“I have a big appetite for adventure.”
Gator Carry On Bag
In stock orders ship same day if received by 4:00 PM Mountain Standard Time!
Behold! The Gator.
A compact carry-on bag with a big appetite.
As seen in Men's Journal Gear Lab "Best Weekend Tote", summer 2015 issue. You can read up on how others have used this multi-purpose weekend carry-on tote bag, but we're sure you'll think up something new. Just like its hungry animal namesake, this tough-skinned beauty will swallow up everything you need for travel. Ideal as an compact airline carry-on and easily classified as a personal item, a shooting range bag, SLR camera tote bag, "macho" diaper bag duty in disguise, C-pap bag, or take it to work with a packed lunch; you get the picture.
WHAT ABOUT POCKETS?
Secure your delicate equipment in the Gator's rigid-formed, shock-resistant padded main compartment. No need to carry separate hydration, the Gator features dual elastic beverage end pockets that will hold small to medium water bottles (bottles taller than six to eight inches tend to not be as secure and may fall out!).
The expandable gusseted side pockets help you to keep track of your gadgets like cell phones, iPods, sunglasses, wallet, and more. These stylish side pockets feature the exclusive ROOFLS -- "Red Oxx One Finger Loop Snap" closures which utilize our Mil-Spec stainless steel snaps and thoughtfully designed thumb loops that make closing these handy pockets a "snap." ROOFLS allows one-handed snapping closure. Simply slip a finger into the loop under the snap post and use your thumb to press the post in place. ROOFLS is a clever solution that prevents crushing items (like your precious spendy sunglasses) under the snaps. Don't tell anyone, but behind each gusseted side pocket is a secret hidden flat slip pocket for that little extra bit of storage.
Inside the Gator carryall bag, there's a full-length stiff mesh divider with four slots for pens and pencils and two mesh pockets. This divider is sewn down to snugly secure your iPad or Tablet when the pocket is snapped shut. Located on the back exterior is another full-length zippered pocket. Our 4lb. Volara closed cell firm foam padding envelopes the bag in the front, bottom, and back, protecting your precious contents from abuse, damage and moisture.
A COMPACT CARRY-ON TOTE BAG BUILT LIKE A TANK?
When you read up on our customer reviews, you'll learn our customers like to define our gear as "built like a tank". While obviously you're not going to be toting around personal items that weigh 50 tons and have three inches of armor plate, for what it's worth, the comparison is valid. For a personal item bag, like their wildlife namesake, Gators are built tough. Starting with one of the most durable textile materials available, 1000 weight CORDURA® nylon, we use a proprietary super strong UV resistant thread that is stitched into every seam.
BOUND AND BAGGED.
Places where two separate pieces of fabric are stitched together are then bound, that is, we take a long piece of one inch wide nylon webbing and fold it over the edges of the two pieces and stitch them together; this creates a strong seam, or binding, that prevents the pieces from unraveling on the inside of the bag, or gives it a clean finished look if on the outside of the bag, such as along the gusseted pocket lids on the Gator.
These types of outside edges are bound using a thicker binding material. Inside edges typically receive the thinner nylon webbing, whereas outside corner edges that are exposed to wear will have a thicker nylon binding. All of our binding material is vertically woven to prevent fraying, peeling or splitting that you may commonly see in competitors bags that brag of "binding" their edges.
WHY DOUBLE BOX STITCHING?
Each stress point, such as where the handles attach to the Gator tote, is double box stitched - which is where we get the "double XX" in our name, Red OXX; a stitching practice we adapted from our service as parachute riggers.
MY, WHAT BIG ZIPPERS YOU HAVE!
The reason Red Oxx uses the largest zipper we can afford, the #10 YKK VISLON® zipper, is that they are easily repairable, even in the field; they will hold their place, that is, they "lock"; they are difficult to penetrate, thereby increasing the security of your belongings; they function smoothly in inclement weather and they can be yanked from a variety of angles without losing teeth or becoming separated. Since they're made of vinyl, they will never rust or require lubing.
PUTTING THE HARD IN HARDWARE.
Red Oxx has occasionally been accused of "overdoing" our hardware. But once you've had a cheap piece of plastic hardware break in the middle of a busy intersection, airport or other inconvenient locale dumping your precious belongings all over the ground for all the world to see (and steal), having a heavy-duty nickel-plated or stainless steel D ring or attachment swivel that weighs just a tiny bit more, or might be a little "jingly", is a travel companion's confidence builder and peace-of-mind maker. After all, you want to enjoy your journey as best you can. Why worry about having your tote break down?
