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The Ultimate EDC Backpack: Daily Gear for Everyday Carry

December 15, 2023

Create the perfect everyday carry (EDC) setup, complete with top-notch daily gear recommendations from our preparedness expert, Jody. Delve into the world of essential daily items and discover which ones are must-haves for your ultimate EDC backpack. Watch as Jody explains how he crafts the ultimate EDC backpack, or read on for the comprehensive guide.

What is EDC?

EDC, an abbreviation for everyday carry, is a concept focused on the everyday carry items people carry with them on a daily basis to be prepared for anything.


Why is EDC so popular?

EDC has gained immense popularity because it's all about having the must-have essentials right at your fingertips. Whether it's for convenience, preparedness, or style, the best EDC items cater to our everyday needs, making them a hit among people from all walks of life.


EDC Bag vs Get Home Bag

An everyday carry backpack can serve multiple purposes. However, say you’re out in the city, you’re away from your car and an emergency happens. In that case, you may not have easy access to your daily gear. That’s why, in addition to your EDC, it might be wise to have a small EDC backpack at your disposal.

The get-home-bag is a little different from your EDC. Typically, you would keep it in your car, so that, in an emergency, you would immediately have the things you need to help you on that journey. Put plainly, it’s a dynamic, robust “toolkit” providing you with the EDC essentials you need for survival in various scenarios. 


Daily Gear for your EDC

That aside, let’s take a look at some examples of the best EDC gear in an EDC loadout.

What makes up a good EDC kit?

As with most things, the answer is not so simple – it depends on the individual's preferences and lifestyle. There are a few items that could be considered universally handy in an EDC kit list. 

What everyday items should you carry?

Our EDC bags are streamlined for complete optimization, meaning the design allows you to store a range of items conveniently. There are many EDC ideas or daily gear items you could include in your arsenal. It’s ultimately up to you. But here are some of top EDC items:

Laptops, charging cables, spare battery

Given the nature of our world, many of us would agree that technology is something we carry with us throughout the day, most days. The Vertex bag has a dedicated spot for a 15-inch laptop (a medium to normal size). It also has additional space for any of your tech accessories: chargers, battery packs, or a power bank.

HAM Radio

Although not quite as popular as your laptop, a HAM radio can be a highly functional piece of tech, and commonly an EDC bag essential. This device uses radio frequencies for communication. It is completely wireless, meaning that, if your phone connection fails, you’ll still be able to maintain that vital contact. 

Most HAM radios require the user to have a license to use them. Though with Radio Made Easy, anyone can access this equipment; no licensure needed.


Bringing along a writing notepad in your EDC – along with a writing utensil – will prove to be useful. For example, let’s say there’s an emergency and you need to warn someone about going somewhere. Well, because you came prepared, you’d be all set.

EDC Knife

The classic: An everyday carry pocket knife is a vital piece of gear for your everyday carry list. It’s one of things that you can use for a range of things. It’s practical. And it’s versatile. 


An EDC flashlight, like the ones at SureFire, are an essential choice to add to your everyday carry. You never know when you might need one. Say, for example, you’re – god forbid – lost in the woods. You’re in the dark. Well, If you have a solid flashlight on hand, you stand a far better chance of getting out. 


A pocketsmoke is a serious item that not many of us consider. What it does is simple – it lets out a signal of smoke. So, in a dire situation, you could easily get the attention of emergency responders. 

Ways to keep warm

Here are some other emergency items that could potentially be life-saving: An emergency blanket and a poncho (we all know how much being cold and wet sucks). 

Also, think about bringing a few other clothing items, such as gloves and extra socks – the U.S. military swears by bringing extra socks. 


A face mask that we’re all too used to can actually come in handy too. Think: wildfires to protect your lungs.


Paracord – or other types of rope – especially the 7-strand kind, are super important too.


We all know how important light is. Consider carrying back-up sources of it: An extra EDC flashlight, a headlamp, or even glow sticks (which are often great for kids!). Remember, to have a lighter with you, as well.


Similarly to being in the dark, no one wants to be lost. And that’s why bringing a localized map in your bag is a practical idea. Most of us use our phone’s GPS – but worst comes to worst, you can’t always rely on that.


Food. Food. Food. Always have some stored away. That’s why in your EDC kit, you should include a simple sustenance bag. Try to stick it to the non-perishables, though (dried fruit, granola, almonds, etc.)


And water – in an emergency situation, dehydration could very well be the bane of your existence. Luckily, though, there are many different ways to stay prepared. Think about adding these items to your kit:

  • Water bags (specially designed bags made for storing and keeping water).
  • A lightweight water filter. If you can’t get to a safe source – with a filter – all you need is a creek!
  • A stainless steel camping cup, so that you can boil your water – or even make coffee.
  • A water bottle, of course.

First Aid

Another important item is some kind of first-aid kit storing the basics: bandages, tweezers, medicine and vitamins, or other hygiene items. For that, check out our compact bleed kit, the PBA Bleed Control Kit.

All these cool EDC items, if you chose to add them, would be a great addition for your everyday carry gear list.


The Best EDC Bag

The best EDC bag is one that fits the gear you need and keeps everything organized. You’ll want to look for a bag with different compartments of different sizes and easy access sections for commonly used items. Whether you're a city dweller or an outdoor enthusiast, having a reliable and versatile bag is crucial for keeping your essentials close at hand.

In your pursuit to find the best EDC backpack you might be wondering whether an EDC sling or a backpack is the way to go.

Should I Use A Sling Bag For EDC?

Sling bags for EDC are compact, stylish, and designed for quick access to your essentials.  It’s an excellent choice if you want a minimalist EDC setup. They're perfect for those who want to keep their load light and maintain a sense of urbanism. 

Vertx sling bags, for example, offer a sleek way to carry your daily necessities. With concealed armor panels for added protection, they combine style with safety.

EDC Backpacks

If you need a lot of space and organization, a backpack might be a great option for you. These backpacks offer ample room for your gear, gadgets, and other items. 

The best EDC backpacks, like the ones available at Premier Body Armor, or Original Special Operations Gear, come with thoughtful compartments, durable materials, and comfort features for all-day wear.

Also, it might be worth considering the differences between a men's everyday carry bag and a women’s EDC bag. 

For example, men often lean towards a "gray man" approach, favoring minimalist designs that blend seamlessly into their daily attire and hold men's everyday carry essentials. On the other hand, women may want more space, and they may choose bags that showcase a more personalized touch. 


Your EDC List

In the world of everyday carry, being prepared is the name of the game. To make your EDC journey even more organized, we've created a downloadable PDF EDC checklist that you can easily reference for specific needs. This checklist serves as your roadmap, giving you some essential EDC ideas.

Get your EDC checklist here!


FAQS for EDC Gear

What Does EDC Stand For?

Simple – EDC stands for “Everyday Carry.”

What Is The Best Bag For EDC?

The best EDC pack depends on individual preferences, with options ranging from sling bags for a minimalist approach to backpacks for those requiring more storage and organization.

What is an EDC Knife?

An EDC knife, or Everyday Carry knife, is a compact, sometimes folding knife, and multifunctional blade that individuals carry for a wide range of practical applications, including cutting, slicing, and performing various everyday tasks.

Where can I find body armor for my EDC backpack?

At Premier Body Armor, we offer universal fit inserts that can easily upgrade your existing backpack into a protective fortress.

To get the right size, simply measure the internal compartment of your backpack and head over to our bulletproof backpack inserts page. There, you'll find a variety of options to fit your backpack perfectly. It's a simple and effective way to enhance your EDC backpack's capabilities.


Written by Andrew Schuler

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