26 votes

Let's talk bags

What are you using to carry your stuff?
What stuff are you carrying?
What's good/bad about it?
What is your dream bag?

Anything bag related is welcome.

39 comments

  1. jprich
    Link
    Awww shit. This is my jam right here. The wife calls me an old bag lady. lol So I alternate between an old Jansport laptop book bag I got back in... 2004 and a much newer Vanquest Envoy 3...

    Awww shit. This is my jam right here. The wife calls me an old bag lady. lol

    So I alternate between an old Jansport laptop book bag I got back in... 2004 and a much newer Vanquest Envoy 3 messenger bag. Choice of which one to use depends on what im carrying. If its going to be a hands on day and I need organization its the messenger bag. If its a boring office day I use the Jansport.

    I also have a smaller Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack for smaller day trips.

    10 votes
  2. [2]
    pseudolobster
    (edited )
    Link
    A couple years ago I got sick of replacing my laptop bag every 5 years and decided I'd get a Buy-it-for-Life type bag that I could expect would last at least 20 years. I was looking at getting a...

    A couple years ago I got sick of replacing my laptop bag every 5 years and decided I'd get a Buy-it-for-Life type bag that I could expect would last at least 20 years. I was looking at getting a Saddleback bag, but I just couldn't justify the price. Even if it lasts me 20 years, if it costs $1000, that's like buying a $100 bag every two years, which is what I wanted to avoid. So I started looking at chinese clones, and eventually settled on a company called Vagabond Traveler. (They've since renamed themselves to "Vagrant Traveler", and I'm thinking they don't quite get the translation - that's not exactly a flattering adjective)

    Vagabond Vagrant Traveler makes full-grain leather bags that aren't quite clones of, but rather "inspired by" Saddleback bags. Overall I'm pretty happy. There are some corners cut, there are some fit-and-finish issues, like little stitching issues, things not quite being symmetrical, etc, but the quality of the materials (the leather itself) is great. Bag is solid AF. Probably weighs 8 pounds empty. The leather is like 5mm thick, and I'm confident I could drag it behind a car for miles without any significant damage. At 1/4 the price of a similar saddleback bag, I really feel I got my money's worth. I paid $230USD for a "L05" bag, whereas a similar sized bag from Saddleback Leather was something like $850 last I looked.

    Anyway, if anyone is looking for a full grain leather bag for cheap, the company is "Vagrant Traveler", and if you buy anything from them, message them first. The owner, Long, seems to love haggling, and I have no doubt you can get 10% off just by asking.

    edit: corrected model number

    9 votes
    1. ReapersGale
      Link Parent
      They do some nice looking (albeit expensive) items, I've been rocking one of their wallets for about 8 years now.

      I was looking at getting a Saddleback bag, but I just couldn't justify the price.

      They do some nice looking (albeit expensive) items, I've been rocking one of their wallets for about 8 years now.

      2 votes
  3. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Now that's my kinda subject. I'm a bag fanatic – in that, something about personal containers fills me with joy. If that's what some women feel about their bags, I understand them. It's an...

    Now that's my kinda subject.

    I'm a bag fanatic – in that, something about personal containers fills me with joy. If that's what some women feel about their bags, I understand them. It's an indescribably joy for me.

    My current backpack is one of Mountain Hardwear's; no clue about the precise model. Not one of those their website currently lists. Saved to buy this one: it's something like $130 in local currency. It's not perfect, but it's very, very good: sturdy, light, and withstands abuse well (I'm careful with my things until I'm not).

    Love the textile handle (some of their current models have those). I have big hands, and the handle is relatively thin, so it fits well between the joints of my fingers. It's also sturdy: it's been two years, and only one thread on the first layer of handle attachment broke so far; it has several separate layers, so it's gonna be long before the handle is inoperable.

    The backpack itself is spacious: I can shop for groceries comfortably with it, even when I'm binging that evening. Has two open side compartments for bottles and the like (also fitting to carry a cotton hat in, in this unpredictable weather), where if the bottle is big, it can be further secured with a click-locked strap. The shoulder straps are soft and comfortable, as long as you wear them over a layer of clothing, and have several textile loops and two click-lock straps to secure the backpack further. (Bonus points for the fact that I can easily tuck both of those away and never worry about them getting in the way.)

    The backpack also has multiple well-constructed pockets for all kinds of stuff. There are two full-height pockets on the front of the backpack, fitting books, documents, and printed sheets of paper with directions and such. (I used to carry a 600-page book there to uni every day with no issues.) There's a small pocket on top of the front, with soft silk(?) lining – most likely for the phone. There's one full-length hidden (well, obscure) compartment inside the first (front) pack, probably for emergency supplies and important documents. (I carry two meters of toilet paper and a bunch of small plastic bags there, just in case.) There's even a secondary pocket in the back part that fits prints and such – it's attached to the laptop section, so it has structure at all times.