A HANDY MULTI-PURPOSE BAG.
The famous fully adjustable Claw Shoulder Strap will not slip. Or carry it with the wraparound handle handclasp. Popular with the demanding business crowd and all the rage with the adventure travel crowd, Gator Weekend Tote Bags are durable companions for many uses: SLR camera tote bags, diaper bags, NetBooks or Tablets, C-pap bags, pistol range, you name it, the Gator will eat it. Consider it your "bag of all trades."
OUT OF STOCK? PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY.
Place your order now to get your Gator on our production schedule. Your bag will then be shipped in under 14 working days. Like retirement, it's worth the wait.
"No Bull" no question's asked Lifetime Warranty.
Designed AND handmade in Billings, Montana USA.
UPS Transit Shipping Time Map.
Witness the birth of your bag and learn about the many steps it takes to handcraft your Gator.
Meet the thundering herd who build your gear with pride.
Online orders will receive an order confirmation email, a UPS tracking information email when your order ships and a product review request follow-up email eight weeks after delivery. In addition, backorders beyond a dozen working days may receive an order follow-up assurance email. During checkout purchasers have the option to opt-out of our other occasional email notifications. Your email address is secure.
Every great tote bag needs cool luggage accessories.
Dimensions: 12"L x 6"W x 9"H
Capacity: 648 cu. inches
Weight: 2.35 lbs
- Dual exterior gusseted pockets: 4.5"W x 7.5"H x 2.5"D (at opening)
- Dual exterior flat slip pockets: 5"W x 7.5"H
- Exterior zippered side flat pocket: 12"W x 6"D
- Twin end elastic bottle pockets: 6"W x 6"W x 4"D (at opening)
- Interior mesh pocket: 12" x 6"
- Interior dual mesh slip pockets: 4"W x 4"D
- Main compartment: 12"L x 6"W x 9"D
Gator Trivia: When Red Oxx President Perry Jones had young children he was embarrassed to appear like he was carrying a diaper bag. After the kids grew out of their diapers, he wanted a decent shooting range bag. The Gator held Perry's pistols, magazines, ammo, ear muffs, safety glasses, gloves and targets. When Jim travelled to Africa, he brought along a Gator as his personal item. The name Gator was selected because an (Alli)Gator is sly and stealthy and can quickly consume large prey, sometimes larger than itself, with it's enormous mouth.
Gator Tote Bag is a Red Oxx "Staff Pick" favorite.
Perfect under-seat aircraft bag
By Eric, Minneapolis, MN, March 22, 2010
I picked up this bag to be used as my personal item in addition to my carry-on bag. I have yet to find an aircraft that won't fit this bag under the seat, including the smaller aisle seats on a 737-300 or CRJ200. This is important because this is the bag that holds everything I cannot easily replace if it got lost, so something that won't be forced to be checked is important.
In the Gator I stuffed: 1 Acer Timeline 1810T (11.6" notebook) in neoprene protective sleeve, Garmin GPS in hard-shell case with car traffic/power adapter, Canon Powershot camera in hard shell case with battery charger and extra battery, Sennheiser noise canceling headphones in case, and a dry toiletries kit that also holds my prescription meds. In the organizer I have a Fisher space pen, an LED pen light, 2 USB to microUSB cables, spare Ethernet cable, MP3 player, and an AC to USB power adapter.
The space behind the organizer was great for storing my game tickets in a nice safe place. The front pockets were used to hold my AC adapter for my notebook and Garmin portable friction mount for the GPS. The elastic pouches on the ends were great for holding a small adapter cube for turning 1 outlet into 3 (great for sharing power at the airport) and a pair of sunglasses in a hard case. The snap-clasp handles were really great because I was able to roll up my polar fleece light jacket and wrap the handles around it so I didn't have to carry it around separately once at the airport.
This bag isn't big on features, but every one one of them is useful. The foam that gives the bag some padding also helps it maintain its shape which makes packing the bag a breeze. My only gripe (and the reason for removing 1 star) is that I wish the D-rings for the shoulder strap were mounted higher -- when the bag gets loaded on one side the position of the D-rings becomes a pivot point and the bag will tilt or even invert as you pick it up by the strap. This is a minor gripe because it's only a problem if you pick the bag up without the main zipper closed, and once the bag is resting against your side it becomes a non-issue.
