The majority of the population that has adopted a lifestyle of carrying are naturally going to look for gear that is made to help them merge their profession with their EDC lifestyle. Tactical functionality in everyday gear is becoming increasingly popular in the EDC community. But the problem is that the most of the time you are getting the tactical look and feel without having everyday functionality. I think First Tactical has helped by giving us an affordable EDC bag with the Summit Side Satchel. This bag comes in a couple of different colors and is loaded with little features and compartments allowing you to maximize your capacity and conceal discretely if you wish.
This bag has a length of about 13 inches with a height of 10 inches, which is too small for most laptops out there. But on the First Tactical website, they do not list this bag as a laptop bag, but rather a tablet bag. Personally, I see it as a good on-the-go or even get home bag to stash in a vehicle. In black it can be very discrete, and has plenty of capacity to hold all different types of gear. Here is just a small list of roles that this bag can take:
This messenger style bag is made of 1000 Denier Nylon and has 10mm closed foam padding around the inside compartment to protect the items you are carrying. They have placed Molle attachment points on the side pockets and in a couple of the internal areas for your convenience, if you choose to attach things like pouches. The inside of some of the pockets have a material that reminds me of the material that most camping tents are made out of.
The handle on the bag is reinforced to give it a rigidity that is lacking on many bags.
The adjustable sling has a pad with two sticky patches on each side that cause the it to stick to clothing, which prevents the pad from sliding off the shoulder.
Everything about the pack was well thought out and the materials used are lightweight but are not lacking in durability.
The Summit Side Satchel has a total of 5 external pockets, and 10 internal pockets. The external pockets include the a large zipper pocket on the flap and just below the handle,
2 side pockets where the sling attachments are secured,
and a zipper pocket on the back of the bag that also contains the hidden Velcro compartment where you can stash a concealed pistol.
This concealment compartment sports a large Velcro patch for securing a holster in the event you with to have a pistol ready to go.
On the inside of the bag, you have two zipper pockets that each contain a key lanyard and two large internal pockets. There is also two pockets on the outside as well.
The “on-the-fly” feature of this pack allows you quick access to these pockets without having to completely open the flap. Basically it is just a sheet of nylon that covers the velcro on the flap and can be concealed in the space behind it when not in use.
Then there are various little storage spaces on the outside of these inner pockets for pens and whatever else you can fit in them. Items from your EDC like a knife and a flashlight would fit well in these little areas.
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I found that these pockets can even fit a pistol the size of the Glock 19. Even fat pistols like the PX4 compact fit comfortably. With the on-the-fly feature, this allows you to have more of a quick draw than the dedicated concealment compartment in the back. For me, these pockets are good for being part of an off-body EDC.
In the main compartment you have your big open internal pocket with two pockets opposite the tablet pocket. I found that I can shove almost any full sized pistol into each of these pockets, which makes this a good range bag option in my opinion.
The tablet compartment is secured by a Velcro strap and contains two extra pockets on the outside for other items you may wish to store.
The main open compartment is pretty open and can fit a good amount of stuff. Probably about two days worth of clothes if you roll them.
As you can see, there are several places to store your gear and scooby snacks. I appreciate that the designers did not put too many little pockets and pouches on the inside. That tends to get annoying and ends up being a big waste of space in my opinion.
First Tactical Labeled this bag as being an every day carry bag, but the advertised pocket for storing a concealed firearm seems to take alot of steps to get to. Not to mention the fact that the pocket uses Velcro to keep it concealed. Velcro is loud and the opening requires precise dexterity to get to. This seems to just be more of a way to CARRY the gun, instead of having it ready to use at a moments notice.
All ratings are based off of what this design is trying to accomplish and whether it lives up to its advertised functions. This is just my honest opinion in regards to this functioning as an EDC bag.
Since this bag is meant for tablets primarily, I cannot realistically bash it for not being big enough for my laptop. First tactical has a bag meant specifically for laptops as well, with the same general setup. For its size, it is pretty lightweight, which would lead you to think there was little to no strength to it. I find it to be pleasantly deceiving.
I think the outside materials are great in that they are light and still have good durability. I do think that some of the outside pockets could have just used Nylon on the inside as well. But it is not really that big of a problem, just something I think that would add to the overall durability.
I think that the bag could fit a couple more pockets without losing functionality, but it is generally good as is. The little features like the sticky points on the sling pad and the big open pockets really add value to me.
As an EDC bag, one would expect an easier access to the advertised firearms storage area. If I were to use this bag, I would rather store the firearm in one of the front zipper pockets under the flap. For that reason, I feel that it is still a good EDC bag, but can also be useful in other roles.
Given that the bag is $69.99 I feel that it is $20 overpriced. Maybe I am just picky though. The warranty for all gear from First Tactical is based on premature wear and general manufacture defects. They include a shipping label with the product and will refund you the shipping costs once they get the product if you should have to use the warranty.
Overall Rating– 18/25
I received this product as a courtesy from First Tactical so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.