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Which backpack to replace a Maxped Mongo for EDC?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Dubya, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    I started off with a Jumbo for non work use for a few years then I decided I wanted to combine my work and personal bags into one so first I tried a Malaga, which lasted all of a few weeks. Then I stepped up to a Mongo and while it is ok, I've just never really warmed up to it. I've decided I want to try the backpack route but I'm stuck there.

    Here's what I like about the Mongo
    1- pouches of the right size and configuration that I can leave the main compartment mostly empty so I can carry extra things I need that day (lunch on workdays, miscellaneous crap on non work days)
    2- a dedicated CCW pocket with velcro for using holsters/mag pouches
    3- dedicated water bottle pocket
    4- easy on/off of a single strap bag
    5- big enough to carry magazines, books, etc. without having to fold/roll/crumple them
    6- Well organized admin area
    Here what I don't like
    1- No grab handle... WTH is Maxpedition thinking?
    2- If I lean, move, stretch, etc., the bag shifts/slides around right in my way
    3- Even with a modest amount of weight, it's only a few minutes before the one shoulder carry starts to get uncomfortable
    4- It's alllmost but not quite big enough to carry my 15.6" laptop if I need to. This is not an everyday need though.
    5- Too many pockets for my needs. I have three in the Mongo that pretty much go unused

    So far I've looked at a Maxpedition Typhoon, 5.11 COVRT 18, a couple of Oakley bags, and even a Swissgear laptop backpack at Target that I actually really liked, but I haven't found *that* bag yet.

    In my next post, I'll discuss my normal loadout and what I'm looking for in a EDC backpack.

    Thanks,
    Dubya
     
  2. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    My normal loadout:
    Maxped Pocket Organizer (mid size one) for a tool kit
    Noname organizer for a small first aid/booboo kit, about the same size as the Maxped Pocket Organizer
    titanium mess kit (knife, fork, spoon)
    3" fixed blade eating/general purpose knife
    flashdrive, zippo, cell charging adapter and cable, mp3 player cable, match tube with toothpicks in it, streamlight stylus, pens and pencils....all in the admin area
    Camelback 1L bottle
    WileyX sunglasses in factory case zip tied to the carry strap
    On work days add: lunch in main compartment, book/magazines in the ccw pocket
    On non work days remove the lunch and books/magazines and add: full size handgun and reload in ccw pocket...whatever I need to carry in the main compartment

    What I want in an EDC backpack
    - space for my laptop (15.6") when needed, I would prefer the bag be just big enough for my laptop, not sized for a 17"
    - decent organization
    - good admin area
    - grab handle
    - minimum 4" depth (front to back) in main compartment
    - area to be used for CCW, can be dedicated or just an area where a full size pistol and reload can be stored in their own space
    - fewer pockets, but they should be well organized/accessible
    - removeable/stowable waist and sternum straps, they will be rarely if ever used
    - structured/designed so that it will sit upright without me having to hold it up
    - price point under $150, under $100 would be better

    A "tactical" appearance is not an issue for me, MOLLE can be handy but it's not a requirement
    Thanks,
    Dubya
     
  3. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    I'd say 5.11 Rush 24. If molle doesn't bother you then additional pouches could be added to the outside to increase storage even further without compromising the main compartment storage.
     
    LukeK likes this.
  4. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    I had been looking pretty hard at the COVRT 18 from 5.11, but since you posted I looked at the RUSH 24. I like the MOLLE on the RUSH 24 but the COVRT 18 comes with integral water bottles, laptop space, and a dedicated CCW area. Now I'm torn between the two....lol.

    Just out of curiosity, why the recommendation for the RUSH 24 over the COVRT 18(especially considering how much you like the COVRT 18)?

    Dubya
     
  5. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    BTW- Slightly complicating the issue is the fact that I am 6'8"/350 and I really don't want to look like I'm carrying a fanny pack on my back...lol. That's one reason I haven't looked closer at the Maxpedition Typhoon, which was my original choice.
     
  6. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    Sorry... mis-communication. You had said in your original post that you had looked at the COVRT 18 already and didn't pull the trigger. I assumed that was because you needed a little more space. The COVRT in my opinion is hands down the best EDC back pack of its size out there right now.

    I still carry mine although its going to start to split time with the Hazard 4 Kato, which I just reviewed. For you, the Kato isn't an option since it won't fit your size of laptop. And sometimes I just want two straps so its nice to have a messenger and a backpack.

    I'm 6'4 and the bag still looks proportional on me. You're right - the Maxped bags are sized for drawfs... sorry... height challenged humans.

    Go with the COVRT 18. Nobody I know of who has purchased that bag has regretted it. Awesome EDC pack.
     
  7. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    After looking at my original post, I can see how you got that impression. Of the ones I mentioned, the COVRT was the leader, I had pretty much ruled the others out for various reasons. Guess I'll start shopping around for a COVRT 18.
     
  8. bnoland

    bnoland Loaded Pockets

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    Covrt is great. I have one for me and liked it so much I ended up buying my wife one.
     
  9. Blades

    Blades Loaded Pockets

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  10. NInjaSMS

    NInjaSMS Empty Pockets

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    Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon II FTW!
     
  11. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    I've been shopping around the past few days and I've narrowed it down to 2...no, make that 3,....ok, maybe 4 bags...lol. So in other words, I'm right back where I started.

    5.11 COVRT 18
    LIKES: dedicated CCW pocket, water bottle holders, laptop space, velcro strap thingies on the shoulder straps(great idea)
    DISLIKES: thinner material(what can I say? I like the Maxpedition/overbuilt look), not enough MOLLE(guess this matters more than I thought), the CCW space is closer to the outdside of the pack; I would prefer it be right up against my body

    5.11 RUSH 24
    LIKES: Covered in MOLLE and some exterior velcro, can use the hydration pocket as a CCW pocket with little or no mods, laptop space, main compartment is bigger than my 4" minimum
    DISLIKES: not sure about the "butterfly" pockets on top, also not sold on the admin area, will the side vertical pockets hold a 32oz. Nalgene or similar?

