|Alamo downtown San Antonio|
Now that I'm a civilian full time I kinda had to start thinking about not sticking out so much with my EDC (Every Day Carry.) When I was in my Patrol Vehicle before my retirement I carried all sorts of things that could get me home. In Afghanistan I kept a "Go-Bag" in my up armored truck to get me back to the office in the event of an emergency. Both of those served a specific purpose in my day to day events. However, both bags were in 'Tacticool' colors and covered with MOLLE and Velcro. These things usually scream ARMED. These days I wear business casual or scrubs at my current job, and something that looks like a pack that a member of SEAL Team 6 would wear on a direct action mission or a member of Tom Clancy's Division would be a little out of place in an office of medical assistants, nurses and doctors. Those folks are used to things looking a little more .........normal.
|Outter most pocket quick access|
The Vertx EDC Commuter bag had drawn my attention for several reasons. I had actually discovered this bag existed by accident when I was shopping online at Brownells getting parts for my Bushmaster ORC 308 when I just happen to see this bag in the suggestion area. I watched several of the YouTube reviews on this bag. After sorting out all the Airsoft (sorry guys.....MIL-SIM) reviews and seeing it used with actual firearms and gear I was willing to give it a try. The price point was around the $160 range. I don't usually spend that much on this kind of equipment. But, for something that was going to be with me everyday I was willing to try it out.
There is no MOLLE on the outside of the bag. It is made of rip stop nylon that is a little bit lighter in construction than most bags in its category. On the front of the bag near the bottom are two 3" sections of loop Velcro. If you wanted to up the profile of the bag and add the morale patches of your choice you would be more than welcome to. I have elected to keep it plain. The zipper pulls as well as the zippers themselves are non-descript. There is one zipper pull on the concealed back portion that is meant to be grabbed by the hand more easily and is much larger than the others. Inside the border of the handle is Velcro for one reason or another. This pull is for the quickly opening the SHtF compartment you would put your firearm in.
The internal layout has many compartments and storage of many type of items. One of the things that stick out is the tan internal lining. This is to help contrast the contents of your bag in low light environments to make them easier to find. The outermost compartment that is the most accessible is designed to be pulled down and open rapidly. The outer flap can be tucked away in a pocket behind the fist compartment and exposes several rows of MOLLE webbing covered in loop Velcro. I elected to use the inner pocket that would stow the external flap to hide spare money and prophylactics. Behind the outer section are two other zippered sections with a few internal pockets of their own. One section has a hook for I believe would be my keys. There are several narrow pockets for pens, markers, or chem lights. One side was wide enough for my Surefire ZX2 Combat light. The liner on all of the inside sections have the smaller loop Velcro for putting on gadgets. There is a latched area that may store a tablet or up to a 15" laptop. The portion that touches the users back and the space before the cargo area has two hard plastic plates that keep the pack rigid. According to sources these can be replaced with ballistic plates for your more high risk areas. Worn in front or back it it would cover your thoracic cavity.
|River Walk San Antonio TX|
The shoulder strap itself deserves it's own paragraph. The padding is pretty decent without appearing "fluffy." There is a second adjustable strap that attaches to the opposite bottom corner that can be used to stabilize the pack for any extraneous activities beyond normal walking. On the outward portion of the strap is several sections of webbing that can be attached to many types of items such as Comms, Cell phone clips, Twizzlers, and GPS's There is a loop channel to run a hydration hose through from the pack even though I don't know where I would dare put anything liquid that size at. There is a section of Velcro inside a loop made of synthetic material I'm sure serves a purpose....somewhere.
I took the bag with me on a cross country trip to Texas (to all you Texans from us Tennesseans...you're welcome) where I have carried it in several highly crowded areas in San Antonio, Houston, and Corpus Christi area to give it the urban evaluation. Everywhere that I was on foot more than sight distance from my rental car the bag was on me. During the 3000 mile trip I did keep a much more extensive "kit" in my car in case I get stuck someone on a long stretch of lonely road with my oldest daughter. However, in the event I needed some extra tools to get me back to my car or to find another mode of transportation I was not without at least something to support that endeavor. Needless to say I didn't just have this around for the Apocalypse. I have kept such things as hand sanitizer, travel wipes (3 messy girls,) sun screen, battery charger for my phone, band aids, and triple antibiotic ointment.
|The "Compartment" intended for when SHtF|
On average this is a pretty neat bag that is serving a great many functions for me. The fun thing was transferring everything from my old Go Bag to my new one figuring out where I could put everything.
Tim Davis, Jr. is a retired law enforcement professional, security consultant , and a part time martial arts instructor. His professional experience spans over 18 years ranging from training and execution in advanced tactical response, to running a Law Enforcement Tactical unit to time spent in Afghanistan working as a Department of State Contractor. Tim is the co-owner of Appropriate Action in Etowah TN and currently works full time in a support role for a medical practice.