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Vertx satchel... Red headed stepchild of bags? (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Blitzwing, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Blitzwing
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    I've been on a bag quest for quite some time, like most of you. I've done them all.. Slings, backpacks, messengers, tactical, non tactical, 5.11, maxpedition, hazard 4, kifaru, vertx and so on.. Recently I've been realizing that a backpack to work is a bit overkill so I've been looking for a change.. I tried messenger bags but just haven't been happy with them.. Most recently I've downsized to a 5.11 bug out bag but find it too minimal so the quest continued.

    I came across the vertx satchel on the Internet and was intrigued by it and the lack of information on it. I found so few reviews on it and even less pictures. There's only one review on it on this forum and after reading it (it was like the reviewer had a personal animosity towards vertx or the bag itself) and seeing that it was far from impartial.. It just intrigued me more. The price was keeping me from pulling the trigger. Until recently when big vertx discounts have been coming out.. So with a 40 percent off and free shipping to boot, I pulled the trigger.

    I am pleasantly surprised by this bag... Don't get me wrong, it's got pluses and minuses but the positive outweighs the negative in my opinion.

    Ok, so not to drag my feet.. The vertx satchel or as I call it the "gamut's shorter, fatter stepbrother"

    [​IMG]

    Here it is next to my vertx gamut (Not the plus) it looks like they cut the gamut down and fattened it up.

    Here it is from front to back..

    [​IMG]

    It just about mirrors the gamut with the "transport tail" on the front the front panel can be used as a pouch by pulling the front pull tab revealing the front pocket with the molle/hook in loop inside. Or the zippers can be unsnapped and unzipped to open fully or stow it in its hidden pocket to reveal the molle fully as seen below.

    [​IMG]

    You can either go with Molle pouches as big as a condor t&t or the hook and loop route

    [​IMG]
    I'm using the MaxPed admin insert as a size reference.

    Above the molle panel is the vertx grab handle and a small horizontal pouch.. You either love or hate the handle.. I like it because it makes the bag sleek but easy to grab and toss in the truck.. IMO, if you want a top handle.. Buy a messenger or one of those tactical attaches.

    [​IMG]

    The handle is very beefy (rectangular part just beneath the logo) and doesn't protrude out to get in the way. The pocket is the length of the panel and deepens on each end.. Great to hold smaller things and has a key keeper (if you're into that)

    You'll notice the zipper on the main compartment does not run to the bottom of the bag like on their packs.. This is a top loader, it makes sense since the depth of the pack is not as tall like the gamut. It may not be as tall but retains a lot of the features that the gamut line has in its main compartment.

    [​IMG]

    You'll see towards the front, the same organization on the "flap" is similar to the gamut with some changes.. It has the 6 horizontal slots with two vertical slots layered on top on one side.

    [​IMG]

    Some have complained about these on the gamut due to the lack of Elastic for retention, things would tend to slip out. These are sized a little different but still have no Elastic.. It does retain things a little better like my nitecore p12..it fits more snug.. But as you can see I hook the clip of my skeletool on the pocket so it doesn't shift.. The heavier it is, the more it can shift. Towards the right you can see the new vertical pockets on top of the horizontal. They currently hold a mini moleskine and a fisher space pen.. And haven't shifted at all.

    [​IMG]

    Just below on what is the inside front face of the pack is a zippered pocket with hook and loop compatible fabric on the outside of the pocket.

    Onto the back side of the main pouch.. It has a tablet pouch with the same hook and loop compatible material as the front with a retaining strap just like the laptop pouch on the gamut

    [​IMG]

    For size reference the next pic is with my daughter's Galaxy tab s 10.5 in a folio case in the pocket

    [​IMG]

    And then my galaxy tab s 8.4 in an Otterbox

    [​IMG]

    It has plenty of room for either one and then some.. On the front of the tablet pouch is a single zippered mesh pouch.

    [​IMG]


    Continued
     
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  2. Blitzwing
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    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    Part 2

    On the back wall of the tablet pouch is lined with the hook and loop compatible material and a zipper to access the stiffener pocket.. The stiffener helps to keep the shape well but can be removed

    Inside the main compartment along the sides are two mesh elastic pouches that can hold a water bottle (16oz klean kanteen) or other loose items.

    [​IMG]

    On the exterior ends are two elastic water bottle/dump pouches. These pouches are a sore spot on the gamut bag due to the design and inability to hold the larger water bottles and the weird pseudo retention straps (I still have yet to figure them out. These have been changed slightly to accommodate bigger bottles but because of the spandex type material being "slippery" bigger bottles tend to work their way out a bit.

    The three bottles used are a 16oz black insulated kleen kanteen, a blue Nalgene 32oz bottle and a 40oz orange insulated hydroflask.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm currently trying to wrangle a retention system for the larger bottles and if I can figure one out I'll be sure to share.

