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I'm still using a well cared-for briefcase from the 1950s. I still associate the word "bag" as something women carry. IF I were in the market for a "bag," it would choose one that doesn't LOOK like something that has all those stupid straps and buckles.
     
    malraux72 likes this.
  4. Menlow

    Menlow Loaded Pockets

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    For urban carry, aesthetics mean a lot. That tactical look can spook a lot of people and draw unnecessary attention. In my own opinion, what's best for me is a look that just blends in with the crowd.
     
    Maave, steeps and reppans like this.
  5. yugotprblms

    yugotprblms Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, aesthetics mean a lot to me. It played into my Khard 30 vs Ibex 30 decision. The Ibex does have some stuff going for it that the Khard does not, but it looks like absolute trash to me. The Khard is very nice looking pack. I have two Khards and 0 Ibexs.

    I share these sentiments, and feel the same way about bags like 5.11, First Action (very similar to 5.11), Vanquest, and other bags. They just scream "Walmart tacticool" to me, and I do not care for that look.

    Conversely, I find packs from Arc'teryx (most all of their gear really), Goruck, TAD, the new SOG packs, and others I can't recall, to have a very pleasing aesthetic. Even with TAD having molle and :censored: all over it, it looks better to my eye than a 5.11 bag with lots of straps. Even the new MaxPed AGR looks alright in the right circumstances. I do not particularly care for the super boxy designs though.
     
    Last edited by yugotprblms, Sep 16, 2016
  6. Roguetrooper

    Roguetrooper Loaded Pockets

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    For me, there's been a few packs that have stood out aesthetically - Litespeed and FAST packs, any of the smaller MR packs 1DAP, ASAP.....TIMBUK2 Especial, H4 Diagonal Defence....someone once posted a picture of an a Eagle Industries Medics Pack that I thought looked really sleek, but couldn't find one that could be shipped to the UK without having to sell a kidney.
     
  7. Deebo

    Deebo Loaded Pockets

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    Aesthetics are fairly important to me in just about any purchase that I make both EDC and non-EDC related.

    I've passed on buying things in the past that are great, in terms of functionality and feature set, because I thought it was ugly.
     
    jeepfreak38 likes this.
  8. Bobby Leang

    Bobby Leang Loaded Pockets

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    100% Function and 100% Aesthetics; they're one in the same to me. Winners are the ones that are functionally-aesthetic. You look at a bag before you use it. If you're on the market for an uber-organizational pack, the GR0/GR1s might not be a winner to you because it looks pared down or possibly too tactical - you might be "looking" for something like the Evade because it's pretty low profile for the organization and is very discreet.
     
  9. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Of Course aesthetics play a part sometimes a little and sometimes a lot.
    Usually the first thing that gets me considering any bag is looks alone and then as I get more familiar with the details the look still plays a huge part in a purchase decision.

    I am not sure that I believe it is different for anyone here,is it?
     
  10. Torque

    Torque Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, but let's talk about something like a flashlight. Since we all know that a flashlight has a pretty straightforward function (eg. click button, light comes on or off), how much does a flashlight's aesthetic play into your purchase decision?
     
  11. SFGIANTSGUY28

    SFGIANTSGUY28 Loaded Pockets

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    I figure out the features I want and then search for the best looking bag with them. Occasionally I will sacrifice for the look.
     
  12. Wolfhunt3r

    Wolfhunt3r Loaded Pockets

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    This is pretty much how I work also. I know what I need when I want a new bag, and sometimes its a balance between getting what I need in a bag vs. getting the look I want on it.
     
  13. Appel

    Appel Loaded Pockets

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    The looks is really important for me, even more than I'm aware of I think.

    Things I care about and interested in the looks is really important. Things I don't care about then it is not that important.
     
  14. Matthew Hess

    Matthew Hess Loaded Pockets

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    Funny you mention the MaxPed Monsoon. I had the same experience. I thought I could get into the sling bag but it turns out it definitely does not work for me. I used it as my "tacticool diaper bag" for a while and finally sold it off.

    The triangular form factor still had some appeal so when I saw the 5.11 Triab I grabbed it. I figured "2 back straps... it's gotta be better than the triab", which in my opinion it was. But the upward "hinged" opening flap (probably not the technical term) eventually got on my nerves.

    I got my hands on a 5.11 Rush 12 to replace the Triab. I've been using that for about a year.
    I usually have myFrogg Toggs All Sport Rain Suit in it, which takes up just about all of the main compartment. If I need to I can mush it down to fit some other stuff.I can jam my laptop in with the rainsuit if needed.
    Overall it's a good EDC bag. I could get away with using it as an overnight bag if I ditched the rainsuit. Anything beyond that and it would probably be too small.

    I really like the look of the Vanquest Ibex-30 and the Cannae Legion, mainly because I like the full front opening. The Cannae is a little "boxy" and the Ibex-30 is a little pricey. I also like the look of the TAD Fastpack EDC, but until I win the MegaMillions lottery I don't see me dropping that much coin on an EDC pack.