State of EDC Bag Collection, Summer 2023

Checking in on what I currently rotate through for my everyday carry bags.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions around what gear I actually have/use right now. I thought it would be neat to check in, so let’s start with bags. I am constraining this to only the bags I would put in my EDC rotation, and I am excluding anything I am still reviewing. Here’s the list, and a few comments on each:

  • GORUCK GR1 ‘OG’ 26L Black: it doesn’t seem like the current GORUCK bags have the same intangible ‘niceness’ of the ‘OG’ models. It’s nothing I can really say with any certainty, but they don’t feel as premium now. Anyways, I still rarely use this bag and mostly keep it now because I would pay out the nose to rebuy it. This effectively is unused. Why? It’s not really in line with my style and tastes right now, but is still brand new looking.
  • Mystery Ranch 2 Day Assault Pack, Desert Tracks Collab: This is the Huckberry collab, and I think it looks stellar. I sold my 3 Day Assault CL in favor of this one. I’ve not used it a single time since buying it. It’s an awkward bag size for me right now, but I love the way it looks and so I keep it in the collection. Maybe one day.
  • Filson Journeyman Dark Tan: This is my most used, and my daily backpack. I love it. I liked it a lot in Otter Green, but since getting a Dark Tan version, I’ve fallen in love with the bag. I use it most days and generally prefer to use it over any other backpack.
  • Filson 24hr Briefcase Cinder: I love this bag, and I think I would love it even more if I had Navy or Otter Green. But as it is, this is my second most used bag of the year. It’s so simple to use, while holding so much gear. Really great bag. I was less of a fan of it in Dark Tan though. Briefcases will always be tough for me, as they don’t carry weight very comfortably, but it’s hard to deny that this bag has an unnatural draw to it when you start using it.
  • Filson Original Briefcase Otter Green: The 24hr has fully replaced this bag, so it mostly sits. I am hanging on to it as it was my first Filson bag and that feels worth keeping. But also because this particular model is so expensive now, that it seems like I would regret letting this go on the off chance I wanted it back later.
  • Hardgraft H Small Messenger Natural: the most recent addition, but I am a big fan of it. It’s my new purse and camera bag, my dad bag — whatever you want to call it. I love the style of this bag, and the size is really killer. I can’t wait to use this more. You should know, it is quite small.
  • Filson Medium Field Bag Dark Tan: I had a reckoning with this bag as I had it and the Small Carryon 240, but I decided this was the better of the two for me, and sold the 240. This is my travel EDC bag, and my catch all now. I moved to that Hardgraft bag as my dad bag, which means this sits empty and ready for adhoc use. I actually have two of these, I’m a big fan. They are a nearly ideal size for a shoulder bag, and look really great, feel really great, and hold up quite well.
  • Mystery Ranch ASAP SB Navy: Objectively, still the best backpack on the market. If I could get a slick variant of this, or even a Desert Tracks version, I might switch back to it. As it is, this is the bag I grab when I need a backpack and don’t want to empty my office gear out. It doesn’t get a lot of use, but I love using it whenever I do use it. If I ever had a chance to get Mystery Ranch to do a custom run, it would be based on the this bag without a doubt.
  • Mystery Ranch Catalyst 26 Steel: I got this as a review sample, but instead of moving on from it, it’s hung around. I like this bag, and it sits at the top of my bag stack as the bag my family can grab if they need to borrow something. It’s a good bag, but I am unsure how much use it will get going forward as it is a bit too large for my daily office needs.

There’s 9 bags there, and you might think that’s a lot, or surprisingly little. But of those nine, only 3 see use most weeks. So there’s a lot of overkill here. If you asked me to slim down to just one, I would be frozen with indecision.

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