    I bought it for uni use. Laptop and stationery capacity were priority requests. This one doesn't exactly have your regular stationery part as much as it has loops for pens and a lot of space for the miscellanea. I could carry printed sheets in the back part, and the few notebooks I ended up carrying fitted either in the same back compartment or in one of the small front-pack pockets. (Actually, both of the pockets fit my wallet, the external HDD, and/or the pack of tissues so well I'm thinking that was their purpose, or one of those.)

    One thing I don't understand is: the handle-looking thing on top of the front of the backpack. It's too far north to remain by the center of gravity, yet too sturdy and fits the hand too well to suggest other uses. If you carry the full backpack by it, the whole thing feels like it's gonna tear off the leather front because of its awkward positioning. There are small textile loops all over the backpack, so attaching small items is not an issue. What's the handle-like thing for?

    Not without its drawbacks, I'm afraid.

    I bought it thinking the padded backside is going to be aid me, 'cause it kinda looks that way. Thought it was for air circulation and softer carrying. Doesn't aid carrying much, and makes my back sweat a whole lot even when I put the backpack slightly loose.

    Taking things out of the front pack risks pushing your pens off their loops and either outside the pack or straight to the bottom of the compartment. It has a lot of space inside but opens just too narrowly to keep taking things from the bottom from being that small challenge. It's comfortable otherwise – and the opening length makes it so nothing spills off the sides – but this part made me use the front pack for carrying long-term and emergency things (a USB drive just in case, another pair of keys, spare pens and pencils etc.) mostly.

    Other than that? Very, very good backpack.

    The few things I wish I had with it:

    • some sort of small quick-access department that I could reach into without taking the pack off
    • lower or otherwise-accessible bottle-pocket parts: I can usually reach for a bottle with some strain, and putting one back is damn near impossible because of how the bottle pockets are positioned (which, to be fair, is along the general bottom line of the pack)
    • maybe magnetic document-compartment locks instead of zippers? I use them just often enough not to worry about zippers scratching my hands when I reach in; would it happen more often, I'd look into replacing it or finding a similar backpack where this isn't the issue, considering how sensitive my hands are

    That's pretty much it. Not looking forward to this one wearing off.

    That said, I'm looking into using single-sling backpacks, for daily long walks with just enough space to carry the important stuff and a little extra. They're too cool not to try.

    7 votes
  4. [3]
    CALICO
    Link
    Swiss Gear backpack; I don't know which one. Kindle, Notebooks, Pens & Replacement cartridges, Laptop, Headphones, Sunglasses case, Vape shit, Pack of cigarettes & lighter (I don't smoke anymore,...

    What are you using to carry your stuff?

    Swiss Gear backpack; I don't know which one.

    What stuff are you carrying?

    Kindle, Notebooks, Pens & Replacement cartridges, Laptop, Headphones, Sunglasses case, Vape shit, Pack of cigarettes & lighter (I don't smoke anymore, but they come in handy chatting with strangers), Battery Pack, Chargers, Gum, Snacks, Sometimes a change of clothes, Condoms, Lube, Various coins, Random pieces of trash.

    What's good/bad about it?

    Good: Target accidentally marked it for $20, when the MSRP was somewhere north of $100. Seems to be durable enough; it's lasted several years in a half dozen countries so far. It has loops I can hook my water bottle, or attach miscellanea with a carabiner.
    Bad: It doesn't stay upright very well, but that may be my fault with how I pack it.

    What is your dream bag?

    Someday I'd like to get into leathercrafting, and wouldn't mind making something sexy to carry my shit in when my backpack inevitably wears out. r/Leathercraft has some nice examples, but I don't have a design in mind currently.

    6 votes
    1. ReapersGale
      Link Parent
      My housemate has his dad's leathercrafting tools downstairs and it's something I've wanted to do for a while, though my goal project is remaking my Thor cosplay in leather and metal (currently...

      Someday I'd like to get into leathercrafting, and wouldn't mind making something sexy to carry my shit in when my backpack inevitably wears out. r/Leathercraft has some nice examples, but I don't have a design in mind currently.

      My housemate has his dad's leathercrafting tools downstairs and it's something I've wanted to do for a while, though my goal project is remaking my Thor cosplay in leather and metal (currently made out of cheap yoga mats). Might have to add it as a second project for Timasomo.

      5 votes
    2. sublime_aenima
      Link Parent
      I haven’t smoked in about a decade now, but back when I did I found that cigarettes and lighter were excellent conversation starters. I still carry a lighter with me, but not cigarettes.

      I haven’t smoked in about a decade now, but back when I did I found that cigarettes and lighter were excellent conversation starters. I still carry a lighter with me, but not cigarettes.

