Hey folks, one of the things that seems to bounce me around the gear shops and drives me absolutely insane are bags. I have discovered something in my 42 years. There is NO perfect bag. They may be a great bag for one use, or another, but there is no bag that wins. I have dozens of little bags I pick up from goodwill for a buck or garage sales, I have backpacks, messenger bags, laptop bags, pouches, satchels, duffels and a dozen hard cases. I have more bags than I need. (Don’t laugh).
Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of bags out there for a lot of uses and some work better than others for some uses and some will surprise you. I know I drool over the latest Maxpedition packs and cases, and if I had the money, darn tootin I’d be rollin in tactical style with some amazing gear bags. (I’m still coveting the Maxpedition Falcon II) However, as great as those bags are, most of us don’t need anything that expensive or rugged. If you’re going to be operating in the field for 8 months, or working some rugged terrain then yes, by all means get something that will take the stress of heavy use and survive.
But we here at Average Guy Gear Review are all about the average guy or gal. Go figure :-). Most of us just need a pack or bag that will survive a 3 day bug out to the in-laws place during a flood scare or a couple of duffels to live out of for 2 weeks during an ice storm power outage etc. We just need a pack to throw some get home gear into the back of the grocery getter that won’t be touched but once a quarter. We don’t need the same gear an operator does in the military. If you can afford it, sure go for it, doesn’t hurt to have the best, but I prefer to be a little more “Grey man” in my day to day operations. So I tend to stay away from the OD (Olive Drab) and lean more toward what I call CSD (College Student Drab). I don’t like flash so I am not looking for the sparkly, shiny, colorful bags, but just every day, black/gray type bags. They can be had for little investment and generally they get the job done.
Don’t get hung up on the latest trend or the “Tactical” stuff. I was a communication specialist in the Army, worked on a radio/satellite uplink site in Germany during the first gulf war. I really enjoy the cool tough military style gear, and it took me about 20 years to deprogram and determine that I didn’t need that level of gear. Everyone’s needs are different of course, so take this all with a grain of salt. Don’t leave out the wonderful gear options available at your local goodwill or Salvation Army. It may not be Maxpedition, or Blackhawk or 5.11, but it may just be the gear you didn’t know you were looking for. Plus you can spend that money you saved on a new Red Dot, or that CCW pistol you’ve been thinking about.
Now there is one caveat to all this. Some of the better gear is designed better for daily or long term carry, distributes weight better and is more ergonomic. IF you are going to be spending that much time hauling gear on your body, then by all means, do some research and find the gear that will adequately serve your needs.
Till next time, stay safe out there my friends.