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What We Want: When Pockets Aren't Enough

Bernard Capulong
What We Want: When Pockets Aren't Enough

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As important it is for your carry to hit that sweet spot of “just enough” gear, the reality is that for many of us, pockets alone aren’t enough. This holds especially true for people who commute, work remotely, travel, or require some extensive equipment to get through the day. Backpacks and messengers are more obvious ways to carry around the rest of our essentials, but even those can lead to “overcarrying” because of the extra space they afford.

In this post, we’ll take an informal look into a growing but often overlooked class of packs — more than an extra pocket, but less than a full-on daypack, and far from a “murse”. If you’ve been looking for something to carry a few extra things like sunglasses, a water bottle, a notebook, a point-and-shoot, or even a backup EDC pouch, you might find what you’re looking for in our editors’ picks below.

Bernard’s Pick: DSPTCH Waist Bag

I just moved to New York City, and I’ve quickly realized that my carry needed to adapt to handle this huge, fast-paced city. Right now, I use a DSPTCH Slingpack for everything — whether I’m working or not. My 15” laptop and mobile office gear is a tight fit and a single strap isn’t the most comfortable for that type of load (I’d opt for their Daypack instead). When I’m just out running errands, the Sling is more than needed and can get cumbersome in a crowded train.

For things like a notebook, pens, my Kindle, external battery, and other loose things, I’ve got my eye on their Waist Bag. It’s sleek, close to the body, easily accessible, and made with the same military-inspired urban design language. I really like being able to swing my bag around to get to something without having to take it off for both accessibility and security. There are a few others I’ve had my eye on, like the CargoWorks Utility Sling, the Loft of Cambie Urban Pack (not quite my style of colors though), and even the Topo Trip Pack.

Ultimately, the DSPTCH Waist Bag sits at the top of my list for its “just-right” size and super streamlined form factor for getting things done in the city.

Top Pick: DSPTCH Fidlock Waist Bag ($92)

Runners-Up: Cargo Works Utility Shoulder Sling ($50), Loft of Cambie Urban Pack, Topo Designs Trip Pack ($89)

Ed’s Pick: The Mountain Brief by Topo Designs

I carry a 15” Laptop and a camera on a daily basis, and it’s nice to have a bag that I enjoy that securely and easily carries what I need. I love the way the bag looks, the vintage camping aesthetic and leather accents make it stand out from a regular boring briefcase. Cordura construction is weather resistant and durable. The versatile 3-way carry system (hand straps, removable messenger style strap, integrated backpack shoulder straps) has come in handy many times when I needed the free hand or simply got tired of carrying the pack.

My typical pocketed EDC includes a folding knife, wallet, watch, phone and keys, so the bag is great for everything else. I’ve also added a Grid-It to the front zippered pouch in the bag for addition organization and gear retention. It helps me keep everything in place and easily accessible as soon as I need it.

Top Pick: Topo Designs Mountain Brief ($149)

Mikey’s Pick: RUSH MOAB 6 by 5.11 Tactical

I EDC the 5.11 MOAB 10 as my daily commuter to accommodate the 12" laptop I use for work, and given how much I enjoy that bag and its features, it's no surprise that my pick is its smaller sibling, the RUSH MOAB 6. I absolutely swear by the fit and finish of 5.11's packs, and though they style more towards the tactical end of the spectrum, I'm willing to give up a bit of flair in exchange for sheer resilience.

Like my MOAB 10, the 6 has an ambidextrous, padded strap with an integrated tech pocket, and has a roomy main compartment with organized sections for your carry. All of these are sealed up in military-grade 1050D nylon with a MOLLE platform webbed exterior, and quite simply the best straps and zipper fittings on the market. It sounds like overkill, but I wouldn't reach for any other bag if I needed a sturdy pack to store my kit, especially since I find myself in many situations where I'm walking around in crowded areas.

Top Pick: 5.11 RUSH MOAB 6 ($70)

That’s all for smaller packs. Are you on the hunt for a really specific product to round out your carry? Maybe we and the rest of the EDC community can help! Shoot us an email here and ask us for a recommendation for that missing piece in your EDC.

