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Every Day Carry Bag Types and Their Benefits

every day carry bag


The “man purse” is also known as the every day carry bag.  This type of bag has gotten really popular as more people now have a focus on preparedness.  Not just preparedness for disaster but just things that happen on an everyday basis.

This bag is something that we keep near our body.  It typically carries essentials that we use on an everyday basis.  Some people pack hygiene items, snacks, tools and even self-defense items.  Depending on how much traveling you do the size of your bag can vary.

The purpose of the every day carry bag is to help you carry more items that you need to have quick access to but don’t necessarily have the ability to carry on your person (unless you want to look like MC Hammer with puffy pants).


The bag should provide the ability to be organized.  You don’t want to be digging through your bag when trying to find something urgently because of an emergency.

Some every day carry bags are lockable to protect expensive items.  You also have conceal carry bags.  If you have this style of bag you want to remember to be discreet and not draw attention to yourself.  This is why I generally stay away from the “tacticool” style bags.

There are many styles of the every day carry bag.  In this post I’m going to be talking about the different types of bags.  I will also share the benefits, pros and cons of each.

Every Day Carry Bag Types and Benefits

The Pouch

This type of every day carry bag is small and simple.  It typically can hold a hand full of items like electronics, tools and even hygiene items.  They are light weight and easy to take around with you quickly.

The downside of pouches is that they restrict how much you carry around with you.  I initially started carrying around a Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer.  It was great for the time being because I was able to quickly grab items.  It was also lightweight and easy to carry around.

As time passed by I began to grow out of the bag.  I started accumulating more things that I needed to carry around with me on an every day basis.  Also, it was a challenge if I went to a store and came out with multiple things to carry in my hands.  I was unable to simply put it on my back like a backpack.  So eventually I updated my every day carry bag.

Messenger Bag

The messenger bag is kind of a step up from the pouch.  Typically people who work office jobs or go to college carry around messenger bags because it is roomy enough for a laptop.  You can easily pack notepads and other office essentials in as well.  So it definitely gives you the ability to carry more items than the pouch.  They also give you quick access to items within your pack.

Some messenger bags are also stylish.  I’ve seen many types of bags that are leather.  You can also match your outfit.  That way you are not standing out if you are packing a conceal carry weapon.  It doesn’t have a tacticool look that raises red flags.

However, there are what people call tactical messenger bags.  If you are familiar with conceal carry or prepping you could easily point one out and know immediately that they are packing.  I’m sure that it also raises flags to other people who are not familiar with such.

The other downsides of the messenger bag is that they don’t give you much mobility.  Yes, you can throw one cross body but if you try to run while carrying one it will continuously slap you on the side.  It slows you down and just isn’t comfortable.

Messenger bags typically get the attention of muggers as well.  If you are carrying one of these bags then you are most likely carrying a laptop.  In a muggers mind he/she can simply quickly pull the bag off of you or cut the straps to take off with it.  Then they can make some quick cash selling your laptop.


The backpacks of course provide you with more space than those previously mentioned.  That way you can pack more items.  A lot of these packs are designed to be comfortable so that if you are walking long distances the weight won’t bare down on your shoulders or back.

Again there are different styles including “tacticool” looking backpacks with molle webbing.  I tend to stay away from these styles because they draw attention.  My goal is to blend in and not stick out.  However, others like the “tacticool” look because they can snap pictures to post on social media to appear as a bad ass with their bad ass patches.

However, the downside with backpacks is that they can get pretty heavy.  This slows down your mobility.  It also isn’t comfortable running as it will continue to slap against your back unless you have a good chest and waist strap.

With a backpack as your every day carry bag items are not always quickly accessible.  Most likely if you need something then you will need to stop to take it off and retrieve the items.

Contrary to prepper belief you should not be carrying bug out bag as your every day carry bag.  This should be lightweight and give easy access to items.  There is really no reason that you should walking around with tents and shovels in your bag.  So just stop it.

Now one exception that I would make for backpacks is that they are good every day carry bags when you are traveling.  When you are in a different state or country you won’t have your car or house close where you can easily retrieve emergency items.  So I have an every day carry travel bag when I am traveling.  I typically pack some items to get home but not to bug out.  Maybe I need to reconsider that but not at this moment.

Again, every day carry is all a matter of preference.  So there is no right or wrong to doing things.  So if you would prefer a backpack as an every day carry bag then I would highly recommend the Under Armour Quantum.  You can check out a review that I posted on this HERE where you can find out why I absolutely love this bag.

Sling Bag

The sling bag is really a combination of the backpack and the messenger bag.  The sling bag is something that you can quickly throw on cross body but not have the pack hanging on your side.  It also fits snug to your body just like a backpack.

So the sling bag does provide more space for items.  It’s not as much as the backpack but definitely more than the messenger bag and pouches.  The really great thing is that it provides quick access to items that you may need in an emergency.  You can simply just sling the pack across to your front instead of needing to stop and remove the pack.

The Sling Bag is what I gradually upgraded to.  I began with the pouch, then the messenger bag and backpack before settling for the sling bag.  I posted review of the Under Armour Compel Sling 2.0 which I currently use.  You can probably see a trend that I absolutely love Under Armour products.

Altogether these are the different types of every day carry bags and their benefits.  Leave a comment below and share what bag you are currently using and why.  Let me know if you have any questions and I would love to help you.  Also leave your suggestions below because your feedback helps the community prep the smart way now so that we can thrive later.


Photography by txinkman



About Aaron

Aaron is the founder of Smart Prepper Gear which is a blog dedicated to helping people prepare the smart way now so that they can thrive later. He has been involved with preparedness since 2009 after feeling the effects of the financial crisis that affected most of the country. Aaron also volunteers with CERT (community emergency response team), ARC (Amateur Radio Club), Red Cross and currently studying to be a certified NRA instructor.