I’m a bag whore. I have bags for just about every occasion. Going on a two day trip through the air? Got it covered. Going on a four day trip on the ground? No sweat. Back and forth from work? I got a bag for that too…
Of course, the only problem with this is that I end up jockeying a lot of gear between the bags depending on what I have planned. Inevitably, I forget to move something or other to the “bag of the day” and find myself living without. For a gear guy, that sucks.
So for the last few months I’ve been on the hunt for a “do everything” bag. Specifically, I needed something that wasn’t too bulky to carry my laptop and office accessories to work everyday, but was also expandable enough to carry my office goods as well as a couple of days worth of clothes for when I headed out on the road. After a ton of research, I settled on the Spec-Ops brand “T.H.E. Pack.”
T.H.E. Pack was designed primarily for military use, but the essence of the tactical bag made it perfect for my civilian use. Through the use of compression straps, the bag is capable of being very compact. However, once these straps are relieved the bag can expand to hold as much as 2550 cubic inches of gear.
The system is also modular. Through the use of extensive MOLLE webbing through out the bag, I can add various pouches and other compartments that not only help me organize my gear, but add capacity to the already capable system as well. Frankly, it’s glorious.
And, of course, the bag was designed to be used a lot harder than I will ever use it. It’s constructed of 1000D Cordura Nylon – the toughest and thickest Nylon available. Combine that with double layering where it counts, HUGE #10 sized zippers, and a whole lot of other shit designed to make the bag last a lifetime and you have one hell of a platform for an EDC bag.
The one shortfall of using a military bag as an EDC bag, however, is the lack of little convenience items that the typical “office bag” might include. Things like pen and pencil holders, cell phone pouches, iPod compartments, etc… just aren’t there. It’s not a huge problem, but the little office doo-dads rattling around in your pack can be a bit annoying. I found the solution through another Spec-Ops accessory.
The “Pack Rat” was designed to position gear for “immediate and instinctive use.” In other words, if one our servicemen needs a flashlight, he needs it now and the Pack Rat helps make finding and grabbing one more efficient. Essentially, this little bag is an admin pouch that organizes everything from pens and pencils to batteries and cables. The best part? It was designed to be housed perfectly by the lower outer compartment of T.H.E. Pack. Yet again… GLORIOUS.
So what we end up with is a system of sorts. Combining the Spec Ops T.H.E. Pack (man, I’m tired of typing that) with the Pack Rat creates what is, at least to me, the perfect every day solution for carrying gear. I carried the pack to work all last week and marveled at it’s light weight and diminutive size as it housed everything I need to create a mobile office. Proving versatility, I then added a couple of MOLLE pouches and packed the bag for a three day vacation. Not only was I able to pack my office, but I was also able to add three days worth of clothes and toiletries, a small tool kit, and a complete DSLR camera setup with multiple lenses.
Put shortly, this bag is the answer. It’s gonna cost ya though… T.H.E. Pack runs about $200 while the Pack Rat adds another $50.
Enjoy the review: