Best EDC Bags: A Slightly Different Viewpoint

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By Dennis Howard •  12 min read

When it comes to an everyday carry bag, I have a slightly different view than many other people.  My preferences for an EDC bag grew from years of experience and the opportunity to handle, use, and evaluate a lot of bags on the market.  These opportunities came when I was operating my tactical gear store.

A Look at What I Like

My list of EDC bags includes the latest version from the manufacturer of bags I have either carried in the past or have in my closet today.  Because I tend to buy quality bags, they don’t wear out or often fail, so I have several bags that are no longer in production and don’t have a comparable model available.  Let’s look at the choices.

BAGS DETAILS
  • Semi-rigid component construction protects the contents
  • Multiple internal systems including pockets, loops, key keeper, and mesh pockets
  • External contoured carry handle
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  • Front zipper pocket with pull out lap panel for easy ID mounts
  • Interchangeable belt system
  • Molle attachment points
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  • Double zipper main compartment with a removable divider
  • Multiple elastic loops in the main compartment for organizing smaller items
  • Internal radio pouch with hook and loops antenna opening
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Best Minimalist EDC Bags

If you need a bag to carry a minimal EDC loadout without a concealed carry option, these should meet your specification.  These smaller bags or pouches are easy to handle, can be attached to a belt or to another bag.  They work well for tossing in the glove compartment or console of your vehicle as well.

1. Maxpedition ERZ Everyday Organizer

Maxpedition ERZ Everyday Organizer (Black)

The small pouch from Maxpedition is an easy choice for anyone building a small EDC pouch or bag.  The features are what you would expect from Maxpedition, one of the premier bag makers in the world.

Maxpedition ERZ Everyday Organizer (Black)
  • The overall size is 6"l x 2"W x 8"H. Dual nylon fabric construction using 500D Hex ripstop and 1000D...
  • The exterior front face is custom molded & semi-rigid, adding extra protection to contents inside...

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2. Condor Draw Down Waist Pack Gen II

Condor Outdoor Draw Down Tactical Waist Pack GEN II (Coyote Brown)

Sometimes you need a bit more space but want to make carrying that small bit of extra gear as easy and as trouble-free as possible.  Gaining enough extra space to carry your concealed weapon comfortably is a bonus.  Flashback to the fanny packs that were popular in the nineties.

Condor has repurposed the notion of the fanny pack into the Draw Down Waist pack.  The bag is comfortably contoured to be worn on the hip or at the back without being cumbersome.  For a say at the park, playing disc golf, a bike ride, or a day excursion almost anywhere, the Condor Draw Down Waist Pack is a solution to both your concealed carry needs and to handle your EDC needs.

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Condor Outdoor Draw Down Tactical Waist Pack GEN II (Coyote Brown)
  • Front zipper pocket with pull out lop panel for ID patch
  • Interchangeable belt system

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Best General EDC Bags

There are times when I want to carry what I term and extended EDC loadout.  This usually involves more than just my usual pocket carry and a concealed handgun.  I may be on the road with the expectation that I may have to extend my time overnight.  There are times when I don’t worry about the look and style of the bag as much as I do the ability to carry what I feel is needed. 

1. Condor Outdoor E & E Bag

Condor E & E BAG, Black

I don’t think you will find a better EDC bag than the E&E bag from Condor Outdoor.  E&E stands for Escape and Evasion.  While I don’t normally expect to have to perform and E&E operation during my regular daily routine, the concept of a bag designed to support such an E&E operation allows me to get everything I need into a utility every day carry bag.

I carry a Condor E&E bag more than any other EDC bag in my collection.  It is my go-to piece of equipment when I think it is necessary to have more than my usual pocket carry loadout.  When you look at the features, you will understand why.

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Condor E & E BAG, Black
  • Removable flap with clear vinyl inner layer
  • Double zipper main compartment with removable divider

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1. Maxpedition Skylance Tech Gear Bag

Maxpedition Skylance Tech Gear Bag, Size 28/Large, Black

Along the same size and lines as the Condor E&E bag is the Maxpedition Skylance Tech Gear Bag.  The Maxpedition Skylance is concealed carry ready and has that quality and durability of all Maxpedition bags.  This bag is large enough to accommodate a 15” laptop as well, making this bag suitable as an EDC business bag as well.  

The major downside to Maxpedition is the cost.   However, if you want a quality bag that will give you years of service, the price is well worth what you get.  My Maxpedition bags have given me years of service, and most show only minimal visible wear.

