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My Bag is Badass

Patagonia Lightweight Travel Courier

Patagonia Lightweight Travel Courier 

Hi, my name is Aaron and I am a doctor who specializes in full-scope family medcicine and obstetrics in New England.

My bag is small, but it is Bad Ass.

During medical missions to politically sensitive or disaster-stricken areas, teaching abroad, and routine leisure travel, the need for a small and light bag to compliment my main travel kit was becoming more and more apparent.  My significant other and I have always held to a strict “pack light and be ready to leave very, very quickly” philosophy, so a complimentary bag to our main pack needed to be extremely light and extremely useful.

The Patagonia Lightweight Travel Courier (LWT Courier) is the swiss army knife in my “bag” of tricks.  It is now my daily go-to, my nimble messenger, and the versatile piece in my travel kit.

My main bag is the universally lauded  GORUCK GR1, which handles all of the daily heavy lifting, my short-term travel, and the occasional GORUCK challenge.  When I don’t need to carry a Macbook Pro and gear, a weekend to weeks worth of clothes, a full set of bug-out equiment, or 6 bricks plus water and gear, the LWT Courier meets all of my remaining needs.

Folding to the size of a very thin paperback and weighing half of that, the LWT Courier stores into itself and sneaks into any of my larger bags (the GR1, a Patagonia MLC, an Arc Teryx Bora 80 & 40, or a Granite Gear Vapor Trail ).  It provides me with the ability to carry a large pack to my destination, leave my main bag at a secure site, and travel light and fast to a local clinic, hospital or other destination.

Fully deployed, the bag has enough space to hold my reasonable daily needs- a rain shell, a down insulating layer, a scarf, an iPad and apple bluetooth keyboard, a stethoscope, glasses and those other small items I need to have on me for most reasonable situations like an iPad/iPhone and micro usb chargers, USB keys, backup battery, a tripod and [Glif]( for my iPhone, a small multitool protein bars, and of course- gum.  This does not leave the bag over-stuffed or strained, and there is always room to spare if I pick up additional items.  The material is very thin, so the iPad needs to live in another case to protect it from signficant drops and bumps.  

There is an easily accesible zippered internal pocket to place small items securely, and that also serves as a pouch to stow the bag when not in use.   On the front of the bag there is an outside zippered pouch for fast-grab items that don’t need to be so securely stored.  Finally, there are two elastic pouches on the sides that easily store small thermoses and water bottles or other items like protein bars, etc., and close completely flat and tight to the bag when not in use.      

This size is ideal for my daily needs- if I am going to the hospital for the day, running errands or visiting people around town it is the perfect bag on its own.  When I go to my clinic or take an overnight call in the hospital, I need to bring my Macbook Pro for charting, my diagnositc set, clothes, and food for the day. In that case I place the Travel Courier into my bag fully loaded without any difficulty, and I have all of my daily items readily accessible and without needing to unload/reload every other day.

The bag travels comfortably as a standard messenger-style bag.  I have read there were issues with the grip of the strap on previous models, but the latest version (as of mid 2011) rides perfectly and gives me no trouble regardless of the material of my jacket or clothing.  The messenger-style makes it easy to carry if I’m already wearing a traditional backpack-style pack and the need arises to wear both at once.  This wouldn’t be as easy if the Travel Courier was a backpack.

The material is a ripstop nylon with double reinforcement on the bottom.  I have used this particular bag heavily for nearly a year and it shows no signs of wear.  Even if it did however, the bag is backed by Patagonia’s [Iron Clad guarantee]( which gives me confidence as the customer service at Patagonia is among the best I have ever encountered.  My bag is black and I think it has a really nice look given the material.  The colors available vary season to season.

For the price and the utility, the Patagonia Travel Courier not only compliments my current needs, it stands alone strongly on its own.  It meets my critera for a daily grab bag, and adds little weight to my main pack when I travel domestically or abroad.  With so much punch in such a little package, this bag truly is Bad Ass.

Patagonia Travel Courier

Volume:  17 liters,  

Dimensions:  15” x 9.5” x 5”

Weight:  207g/ 7.3 oz

Price: $59.00

Color:  varies with season.  Check the Patagonia web site or your local outfitter for availibility.

My Badass Ruitertassen

My name is Elie. I am a Franco-American business school student and a semi-professional photographer. I also teach English to students from poor backgrounds.

I wanted a bag that would hold all my stuff and that would last forever. I finally found the bag of my dreams: the Ruitertassen briefcase. It is made by a Belgian company that has been in business for over eighty years. The bag is totally indestructible. The leather is thick and heavy. The bag is built with rivets and tough stitching. I have seen pictures of these bags after decades of hard use, and they look even better than the new ones.

The bag holds my laptop, books and notebooks, and a small camera.

Bag with contents

My everyday bag: the GORUCK GR Echo

I’m Jon. I work as a full-time web developer for a large investment manager in the UK but I’m also a part-time Royal Navy officer and photography enthusiast. My bag of choice for carting around my daily-use gear is the GORUCK GR Echo.

Before I met the Echo, I had been searching for a long time for a bag that would be versatile enough to meet the demands of my varied lifestyle – I wanted something that would be as at home in the office as it would on the bridge of a warship. In the GR Echo, I believe I’ve found the perfect mix of portability, durability and style.

