Survival Gear Review: Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack

How long have you been trying to find that “perfect” catch all EDC (Everyday Carry) bag?  Your search is over.  We take an in depth look at what may be the ultimate Tier Two bag from Maxpedition, the Fatboy Versipak.

BAG DETAILS
  • A Grab handle made from 0.75" webbing
  • YKK high strength zippers and zipper tracks
  • UTX-Duraflex nylon buckles for low sound closures
Check Price on
Amazon.com

Specs

From the Manufacturer:
The Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack Everyday Carry Shoulder bag has a main compartment that is 8 inches x 6.5 inches x 3 inches.  IsEDC Bag made from 1000 Denier water and abrasion resistant light weight nylon fabric.  This versipack is a ergonomic durable shoulder sling pack.  It is a portable gear organizer that provides secured containment for and rapid accessibility of daily equipment.  The versatile main compartment has a huge 156 cubic inch of space with a water resistant storm collar that can be deployed by pulling a cord locked drawstring.

Construction/ Quality Control

Maxpedition is well known for their very high quality gear, those who claim that you are just paying for the logo, have obviously never used Maxped gear.  Everything about the bag says rugged, heavy duty, and over built. With double stitching throughout, and high quality Cordura Nylon (not the cheap “ballistic” nylon found on cheaper products), this bag is amazing.

Philosophy Of Use

Maxpedition states that the bag can be used as a concealed carry bag, weapons bag, police go bag, travelers gear bag, photographersEveryday Carry Bag gear bag, hikers gear bag, or a casual bag. In my experience with the bag, it would probably work well in all of those instances.  I have found that it works very well as a camera bag, as the waterproof main compartment will hold a very large DSLR or video camera.  I am not old enough to conceal carry at the time of this writing, but when I do get my CCL, I doubt that I will carry my CCW in the Fatboy.  This is not because the bag is not adequate for that purpose, it is just that I do not really feel comfortable with off-body carry of my primary defensive weapon.  Despite being capable of carrying my entire first tier setup, or EDC, I still find myself carrying my keys with MDMT(Medium Duty Multi Tool), wallet, TFK (Tactical Folding Knife), and my phone on my person in my pockets or on my belt.  If I ever have to drop my bag and run, I want to have my “bomb burst gear” intact.

Load Out

Everyone likes lists as much as I do, right? Here is how I have my Fatboy loaded:

  • Surefire LX2 Lumamax (Note: There is a pouch specifically designed for flashlights, guess where I keep mine.)

    EDC Maxpedition Fatboy Versipak
    Note: This is not Josh’s bag
  • Gerber MP600 (Note the “cell phone” pouch is just right for really big multi tools.
  • CRKT Stiff Kiss
  • No products found. (Note: The right side pocket is perfect for sunglasses or a GPS, I also sometimes roll with Revision Sawfly, or Hellfly shades.)
  • Trauma bag (Note: Main compartment, a QuickClot Tactical Field Trauma bag fits perfectly.)
  • Admin Items (Write In the Rain tablet, pens, pencils, etc, etc.)
  • Peerless Handcuffs (Note: Fits the pocket built in to the top flap)
  • Mechanix Gloves (Note: With perhaps the exception of No products found. , Mechanix gloves are the best I have ever had for general utility, and shooting.)

Cons

The only complaint that I have is about the “cell phone pouch.”  The pouch is too tall for a standard free phone, and too narrow for a smart phone. I keep my multi tool here, but it would have been nice to be able to keep a cell phone handy.  If Maxpedition ever does a revised version, I hope they either eliminate the pouch and replace it with a couple of rows of PALS/MOLLE webbing, or re-size the pouch to actually fit a phone.

Conclusion

I have been the happy owner of my Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack for close to a year now.  I have spent the entire time testing this bag and, putting off typing this review. Who would want to sit in front of their computer and type when they can be outdoors testing cool gear. I am very satisfied with my purchase. I am going to leave you with this word of caution, Maxpedition gear is addicting, my poor wallet (Maxpedition makes several) is always empty.

Photos By:
OF Fascist
SlipStreamJC
Betamaxboy
Outinthewoods



Joel Jefferson
Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of SurvivalCache.com. After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.

45 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack”

  1. Isn't this just a cooler looking fanny pack??? I'm just kiding Josh, great article and review of the product I might have to look into one of these

    Reply
  2. I love my Maxped Versipack – mine is a jumbo with the integrated bottle carrier. While I've carried in the CC pouch, I usually prefer to have just a sheath knife in there with spare magazines. I like the modular nature of the pack and find it easy to carry a small backpack's worth of gear tucked and stowed away with this bag – even more so if you attach a few other MOLLE-compatible pouches and compartments.