Incredibly versatile 'take-anywhere' bag
By Ramon, West Chester, OH, February 23, 2010
A truly multi-purpose carry-on bag. Quality and workmanship is first class. Love the olive color and the contrasting black top, hand strap and front pockets. The front gusseted pocket are handy for keeping the smaller items organized. The back pockets help keeps paperwork flat and documents secure. The detail of providing 4-pen holders that are large enough to accommodate even markers and a lens brush, and the two secret pocket behind the front pockets are just another tribute to how this bag was well thought out and designed. The end pockets are great to have for a bottled water at one end and my mobile on the other. The shoulder strap is incredibly non-slip and comfortable This bag easily holds my Macbook (a pleasant surprise), an slr, a P&S, rangefinder and a number of camera accessories, voice recorder, power cords, batteries and charges, etc. Although I originally planned on using this for travel to Europe and Asia, I have now ended up using it very day. No doubt it will hold travel guide-books or just pages out of those guides as I do to keep the weight down. It can really hold a lot of stuff. This terrific bag is well worth its price. And it's made in USA. Thanks Red Oxx.
My favorite RedOxx product
By Gary Fischman, Northern NJ, February 22, 2010
I've used my Gator for several trips - Tanzania, Costa Rica, Palm Beach, and a few other trips. It is the perfect sized carry on. I generally use it for my camera gear, docs, a book, glasses, sunglasses, and a few other odds and ends. I only have 1 suggestion to make it better: A snap in the center of the interior mesh pocket to hold it against the side so it doesn't bulge into the compartment, forcing me to have to put my hand in there to move it out of the way when I put in my camera. Otherwise, its ideal!
By Parrot Head, Denver, CO, February 15, 2010
Just got back from a 2-day business trip to Sacramento.
I decided to travel as light as I could and took my Gator as my main bag and my Lil Roy as my carry on.
The Gator held one pair of pants, 2 shirts, pajamas, socks, underwear and a small dop kit.
The Lil Roy holds so much more than you'd think: Moleskine notebook, Kindle, camera and charger, and iPhone and headphones.
I breezed through the airports. It's amazing how many business travelers still lug wheeled bags - no thanks!
You CAN travel much lighter than you think - try it sometime!
By Dan, Medford, MA, February 11, 2010
As everyone says, this is a well-made bag. I'm returning it because it's just more than I need for a simple shoulder bag that can carry a book, a bottle, and a point-and-shoot camera on board. The extra bulk, separate pockets, etc. are more suited, imho, to an SLR camera and just more *stuff*, which (as a recovering packrat) I'm trying to avoid. A simpler, more compact (or flatter) bag would be a nice Red Oxx addition.
Red Oxx Replies: "Hi Dan, Try our Chica. Much lighter, flatter and sized for your needs.
By Christian, Edenton, NC, January 21, 2010
I bought the Gator as a camera bag for a digital SLR and it worked out perfectly. The camera with a 55-220mm lens and lens hood attached fits nicely with room for the spare 18-55mm lens beside. The padding provides nice protection and keeps the bag's shape when open for easy access to contents. The inside pockets are great for lens filters and other accessories and there is plenty of room in the outside pockets. The only issue is figuring out what to do with all the extra room. So far, the camera bag has pulled double duty as a diaper bag, a picnic basket and a carry-on and has performed very well. I can't speak to its durability yet as I just got the bag, but both of the eight year old safari beanos have yet to show any signs of wear. I suspect the camera will wear out long before the Gator will.
By Mike, Indiana, January 13, 2010
Since I discuss both the Air Boss and the Gator in this review, I am going to post this review in both sections.
I purchased the Air Boss several years ago and a Lil Roy to hold my electronic components in the middle compartment of the Air Boss. As I said in an earlier review, the Air Boss is a great bag.
I am a big proponent of "one bag" travel; however, I have the following minor issues with true one bag travel that have caused me to carry a smaller "personal item" bag along with the Air Boss. It also caused me to buy a Gator.
First, when I store my electronics, reading materials, etc., in the Air Boss it sometimes makes the bag heavier than I want and more difficult to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane, especially smaller planes. Second, when getting on a plane, I don't like standing in the aisle, delaying those behind me, while pulling those things I need for the flight out of the Air Boss before storing it. Inevitably, in my haste to get out of the way I forget something and then have to retrieve it later, normally having to wait until the fasten seat-belt sign is turned off. It is similarly inconvenient to re-pack when trying to deplane, meaning that I am normally carrying my Air Boss and various personal items (coat, book, water, phone, etc.) individually on my way out of the plane to the gate area before re-packing. Finally, I now travel with a netbook. I have to take it out to go thru security, then re-pack it to go to the gate, then pull it out of the Air Boss along with everything else when getting into my seat for use during the flight and then re-pack it for deplaning. Kind of a pain.