    Onto the ccw section.. It's hook and loop compatible on the front and back of the compartment. It is large enough to hole my full size, double stack sig sauer p226r with room to spare and then some. It has a big pull tab on the zipper for easy access and as you can see tab locks to keep the zipper from going too far as to open the whole pouch to the world. You can't open it flat though like the gamut can.. It has a sort of 9/10th zipper to where it stops shy of the bottom a fraction.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Last but not least it the rear and the strap... The rear is the same mesh padded material on their packs which breathes and is comfortable. It comes with a small waist strap (removed) that attached to the bottom. The strap is a cool change to the generic standby.. I think they call it 1913 webbing? Basically it's a double layer nylon strap sewn in increments horizontally creating pass thru channels for the strap pad.

    [​IMG]

    the strap pad is nice and padded, maybe a bit big but the attachment points run thru the middle of the double layer strap and snap shut.. That means it has no way to shift or slide up or down the strap.. It stays put. One of my pet peeves I must say.

    The other nice thing is how it attaches to the bag itself..

    [​IMG]

    One side used a type of gate clip on a swivel to secure it thru the center of the strap with the excess stores in a slit on the back of the bag.. Once closed it has no way of lengthening on its own. The other end it permanently sewn to the bag.. I would have preferred the swivel gate clip on both sides.



    There it is.. The vertx satchel.. Some good points, some not so good but none keeping me from using this bag long term and liking it. I wish the bottle pouches were a bit more grippy to keep the empty bottles from shifting, and the one thing I do miss from the gamut is the side "admin" pouches under the water bottle holders.. That was a nice little setup for me.. If I don't have a bottle in the pouch.. They were great little pouches.

    All in all.. A keeper
     
  3. squatch

    squatch Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the review. Any updates?

    Also, can you fit a manila or accordion folder in the main compartment with a water bottle in one of the external pouches?
     
  4. WILLIAM.M

    WILLIAM.M Empty Pockets

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    Excellent review

    Thanks
     
  5. Jonb74

    Jonb74 Loaded Pockets

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    I like it. I'd give it a shot if I was in the market for a new bag. I don't carry mine very often as is, but it looks like it would be perfect for what I carry. Good review
     
  6. pks

    pks Loaded Pockets

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    Just found out about this bag and this thread. Anyone has one and know whether a letter size writing pad, and/or a MBP 13 inch will fit in the main pocket? Probably not but just want to know. It looks like a very nice EDC bag.
     
  7. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Interesting. I'd like to hear how you like it now.
     
  8. Blitzwing
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    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    I'm still rocking it, it serves its purpose rather well, I've been trying to grab a vertx courier (it's larger cousin) to compare. It still has some faults.. The water bottle holders are a bit small, they do expand to accommodate the bigger water bottles. With that said on the smoother surface bottles.. Like kleen kanteen and Nalgene because of the use of elastic fabric, the motion of walking with it tends to force the bottles up and out. I did make a tether to loop thru the ring on my bottle lid to keep it under control but it's still a nuisance. I've been experimenting with pouches on the front for extra space but I tend to opt for the smooth look of it.. All and all still a good bag
     
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  9. Blitzwing
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    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    The letter pad fits barely, not sure about the mbp.... Once I get my hands on the courier I think that will fit better
     
  10. pks

    pks Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the info ! Shame about the water bottle holders, that was one of the thing that I thought was great about the bag -- smaller slings or even my Javalin do not have water bottle pockets. I guess the satchel IS a smaller bag by design, and fitting a iPad is good enough, and maybe a 8x5 type notebook.
     
  11. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    I'm really wanting this bag, but I keep reading so many bad reviews about it not having a handle (a big criticism of mine also (in general)). I don't need a messenger, I have two of those. I want something smaller and more "murse" like. This looks like the bag, but I'm on the fence. At a $140 price point, I'm undecided. It's definitely a nice bag, and I think the review here is excellet, but I'm looking for something to push me over the edge.

    I generally like packs, because they're easier on my back, but I also want something small just to grab and go. I like this bag...I'm just wondering if I'll use it. Yes, I'm picky.

    Thoughts?
     
  12. pks

    pks Loaded Pockets

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    another potential competitor is the sarmacustomMade Midi. But there is something about less tactical looking of the vertx.
     
  13. Blitzwing
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    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    I like the handle on this one.. Makes it more streamlined and it doesn't bother me a bit.. It's very easy to grab and go with it and has just enough room for your needs but I wouldn't call it a messenger... I was thinking of selling mine to defer the cost of getting the courier to compare
     
  14. jdindadell

    jdindadell Loaded Pockets

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    I have the courier and really like it. Looks to be very similar, although larger than the satchel. It has a center handle, that is kinda narrow. It might come off if you used the bag when full as a defensive weapon. Regluar use should be fine. The rest of the bag is very well made and should last.