Everyday Carry

Bags & Pouches

What is an EDC bag?

An EDC bag is a bag you use daily to carry your essentials – items you can’t leave the house without. Examples of EDC bags could be a backpack, sling bag, or messenger bag, depending on how much you need to carry. It could be simple and minimal enough to fit in your pockets or on your person, like a mobile phone, a watch, a wallet, and a pair of sunglasses.

If you add some items that you might not necessarily need for the day, but still provide some utility and a level of preparedness, say a pocket knife, flashlight, or multi-tool, then you’ve got a full-fledged kit. Now that you’ve got your EDC sorted out, the next thing to think about is how to take them all with you in a way that won’t hamper your movement, weigh you down, or get in the way of moving about from place to place.

This is your EDC bag, and we’ll cover why you should own one and what the best EDC bag options are for your particular lifestyle.

Why should you opt for EDC bags?

No two EDC packs are ever exactly alike, and your kit is unique to your needs and use cases as you go about your day. EDC bags are created with this functionality in mind, allowing you to carry all your EDC items securely and access them quickly and efficiently. EDC bags usually prioritize comfort and durability, with an increased carry capacity compared to regular bags. This ensures that you won’t be fatigued carrying your bag around for long hours while keeping your items safe and dry in any environment. Some EDC bags also have special compartments for specific EDC items, such as pens, earphones, or power banks.

The Best EDC Bag Options

  • General Backpack: Backpacks, also called daypacks when big enough for a day’s worth of gear, are some of the most versatile and convenient types of everyday carry bags. Not only do they keep your hands free to do other tasks, but they also do a great job distributing weight to ensure maximum comfort. The most basic everyday carry backpacks usually have a front zippered pocket for easy access, with a main compartment separated by a single divider.
  • Tactical Bag: Also called an assault pack, a tactical backpack is a backpack made with military-inspired utility in mind. They come with features that originated in the armed forces, such as compartments for a concealed carry, knives, ammunition clips, and other survival gear like a hydration bladder. Tactical bags usually feature MOLLE-compatible webbing or velcro fields, and can be used for military and law enforcement purposes and hunting or hiking outdoors.
  • Commuter backpack: Arguably the most versatile type of EDC backpack, a commuter backpack is specifically designed for people who use public transportation or ride a bike to work or school. Since they’re purpose-built for commuting, these backpacks are often made durable and water-resistant, usually featuring waterproof zippers, separate compartments for a laptop, a place for a water bottle, and pockets for your keys and phone. They are meant to be worn for extended periods, so they often come with padded straps and back panels for added comfort. Some commuter-style bags can double for “one bag” travel, with features like a luggage pass-through or hip belt. Commuter backpacks often have other features such as reflective elements for visibility during low-light conditions and straps or loops for attaching a bike light or helmet. Some backpacks also have a built-in charging system for electronic devices and even a rain cover.
  • Laptop Backpack: As the name implies, a laptop backpack is specifically designed to carry a laptop and other electronic devices such as a tablet, charger, and other accessories. They typically have a padded compartment or laptop sleeve to protect the laptop from scratches or impact. Many laptop backpacks also have additional features such as padded straps, back panels for comfort during use, and USB charging ports. Laptop backpacks are often made to be durable, water-resistant, and in some cases, weatherproof, to protect the contents of the bag, using high-quality materials such as Ballistic and Ripstop Nylon as well as CORDURA branded fabrics. If your daily commute consists of going from home to school or the office and back, this is a great option to consider. However, if you plan on hitting the gym somewhere in between, it might be best to keep reading.
  • Messenger Bag: A messenger bag is a type of bag that is typically worn either as a shoulder bag like a tote or across the body with a wide shoulder strap. Since they usually are rectangular in shape, they are great for carrying books, laptops, folders, or documents. The design of messenger bags allows for easy access to their contents since the bag can be worn on the side of the body and opened without having to remove it. While sleek and fashionable, their slim profile means their storage space is usually limited and might not be the best choice if you have a heavier daily carry. Carrying it on one side of your body may also not be the best for ergonomics or comfort.
  • Sling Bag: A sling bag, or sling pack, is a type of bag that is worn over one shoulder and crossbody. Unlike a messenger bag, it’s typically smaller and more compact, designed to hug your body. Like the messenger bag, it allows easy access to its contents, as it can be worn on the side of the body and opened without having to remove it. Lightweight and easy to carry, they are great options for everyday use, though they may not be suitable for larger or bulkier items.
  • Fanny pack: Once shunned by the general public, the classic fanny pack is currently enjoying a full-force resurgence, as it now finds itself around the waists of fashion-forward, streetwear-loving individuals. Fanny packs, also known as waist packs or hip packs, are like smaller sling bags worn around the waist and fastened with a belt or strap. They typically have one main compartment and sometimes additional smaller pockets for keys or your phone. They’re designed to sit at the hip or waist and can be worn in the front or back. Fanny packs are handy for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking and are extremely convenient to use, as they are easy to access and can be worn comfortably for extended periods.
  • Gym bag: A gym bag is a type of duffel bag designed for athletic or fitness use. These bags are made from sturdy nylon, polyester rip-stop, or canvas and have extra pockets for protein powder, water bottles, supplements, shoes, and extra pairs of clothes. Since they’re meant to hold your sweaty clothes, gym bags are usually well-ventilated, though they might not have specific compartments for laptops or documents. They’re exceptionally lightweight, however, making them easy to bring around.


What are the best EDC bags?

We’ve published several buying guides here at Everyday Carry to help you find an EDC bag that suits your everyday needs. Here are our best bag guides to check out, featuring classic recommendations and new products alike:

  1. The 15 Best EDC Backpacks
  2. The 20 Best Sling Bags in 2023
  3. 11 Best Bug Out Bags in 2023
  4. The 15 Best Laptop Bags [Find the Right Bag For You]
  5. The 10 Best Gym Bags
  6. The 18 Best EDC Pocket Organizers in 2023, Ranked & Reviewed

What are some items that are not allowed in an EDC bag?

While EDC bags are designed to help you carry the essential items you need throughout the day, certain items are typically not allowed in an EDC bag, depending on the specific regulations and policies of the location you are in.

Many facilities, like airports, schools, or office buildings, have their own set of rules and restrictions for items that are allowed on the premises, so it's always a good idea to check with them before bringing in any specific item.

Common EDC items that might not be allowed in such places include firearms, pocket knives or other sharp-edged tools, for example.

Some items generally not allowed in an EDC bag might include illegal drugs or controlled substances, explosives or flammable materials, or hazardous materials such as chemicals or pesticides.

What is the length of a standard EDC bag?

Typically, an EDC bag is around 18-20 inches in length. That being said, the size of an EDC bag can vary greatly depending on the specific design and intended use and the items you need to carry with you. It's important to choose the right size for you and your needs, so consider what you need to carry before making any purchase.

What is the difference between EDC and a bug-out bag?

An EDC bag is meant to contain essential items you might need throughout the day, such as your cell phone, wallet, gadget, keys, a small flashlight, or a multi-tool. On the other hand, a bug-out bag (BOB) is a larger, more comprehensive bag designed to sustain a person for some time in the event of an emergency or disaster, where they need to quickly evacuate their home or a disaster-stricken area.

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