To address these issue, for awhile, I used an old LL Bean briefcase, on which I put a RedOxx claw shoulder strap that I carried as my personal item; but it was too large for what I needed. Hard to find things and the contents kept shifting inside the briefcase. So I decided to try the Gator. It seemed to and in fact does meet my needs.
As before, ordering was a snap and delivery was prompt. Great service.
The Gator is the perfect size for my needs. Now I keep stuff in the Gator that would otherwise be carried in my Air Boss, such as my netbook, ipod, phone, headphones, thumb drive, chargers, reading and writing materials, water and food. I keep a Lil Roy in the Gator to store cords, etc. Works great. When getting on a plane, I put the Gator containing all my flight needs on my seat while storing the Air Boss above. Quick and no worries. The Gator then stores easily under the seat in front of me with room for my feet. I have everything I need at my fingertips. Perfect.
The Gator is small enough that it doesn't get too heavy and is easy to carry; and my Air Boss is lighter and thinner so it is also easier to carry and store. For me, the lighter Air Boss and Gator together are a perfect fit for "one bag" traveling even tho I'm using two bags. The key is not to over-pack either bag.
Finally, I have been using the Gator as my briefcase on a daily basis. My only problem is that every time I look at it the Gator I keep thinking, "Hmm, what is the next fun trip I can take to use my RedOxx bags again?" It makes concentrating for the rest of the day much more difficult.
Thanks for your fantastic products
By Matalin Hatchard, New Zealand, December 30, 2009
I'm writing after my recent purchase of the Gator Bag. I came across you products purely by chance, through a full page write up on your Air Boss bag in New Zealand Urbis Design magazine. As a world traveller/nomad all my life I have been through many many many bags, with a number lasting just one world trip. The fact that no holds barred rock solid, lifetime durability was being tackled was an exciting concept, most other crap out there make stuff to a price point and expect the end user to just keep buying the same thing every year when it breaks.
Kudos to Redoxx for stepping out of that mold and building a product you can be proud of, and stand by it's quality for a lifetime.
To say I didn't REALLY need a bag would be an understatement - I have a $600.00 top of the line hiking backpack, a suitcase, a big gym style carry all, a padded lap/backpack (durable mountain designs one, but poor design concept for maximising use) and a leather briefcase/satchel. Also a brand new domke F-5XB camera bag that is being shipped as we speak.
So it took a lot for me to go ahead and purchase. I read all the reviews of all your bags, compared specs, tried to think what combination would last me a lifetime, and what the practical implications were in the choices... But what it came down to was this: your bags are the most bad-ass quality and well thought out practical designs I've ever come across. I could not say no, even when the Gator's price to ship to New Zealand increases 50% with shipping.... So my un-used Domke bag I special ordered from the states will be onsold online, and I look forward with anticipation to receiving and using the Gator to within an inch of its life and then some..
PLUS the only reason I didn't buy my main bag at the same time was making a choice between:
Air Boss, Sky Train & Sun Chaser
So hard to choose, but one of them will be my next purchase. The only hard factor is the more limiting carry on restrictions of air travel in the southern hemisphere...
Thank you for stepping up and providing a product that is built to be loved, and used for more than a year, and for more than one generation!!
By Dave, Arlington VA, December 7, 2009
This is great niche bag. I recently used it and a SkyTrain for a 6-day trip to Germany. For the first time in years I passed on the usual Tumi 22" rollaboard suiter and a Scott Leather flight kit bag since this was not a business trip. No laptop or files, just an iPaq210 and Blackberry.
The Gator worked well, taking all my electronics plus a book, Clif bars, Bose QCs, iPod, the 1Q (TSA) liquid/gel bag, Levenger pocket briefcase, and a few clear file folders for documents, and a lot more. The thing stands upright due to the padding and doesn't broadcast "laptop inside," a plus in some parts of Europe.
It's also great for getting to work here in DC: either driving or on the Metro - it won't handle a big leather zip folio or something similar but takes file folders and a sandwich and then some.
I use the front pockets for a Brooks Bros pocket calendar and other accessories and they are secure.
I have used it as a bike bag a couple of times with a jerry-rigged chest strap (3/4" fastex strap from REI) and rides just fine.
My tip of the day is that I use the Platypus soft water bottles on the road. They fold flat when empty - then once I'm thru security I fill up in the Admirals Club where they have free bottled water, so I'm set if in coach and its a hassle getting hydrated...
By Anonymous, Washington, DC, December 3, 2009
A work colleague and fellow commuter with a Gator recommended the bag and it is proving to be great for commuting via public transit. With the design of the pockets, I can get everything I need without looking, much less fumbling, and the non-slip shoulder strap means I can be hands free while walking or standing. The semi-rigid structure of the main compartment is a big plus this way as well.
I think the color options are good--I went with Amethyst. I'm petite, so the bag is a really good size for my frame. I'd tried totes, briefs, messenger bags, but they either didn't have enough structure or were too bulky or didn't have good pocket configuration or didn't have a shoulder strap. Gator is a great bag for my commuting needs and I'm looking forward to using it for other applications.
By Mike, Jackson's Hole, December 3, 2009
I have a Metro which I use for trips where I have to carry both large laptop and extensive written materials. I wanted a smaller bag to limit carryon weight, but needed to fit a Dell E4300, which measures 12.2 x 8.6" - and this is the perfect fit. As others have mentioned, its measured size is deceptive and the capacity is greater than expected. I carry the laptop, power supply (which fits nicely in one of the water bottle pockets - no umbrellas in Wyoming - and I use a Li'l Roy inside the main compartment as a compressible organizer/declutter bag for chargers and other electronic stuff, with significant room to spare. The built-in foam padding on bottom and sides is just enough for peace of mind as long as you're not careless. Great bag.
By Walter Sereth, Los Angeles, CA, November 28, 2009
Bought the Gator bag to carry my clarinet (in its case) and related items, but it proved too snugl to do the job. However, it's now holding 'Gertrude", our Garmin c340, for which it works beautifully.
The Gator Bag is beautifully made (as usual), and should last at least as long as we do.
By Anna G, Oklahoma, November 28, 2009
Wow! $105 is a steal for this bag. I'm currently using it as a diaper bag for my 2 month old. It fits everything: cloth diapers, diaper covers, wipes, extra clothes, pacifiers, a thick changing pad...and I can organize all of my belongings (keys, wallet, lotion, phone and other essentials) in the outer pockets for easy access. Because the Gator is padded it doesn't collapse on me when I take out items to change the baby or pack up (essential when you only have one free hand). I stash snack bars and a Klean Kanteen in the side water bottle pockets. I would never want to spend money on one of those bulky plastic diaper bags I see other moms with. This bag is going to last me forever, and will be great for travel once the little one has grown. Seriously, this bag is amazing. My husband loves using it too. We're just looking for excuses to buy more Red Oxx bags these days!
By Don Koue, Oakland CA, October 27, 2009
The Gator is a wonderful utility bag. It truly holds an amazing amount of stuff. However, therein lies a slight problem: if you don't have a lot of stuff, it can seem a bit bulky. I wish there was a built in way to compress the bottom, closed by a zipper or Velcro, so that I could slim it down when I don't need all that space. It has a fold and can compress, but doesn't want to. My own solution is to use a bungee cord to compress it, but it would better if something was built in.
After one year of use in Iraq
By Vinson A., Iraq....all over, August 11, 2009
I have been using my Gator in Iraq for over a year now. This is, without a doubt, my go-to bag for everything. I have used it for travel (perfect carry on size--my macbook just barely fits inside and leaves plenty of room for my ipod, a book, wallet, and Bose earphone case), for a camera bag (again perfect) and also for an ammo bag for range time. The bag looks EXACTLY as it did one year ago and has taken these months of abuse without any sign sign of wear. I love the shoulder strap, it never slides off. I often carry a number of bags at once and wear body armor at the same time...the Gator stays on my shoulder and at my side where I can easily gain access to everything I need.
I have also had literally dozens of people comment on the bag and I direct them all to the website. This bag (like all red-oxx products) is a great fit for any civilian contractor or Embassy employee in Iraq or Afghanistan. Durable enough for the real work in the desert, but easily cleans up and dresses back up for meetings with Embassy and Military officials and the return trip back to the States.
All in all, probably the best purchase I have made in the last few years. Thanks redoxx!
By John Freiling, Georiga, June 10, 2009
I would have liked it to be just a little larger. Just an inch or two so my lap top would fit in it."The Red Oxx Metro Briefcase is designed for Laptops the Gator is more of a camera and gear bag."Team Red Oxx
Holds More than Similar Messenger Bag
By Michael W., San Francisco CA, June 3, 2009
While waiting for my replacement Gator, I turned to a bike messenger bag from Timbuk2. I have this in the "small" size which is actually pretty big as a personal bag, measuring as follows:
Bottom panel, left to right, 12"; top flap, left to right 14.5"; 9.75" deep (from bottom panel to "rim" of bag; 5.25" thick (front to back at BOTTOM panel, thicker at the top).
That compares to 12x6x9 for the simply rectangular Gator.
