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Monsoon Questions...

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by sloopy70, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. sloopy70

    sloopy70 Loaded Pockets

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    I've decided the next bag I want is a Maxpedition Monsoon in Black. Would like peoples personal experiences carrying the bag in public. Does it draw much attention? I've looked at LOTS of pics, but is it so big as to look like your dragging around an akwardly large bag? Does it work good for EDC in Semi office types of environments? Is it eyeballed at security type areas? Basically how low profile is it? I wanna use it as a car to work to car to home edc bag... I work in a papermill and security isn't "strict", but they don't really want us carrying HUGE bags in so I'd like it to not draw alot of attention...

    Any experiences or opinions would help.

    Thanks !!!

    Edit: Malaga has also caught my eye so same scenario with the malaga for those with experience... Can you fit something as large as a magazine in a malaga ?
     
  2. iacchus

    iacchus Loaded Pockets

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    The Monsoon is a great bag, and I use mine much as you plan to use yours.
    The odd, teardop shape helps to keep it from looking too military-ish, which helps. It is also the largest of the gearslingers, and can hold quite a bit.
    Organization is somewhat lacking in comparison with something like the Kodiak. That is okay with me though, as I use the bag-in-bag approach. I also added a Janus vertically to the non-water bottle side, and an R7 to the wallet pocket. They both add quite a bit of organization without looking odd or as if they shouldn't be there, if you know what I mean.

    The strap is a left shoulder design, and cannot flip sides like some of the gearslingers, just so you know. That works fine for me, but thought you should know (in case you didn't).

    Mine is black, and I don't get any crazy looks for carrying it. It is pretty big, but not HUGE. Its backpack sized, you know?

    This may or may not have helped.... feel free to ask more questions. I have carried it for a pretty good while now, so am familiar with it in everyday use.
     
  3. Urban Hermit

    Urban Hermit EDC Junkie!!!

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    I have been carrying a Monsoon in Khaki for over a year now and really like mine. It doesn't get many looks as I live near a collage campus and everyone seems to carry backpacks or bags, and cross sling/teardrop shaped bags seem more and more common. I'm kinda a big guy so the bag probably doesn't look so big on me. I have a janus pouch added to the strap and a monkey admin pouch on the back flap to add to the organization. As iacchus has already stated, the Monsoon lacks the organizational capacity of some of the other gear slingers, but more than makes up for it in capacity. I sometimes carry my laptop in mine (in a padded sheath since the bag itself lacks padding for such a sensitive cargo). and can also throw in a jacket and other items as needed.
    I wouldn't call it a 'Huge' bag. with the shape, it's usually less conspicuous than most med/small backpacks. and if you don't overload it and use the compression straps, it lays pretty flat on your back. I wouldn't think you'd have much trouble with using it for what you want.
     
  4. slowburn

    slowburn Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Monsoon thats green and its great for light duty work but it does have some small design flaws in my opinion. The compression straps have to be undone to undo the outer flap with the mollie on it. the outer flap covers the exterior slots that can't be closed completely so if it goes upside down your small items will fall out.Then there is the small matter of the compression straps going over both of the main zippers to access the interior. Even the pockets inside the bag are not going to stop things from falling out when inverted for any length of time, same for the two side pockets on the outside. But hey, if thats good for you then its the best constructed , one strap bag that i have. The pocket in the back for "CCW" carry is also large enough for a small machete if you go camping!
     
  5. iacchus

    iacchus Loaded Pockets

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    I actually carry my ESEE Junglas with me everywhere in the rear CCW/hydration pocket.
     
  6. doctah

    doctah Guest

    I work in an office - for a huge bank. I've carried my monsoon daily since Sept 09 and the only comments I've gotten are, "I bet that was expensive". No worries about spooking anyone...

    That said, depending on what you're carrying, its really not the most practical bag. I moved from a backpack to my monsoon and found it quite a struggle to organize. I still struggle with it but haven't found any other bags that really catch my attention.

    Really consider what you want to carry in it before your purchase. The front mesh pocket tapers so much - its very limiting. The taper is very limiting if you want to use it for a laptop (and I would assume binders as well). Added pouches all over the outside significantly changes the aesthetics of the bag (if that concerns you)...and gets costly...quickly.
     
  7. Rev. Chuck

    Rev. Chuck Loaded Pockets

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    I am a Monsoon hater, I tried that bag for about a week, and I hate the organization, as some people point out, you need multiple little pouches and bags to carry your stuff in the Monsoon.

    I went back to a Level III assault pack because I needed a better way to carry my stuff.

    In the other hand my wife loves it, she uses it for school and carries perfectly all her books, mac book pro 15" and a Canon 7D.
     
  8. sloopy70

    sloopy70 Loaded Pockets

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    So far the only concerns I have about the monsoon are size and organization... I do love all the handy placed "accessory/hidden" type pockets... You guys may push me toward another bag...

