People usually buy clothes and accessories so they can stand out from the crowd. But, during emergencies and situations when your safety can be at risk, it is better to blend in. That’s where having the best gray man EDC bag can help.
Going unnoticed in a crowd is a good thing. For example, if you are carrying a large amount of cash or expensive equipment with you, you don’t want to attract the eyes of any person who might steal it from you.
The same is true during disaster situations. You don’t want to attract the attention of anybody who would be able to steal your provisions. To blend in and be as unobtrusive as possible, you need to act like a grey man. Part of doing that is carrying an EDC bag that nobody will notice.
What Is the Gray Man?
The Gray Man is not a superhero, but he does have extraordinary powers. The Gray Man can appear so discreet that your attention never stays on him. In short, he is invisible. He can go unnoticed in the crowd because of his appearance and demeanor.
Being indistinct can be a helpful trait even in your daily life. Being last to be noticed means bullies and criminals won’t pay you much attention. If you get in a situation where violence or trouble ensues, you will have a few seconds to call the police or make your escape.
In survival situations, resources are going to be scarce. People will be scrambling for every scrap of food or water that they can get their hands on. And if they see you, they will get things from you. That is why it is good to become a gray man during these dire times. You need to be a person who can move around safely in the periphery. This way, you won’t become the target of opportunists.
How Does One Become a Gray Man?
To become a gray man, you need to appear non-threatening and average. Don’t speak too loudly, walk in the same direction as everyone is going, match your pace with that of the people around you.
In emergencies, don’t be the hero. Walk quickly but without urgency. If you need to get to a specific place, don’t go there directly. Keep your head down and slouch to avoid sticking out.
Scanning for exits and problem spots means you know what you are doing and have some semblance of preparedness. People naturally gravitate towards that; avoid this by being discreet.
Besides acting nondescript, you also want to look as ordinary as possible. Stick to neutral colors in choosing your clothing. It may sound counterproductive, but avoid wearing anything with camo prints. Unless you are going on a hunting trip, wearing this print will call attention to the fact that you are prepared and in survival mode.
Hide all of your tactical gear and resources. That means carrying a neutral-colored pack that doesn’t have any reflective material or bright colors. This is known as the Gray Man Bag.
What Should You Look For in a Gray Man Bag?
The perfect bag for a gray man is a stealthy-looking one. It should carry all your essentials without calling attention to itself. Here are the other features that you must look for in a gray man’s bag.
1. Looks Nondescript
People will stare if you walk into a bus or a subway car with a gigantic backpack with bright colors, multiple pockets, or a large emblem. Their eyes will be automatically drawn to these features because they are out of the ordinary. That is precisely what a gray man’s backpack is.
What you want is something that everybody seems to be using. The ideal bag is something with dull colors, preferably gray or black. It should have a simple design with no protruding giant pockets or labels.
2. Average Size
A gray man’s backpack must be able to contain a lot of items without being outwardly gigantic. Usually, it should just cover your back. Anything bigger than that will probably call attention to you. It would tell other people that you are carrying a lot of supplies.
A 25L to a maximum of 35L backpack should be sufficient for your gear but not too big that you bump into things when you are wearing it. This should allow you to carry all of your survival needs without weighing you down. When you are hunting for a backpack, see if you can fit the following in it:
- Phone and charger
- Your wallet or cash container
- Bottled water and food
- Your navigation tools like a compass
- Your knife
- A multi-use tool
- First aid kit
- Water filter
- Self-defense tool
These are just the essential emergency items that you must have in your bag. If these items do not fit, then the bag you are looking at is too small.
3. Secret Compartments
Your bag is not just there to carry and organize your essentials. It must also be able to hide any of your most essential possessions. Most stealthy backpacks have hidden compartments to enable you to conceal any survival tool, document, money, and whatever else you want to hide. The compartments must be well-designed so as not to appear bloated when filled. Look for a bag that has numerous internal pockets in addition to the main compartment. If you can find a bag with elasticized side pockets, go for it. These side pockets will enable you to organize your gear evenly so it doesn’t look overly stuffed.
Numerous gray man backpacks also have anti-theft or valuables’ pockets. Hidden zippers make sure that nobody finds whatever you wish to hide in them. This is where you need to store important personal documents and weapons.
4. Durable and Sturdy
Even if it is used for work or school, a gray man bag must be durable. More so if you plan on bringing it with you like the container for your survival gear. You will be carrying a lot of weight through harsh conditions so the bag cannot fall apart easily.
This will only happen if it is made with high-quality materials and produced using the highest standards. Polyester and nylon are the common materials used by manufacturers to construct heavy-duty backpacks. These materials are also highly water-resistant and would help in keeping your valuables dry. Also, look for bags with paddings in place so that you can keep your devices and other delicate possessions protected. This feature is prominent in most laptop bags.
Besides the material, you also need to check the bag’s hardware. Weak zippers are the downfall of many great bags. Check if the bag has YKK-grade zippers.
Finally, choose a backpack that has double stitching and reinforced shoulder straps. This will ensure that it doesn’t rip open when you start filling it with your possessions.