Maxpedition Skylance Tech Gear Bag, Size 28/Large, Black
  • The overall size is 16.5"L x 9"W x 13.5"H. Shapeshift webbing handles have been added for a more...
  • Pivoting shoulder strap connections come standard, along with a curved padded shoulder pad. There is...

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Best Crossbody EDC Bags

Crossbody carry is undeniably the most secure way to carry a shoulder bag.  It prevents a thief from easily snatching the bag on a hit and run style attack.  You can also carry crossbody comfortably, keeping your hands free while having everything in the bag convenient on either your strong hand stile, if you carry concealed in the bag or off-hand style if you prefer to conceal carry on your waist.

1. Rothco Advanced Tactical Bag

Rothco Advanced Tactical Bag, Black

Rothco has an extensive line of bags that are often overlooked.  Rothco is as well known a brand as some others, but their products are surprisingly versatile, durable, and affordable.  The Rothco Advanced Tactical Bag is concealed carry compatible.  Rothco hasn’t scrimped on the features either.

Rothco Advanced Tactical Bag, Black
  • MOLLE Compatible Tactical Shoulder Bag Is Made Of Durable Denier Polyester
  • Small Zippered Side Pouch And Large Side Pouch With Drawstring Closure And Hook & Loop Tie Down

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2. 5.11 PUSH Pack 5L

5.11 has taken some innovative design concepts and produced some of the most interesting and versatile bags on the market.  The 5.11 PUSH pack is part of this new look at bags.  The PUSH pack is a cross body style bag that is designed from the inside out with EDC in mind.  From the layout of the external pockets to the internal components, this bag is meant for EDC.

Best Briefcase EDC Bags

When circumstances dictate, I need to carry a bag that can handle a larger laptop, several file folders, and perhaps even a book or two.  I cannot legitimately carry two bags around all day to accommodate my business needs and my insistence that I have an extended EDC bag as well.   This means combining the two functions and several manufacturers have met that need with their briefcase style bags.

1. Rothco MOLLE Laptop Briefcase

Rothco Molle Tactical Laptop/Briefcase, Coyote

There is nothing lowkey or gray man about the Rothco MOLLE Tactical Laptop Briefcase.  The design, look, and the concept is described perfectly by the word tactical.  Large external pocket with strap and buckle closures, lots of attachment points, and the availability to get this bag in almost any camo pattern you desire is a giveaway that this bag is meant to be used under extreme conditions.

However, it is a functional and durable bag at a reasonable cost for an EDC briefcase.  You will certainly get some looks if you carry this into a serious business meeting, but that may be your intention.

Rothco Molle Tactical Laptop/Briefcase, Coyote
  • Quality tested and ensured for maximum durability
  • Designed with only the toughest, roughest users in mind

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2. Condor Metropolis Briefcase

Condor Elite Tactical Metropolis Briefcase 111072-002 Black

I carried one of these briefcases for years when I was operating my tactical store.  This bag served me in many ways.  It was a business bag, an overnight bag, and a courier bag at times.  With the addition of some external pouches, this bag doubled up as a short stay travel bag and an EDC bag.  I will also pass the carryon bag check at the airport.

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What I look for in an EDC bag

My criteria for an EDC bag can be broken down into several categories, each with its own requirements and needs.  The problem I have is that no one bag fits every situation I have for an EDC bag. My daily routine changes and the needs for an EDC bag change with them.

There are times when I need small light and minimalistic.  At other times I need something that I can carry that leaves both hands free and doesn’t interfere with movement.  In addition to these, there are times I need to not just carry my extended EDC loadout but also a laptop, papers, and other business gear.

Regardless of the style or type of bag I am carrying, you can be sure it has met several of my requirements for any bag I purchase and use.


The EDC Bag Conundrum

In my opinion, there is not one best EDC bag that will fit every situation and every need.  Conditions change as do circumstances, and you must be able to change with them.   At times, a minimalist approach is either the best solution or the one that is forced on you.  The routines of your daily life may impose the need for compromises or to adapt to the needs of your lifestyle or your job. 

I hope that the information that I have provided and my views on EDC bags help you make the choices of which bags best fit your situation.  If you have comments or experiences with EDC bags, please share them below.  Your ideas and experiences are important to help others make the best selections in an EDC bag.

Dennis Howard

A life long hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, after surviving a devastating tornado in his home town, he saw the effects on people's lives as they struggled to cope. He built his first bugout bag a few weeks later and has been a dedicated prepper/survivalist since that time. After a career as a fireman, Dennis opened a retail store (FFL approved) catering to the military, law enforcement, and like-minded individuals. The store built their own AR platforms. Furthermore, Dennis was also an NRA instructor in both long gun and handgun as well as a certified range safety officer. Read his full interview here.