In other words, the bike messenger bag, as spec'd on their website and confirmed by me with a ruler, matches, or is larger than, the Gator in all measurements except thickness at the bottom (the "mouth" widens out, so that at the top the messenger bag is thicker).
So here I am, this morning , contemplating the seemingly impossible task of transferring the stuffed messenger bag contents to the much more modestly spec'd Gator and figuring the stuff won't fit.
Next thing I know, everything is in the Gator WITH LOTS OF ROOM LEFT OVER in the main compartment, and I haven't even begun to stuff the exterior pockets with small items (which are still at home in my luggage from my trip to Thailand, I couldn't make room for them in the messenger bag).
I am tempted to pull the ruler out to make sure Red Oxx hasn't "under" spec'd the Gator so it will hold more. But I'd rather live in happy denial, if it even is denial, since others have measured Red Oxx products before and confirmed Red Oxx's accuracy.
The Gator is simply the most efficient packaging on the market. Square (rectangular) works.
And since Red Oxx apparently doesn't count the exterior pockets towards the volume, as certain other - cough, Patagonia, cough - bag makers do, what they say you get is what you get. Plus maybe a little more.
I like underpromising and overdelivering.
Noticed one change, or variation, on this sample compared to my last Gator.
The snap pocket pouches aren't as "tight" to the wall of the bag as before, meaning it's easier to slide slim items, like boarding passes, into that slot. Also a LOT easier to retrieve things (think: fingers can be shoved down into the slot now, sort of,). While you won't mistake the tall thin slot for a cell phone pocket, it is more usable now. Albeit not as "secret" as before (before it was easy to overlook the slot).
I no longer dismiss the comments of other reviewers that the Gator is a "bottomless pit" as mere hyperbole. Hyperbole yes - but also pointing to a truth, that Red Oxx quotes conservative volumes (actual interior, pockets excluded) and efficiently configures its bags for maximum utility.
And oh yeah, while you can "overpack" a bike messenger bag, the top hand straps on the Gator ALSO allow for some creative overpacking, or convenience packing (arriving at a hot destination?), such as showing a light jacket under the handles on top of the bag top.
My Best Daily/Travel Bag Ever!
By Michael W., San Francisco, CA, USA, May 28, 2009
I did a longer article/review on the Gator here: http://www.redoxx.com/articles/Gator-trains-for-jiu-jitsu-in-Bangkok-Thailand.html and wanted to add some follow-up comments.
First, the Gator has become my daily carry bag in lieu of a briefcase or small daypack.
Second, the Gator is my "go-to" flight and travel bag despite its possibly one "flaw" (see below!).
Third, I had to order a second Gator because my wife's niece got "big eyes" when she saw my black Gator, and wanted it for herself! (So I guess the "ruggedness" of the Gator is not off-putting to an ultra-fem, "high-so" 18 y.o. Thai woman.)
OK, for the Gator to become my daily carry bag is quite exceptional - not because the Gator isn't a great bag for that purpose, but because my USUAL habit on "pricey-but-nice" luxury items is to stow them in the closet where I can admire them in their pristine newness, and never take them out. Yeah, I'm that kind of shopper, with lots of new, magpie-appealing goodies tucked in my closets. Stuff that's just "too good" to subject to the wear and tear of actual daily use. "Closet queens," to use a shotgunner's term.
How did I get over my OCD with respect to the Gator? Well, I was thinking of submitting a guest review on it over at Practical Hacks and, as a result, had to give it a real work out in daily use, not just for travel. And after I'd used it for a week, I just didn't want to give it up. In a few words, the darn thing just "organizes" too well, much better than a bike messenger bag, daypack, briefcase. Someone at Red Oxx must actually use these bags and has figured out how to add the right blend of pockets and flaps and compartments that actually WORK in real life situations. Even the water bottle pouches on the ends get put into use - not for water bottles, they are a little short for that, but for nail clippers, moleskin, a mouthpiece for boxing/jiu jitsu, a pocket knife, a Fisher Space Pen. (My water bottle fits nicely inside the Gator.)Now the Gator obviously works well for travel - it is the quintessential "flight bag" and easily passes as a "personal item," even on nasty transpacific flights where the ticket counter agents can be real disciplinarians (like weighing carryons to make sure they are under 15 pounds). But my one gripe about the Gator is its "empty bag weight" of 2.35 pounds. Not a lot, by bag standards, unless you are an ultralight hiker like I am, always on the hunt for sub-16 ounce solutions.
So I trial packed a couple of alternative bags for use as my "peronal item" on a recent flight back to Bangkok to take my family to the beach and spend half a week doing judo and jiu jitsu over there.