    IMHO, it's well worth the money – you can find cheap knock-offs from some vendors, but I would advice investing in the real deal for something like this.

    Reply
  3. I think that this is a very good pack as well. I would only cation that you might as well wear a Red t-Shirt that says "I prepared come get me",and in little letters "oh and I probably have a gun too". This is a very useful but very tactical looking bag. Any Con knows that if you see a slightly overweight guy with a fanny pack that he is a cop carrying his off-duty weapon. Just my two cents, but a small non-tactical backpack accomplishes the same thing and does not cause as much attention.

    Reply
    • 5000% agree, NOTE TO THE EDITOR! I feel that there is not enough emphasis on the "Grey Man" concept in this forum. there is plenty of stuff on blending into the woods, carrying your AK-47 and M4, how to build an INCH bag, but very little on every day Joe-Blow blending. I used a jumbo versipack and a falcon ii both for about 9 months then ditched them, after having everyone give me 'the eye.'

      Now i use a large Jan-sport and will never, EVER, go back to anything tactical. the tacticool bags just draw too much attention. with the Jan-Sport I can go anywhere and not raise a single eyebrow (this was not important to me when I first started EDCing but now I understand why it is very, very, important).

      Try taking your tactical bag into a star-bucks and see how many people give you they eye then multiply that number by 3, because for every person you catch looking at you there are probably three more that you missed.

      More Grey-Man Articles!!!!!! 'MURICA!

      Reply
  4. Looks a little too much like a purse for me. No offense intended, but it’s just not my style. I’ve grown far too used to the feel of a messenger bag to accept anything smaller, if Maxpedition has a messenger bag (at least 14x12x4) sized bag then I’ll be all over that.

    Reply
  5. I'm the telecom guy at a college and I use one of these as my "light duty" tool bags. It's perfect for carrying a Harris butt set, a tone & probe kit, Paladin Sure-Punch kit, RJ-45/11 crimp tool with room to spare for various loopback and crossover adapters and blank RJ-45 and RJ-11 tips. All in all, a very tough bag. Glad I found it!

    Reply
  6. The Maxpedition is great quality, and worth every nickel. Great choice.

    I have an old Sigma camera bag as 'everyday' EDC (if that makes sense. I carry my SLR camera in an old 6-pack cooler with a piece of ziplok bag sticking out of top so it looks like lunch..).
    On the infrequent occasions I get more than about 4 miles from my home/office, I have an 'overloaded' Jumbo Maxpedition like this one (but black) with 3 more MOLLE pouches, and an extra water-bottle carrier attached. (the onboard bottle carrier has a dry Nalgene bottle stuffed with USB and RJ45 cables, cable ties and 'weird-shaped' items like fishing bobbers , packaged dry tinder blocks, multi-bit screwdriver and stainless steel chopsticks – I stick a fresh SS bottle of water or a fresh coffee thermos in the add-on)

    The MOLLE add-on pouches help my aging brain remember "that one's first-aid, that's tools, that's energy bars, coffee, tea and soup…"

    Great gear choices, Josh, keep up the good work .
    (and a hi-5 to Cupric who knows what a buttset and punchdown kit is for – ahh.. the 'good' ol' days' dragging cable 🙂 )

    Reply
  7. Great article.Found five Maxpedition Fatboy Versipak.
    (1) Is an S-type $50.00(Wal-Mart)
    (2) Is G.T.G. S-type
    (3) Is G.T.O. L.E.O. S-type
    (4) is Jumbo E.D.C. S-type
    (5) is COLOSSUS $110.00
    Have you look any of these over?
    The bigger ones are not that much bigger. Are they worth the add price?
    This was wrote to the author, but if anyone has one of these bags.
    Would love to know what you liked or did not like about them!
    Thanks for a great job! You got me looking at these!

    Reply
  8. Mine is the Versipack Jumbo – it has an integrated bottle holder which holds a 32oz nalgene perfectly. I also have a GSI ss cup in there which is a tight squeeze, but can fit – it goes in adn out of a dedicated bottle holder a bit better.

    I don't CC everyday with my versi, but could. If you do, I recommend getting the additional internal accessories to do so, depending on the size of the frame you carry, maybe even a couple mag holders as well.

