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Looking for a discreet messenger bag with pockets galore

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Smeghead, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Smeghead

    Smeghead Empty Pockets

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    Hello all,

    I'm looking for a new messenger bag to go along with my 5.11 COVRT 18, and was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any suitable ones? My main criteria are:

    1. I love lots of pockets, which is why I absolutely love my COVRT 18. Inside and outside, the more the better.

    2. I'd like to be able to use it as a camera bag, so it needs to be discreet and have decent depth (as in the front-to-back measurement if looking at the bag from the side if that makes sense); deep enough to add one of those foam inserts for protection (though I use Micro Four Thirds, so it doesn't need to be gigantic).

    I've looked at quite a few companies' offerings (5.11 Rush Delivery, Maxpedition, Hazard 4), but so far the only real contenders are the Vertx EDC Courier and the Rickshaw Standard Commuter. I'm swaying more towards the Vertx because I like that the main pocket is easier to access (no annoying flap to have to deal with), and of course all those pockets inside are great. I have reservations though because the bottle pockets on the sides are not very tall at all, so I'd be worried that my bottle is always gonna fall out. There's also not that many external pockets to use. The front "pocket" where the molle is hidden behind looks quite awkward to use as a pocket.
     
  2. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Have you seen the Gura Gear Chobe?

    Nicer then it looks on the web and it looks real nice on the web!
     
  3. tigz

    tigz Loaded Pockets

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    The Vertx courier is more for tactical purposes, hence the molle cover that also serves as an exterior cargo compartment. It would work well for small multiple gadgets but more on the inside, not the outside. The top zipper access also limits your load at the main compartment unlike the traditional flap and buckle strap that you can adjust to adopt more loads. Personally don't find it suitable for camera gear but it does have the discreet tactical looks with unique features. You may check Zulu Nylon Gear for the ITS emissary, expensive though. Otherwise there's dedicated camera messengers from Tenba. The Rush 511 messenger and Vanquest envoy have probably the most pockets if that's your main criteria but they don't appear discreet as the molles are exposed. Rickshaw looks good but its more for office casual and on this category I'd go for Timbuk2, its more versatile; up to you but checking bags personally is the safest way to go than relying on web images and videos, once you feel and carry the bag, you will know outright its for you.
     
  4. JohnJones

    JohnJones Loaded Pockets

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    I've grown tired of my second canvas messenger bag of the season (it's too floppy), so I've been looking. I've narrowed it down to two: Saddleback's Medium Leather Satchel or Frost River's Medium Manitou Shoulder Bag.

    Saddleback
    Pros - Well built, dressy as well as casual, definitely will turn heads so it gets bonus points for having the "wow" factor
    Cons - Pricey

    Frost River
    Pros - Relatively inexpensive, the leather/canvas combo works well together, nice multipocket organizer panel in the front
    Cons - A little too casual for when I dress up.
     
  5. 62Tele

    62Tele Loaded Pockets

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    The Mountaismith drop-in with a small Timbuk2 classic messenger works nicely as a micro 4/3 bag. If you want more room for stuff like a water bottle and a small tripod, step up to the medium bag.

    There are a lot of pockets in the Timbuk2 messengers, but they're all under the flap - 4 on the outside and numerous in the main compartment. Upside, is that the bags are very water resistant with this design.
     
  6. edjo69

    edjo69 EDC Junkie

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    What about the Vanquest with the drop in organizer, looks like it would be perfect for camera equipment??
     
  7. Stonerman33
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Stonerman33 Loaded Pockets

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    I'll +1 the vanquest with the drop in. Protects my camera nicely, and the dividers can be tucked out of the way when I don't need them. I think Jon only has the multicam in stock in the forum store at the moment, but I guess that the vanquest gear was supposed to start trickling back out towards the end of the month.



    Sent from my iPhone 5s using Tapatalk
     
  8. KMAC179

    KMAC179 Loaded Pockets

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    ITS Tactical/Zulu Nylon Discrete Messenger Bag
     
  9. tigz

    tigz Loaded Pockets

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    But he wants it discreet.
     
  10. tigz

    tigz Loaded Pockets

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    I recommend the same, just the price.
     
  11. edjo69

    edjo69 EDC Junkie

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    Get it in black?
     