    I should've listed what I'm looking for in a bag...

    I want it to be a sling type.
    With well thought out pockets.
    Not small enough to be a man purse, so on first look it's obviously a back pack.
    Needs to be able to hold my lunch... A few Tupperware bowls and maybe a few cokes, with some room left over...
    Not so big as to be inconvenient
    Low profile ( flat vertical is better than cubed)
    I've already got a good camelback for heavy duty carry, I'm looking for light edc but big enough to hold magazines/ reading material
    Hidden pockets are a plus

    I may end up switching away from the monsoon if these items are better met in another bag.

    Maybe a Malaga ?
     
  9. sloopy70

    sloopy70 Loaded Pockets

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    Actually digging through bag specs on maxpud the Sitka is really starting to look good... Anyone with Sitka vs monsoon experience ?
     
  10. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    I came across a post on the DIY Tactical Forum that pretty much summed up all of the Monsoon's shortcomings:

    http://www.diytactical.com/forums/index.php?topic=1117.0

    It sounded pretty consistent with what I came across when I was researching different Maxpedition options to suit my EDC needs. His last point about the Monsoon carrying low is what struck me. The customer action pictures on the Maxped site pretty much confirm it. Really, it's just an odd bag.

    I thought about the Malaga, but be aware that with the exception of the Monsoon and the Kodiak and to a degree the Sitka, all of Maxped's Gearslinger bags are VERY small. If you want to hold your lunch, some reading materials and perhaps some other items then I wouldn't go much smaller than the Sitka. I tried the Sitka and eventually replaced it with the Kodiak because I wanted the extra room. It's just more versatile and I kept reading about people sizing up over time anyway so why go through the hassel? I'm very happy with the Kodiak. I can't recommend it enough.
     
  11. Rev. Chuck

    Rev. Chuck Loaded Pockets

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    I second that, I've been trying to get a Kodiak, even though it keeps evading me.
     
  12. sweetdaddyroses

    sweetdaddyroses Loaded Pockets

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    my experience with the monsoon is/was exceptionally limited. although my excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation for this pack was off the charts after ordering and during the week prior to its arrival and actually having it in my hands/on my back.

    i was like a pavlovian dog salivating over the prospect of having a big, juicy and tender rib-eye steak in my mouth only to have the pendulum swing well beyond that level of anticipation in the opposite direction to that of gut churning, anticlimactic disappointment.

    one moment, after a week of waiting, i was in the penthouse. then came the knock upon my door--the pack's arrival, the box opened--and then, in the very next moment, the immediate descent straight down to the basement of despair.

    my dislike for the monsoon gearslinger was literally instantaneous. i am not going to list the litany of design flaws and things that turned out to be so completely opposite of what, in my mind, i was expecting this pack to be. suffice to say; within 20 minutes from the time this pack arrived, and was carefully examined/scrutinized, it was back in the box and being returned to amazon dot com.

    in summation, i found the maxpedition monsoon gearslinger to be a gimmicky niche pack that simply didn't live up to its hype. especially if you happened to watch that guy, sootch, on youtube who looked so tacti-kewl running around singing the monsoon's praises in his video review. i absolutely hated that pack!

    i ended up buying a real backpack that not only lives up to it's hype but actually exceeds it! that would be the 5.11 RUSH 24. although it has more than ample PALS webbing on it's exterior, it is built in such a way to almost completely exclude the need to add any additional pouches. for the money, i will wager, that it would be extremely difficult to find a pack that gives you more bang for your buck than the 24.

    this was/is my experience/opinion. period.

    good luck to the OP. i hope you find something you really like. like i did...finally!

    *sdr*
     
  13. doctah

    doctah Guest

    Based on this - you might like the monsoon. Especially the "flat vertical" statement. That's a good way to describe the monsoon. If you can flat pack your items, you'll be happy with it.

    The main compartment is really wide open. There is a very thin divider that forms a pocket in the inside. I keep a 13" laptop in this little pocket - I'm sure your reading material would fit there. You're not going to fit anything much larger than a small laptop here. Even my little laptop is stretching it (literally).

    [​IMG]

    If your tupperware is somewhat flat, you would be able to pack one hell of a lunch :laugh:. I often take 1 tupperware type container and 1 liter bottle (along with my laptop). There is still room for more (if not concerned with weight ;D), but it will get bulky pretty quickly. Don't forget there is a dedicated water bottle holder on the outside as well. You can fit a 1 liter bottle w/o issue.

    [​IMG]

    (FYI: the dish is a bit thinner than the bottle)

    Packed as above, its is still comfortable to wear and looks "normal". You can fit more - but then the bag starts to get bulky and uncomfortable.

