Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gear: Everyday Carry

So, I've talked about my sea bags and I've even mentioned my Arc'Teryx Echo Pack. Back in September, I mentioned a few purchases, and that included a 5.11 Rush Delivery Messenger Bag and a 5.11 Rush MOAB 10.

After two months, I've found that I carry the MOAB 10 almost every day. The biggest drawback of the MOAB 10 is that it doesn't have enough room to carry my laptop, which is why I bought the Messenger Bag in the first place. It would have been ideal to get something that was a hybrid between the two, with the agility of the MOAB 10 and the laptop space of the Messenger Bag, but 5.11 doesn't really make one, and I tend to like military-inspired bags because of their versatility. That said, they both have their drawbacks. The Messenger Bag doesn't have much room for anything but a laptop, and it would benefit from some expandability, like the Israeli paratrooper bag. I've had three or four of these Israeli satchels, and they're fantastic. For all of the MOAB 10's agility, its various compartments and pouches lack the expansion space to be really effective. It's a great bag, and so far I've used it for both everyday school carry and occasional travel (all I took to Edinburgh was the MOAB 10), but it would be tough to use it for more than an overnight, and that's packing really light.

Last week, I got some items from home that I'd packed before I left, and it included a super old Eddie Bauer backpack that I received from some family friends in 2000 as a high school graduation gift, and used for my five years as an undergrad. It's about as basic as you can get for a backpack, with a big main compartment, a small compartment on the cover, and a couple of mesh side pouches. It also has the virtue of not making me look like I'm geared up for a not-so-covert insertion into Tamanrasset.

The other item in my cache of stuff was a little number I picked up on my way back to the States from the Middle East back in March: a Hydration Bladder Carrier by Voodoo Tactical. It's designed to be a CamelBak, but it's a great light size to carry a couple of books, maybe a Kindle Fire, or even some Arabic flash cards. I remember being bummed that I hadn't packed it to bring with me, so I'm glad that I actually did pack it and just forgot about it until it arrived.

So... Uh... That's how I carry my stuff around so that my hands are able to do things like fish in my pockets for my bus pass or fumble with the controls to my Walkman.

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