Papa’s got a brand-new, undead-proof European carryall

So iPhone 5S and 5C mania has died down (although someone needs to tell the entrepreneurs on eBay), OS X Mavericks has yet to go gold master, and the new iPads won’t be trotted out in all their magical unicorn glory for at least a couple of weeks yet. Obviously, only one thing will fill this gaping, Mac-news gap: luggage.

Boy howdy, luggage.

As someone who has schlepped a laptop and other assorted business paraphernalia to and fro betwixt office and home for nigh on 15 years (because such mobile devices were too expensive the first five years of my so-called career), I have developed a rather particular list for what I require in my personal technological man purse. In an era when eBags.com alone lists nearly 1,200 items in their "laptop bags" section, compromising form for function or function for form seems anathema. Yet, like most things used personally but produced en masse, it quickly becomes less about finding the perfect bag and more about finding one that’s close enough. Which technically only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but since I can neither tan my own hides nor sew 1050 denier Cordura into shapes more complex than a taco, close enough will have to do.

The last time I went looking for a new laptop tote, I attempted to go a bit old school, opting for a leather shoulder bag with classic buckles. I imagined that, over time, the leather would patina gracefully and obtain a look not dissimilar to Ricardo Montalban’s skin in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khaaaaaaaaaaan. Alas, my rudimentary knowledge of leather coupled with a desire to not drop several, as the kids from 1992 say, Benjamins led me to purchase a bag that only appeared to be of sound quality. If you know what bonded leather is, you know how this story ends—with me cursing the white backing layer that eventually began wearing through. And while said white backing was reminiscent of Mr. Roark’s suit on Fantasy Island, it was not quite the look of rich Corinthian leather for which I had hoped. Instead of looking like something Steve McQueen would toss over his shoulder as he leapt onto a Triumph Bonneville and sped off into the desert sun in search of some unfiltereds, my bag would eventually look like something my grandma would carry to bunko night.

So, the search for a new satchel began. And, reflecting upon the times in which we all now find ourselves, I knew I needed more than just a bunch of Chinese textiles woven into a series of oddly shaped pouches into which my 18 random USB sticks would eventually get lost. I needed a bag capable of getting me, and probably at least one of my children, through the impending zombie apocalypse. I know there’s a full-on 28 Days cycle of undead violence in the offing because I’ve seen it on the TV. And, obviously, the movies. And to those who scoff at the notion that the entertainment industry is an infallible prognosticator of future events, I point to the Great Dobie Gillis Outbreak of 1962.

Naturally, I turned to the world of tactical gear. In days gone by, that would have meant trekking down to Mickey’s Surplus in lovely Kansas City, Kansas ("The Town So Nice They Put Most of It in Missouri to Confuse People"), where inhaling the dusty remains of K-rations before purchasing an authentic East German bayonet lovingly machine-stamped in Taiwan made perfect sense. Sadly, Mickey’s is now 200 miles south of my current residence, and Omaha’s selection of military surplus stores is, conveniently for my wordplay, running at a deficit. To the Internet!

After what my company’s logs tell me were hours of online research, I settled upon the Messenger of Doom tactical messenger bag from Hazard 4. Yes, that’s its real name. No, it did not come pre-loaded with any amount of doom or an actual messenger thereof. Not even a tiny Gollum figurine stabbing a Precious Moments angel. I will not bore you (more) with my imaginary unboxing video, especially when I can just direct you to this one.

As a laptop bag, the MOD works wonderfully. The laptop section is separate from other areas and very well padded, and it fits my 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina quite nicely. (Hazard 4 claims the section will fit a 17-inch MBP, but it looks a little tight to me.) On the storage front, there are plenty of pockets, flaps, and other cubbies to stash just about anything that may legally require stashing. The side panels are bereft of the water bottle pockets that seem to plague most bags these days. (I subsist off caffeine and bile, thank you.) The hardware feels a couple notches above the usual fare, with übertactical box stitching throughout and zipper pulls that won’t yank off within a month. I’m pretty sure that, if I were to run out of shells for my boomstick, I could use the MOD as an impromptu mace and play Pop Goes the Zombie Head with it. At least after I add the spikes.

So sleek, so unassuming, so not a Targus bag. The giant Velcro area is for morale patches.

Map pocket on inside front flap. The small, green arch poking out is zombie repellent, assuming the undead fear delightfully fresh breath.

