A while back I was in the market for a new EDC/laptop pack. I couldn’t stand using the typical Dell laptop case my company supplied so I began the search for a better solution. I work in a corporate environment as a graphic designer so my new pack could not be overtly tactical or covered in PALS webbing. Additionally, I had a few other personal requirements for the pack. It needed to be reasonably priced, rugged, comfortable, versatile, big enough for my large laptop, and a backpack (no slings or courier bags).
My search led me to Tactical Tailor and their Urban Operator Pack. I have other Tactical Tailor bags so I knew their quality was excellent. I bought the black version of the Urban Operator Pack because it struck the right balance between “tactical” and “regular guy.” It still has PALLS webbing on one side along with a couple panels of loop which give you real estate for yourÂ Monderno patches, but in black these features blend in well.
Specs and Features
- Large main compartment with high-visibility orange lining – 18.5″ tall x 12″ wide x 6.25″ deep
- Medium sized front pocket with key keeper and internal organizer – 12.5″ tall x 10.5″ wide x 3″ deep
- Padded laptop pocket (fits laptops up to 17″)
- Contoured, padded shoulder straps, heavy-duty zippers and large carry handle
- 1000 denier Cordura nylon
- Modular webbing on one side for pouch attachment
- Front bungee system for securing lightweight clothing
- Small front accessory pocket
- Zippered, fold out pocket (fits 1 liter NalgeneÂ® style bottles)
- Minimal loop fastener for patches and nametapes
- Total volume: 1,836.75 cu. in.
- MADE IN THE USA
I’ve been using the pack every day for about a year and I really like the design and layout. It offers a lot of flexibility for a mid-sized pack and is very comfortable. The straps have plenty of padding and can be easily adjusted to the perfect fit. On a recent trip, I was amazed at how much I could fit into the bag and still use it as a carry-on. I was able to fit a smaller DSLR camera bag, laptop, power cables, Kindle, headphones, various other cables and paraphernalia I did not want to check. The main pocket expands well to accept large items, but if you don’t fill it, the items inside can jostle around. The front pocket offers generous amounts of storage, but could use some tweaks (more on that later). The back pocket fits my large laptop well and offers great protection.
I do have a few minor quibbles. The bag lacks any sort of plastic or aluminum frame. The laptop in the back pocket rests directly against your back, albeit with a decent amount of padding. If you plan on hiking or walking for long periods of time, it’s a major sweat collector. Another issue I have is the lack of storage for pens, mags, flashlights, and other small items. The front pocket is plenty big, but is lacking in organization. Tactical Tailor does offer a solution in the Admin Pouch Enhanced, but I honestly don’t want to pay another $30+ for it.
Other than a few minor issues, the pack has served me well. For around $90 on Amazon, I feel likeÂ the Urban Operator Pack is a good deal. The price is on par with most lame laptop bags, but offers better construction, more features, and best of all it blends in while giving me what I’m looking for in an EDC pack.