      5 votes
  5. [2]
    PetitPrince
    (edited )
    Link
    I have different bag for different usages : Everyday bag: Qwestion Office bag Carries laptop & charger (Thinkpad X1) , documents, kindle, external battery and hdd, and lunch box. Pro It's...

    I have different bag for different usages :

    Everyday bag: Qwestion Office bag

    Carries

    laptop & charger (Thinkpad X1) , documents, kindle, external battery and hdd, and lunch box.

    Pro

    It's convertible between a messenger / backpack / briefcase style of carry. I switch depending on mood or professional circumstance.
    It's super stylish!

    Cons

    ... Its also super expensive for a light backpack / messenger. The shoulder pads are near useless (but I don't carry heavy weight, so it's not that much of an issue). The center metal part on the strap may end up digging into the shoulder in messenger bag mode.


    Camera and hiking/travel bag : Peak Design Travel bag + small camera cube

    Carries

    In the camera cube : XT3, Rokinon/Samyang: 12mm; Fuji: 23mm f2, 35mm F1.4 , Nikon: 50mm F1.4;

    In the bag (travel/hiking) : camera cube + water bottle, food, clothes (jacket, hiking pants)

    In the bag (portable studio) : camera bag + mostly godox: two battery powered flashes (TT685), flash remote, two bowens flash mounts, one 60x60cm pop-up softbox, one 80x80cm pop-up soft box, two light stands, extra batteries. Me photo classic tripod either in the water bottle compartment or held with the external strap.

    Pro

    I find it super comfortable, even with heavy load. I heard some more experienced hiker criticise this, so your mileage may vary.
    Everything is stowable, so it can really be clean looking.
    I can carry my whole flash setup with me.

    Cons

    It's a large bag, even with the compression button. I would have implemented a compression strap like in my old North Face Router backpack.
    It's also quite heavy, even when it's empty. Then I think it is counterbalanced my the comfort of the bag.

    6 votes
    1. patience_limited
      Link Parent
      The Australian Crumpler brand used to make fantastic camera bags with all the well-padded lens pockets you could possibly want. Now it looks like they're mainly occupying the same market as...

      The Australian Crumpler brand used to make fantastic camera bags with all the well-padded lens pockets you could possibly want. Now it looks like they're mainly occupying the same market as Timbuk2. LowePro is expensive and not terribly attractive. I'll confess I just peeked at BH Photo's site and there's a brand called ONA that has some very intriguing DSLR bags.

      1 vote
  6. [3]
    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    About 12 years ago, Timbuk2 bags were the bombproof Cordura containers that I kept my life in. I had both a custom messenger in reflective fabric, and a CoPilot suitcase that probably saw a...

    About 12 years ago, Timbuk2 bags were the bombproof Cordura containers that I kept my life in. I had both a custom messenger in reflective fabric, and a CoPilot suitcase that probably saw a million or more miles over its lifetime.

    Sadly, times have changed, and I can't recommend Timbuk2 products anymore - the quality and design features, as well as the customer service and warranty support, have declined drastically.

    Generally, I modularize and nest my bags. I haven't used backpacks for many years since they wrinkle dress clothes far worse than shoulder or cross-body bags. So the Russian doll hierarchy of workbags is as follows:

    1. One bag to hold them all - Betabrand CommuteHer Totebag. Accommodates up to a 15.6" laptop (the Windows work laptop) in a padded pocket, has about 10 other pockets in various configurations - Velcro, zipped, magnetic flap, umbrella/water bottle, etc. There are almost certainly other similarly engineered totebags, but this one seems to be wearing nearly as well as the old Timbuk2 bag. Other miscellaneous contents - huge Pashmina-type scarf/blanket for those chilly airplane seats. It's a women's bag per the label, but aside from the tote straps, I'd say it's relatively ungendered...

    2. Various small nylon pouches for meds/cosmetics, emergency spare glasses, contacts, toothbrush and underwear, etc.

    3. Basic Amazon travel cable organizer bag. I've got every bloody version of cable and adapter packed that you can imagine, both for things like Cisco equipment that still uses mini-USB, and for the fellow travellers who can't be bothered to keep track of their own power supplies. Assorted USB sticks, drives, battery packs, microfiber cloths, and Yubikey dongles. A disassembled multi-tip screwdriver, which the TSA hasn't confiscated yet. Also, one of these compact power strips.

    4. Caisson 13" laptop sleeve with strap - this is for the spare Chromebook/Linux laptop, but can be pulled out and used as a workbag on its own. It's a nice, sturdy, well-designed canvas pouch with two pockets that will just about hold a power adapter and a paper notebook, for about $20 USD.

    5. Wallet on a string - one of those wee girlie bags that basically holds credit cards, cellphone, and a Chapstick (with difficulty). Great when it's time to skive off work and head for the scenic attractions.

