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Military looking EDC bags = Is this really a good idea?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Jakerock, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    For those looking for good, inexpensive, alternatives; try to locate a Century 21 department store in your area. Basically a huge thrift store that looks like a more expensive department store. They generally have a good selection of EDC bags. I recently picked up a Rothco "Jack Sack" at one for a good price. They have non-military looking bags as well.
     
  2. Jakerock

    Jakerock Loaded Pockets

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    Monocrom many thanks from Brooklyn!
     
  3. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    Happy to help. :)
     
  4. Blitzwing
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    With me, it's not a matter of tactical or not.. I do have tactical looking bags not to be "tactical" but I've seen that they're designed better and more durable, and expandable (not bashing kelty, Timbuk or saddleback) .. Or how can I say, thought out more.. I like having an organized bag that can change as the purpose arises. I've had sling bags that were nothing more than a big empty with a few slots for pens and a key keeper. I like internal dividers with compression straps, velcro for stowing modular pouches, and Molle on the outside for expansion.. I can go with the work setup. With internal tool pouch, to travel where I don't want to set off alarms , to hiking where I might want a pouch to hold more water. I like being able to do that with a bag just by adding or removing pouches.

    I've never been happy with "over the counter" bags.. Maybe it's ocd but I like the setup I've come to find with tactical packs.
     
  5. Amafan

    Amafan Loaded Pockets

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    Just don't be dumb about it.

    Especially at the airport. I'm literally sitting at Dulles while I write this waiting for a connecting flight after flying in country from Germany. I see a guy checking in wearing a Barrett 50 cal shirt and carrying a Max Ped Or Spec Ops multicam ruck with MOLLE magazine pouches attached. They yanked him out of line so fast I think his fillings are still hanging in midair.
     
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  6. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have carried an old military bag since I was a kid. It looks like an old bad because it is. Nobody ever thinks anything of it...execpt the random person who thinks it weird of a man to carry a bag. Actually, I carried it to the weekly meeting last week for the first time, since I brought my iPad. Nobody said anything. And I work with a bunch of PLUMBERS! Tommorow I'll be carrying my new Kato. I fully expect to be razzed for carrying a "man purse". Not so much because of the look, but the size. Personally, I think it looks less military than the other.
    I think your enviorment make all the difference in how your perceived. It just depends on who you carry it around. I'm really kind of surprised that the didn't "give me the business" for the other bag.
     
  7. AK Adventurer

    AK Adventurer Ice, Ice, Tigre

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    I see it the opposite way, a nice brand stands out as housing something important or expensive. The military stuff, even when new or not really mil issue just looks like military surplus... looks like something dead cheap from any army/navy/mil surp store. Its like guys you see in older BDUs... they're either ex military, or more likely operating on the cheap in mil surplus gear.

    G.
     
  8. yukon2004

    yukon2004 Loaded Pockets

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    IMO I think that any one who dresses in BDU type clothing says that they at least like firearms, increasing the chance they might be carrying.
     
  9. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    Where does this idea come from. They are not more durable, as a group, it depends on the particular bag. In groups that I have been in it has been the military guys that complained the most about military bags as they put on something civilian. On design, some of the military looking bags can be grouped into the worst for carrying an extended period of time. Expandability is a plus and a minus rolled into one. Kelty has only had a few bags that have gotten high marks, in general they are not the top in any wight class or category except for a handful of exceptions over the decades.
     
  10. Mr BadWrench

    Mr BadWrench Loaded Pockets

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    This thread is excellent, I just wasted my entire lunch break reading it. I carry old laptop bags that I get from thrift stores, usually for less than $5. They have compartments and are usually well made.

    Don
     
  11. Blitzwing
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    I wasn't stating all of them.. I've had quite a few over the years, I have never found a regular bag that suited me better or lasted as much as the "tactical" ones I now have.
     
  12. Jakerock

    Jakerock Loaded Pockets

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    I just wanted to chime in about quality... I have a Timbuk2 messenger bag that has been in heavy use for 15 years and shows the most minimal signs of wear.
    It is one of the highest quality ANYTHING that I have ever bought. Just had to say that!
     