  12. compy222

    compy222 Loaded Pockets

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    Look at the maxpedition operator tactical attache. Its what I use and i love it. Lots of pockets too.
     
  13. steeps

    steeps Loaded Pockets

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    What do you think about the 5.11 Side Trip Briefcase? I have one that I don't really use anymore if you have any questions or need pictures.
     
  14. Jackr

    Jackr Loaded Pockets

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    A few thoughts here:
    1) Hazard Four: The MOD messenger can be fitted with pockets on the front and ends (water bottle pockets). Can be worn with flap on or off.
    2) Vanquest: Pockets on ends are already there. Looks like two 5x7 pockets could be attached to the front or other combinations. They also offer an insert. Pass through to main compartment.
    3) ITS/Zulu: ITS discreet is out-of-production now, but ITS had their camera inserts discounted. Zulu emissary would work, pockets could be added to molle under flap.
    4) Emdom TnT: No flap, lots of pockets already built in.
    5) Maxpedition attache that was mentioned above.
    6) Mountain Ridge Gear messenger: Best value for product I have seen. End and front pockets could be added.
     
  15. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Certainly what I thought he meant too?

    The problem with most bags here from the way I read this is that they are anything but discrete?

    Any bag with tactical features clearly designed into the exterior of the bag seems the opposite of discrete to me.

    Maybe that is not what the O.P. meant but.....
     
  16. KMAC179

    KMAC179 Loaded Pockets

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    I carry the Hazard 4 MOD every day, not a bad bag, but not my favorite. MOLLE everywhere on the outside (covered by a removable flap) and the inside, velcro everywhere (also covered). You can add pouches to the inside (there are 4 pockets within the main section), padded laptop sleeve, and a big admin area with lots of pockets and such.

    Maxpediton also makes two messenger bags, which happen to be on clearance right now on their website. They are pretty low-key looking.
     
    Last edited by KMAC179, Jun 23, 2014
  17. Smeghead

    Smeghead Empty Pockets

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    Wow, lots of great suggestions. Many thanks guys. I'll go through my thoughts on them all (please bear with my whines):

    • Gura Gear Chobe - Very nice, but very pricey. Apologies for not mentioning in the first post, I'm looking to spend about £140 (~$240) max, and that includes shipping.
    • Zulu Nylon Gear Emissary - I actually saw the ITS Tactical Messenger gen2 and loved it, but as many of you know it's discontinued (and also pricey). I really liked the zip access on the top flap meaning you didn't have to actually fully open it to access the main pocket.
    • Saddleback's Medium Leather Satchel & Frost River's Medium Manitou Shoulder Bag - A bit too formal for my tastes
    • Timbuk2 Messenger - Doesn't quite satisfy my needs for pockets
    • Vanquest - All the molle (or molle-like squares) is far too tactical looking for me.
    • Mountiansmith (Endeavour) - Not bad at all, seems very similar to the Chobe for a fraction of the price.
    • Maxpedition operator tactical attache - Not a huge fan of velcro pockets
    • 5.11 Side Trip Briefcase - Pretty cool. I love my 5.11 COVRT 18, so will have a look into this. Must say though it looks very large on your person from some pics.
    • Hazard Four mod messenger - Again, pretty cool and will look into it.
    • Emdom TnT - Love love love this one (apart from the price :( )
    • Mountain Ridge Gear messenger - A nice simple bag with a nice price tag too. Will look into it.
    So as you can see, I'm one picky bastard :tongue: But a lot of fantastic suggestions. I have a bit of research to do it seems.
     
  18. ambaal

    ambaal Loaded Pockets

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    If waterproofness isn't an requirement - look at Magforce Tactical Messenger. It does have some molle on sides, but generally pretty low key. Otherwise, I am seriously considering it to be the best ever in its category.
     
  19. IndellibleReign

    IndellibleReign Empty Pockets

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    Try ordering a custom Zulu Emissary, that's what I did. That way you get it exactly how you want. Ordering something custom made (and in the USA), does cost more than the easy to find made in Asia stuff however - BUT, you won't see lot's of people with your bag.
     
  20. Jackr

    Jackr Loaded Pockets

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    I would like to see a Zulu with front pockets like the ITS Discreet. Wonder if Joel would do something like that and how much that would add to the cost.