    The travel bag is a miracle of simplicity - an Osprey 40L Cordura duffel. This is the ultralight ideal - I can get a full week's worth of all-season clothing changes and spare shoes*** in under 25 lbs., all easily accessible with judicious use of packing cubes. The single padded shoulder strap is very easy to wear, but the handles also feel pretty good. I haven't yet found an underseat or overhead compartment it won't fit, and it's never been questioned for baggage size limits. Even though it's been checked a few times, with all the abuse that implies, it's still new looking after a couple of years.

    The serious workbag: EBags eTech 2.0 25" Wheeled Duffel. This was the giant bucket o' tools, parts, and equipment, including a folding 24" cart. I never did manage to get it loaded past the U.S. airlines' checked baggage weight limit, but it was a near thing. The quality wasn't bad, and the organization features were exactly what you would want for professional server/network or other traveling service professionals - a large hard-sided compartment, a tall duffel-style compartment with zip-through access to the protected compartment, a few relatively well-protected side and interior mesh pockets, and compression straps to snug it all into a compact package. Biggest complaint was that the telescoping handle jammed occasionally.

    Ideal bag: I'm holding out for anti-gravity, or the Pocket Hole of DnD fame. I've gone a little way down the dark path of women's fashion business totes, and been alternately disappointed or neurologically impaired (really, pinched nerves and all) from carrying some badly designed anti-ergonomic abominations. I could carry less stuff, but then I wouldn't Be Prepared for All Eventualities, as EDC implies.

    Also, apologies for multiple edits...

    ***Vibram 5-Fingers for gym workouts, and/or ankle boots for snow/hiking.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Grawlix
      Link Parent
      I was looking for anyone else mentioning Timbuk2, only to be sorely disappointed. I got mine around when you mentioned, not quite 12 years ago, and aside from some unfortunate canvas shrinkage and...

      I was looking for anyone else mentioning Timbuk2, only to be sorely disappointed. I got mine around when you mentioned, not quite 12 years ago, and aside from some unfortunate canvas shrinkage and cosmetic wear & tear, it's as good as new. It's a real bummer to hear that the company isn't what it used to be. :( Especially since the one thing bugging me about my bag is that I got it with a 13-inch laptop sleeve, and I've been using 15-inch laptops since ditching MacBooks ~8 years ago.

      That bag you linked does seem close to my ideal game night bag, though! :p

      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        The grim story is that the 10+ year-old CoPilot suitcase, though perfectly usable in all respects, had gotten unrecoverably grimy from airline cargo handling. At about 5 years in, Timbuk2 customer...

        The grim story is that the 10+ year-old CoPilot suitcase, though perfectly usable in all respects, had gotten unrecoverably grimy from airline cargo handling. At about 5 years in, Timbuk2 customer service had sent, gratis, no questions asked, a new set of skate wheels after the baggage gibbons ripped one off.

        The new CoPilot case I got two years ago, though attractive and functional, had a different exterior fabric that wore through on a single trip. This time Timbuk2 customer service refused all responsibility, claiming accidental damage, even though it was clear the material failed to withstand abrasion as Cordura fabric would have.

        I also despise Timbuk2's current fashion pricing and disposable, functionless design for women's business bags - it's just pink tax on steroids.

        The spouse has one of their current TSA-safe briefcase-styled messenger bags, and it's just okay in looks and function. Fine if you're carrying nice, flat laptops and papers, but it doesn't have the wonderfully shapeless Bag of Holding capacity of the original Timbuk2 messenger. I could cram in a jacket, water bottle, bento box, a spare 24-port network switch, a tool roll, etc. and it would wear and balance comfortably. You can still get the original bag designs, but I won't vouch for the durability.

        2 votes
  7. [3]
    reese
    Link
    Since we're having this discussion, can someone please recommend a 15.6" laptop/messenger bag that isn't absurdly expensive, bulky, and flashy?

    Since we're having this discussion, can someone please recommend a 15.6" laptop/messenger bag that isn't absurdly expensive, bulky, and flashy?

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      I have this bag from Lenovo and I'm quite happy with it. Use it to carry my laptop between home & work on days when I don't have to carry much else.

      I have this bag from Lenovo and I'm quite happy with it. Use it to carry my laptop between home & work on days when I don't have to carry much else.

      4 votes
      1. reese
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Thank you. That one looks good.

        Thank you. That one looks good.

        3 votes
  8. nbrempel
    Link
    I’ve been using the Filson Original Briefcase for a while now and it’s amazing. Its expensive but I’ve already had it for 3 years at least and I expect it to last another 10.

    I’ve been using the Filson Original Briefcase for a while now and it’s amazing. Its expensive but I’ve already had it for 3 years at least and I expect it to last another 10.

    4 votes
  9. NaraVara
    Link
    So I alternate between 3 (or really 4). For work I have a briefcase/messenger bag that I bought off a street vendor in India. The leather is really good quality and it's well put together, but the...

    So I alternate between 3 (or really 4).

    For work I have a briefcase/messenger bag that I bought off a street vendor in India. The leather is really good quality and it's well put together, but the hardware parts (buckles that hold the straps together) were not so great. It's kind of a shame. But the bag itself is super handy. Has pockets in all the right places and the strap distributed weight really well up until it broke. It was big enough to hold a laptop in a sleeve and 2 notebooks. I would have liked it just a tad thicker to be able to hold a fat novel on top of those or a brown bag lunch without crushing it.

    For day to day I have a Jansport "hatchet". It's pretty decent as a day pack and holds about what you'd need for commuting to work. I got it because it was cheap, but I think if I had to do it over again I'd try to get a slightly bigger one that is similar. Something like the Timbuk2 Tres. But while it is low cost, it's actually really well made and is likely to last me a long time despite feeling a little bit cheap.

    For travel I used to use this Datsusara gear bag. I got it because I used to have to bike to muay thai and it was good for holding my gear while also being spacious enough to pack for an overnight trip. Over time it just got a little gross though, and it didn't survive the washing machine very well so now the seams have started to come undone and I'm anxious that it's going to come apart on me. It's a shame though, because quality of construction issues aside it was a really handy and well designed bag. I think I just got a manufacturing dud though, because every other review I've seen of them have been really positive and claim they can stand up to a beating. Travel wise, it doesn't fit easily under an airplane seat so it can be a bit of a hassle relative to the Jansport.

    To supplement I have this sling that I got in Chiang Mai. I basically keep a book, noise canceling headphones, water, and my chargers in there so I can have a bag to bring to the seat and stow the fat backpack away. It's also handy on trips. I can fit a book, my camera, and my lens in there (I use a camera wrap for the spare lens) along with headphones, chargers, and random odds and ends. It's enough to get around without looking too obviously touristy the way a camera bag might. (Instead of wearing it like a fanny pack I wear it over the shoulder like a sling). I also have one of those peak design camera clips on the strap if I'm taking a lot of photos to keep the camera within easy reach without having to unzip the sling each time.

    What would be perfect is if there was some way to strap the sling across the backpack so it could be stowed together but also quick release off. I'm sure if I was any good with a sewing machine I could do some molle strap trickery to make that work.

    I also have this handy garment bag/duffle that I end up taking to weddings where I need to pack a suit for a short trip. It's extremely handy, but basically can only hold one nice outfit and enough clothes/toiletries to travel to and from.

    4 votes
  10. [2]
    Dovey
    Link
    Most of my forays out of the house are to fetch groceries, library books etc., so I usually just carry a shopping tote. Last Christmas someone gave me a Hudson's Bay tote that suits me nicely, and...

    Most of my forays out of the house are to fetch groceries, library books etc., so I usually just carry a shopping tote. Last Christmas someone gave me a Hudson's Bay tote that suits me nicely, and I've been using it as an everyday bag. It's sturdy, holds a lot and looks nice.

    Unfortunately, I've been hassled about it a few times by First Nations/indigenous/native people, because of The Bay and its historical treatment of the First Nations. (TLDR: extensive exploitation, perhaps genocide via smallpox-laden blankets) I'm thinking of giving up this useful bag because it's a symbol of injustice but my frugal self regrets having to give it away and buy something different. Thoughts?

    4 votes
    1. patience_limited
      Link Parent
      Local public radio station canvas totes don't carry much controversy, and I've been using them forever.

      Local public radio station canvas totes don't carry much controversy, and I've been using them forever.

      3 votes
  11. balooga
    Link
    I use an Origaudio El Dorado. Back in spring my company purchased a bunch of these with our logo on them for employee swag... I use it because, free bag! I'm happy with it though, the roll top is...

    I use an Origaudio El Dorado. Back in spring my company purchased a bunch of these with our logo on them for employee swag... I use it because, free bag! I'm happy with it though, the roll top is roomy and I especially like the waterproof shoe compartment in the bottom. There's an easy-access zipper to get into it without undoing the roll, which is convenient. I'm just commuting with it, not taking it on expeditions, but it's been good for my needs.

    4 votes
  12. Akir
    Link
    By all means, I try to not carry bags. Western society is good to men in that men's clothes almost always have pockets, so the only bags I typically am carrying are the ones in my pants. The only...

    By all means, I try to not carry bags. Western society is good to men in that men's clothes almost always have pockets, so the only bags I typically am carrying are the ones in my pants.

    The only occasion I really need to carry a bag is when I go to school, and that means that I need a laptop bag/case. I highly recommend Wenger brand laptop bags. They are very well made for the price they are offered, and I find them to be very durable and long-lasting. They also fit my personal idea of the perfect in-between of being mostly uncomplicated but still very organized, with one main body for the laptop and paperwork and one big pocket with a built-in organizer for pens and other stationary tools. I have the Platform, but after looking through their entire catalog there are some much nicer designs I would have preferred if I had their entire catalog to choose from at the time.

    4 votes
  13. papasquat
    Link
    I have a Victorinox backpack that I've had for at least a decade that I use whenever I need to carry stuff. I have a smallish hard suitcase I got from costco that I use when I travel, not sure of...

    I have a Victorinox backpack that I've had for at least a decade that I use whenever I need to carry stuff. I have a smallish hard suitcase I got from costco that I use when I travel, not sure of the brand. All bags are more or less the same to me, and to be honest, I haven't even thought about bags, or there being pros and cons for different bags until you just mentioned it.

    3 votes
  14. Arshan
    Link
    I got the Aer Daypack a few months ago, and I have been really happy with it. It is the only backpack I have ever used that can consistently sit upright. The straps are on the thicker side with...

    I got the Aer Daypack a few months ago, and I have been really happy with it. It is the only backpack I have ever used that can consistently sit upright. The straps are on the thicker side with nice padding. It is on the smaller side, but it has enough space for all my day to day things. I keep an old thinkpad x250, a notepad and my current book in it. I also keep chargers and everything like that in it as well. Overall, a great backpack if you can get it, it sells out alot.

    3 votes
  15. [2]
    ReapersGale
    (edited )
    Link
    Bag: Mountain Designs Nomad 18 Size: 18L Purchased: 2013 Pros: Lightweight, durable, bright inner lining, good organization features in the front pocket & clips onto my larger Mountain Designs...

    Bag: Mountain Designs Nomad 18
    Size: 18L
    Purchased: 2013

    Pros: Lightweight, durable, bright inner lining, good organization features in the front pocket & clips onto my larger Mountain Designs Horizon 50 when I'm hiking, camping or traveling, picture for reference - except mine is grey

    Cons: When I have the laptop in the sleeve at the back and my kindle, battery bank, portable HDD, etc well organized in the front pocket it restricts what will fit in the middle as it has to wedged between 2 solid masses.

    Carrying:
    The above + headphones, glasses, chargers/cables, medication, notebook (paper), music earplugs and a change of clothes.

    Current Dream Bag:
    The con has caught me out a few times with tasks like swinging by the shops on the way home from work, packing out to visit friends, etc so I'm looking for something in the 24L - 30L range with the ability to pack the aforementioned tech towards the back (or otherwise out of the way) so the front has some flexibility when packing it out. Ideally also allow for single bag carry on in some cases when traveling.

    Turns out this is quite the rabbit hole to go down - I've probably spent a good 30 hours watching (and rewatching) videos from the likes of Chase Reeves, Bo Ismono and Pack Hacker amongst others and I think I've narrowed it down to 3 contenders:

    1. Peak Design Everyday Bag (Charcoal 30L):
      The maglock top and organization are dope and it looks pretty cool, the wear and tear on the backpanel many owners see within a few months of ownership is deterring me though; it doesn't effect the functionality of the bag but a ~400AUD bag showing cosmetic damage that quickly would kind of irk me.

    2. Black Ember Citadel Minimal 25L:
      It's won awards for the kind of things I want to use it for, but the lack of "I've been using this since I got it 1+ years ago" followup reviews alongside the shape of it being quite rigid (see built for a certain shape of person) is a little concerning. Pros being it would allow the kind of organization I want and is IPX6 water resistant.

    3. The Brown Buffalo Conceal Backpack v3 (Black 26L):
      Kind of like the Goruck GR1 but less tactical looking & better organization features - the removable laptop sleeve would have the pockets to fit the rest of the tech and could be handy to remove in some circumstances.

    Edit: Adding a 4th contender:

    1. Fjällräven Räven 28 (Dark Olive or Black):
      Should be room for all my tech in the laptop pocket, but if there is not the front pocket holds it's own volume so should not impact packing out the middle pocket. Is ~$300AUD cheaper than the other options once shipping is taken into account as I can purchase it locally.
    3 votes
    1. ReapersGale
      Link Parent
      I went into the local Fjällräven store and ended up grabbing one of the Räven 28 in black - they also threw in a free little tote bag. In terms of footprint it's actually quite similar to my Nomad...

      I went into the local Fjällräven store and ended up grabbing one of the Räven 28 in black - they also threw in a free little tote bag.

      In terms of footprint it's actually quite similar to my Nomad 18 when I've just got my minimal setup packed, whilst still giving me a good extra 10L - picture for reference.

  16. fifthecho
    Link
    What are you using to carry your stuff? The Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack What stuff are you carrying? Laptop. iPad. Molsinke. Many dongles. Many Cables. Vaping kit. 2 pairs of...

    What are you using to carry your stuff?

