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An EDC bag for Paris in September?

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

  1. Snow and Ash

    Snow and Ash Empty Pockets

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    Sounds like a case for Pacsafe Anti-Theft Travel Gear. They have steel mesh sewn into the lining to deter slasher-thieves. The straps also have steel cables inside (which might make it interesting if a dude on a moped tries to grab your bag as he rockets past you).
    [​IMG]
    They have lots of different models and seem to be reasonably priced for what you get.
    http://www.pacsafe.com/www/index.php
     
  2. jemhouston

    jemhouston Loaded Pockets

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    Any trouble using it as a carry-on? I'm wondering how the TSA reacts when the x-ray pickups the steel mesh.

     
  3. brix

    brix Loaded Pockets

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    designed for carry-on. my sister has one and took it on as her carry-on with no issues
     
  4. brix

    brix Loaded Pockets

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    agreed. I took my jumbo with me to europe two weeks ago. even though I wasn't getting much looks, I did feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb, which got to rethink why and how I want to carry my EDC. On the flight back, I stopped by the Belstaff flagship store at the Marco Polo Airport and left with a 554 colonial in brown. Been carrying in for the last two weeks and feel better about not sticking out with my nylon gear. The Belstaff is pretty expensive, but there are a lot of different bags out there like the "jack bauer" bag which goes for ~$20 (the last time I looked). You can keep the neat freak in side the bag while not sticking out as much
     
  5. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Empty Pockets

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    I am looking at this bag for my daily EDC as well as a travel carry-on: [​IMG] -- something like this could be carried just about anywhere without raising suspicions or being viewed as "military".
     
  6. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm still leaning toward the Colossus for reasons mentioned above -- plus the fact that I've ordered a new DSLR to take with me and the padded main compartment should be ideal without the bag looking like a camera bag.
     
  7. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    OK, I've been using my Colossus as an EDC bag for a month now (though here at home, I still prefer the Falcon II for commuting), and I've got my new Canon DSLR, which fits perfectly (lens down for easy draw) in the main compartment. I'm trying to keep the other built-in pouches lean so there's more room in the main compartment. I've pretty much decided to take my Janus to use as both an extension to the Colossus and a separate, low profile waist pack for when I don't want the big bag.

    One of the things that has bothered me is the lack of a grab handle on the Colossus. I've tried lifting it by the D-ring in the back compartment, but that just unsnaps the compartment and the balance isn't right anyway. Since I've decided to take the Janus, the answer became clear today and when I tried it -- Eureka!

    Last year I got a length of 2" black webbing and a side release buckle so that I could easily unclip the Janus from whatever bag it was attached to and use it as the above-mentioned minimalist waist pack. Today I tried slipping the webbing through the PALS webbing on the side (rear channel), across the bottom and up the channel on the other side. I then re-attached the SRB (I had to take it off to get it through the PALS), clipped it to the other side, and voila! I had a carrying handle that balances perfectly. And by unthreading it, the strap is available for its original function.

    So I know I've been promising photos, and now that I think I'm set, I'll try to get some up in the next couple of days.

    What do y'all think?
     
  8. bobbyc

    bobbyc Loaded Pockets

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    Have you ever been to Paris? If yes, then please forgive me for offering you advice you've probably already received and no longer need.

    If no, then may I offer a few things for you to consider.

    1. The French are lovely people. Parisians come with a little bit of an edge, which does not make them any less lovely. But please do not be surprised if they are a bit abrupt, perhaps occasionally even a little rude, because living in a great big city will do that to you. I've learned that the best way to warm the heart of your average Parisian is simply to try and speak French. Most everyone speaks English, but they will be charmed and delighted to meet an American who chooses to speak their language instead of assuming that they speak English and defaulting to that. And be prepared to shake hands a lot.

    2. Minimize your EDC load that you carry around the city with you. In September, the weather is still rather warm, so a light shoulder bag is acceptable. A fully-packed Sitka is not. You'll need a metro map, some euros, your sunglasses, some hand sanitizer and wipes (don't forget the wipes), your subway pass (it's cheaper to buy multiple pass tickets), your camera, and a string bag to carry the baguette and Orangina you buy on the Rue Cler and carry over to the Champs du Mars and eat while sitting on the grass. Go light. Leave other valuables in your room safe.

