A holdall by any other name…
Range bag, duffle bag, duffel bag, sling pack, sling bag, messenger bag, courier bag, EDC backpack, EDC bag, assault pack, 3-Day pack…
Yes, that’s belaboring the point. A holdall by any other name is still a holdall. Its moniker may change depending upon use, mission, and metrotactical terminology du jour, but ultimately it’s a container designed to hold all your different doohickeys and thingamawhatsits. There are many choices out there, some better than others. We’ll be listing a few we think are worth your perusal here by type. These aren’t reviews. We’re just putting objectively reasonable options in front of you.
Don’t get a case of the red-ass later if you find out we haven’t actually put hands on one of these, or if you buy one and you think it sucks. As with any purchase, especially one you might have to bet your life on, you need to do some research.
Note that the majority of these packs and bags are going to be for everyday use, though a few will have a niche purpose – and eventually, we may expand to rucks. Most, if not all, are modular in some way. This allows you to accessorize and customize your bag for specific needs – most allow you to add all sorts of MOLLE/PALS attachments (like mag pouches), and those that don’t usually have tether loops. Many have both. Some will be a good option for range use, others for use as a “bail-out bag” or even something to snatch up when something that shouldn’t be bumping starts bumping in your night.
We’re going to present a wide range of packs for your perusal because tastes, like needs and mission, vary. For instance, many folks need more modularity than something like the Tactical Tailor Active Shooter Bag, even if for the same reasons. Others just want something for their laptop and a small IFAK.
EDC Backpack contenders
Everyday carry bag suggestions.
Grey Ghost Gear IMPACT 24
GGG says the IMPACT 24 is their “…Impact 24 latest backpack dedicated to the professional urban commuter. Ideal for those who travel via bike, unicycle, or skateboard, this bag was designed specifically to organize everything you need for a full day out in the world.”
Going from top to bottom to explain what goes where, we’ll begin with a top pocket for phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses or eyepro (though not loose with your keys – keep ’em in a case, or you’ll wind up looking like Navin R. Johnson’s Opti-Grab victims). That pocket features a divider and plastic loops for some segregation and tie-down, as does the pack’s middle pocket. The middle pocket was designed with bike tools, patch kits, or similar items in mind.
GGG describes the bottom pocket thusly:
That brings us to the bottom pocket. People say it’s deeper than it looks. In fact, it actually goes all the way to the back panel of the Impact. You’ll love this compartment, as it has ample room for your lunch, DLSR camera, larger tools, and more. The beauty of this pocket is it’s segregated from the Impact’s main compartment, so you won’t accidentally crush your lunch with items inside the interior area. The flap of this roomy pocket has additional storage as well. Waste not, want not.
The exterior of the bag features daisy chain loops on the sides and front (perfect, they say, for your carabiner collection) for use as anchor/tether points. The back utilizes mesh-lined padding for comfort “…without the infamous sweat stain.” That same mesh is on the shoulder straps.
The interior of the IMPACT 24 has a laptop sleeve (for “medium-sized” devices or a cleaning kit/target bundle), with zippered pockets on the flanks for smaller necessities like charging cords, Maglula loaders, or a Boo-Boo Kit. GG says the front flap houses a zippered mesh pocket that stretches “…if you need to pack some energy bars and other snacks inside. This main area is great for packing spare clothes, so you can hit the gym straight after work.”
As of this writing, the IMPACT is available in Black/Black Diamond, Wolf Grey/Black, and Olive/Diamond.
• Upper Interior: 12.5” H x 10” W x 7” D
• Tablet Sleeve: 12” x 10” W
• Lower Interior: 7” H X 10” W X 7” D
• Upper Exterior: 6” HX 8.5” W X 2” D
• Middle Exterior: 5” H X 5.5” W X 2” D
Volume: 21.5 liters
Learn more at the GGG website: https://greyghostgear.com/products/impact-24
Sling Pack Profferings
A sling bag list to consider
Hazard 4 Blastwall
The Blastwall is described as a hard-shell sling pack, and while much of Hazard 4’s stuff is photographer-focused (including this one) it’s easy to see how well a holdall like this would work as an EDC bag or concealed-carry pack1. It’s currently available in Black and Scorpion, which isn’t as unobtrusive as some colors they might have produced. However, black works with anything and MultiCam (like other cammie and Gucciflage patterns) is becoming increasingly ubiquitous.
As you can see, it looks well designed for interior organization and storage, and the Hardpoint2 arrangement seems like a good system.
With a little rearranging, this seems like it would also serve well as a range back or a bug-out bag for someone with OCD.