I actually first heard about GORUCK on this very website so it seems fitting to write about my bag here. The GR Echo is designed to carry just the essentials which is great for me - I have an unfortunate habit of carrying way more kit than I need. The small Echo forces me to be selective and just to bring the items that I know I will need. That said, you can actually fit a great deal into this little bag and the various sections and expansion options (more on that later) allow you to keep it organised.

The GR Echo is made of the same 1000D cordura as all of GORUCK’s product line. This makes it extremely tough and durable, something the makers are clearly very confident of as all of their kit is backed up by their lifetime guarantee. Designed to ride high on your back to ensure comfort even with relatively heavy loads, the Echo is padded in all the right places. The straps are simple but perfectly shaped and extremely well attached and there’s a similarly well built carry handle on top. The fabric used is also highly water-repellent. My Canon 5D Mark II remained completely dry inside the Echo despite the best of Yorkshire’s summer weather. This bag is tough. It feels like it will withstand almost anything.

The front of the bag is characterised by the lack of any kind of branding. Instead, there’s the signature GORUCK velcro rectangle for attaching a patch of your choice and a simple zipped ‘slash’ pocket ideal for storing travel documents or similar. There’s also a couple of rows of MOLLE webbing. Round the back is the laptop/hydration compartment. GORUCK state that the laptop section is capable of holding a MacBook Air or iPad, however I’ve managed to fit a 13-inch MacBook Pro in there without too much trouble. However, the bulkier your laptop, the less comfortable to carry it will be. An iPad or 11-inch MacBook Air is just about perfect.

Inside the main compartment, you’ll find two more rows of MOLLE webbing which I’ve used to attach a small pouch to help me keep small items such as my headphones, wallet and BlackBerry together. There’s also an elasticated mesh pocket which is perfect for a Kindle or iPad as well as two zipped pockets on the front.

To give an idea of how much you can fit into a well-packed GR Echo, below is my usual loadout for the office:

  • Bose on-ear headphones
  • 11-inch MacBook Air
  • LaCie Rugged 1TB hard drive
  • Canon S90 camera
  • Maxpedition EDC organiser (full of every day essentials)
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Wallet
  • BlackBerry Curve (hate it!)
  • iPhone 4 (love it!)
  • Moleskine notebook
  • iPad 2

There’s also normally just enough room for a small Thermos of coffee.

I’ve also used the Echo to carry my Canon 5D Mark II along with a couple of lenses when going on a longer walk than my trusty Billingham bag is comfortable or practical for. This probably isn’t the most protective solution, but it works well enough, provided you don’t throw the bag down when you get to your destination!

The GORUCK GR Echo is built to be abused. It gets better looking the more worn it gets. The build quality is bulletproof and the styling is minimal and understated. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that this bag is badass.

My Bag : Porter Shoulder Bag

I’m Justin from China now in London.


I’ve got several bags in my room : weekend / backpack / shoulder … you name it . My badass bag is a shoulder bag , a crossover product by Porter (a Japanese bag manufacturer) and Monocle ( a London based magazine) , which made in Japan with a low-key look. I have to say I’m quite picky when comes to should bag since I almost use it everyday , ideally :

The size should be not too big ( big shoulder bag is weird and uncomfortable while walking or cycling ) but big enough to hold my 13 inch MacBook Pro ( occasionally I need to carry it ) 

The look and design should be simple ( better comes with pure black ) and functional , for shoulder bag means easy to drop/separate/grab stuffs as fast as I can. ( explains itself in pics )

And of course quality is always as important as all these above. I don’t like full leather bags coz they all look expensive and are expensive. ( Don’t mention the annoying leather care&maintain part ) 

I was thrilled this bag just happens to meet all my requirements , it’s like “The Bag” to me from all the bags I got. Though crossover products are usually not cheap, considering the “tailor-made” quality and polish outlook , the two brands managed to put their characters in it.

Official Site

My Spok Eingangrad Special Edition

Guten Tag, my name is Christian Krämer, I am in logistics at day time and a mountain bike race promoter by night. My bag is made by my friend Kera who produces some bags under the Spok Brand when ever she is bored in wonderful Bavaria. So it is pretty sure to say she is out of business when it comes to bags. A set of three Eingangrad Bags were made. Most of Kera’s other bags were donated by her for different Singlespeed Bike Races all over Europe.

I have to say I hate carry stuff around in a shoulder bag and it is no exception with this one. But when on a business trip backpacks look a little out of place - at least in my world. 

This bag is badass because it was made for me - plus two of my friends - and because it holds a lot of stuff. Sometimes I carry another shoulder bag from Booq inside this one when I expect a bigger abuse and need a piece of soap and a pair of socks on the trip.

Because of the fact that I tend to lose everything when I am on the road I keep the real important stuff (passport and credit card) somewhere close to my body and try not to bring too much stuff with me. The Rotring pen I lost three times already but it always finds its way back to me someway or the other

Here is what I put inside when I go on the road, the red purse that says First Aid in German carries all the stuff I usually lose or forget in hotel rooms - Apple made 2% of their revenue in 2010 with the power adapters I left all over the place (why are they so expensive anyway??)

… no I didn’t travel with those bottles.

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