    The Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack

    What stuff are you carrying?

    Laptop. iPad. Molsinke. Many dongles. Many Cables. Vaping kit. 2 pairs of headphones. Backup battery. Many pens. Umbrella in the side "water bottle" pocket.

    What's good/bad about it?

    Good: It's comfortable. Looks pretty good. Carries everything. Compact size.
    Bad: The shoulder support/chest strap when I load in more kit isn't great. The straps get tangled. The side pockets are a little small.

    What is your dream bag?

    I'm not 100% sure. I'm always looking, but this is the bag I've carried the longest before getting frustrated with something and going back on the hunt. It has most everything I want out of a bag and looks pretty sleek.

    3 votes
  17. [3]
    Greg
    Link
    My everyday work bag is a very simple brown messenger bag from Gianni Conti, which I love. Simple, understated, durable, and big enough for a laptop, a few notepads, pens, etc. with a couple of...

    My everyday work bag is a very simple brown messenger bag from Gianni Conti, which I love. Simple, understated, durable, and big enough for a laptop, a few notepads, pens, etc. with a couple of pockets for cables and other bits and pieces that I like to keep separated.

    It replaced a very similar bag from Rowallan, which I loved equally until it was stolen a few years back - nowhere seemed to sell the exact model anymore and changing brand got me a closer replacement.

    For travel I go hand luggage only wherever possible - I've been using Skypak folding bags for the last ~10 years and I'm a big fan. They're extremely thin, lightweight, foldable nylon meaning that the smaller one can happily squish under most seats or into mostly-full overhead lockers when needed, and the larger one packs down enough that I generally throw it (folded) into the smaller one for longer trips in case I want to buy things along the way and come back with full sized hold luggage. I was initially a little apprehensive about durability, but they've survived a high double digit number of trips without any obvious wear - although I did loop a keyring through each set of zips to hold them closed as they seem more likely to catch and spill open than rigid suitcases.

    I also tend to take a very basic old Nike backpack on trips as a general day bag, which is perfectly fine but I have no particular praise for. I'm planning to upgrade to a Cote & Ceil Isar, which was actually recommended to me here in another thread, because I love the design - but I don't really need it, so that's waiting until I can justify a fairly pricey treat to myself!

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      envy
      Link Parent
      Really? You almost had me sold.

      they seem more likely to catch and spill open than rigid suitcases.

      Really?

      You almost had me sold.

      3 votes
      1. Greg
        Link Parent
        Never actually had it happen, but it was a worry the first couple of times I saw the shapes they got contorted into if I had to get them from a baggage carousel. One of these through both sides of...

        Never actually had it happen, but it was a worry the first couple of times I saw the shapes they got contorted into if I had to get them from a baggage carousel. One of these through both sides of the double zip when I close it and I'm back to being entirely confident!

        3 votes
  18. [2]
    bbvnvlt
    Link
    I have a monochrome bright orange Côte et Ciel Isar (current model has many changes to mine). (edit: Although, not so bright orange anymore, it's many years old and almost threadbare. Bookmarked...

    I have a monochrome bright orange Côte et Ciel Isar (current model has many changes to mine). (edit: Although, not so bright orange anymore, it's many years old and almost threadbare. Bookmarked this topic for future reference :-P)

    Large reason is aesthetics, but I still love the basic design of a big variable sack with a laptop back stuck to the back. Perfect for laptop/work, and I can take enough for a weekend away.

    When I was looking around, I very much appreciated the in-depth reviews of bags on carryology.com.

    1 vote
    1. ReapersGale
      Link Parent
      They're pretty good - I found them via one of Bo Ismono's videos.

      When I was looking around, I very much appreciated the in-depth reviews of bags on carryology.com.

      They're pretty good - I found them via one of Bo Ismono's videos.

  19. ubergeek
    Link
    While on the bike, I have a pair of panniers. Some off-brand, I cannot recall the name at the moment. For backpack, I alternate between an old jansport backpack, or an Outdoor Products one, with...

    While on the bike, I have a pair of panniers. Some off-brand, I cannot recall the name at the moment.

    For backpack, I alternate between an old jansport backpack, or an Outdoor Products one, with MOLLE webbing.

    1 vote
  20. Staross
    Link
    I have a Freitag, it's a hispter bag from Switzerland made with recycled materials, that everybody had like 5 years ago. I was a bit ashamed of it (I don't particularly like hispter things) but I...

    I have a Freitag, it's a hispter bag from Switzerland made with recycled materials, that everybody had like 5 years ago. I was a bit ashamed of it (I don't particularly like hispter things) but I have since almost 10 years now and I have to say it's doing a great job at being a bag.

    1 vote
  21. cancycou
    Link
    You guys are really passionate about bags haha My everyday backpack is Timbuk2 division What I bring everyday are my laptop, smaller bags for all my chargers and cables, my headphones, an...