The first alternative was the Market Tote from Red Oxx. Just a big grocery sack, but built like a Sherman Tank. I figured a "tote" would easily pass muster as a personal item. Sure enough, the darn thing held even more than the Gator, and carried relatively well on my shoulder (the straps are long enough for shoulder carry), but provided no organization at all, plus my stuff was at risk of spilling out the open top of the tote. So stash that and use it for groceries, the gym, the beach.
Next I tried using a Flash 18, a non-padded, 1,000 cubic inch or so "peak bag" or top loading knapsack from REI. This is only about 12 ounces (incredibly light, most packs with this capacity weigh more than the Gator), and a lot larger than the Gator (1,000 vs. 654 or so c.i.), but despite the better capacity specs, I had trouble fitting all the stuff from the Gator into the knapsack, and it was really frustrating trying to dig down to the bottom of the top-loading, tubular sack to find stuff I needed. I had to use a ton of small ditty bags to suborganize, something not required by the Gator, which already has pouches, and then unload stuff to find what I was looking for. Not so with the Gator.
Despite the negatives, I was on the verge of giving the knapsack alternative a try, until I decided to take along my new, 2.5 pound or so netbook. The netbook fit fine into the Gator, but was much hard to squeeze into the knapsack. More telling was trying to pull the netbook out and reinsert it, as I would have to do through security - the netbook came out, and went back into, the Gator easily, while with the knapsack it was a major struggle, something I wouldn't want to deal with in a real security line. Also, the knapsack had no padding, which meant I had to come up with padding options, while the Gator is amply padded to begin with.
So I decided that, yeah, while the Gator is a little heavier than a plain nylon sack, it rewards the extra investment in weight with a MUCH higher level of functionality than a featureless sack. And with the well-designed shoulder strap that comes with the Gator, the weight isn't too much to carry - even when the Gator is loaded up with water bottles refilled post-security, the netbook, and old-fashioned printed books (hint: take the heavy items out of the carryon, which will be weighed, and put them in the Gator, which looks so innocuous I have never been asked to weight it).
The fact that the Gator appealed to a fashion savy Bangkok teen who wants to look smart going to the gym or on holiday to the beaches or to stay overnight at friends' houses, was just icing on the cake.
And oh yeah, I had to make the return trip without the Gator, since I had given it away, so I was forced to use a tote bag on the way home, and it was so frustrating trying to find stuff on the flight, that I just gave up and shoved it in the overhead bin, and suffered the flight back home without ready access to my travel comfort items. Serves me right!BTW, in daily use, the Gator handles my mail just fine. It won't take an 8.5x11 sheet of papers without folding in half, but most of the paper I shuttle back and forth is mail, not folders.
And I really love the self-locking zippers. They absolutely, positively won't open unless to tug on the zipper pull. No accidental openings here, unlike one day pack whose maker I won't mention.
Nice Roomy Laptop Bag ... IF
By Ron Jeffries, Michigan, April 25, 2009
Purchased this as bag for carrying laptop plus lots of junk for courses and similar outings. My laptop, a Toshiba M-400, just /barely/ fits, so it is a perfect little bag for me. The next size up would be needed for a larger laptop ... and that looks to be way too big.
I like this one ... and would really like to see something a bit more focused on the laptop user's needs.
----------Red Oxx Replies: Thanks for the great review but this is not a "laptop bag". The Gator was designed for miscellaneous electronic equipment, DSLR cameras and shooting accessories. Changing dimensions of this product will totally skew its design make it less suitable for "personal item carry on". Red Oxx seeks to build items that fit a broad range of uses. The Metro Briefcase is designed for laptops. Cheers, Red Oxx
By Kimberly, Arlington, VA, April 15, 2009
I have never posted a review for a product I've purchased, but this bag warrants the kudos. I bought the Gator about two months ago, and use it every day as my primary gear bag for work. This bag has an amazing amount of space inside. I typically carry pens, a flashlight, books, a wallet, and my lunch and there is tons of extra space. I love the dual elastic pouches on either end; I bring a coffee container and water bottle every day. The bag is extremely durable, and the strap is very comfortable. The exterior zipper pouch is excellent for documents that need to be safeguarded. I love the two matching pockets on the exterior; I have two cell phones that fit perfectly. I recently traveled internationally with this bag and it completely fulfilled my expectations. I was able to pack all my essential travel items, with plenty of room, and the bag fit perfectly in both the overhead compartment on the plane and under the seat. This is not my first purchase from Red Oxx, and definitely won't be my last. The Gator is consistent with my other purchases with regard to durability, form and utility. I highly recommend this product.