  13. Blitzwing
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    I'm not big on messenger bags but I was on their site looking at one for my 10yr old daughter nice site!
     
  14. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I think actual military bags are above average as to durability. Most complaints that I have heard, or had myself on military gear are about comfort.
     
  15. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    It is a matter of looking at the material and how it is designed. Only a very small number of the packs that are called tactical or military are high tenacity. When you compare equal weights of high tenacity with the newer single large yarn products you will see a difference when you try and destroy it. When you compare the packs actually used by the military and the civilian stuff it they are equal of the material is the same. Look at what the Marines are using now, it came from a civilian back made by Arcteryx. You are seeing Tom Bihn stuff showing up in military procurement. The materials packs are made from are well understood. The civilian bags that are sometimes used for comparison is often the lighter or lower grade stuff.

    When judging on durability it is easy to look at the bags from the civilian market and say "this one is light and flimsy" Many of the better makers make some that are made to be light and other models made to be tough so the right models need to compared to have a valid comparison.
     
  16. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Absolutely. As discussed in another thread "tactical" can't even really be defined. It's mostly a marketing term that has as much meaning and truth as everything else in marketing.
     
  17. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    Timbuk2, Saddleback, and Kelty aren't even in the same category. It's like comparing apples to oranges to pineapples.

    The original Timbuk2 bags are bike messenger bags, designed to keep stuff dry, but to transport it to customers quickly, on a bike. Mostly all they have now are cheap colorful trendy / urban bags from China.

    Saddleback makes everything from the thickest, most durable leather, maybe even when it's not really a good idea.

    Kelty is a mass market outdoors/backpacking company - and one of their packs (MAP 3500) actually was used by the military at some point.
     
  18. nyckmc

    nyckmc Loaded Pockets

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    I live in a big city- but I also travel allot for work.
    Last year for work I flew something like 25 times- but its usually condensed together.

    I make television for a living and carry a strange combination of tools, meters, electronics
    pretty much every day - so its not easy for travel. And as an aside while I need a rugged
    comfortable pack - I am on the go most days for 10-12 hours,
    I also dont want or need to look like an airsoft dude.

    I noticed flying this year more then ever- military types flying in uniforms.
    Most of this flying was, smaller city to smaller city, domestically. I was surprised to see
    not only so many in uniform but also carrying their Rucks- 3 days or what have you.

    So you can fly with any kind of pack or bag at an airline- provided you do not break any carry on rules
    but if you go to a concert or sporting event (which is what I am traveling to shoot) do not be surprised if
    your tacticool bag is singled out. From the US open - to world Series, to superbowl and many concerts
    stadium security does kind of single these out.

    And lots of buildings here in the big city are privately owned , and I need to report to them for work or client meetings
    and am subject to search before entry and the subway or commuter trains.
    most police or transit police just take a cursory glance at what I have and could care less, however the corporate security
    usually are meticulous and ask allot of questions.

    I have an arceryx 30 that I was using for a while great bag.
    but a little too big for every day. I have a 25l black plain militrary esque backpack that I use most days
    or some smaller shoulder bags.
     
  19. Kraid

    Kraid Loaded Pockets

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    On the Marine Corps base that I work on, by Camelbak TriZip looks pretty tame. :)
     
  20. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    Just to throw in my two pennies: It depends.

    Here in NYC, military *surplus* is used by homeless, students, and military personnel. Key word here is surplus. It looks military, and it IS military. As such, you don't get a lot of attention walking around with one since it's a common enough sight.

    However, military *looking*, i.e. Maxpedition, is used by... almost nobody. As such, walking around with a Maxped gets more attention.

    Same thing with clothes. Around here everybody and their mother's subcontractor wears BDU/DCU pants. You'll be labeled as a construction worker or deliveryman if you wear BDUs. However, 5.11 pants are not common at all, so the specific cut and style will attract more attention.

    The main thing is really common sense. If you're in line at an airport without military travel documents, wearing a .50 cal T-shirt with a MOLLE pack festooned with mag pouches, that would get attention FAST. If you're walking around a student population where military surplus is an in thing, then you'll blend right in.