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An EDC bag for Paris in September?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by dowtech, May 9, 2010.

  1. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    I'm going to Paris for the first time in September (four days over Labor Day weekend) with my daughter, and am trying to decide on the best EDC bag to carry. I have a MaxPed Fatboy and a NeatFreak, and, between the two, am thinking that the NeatFreak would offer both more organization and be less obviously tactical, especially with the front PALS flap tucked into the mesh pocket. Either would probably hold what I need. Am I on the right track? I know I'll still be labeled a tourist, but I want to be as unobtrusive as possible. I'm also considering a Malaga, Lunada, or Sitka because I like the ability to swivel it to the front of me for easy access. However, I don't own any of them and I'm afraid they wouldn't pass the low profile test.

    Looking for advice for those of you who live in or visit Paris regularly. Thanks!
     
  2. oldsarge

    oldsarge Loaded Pockets

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    carried a jumbo everywhere in Paris last visit. No one even noticied. Everybody in Europe seems to carry some sort of bag.
     
  3. RFA3

    RFA3 Loaded Pockets

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    I was in Paris for my honeymoon.My wife and i spent 12 days there and loved it.My EDC bag was a courier size RE-LOAD messenger bag and it worked out better than expected.I to was worried about looking to tacti-cool especialy with police walking around with machine guns and all.I wanted to keep the molle to a minimum.I am an artist and my bag held all my watercolor supplies and sketchbooks plus whatever the wife purchased while out on our day trips.
    if you really want to be ahead of the pack remember those backpacks we had as kids EASTPAK, they love those things and everyone is wearing them.just plain black i saw them everywhere and they cost a fortune in Paris. i almost bought one while i was there to just blend in bettter but they were well over $100- dollars so i figured i would get one when i got back home just to find out they are impossible to find here, plenty of JANSPORT but no EASTPAK just plain black is very hard to find in the states, just one of those funny things, happy trails have a safe trip!!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. RFA3

    RFA3 Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]
    this was the bag i used! and still carry daily .
     
  5. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    I can't advise you on the best brand or model of bag, but I will warn you that whatever bag you take should be proof - or as nearly as possible - against pickpockets. Most of the pickpockets are young teenagers, and they are completely brazen. One of their favorite spots is on the metro. Whatever you use, make sure that you don't arry it around on your back. I have seen them take things out of day packs and purses when any number of people are looking. Often Parisians that are knowledgeable about the pickpockets and observe an incident will step in and interfere with the pickpocket, but don't count on that. Be careful over there.
     
  6. jeepsrjason
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    howdy

    my lunada worked great when i was there last year. as previously stated... everyone there carries a bag. :)

    jason
     
  7. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    Wow! Thanks for the replies, guys. Just what I was looking for. Oldsarge, I was pretty sure bags were common, but wasn't sure how a Maxped (Fatboy or Jumbo) would fit in. RFA3, thanks for your insight! saniterra, I know about the pickpockets, which is why I've decided against taking my trusty Falcon II, in addition to it being larger than I think I need for daily rambling. So, jeepsrjason, the Lunada is one of the bags I've considered (gotta use whatever excuse to buy new gear, right?). Did you find it small enough to be unobtrusive yet big enough to carry your gear? I'm thinking that the Malaga would be too small and doesn't feature the slide-to-the-front easy-access, while the Sitka might be too big for everyday seeing the sights. Can you comment a bit further?
     
  8. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    dowtech, one suggestion that has worked well for me: get an Eagle Creek nylon "Undercover" Passport case --- or something similar that you wear around the neck. Your wallet and passport and/or some $$$ all fit perfectly in the pockets of this case. Here's what I do: I put the case on over my T-shirt, but under my outer shirt ... works really well: keeps stuff out of my pockets. Plus I don't have to worry about pickpockets. REI sells them:

    http://www.rei.com/product/617989?preferredSku=6179890022&cm_mmc=cse_froogle-_-datafeed-_-product-_-6179890022&mr:trackingCode=5481071B-81F9-DE11-BAE3-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA

    Also, Campmor, Amazon, and several other online stores have'em. Cost is about $13 plus shipping. Great product and comfortable, too.
     
  9. oldsarge

    oldsarge Loaded Pockets

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    As I said, no one seemed to pay the slightest attention to the bag. I went through xray at some museums, no problem, except at the Musee D'Orsay where all the security guards wanted to admire my Garmin 60csx, They were all interested in the tracking feature which showed where we had walked from that day. The Mrs got annoyed at the good time I was having with the guys and gave me "the Look"
    I second the motion on pickpockets, petty thieves, gypsies, con men, etc. etc., London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome are infested with these thieves. Keep your head on a swivel, Pay attention to your surroundings, avoid crowds and beware of con games. Don't carry irreplacable items in a bag. Leave them in a safe or at home!
     
  10. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the follow-ups! A friend and I went to London a few years ago (mainly to drink some real ale -- we weren't disappointed!) and then spent three days in Iceland on the return. I was carrying an old Tumi shoulder bag I'd had for years. Pretty compact and unobtrusive, but short on size and organization! We went in November and it was pretty cool, so the Tumi mostly stayed under my jacket.

    Salta, your advice is good. I've got some Eagle Creek stuff, and will get the passport case. But tell me: can you go through airport scanners with the case around your neck? Or do you put it on after you've passed security? I'll be wearing a Scott-E Travel Vest. I've used this on many other (non-international) trips and it really is an "extra carry-on bag". I usually dump all my pocket stuff into the vest while in the line. Should I do this with the passport case? I normally stick my passport in a pocket while going through the scanner.

    oldsarge: (love your avatar!) Have thought about taking a GPS. Fortunately, the (ex)Mrs won't be along, but daughter #4, my travel companion, is perfectly capable of "the look"! We had a video chat tonight and she suggested I bring my MacBookPro. I think not!
     
  11. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    You should be able to go thru Customs or airport security wearing the case (natually, as long as you don't have anything metal in it, such as coins: the money in bills shouldn't be a problem; but you'll probably need to have your passport handy, anyway ... so you may want that out and available). Again, there's nothing metal in the case, so airport scanners shouldn't be an issue. The real value comes, however, when you're out on the street: I usually put whatever cash I think I'll spend in one of my front pockets, while the passport and the rest of the cash goes in the case before I leave my room in the morning.
     
  12. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    I have been bumped several times coming off of Paris trains. Each time felt like someone was trying a lift. My bag is always closed. I keep a few dollars, pounds, francs, etc. in my pocket - the rest is in a travel wallet inside my shirt. Works in Paris, London, NYC, etc.
     
  13. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    OK, here's where my thinking is right now. I was originally trying to decide between my Fatboy and NeatFreak; I liked many of the features of both. I was also considering a new gearslinger bag for the ability to slide it to the front for easy access. However, none of the smaller gearslingers (Lunada et al.) seem to offer this, and the larger ones are, well, larger.

    Some time back I bought a Jumbo from an EDCF member, but it was the wrong color (I like black) and seemed somewhat awkward to carry. Although the exterior pouches were more useful than my Fatboy's, still, they were pretty static.

    I had never really considered a Colossus because in photos it looked really, really big. But as I explored it further online, it seemed to offer a lot of plusses. The smaller gearslingers were criticized for the way they rode on the back; but the Colossus seemed as though it would ride pretty much like my Fatboy (which I use frequently for EDC): it would stay behind my hip and slide to the front without disturbing the shoulder pad. Add to that the feature that the top and main pockets open up facing you, and the padding that is usually found only in a camera bag, and I began to get ideas! And I think I can easily attach my NeatFreak for more limited carry onsite.

    I'm still not sure if it will carry as unobtrusively as I'd like, yet I think it would come across more as a camera bag than a tactical carry (and my old Lowe Pro camera bag doesn't open like the Colossus or have the expandability!). So I ordered one.

    As soon as it comes in, I'll be experimenting with the Paris load-out and will post pix when I do.

    Thanks all for the comments so far. Would still appreciate getting more on either my earlier thoughts or my current ones!

    Dick
     
  14. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    I believe that you are on the right path. Sometimes the extra capacity is really worth it, particularly when you are out all day and are shopping. I'm not sold on all of the Gearslingers because I like to be able to slip the bag on and off the right shoulder when I am sitting or getting into a vehicle. I like the Max Malaga - big enough but one strap that can still go across my chest..
     
  15. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    So I've looked at a couple of other threads where people were disappointed in the smaller size of the Colossus. But to me, that's an advantage. I like the cleaner basic profile that lets you put the add-on pouches where (and if) you want them as opposed to both the Fatboy and the Jumbo. I also like the front-opening main compartments. Of course, I still don't have mine yet (soon?) so I can't be too sure it will be right for me.
     
  16. brix

    brix Loaded Pockets

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    I just got back from a two week trip through Europe as well. I also took my jumbo with me as well. The trip had me thinking about being obvious and blending in more so I ended up leaving with a Belstaff 554 bag from the flagship store at the Marco Polo Airport in Venice. Even though no one seemed to mind, I did feel like the odd man out with a tactical looking bag.
     
  17. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    I got my Colossus yesterday from some great folks call Sawtooth Tactical (no affiliation), and I'm experimenting with what to put in and on it. As I said above, the cleaner basic profile makes the bag seem smaller than it really is, and I'm hoping to pretty much keep it that way (i.e., no external add-ons if I can help it). I've also been testing it with and without my Janus, which is one of my favorite accessories.
    On the pro side, the Janus keeps my essentials always within reach. Plus, with the 2" clip-in webbing I bought, I can wear the Janus alone as an uber-slim waistpack. The con is that it makes the Colossus (and my Fatboy as well) a little less stable.
    I'll post some photos soon.
    And comments/suggestions/ideas always welcome.
     
  18. S.E.G

    S.E.G Loaded Pockets

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    Have you considered a Kifaru E&E ?
     
  19. Fixer

    Fixer Loaded Pockets

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    I carried this bag in Italy, Spain and France a lot last year:

    Kenneth Cole

    It got it at Nordstrom. It was a HUGE depature from my regular EDC stuff but a good choice and blended very nicely. You can tell if you "look" American by weather or not people automatically speak english to you and what bag you carry has a lot to say about where you are from. I had many shop and resturaunt workers start rattling off Italian or french to us while we where there despite the fact that I'm a little on the large/heavy side and tend to stick out at 6'3" and 250.

    A bag like that is what I would advise.
     
  20. Fixer

    Fixer Loaded Pockets

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    I will also say this is an issue. One of the main tactics now is to follow someone with a purse or bag and pull a razor and slash the bottom of the bag while another person holds a sack for the contents to fall into. By the time you figure out what happend they are running.

    The bag I carried had a leather bottom.