5. Comfort in Carrying
If you’ve ever carried a heavy bag, you know the pressure from it is concentrated on your shoulders and back. If your bag hurts your back and shoulders during regular use, it will be worse in emergencies. So, it is a must to find a backpack that is comfortable to carry. You need to look for one that has a hip belt. This relieves some of the weight off your shoulders. You’d also want to find one with adjustable padded shoulder straps. For situations when you fear that somebody might grab your bag from you, you will be thankful to have a backpack with grab handles. These will enable you to keep your grip on your bag and relieve the weight from your shoulders from time to time.
Finally, you want a pack that has breathable padded panels in the back. This will provide a cushion between the bag and your body. Plus, the panel will allow your back to breathe, particularly during hot days.
Best Gray Man EDC Bags You Can Order Online
1. Abshoo Anti-Theft Travel Laptop Bag
Appearance-wise, the Abshoo laptop bag is quite plain. It comes in a dark grey color with minimal markings. Its accents are black, so they don’t attract people’s attention. This model also comes in black.
The size is pretty decent. It has a capacity of 25 liters and dimensions of 17.7 x 12.5 x 6.7 inches. Its manufacturer designed it for travel, so it fits perfectly under an airplane or a bus seat. You can carry this on your back and not look like a turtle because it doesn’t protrude too much.
The Abshoo bag contains fifteen independent pockets. It is excellent for storing and organizing small items. There is a separate compartment that is big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop. There are also multiple hidden pockets where you can store your valuables. The bag also has pen pockets and a hook for your keys or multi-use tool.
The manufacturer used water-resistant oxford fabric for the outer part of the bag. The lining is polyester, so you can be sure that your gadgets and other valuables won’t get wet even if you need to run in the rain. The back of the bag and the straps are made of breathable sponge covered with mesh. This will ensure that sweat and moisture will quickly evaporate. It has a zipper closure you can use to attach a small lock. This will further protect your property against theft.
The outer pockets have RFID protection features. Even if you keep your driver’s license or credit cards in these compartments, your personal information cannot be stolen using an RFID scanner.
For the techie gray man, this bag has built-in USB charging ports on the outside. It also has a charging cable inside. This makes it convenient for you to charge and hold your phone or other electronic devices while keeping the power source inside your bag.
All in all, the Abshoo Anti-theft bag is a perfect gray man bag because it is plain looking and checks all the other features that we need to look for in an EDC bag.
- 25-liter carrying capacity
- The ergonomic design allows it to be put under any airplane seat
- Breathable sponge mesh for moisture control
- Built-in USB charging ports
- Not suitable for long hiking trips
2. Volher Laptop Backpack
The Volher backpack is a plain-looking laptop bag that has anti-theft features. It is everything you would need in an EDC backpack, including the sense of anonymity. It comes in three colors, but black and grey should be the ones for you. The rose-red variant may be too attractive.
The size and shape are nothing special. It fits the back of a normal-sized person. The bag has many compartments, and the separate one for the laptop can hold a 15.6-inch unit. It is spacious enough that you can still fit your tablet, books, clothes, and more. There are mesh side pockets for a water bottle or an umbrella, along with a hidden pocket where you can store your valuables.
The outer part of the bag is polyester. It is a durable and water-resistant material that will keep your possessions dry. The metal zippers are well placed and are of high quality. Even if you zip it open or close fast, the fabric won’t get caught in the zipper’s teeth.
The back design allows for good airflow, and it features multi-panel padding. This ventilating design gives you comfort and back support. The fabric for the straps is breathable. These straps are adjustable so you can relieve the pressure on your shoulders when you carry them. There is also a top handle with padding so that you can hold on to it better.
Like the previous bag, the Volher bag has a charging cable and a USB charger built into the bag. There is also a headphone jack for those who enjoy listening to the radio while walking.
This is an excellent option as an everyday office or school bag as well as a survival kit.
- Interior-mesh pockets to store umbrellas
- Multiple color selection
- Durable, water-resistant polyester
- Ventilating fabric to provide breathability
- Charging cable, USB charger port and headphone jack included
- Zippered aren’t as perfect as the rest of the bag
3. North Face Recon Backpack
If you are looking for a roomy bag you can bring with you to school or at work, consider getting the North Face Recon bag. It is pretty spacious and contains numerous pockets and a laptop compartment. It also is very light, which is a plus when you need to walk a long distance with a full pack.
This backpack can contain a volume of 30L. That’s a lot of supplies you can carry. It has a stretch pocket at the front where you can stash anything you want immediate access to. This can be a multi-tool, your emergency snack, or a flashlight. There are also two more fleece-lined compartments. The zippered one can protect anything you don’t want to get stolen.
There are organizational pockets inside. You can conveniently arrange your medicine, gadget accessories, and more. There is also a padded compartment for your laptop.
The North Face Recon features a FlexVent system. This is a yoke made of comfortable shoulder straps, a breathable panel for the lumbar area, and a meshed and padded back panel. Together, these three make up a support system that makes carrying this backpack comfortable. Your back won’t sweat easily when you carry this bag.