    3. There are crooks and pickpockets in every city. Paris is no different. Keep your wallet in your front pocket, or better, in the inside zippered pocket of a light jacket. When in a crowd, rotate your bag to rest in your front right or left quadrant, depending on your handedness. Pay attention when you get on and off the metro, and in crowds around tourist sites. Other than that, relax.

    4. If you've not already selected a hotel, check out Best Western Etoile Saint-Ferdinand. It's about a hundred yards from the Port Maillot metro, it's across the street from a little grocery store, around the corner from a lovely cheese shop and patisserie, and it's near one of my favorite grand cafes, Le Concord. Access to a good metro station from your hotel is a huge asset, check it out here: http://www.aparisguide.com/maps/metro.htm

    5. I'd be happy to offer you other ideas if you'd like. Feel free to PM me. Paris is my favorite city in the world, I hope you have a great time.

    bob
     
  9. dowtech

    dowtech Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, bobbyc -- some great suggestions! No, I've never been to Paris, though I'll be traveling with my youngest daughter who did a semester in France including a visit to Paris. Another daughter (of my four!) is a regular visitor to Paris on business. I also have some French, and will be glad for an opportunity to use it. I'd always heard, though, that Parisians sneered at those who were imperfect in their usage. Glad to hear it's otherwise. My Colossus is smaller than a Sitka, but still on the heavy side (especially with camera and telephoto lens installed!). However, it does allow me to swing it in front for access/protection. And the Janus will let me go a bit more minimalist if I don't need everything. I appreciate the weather advice: I'd wondered about that! I have the Metro map, as well as a Paris map, on my iPod Touch. I'm already getting notifications from the Metro of delays! As for passes, we were thinking of getting the Paris Pass (free museums, at the head of the line; Metro pass, 2 consecutive free days on tour busses, a Seine cruise, and more) -- do you know it, and do you think it is worth the Euros? We've found what seems (from the myriad internet comments, to be a great hotel, and it's also near some great cafes, though I'll look up Le Concord.
     
  10. BCKane

    BCKane Empty Pockets

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    Bobbyc's post is great, but i hope a different perspective might shed a bit more light on trips to Paris. I am by no means an expert on Paris (i sound like a mentally deranged lunatic when i speak french), but i have been there upwards of 15 times. Like i said, this is just my experience and perspective and millage may vary.

    If you are planning on filling your time by visiting the main attractions, Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Tuileries, Les Invalides (pretty much anything along the Sein) then you don't need to invest too much in a metro pass. This is coming from a person who lived in NYC though, so i am used to talking from the UWS to midtown. If you aren't used to walking long distances, then the metro can get you to all the main attractions very quickly. Obviously Versaille is a bit beyond walking range, but i have spent complete days at the palace.

    It has been very hit and miss, in my experience, attempting to speak french to Parisians, though as i mentioned, i sound pretty ridiculous when i attempt it. In the south of France or anywhere out side of the city itself, i have never had a problem, but in Paris, there have been quite a few instances where my attempt to speak French has led to some pretty nasty responses (mostly in higher end Bistros). Thankfully my significant other speaks French well and get us around town (and translated the responses to my dastardly attempts to destroy the French language). In general Parisians are nice people (much like people in the US), but they seem to have a similar mentality to people in NYC. Kind of a no nonsense/gruff character. It never bothered me, but just be aware of it.

    My last few trips to Paris, i have carried a black North Face Hammerhead pack and haven't had any trouble getting into any of the sites nor with the Jean Dams. Obviously, knives (no matter how small) are not allowed in the any of the Museums, though they are allowed in your bag as you walk the streets (or so the Police have told me). As bobby mentioned, it is best to pull your pack around the front when entering packed spaces or waiting in line at tourist sites. Gypsy kids are notorious for crowding tourists and blatantly reaching into unzipped bags to fish things out.

