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What is an EDC Bag and Why You Need One

The world is filled with acronyms.

From a government peppered with ABC departments and a military fond of the language process, some might argue it makes language simpler, but if you don’t know the meaning of the acronym, then it’s not that simple.

In the bag industry the acronym EDC refers to Every Day Carry. A subset of tactical survivalists coined the term to label all the things they carried in their pockets or on their person that they felt were required to survive the apocalypse.

The EDC Bag in History

In a sense, an EDC bag has been with man since he stood upright on the African savanna and needed something to stuff those rock tools and fire making flints in after discovering fire. It was vital he carried a bone or stone weapon at all times. So something to hold other important items kept one hand free to defend himself or carry a child.

We know early man had versions of an EDC bag from the famous Otzi the Iceman and his animal skin pouch that had tools and grains of food in it. The archeological record is peppered with hieroglyphs of figures carrying some sort of sack.

Over the centuries people gravitated towards a bag that could carry the things they needed to survive. This became the satchel, the backpack, the fanny pack, the purse, even bags carried on animals like the saddle bag… and so on.

The EDC Bag in the Modern World

Today, we still carry around an awful lot of stuff, although ironically one item, the cell phone, now seems to cover a lot of former multiple items territory. Efforts are underway to replace your wallet and purse with apps that deliver your money from your phone into devices to receive it when you shop.

The smartphone replaced the camera, the address book, the watch, the flashlight, the calculator, a compass and map, the radio, the TV, and became the source for personal entertainment for bored children.

You still need to put this device somewhere on your person and with skinny pants fashion and it’s useless pockets the way it is, and phone sizes getting ever larger, the Red Oxx Smartcase Smartphone Holster is an ideal solution – your ball-and-chain phone easily at hand, clipped to your belt or to your … EDC Purse!

As bag designers, Red Oxx understands the needs of a variety of lifestyles. Owning a bag to carry your "every day things" in isn’t just about travel, it’s about having a bag at hand to carry things your phone cannot… like a lunch, a hat, gloves, PPE equipment, a drink, and so on.

Red Oxx has developed a number of EDC bags over the years to solve this dilemma. One of our longest living EDC bags is the Gator.

Developed by Red Oxx President Perry Jones as a thinly disguised "manly-man" diaper bag when his son was born, Perry went on to use the Gator at his favorite range to carry ammunition when preparing for hunting season after the boys grew out of diapers.

President Perry helps distribute Little Dresses for Africa, Zimbabwe 2011

CEO Jim Markel has carried his Gator(s) around the world numerous times, safely holding expensive digital cameras across the bumpy roads of Africa, through the steamy jungles of Guatemala, or swaying on the boat around Coco’s Island.

The Gator, recently updated and refined, continues to offer EDC fans a mid-size bag they can haul their stash of every day things in.

Busy Mom’s have found themselves gravitating towards the Maximum Utility Travel Tote, fondly referred to around here as the M.U.T.T.. This zippered-top tote bag started life as a Red Oxx Market Tote and blew up and out from there.

A Busy Mom and Red Oxx Photographer’s daughter eagerly anticipating her next diaper.

The zippered top securely stays closed and affords protection from prying eyes, fingers, and poking pens, and keeps stuff from falling out. Mom’s have adopted it as not only a shopping tote, but a super-duty diaper bag, a hobby storage bag, toy bag, a laptop carrier, and more.

The ladies call this kind of bag their "carry everything bag". One of the herd claimed, "This bag is the Swiss Army knife of personal items."

A Swiss Army Knife is designed to do many things well, and so is the M.U.T.T.. Another said, "I use it as a daily work bag to carry papers/computer/etc.". Like I said… Every. Day. Carry.

From students to mom’s to hikers and more, backpacks and rucksacks have been the quintessential American EDC bag for years. Our Rucksacks, developed from the classic design of the combat tested WWII Paratrooper’s knapsacks feature Mil-Spec hardware, large usable compartments, and are ruggedly handsome.

Our K-12 Kat Pack Backpack make more efficient use of available space due to the rectangular design, as opposed to the flimsy imported tapered backpacks that sadly dominate most campuses. A book bag that might outlast your child’s school career if there ever was one!

A gaggle of backpacks and rucksacks hanging out on the rims in Billings, Montana

Moving down in size, Red Oxx adventured into the wasteland of waist packs and created the world’s most innovative fanny pack.

Meet the Booty Boss. A stylish waist pack that can do more than just hang out around your waist. This sleek concept can be worn several ways: around your waist, front or back, over the shoulder like a sling bag, across the chest, or skip the belt/shoulder strap and cruise around carrying it by hand like a clutch.

The Booty Boss hanging out at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, City of Refuge

Inside this little waist bag, Red Oxx again scores on usable space with the rectangular shape, twin compartments front and back, and a slip pocket and a zippered mesh interior pocket. Naturally our cool Monkey Fist Zip Knots make unzipping the pockets a confident zip – zip vs. struggling to A. find the dang zipper tab, and B. opening or closing said zipper.

You’ll know within a day of using the Booty Boss why it got it’s groovy name.

Another EDC bag with a long history at Red Oxx is the Chica. Born a "Utility Travel Purse" from a request by a former employee, the Chica has adapted as a useful tablet bag, a mini-messenger bag, and even a "survival" bag at the rough and tumble outdoor festival of Burning Man.

Fear not Gentlemen, you may call said Chica your Chico and no one will know the difference. The stylish flap is reminiscent of classic messenger bags, so despite the name Red Oxx assigned to it, the Chica / Chico is certainly unisex and multi-use in nature.

And not to be forgotten, there’s our regular totes, though certainly nothing is regular about them. Good things come in threes and these three Amigos are durably built to satisfy every day shopping needs of most any size from families to singles.

The original Market Tote soldiers on as Red Oxx’s most popular bag year round. The washable nature of the CORDURA® Brand Fabric nylon material allows shoppers to easily hand-wash their totes in the tub, sink or bucket, and hang up to dry Corona and grime-free.

Market Tote too big? Check out the Mezzo Tote. Like a middle child, quietly doing it’s thing in the background, this tote is the single shopper’s daily companion, capable of carrying a 12 pack of beverage, a gallon of milk, and a loaf of bread no problem.

Get the kids in on the grocery fun and give them a Mini Tote. This cute little tote marched to work every day carrying our Minister of Information’s lunch and will handily haul your growler to the brewery incognito.

Gotta have them all? Sure you do, our CFO figured out she could carry all three totes stacked together like a Russian Matryoshka Nesting Doll. One tote inside another. Pretty slick idea.

There you have it. The EDC bag defined. As with all Red Oxx gear, every EDC bag can be had in any one of our 12 vibrant colors, and all come with our unfathomably unbeatable "No Bull" Lifetime Warranty.