Which leads me to the best part of the MOD: the MOLLE/PALS webbing that covers much of its surface. With the main flap down, the MOD appears to be a clean, modern messenger bag. But just under the flap, a full panel of MOLLE/PALS webbing awaits for appropriate customization. Like, say, a carrier for three magazines that may or may not belong to the concealed carry weapon that may or may not be strapped in next to it. No, it won’t carry an undead-dominating shotgun, but I wanted a laptop bag, not a tactical viola case. The MOLLE goodness extends to the main pocket area, as well, where I’ve already added an additional pouch to store vampire-repelling garlic and holy water (because the first word in True Blood ain’t "fiction," Sookie).

MOLLE/PALS webbing permits the addition of accessories, including tactical wooden stake pockets and concealed holy water pistol holsters. Because sometimes zombies turn into David Boreanaz.

Main compartment shown with after-market pouch suitable for Milky Ways, Ready-to-Eat.

Admittedly, I have only tested my black MOD for half of its intended purposes—the toting of my office gear. But, assuming my background check checks out and the oracles of the airwaves don’t let me down, I’ll be set to start picking off slow-moving Dobie Gillises until the cows come home. Which is usually around 8:30.

Later,

Fox

Comments closed
    • TwoEars
    • 6 years ago

    I’m dissapointed in you Jason. If you’re going to go for a headline like “Papa’s got a brand-new, undead-proof European carryall” you might as well make it “bag” there at the end as well.

    • NovusBogus
    • 6 years ago

    That thing reminds me of a swag bag I got from a defense contractor in the late 90s. The cheap plastic clips gave out after a few years but the rest of it’s built like a tank and I have yet to find a worthy successor.

    • Horshu
    • 6 years ago

    What’s the deal with so many things/people trying to avoid the zombie apocalypse? Did scientists recently discover that zombies are real or something?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    Cool bag thanks for the little write up. Please slightly less snarky drama in your next post though. You stretch a few ideas that might make up a paragraph or two out WAY TOO MUCH.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    I get annoyed that there seems to be a tangible sense of people believing that owning a gun is justifiable because of the walking dead TV show. Or that carrying a gun is some sort of public service because Wacko’s and zombies and vampires lie around every turn.

    I like the show, and I believe in gun ownership rights. But common. That show does not justify owning a gun anymore than Game of Thrones justifies the claymore sitting on my mantel piece! Atleast they don’t make a messenger bag for that, and their aren’t politicians running on the pro claymore lobby being bolstered by a TV drama. 😛

      • Dashak
      • 6 years ago

      I think you realize that he’s joking.

      • Cuhulin
      • 6 years ago

      I think you’re in for a sorry day when the zombie apocalypse arrives. Maybe the claymore will help, if you can avoid the blast pattern yourself.

      Game of Thrones, on the other hand, is fiction.

      • house
      • 6 years ago

      I’ve come to accept most people buy guns for no practical purpose whatsoever. They buy them because they are cool and its a hobby. My Army buddies have personal Armories so well equipped that would put a SEAL team to shame. Of course the size of their collection is directly proportional to the hazard level of their job. Finance clerk = Tactical carbine, eo-tech, bazillion attachments; Infantry Ranger = Free leatherman received with checking account.

    • WaltC
    • 6 years ago

    Poppa’s got a brand-new bag…really would have been a better title…;) You thought of it…should have used it!

    (Not to mention that your metaphors are off…you’ve got zombies confused with weasels and vampires, somehow…;))

    • UberGerbil
    • 6 years ago

    Neither this review nor the mfr’s site list a key spec: what does this thing weigh, empty? IME all those velcro doo-dads and pockets and buckles and other crap run the weight up very quickly.

    • keltor
    • 6 years ago

    I find that messengers hurt my shoulders. I’m not sure why they don’t hurt other’s shoulders given that I bench ~260#s and press ~185# without any pain.

    I wear a 5.11 COVRT 18, it doesn’t have MOLLE, though other packs by 5.11 do, I prefer something more covert …

    I do ride a motorcycle sometimes, but I still prefer the backpack when I drive my car to work.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 6 years ago

      Actually I have the same problem and never could figure out why messenger bags were uncomfortable to me while I was able to squat 250+Lbs. That’s weird, right?

        • keltor
        • 6 years ago

        I think some people are just in denial about it. 😀

      • UberGerbil
      • 6 years ago

      I always swap out the stock shoulder strap for a cushioned one I’ve had for years — I think it might have been made by Eagle Creek. Makes a huge difference.

