If you're like me, you have certain items you carry with you everyday. This is your everyday carry, or EDC for short. What you carry is a very personal choice and no two people carry the same things everyday. Hopefully this article will give you a good starting point for picking the right EDC bag for you.
The first part of choosing an EDC bag is actually not even looking at bags. It makes no sense to fall in love with a 30L pack if you only carry around a few small items. If you have a large bag, chances are, you're going to fill it - especially with things that you might not need or even want to have with you everyday. To begin, make a list of the things that you use daily and things you'll want close at hand in case of an emergency. Putting all of these items together on a table will give you a good visual of how much space you are going to require. This is also a great exercise to perform on a regular basis to "prune" your everyday carry. Your needs and requirements constantly change and evolve and so should your EDC.
Once you have your gear, you can then start looking at bags. Once again though, be careful of space constraints. Choose a bag that can comfortably carry what you need and try not to go over board. If you're a minimalist, maybe you just need a simple pouch like the Compact Pocket Organizer or the Pronto Pouch. Pouches like these keep your items organized, but are small and lightweight.
On the other hand, maybe you truly carry more. If that's the case, you'll want to check out some larger bags or backpacks to fit your needs. Your EDC pack is not your bug out bag and shouldn't be treated like that. An EDC backpack can definitely double as your "get home bag". For most people, a get home bag only needs to be a handful of essentials that will become very valuable if a situation arises that does require them. It doesn't need to be an ultralight sleeping bag and a camp stove.
When choosing your bag, you should keep in mind that some extra space does come in handy as there are times you need to transport something home or to the office. Just be careful not to fill that space with unnecessary gear!
The next step is to determine the style of bag you need or want. Do you want something tactical or do you prefer a more sleek, traditional look? The style of the bag helps determine, to a point, the versatility of the pack. If your bag is tactical, chances are there's MOLLE on the bag which means you can add and remove pouches as needed. This is helpful when you have a temporary situation that requires you to carry more items, or if you switch MOLLE pouches between multiple bags. Another thing to consider is your environment. Are you generally in an environment where a tactical backpack will make you stand out? If your goal is not to stand out, think grey man. Then you may want to choose a less tactical, non-descript bag.
After you've figured out the style and size of the bag, you have to figure out the carry. Do you really need a full-size, two-strap backpack if all you're carrying is a few pens and your phone? Don't be afraid to check out different styles of bags and backpacks. There are many varieties out there. You can get a conventional backpack, a sling bag, a messenger bag, waist pack, or even a MOLLE pouch. Pick what's best for you. There are a variety of options out there and we have broken them down for you below.
- Large enough to carry just about anything you may need
- Have two straps for even weight distribution or over one shoulder
- Generally have a lot of organization and a dedicated laptop compartment
- Can be expensive
- Generally bulky and heavy
- Velox II Quick Action Tactical Backpack
- Subrosa Urban Tech Backpack
- Precision Tactical 35L Backpack
- Transit Redline EDC Backpack
- Shield Redline Anti-Theft Backpack
- Designed for easy access without having to remove the pack from your body
- Made to be fast
- Very versatile
- Less surface area against your back means better airflow and less sweat
- Often are designed to go over a specific shoulder
- Not a lot of extra room if you need to carry something large
- Versatility in carry options (shoulder strap or handle)
- Are designed to carry laptops, tablets, and notebooks
- Don't have to worry about your back getting sweaty
- Can be awkward to carry if the bag is heavy and fully loaded
- Hard to move quickly with a messenger bag
The above bags are the conventional carry choices for most people. But there are alternatives if those bags do not meet your needs. For a lot of people, they only carry a few small items and don't need the capacity offered by backpacks or sling bags. For these people, there are smaller cases or pouches that only fit the essentials and generally have a shoulder strap so you can sling it over either shoulder.
- Small and lightweight
- Relatively inexpensive
- Can be added to other packs with MOLLE straps
- Very little room if you need to carry something larger
With so many great options out there, you can get stuck wondering what bag is right for you. Hopefully this article will help with some clarify and make your decision a little easier.