10 Packable Bags for EDC and Travel

10 Packable Bags for EDC and Travel

Bags are a great way to carry your gear or augment your EDC pocket space when you're on the go. But if you don't always carry a lot of gear, lugging around a big heavy bag can be a bit cumbersome. With their lightweight materials and convenient collapsible construction, packable bags are your best bet. They are especially good to have when your carry weight is limited, like when you're traveling. But regardless of mission, packable bags are versatile and available in just about every type you might need. In this guide, we'll walk you through what makes a good packable bag for everyday carry. We'll also get you acquainted with a few of our favorite packable bags for you to choose from.

What makes for a good packable bag for everyday carry?

A good packable bag for everyday carry is made of lightweight synthetic or technical fabric. This allows a bag to be thin and collapsible without compromising the strength that you need when you EDC your gear in it. Keep it mind, though, that you should not treat a packable bag like their more heavy-duty brethren. For extended hard use and for carrying a significant amount of gear, you might want to stick to more traditional bag materials like canvas or high denier nylon.

Propper Packable Lightweight Backpack

Propper is known for making durable tactical bags, and their packable variant is no exception. This backpack is made of lightweight polyester micro ripstop fabric that compresses down easily. The bag is also coated with a water repellent finish to help keep your gear dry if you suddenly find yourself in wet situations. As a bag that has more of a tactical flair, it's available in the three traditional military colors of black, olive drab, and coyote tan.

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Arc'teryx Index 15

Arc'teryx needs little introduction, but they are well-known in the community for their lightweight yet durable outdoors gear and technical clothing. Their Index 15 is a compact day pack that provides you 15 liters of carrying space while only weighing 8 ounces. It's the perfect size to take for a short hike or for when you're travelling. The bag itself has a streamlined look, with two separate compartments and its available in six different colors.

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Victorinox Packable Backpack

This is a bag that's made for people who are on the go. It features a spacious 990 cubic inches of storage with a main compartment that opens wide to let you pack your gear and take it out at a moment's notice. The interior is lined, making it a bit more durable from wear and tear from the contents you might put inside. The bag itself is made of durable polyester that weighs only 0.61 pounds. This lets you bring it along for a trip while you leave the majority of your gear where you are staying.

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Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

True to its name, Osprey's Ultralight Stuff pack gives you a spacious 18 liters of space in one large compartment. It has durable 40D nylon ripstop construction and mesh shoulder straps that ride comfortably against your chest. There's also external side pockets that can hold water bottles so you can stay hydrated on the move. It's also incredibly lightweight, tipping the scales at just four ounces.

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CamelBack Arete 18

The Arete 18 is one of the lightest ways to carry a hydration pack when you're hiking outdoors. It's a collapsible nylon bag made for the Crux reservoir, which lets you carry around 1.5 liters of water on you when completely full. The bag itself weighs only 10 ounces, which lets you bear the burden of carrying water around much easier. But it also has plenty of space to carry around enough gear you need for the day. The main compartment closes with a cinch, and a large top flap holds everything together with buckles.

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Pacsafe Pouch Safe PX25 Tote

This small tote bag is perfect for use as your secondary personal carry-on bag when you're flying. If you're trying to avoid checking a bag, its spacious 25 liters of capacity let you squeeze more into its small space. And because it's a security bag with stainless steel mesh built into the fabric, it's ultra-strong against bursting or someone trying to cut it open from the outside. When you're not using it, it folds into a small and lightweight square for easy storage.

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Herschel Supply Co. Packable Duffle

The Herschel Packable Duffle lets you carry the essentials for a weekend trip in a minimal and stylish package. It has one large cylindrical compartment that gives you 22 liters of space for all your gear. The best part about this bag is that it contains the pocket you can fold it into when you're not using it. It's available in a vast amount of colorways, so pick the one the suits your style.

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Muji Paraglider Cloth Backpack

This packable bag has an understated elegance that is the hallmark of Muji design. It's made of the same durable yet lightweight ripstop nylon used with paraglider sails. It also features 19 liters of sotrage space. Unique among the rest of the bags on this list, this bag has a dedicated small electronics sleeve for a laptop or tablet.

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TAD Gear Azimuth Pack

With the Azimuth, TAD Gear marks its entry into the urban everyday carry environment. It's a lightweight yet durable collapsible pack that's unique in that you can configure it to meet your needs. It's made of very strong VX-21 ripstop fabric with a VX-07 shell for resistance against the elements. It has a top zippered access and also lengthwise duffel-style access allowing for easy gear placement and retrieval. It's internally compatible with TAD's MOLLE control panel for additional organization as well. When it's not in use the entire bag compresses down to an internal mesh pocket for easy storage.

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Uniqlo Pocketable Boston Bag

The Uniqlo Pocketable Boston Bag is a large shoulder tote bag that has an impressive 43 liter capacity. It's big enough to function as an ad-hoc checked bag for airline luggage, or to fit everything you need for a long trip in the back of your car. Its lightweight nylon and packability also lets you deal with bringing more stuff home than when you left for a trip.

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Do you stow a backup bag in your EDC for when you need to carry a little more than you expected? Let us know what you use in the comments below!

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Discussion (18 total)

I can not believe Vertx did not make the cut.
Uniqlo Pocketable Boston Bag still not in stock. :(
Again the Uniqlo Pocketable Boston Bag is not available, please stop including it.
This is the second or third time I’ve seen the Uniqlo Pocketable Boston Bag here and every time I go to buy one they’re out of stock. :( Maybe you shouldn’t list their product anymore until they get their stuff together.
In addition what about a good old JanSport? takes up about the same amount of room as folded t-shirt in your bag
Too bad there wasn't anything either canvas or tan leather. Black doesn't go with almost anything I wear. xD
good luck finding a 'packable' leather bag, but it's worth pointing out that many of the bags listed come in other colours.
What kind of bag is on the cover picture ? Any brand or model ?
Thanks 😉
the cover pic is the TAD Azimuth, listed in the article
The bag that i am really looking forward to using is the Dave Jr Duffel by Amabilis, with super fabric and ceramic plating as the bottom for protection against weather and rough objects let alone being protective against people with knifes to make it slash proof, has much space and storage for at the least a week. a high quality bag with a military background.
That Uniqlo bag is great. It's huge for what it is. I always keep it folded up in my rolling luggage in case I need to bring back extra stuff on a trip
I’m interested in getting that Uniqlo bag. I see on their website they have it for $19.99 which sounds like a good price to me. Do you have any complaints about the bag?
It sounds silly, but the old “ChicoBag” reusable grocery bag is awfully handy. Yes, they’re meant to replace those plastic grocery bags, but for just a few bucks, you can get a carry bag in all sorts of colors that stuffs into its own little pocket, clips anywhere, and weighs next to nothing. Perfect for those times you find yourself carrying more than you thought you would. No, they’re not tacti-cool, but...
I use my GoRuck Rucker all the time. Big enough and yet not too big.
I’ve had 15 liter bags and they are just too small for me to ever consider. I can fit almost that much in cargo pants and a shirt with pockets. 20 liters seems like the smallest I’d consider useful
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