Thursday, February 28, 2013


For the longest time I have been carrying a Tumi II messenger bag, which works adequately for the day to day commute from home office to the workshop, but is less well suited to time in the RV or on the trail.  Being capacious it is easy to overfill it with quasi-essentials for EDC use, making it uncomfortably heavy for anything more than a short walk.  Additionally the attachment points on the bag for the strap are not angled correctly so the bag does not hang as it should, especially when full.

My search for something smaller, and more 'tactical', has led me to Maxpedition and I have been weighing several options including the Noatak and Remora from their Gearslinger series, as well as various Fatboy and Jumbo Versipack models.  Although Maxpedition has a well presented web site, and user comments on Amazon are helpful, it is hard to choose the right option without being able to physically  handle the bags.  A trip last evening to Plaza Cutlery in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa was helpful, even though they carry less than the full selection.

Right now I am leaning towards the Fatboy GTG, given my objectives of minimizing weight, pruning EDC items to true essentials, providing easy access to my Klean Kanteen water bottle, and being comfortable to carry for short hikes.  At the same time, it is not perfect.  I'd like to see a wider shoulder strap & wider shoulder pad, and I wonder if the main compartment is really quite big enough.  Also the GTG lacks a storm collar in the main compartment.

As I move toward finalizing my decision I'd be interested to hear comments, or suggested alternatives.

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