There is also a removable waist belt you can use when filling the bag with anything heavy. This is coupled with a sternum strap that allows for a custom fit. There is even a whistle on the strap. It is easily accessible, so you can use it even if your hands are occupied or restrained.
- Over a dozen color options
- 30 liter size
- Extra-padded compartment for your laptop
- Features North Face’s own FlexVent System
- The bag is heavy considering its 30L size
4. Qinol Travel Backpack
This option for a gray man backpack comes in grey and black. It is big enough to hold a 17-inch laptop and a tablet at the same time. There is a shockproof belt inside to prevent your laptop from getting jostled as you travel. There are two meshed pockets as well as an inside pocket for your belongings. The multiple pocket design allows you to organize your resources for easy access. There is also a zippered secret pocket at the back part of the bag. You can keep your phone, passport, wallet, and other small valuables in this compartment.
The bag also features a USB hub. It has a USB charging port as well as a removable USB cable. This will enable you to keep your phone in your hands as you charge it using a power bank inside the bag.
If you plan on carrying heavy objects in the bag, you will be thankful that the straps are durable and adjustable. The back of it also has a mesh cover to reduce the stress on your body. The top handle has a foam cover so you can grip it effectively and comfortably.
The outer material is waterproof and highly durable. It is rip-proof so that you can carry it through harsh conditions.
- Shockproof belt to secure your laptop
- USB charging port included
- Durable straps to support the heaviest of weights
- Waterproof and rip-proof material
- Lots of people are reporting issues with the zipper
5. Matein Travel Backpack
This extra roomy backpack is another option that contains all the features of a perfect gray man bag. It is spacious yet deceptively small in appearance. This is perfect for a person of any height.
The Matein backpack has a large capacity main compartment to store your food, clothes, and other supplies. There are numerous smaller compartments on the inner walls of the bag to help you organize your smaller possessions. The front part is a separate compartment for a large laptop. It is padded to keep your gadget safe. There is a security strap and additional compartments for your papers, pens, and devices in this section. Of course, there is a hidden pocket for your valuables. It even has elasticized pockets on both sides so that you can pack it with drinks.
The design of the back part of the bag allows for good airflow. This will prevent your back from sticking to your bag. It also has thick multi-panel padding as back support. It can sit on your back for a long time without causing pain or discomfort.
The shoulder straps are contoured and padded for extra support. They are also adjustable to position the bag on your back at the most comfortable spot. It also features a luggage strap so you can attach it to your suitcase or luggage.
If you need to walk and use your phone simultaneously, this bag allows you to charge through its external USB charging port. Take note that you will have to buy the power bank separately.
Matein used high-quality polyester fabric for the outer part of the backpack. This material is not just durable and rip-resistant; it repels water too! Metal zippers secure the bag, so you don’t have to worry about that breaking too soon.
- Premium polyester rip-resistant fabric
- Amazing airflow for moisture management
- Thick-padded straps for back support and comfort
- Luggage strap to hook it on a suitcase
- Comes with a USB charging port
- No padding on the bottom end of the bag
6. Tocode Large Travel Backpack
If you are a big person, wearing a small bag on your back may look out of place. That is why this large backpack is included in our list of EDC bags for the gray man. The Tocode Travel Backpack is extra roomy with its 35L capacity. It can easily hold all of your daily work or school necessities. This bag will serve as a good survival pack as well. It can hold two sets of clothes and all your food for the week. It is made to withstand a heavy load, so the edge lining of the bag is reinforced.
Its laptop compartment is big enough to hold a 17.3-inch laptop with room to spare for your other gadgets. The front compartment also has multiple smaller pockets for your phone, charger, pens, and other small possessions. It also has two net pockets on the side to carry a bottle and an umbrella.
Similar to the rest of the bags in this list, the Tocode bag has a charging port for your devices. You can attach your phone or tablet to a power bank without needing to put it inside the bag. There is also a slot for your headphone cable. This is so you can hide your device in the bag and still get to use your headset.
Oxford fabric serves as the outer material for this bag. It is highly durable and water-resistant. While soaking the bag for a long time is not advised, it can effectively withstand spills and light rain. The metal zippers are also quite strong. The backpack comes with a free lock so that you can secure your valuables even when you are asleep.
The bag’s ventilated padding maximizes airflow to the back. The multi-panel protection offers back support without making your skin feel too hot. Breathable material is used for the shoulder straps. The strap’s design is perfect for relieving stress on that area when you carry the heavy pack.
To back this up, a 1-year warranty is given to anyone who buys this bag. If anything falls off or breaks with reasonable use, you can contact the manufacturer to get it replaced or repaired.
- Made of water-resistant Oxford fabric
- 35L carrying capacity
- Reinforced edge lining to support heavier weights
- Side net pockets for umbrellas and water bottles
- Charging port and headphone jack included
- 1-year warranty covering all damages
- Defective zipper
To last long in a survival situation, you need to be able to blend in. Your clothes, demeanor, and even the bag you carry should not attract any attention. Besides an unassuming appearance, your bag must also be big and strong enough to carry all of your essentials. Additionally, it must be comfortable to carry. It should be something that nobody would think of taking away from you. All the options presented above satisfy these requirements for the gray man bag.