#what-we-want #bags #buying-guides #everyday-carry-waist-bag #dsptch-slingpack #best-sling-bag-for-edc #single-strap-bags-for-everyday-carry #dsptch-slingpack-review #filson-murse #waist-bag-edc see all

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Discussion (26 total)

Nancy Zan ·
Wow, this article really hits the issue on the head. So many times, we work around our gear, instead of our gear working around us. If you're really interested in a backpack designed for a bike commuter, you have to check out the Black Kite Commuter Pack: www.blackkitecycling.com. It's the ultimate in convenience - it uses a jersey-style back pocket so you can take out your phone or wallet without ever taking off the bag. Not even one strap! And a side zippered pocket lets you take out your bike lock just as easily. It's fully padded and still just 16oz. Who wants to carry around a 4lb bag when there's only a pen inside? Not me.
Garon Galloway ·
The Pacsafe Venturesafe 150 is similar size, it's great for a few devices. I've used it for a few years and still get people asking about it.
Mikey Bautista ·
My bag for using public transport here in Manila is a Pacsafe Metrosafe 200, love the thing!
Tudor Idvoreanu ·
I use the Pacsafe Metrosafe™ 100 GII anti-theft hip & shoulder bag. It's the second one I bought (the first one, after 12[twelve !!] years of edc, got its main zipper ruined). great products!
Lenny ·
Maxpedition EDC versipack
Kangeaux Walkabout ·
Seriously, you're really gonna do a review article like this about minimalism everyday carry and you aren't interested in reviewing one of the best minimalist everyday carry options that is soon to be available? Seriously??? Kangeaux's Walkabout should totally be in this list of options. So Sad.
Renegade Pilgrim ·
Well considering your product is NOT a bag, I don't see how this is relevant to the discussion. The article is about bags, not gadgets to attach to the bag.
Jaysun ·
As a test to see if a pack will work for me, I see how if feels/stays in place after 5 sets of 10m sprints. If it isn't trying to choke me out or bind my legs, I taken it for a 1k jog. Not a balls out run, just a slow jog. If the pack isn't beating me in the kidneys or cutting of the blood flow to my arms, it is good to go. If it does any of those things, it is back to the shop. This test needs to be done with the same weight as the gear you will be carrying in it or if possible the gear itself.
Justin ·
Anyone know who makes the small black bag/pouch in the main image?
Lionel Sabbah ·
Whats the bag featured in the main picture? Thank you
blackfeathers ·
I'm curious about the items which are not mentioned on the very top picture and which attracted me to the article - particularly the bag, the pouch, and the blurred out item at the bottom.
roberto miyahira ·
I carry a pacsafe 325 GII, very light and can keep my iPad and my MacBook Air 11"
William Stretch ·
I would also highly recommend the Hazard 4 Kato or Tonto and the Vanquest Möbius or Tolcat V-packers, depending on your EDC load out. All these shoulder bags are loaded with storage organization compartments and are made of extremely durable Cordura materials. Great article!
Erector Desk ·
Nice mug. A Zojirushi?
Melanie ·
Looks like a Hydro Flask.
Bernard Capulong ·
Thanks. It's a Hydro Flask for water, but for hot drinks I'd def go with the Zoji. Great EDC size, awesome pushbutton action on the lid, sleek design… Too bad I don't drink much coffee these days!
Renegade Pilgrim ·
I'm looking for a backpack to get to/from work that will fit a 13" Macbook Air plus a few other bits and bobs of my EDC. It would be great if there was a spot for CCW. Something in the $150 range, but preferably cheaper...and something that blends in, so some of the "Tacti-Cool" bags are out. And nothing pink. Subdued earth tone colors or black.
T Shrapnel-Carruthers ·
Suggest you have a look at Pacsafe.

FWIW I am very pleased with my recently acquired Camsafe V25, which is probably bigger than you want. Good quality and well-thought out design. You almost need a map to find my MBA 13" in the laptop pocket.
Renegade Pilgrim ·
I don't like the look of the Pacsafe bags and they are quite spendy. Looking at a Booq right now...not sure if I want to bite the bullet yet.
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