- "No Bull" Lifetime Warranty
- Designed AND hand made in Billings, Montana U.S.A.
- Fabric: 1000 weight urethane coated, Dupont certified CORDURA® Nylon
- Weather resistant (NOT waterproof)
- 400 weight denier soft red nylon lining
- Detachable Claw no-slip adjustable shoulder strap
- All zippers #10 YKK VISLON® self-locking
- Nylon webbing zipper pull grab loops
- Thread: #92 bonded Solar Max Nylon
- All seams double stitched and bound
- Double box stitched seams on all stress points
- 3250 welded D-rings, nickel plated
- Stainless steel Mil-Spec snaps with Red Oxx logo
- Wraparound handclasp with Mil-Spec snaps
- Fair trade Monkey Fist Zip Knots on all zippers
- Free heavy-duty vinyl luggage tag
- Embroidered Logo Patches
- Double box stitching on stress points such as carry handles
- 4 lb. Volara closed cell foam padding
- Includes Cable Lock
- Available in 12 vibrant colors
- U.S.A. Dimensions: 12"L x 6"W x 9"H
- Metric Dimensions: 30.5cm L x 15.2cm W x 22.9cm H
- U.S.A. Capacity: 648 Cubic Inches
- Metric Capacity: 10.6 Liters
- U.S.A. Weight: 2.35 Pounds
- Metric Weight: 1.07 Kilos
Gator Carry-on Bag Color Translator
- Amethyst = Purple
- Bordeaux = Dark Red
- Coal = Gray
- Forest = Green
- Khaki = Tan
- Mariner = Blue
- Midnight = Dark Blue
- Olive = Military Green
- Saffron = Yellow
- Safari = 1940s Olive Drab
Keep in mind: Colors on your monitor will vary from the actual color of the fabric. The only way to accurately gauge a color is to request a swatch.
If out of stock, back orders are typically filled within 14 working days. Visit our Customer Service Help Desk or call our Toll Free Hot Line: 1-888-733-6999.
Red Oxx "No Bull" Warranty
As time rolls a ceaseless course, only the genuine guarantee remains. The mountains will persist, the oceans are bound to endure and Red Oxx will continue to be rugged, reliable, and tough.
To the depths of the Amazon basin to the peaks of the Himilayas, Red Oxx Manufacturing is infallible.
Red Oxx Bags are guaranteed forever, be sure to include them in your will.
Made in U.S.A.
Red Oxx Bags are handcrafted in Billings, Montana. U.S.A.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will a Gator meet the airline's personal item standards?
Yes, and you can fit the bag under the seat, too.
Will my laptop fit in the middle compartment?
Most netbooks, iPads, Tablets and "mini" laptops will fit with room to spare, but probably not a full size laptop (17" plus).
Will my work files fit inside?
If you want a briefcase that will hold your files and a laptop, look into our Briefcase line, specifically the Metro
and the wider CPA
Can the Gator double as an SLR camera bag?
Yes, the Gator makes for a perfect SLR camera bag due to it's generous, yet practical size, its full wrap around padding and handy pockets.
What are the differences between the Gator and the Metro and / or CPA?
The Metro and CPA are specifically designed to be laptop business briefcases, whereas the Gator is more of a general multipurpose day bag.
Will the iPad, iPad II or most other Tablets fit inside?
Yes, the Gator makes an ideal Tablet bag. Tablets will tuck nicely into the interior flat panel pocket and are protected by the bag's padding.
Will the Gator compact carry-on fit into the Air Boss central compartment?
We don't recommend inserting the Gator into the Air Boss. The results would be too bulky.
Are there any interior pockets?
It has one flat panel pocket with pouches for smaller items and writing instruments.
Can I fit my C-pap machine inside?
The Gator is an ideal C-pap bag.
My zipper broke. The teeth have separated. Do I send it in for warranty repair?
No need for warranty repair, fix it yourself. Check out this video where CEO Jim Markel shows how easy it is to do it yourself.
Is there a way to securely lock my bag?
Sure, you can use any TSA approved bag lock
or try our Cable Lock
for a simple, semi-secure solution. Watch this video where CEO Jim Markel demonstrates how you can use the cable that comes with the product Dog Tag
price tag to secure your bag
. Keep in mind, any determined thief can still cut open a soft sided bag with a sharp knife.
Can you ship USPS?
Yes, Red Oxx will ship USPS upon request. Simply state, "Please ship USPS" in the cart comments during checkout and we will adjust your billing accordingly.