    Maxpedition Falcon II
    LIKES: can use the velcro lined hydration pocket for CCW, can probably squeeze my laptop in the main space (laptop measures .5" wider than the listed measurement), can be compressed down if necessary, main compartment is bigger than the 4" minimum, good organization
    DISLIKES: overall form factor looks to be long and narrow-may be too narrow for my shoulders?, no built in water bottle pockets, looks to be one extra layer/compartment more than I need

    Maxpedition Kodiak
    LIKES: CCW space, big enough for my laptop, great organization, easy on/off due to being a single sling backpack, ability to rotate around and get to everything without removing the bag altogether(I like this quality about my Mongo and Jumbo), great admin area, built in water bottle carrier
    DISLIKES: too many pockets?(one thing I didn't like about the Malaga), Single strap carry(my experience with the Malaga made me gun shy about this, maybe the offset strap would work better than the centered strap of the Malaga?), just barely meets the 4" requirement for the main compartment

    Prices are all within $20 of each other from Amazon or LAPolicegear so that's not really a factor, all have a top grab handle, all could work for CCW to one degree or another, all except the Falcon II and maybe the RUSH 24 have a provision for carrying a water bottle, all could carry my laptop if needed.

    Right now I'm leaning toward the RUSH 24 or the Kodiak. I know the COVRT 18 comes very highly recommended, I just don't care for the RAC panel, the CCW location or the lack of external MOLLE. I had never really considered the Kodiak but the more I look at it, the more I like it. My experience with the Malaga really turned me off of the single strap style backpacks, but the Kodiak's strap offset location looks like it would be more comfortable with less chafing and more stability than the centered location of the Malaga. The Kodiak also seems to have a good amount of MOLLE without going all full-coverage like the RUSH 24, and if I don't like the single strap design, I can always send it to FAFT and have it made into a two strap backpack. The RUSH 24 just seems like a good, well made backpack, I just don't like the organization of the admin area(s) as well as I do the Kodiak and Falcon II though. If the Kodiak was a two strap design AND I knew it would at least attempt to stay up on it's own, this would be a no contest, but as it stands, it's down to the RUSH 24 or the Kodiak.

    Dubya
     
  12. Haubitz

    Haubitz Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Falcon II but I would not recommend it for EDC. Don’t get me wron it’s a great pack but all those compression straps and buckles gets annoying. I use my FII as a daypack in the woods.

    I don’t have a Kodiak but I have its little brother the Sitka and find it uncomfortable if loaded with more than a couple of kilos.

    Just my two…
     
  13. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks Haubitz. The weight of my loadout varies considerably depending on whether or not I'm going to work and exactly what I am doing that day. On my days off, I tend to carry less because I don't have to carry my lunch, a bottle of tea, books, etc. in addition to my normal stuff. Also, while I'm at work I'm not really carrying my bag that much, just a 1/4 mile to my area then 1/4 mile back so it's not like I'm hiking for miles all day.

    I'm doing a trial run with a lightweight backpack while I work midnights this weekend. It's organized well, but not nearly as durable as a 5.11/Maxpedition type. Going to see how it goes before I make a final decision.

    Dubya
     
  14. Schuey2002

    Schuey2002 Loaded Pockets

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  15. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    Wouldn't recommend the Kodiak. Had it... disliked it after owning it for a while... same comment as Haubitz... the single strap is uncomfortable under load.

    If you must have external molle then I'd definitely go with the RUSH 24. BUT, just so you know, the thinner material on the COVRT 18 has held up well for me after nearly a year and the build quality is better than most people will ever need. The advantage of the lighter Condura, that many people don't think about, is weight. The material Maxpedition uses is HEAVY and all that weight does adds up. That's why you don't see manufacturers of hiking packs, where weight management is at a premium, using 1000D for their "hard use" products.
     
  16. Dubya

    Dubya Loaded Pockets

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    My RUSH 24 is inbound from LAPolicegear.com! I decided to go with it over the covrt 18 because of the external molle and because I like the structure that the 1000d nylon gives a backpack. I looked at a few packs made with lighter materials (including 500d) and didn't care for it.
    Thanks everybody and I'll post a review after I get it.

    Btw- I'll be posting my Maxpedition Mongo for sale soon if anyone's interested.
     
  17. SEDACON

    SEDACON Loaded Pockets

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    If you want a 2 strapped sir, I recommend the Falcon II.
     
  18. Flexxx

    Flexxx BST/Marketplace ban

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    TAD Litespeed......be done with you EDC needs
     
  19. Deanster

    Deanster Loaded Pockets

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    I carried the Mongo for almost a year, and finally moved on, based on a tendency to load the bag more-heavily than was comfortable for single-strap carry when I was carrying a laptop.

    I went with the Timbuk2 Q backpack, which is and remains the only backpack I carry when a laptop, even my little Macbook Air, is in the picture. Highly recommended, well built, and the side-loading laptop sleeve is a huge winner, as is the cord/charger angled pocket at the bottom. Also 100% non-tacticool, which is a nice change of pace.

    It's actually quite a small and streamlined pack, which is critical for me. I sometimes miss all the exterior pockets of the Mongo, but this is infinitely better when I'm going to be walking or biking any distance with even a modest load.

    http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/q-backpack/1876420

    I liked this color pattern but they have more-subdued options also, including blue, gray, and all-black.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. J4C3

    J4C3 Guest

    Rush 12