    [​IMG]

    I sometimes pack "heavy" if I know I'll be leaving some contents once I get to work (or where ever), else I try to pack lighter. Its just not designed to carry a ton of stuff.

    There is also a pocket on the inside for an mp3 player or similar (I don't currently use it). Its visible in the first picture I posted. You also have a pretty nice sized zippered mesh pocket on the inside. You can't really see it in my picture above - its behind the laptop. If you really stuff this pocket, it becomes difficult to remove items from the bag without completely unzipping and unpacking. Its very good for relativity flat items (note cards, thin phones, wallets, etc). I keep a wireless mouse in this pocket - sometimes memory cards and USB keys.

    You have a few pockets here and there for small items. I keep a spoon/fork set in the outside mesh pocket (the purple thing) and some snacks. The shape of the pocket is quite a pain, but flat items do well (seeing a trend?). Behind the mesh pocket, you have another pocket that is somewhat deep, but the opening is very thin and narrow. The shape is very frustrating honestly. It doesn't "close" per se, but there is a velcro tab that will keep items pretty secure. I keep a pocket organizer here (this one from countycomm). Its holds a portable HDD, pens, pencils, etc. It is a VERY tight fit, but it fits. This is the type of "bag in a bag" system that works with the monsoon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the outside, you have a zippered pocket that will rest by your hip during normal carry. Its about the size of a coin purse. You could likely fit a small sized wallet, a phone, folding knife, etc here as well. On the other side of this pocket, you have another pocket that isn't very secure - only has a little flap with a snap to secure it. So silly of them not to put a zipper here as well. There's a row of attachment points here (I don't know the proper name). I have a Maxpedition H1 here and it works well for me (though I wish it weren't so bulky). Its the perfect position when wearing the bag. You can see it in the fourth picture. Miscellaneous stuff in the pouch - a leatherman in the flashlight pouch.

    Then you also have the entire back of the bag as one big pocket. I bought several little eagle creek pouches (similar to these). If you can keep them somewhat flat (maybe an inch or 2 thick), you won't notice them when wearing the bag. I have a little FAK, lots and lots of cables, my laptop charger, and a poncho in the back pocket. Sometimes the charger goes in the main pocket with my laptop. While off topic - those little eagle creek bags are nice. They look like mesh, but are clear plastic with mesh on the outside. You can see 2 of them in the following pic of the normal contents of my bag sans the extra pouches. It doesn't seem like much - especially in comparison to some here, but it works for me.

    [​IMG]

    It really is a big little bag.
     
  14. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    It amazes how overwhelmingly positive the Youtube reviews are on the Monsoon. It makes me wonder if Maxpedition's stance is punitive towards balanced reviews on their gear and everyone is afraid of giving them any negative feedback for fear of not getting anything from them again. That is why I like sites like this forum. The members here are more pragmatic and in many cases more informed on the gear being discussed.

    It's funny you mention the 5.11 RUSH 24 because the more I hear about that pack the more I want one. Owners of costlier gear (Maxpedition, Kifaru, Tad, etc.) thumb their nose at the suppossed downgrade in quality but every person who actually owns that pack has raved about it. I think pairing that bag with a Kodiak would give me a couple of great EDC bags and a lot of versatility.
     
    marinedownunder likes this.
  15. iacchus

    iacchus Loaded Pockets

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    It seems that the Kodiak is the "king" of the maxped gearslingers. The Sitka would be the "prince" I suppose.
    The Monsoon would be the banished Duke with eyes for the throne. Most hate him, but he has a small cadre of loyal supporters who thinks he should be the one w/ a crown on his head.

    I still want to try a Kodiak sometime, but will probably try a Falcon first.
    It will be a while though; I really like my Monsoon, and have it customized to my needs pretty well.
     
  16. sloopy70

    sloopy70 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm starting to lean more toward a Sitka or a kodiak as this thread has progressed. I'm starting to realize that at this point the organization, wearability and compactness of the other gearslingers are starting to win out over the monsoon.

    Anyone that can contrast the Sitka/kodiak with the monsoon wouldbe appreciated.

    Just wondering if the Sitkas main compartment is big enough to drop my lunch In as I'm typically not a morning person and in a semi rush when getting ready for work in the mornings.
     
  17. concho

    concho Loaded Pockets

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  18. Geek_Bag_AZ

    Geek_Bag_AZ Empty Pockets

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    check out my youtube channel. i did a video review on the monsoon.
     
  19. sloopy70

    sloopy70 Loaded Pockets

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    I believe I've about changed my mind to the Sitka or the Kodiak... Just gotta decide if the sitka is too small, or if the Kodiak is too big ???
     
  20. sloopy70

    sloopy70 Loaded Pockets

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    Can someone pull real world outside measurements of the kodiak and sitka for me? i know they have internal dimensions on maxpedition.com but we all know realworld outside measurements are different..

    Thanks !