    I find the basic design to be excellent and rugged – yes, it looks a bit tactical, but that's personal taste. The difference between models is that some have fewer compartments sewn in or use a slightly thinner cordura, etc. They are all well-built. Check out the maxpedition website for more detailed info. http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/Versipacks-c4

    Reply
  9. A new twist to what blackpowder shooters call a "Possibles Bag". I think it's a very useful item. Practicle, and light. Great for a day hunt, or anything else on a 24 hr op. Route recon when scoping your area, new routes through town. Also it's low key and wouldn't draw a lot of attention.

    Reply
  10. Great review Josh! I have been considering one for day hikes. Fanny packs cause lower back pain for me and in warmer weather I find that daypacks like the Camelback are too hot on the back. I have not been able to examine one in person. Do they rub or "flop" into you while hiking or walking?

    Reply
    • If its strap is as adjustable as the one on my carry bag it may work to tighten it up as far as you can and still be comfortable and still have easy access to the pouches to stop it from flopping or rubbing.

      Reply
  11. I to have been carrying one for a several months now and use it more to keep my EDC stuff all together when changing vehicles.

    I keep IPAD – shooting gloves – hearing protection – some meds – light – knife – 9mm – 4 mags – bottle of water and even wallet.

    some call it a man purse but its functional and does what I need it to do for me.

    Reply
  12. The problem with a lot of the ECD bag/backpacks setups is pack stability. You are simply not going to be able to move around quickly, quietly if you don't choose the right bag in the first place.

    My personal goal is to have an ECD setup where I can *comfortably* run with no loss of agility (and by run I mean both sprint and long-distance). If you can't run with your current ECD and need to, guess what's going to happen to it?

    Here's what I my initial research suggests is the best of the best: http://www.geigerrig.com/

    Anyone else agree?

    Reply
    • Looks interesting. I'm always on the lookout for a new and exciting pack. My current favorite pack is a Camelbak Alpine Explorer that I bought in 2006. I just haven't found anything to compare to it, not for lack of trying.

      These are certainly worth a look.

      Reply
  13. Good review. I have both the Fatboy and the Jumbo, both of which I use for my geocaching expeditions (at different times, of course). The Maxpedition versipacks and gearslingers are great bags that will take quite a beating and come back asking for more. And the sizes range from small to not so small. I'm starting to build quite a collection.

    Reply
  14. Though my pack isn't the Maxpedition pack it is similar in layout. It has a sunglasses pouch (which I actually use to store a pair of sunglasses), a main pouch (use this to house my RAI M1911, a Chip McCormick 8-round M1911 magazine, a hairbrush), a secondary pouch (keep a travel first aid kit here), a tertiary pouch (keep my wallet, a pen, and a small note pad there), a flashlight-magazine-knife pouch (I keep a LED flashlight in this), a cell phone pouch (actually carry my cell phone in there), a pouch in the main pouch's lid (keep emergency fire starter in there [matches, dryer lint, and a butane lighter]), and a flat mesh pouch at the back of the organizer (I can carry a paper back book in there or some granola bars or other snack bar type food.) I got mine at a local camping and surplus store called Einstein's. The bag also has attachment points on its carry strap that can be used to attach an LC-2 first aid/ compass pouch or even some MOLLE gear like a spare magazine pouch for pistol mags.

    Reply
    • Another feature of the bag I've got is that it has a clip hook that can be used for keys or gloves. If I carry gloves on the hook I can use a miniature D-ring or O-ring to clip them together before clipping the ring to the hook. Oh another thing I can clip to the attachment points would be my Gerber Paraframe II lock-blade with a serrated edge. Most of the time though that knife and my Gerber Multiplier are on my belt or in my pockets. I would like to find a similar pack that also has a place to store a water bottle or two. Anyone have an idea for such a bag?

      Reply
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    Reply
  16. I was looking at this bag when I was shopping around for a gun bag. I don't have $$ to spare, so I wanted a versatile bag that could be used for a variety of purposes – range bag, EDC, go bag. It came down between this one and the "Drago Gear Ambi Shoulder Pack". I ended up going for the Drago because it comes outfitted with more MOLLE webbing than this one. I've already added a MOLLE pouch, and MOLLE triple mag holder to make it more modular, as needed. I do like the idea of a shoulder bag though if you want something that can be used for a variety of circumstances. It's not a basic rectangular single purpose range bag. It's not a 'tactical' laptop bag that would be uncomfortable to wear over your shoulder for extended periods. To the uninformed, yeah, it's a man purse, so it doesn't look suspicious.

    Reply
  17. Any thing that serves as a pack or pouch is a good thing you cannot be effective if your not organized or have
    holsters or carriers to handle your gear.

    I have a Blackhawk pouch that carries enough for 3 days and a launch pad for a higher standard of living.
    in hard times.

    Reply

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