When it comes to everyday carry gear it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Vertx bags. I have reviewed their Gamut backpack and one of their range bags in the past so I was excited to get my hands on my latest piece of gear the Vertx EDC Courier Bag. This shoulder combines all the things that make Vertx gear great but does it in a way that is just a little different from “normal”. It’s important to remember when looking at this bag that the company had a very specific type of person in mind when they designed it. If I had to put a label on it I would say this EDC Courier is the perfect bag for the white collar worker or business professional who wants to combine discreet CCW with functionality.
Why This Bag and Not a Backpack?
Many people will have no need for a courier bag, but for workers like myself, it’s a more professional and acceptable alternative to my Gamut backpack. When you sell your soul and climb into the world of large-scale government meetings dragging a formal backpack into a room is frowned upon. Add that to the fact that many of us will tend to fill every square inch of our available space with gear and stuff. It’s what I refer to as the “goldfish theory”, essentially we will grow to our available space, and that also tends to include our packs and bags. I will admit having never carried a courier bag before I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it or how it would fit my needs on a personal or professional level.
I’ve been using the Vertx EDC Courier for about 45 days both at work and off the clock when the situation warranted it and there are several things about the bag that I discovered and some of them weren’t what I expected. Before we dig into that lets take a few moments to check out the specifications of the bag and touch on some of the features that I found most helpful during my 45 day field test and evaluation period.
Model: EDC Courier
Capacity: 23 Liters
- Height: 13″
- Width: 18″
- Depth: 6″
- Midnight Blue
- Main Pocket Fits 15″ Notebook
- CCW Pocket Fits Full Size Pistol and Magazines / Gear
- Three Total Outside Pockets
- Four Inside Zippered Pockets
Expectations and Performance:
When reviewing gear you have to remember to manage your expectations of the product and be honest about the performance during the T&E period. To be honest, if I wasn’t aware of other Vertx products and how overbuilt they are and packed with small features they are I wouldn’t be this excited. The fact I knew about the company actually put the bag on the disadvantage in the expectation department, I set the bar very high for this bag based on previous experiences. The good news is despite my very high expectations the bag is still what I would label as overall outstanding.
Highs & Lows:
Highlights- The bag continues the trend in what many are calling in the industry are referring to the “discreet concealed carry” movement. The bag is not packed with external molle webbing or produced in the same standard colors of flat dark earth, olive drab green or some other color that screams “Tacticool”. What molle webbing the bag does have is neatly stored under a flap on the small external pouch on the front. If you need molle webbing it’s available. This is a very nice touch in many of our eyes.
Many courier or shoulder bags are woefully lacking when it comes to the carry strap. Most bags have thin straps with little padding. The Vertx EDC Courier features a massive wide strap that doesn’t cut into your shoulder when the bag is fully loaded. It is almost the same strap that comes with the A-Range bag that I got to review last summer. The strap can be loosed from one end and tucked into the back of the bag for those users wanting to use the bag as a briefcase instead of a courier bag. The final thing I want to say about the strap is the stitching and webbing of the strap is very heavy and showed zero signs of strain and all the stitching is secure and tight.
The pack has what has become a Vertx calling card, namely the quick access pouch that is perfect for carrying your choice of concealed carry pistol. The whole section is covered with a very soft hook and loop panel that allows you to use the company’s holsters and retention system known as tactigami . I have a holster and a mag pouch that I have been using for my Gamut backpack for a while now so I decided to show our readers how it fits on the EDC Courier. The fact you can swap the holster between different Vertx product lines is also a nice touch.
The heart of any pack is the main compartment, and with this bag, the main compartment is simple, direct, efficient and gets the job done. No flash or dash here the zippered pockets are mesh so you can quickly see what is in each section. The main sleeve area is where you are ideally supposed to put your laptops or tablets, and features a velcro strap that keeps your electronics from sliding around too much. There is a large zippered compartment in the back inside wall of the main storage area that is best suited for a small piece of ballistic plate panel for the very small segment of users who need that capability. This area would be perfect for a piece of Ally One by Angel Armor.
Low Points- There are really only two things on this bag that I might classify as noteworthy in the low points, and that is a stretch at best. The first being color choices, currently, the bag is available in only two colors, a standard black and a midnight blue. I was given the midnight blue which was great because that is one of the main colors of the agency I work for so in my work setting the bag looks like it could be an issued piece of gear. The second point I would like to make about this bag is that it seems to be easier to use when it is actually loaded with a decent amount of weight. I found that when near empty or with a few small paper folders in it that the bag tended to flop around a bit and compress down.
To combat perceived issue I found that it carried best on my shoulder when I had my 15″ MacBook Pro in it and a few other office type EDC like files, and external hard drive and a three-ring binder. Like I said calling it an issue is really stretching and splitting hairs. The bag, like all bags is designed to be used with some supplies in it when you use it like the engineers designed it to be used it performs better than any shoulder bag I’ve used in my 2 years of office work.
Bottom Line: Yes or No?
It all boils down to this, would I use my own money to buy this product ? to that I would answer with a resounding YES. If you work in an office world and want to have an off-body discreet conceal carry option that this is the perfect bag. Like I said from the start this isn’t for everyone but it can be a stylish and functional option for many users. Even if you can’t CCW at work like many of us find ourselves in, the bag can still be just as functional for an EDC knife, flashlight and small first aid kit in addition to your normal work-related accessories. The company made a quick video to show all the features in case I overlooked any. Thanks for taking the time to check out the Vertx EDC Courier Bag.
Photos by author