10 Compact Slings and Messenger Bags for EDC

Even after paring your gear down to the essentials, it can still be too much to fit in your pockets. The quick fix would be to toss the rest into a bag, but even then you might not have enough excess gear to justify carrying a full-sized daypack. For those times when you could use just a little extra pocket space, a compact sling or messenger bag can make all the difference. Better yet, one that's fine-tuned to your specific EDC needs. In this guide, you'll find ten examples of EDC-worthy slings and shoulder bags for every scenario.

Maxpedition Skyridge Tech Messenger Bag

Tactical bags offer bulletproof reliability, but they often make you stand out in a crowd. That's not a good thing, especially if you EDC expensive electronics and valuables. If you want tactical performance without tactical looks, check out the Maxpedition Skyridge. It's a low-profile tech messenger bag that'll help you run incognito on the move.

You'd be hard-pressed to tell that the Skyridge is even a tactical bag. Gratuitous MOLLE webbing doesn't cover its every square inch. Instead, it's limited to the sides, where you'll still have plenty of attachment points for gear. Even the hook-and-loop patch ID section on the flap looks decorative. When not in use, they don't scream for attention. Only you'll know their true purpose, and that's the point.

With 12.5L capacity and the ability to accommodate up to a 13” laptop, the Skyvale is sized just right for essentials. There's also plenty of internal pockets to help you manage and organize your carry, including a dedicated CCW pocket that could double as a security pocket for stashing valuables. The Skyvale's strong padding and solid water resistant nylon will also give you peace of mind even if you end up carrying it through rough situations.

The Skyridge is available in three different colors: black, gray, and tan. If you want a larger version of the bag with the same features, check out the Skyvale as well. It'll fit up to a 17” laptop and the rest of your gear. You can grab the smaller Skyridge in black at the link below.

Buy on Amazon

Direct Action Messenger Bag

As far as EDC bags go, the words “MOLLE webbing” and “low profile” don't usually go together. All those straps can give off too much of a militaristic look for city use (camouflage doesn't help either). Not to mention, they add extra bulk and weight when you're trying to keep things light. Direct Action's messenger bag is a rare exception—it offers the modularity of MOLLE webbing without the bulk, thanks to its futuristic laser-cut front paneling. And you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking, but the bag conceals plenty of storage and organizational features in an unassuming design any minimalist would appreciate.

The benefits of laser-cut MOLLE/PALS paneling go beyond shaving off ounces and blending in. It won't snag on clips or your fingers when retrieving your gear, and it won't absorb water when the weather gets rough. And because its so low profile, it can cover more of the bag. You'll find plenty of places to attach gear on the main flap, on the side pockets, and on the exterior of the front pockets.

The MOLLE/PALS lined exterior pockets are just as functional on the inside, too. Gusseted mesh separators keep loose items in check, while a cordage system suspends the pocket open for hands-free use. The main compartment even comes lined with velcro, letting you further customize the bag with extra pouches. A dedicated internal sleeve protects your laptop, while your tablet can ride safely in a separate zipper compartment on the rear of the bag.

Of course, a highly organized tactical bag wouldn't be complete without durable materials and hardware. Direct Action uses 500D Cordura nylon in both neutral colors with tonal-stitched logos for that incognito look, as well as camouflage patterns treated to avoid nightvision detection. The bags are finished with DWR (durable water repellant) for added weather resistance. Check out the bag and all its features at the Amazon link below.

Buy on Amazon

Maxpedition Incognito Quad Messenger Bag

Rummaging through your bag trying to find your gear is the last thing you want—especially when you're in a rush. All that useful storage space you want in your EDC bag can sometimes be a double-edged sword. When you're carrying light, smaller items seem to get swallowed up and disappear in your bag, making organizing gear that much harder.

With the Incognito Quad, Maxpedition has put out a tough nylon messenger bag with organization at its core. The bag gets its name from the four external pockets that line the bag, each with a clear and defined role to accommodate your EDC. One is perfect for fitting your water bottle. Right next to it is a pocket with spaces for your pens and stationery. On the reverse side is a utility pocket for your smaller items, like a mobile device for example.

The CCW-compatible outer pocket has velcro pads for your own personal configuration. It's designed to open quick and easy via a pull tab, giving you reliable access to what you put inside. The internal main compartment fits larger objects, like a 13” laptop. It's well-padded for that extra protection, but it doesn't end there: the zippers can accommodate locks, making this bag great for travel as well.

Maxpedition built this bag with hard use in mind. It's made out of 1050 water and abrasion resistant nylon covered in Teflon for easy cleaning. Lastly, it uses YKK zippers outfitted with paracord zipper pulls, making them easier to operate.

The Incognito Quad has a proper place for everything in your everyday carry. You can pick one of these up for yourself at the Amazon link below.

Buy on Amazon: $121.10*

* Price shown reflects pricing at the time of publication, and may have changed since.

Rugged Material Classic Leather Messenger Bag

A well-constructed leather bag can last a lifetime. But sometimes it feels like it'll take that long to save up enough cash for one that’s worth it. Rugged Material changes the game by offering quality made-in-the-USA leather goods at factory direct pricing. Their timeless messenger bag is built to last and guaranteed for life.

Inside the full-grain leather bag, you’ll find organization for all of your daily essentials. There’s individual pockets for your laptop, tablet, cell phone, and notebooks, and more. The top flap secures everything inside and stays shut with sturdy metal buckles. Riveted and reinforced stress points ensure durability, while keeping the leather from stretching out. Throw the bag over your shoulder and carry with comfort thanks to the padded adjustable shoulder strap.

The bag is classic, yet understated — making it a great everyday companion whether you're heading into the office or away for the weekend. You can pick up Rugged Material’s Classic Leather Messenger in your choice of several finishes at their shop below.


This is a sponsored post presented by Rugged Material.

SPIBelt Messenger Bag

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap the benefits of carrying a “runner’s belt” for EDC. This style of bag keeps your essentials close without weighing you down or getting in the way, giving you the freedom to move with a full range of motion. While traditional belt bags tend to be too small to use for anything other than pounding the pavement, SPIbelt’s Messenger Bag offers the same functionality with enough storage for travel and daily carry.

This is no fanny pack. Instead, it’s worn cross-body sling style to comfortably haul your essentials. Its main compartment stays streamlined when empty, but can expand to fit larger gear like a water bottle, notebook, tablet, or even a small laptop. For smaller items like your keys, phone, and wallet, there’s a quick-access, expandable zipper pouch built right into the shoulder strap.

It’s made in the USA from Lycra and spandex for a comfortable, lightweight carry. If you value quick and easy access to your EDC, don’t rule out performance athletic gear like this. You can grab an expandable shoulder bag from SPIbelt in black, red, grey, or navy at the link below.

Buy on Amazon