    You guys are really passionate about bags haha

    My everyday backpack is Timbuk2 division

    What I bring everyday are my laptop, smaller bags for all my chargers and cables, my headphones, an extension cord, an umbrella, and one water bottle.

    For travelling, I've been trying to only bring one bag. Right now I use Osprey Porter 46, but I've been thinking of buying the new Osprey Farpoint Wheeled backpack 36.

    1 vote
  22. pseudochron
    Link
    I've been trying to read more novels this year, so I wanted a small bag to carry a book around. Wanting my manpurse to be as un-pursey as possible, I got this canvas ammo bag, and I love that I...

    I've been trying to read more novels this year, so I wanted a small bag to carry a book around. Wanting my manpurse to be as un-pursey as possible, I got this canvas ammo bag, and I love that I now feel like I am always prepared for anything. In addition to a book, I keep in it: an umbrella, an AM/FM radio MP3 player speaker flashlight with 1500 songs on an SD card, phone charger, powerbank, mini first aid kit, sunglasses, travel size flat fold duct tape, tylenol, waterproof notepad, space pen, multitool pocketknife/scissors/pliers/screwdriver/bottle opener, condom, toothbrush, deodorant, chapstick, antacids, gum, mints, cough drops, nail clipper, lighter, hand sanitizer, wet wipe, paper towels, tissues.

    1 vote
  23. Autoxidation
    Link
    I purchased an Astro Scout backpack in 2010 for my first laptop while I was deployed, and I'm still using it today. It has some minor wear on the bottom where it meets your back but that's about...

    I purchased an Astro Scout backpack in 2010 for my first laptop while I was deployed, and I'm still using it today. It has some minor wear on the bottom where it meets your back but that's about it. Has been wonderful and comfy.

    1 vote
  24. [2]
    orbit
    Link
    I've been using a Fjallraven Kanken 15" laptop backpack for about 5 years now and recently bought a new one, the Kanken No. 2 Black. I absolutely love this pack and carry it with me every day. I...

    I've been using a Fjallraven Kanken 15" laptop backpack for about 5 years now and recently bought a new one, the Kanken No. 2 Black. I absolutely love this pack and carry it with me every day.

    I also have the Fjallraven Photo Insert that lets me use the pack as a camera bag. I tend to bring my camera and lenses with me, along with a notebook, my Kindle Paperwhite, Macbook Pro, an external battery in the front pouch, and some gum.

    I'm sure there are better packs for me out there, but this one is beautiful and has exactly what I need.

    1 vote
    1. ReapersGale
      Link Parent
      I ended up picking up the Räven 28 the day after posting this and thus far I'm loving it. The leather handle feels amazing and I now have all the organization I need. Did a decent packout (2x...

      I ended up picking up the Räven 28 the day after posting this and thus far I'm loving it. The leather handle feels amazing and I now have all the organization I need.

      Did a decent packout (2x laptop, kindle, switch, notebook, powerbank, portable hard drive, cables, medicine, glasses, headphones, water bottle, umbrella, bulky jumper and a change of clothes) to visit family on Saturday - it still had some space, didn't look overly bulky and was super comfortable.

      1 vote
  25. mftrhu
    Link
    It depends on where I'm going and on how long I'll be out. If it's just going to be a couple of hours, I just bring a small shoulder bag with me. More than a couple of hours, and I'll bring my old...

    What are you using to carry your stuff?

    It depends on where I'm going and on how long I'll be out. If it's just going to be a couple of hours, I just bring a small shoulder bag with me. More than a couple of hours, and I'll bring my old laptop bag.

    If it's fall/winter then you won't catch me outside without a coat, and mine have plenty of pockets.

    What stuff are you carrying?

    In my shoulder bag, I carry a wallet, pens, some paper. A 20 Ah powerbank, and an USB-to-microUSB cable for it. Sunscreen, hand sanitizer, tissues, hair ties. An asthma inhaler, cough lozenges, and other assorted meds (painkiller, antacids, anti-whatever has been ailing me lately).

    The pockets of my coat are usually stuffed with a scarf, gloves, and a beanie, plus bus passes, assorted hard candy, and a 5 euro note or two.

    My laptop bag is just the right size for my netbook, an half liter bottle of water, and an umbrella. I have tissues, pens, USB sticks and cables in the inner pockets, and full-size notebooks in the outer pockets.


    I also have a small survival kit hanging around, containing a lighter, firestarting material, a small knife I made out of a sawblade, band-aids, money, emergency meds and a sewing kit. I have never actually used it for anything, but it's just neat.


    The problem with most bags - besides the fact that they never have enough pockets - is their belt: it's too narrow, it bunches up, and the metal part that joins it to the rest of the bag likes to give up the ghost in the most inopportune situations.

    1 vote