        • keltor
        • 6 years ago

        I can’t speak for Beelzebubba9, but for me it has nothing to do with my skin or the strap, it’s entirely to do with having unbalanced wait pulling against my shoulder.

        There might be more to it than just that. It seems most of the more muscular guys at my office all agreed about the pain thing vs the regular to skinny guys who didn’t seem to care.

        When I travel, I carry my 5.11 24 RUSH bag and a Red Oxx Air Boss as my bags, the Air Boss doesn’t normally give me any trouble, so I wonder if it’s something with how I wear the messenger or how it pulls on my shoulder.

      • adriaanbw
      • 6 years ago

      I am a skinny guy. I can barely bench the weight of the bags I carry let alone the figures quoted above. Ok maybe an exaggeration, but guess what? I get sore from messenger bags as well and it has everything to do with the way they load the musculoskeletal system which is much better at handling with balanced loads.

      I decided a long time ago to invest a lot of $$$ (comparatively) into a decent backpack rather than forking out a lot more in the long term of physiotherapy appointments due to my ailing spinal alignment.

      Fair call that during a zombie apocalypse, back pain may not be high on the list of priorities and preventative healthcare is probably focused on zombie killing rather than physiotherapy.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 6 years ago

      Do you even dead lift bro? The Upper Trapezius elevates the Scapula (shoulder blade). When you say “hurts” the shoulders, what muscle group(s) or joint(s) feel strained? The weight of the bag is rested on your Trapezius, not the Glenoid Fossa (shoulder joint). Your e-peen is still intact, bro.

        • keltor
        • 6 years ago

        There is really no e-peen involved.

        I DL about 575#. The pain is more pectoralis major and deltoid than my traps. This is not normally a muscle sorness. It could be an infraspinatus issue, because practically anyone you do with your shoulder, neck, or upper back always seems to be the infraspinatus.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 6 years ago

          Thanks for the response. People at the gym I go to bench more than they can squat or DL.You appear to have it under control. Carry on, good sir!

            • jihadjoe
            • 6 years ago

            #gymreport.com

    • End User
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]OS X Mavericks has yet to go gold master[/quote<] Mavericks went gold on October 3rd. I'm posting this from GM build 13A598.

    • Dposcorp
    • 6 years ago

    Good thing is wasnt the “Messenger of Doom 3.” That’s the one you can’t carry unless you put away your flashlight 🙂

    • Spec4
    • 6 years ago

    You should check out [url=http://www.maxpedition.com/<]Maxpedition[/url<] if you like rugged well made gear.

      • hubick
      • 6 years ago

      I came here to say ^this^ lol 🙂

    • drfish
    • 6 years ago

    <shameless but honest plug>

    I sure would like to read TR’s take on the [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=81535<]TechSling[/url<]... </shameless but honest plug>

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Hey Dpaus… would one of those techslings make it so your first responders can carry a slightly heftier tablet without wearing themselves out?

      • Forge
      • 6 years ago

      I second this sentiment. If we’re going to give free plugs to luggage that we enjoy, the TechSling deserves some, being so close to home. I wear mine regularly.

      I was quite upset with myself when I forgot mine on the way to TR BBQ.

      • superjawes
      • 6 years ago

      CORPORATE SHILL ALERT!!!

      j/k

      Seriously, TR. drfish has been pimping that product for awhile now. You should give it some love, especially since you spend so much time at big press events.

        • Forge
        • 6 years ago

        Yes, I should fully disclose that DrFish compensated me early on with a TechSling, and later sent me a very swank TR-branded special edition.

        If I shill hard enough, maybe I’ll get a custom model some day. 😉

        Or maybe just my pillowcase back.

          • drfish
          • 6 years ago

          [quote<]Or maybe just my pillowcase back.[/quote<] Sure, but only in the form of a TechSling. 😛

    • Neutronbeam
    • 6 years ago

    Looks perfect for your next tour in Iraq or Black Ops blogging mission.

      • LukeCWM
      • 6 years ago

      Are you suggesting Jason head to the Middle East for guerrilla-blogging? I mean, I know we all get frustrated with all the Apple fanboyism, but that’s harsh!

        • Diplomacy42
        • 6 years ago

        A journalist hasn’t died in the middle east in months, plus there is a lot of cool stuff there.

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