The product description reads partly as follows:
Molded-foam and 360° padded walls protect gear and support load mounts. The sling configuration allows sliding from the back to the chest for fast access. Open it all the way up or just from the side-hatch designed for primary camera access while on the chest or sitting sideways. [It’s] the first pack of its kind to also feature a waist belt to hold heavy loads while allowing sling use as well.
Modular padding dividers accommodate cameras, DJI drones, various optics, and electronics, etc. for demanding users like the press, travel vloggers, military/agencies, etc. The aesthetics project a progressive technology image for professional use and client work. Padded flat compartments are provided to fit a 16in. pc/mac laptop, and a separate tablet. An organization panel hosts accessories like card-readers, sd cards, pens, etc. Personal items like snacks, rain shell, or first aid kits fit into the top shell section…The top shell has 6 spots for our patented Hardpoint parts allowing optional attachment of loops, lights, bungee systems, MOLLE panels, etc.
This pack is also very suitable for motorcycle use as it won’t flap in the wind. The molded back-pad is abrasion resistant while conforming to the spine and ventilating sweat. Military modular webbing (MOLLE) is provided throughout on the sides and strap, while the interior is lined with fuzzy tricot for expansion with pouches, velcro i.d. patches, etc….Our patented locking roto-buckle is used on the main strap, as is our patented photo-d-ring, which allows mounting of ¼-20” screw equipment like cameras as a leash.
Some other salient points as articulated by Hazard 4 are:
• Hardpoint hardware parts comprise tie-downs, lights, bungees, etc. (optional)
• molded strap-rests on the shell for routing retaining straps at right angles (for boards, rifles, ice-axes, etc.)
• it is also very aerodynamic for motorcycle use with no flapping/shifting fabric and ability to add lights, etc.
• molded breathable back-pad zip for laptop access & protection up to 16 in. mac/pc
• exclusive asymmetrical gusset holds lid but allows side access through side hatch zip design
• admin-organizer panel for pens, multi-tools, SD cards, etc. (also holds iPad Pro 11”)
• hip-pad to reduce bag shifting and adding modular MOLLE gear like water bottle pouches, etc.
• multiple MOLLE webbing also on sides and the main strap for radio/tool pouches, etc.
• patented roto-locking buckle keeps the pack from falling since it’s the main connection to the user
• comes with patented photo D-ring to tether camera (¼-20” screw sold separately)
• 3-D air mesh with a thick pad under the main strap for comfort and sweat mitigation
• top & bottom grab handles w/ rugged box-tacked stitching for strength (top has 2x d-rings)
• textured SCUBA webbing main strap for slider lock-up & class-leading durability
• YKK zippers, real Cordura 1000D nylon or 600D Polyester & reinforcing stitch patterns for lasting quality
• shoulder pad compression-strap w/ buckle to relieve zipper load & for lashing solutions
• ¼-20” holes in hard-hole polymer strips for screw mounting camera gear, lights, knives, etc.
• all straps tipped with velcro winders for mess-free length adjustment
The Blastwall ships with the following items:
• 1x Removable waist belt with patented roto-lock buckle (optional pads w/ MOLLE available)
• 1x Removable chest anti-rotation buckle strap
• 9x Movable padded dividers (2x x-small, 2x small, 2x medium, 1x large, 2x x-large)
• 3x Movable camera-lens retainer straps
• 6x Covers (for Hardpoint® double grommets)
• 2x Removable exterior tripod straps
• Retail tags for attractive store display and present recipient
Specs are given as follows:
|External Size||~19.7″ L 12.2″ x 7.5″ D (50 L x 31 W x 19 D cm) (Overall)|
|Main Compartment||~19.7″ L 12.2″ x 3.7″ D (50 L x 31 W x 9.5 D cm) – 7.9″/20 cm width at the narrowest part|
|Laptop Compartment||~19.3″ L 12″ x 0.6″ D (49 L x 30.5 W x 1.5 D cm) (Back Compartment) – 7.9″/20 cm width at the narrowest part|
|Total Gear Capacity||1800 Cubic Inches / 29.5 Liter|
|Product Weight||~4.7 lbs.|
|Care Instructions||See product tag|
|Main Material||Invista® 1000D Cordura® (600D Polyester for Scorpion model); PU x2 water repellent coated for superior water resistance.|
|Design||Long Beach, California – In-House Team.|
The Blastwall is available for order online at: https://www.hazard4.com/blastwall.html.
1 Concealed carry pack: We’re not advocating off-body carry, mind you. Doesn’t matter what kind of EDC bag you prefer. Carrying off-body is something that should be done only by necessity and with careful planning. There should also be specific drills involved, including deployment and reholstering.
2 The Hazard 4 Hard Point System