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pros/cons of carry bag styles

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by breakingcontact, May 27, 2013.

  1. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Loaded Pockets

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    What do you consider the pros/cons of:
    • Civilian backpack
    • Military backpack
    • Messenger bag
    • Military style messenger bag
    • Sling bag
    • Military style slingbag
    Any other options I'm missing?
     
  2. Varmitslayer

    Varmitslayer Loaded Pockets

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    All of the military styld bags draw more attention to you but the molle allows for more versatility. The regular backpacks have better weight distribution than the messengers. Messengers and slingbags are easier to get into than backpacks while on the move.
     
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  3. voxnox

    voxnox Loaded Pockets

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    civilian:
    pros: most have laptop compartment, doesnt stick out in crowds, inexpensive, can usually find one with your preferred pocket configuration
    cons: many use polyester or low denier nylon, color schemes not suited to hunting/military, many have too many pockets or sections which get smaller when the other compartments fill up.

    military:
    pros: usually very well made, comes in subdued color schemes, most use 100% 500D or 1000D nylon, which is the strongest fabric.
    cons: OMGz GoTTa have the molle!!!!111 GOTTA HAVE THE VELCRO PATCHES EVERYWHERE!!!!1111!!! The entire pack is nothing but molle and velcro. That's ugly. Most have "drainage holes"... which is the tactical term for "liquid and debris ENTRY hole". Most are hideously overpriced for what they are. Costing 3x-5x the amount of a comparably well built'civilian' pack. Have absolutely no dedicated laptop compartment, except the Go-Ruck.

    messenger bag:
    pros: looks more professional
    cons: smaller than a backpack, less freedom of movement, only meant for books and laptops, strains your shoulder and can slip off

    sling bag:
    pros: ?
    cons: 1 strap is definitely not as secure as 2 straps.
     
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  4. gdwtvb

    gdwtvb Loaded Pockets

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    I don't find that the military style bags stand out around here. (This probably has to do with living just a couple miles from the army's largest basic training base, Fort Jackson, SC) Also, god graced me with a minuscule number of hairstyle options. I can rock the crew cut or shaved head, that's about it. I look ex-military and haven't found that people give the molle on my bags a second glance. Many people would say that Military style style bags will usually stand up to more abuse, but that's not always true! You can find any style bag that as durable and sadly you can find any style bag that will fall apart rather quickly. (And unfortunately, the durable bags don't often come cheaply...unless you buy used like a nearly indestructible Alice pack.)

    Military style bags generally allow you to customize more, by adding pouches and pockets. Some civilian bags have options like this (Tom Bihn springs to mind.) But civilian systems are usually limited to whatever one specific manufacturer for their specific bag or bag line, while military style is more universal. If it hooks to molle, it will hook to any pack with the right amount of molle.


    As to bag types: sling bags

    pros: Easy access to stuff in the bag. Quick to put on or take off. Doesn't have to be completely removed to sit down. (I find this great when using public transportation when on trips. Just slide it to the front and sit down. Easy to keep an eye on your gear.) Doesn't look like a purse. (This may or may not be important to you.)

    Cons: Many people find them uncomfortable for longer jaunts. When you bend over the bag usually slides around to the front. If you are not careful can be unwieldy in tight quarters. (They stick out off your back. A quick turn too close to a stocked shelf can make an immediate mess. Learning from experience isn't always fun!) Often more difficult to use with heavy winter coats.

    Backpacks

    Pros: Most ergonomic way to carry a load. Widest selection in sizes, styles, manufacturers, and materials. Most comfortable for carrying longer distances. (Hikers don't use messenger bags on the trails, they're called backpackers for a reason.) Leaves both hands/arms free for other tasks.

    Cons: More time/difficulty putting on or off. Can be unwieldy in tight quarters. Stuff in bag is less accessible than sling bags or messenger bags.

    I have no experience with messenger bags.

    As a last note I will say that I find that any type of bag, carried by a man, while shopping gets you added scrutiny from salesclerks and/or security. (This happens less in more urban areas where more people use public transportation, and more men carry bags.) I'm not a criminal and have nothing to hide, if security wants to watch me, I'm fine with that. I am usually oblivious. I once I went shopping in a ritzy mall wearing a tank top, flip flops, and carrying my Maxpedition Jumbo. I have several tattoos, stand over six foot. Frankly I didn't look like a typical Nieman Marcus customer. My wife kept giggling throughout the entire mall. (2-3 hours of window shopping...I think I bought a couple cigars) After we left she told me that I was shadowed the entire time by two plainclothes security officers that I picked up while looking in the Mont-Blanc pen store. (I ordered a ti Hinderer pen after looking at the Mont-Blanc pens.)

    Grizz
     
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  5. Olly

    Olly Loaded Pockets

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    I use a vertical messenger bag with top zips instead of a flap - makes it really easy to access contents while it's over your shoulder
     
  6. nightowl

    nightowl Loaded Pockets

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    Everyone seems to have covered things quite well. My only addition is that I prefer to go unnoticed, not necessarily by regular people at the mall or wherever, but by someone with nefarious intent.

    There was a recent story I read where this edc-type guy was in a Denny's, or something, and three guys came in to case the joint. The three guys split up & walked through the restaurant, and when they gathered back together at the front, one of them nodded toward the edc guy, who was concealed carrying, and also had the whole tacticool bag set-up. The inference being that he was the guy they needed to worry about if things went down.

    This is one reason why I like the Camelbak Urban Assault bag...well made, lots of pockets, can carry a laptop and an iPad, if you want; can also carry a bladder. Doesn't scream that there is anything special inside.

    And though I usually only have one strap on a shoulder at a time, I prefer backpack-style so I can use either strap, on either shoulder, but then can also use both if it is heavy, or I really have to move.

    YMMV, of course :)
     
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  7. JT2V

    JT2V Loaded Pockets

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    • Civilian backpack
      • A hard category to lock down given the shear variety
      • Pros: comes in every form and size you can desire from basic to professional to stylish
      • Cons: You get what you pay for typically. Cheap will break, but the better quality stuff is $$$. Designs are not always driven by logic and use, often designs are made just for looks.
    • Military backpack
      • Still a lot variety here, but easier to narrow down
      • Pros: Tough materials in general. Expandable with Molle. Typically better organization. More often field tested.
      • Cons: Tacticool. Often heavy for their size. Not always the most comfortable. Less variety.
    • backpacks in general
      • pros: carry heavy loads comfortably.
      • Cons: longer time to access internals. sweaty back in hot weather
    • Messenger bag
      • Pros: lots of variety. stylish. quick easy access. easy to take off.
      • Cons: not stable without waist strap or carrying it sling style. heavy loads really stress shoulder. can get in the way when bag at your side
    • Military style messenger bag
      • really the same as consumer bags for the most part.
      • Pros: you might get some molle to expand and/or velcro for patches.
    • Sling bag
      • Pros: Carries out of the way. Quick to take off and access. Can typically be swung around for quick access.
      • Cons: Usually just a bag and a strap. Low on organization. Heavy loads uncomfortable over time.
    • Military style slingbag
      • Pros: looks 'cool'. carries out of the way. quick to take off and access. usually swings around for quick access. typically good organization. Molle for expansion
      • Cons: awkward fit depending on the bag and person. they do not carry heavy loads well over time. Low variety to be honest.
     
  8. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Loaded Pockets

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    How do you like the Urban Assault bag's size? It looks a bit big from what I have seen online. Something like that seems ideal for me though. Built well but without all the MOLLE straps and "tactical" looking cues on the outside.
     
  9. nightowl

    nightowl Loaded Pockets

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    I really enjoy it. Online, it does seem bit big, but it's not as big as it appears. It's also not like MaxPed or 5.11 material, so if it isn't full, it can be cinched, or will even collapse a bit if not needed. If you'd like something smaller, maybe the CVRT 18 might be good, but for me, the CVRT18 is almost a little too small. I like to be able to add to a pack when I'm out, or throw extra supplies (a jacket, a blanket, umbrella, etc.) in when needed. If I'm maxed-out when I leave, and I find something when I'm out, where can I put it? If I need to add to my FAK, or carry extra water, what do I do?

    The size lends itself to versatility, but when empty, it's very light.

    That, combined with the versatility of set-up, make it a winner for me. It has multiple ways to set it up for quick access to a number of items, and, as Tarfu has so eloquently stated, the two zippered & insulated water bottle compartments are both unique, and a welcome change to webbing that frays and gets caught on things.

    It's a great bag for me, and I think it's very flexible in the ways in can be used.

    For my money, this & the CVRT 18 are the way to go for inconspicuous and versatile EDC/defensive-minded packs.

    As always, YMMV :)
     
  10. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

    I'm making a big call to move away from any military looking kit ,things aren't safe here anymore
    A guy gets his head chopped off for wearing a T shirt showing military support.

    Not worth the risk of violence ,an argument going to still EDC but use Tom Bihn stuff to carry ,sure a military style bag might not mean much but if your insane enought to attack someone for a Tshirt I'm not going to hold out tht they have enough intellect to see its just a bag.
     
  11. clock

    clock Loaded Pockets

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    My favorite is a messenger or shoulder bag , OK , man purse of some sort

    But answering the OP:

    If you have a big belly , a backlpack can counter balance the weight upfront.
    LOL
     
  12. nightowl

    nightowl Loaded Pockets

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    Is 'here' the US ? Not being funny...your profile doesn't say & I just want to make sure I understand (not that I disagree )
     
  13. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

  14. nightowl

    nightowl Loaded Pockets

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    So the choice is purse, or belly ? Hmmmmm.... :)
     
  15. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

    no friend the UK ,things are getting a little crazy one group can say do as they wish no one is allowed to respond ,act or even remark upon it in return. bad times
     
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  16. nightowl

    nightowl Loaded Pockets

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    J4C3- Sorry, brother...the sad thing is I had to ask, as we both suffer a bit from the same malaise.

    We seem to not be far behind the governing mistakes occurring there...

    Praying for us all.....
     
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  17. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

    thanks bro
     
  18. nightowl

    nightowl Loaded Pockets

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    Bumping your post to the front for priority:

    j4c3 said:

    I'm making a big call to move away from any military looking kit ,things aren't safe here anymore
    A guy gets his head chopped off for wearing a T shirt showing military support.

    Not worth the risk of violence ,an argument going to still EDC but use Tom Bihn stuff to carry ,sure a military style bag might not mean much but if your insane enought to attack someone for a Tshirt I'm not going to hold out tht they have enough intellect to see its just a bag.
     
  19. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

    the thing here is its very tricky,we arent allowed to be armed in the slightest yet every bad guy carries a gun and every punk kid or those with intention carry knifes,i cant even use pepper spray or a 3 inch locking knife.

    if an incident occurs there are 2-3 police covering a vast area and if they need fire arms your looking at a wait which in times of such duress will seem like an eternity and can cost lifes
     
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  20. cowsmilk

    cowsmilk EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Lets get back on topic here folks, which is:

    "What do you consider the pros/cons of:
    • Civilian backpack
    • Military backpack
    • Messenger bag
    • Military style messenger bag
    • Sling bag
    • Military style slingbag
    Any other options I'm missing?"​