Several months ago we departed on an exploration to discover our favorite EDC bags of 2023. So of course, we thought we’d invite you along for the adventure. Our journey affirmed several things — not the least of which is that THERE IS NO PERFECT EDC BAG. Primarily because everyone has different needs. We made a point to examine several bags that we might not use ourselves on a daily basis, but that members of our tribe might. May this guide serve you well!

*None of our responses were paid for or sponsored (beyond sample product for us to test/review). These are our honest opinions. Be sure to watch the video for a more detailed look at each option.

**For reference in product photos below – Rusty is 6′ 205lbs.

(NOT in rank order)

#1 Timbuk2 – Messenger

Timbuk2 Messenger Description:

The Timbuk2 Messenger is a deservedly popular messenger bag option that is surprisingly durable and functional. If you are interested in a messenger bag as your EDC, this bag should be on your consideration list.

Timbuk2 Messenger Pros:

Timbuk2 Messenger Cons:

Product link: Timbuk2 Classic messenger

#2 5.11 – AMP 12

5.11 AMP 12 Description:

The AMP 12 is a compact, versatile pack that bridges the outdoor / tactical backpack look well without presenting as too conspicuous. It offers a surprising amount of modularity and carry options for an office worker AND and outdoorsmen.

5.11 AMP 12 Pros:

5.11 AMP 12 Cons:

Product link: 5.11 AMP 12

#3 Mystery Ranch – 3 Way

Mystery Ranch 3 Way Description:

A no-nonsense laptop bag that can be carried in three ways: backpack, messenger (sling/single shoulder strap), handle/briefcase. Cleverly designed to fit a lot into a small space and be a versatile carry option depending on what circumstances/preferences dictate.

Mystery Ranch 3 Way Pros:

Mystery Ranch 3 Way Cons:

Product Link: Mystery Ranch 3 Way

#4 Mystery Ranch – District 18

Mystery Ranch District 18 Description:

A bombproof traditional backpack for school/work with flexible main storage capability. [It’s an added bonus that they chose to make it in Equip 2 Endure colors.]

Mystery Ranch District 18 Pros:

Mystery Ranch District 18 Cons:

Product Link: Mystery Ranch District 18

#5 Vertx – Gamut 2.0

Vertx Gamut 2.0 Description:

A rugged, multi-functional bag designed around the effective concealment and deployment of an SBR. The Gamut 2.0 is built as an effective tactical bag while maintaining maximum discreetness to blend into any environment. If the bag was a person, it would be an under cover operative.

Vertx Gamut 2.0 Pros:

Vertx Gamut 2.0 Cons:

Product Link: Vertx Gamut 2.0

#6 Vertx – Dead Letter

Vertx Dead Letter Description:

The Vertx Dead Letter is possibly the most versatile and effective sling style work bag on the market. It’s tough

Vertx Dead Letter Pros:

Vertx Dead Letter Cons:

Product Link: Vertx Dead Letter Sling

#7 Vanquest – Addax 25

Vanquest Addax 25 Description:

The Addax 25 is a star in the Urban series lineup from Vanquest. Vanquest made a visually understated (stylishly minimalistic in fact) EDC backpack that hides the real punch inside the bag. The Addax 25 can serve as an EDC workhorse while admirably carrying all your preps and defenses.

Vanquest Addax 25 Pros:

Vanquest Addax 25 Cons:

Product Link: Vanquest Addax 25

#8 Knack Pack – Series 2 Medium

Knack Pack Series 2 Description:

KnackPack is really straddling the travel / EDC market with the Series 2. It functions very well as a normal backpack but has a very capable travel component with its expandable clothing storage. It also has some high-quality modular packing cubes that we were impressed with (especially their shoe bag!)

Knack Pack Series 2 Pros:

Knack Pack Series 2 Cons:

Product Link: Knack Pack Series 2 Medium

#9 AER – City Pack

AER City Pack Description:

The AER City Pack is a purpose built to be an all-day, every day carry. Not designed with the outdoorsman or prepper in mind, but could still serve in that role admirably in a pinch. Comfortable, durable, and professional looking.

AER City Pack Pros:

AER City Pack 25 Cons:

Product Link: AER City Pack

#10 AER – Flight Pack X-Pac

AER Flight Pack X-Pac Description:

Very similar to the City Pack with a few big upgrades.

AER Flight Pack X-Pac Pros:

AER Flight Pack X-Pac Cons:

Product Link: Flight Pack 3 X-Pac

#11 Boundary – Errant Pro X-Pac

Boundary Errant Pro Description:

The most rugged and outdoor ready EDC bag of the bunch. Lots of thoughtful and progressive design features making it a next generation pack for professionals. Robust and sturdy enough to be a hard use wilderness bag.

Boundary Errant Pro X-Pac Pros:

Boundary Errant Pro X-Pac Cons:

Product Link: Boundary Errant Pro X-Pac

#12 Nomatic – Travel Backpack

Nomatic Travel Pack Description:

The Nomatic Travel Backpack was designed as a dual purpose bag — hitting EDC needs as well as a lightweight traveler. The Nomatic team is talented at identifying annoyances about standard product features and innovating satisfying solutions. [As a side note, Rusty loves his Nomatic minimalist wallet that he has been using for the better part of a decade]

Nomatic Travel Pack Pros:

Nomatic Travel Pack Cons:

Product link: Nomatic Travel Pack

#13 Nomatic – Navigator 15L

Nomatic Navigator 15L Description:

The Nomatic Navigator 15L is the most Svelte EDC bag on our list. The design looks like a compact, futuristic parachute pack for James Bond. Or a sleek gear bag for a Navy Seal. The Navigator 15L sports a rigid shell that maintains its attractive shape while including the compartments and organization an EDC bag should have.

Nomatic Navigator 15L Pros:

Nomatic Navigator 15L Cons:

Product Link: Navigator Pack 15L

We hope this round up of our favorite EDC bags for 2023 was helpful for you!

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