The Rex Ruck

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So my brother’s birthday is coming up and I wanted to do something a little different. He’s not much of a bag man and I figured I might be able to change that by setting him up with something simple, but very functional. Here are the basics of the kit that I put together:

  1. GORUCK 26L GR1 in 1000D. For all intents and purposes, this is the best general backpack ever made. It’s built like a tank in the USA using incredibly durable materials and features a single large compartment for simplicity. I modified it by changing the zipper pulls to yellow and adding a logo patch from my brother’s business.
  2. AER Dopp Kit. Dopp kits are a pretty personal thing, but the AER is my favorite. I really like the ballistic nylon construction and the size/organization ratio is perfect for my needs. I removed the AER zipper pulls and replaced them with GORUCK style Paracord and heat shrink pulls.
  3. GORUCK Mini Wire Dopp. My brother doesn’t have much tech – just a cell phone charger and a cable. As such, I figured the Mini would be perfect for him.
  4. Maxpedition Pocket Organizer. I’m not much for Maxpedition, but every load out needs a tool pouch for pens, pencils, notebooks, knives, etc… This one is cheap and proven. Again, I added GORUCK style zipper pulls for the win.

And that’s it… A simple setup that will last a lifetime of traveling.

User Submission Load Out

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There is something so satisfying about a well thought out and implemented load out… and this one is incredible. Start with a GR1 Heritage, add a leather pouch by Saddleback, and a few tech covers from Nomad, and cap it all off with what might be the best tech pouch on the market – the Evergoods Cap2.

The traditional materials of leather and canvas might add weight, but it’s hard to argue against the aesthetic of it all. Just beautifully done.

Code Of Bell X-Pod

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The use case is pretty simple. I needed a “road” sling that would work both as a gear hauler when walking around the island and as a camera protector while on the beach and shooting in harsh locations. I looked at, tested, and trialed over 20 different offerings on the market, but could never find the right bag. One would be great for hauling EDC items, but be too small for carrying my camera. Another would be fantastic as a camera hauler, but far too large for anything else.

Then, Code of Bell came calling. They sent over their X-Pod and I found my sling. When compressed, it’s damned near perfect at keeping my pockets empty and when extended, it spacious enough to carry both my Leica SL2-S and an extra lens or two if I need them. Better yet, I’ve found the bag to be very water resistant and tight enough to keep the sand out as well.

The X-Pod isn’t ground breaking at any one function, but it’s damned good at just about everything. It’s special because of its versatility… and that’s why this is now officially the best gear sling The Gear Journal has been able to source.

Details here.

Dan Matsuda

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Outside of bag nerdia, the name Dan Matsuda is not going to ring many bells. Inside the regular old bag enthusiast world he probably isn’t all that well known either. But, if you are a real bag nerd… someone that spends far too much time setting up a backpack, organizing it, and obsessing over the details – well then, Dan Matsuda is probably your homeboy.

Anyway, Dan makes pouches out of his little shop every week using exotic and/or modern materials. And then, on Friday at around 2pm central or so he lists them for sale on his site. Typically, by 2:05pm they are all sold out.

I recently got my own Matsuda pouch and I am here to tell you – the underground hype? It’s all for good reason. Sincerely.

Details here. Good luck to you sir.

Alpaka Hub Pouch

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Alpaka has been killing it lately… They’ve introduced a number of new products and all of them have seemingly been a hit. In fact, they just dropped the Hub Pouch – a simple pocket organizer made out of X50 X-Pac.


Yakoda Supply Square ‘Biners

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Square carabiners are actually far more practical for hanging and attaching things than traditional round carabiners. The thing is though, finding well made square examples is difficult. I’ve been looking for some to use as an attachment point for a homemade camera cube for months and have found nothing but trash in my search.

Recently, however, I was turned onto Yakoda Supply’s carabiners. My search is finally over. They are the right size, the right weight, they lock, and they are made like someone gave a shit. Perfect.


Yomp Notes

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Speaking of pouches and what not… If you are into packs and setting them up, you need to check out Yomp Notes. Basically, it’s just a dude that takes this stuff really seriously (OCD level here), does a lot of experimenting and modding, and tries shit out so you don’t have to…

Check it out here.

The Global Pouch

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Of course… the day after I feature the CAP 2, another tech pouch is announced from another company that I’ve grow to really appreciate – Pioneer. They call theirs the “Global Pouch.” It looks to be somewhere around 2-liters as well, but is made out of the rad rip-stop material that Pioneer has become famous for…

This one is probably pretty great.