    Lodging is completely up to your budget and what you are comfortable with. I have run the gambit from the George V to Le Splendid and found that, personally, location was the most important factor when deciding what hotel to book. Obviously being off the Champs Elysees is great, but i have really enjoyed staying to the south of the Sein near Les Invalides or Ecole Militaire. I don't think it hurts that there just happens to be a Fauchon around the corner from Le Splendid and the corner room's (double French doors) open up the Tower.

    Now the absolute most important part of any trip to Paris is obviously the food. It is tough to get bad food in Paris, but some of the places that i always go to (if they are still open) are Le Souffle (all courses are either sweet or savory souffle), Laduree (kinda tough to beat any of their sandwiches or baked goods), Guy Savoy (if i have saved up for a while and bribed the President of France for a reservation), Alain Ducasse (pretty much the same as Guy Savoy, beg borrow and steal). As for bistros, some of the good ones are Allard and Che Rene.

    Hope this helps a bit, Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world.
     
  11. jeroen94704

    jeroen94704 Empty Pockets

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    Since we seem to be handing out (unrequested) advice:

    Don't attempt to drive in France. As is the case in all southern-European nations, the French drive like maniacs, and you will save yourself a heart-attack or two by using the subway or taxis.
     
  12. malraux72

    malraux72 Loaded Pockets

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    As a New Yorker who Worked and lived in Paris I Take Great Offense to comparing Parisians to New Yorkers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We are nothing like the Parisians !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  13. bltkmt

    bltkmt Loaded Pockets

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    I hope you meant to include a ;D ?
     
  14. bobbyc

    bobbyc Loaded Pockets

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    This is excellent advice - the excellent public transportation makes driving unnecessary for most visitors, unless you're going to be spending meaningful time knocking around the countryside.

    That said. . .I'm not sure I'd characterize the French driver as a maniac, but gosh, they sure know how to use their "driving fingers", and heaven help you if you forget the "priorite a droit" rule. Driving around the Charles de Gaulle Etoille will make you OOOOOLD.
     
  15. malraux72

    malraux72 Loaded Pockets

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    No really. It was not intended in an offensive way at bcKane but there is a huge difference between New Yorkers and Parisians. And the comparison is unfair at best.
     
  16. jeroen94704

    jeroen94704 Empty Pockets

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    Yes, the Paris subway is great!

    Well, I've just returned from a 3-week vacation from France, all of it by car, and I the stunts I've seen pulled were hair-rasising. The french will happily plunge their cars at full speed into gaps with a roomy 1 inch to spare at each side.

    Jeroen
     
  17. ?uesto

    ?uesto Loaded Pockets

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    I'd definitely recommend a Gearslinger bag of some sort. The swivel feature is great, and with the larger ones, (Kodiak, Sitka, Malaga), they have a few security features to keep your stuff safe. I just recieved a Lnada in the mail, and it's perfect for something like that, with the exception of its size. I would therefore recommend a larger one. Personally, I'd recommend the Sitka, because when you get back, you can sell it to me. =D
     
  18. bobbyc

    bobbyc Loaded Pockets

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    Terrific stuff, BCKane - I can tell you're a big fan like me. My experience there dates back a number of years when I lived near Paris for a number of years, but I only started seeing it with fresh eyes when I came back as a visitor.

    Agreed that a metro pass isn't a necessity if all you're doing is knocking around the main attractions around the Louvre, but I found it to be hugely helpful as our hotel was far away from that area; as with all things, YMMV.

    There are so many places to go and things to see in Paris, yet when I go back I find I enjoy splitting my time between the "biggies" and more off-the-beaten-track places. Knock around Rue de la Ferronnerie in the 1st and you'll see where King Henri IV was stabbed by Ravaillac - there's a plaque in the street between #11 and #13. I also love Place des Vosges in the Marais for all the obvious reasons. There are an endless number of recommendations I could make but I won't bother. . .must resist urge. . .there, it's passed.

    Have fun.

    bob
     
  19. bobbyc

    bobbyc Loaded Pockets

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    All generalizations are unfair! Hold it, that was a generalization. . .
     
  20. BCKane

    BCKane Empty Pockets

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    Perhaps i should have just refered to Hell's Kitchen New Yorkers ;D ... or anyone who doesn't live on 57th Street .... or lived on 113th in the UWS. Hell who are we kidding, NYers have a "unique" style. :sigh: