My Favorite White X-Pac Bags

My Favorite White X-Pac Bags

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Seeking that special pop in your carry? White X-Pac can give it to you, inside your bags and out.

I am not the sort of guy who picks fashion over function, nor am I one to pick the reverse. I want it all.

A couple of years ago when I was the filmmaker and brand consultant for the made-in-the-USA bag company, Tom Bihn, I was fortunate to get to spend a good amount of time with Tom himself. We discussed bag design, manufacturing, and even life in general. It is one of the highlights of my career.

At one point I asked Tom why they didn’t offer any white bags as I’d seen some from other brands that looked amazing. I said that my perfect bag would be the Tom Bihn Synapse 19, but in white fabric. I won’t get into all the details of the conversation, but to summarize, Tom basically said white fabric looks great when it’s new, but get dirty and worn-looking too fast, and suddenly the bag looks gross. He said they’ve tried prototypes out of white a few times, but it’s always the same issue. “In fact,” he said, “we have some white fabric on the shelf. We’ll make you one and you can see for yourself.” What? A one-of-a-kind of my ultimate dream bag?! This can’t be real! But it was real, and they did make one for me. Very exciting. Too exciting!

It’s a beautiful bag, and every time I went to use it, I’d hear Tom’s voice in my head that it would get gross-looking too fast. I couldn’t bring myself to ruin such a beautiful bag. So I just kept it on my wall and looked at it like a painting.

Over the years I’d tried white bags from other companies, but of course, Tom was right. It didn’t take long for those other white bags to lose their magic – that is until I discovered white X-Pac.

White X-Pac Rickshaw Bags Utility Pouches

I’m not going to dive deep into what X-Pac fabric is, there are lots of resources out there on that, but I will say that it is very lightweight, very durable (for the weight), and in my opinion, stunning to look at. And pops as a face fabric and as a liner. And just as important to me, it stays stunning-looking for a long time, and – at least with the bags I have – if it does get dirty, it cleans up nice and easy. Keep in mind I don’t go out of my way to baby these bags in daily use, but I also haven’t dragged them behind my car, rolled them around in the mud, or generally torture-tested them. I take good care of them and have lots of bags, so none have been used a massive amount. So will they stay looking this good forever? Probably not, but so far, so good!

Take a closer look at my collection of (mostly) all-white X-Pac bags…

White X-Pac Skinth Brunch 4 Tote

Makers

I’m going to start with bags made by makers. These are all brands where most likely the person who designed the bag also sewed the bag and probably answered your email, too. Most (though not all) makers will make their bags customized with fabric and colors you choose. Some let you pick the thread color, or even make functional tweaks to the bag (looking for an extra-long shoulder strap or five superfluous COBRA buckles?). And sometimes it costs the same – or even less – than an equivalent bag from a large manufacturer. If you like any of these white X-Pac designs, make sure you reach out to the individual maker to find out what they can do for you.


The Ancoats Bag Company

White X-Pac Ancoats Bag Company Standard 4-Way Tote
White X-Pac Ancoats Bag Company Standard 4-Way Tote

From Central Oregon we hop over to the UK where John Clark gets to live what he describes as his micro bag-making daydream. This is what John made for me: The Standard 4 -Way Tote in white X-Pac VX21 with blue front webbing, white VX07 lining, blue contrast stitching on the exterior, and red pop binding and stitching on the inside. John also whipped up a matching white X-Pac Utility Case. I have to start off by saying I consider this bag to be both highly utilitarian and high art at the same time. Details like the triangle stitching on the front outside pockets and webbing zipper garages delight the senses. The level of customizable options should satisfy any bag lover with particular tastes without distracting from what is clearly the work of an artist.

White X-Pac Ancoats Bag Company Utility Case
White X-Pac Ancoats Bag Company Standard 4-Way Tote

What about functionality? Those who haven’t used a high-end tote-type bag, hop on the bus already and those experienced with the tote style will love the added organization and hybrid carry style this bag affords. The two very large and deep front pockets could each hold a rolled-up sweatshirt, beach towel, etc., while inside an organization panel offers to hold your wallet, mobile phone, pens, and the like near the top of the bag to keep them handy and away from the bottomless pit of wide-open storage inside.

Ancoats Bag Company Standard 4-Way Tote
My Favorite White X-Pac Bags

This white X-Pac tote can be carried by hand with the two adjustable side handles and also carried over the shoulder with the included removable, beefy shoulder strap. But it also includes a pair of adjustable shoulder straps with large Fidlock buckles for backpack-style carry, making this one of my favorite personal item bags for air travel and a great bag for trips to the beach. If you need a bag with padded handles and straps because you tend to haul loads of bricks for days at a time, this is not the bag for you. But if you are looking for daily utility with timeless quality and impressive artistry, this is definitely one of those Where-Have-You-Been-My-Whole-Life bags.

Ancoats Bag Company Standard 4-Way Tote
Ancoats Bag Company Standard 4-Way Tote

D4 Bags

D4 Bags STLTH EDC
D4 Bags STLTH EDC

Let’s continue our trip around the world. Our next stop is in Ukraine where Dima from D4 Bags designs his beautifully crafted, custom techwear bags. I got the STLTH EDC Bag in all-black X-Pac. Seven pockets spread out around the bag along with a removable key strap and two pen slots to make this bag easy to organize while the 12″ x 10″ x 1.5″ dimensions keep the bag incredibly compact and slick-looking. Add in the MOLLE attachments – like the straightforward but excellently constructed D4 Molle Pouch in Black X-Pac – and the adjustable cinch straps at the base of the bag and you can easily add additional pouches to the front for more storage and a rolled-up jacket or compact umbrella to the base, allowing this bag to easily carry more than its diminutive size would imply.

D4 Molle Pouch
D4 Molle Pouch

One of the inside pockets is nicely padded on one side and sized perfectly for a tablet. If you are a lover of the compact carry life like me, it could be your perfect EDC bag for around town or visiting faraway cities. Thanks to the X-Pac fabric and water-resistant zippers your gear should survive any sudden cloudbursts. The bag can be ordered for either left or right shoulder carry and includes a compact 1″ strap with Fidlock buckle so you can take the bag off even when cinched up tight without having to adjust the length of the strap or mess up your slicked back – dyed black hair. Though the strap’s swivel snap hooks are very nice quality, I would have preferred metal hardware. It wouldn’t change the function of the bag, and would make it a bit heavier, but I think it would be the perfect touch for such a sleek bag.

D4 Bags STLTH EDC
D4 Bags STLTH EDC

D4 makes a big brother to the EDC called the STLTH Messenger. I got this bag in White X-Pac with Black X-Pac bottom and X-Pac liner. The bag’s features are nearly identical but sized up to 15″ x 11″ x 2″ with the padded compartment large enough to hold many 13″ laptops. The craftsmanship on the STLTH Messenger is equally excellent as the EDC. It also includes a removable chest strap in case you are suddenly on the run from the men in black and are forced into an emergency Parkour situation and need to keep that bag from bouncing around. I really enjoy wearing the STLTH Messenger. Even when fully packed it hugs close to my body and I can weave in and out of tightly packed sidewalks and stores without feeling like I’m going to knock somebody over with my bag. And whether I’m wearing the EDC or Messenger I secretly feel WAY cooler than I actually am. These bags make me very excited to see what Dima will come up with next.

D4 Bags STLTH Messenger
D4 Bags STLTH Messenger

If you ever priced techwear gear, you probably noticed the surprisingly high price tag. Not so with D4 bags. With these, you get really well-crafted, smartly designed bags that are handmade by the designer and are customizable all for an incredibly affordable – I might even say cheap – price. Of course, if the techwear style ain’t your thing, or you need a bag for bulky items, give these a miss. But if compact carry, quality construction, and slick design fills you with joy, check out the impressive work from D4 Bags.

White X-Pac D4 Bags STLTH Messenger
White X-Pac D4 Bags STLTH Messenger

Filip Raboch

Filip Raboch Admin Pouch

A quick 18-hour drive west from Ukraine brings us to Prague, Czech Republic where bag maker extraordinaire, Filip Raboch put together this custom admin pouch for me. Its diminutive 7.5″ x 5″ x 2″ black X-Pac exterior sports MOLLE webbing along the backside so it can be attached to other bags, webbing loops for the removable shoulder strap, a 2″ wide strip of Velcro for your favorite patch, and two waterproof zippers – one to the outside pocket and the other to the main compartment. Inside you’ll find a slash pocket that runs the full length of the bag on one wall and the same on the other, but the other side is segmented into two pockets, ⅓ and ⅔ of the length – both made from white X-Pac.

Filip Raboch Admin Pouch
Filip Raboch Admin Pouch

This bag somehow manages to look tech, street, and tactical all at the same time. I think this is the perfect bag/pouch for anyone who likes to stay organized with their EDC essentials but often switches between different main bags. Filip will not only customize the fabric and zipper options on this little guy, but he’ll also change the pocket configuration and even the overall dimensions if needed. For me this is the perfect size, small enough to put in (or attach to the outside of) almost any bag, but big enough to hold my essentials. And with the removable strap I can even throw it on crossbody for an extremely compact carry on days when my pockets just won’t cut it. Though I haven’t had a chance to check them out in person yet, Filip also makes some gorgeous-looking custom backpacks that you can see on his Instagram. This is definitely a young bag maker to keep your eyes on.

Filip Raboch Admin Pouch

Pinch Flat Designs

Pinch Flat Designs

When my search for awesome X-Pac bags began, who knew it would take me all the way around the world and right back to my hometown of Bend, Oregon – home of Pinch Flat Designs. This incredibly well-made Custom Dropper bag is as functional as it is fun. It’s one of my all-time favorite hip/fanny packs. And I actually went to Ben’s house (about 20 minutes from mine) and met the maker in person to pick it up when it was ready. The outside is Bahama Blue X-Pac with contrasting red thread, red tie-down cording, reflective stripe, and innertube logo tag. The inside is lined with my beloved white X-Pac, creating a bright cavern to stuff with your EDC. I think this is one of the nicest-looking color combos I have in a bag, but if it’s all too much for you, I’m 100% to blame as Ben sewed it up with exactly the colors I wanted.

Pinch Flat Designs

Webbing runs around the outside front and sides and is tacked down every two inches, making it easy to attach more items if needed. Around the back is a small grab handle, a lightly padded back panel, and a very clever setup for stowing a map or trail pamphlets.

Pinch Flat Designs
Pinch Flat Designs

Inside the bag, you’ll find two wide strips of elastic to hold down water bottles or your choice of canned beverage. There’s also a key strap and two slip pockets to tuck away your smartphone, some cash, and/or ID. If you choose to be dehydrated – or cinch your bottle to the top outside, the inside suddenly has plenty of room for a rolled-up light jacket or fleece. The strap is long enough for crossbody wear (if you are on the larger size or want to wear it over a big winter coat you may want to ask Ben to make the strap a bit longer), but includes sliders to keep the strap out of the way if you’re wearing it on your hip. If you are the buttoned-up type, this might have too much character for you. But if fun and functional are high up on your wishlist, check out the Custom Dropper Pack from Pinch Flat Designs.

Pinch Flat Designs

EARTH Workshop Studio

EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2

With all these great custom bags coming out of the Eastern Bloc, we head north for one more to Poland where Michael makes the EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2.0. I had Michael make this one for me with a Black X-Pac exterior and white X-Pac lining along with a Fidlock buckle for the outside of the bag and a big old Cobra buckle for the crossbody strap. The stock bag has a mini Cobra on the front of the bag, but I like to be able to quickly buckle my bags with one hand if possible, so I picked the Fidlock. I went with the Cobra on the strap because they are just so damn cool-looking, but you could elect to go with a Fidlock on the strap if you like.

EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2

The strap comes with well-thought-out webbing keepers so you don’t have a bunch of dangly webbing if you cinch it up tight. And it can be tightened up enough to use as a hip pack, but I think it’s the perfect size for a crossbody – at least for the way I carry. And that’s how I usually wear it. There’s a zip pocket on the outside back that works great for storing quick-access items like a notepad, mobile phone, small pouches, etc. Pop open the Fidlock and inside you’ll find a slim zipper pocket at the top backside and a deep zip pocket on the inside front of the bag. All these zippers come with paracord pulls. I think I’d prefer it in use if the zip pull tab was removed and the paracord pulls attached directly to the sliders – and I’m sure you could order it that way if you like.

EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2
EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2

None of the zipper pockets have sub-pockets for additional organization – which is fine by me as I like to use pouches so I can quickly switch between bags, but if you are looking for more organization in the sub-pockets and don’t want to use pouches, make sure to mention it to Michael if you order a custom bag. The main inside pocket does include a two-inch wide elastic strip that’s been strategically sewed to make slots for securing your mobile phone, pens, sunglasses, multitool, etc. I like this option, but it may take some getting used to if you’ve never used this style before.

White X-Pac EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2

One of my favorite features of the bag is the two long strips of Velcro that the flap attaches to. This combines with the shape of the flap and long webbing on the Fidlock to let you easily adjust the size of the bag from incredibly compact 10″ long x 6″ tall x 2.75″ deep to over 10″ tall – nearly doubling the capacity all while looking great from the smallest size to largest and everywhere in between. The ability to change size ranks very high on my value scale as most of the time I carry very little and don’t want to have to carry a larger bag on the chance I might have a few extra things I need to carry. If you need a million little pockets in your bag or need something large enough for laptop carry, this is not going to work for you. For me, the EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2.0 quickly became one of my favorite bags and is in high rotation for my EDC and day trips.

EARTH Workshop Studio EVERYDAY BAG 2

Skinth

Hailing from Manitoba Canada, Skinth has made quite a name for itself with its custom multitool sheaths and cases. But Eric – the owner, designer, and builder – also makes some very clever and great-looking bags. The Brunch 4 Tote – this one in limited edition Multicam Alpine X-Pac – is like a luxury lunch sack that is both built to last and a pleasure to use. The bag features a base of rugged ballistic nylon, two outside pockets, both with Velcro for patches, and a laser-cut MOLLE pattern in case you’d like to attach extra pouches. I hope to see more of this style of MOLLE on other bags. It looks super slick.

White X-Pac Skinth Brunch 4 Tote

At approximately 11″ x 9.5″ x 5″ it’s big enough to hold a 32oz Hydro Flask and still have room for your sandwich, chips, and that brownie you were going to give your cubicle partner, but ate on the way to work instead. The inside is just an open tote, no extra pockets – it doesn’t need them. Outside a magnetic buckle will keep large items from falling out if you tip over your bag, but the top is still open, so small items could still escape. But I think the chances of the bag falling over are slim as it stands up on its own quite well.

Skinth Brunch 4 Tote

There is an adjustable length handle for each side of the bag as well as two D-rings – a thoughtful touch that lets you attach your own strap for shoulder carry. The look, feel, design, usability, and construction are all top tier. I’m super impressed with this bag. Of course you don’t have to just use it as a lunch sack. It’s great for any situation where a compact tote would shine: hauling library books, foraging for wild edibles, even carrying that D&D gear to your next roleplaying party – you could fit a lot of polyhedral dice in here.

Skinth Brunch 4 Tote

Eric has told me he’s considering making the Brunch 4 available in custom fabric combinations, but if you are looking for this limited version, there are only a few left in this awesome fabric combo, and I don’t expect them to stick around for long. Eric also designed the super fun Morale Patch S’tag you may have seen online. I had him make me a Black X-Pac version. It looks so good! If you’re looking for a way to show off your favorite Velcro-backed pouch but your bag of choice is Velcro-free, the S’tag is a clever, stylish solution.

Skinth Morale Patch S'tag
Skinth Morale Patch S'tag

TUFA Climbing

Josh’s TUFA Climbing bags are handmade in Kalispell, Montana. Lightweight is his battle cry. He has a few stunning, innovative, ultra-light bag designs – and I’m hoping to cover them soon. Today, let’s talk about his custom Bartender Handlebar Bag and XX Kit pouch. The Bartender – this one in White X-Pac with Bahama Blue X-Pac interior – is 10″ x 5″ x 5″ with a small stretch pouch on each end of its cylindrical visage. Small webbing loops on each side of the water-repellent zipper could easily be used with your own strap for shoulder carry if desired, but the two adjustable webbing loops with quick-release Duraflex clips reveal the bag’s true intentions – it wants to be clipped to your handlebars. Those webbing loops can be fed through three different spots to fit different size handlebars and include buckles to keep the extra webbing from flapping around. The cross webbing also features an integrated grab handle. Very nice. The craftsmanship is flawless.

White X-Pac TUFA Climbing Bartender

Inside you’ll find a slip pocket hugging the back of the bag to separate items to which you might need quick access from the vacuous remainder of the bag, which could easily hold water bottles, a tool kit, and backup clothes in case the weather gets rough. Of course, it’s not going to hold as much as a set of panniers, but if you’re looking for a bar bag that’ll hold a lot and look good doing it without adding unnecessary weight, ride over to TUFA Climbing to check it out.

White X-Pac TUFA Climbing Bartender

While you’re there take a peek at the white X-Pac XX Kit pouch. The offset water-repellent zipper adds some flash to this 6″ x 9″ flat pouch. The XX is made from upcycled scraps left over from constructing their other bags, which I appreciate. Webbing loops of different lengths hug each side, giving your fingers a place to perch when opening and closing the zip and doubling as a handy place to attach a clip if you’d like to secure it inside a larger bag. It’s simple but sleek and available in eight different X-Pac colors. I’d love to see them add some additional sizes.

White X-Pac TUFA Climbing XX Kit

Hartford Gear Co.

White X-Pac Hartford Gear Co.

Georgia from Hartford Gear Co. describes her company as No Frills Backpacking Gear, but don’t let that fool you. The bags are elevated by their simplicity and expert craftsmanship. The attention to detail is clearly the work of someone who loves to make bags. Georgia offers three sizes of her Packing Pods and they are each available in over 10 different fabrics with four different colored water-repellent zippers. The pods all feature water-repellent zippers with double slides, colorful corded zipper pulls, gripping tabs at each side that are clippable loops, and a grab handle on one side to help extract your pod from an overpacked bag – very nice touch! The large size is 10.5″ x 5″ x 4″ – great for packing rolled-up clothes, the Medium is 9″ x 4″ x 3.5″ – like a large DOPP kit, and the small is 7″ x 3″ x 3″ – a perfect small DOPP or power cord bag. The white X-Pac Pencil Case is essentially the same as the packing cubes – water-repellent zipper, looped tabs, and grab handle, but is 8″ x 2.5″ x 2″.

White X-Pac Hartford Gear Co.
White X-Pac Hartford Gear Co

These are high-quality accessories at low prices. For instance, the large Packing Pod is only $13. I also grabbed the 4.25″ × 3.25″ X-Pac Zipper Pouch in white X-Pac with a green water-repellent zip. The pouch includes grab tabs on each side of the zipper made from loops so they double as attachment points in case you want to clip it inside a larger bag. I’m really impressed with the quality of these accessories and hope to see Georgia introduce some full-size bags. In the meantime, if you are looking for high-quality pouches, handmade to order in the US, head over to Hartford Gear Co.

White X-Pac Hartford Gear Co.

Companies

These bags are all from companies – companies that, as far as I know, have a designer or designers and people who sew the bags – and they aren’t the same person. Some are big and some are small, but I felt like it made sense to group them separately from the makers since it’s a different buying experience and all of these company bags come the way they are without customization from the end user. Well, all except for two:

Rickshaw Bags

My love for SF-made Rickshaw Bags is no secret. Though I’ve never been to their San Francisco factory or met any of them in person – both of which I hope to correct as soon as possible – I feel like you can tell a lot about them by the incredible craftsmanship that sings out loud when you hold their bags in your hands. Most of their bags and accessories are available in a mathematically-challenging large number of color combinations, including many colors of X-Pac. I’m quite proud of my Rickshaw X-Pac collection so don’t let my brevity imply any less, but there’s a lot to get through, so I’ll be as brief as possible. To save you from having to read the same thing over and over, every single one of these features incredibly high-quality craftsmanship, impeccable attention to detail, and quality materials. And most of my Rickshaw collection features Alpine White Camo X-Pac on the outside and Bahama Blue X-Pac on the inside. But I did mix it up on some pieces, you know – for fun!

White X-Pac Rickshaw Bags iPad Zero Messenger

The iPad Zero Messenger is a compact messenger-style bag that I love for EDC, air travel personal pack, and I even use it as a weekend bag since I pack light. It comes with just two pockets, making it a blank canvas for your packing needs – making sub pouches (my preferred way to carry) your best friend. But you can add the optional small Deluxe Drop Pocket, which Velcros in, if you’re more the built-in organization type of person. No judgments. The bag is roughly 14″ x 11″ x 10″ with a giant front flap to keep the weather out and four D-rings placed around the outside for clipping keys or an optional cross strap. The comfortable shoulder strap is attached to the bag with glides which make it tidy and clean, but it’s also easily adjusted for length with the cam buckle. Short and longer straps are available at order for no extra charge, too.

White X-Pac Rickshaw Bags iPad Zero Messenger

The Rickshaw Fanny Pack is a comfortable cuboid 5″ x 9″ x 3″ in size that has a D-ring for attaching keys and a slim pocket that runs the width of the bag in the main compartment. There’s also a zipper pocket on the outside big enough for oversized smartphones. It’s attractive, clean, yet rugged. This is often the first fanny pack I grab when I’m heading out on a hike. I wrote about their Fanny Pack (and the Zero Messenger) in my post: 9 Great Ultra-Compact Men’s Crossbody Bags. So check that out for more details.

White X-Pac Rickshaw Bags Fanny Pack
Rickshaw Bags Fanny Pack

With over 21L of carry capacity I could easily see using the Large Zero Messenger as my carry-on suitcase for around-the-world travels. I know a bunch of folks who take a 40L bag for a weekend trip, but not me. I could use this bag to pack everything I needed with space left over! Then when I arrived, I could unpack it and use it for trips to the market, the beach, and more. Just like the iPad Zero Messenger, it’s not bogged down with millions of sub-pockets. But there are Velcro strips on the inside back and front so you can add optional Drop Pockets if that’s what you’re looking for.

Rickshaw Bags Large Zero Messenger

I got the bag set up with a custom color combo of black X-Pac exterior with White Alpine Camo inside. White Alpine Camo X-Pac wasn’t a liner option on their website at the time I put the order in, but I emailed and asked if they could use their exterior fabric option on the inside and they said sure! You may notice that the only closure for the bag is a wide strip of Velcro. It is also available with a double quick-release strap option, but I went with Velcro only to keep it looking super clean. My wife doesn’t really care about bags (I know, right?), but every once and a while I’ll get one that grabs her attention and this is one of those bags.

Rickshaw Bags Large Zero Messenger
Rickshaw Bags Large Zero Messenger

Who doesn’t love a good duffle? The Getaway Duffle Bag from Rickshaw Bags is one of my favorites. The design gives it structure so it stands up even when empty. If you’re in the market for a duffle you can flatten and stuff in the closet when not in use, this isn’t the one for you. But most of the time I prefer my duffles structured so I can more easily load and deload. At 9″ x 9″ x 18″ it holds about 24 liters and can pass as a personal item depending on which airline you’re flying. It has an exterior water-resistant zipper pocket with a handy D-ring sewn in to clip keys or organizer pouches. The main zipper is also of the water-resistant variety.

White X-Pac Rickshaw Bags Getaway Duffle

Zip that bad boy open and inside you’ll find two open-top pockets on one wall and two zipper pockets on the other side of the padded bottom panel. There’s an extra D-ring inside the bag, too. I wish more bag makers would include these. There’s even a compression strap inside the bag to keep the contents in check. I think it’s a brilliant design. Almost too brilliant. It’s so nice that it leaves me craving one thing. I’d love the option to upgrade it to metal hardware for the strap attachments and D-rings. They use top-quality plastic ones now, but the bag looks so damn high-end, it would be great if they at least offered a deluxe option with some of those fancy metal clips and rings making their way onto the market. I’d pay for the upgrade without a second thought.

Rickshaw Bags Getaway Duffle
Rickshaw Bags Getaway Duffle

The Banzai Bag is an interesting beast. In many ways it’s like a mini version of the Rickshaw Duffle. It’s structured and holds its shape even when empty. It has two webbing handles for grabbing. It also has an outside water-resistant zipper as well as one for the main compartment. There’s also a slip pocket on the outside – very handy. Inside you’ll find a slip pocket that runs the length of the bag and on the other side one that is split into two pockets. There’s even a carabiner clip for hanging keys or attaching your pouches.

White X-Pac Rickshaw Bags Banzai
Rickshaw Bags Banzai

The entire outside of the bag, as well as the entire outside zip pocket is padded, so this could work great as a gadget bag, small camera bag, etc. It’s a bit too structured for me to be an EDC bag as I like my EDC to compress flat (or as close as possible) when I’m not carrying much – which is most of the time. But its internal dimensions of 8″ x 10″ x 3.5″ make it great if you EDC books, 7 x 10 spiral notebooks, A5 notebooks, tablets – even an iPad Pro 11 should fit. If you’re looking for a shoulder bag that collapses and expands to adjust for your various carry loads, their Zero Messengers would better fit the bill. But if you want a bag that holds its shape and looks good doing it, check out the Banzai Bag from Rickshaw.

Rickshaw Bags Banzai

In addition to a bunch of awesome bags, Rickshaw makes an impressive assortment of pouches – also in custom fabric combinations. This is nice not just for people like me who like matching bags, but for carry fanatics who want to color-code their pouches so they know what’s inside without unzipping.

The Diplomat organizer is designed to hold a pocket notebook (or two), passport, pens, some cash, and business cards, but if you’re not a business card type person, you can throw a pocket knife in that slot instead. I love the Diplomat. If you change bags as often as I do and you can boil all your essentials down enough, this could be the one pouch that always goes from bag to bag. Hitting the town without a bag? This will easily fit into most jacket pockets. Like any good diplomat, this pouch has a secret: there’s a small webbing loop on one side that has no apparent use and isn’t mentioned on the product page. I suspect it’s so a small split ring or key clip can be attached. And that’s how I use it. Now as long as I have the Diplomat with me – regardless of what bag I’m carrying that day – I know I’ll be fine.

Rickshaw Bags Diplomat

The Plush Pen Pouch is like a cozy blanket for your beloved pens or any other smallish (2.5″ x 6.5″ x 3″) item you’d like to coddle. They say it’ll hold 20 pens, but I’ve never tried to put that many in there. I more often use it to hold sunglasses or camera batteries, chargers, and cables. I also have one that holds a backup battery, very compact Bluetooth keyboard, lens cloth, earplugs, and a SweetPea Mini Lanyard Pouch which holds a very small USB cable and adaptors.

Rickshaw Bags Plush Pen Pouch

At 4″H x 5.75″W x 3″D the Hero Pouch is the Plush Pen’s taller sister who tells it like it is – with a 420D replacing the plush insides. I like the Hero Pouch for holding my laptop charger and longer USB cables and charger but it would also make a great pen pouch for those of you who wouldn’t be caught dead with only 20 pens.

White X-Pac Rickshaw Bags Hero Pouch

The Dash Wallet is a 5″ x 3.75″ zipper pouch that includes a plastic sleeve for keeping your business cards crisp and away from all that dirty money. For me, this is not a great wallet – too big. I pocket carry my wallet. But it’s one of my favorite pouches. The perfect size for all those little bits and pieces that I don’t want floating around in my bag unsupervised. It’s basically a portable pants pocket. So anything you might carry in your pants pocket, now you can keep it in here. And there’s even a webbing loop so you can attach it with a small strap to the inside of a bag to keep it handy. Yes, please! That said, if you keep your wallet in your bag, this may work great for you as a wallet. Either way, I like to have several of these in different colors so I know what’s inside and can grab it without thinking. I hate thinking.

Rickshaw Bags Dash Wallet

The Pac Man Wallet is a little smaller (4.5″ x 3.0″) but also thicker (1″) than the Dash. It’s also padded on both sides which makes me want to stuff it with tiny electronics, though I usually keep overflow from my pocket wallet in here – extra cash, less used credit cards or passes. I also have one that I keep a pocket knife, hex bits and a driver in. The padding means I don’t have to worry about them jabbing the other gear in my bag.

Rickshaw Bags Pac Man
Rickshaw Bags Pac Man

Though the Dopp Kit does work perfectly for storing your grooming essentials, I pack light and usually fit all my toiletries into a small or medium utility pouch. I like to use the Rickshaw Dopp Kits as packing cubes. That’s why I have one with a red lining and label and one with a royal lining and label – so I can easily identify the contents of the bag without having to open it. Okay, I wouldn’t have to have a different color lining for that. But it looks so dang cool, I couldn’t resist.

Rickshaw Bags Dopp Kit

The Mini (4″ x 6″), Small (4″ x 8″), Medium (5.5″ x 8″), and Large (0.25″ x 7″) Utility Pouches by Rickshaw are some of the nicest pouches I own. And they each have a small webbing loop to attach inside your bag! I wish all manufacturers did this. These are all a zipper-at-the-top design that can maximize how much you can stuff in here. And just like nearly everything Rickshaw makes, you can get these in custom fabric combos to match – or contrast – your bag.

Rickshaw Bags Utility Pouches

Flowfold

If I remember correctly, Flowfold is one of the first companies to start using X-Pac in consumer products. They also let you customize some of their offerings. I’ve got the Custom Nomad (all white w/ black pulls) which is a great 24L duffle. At 9″ x 9″ x 18″ it should qualify as a personal item on most major airlines. It only weighs 10.6 oz / 300 grams, so it makes a great travel companion. When you’re not using it, it easily compacts down flat so you can store it while taking up hardly any space.

White X-Pac Flowfold Custom Nomad

It also folds up pretty easily, making it one of my top picks for trips that call for one small bag on the way out and a second larger bag on the way back. I fold up the Nomad and stuff it in my small bag, then I’m ready if I need to bring a second bag’s worth of things home. The white X-Pac combines with the water-resistant zippers to make a bag that looks slick and keeps the elements at bay. To keep it all lightweight the strap doesn’t have any padding, so if you’re easily bothered don’t stuff the bag with rocks, but the strap has worked great for me on every occasion.

The inside of the bag is just an open bucket waiting for you to fill it, but they did include an additional water-resistant zipper pocket on the outside to keep smaller items at hand. A great companion to the Nomad is their white X-Pac Custom Aviator – Dopp Kit. It’s almost too big at 9.5″ x 4.5″ x 4.5″, doubling as an excellent compact packing cube. It only weighs 2.4 oz / 68 grams! If you’re looking for a great-looking, customizable duffle that feels like it weighs nothing, put the Nomad at the top of your list.

White X-Pac Flowfold Custom Aviator Dopp Kit

Their white X-Pac Custom Optimist is a tiny 10L backpack that measures just 18″ x 9.5″ x 5″. The back and shoulder straps are not padded which helps it reach a weight of just 9.7 oz / 275g. Despite the lack of padding, I find it to be quite a comfortable pack to use. It’s plenty big for my EDC needs, and I often use it when I’m out surfskating around town. A sweatshirt, food, water bottles, and GoPro camera and accessories fit easily with room to spare. There’s nothing inside but empty space which is fine by me, though I’d love it if they added a pair of small webbing loops near the top so I could clip in my keys and a small pouch like their awesome Essentialist – Mini Pouch. The front outside of the bag has a 6.5″ x 11″ pocket for smaller items you want to keep quarantined from the main part of the bag. The look and feel of this bag, like all the Flowfold gear I have, is really nice and I think the black and white combo of X-Pac is quite striking.

White X-Pac Flowfold Custom Optimist
Flowfold Custom Optimist

That look continues over in their white X-Pac Custom Rebel – Fanny Pack. This is an extremely compact bag just 8″ x 5″ x 3″. The strap is long enough to wear it cross-body, too. It just has one zipper and inside you’ll find the compartment separated in two with one section to hold a wallet, keys, earbuds, and the like. The slip pocket is just large enough to hold my 6″ screen phone. This is a great bag when you want to carry just the bare minimum and I often use it when I’m going on a long walk and don’t want my stuff dangling around in my shorts. If you’re looking for a super-compact, close-to-the-body fanny pack that’s so light you’ll forget it’s there, make sure to check out the Flowfold Rebel.

White X-Pac Flowfold Custom Rebel
Flowfold Custom Rebel

Remote Equipment

As the name suggests the BRAVO 18 (in Alpine Multicam X-Pac) is an 18L bag – 18″ x 10.5″ x 6″, but what it doesn’t imply is that this is one of the most interesting bags I’ve seen in years. It’s a shoulder bag! It’s a tote! It’s a sling! It’s a backpack! It’s all of those and does them all quite well. Before I go any further, I would be remiss if I didn’t stress – both in italics and underlined – that this is one of the nicest made bags I have ever touched. The design and quality of materials and construction is exceptional.

Remote Equipment BRAVO 18

I suspect Philip de los Reyes – the founder of Remote Equipment – is either channeling the bag-making gods or has been reincarnated two dozen times and each time came back as an expert bag maker. I can think of no other logical explanation. Selfishly, I want him to read my mind while I sleep and then slave away at making all the yet-to-be-made bags I lust after, but in a design that far exceeds my wildest dreams.

Remote Equipment BRAVO 18

The main compartment is a giant tube ready to fill with whatever you like. A small panel on the inside back near the top has both slip and zip pockets for a mobile phone or other small items. There is a large side zip pocket on the outside front of the bag big enough to hold several books/magazines or a scarf, hat, and mittens. That’s it. So if you’re looking for a bag with a bunch of pen slots with a place for everything and everything in its place, move along. But you’ll miss out on a bag that is as much a pleasure to use as it is to look at.

Remote Equipment BRAVO 18

If 18L is enough to hold all that you carry, but on some days you want a tote, others a sling, and sometimes a backpack, your prayers have been answered. The top of the bag cinches closed when needed but stays out of your way when you don’t. Fill that bag up from the top nice and quick but easily access the guts from the outside of the bag with a zipper that runs nearly the full length of the bag. There are two handles for tote-style carry and they’re adjustable length so hold it long or short as you like at the moment.

White X-Pac Remote Equipment BRAVO 18

Need to keep your hands free? There are two seatbelt-style webbing backpack straps so you are golden. Still want those free hands but need to get in and out of the bag a lot? Quickly remove one of the backpack straps and use the other for cross-body messenger-style carry. You can even attach that strap diagonally and wear it like a sling. At first I thought these were all nice features to have on a list, but the design is so well thought out that I actually have used the bag in all these configurations and switched back and forth without hesitation.

Remote Equipment BRAVO 18

The straps are not padded, so if that makes you freak out, you’ll just have to miss out, but I find the straps plenty comfortable for my needs. I’ve already taken the BRAVO 18 as my only bag on several extended trips and though 18L worked great for me, keep in mind how much you like to carry. If 18L is enough for you, make sure to check out the innovative and striking BRAVO 18 from Remote Equipment.


Wexley

The idea behind Wexley bags was born in France and that heritage is reflected in the clean design lines.

White X-Pac Wexley Stem Backpack

The white X-Pac Wexley Stem is an 18.8″ x 11.4″ x 6.3″ (17L) backpack with just the right amount of built-in organization. The outside back panel is molded EVA padding that feels as good as it looks. The straps are comfortable, if slightly overpadded in my opinion for a bag this size. And there’s a handy zipper pocket integrated into the strap big enough to hold credit cards and some cash. On either side of the padded back you’ll find zipper pockets big enough for a small tablet or e-reader. Around the front of the bag a hidden zipper runs from top to bottom, opening up to a pocket large enough for a couple of water bottles, a jacket, hats, and gloves. There’s also a key clip in this pocket.

White X-Pac Wexley Stem Backpack

The main compartment has dual zipper sliders and a small section of webbing that combine to make unzipping the bag tricky for sneaky subway thieves. The front inside of the bag has both a water bottle pocket to keep your drink upright and a zipper pocket large enough to hold a passport, paperback book, and other small accessories. The inside back sports a zipper mesh pocket and a very well padded, fuzzy-fabric lined compartment that will fit most laptops up to 15″. Even with these pockets loaded there should be plenty of room for a bag lunch, accessory pouches, or a bicycle helmet and lock. The bottom of this section is also nicely padded. If you like clean lines and built-in laptop storage, the Stem is definitely worth taking a look at.

Wexley Stem Backpack

Wexley continues this design aesthetic over to their white X-Pac Slingbag, a 7.9″ x 13.8″ x 1.18″ (2.1L) cross-body sling that is going to be the perfect bag for those folks whose EDC primarily consists of a tablet and a few other essentials. There’s a hidden RFID-blocking pocket around the back that has plenty of padding to hold both a small tablet (up to 9″ x 6″) and your wallet or mobile phone. There’s even a pass-through for headphones if you’re still flexing the wired type. The front of the bag is also padded as are the inside pockets that also seem perfectly sized for your tablet or e-reader.

White X-Pac Wexley Slingbag

Despite being slim, there’s definitely enough room inside the main pocket for a 24oz. Hydro Flask, beanie, sunglasses, and more. Personally, I don’t like this much padding in my EDC bags, but I don’t carry a tablet or e-reader unless I’m traveling. If I was checking my bags for a flight, this would be a great personal bag and could hold all I’d need to stay hydrated, moisturized, and entertained for a transcontinental flight.

White X-Pac Wexley Slingbag
White X-Pac Wexley Slingbag

The white X-Pac Cosmo crossbody bag from Wexley offers a big style upgrade to travelers and commuters that rock a neck wallet to keep their passport and valuables close to the body without taking up a bunch of space. At 8.2″ x 6.7″ x 0.39″ the 1.4L double pocket bag easily hides beneath a jacket yet has plenty of room for money, keys, other daily doodads, and even a paperback book or e-reader.

White X-Pac Wexley Cosmo

DEFY

If you’ve never held a bag from DEFY, man are you missing out. DEFY are playing at the top of the game. Manufacturing in Chicago, their bags have that Chicago flavor that makes pizza great and bags even greater (greater than pizza? Okay – as great). DEFY bags just ooze cool style.

White X-Pac DEFY Insidious Sling

The Insidious Sling is a 16″ x 9″ x 5″ (10.5L) sling-style bag with water-resistant zippers on all three compartments. Those shiny black zippers look great against the white X-Pac. On the outside front you’ll find a long strip of MOLLE webbing for adding extra pouches. Though I love the clean look of the bag just as it is, it’s nice to have it in case you want to clip on something extra.

DEFY Insidious Sling

The front zip pocket runs the full length of the bag and has two additional storage pockets inside of it. The middle pocket has a wide-open section for books, a jacket, plenty of water bottles, etc. And there’s an organization panel as well with a hardcore metal key clip, pen slots, a place for your phone, backup batteries, and walkie-talkies. The third compartment has a ⅓ / ⅔ slip pocket that runs along the padded back of the bag with plenty of room left over for a tablet and DEFY’s Project X-Pac 3 Pouch Bundle. Which, if you are picking up this bag, it seems to be a no-brainer to pick up the excellent matching pouches. The small is 4.5″ x 3.5″, medium – 7.5″ x 5.5″, and large – 9″ x 7.25″.

White X-Pac DEFY Project X-Pac 3 Pouch Bundle

The padded shoulder strap on the Insidious Sling includes webbing loops and a D-ring for attaching additional items and an awesome COBRA buckle so you can quickly remove the bag without taking off your Storm Trooper helmet. The strap is also easily reversible for left or right shoulder carry. It’s not the lightest weight bag for its size (thanks to the heavy-duty lining and metal hardware), so if that’s what you need, there are other options to look at. But I’m happy to take on the extra weight if it means I get the style, functionality, and insane quality that comes with the bag.

DEFY Insidious Sling

I think this is a great personal item bag for air travel and it would easily hold everything I would need for even extended warm weather trips. It should fit standing up under the seat in front of you on most planes, leaving plenty of room for your feet on either side. Keep in mind, though it’ll hold a 13″ laptop in a slim sleeve, it isn’t wide enough to hold my 14″ unless I throw it in there without any padding. If that doesn’t scare you off, I think this would also make an excellent EDC bag. No matter how you use it, it’s going to look amazing. And in case I didn’t stress it enough, the design, materials, and craftsmanship are all absolutely top-notch.

DEFY Insidious Sling

Mission Workshop

The Khyte : VX and Arkiv Tech Case : VX from Mission Workshop are high-end from top to bottom. From the made-in-the-USA quality construction, to the modern tech look, Fidlock V Buckles, and weather-resistant VX-21 diamond ripstop fabric, I think this is one of the best made and best-looking messengers on the market. The black and white combo looks so good and makes this the bag of choice for my next trip to the international space station. If you haven’t seen one of these in person or had the opportunity to touch these bags with your own fingertips, I suggest you rectify that immediately.

White X-Pac Mission Workshop Khyte : VX
White X-Pac Mission Workshop Arkiv Tech Case : VX

The Khyte offers a nice organizational balance with a padded 15-inch laptop pocket that sits on the backside of the bag so you don’t have to open the flap to extract it. The main compartment has no organizational panels. But the front of the bag has a zippered pocket with an additional zippered mesh inside of it. Under the front flap you’ll find another water-resistant zipper concealing a tricot-lined pocket big enough to swallow the biggest cell phones or sunglasses.

White X-Pac Mission Workshop Khyte
White X-Pac Mission Workshop Khyte
White X-Pac Mission Workshop Khyte : VX

Though I like the look and feel of this outer front flap, it uses magnets to keep the flap closed and I’m not a fan of this in actual use as I find it takes an extra bit of effort to open the flap and it often closes several times while I’m still trying to use the pocket underneath. Fortunately, there’s a small zippered pocket on the side of the bag for quick access to things you might need regularly like keys, some cash, or a packet of astronaut ice cream. And if all that isn’t enough there are multiple attachment points on the outside of the bag to add additional bags – including three Arkiv rails which work great with the matching white X-Pac Arkiv Tech Case.

White X-Pac Mission Workshop Arkiv Tech Case
Mission Workshop Arkiv Tech Case

When attached the Tech Case looks like it’s just part of the Khyte. Yet you can quickly remove it when you want to throw your cords, tools, batteries, laser welders, etc. that you’ve got in there into another bag. They work so well together I’d be surprised if most people don’t order them both at the same time. Now, in case you haven’t worked it out already – this is a big bag: 21″ x 14″ x 3.5″ (approx. 24L), which is far too big for my ultra-compact everyday carry. But it’s such a nice bag, it makes me wish I needed to carry more on a regular basis. If you’re the type that EDCs a 15″ laptop, lots of documents, your lunch, a spare jacket, gym clothes for after work, safety tethers, and a trace gas analyzer, this might be the perfect EDC bag for you.

White X-Pac Mission Workshop Arkiv Tech Case

For me, I would happily use this for weekend and even multi-week trips to carry everything I could need for my adventures. I hope they make a mini version of this bag someday – maybe 12″ x 9″ x 3″. That would be perfect – especially if they skipped the magnet flap. Either way, I think everyone on the space station is going to be jealous as I float by.

White X-Pac Mission Workshop Khyte

Afterschool Projects

White X-Pac Afterschool Projects Sacoche Grande

Founded by some of the crew from Chrome Industries and Mission Workshop, LA-based ASP creates bags and apparel, all made in the USA. These guys make one of my all-time favorite sweatshirts and this small white X-Pac crossbody that is the perfection of simplicity. The white X-Pac ASP Sacoche Grande is a 10″ x 7″ pouch with a ¾” strap and water-resistant zipper. Inside you’ll find an elastic cord with a nice metal key clip and a slip pocket that runs along the inside back of the bag made from mesh to isolate your items without losing sight of where they are.

White X-Pac Afterschool Projects Sacoche Grande

It’s simple and lightweight and somehow manages to pack in a ton of cool style. When I’m carrying more than my pockets can hold, if I want to keep my pockets empty, or I’m not wearing pockets at all, especially if I’m feeling style-conscious, this is the bag I’m bringing. If I’m not packing my camera gear, this also makes a great day bag for the way I travel the world. It takes up almost no space in my main bag, but it easily holds my phone, passport, wallet, rental car keys, backup battery, charger, cables, sunglasses, field notes, pens, a flashlight, Matador Mini Pocket Blanket, Spirit Gum, fake mustache, and antivenom. Bonus: its slim profile tucks away nicely under a jacket if I want to keep it out of sight.

White X-Pac Afterschool Projects Sacoche Grande

Inside Line Equipment

ILE makes some of my favorite pouches. The white X-Pac Load Cell Cuboid Small is 11″ x 5″ x 4″ and makes a great packing cube with a single mesh panel to see what’s inside, a handle at the top so you can easily extract it from your overstuffed bag, D-rings on either side of the handle so you can clip it into your bag or even attach your own shoulder strap – though I don’t see me using it that way, and there’s a flat zipper pocket on one side for keeping small items like jewelry, receipts (that’s how I mostly use it), or any other small items you want to keep separate from the main section. This little extra detail makes it significantly more useful than an ordinary packing cube. They make larger ones as well, though I’m a fan of this size.

White X-Pac ILE Load Cell Cuboid
White X-Pac ILE Load Cell Cuboid

The white X-Pac ILE Key Holster – Small measures 2.5″ x 3.5″ and I think this is the smallest pouch in my collection. It rocks an itty bitty water-resistant zipper on the front and a loop of Velcro around the back so you can attach it to your belt, backpack, or shoulder strap. It isn’t big enough to hold credit or ID cards but it will hold some folded up cash, change, wireless earbuds, keys, and even a few hopes and dreams. I’d love to see a version this size with a small cord loop and no Velcro on the back so I could clip it inside other bags. I’d also recommend they slim up the Velcro loop on the back a bit so we could use this pouch on MOLLE-compatible bags.

White X-Pac ILE Key Holster
White X-Pac ILE Key Holster

These are my first pouches from ILE. But with the quality of design, construction, and materials, my wife has already started worrying that they won’t be my last.


Able Carry

White X-Pac Able Carry Thirteen Daybag

I’ve only had the opportunity to see two Able Carry items in person, but both are so incredibly well designed and constructed that I can’t wait to see what else they come up with. The Thirteen Daybag – in X-Pac Multicam White Alpine – is a compact 13L backpack (17″ x 11″ x 6.7″) designed to hold most 13″ and 14″ laptops and all your other EDC items provided you’re a light carry type EDCer like myself. Looking at this bag for the first time is like playing a game of hide and seek, so if you don’t want any spoilers, skip to the conclusion at the end.

Able Carry Thirteen Daybag

This bag is a looker with its sleek, padded top handle (one of my favorites I’ve used on any backpack), black zippers, pulls, and straps combining with the futuristic design to create a bag that has strangers asking me who makes this pack nearly every time I leave the house. On the front of the bag, with a little investigating, you’ll find a zipper that slashes diagonally through the bag hidden by a fold of fabric. This, like so much on this bag, is a great design element. Many of the bag’s elements feel origami-inspired and I love it. This front zip pocket is essentially the full size of the bag with plenty of room to stuff a jacket, water bottles, food, and more.

Able Carry Thirteen Daybag

A slip pocket sits beside it and is a great place for items you’ll want quick access to. There’s even a three attachment point webbing hidden in the top of this pocket for clipping your keys or whatever you like. A similar webbing near the bottom of the front of the bag – perhaps for a blinky light – hides under another fold of fabric. Around the side on the back panel you’ll find a hidden zipper that opens up to a pocket large enough to hold a book or tablet.

Able Carry Thirteen Daybag
Able Carry Joey Pouch

Behind the main water-resistant zipper you’ll find even more secrets and organization options. There’s a mesh zipper pocket on the inside front with a built-in key strap and carabiner which is where I usually attach the Able Carry Joey Pouch – one of the best wallet-type pouches I’ve ever used. The Joey is another origami masterwork with two slip sections on the inside and a perfect change pocket on the outside back. There are even key loops in both the inside and outside pockets.

Able Carry Joey Pouch
Able Carry Joey Pouch

Back to the Thirteen, attached to the inside back panel is a hidden Velcro pocket big enough to hide your vile of truth serum and/or some backup cash. Below that is the padded laptop compartment, lined with fuzzy fabric. Snugged up against that is an additional slip pocket that could easily hold a large tablet or a top-secret dossier. There’s even an elastic-topped pocket inside the bag on the side, presumably to hold a water bottle upright – but it is on the smaller side, so if you have one of those wider bottles (over 24 oz.) it probably won’t fit.

Able Carry Thirteen Daybag
My Favorite White X-Pac Bags

The outside back panel has what I think is the perfect amount of padding for this type of bag and it’s the same rugged stealthier take on white X-Pac as the rest of the bag. This may get you a bit sweaty if you’re on a fast-paced adventure but looks a million times better than a mesh back panel and works great for EDC use.

Then there are the straps – and they’ve got some tricks up their sleeves, too. They use the same X-Pac fabric as the bag and it looks amazing. They’re also curved to fit the body, making them especially comfortable. There’s even a black webbing-like piece that goes across one of the straps in case you’d like to attach something to the strap.

Able Carry Thirteen Daybag

I’ll get to the strap secret in a second, but I did want to point out my only quibble with the bag – and I’ve seen other manufacturers do this, too, and I don’t like it. It’s a small bag. Most likely it’ll never be loaded down to the point where it’s crazy heavy. So why put such thick padding in the straps? I feel like they almost look silly, such a small bag with such thickly padded straps. I’m sure plenty of people either don’t notice, or don’t mind, but it’s the only thing that keeps this bag – in my opinion – from being a lighthouse of design excellence.

Ah… but then the straps reveal their secret and all is forgiven. Each of the straps contains a hidden slip pocket perfectly positioned and sized for some folded-up cash in one and credit cards/driver’s license in the other. It makes me wish I had this bag when I lived in New York City. If you’ve got the kind of job where you can get away with coming to work with such a cool-looking bag, I think you’ll quickly find the usability is as solid as its visual appeal. If you have trouble fitting your EDC into a big, black garbage bag, this 13L isn’t going to cut it. But if you lean towards compact travel and want a top-quality bag with plenty of built-in organization without going overboard, bombproof construction, and enough mystery and intrigue to make James Bond jealous, get your hands on the Thirteen Daybag from Able Carry.

Able Carry Thirteen Daybag

Instinct London

White X-Pac Instinct London X-Pac Pro Camera Sling

I’ve used a LOT of camera bags in my life as a professional filmmaker. It’s pretty rare that I find one pushing bag design into new areas. That’s why I was excited to get my hands on the White X-Pac Pro Camera Sling Bag from Instinct London. It is a 7L (12.2″ x 7.8″ x 4.7″) convertible sling/shoulder style bag. It can also be worn like a fanny pack, though that’s my least favorite way to use it. For sling and shoulder style the bag excels in comfort and usability without weighing you down. Instinct London describes the bag as stormproof and I suspect the AquaGuard zippers and white X-Pac fabric could fight off a tsunami. Just remember it’s not designed to be submerged.

White X-Pac Instinct London X-Pac Pro Camera Sling

The outside of the bag features two lash straps along the bottom for attaching a small tripod to the bag (thank you!) and two stretch pockets for water bottles or other quick-access items. There’s a front AquaGuard zipper pocket with a loop on the zip slider so it can be attached to the compression strap in a way that would discourage strangers from peeking inside without drawing your attention. Inside this front pocket you’ll find two pen pockets, four slip pockets (for things like business cards, compact external hard drives, etc.), and four memory card slots. Personally, I prefer to use sub-pouches for my accessories. But if you like the option to have built-in organization, they’ve done a great job with the design. The pockets do stay out of the way if you are using pouches instead of the built-in pockets.

White X-Pac Instinct London X-Pac Pro Camera Sling
White X-Pac Instinct London X-Pac Pro Camera Sling

At the top sits an extremely comfortable, lightly padded grab handle. Below that is the padded back of the bag – the perfect amount of slim padding. It uses a pass-through so you can tuck the sling-wings away when using it over your shoulder, keeping the bag’s slick, futuristic design intact. The shoulder strap is also lovely to look at and minimally – but perfectly – padded. Instinct London includes camera strap adaptors so you can use this excellent shoulder strap as a camera strap, too.

White X-Pac Instinct London X-Pac Pro Camera Sling

The bag itself also has what seems to be the perfect amount of padding. But strangely the two adjustable dividers – though they’re nicely constructed and cleverly include a slide pocket for filters – are twice as thick as I would like. Along the inside back wall of the bag is a padded slip pouch which should hold a tablet nicely. The inside front of the bag has a zipper pocket split into two sections each with two sections and a total of four elastic camera battery slots. The way they’ve done this is very clever and amongst the most useful built-in pocket organization I’ve seen in a bag.

White X-Pac Instinct London X-Pac Pro Camera Sling

If you haul around a huge selection of prime lenses, this bag won’t be big enough to satisfy. But if you’re walking around with a mirrorless system plugged into a 24-105 f4 you’ll have plenty of room to also hold a pair of primes (or a small drone), tablet, and accessories. If you’re looking for a compact camera bag that is very cleverly designed, make sure you check out the white X-Pac Pro Camera Sling Bag from Instinct London. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!


ALPAKA

White X-Pac ALPAKA Atom X Basics Kit

The Atom X Basics Kit (in white X-Pac) is made up of the Atom X Sling, Magnetic Stabilizer Strap, and Modular Phone Pouch. These tech slings are constructed from top-quality components and materials. The webbing is all seatbelt style – which is my preference in most situations. And there’s a strip of it across the front of the bag for attaching accessories like their phone pouch. All the buckles are from Maglockz and they work great – slide open easily and click together even easier. The only downside is they are quite a bit thicker than a Fidlock V Buckle and with such a slim bag I think the V would have been a better design choice.

White X-Pac Alpaka
White X-Pac ALPAKA Atom X Basics Kit

It really is a thin bag. This would be perfect for anyone looking to empty their pockets and sling this under a jacket. Measuring just 11.8″ x 7.9″ x 1.1″ (5L), it would practically disappear – not so much with the phone pouch attached, but for sure without it. Although I like the phone pouch by itself or to attach to a full-size pack, I think it doesn’t look good attached to the Atom X Sling. Design-wise I think they look and work better separately.

White X-Pac ALPAKA Atom X Basics Kit

Most likely you’ll have enough room in the sling to hold your phone in one of its three pockets. Around the back there’s a zipper pocket that fits my large phone perfectly – even with a case on it. Though for some reason they chose not to use a water-resistant zipper on this pocket, the other two zippers on the bag are the water-resistant type. Those other two zippers also feature pulls with an integrated clip that attaches to hidden cord loops that will secure the zipper in a way that would definitely frustrate anyone trying to check the contents of your bag without you noticing.

White X-Pac ALPAKA Atom X Basics Kit

The front zip pocket includes a quick-release keychain and is lined with copper and silver nano-particles that are supposed to destroy germs and block RFID at the same time. The main pocket replaces the RFID-blocking fabric with 250D ripstop. Along the inside back of this pocket two mesh pockets hug items you want to keep flat against you or separated from the other items. If you use sub-pouches to organize your bags like I do, these mesh pockets are a great place to stow them. Though the bag is super slim, you can still get a beanie and some gloves in there or a light jacket and still have room for daily essentials if you don’t mind it puffing up a bit.

White X-Pac Alpaka

If tech slings aren’t your thing, I think this bag will leave you cold. But if you’re looking for something to let you move your essentials out of your pockets and find the tech aesthetic enticing, you just might fall in love with the white X-Pac Atom X Sling from ALPAKA.


That’s it. That’s my white X-Pac collection – for now. As a side note, I’ve seen some blowback on forums against the X-Pac phenomenon and perhaps some of it is worth considering, but I’m not using any of these bags in tactical situations. I’m not a paramedic, nor am I seeking a life of danger with a need for a bag that can protect me when things “get real”. I just want these bags to look and function great and keep looking that way for as long as possible. So far, so good!

What’s in your X-Pac collection? Do you have a favorite white X-Pac piece? Let me know in the comments below.


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