STMA: Backpack -- Essential Gear

Guys, let’s face it. Women got the better deal whenever it was decided that they could carry stuff around in bags during the day, and we couldn’t. There are plenty of blog entries on the net defending the murse, but this isn’t one of them. I am proposing something completely (sort of) different.

Backpacks.

Yes, that’s what I carry. I do have an “Urban Plumber’s Bag” from the now-defunct Bohemian Traders, and it gets a lot of compliments. It also draws a lot of attention as a murse. However, I recently bought a CamelBak Transformer. It’s a great bag for a lot of reasons. First, I’m a big fan of hydration packs in general. Not having to take the backpack off and dig through it to find my Nalgene bottle when I’m on the go is a great deal. Plus, the Transformer is modular. The basic pack is just a camelback sleeve with shoulder straps, two small zipper pockets, and a single open flap pocket. However, it comes with two other pockets that clip on whenever I need them.

The smaller, front zipper pocket is just the right size to hold extras of all my pocket necessities – chapstick, pocketknife, and mints, plus a lighter and some 550 cord. The larger zipper pocket is halfway hidden behind the open flap, and I think that it will serve well for concealed carry once I get my hands on a pistol. The two clip-on/clip-off extra storage pockets are great; my Bible and notebook both fit in the larger of the two, which has a small front section for pens/pencils/small items. The very front clip-on storage pocket holds a wide-mouth Nalgene bottle or notebook computer accessories.

This brings me to the one failing of the Transformer: there’s no pocket large enough for a computer. However, the open flap is plenty large enough to hold my current behemoth, a 17-incher, and should be perfect for carrying around whatever my next buy turns out to be (nothing larger than 13.3”, surely). With the addition of any one of the laptop sleeves available, my backpack should be ready to go – and no more man-purse.