Tag Archive for edc

Maxpedition Larkspur Messenger Bag Part 1

All through junior high and high school I carried an army surplus backpack which promptly fell apart end of senior year.  A Jansport backpack took its place and lasted me through college up until last year when one of the straps ripped off.  Since then I’ve been using various messenger bags/backpacks lying around the house to carry my stuff, but nothing was really working well.  When traveling I carry a nebulzier, cpap, pulse oximeter, peak flow meter and other medical items along with anything else I might need.  This does not make it easy to get through TSA.  For every day needs I carry pretty much everything minus the cpap.  This winter I started looking into tactical every day carry (EDC) bags and landed at Maxpedition’s website.

Maxpedition has many items all made out of heavy duty cordura, 1050-800 denier, and high strength nylon thread.  Seams are double or quadruple stitched, stress points are box stitched and every seam is finished.  YKK zippers allow for easy, durable opening of pockets and compartments with 550 paracord pull strings.  Unless you’re purposefully trying to destroy their merchandise, Maxpedition gear is made to last for years and still look like you haven’t given it a beating.

I decided to go with a messenger bag and went with the Larkspur, the smaller of two options.  The basic dimensions of the bag are:

  • Approx. 15.5″(L) x 12.5″(H) x 4.5″(W)
  • Main compartment approx. 14.5″(L) x 13.5″(H) x 4″(W)
  • Two (2) 7.5″(L) x 9.5″(H) x 1.5″(W) pockets with Hook-&-Loop enclosure
  • Two (2) 1.5″(L) x 6.5″(H) x 1″(W) sheath pockets with Hook-&-Loop enclosure flap

The beauty of this bag is all the velcro available for customization.  The entire inside of the main compartment is velcro along with the flaps for the two front pockets and hidden pockets behind them.  There are many options for pouches, dividers and organizers.  Here’s a list of the accessories I’m currently using with it.


Maxpedition #9839 6″x9″ Utility Pouch Insert

This pouch hooks onto velcro either in the main compartment or on the flap velcro for one of the two exterior pockets.  The velcro on this utility pouch is pretty strong.  There’s not way it’s going to accidentally open on you.  If you’re looking for easy and quick or possibly quiet access, you might want to go with a zippered pouch.


Maxpedition #9841 Hook and Loop Admin Insert

Like the utility pouch, this can fit in multiple places where velcro is present on the Larkspur.  I’ve folded the flaps for one of the exterior pockets in and am using the exterior velcro to slap the admin insert.  I can easily grab pens without having to dig into my bag.  The large pocket on this organizer just happens to be perfectly sized for an inhaler.


Maxpedition #9408 2″ Shoulder Pad

If there’s one accessory you buy for the Larkspur, it has to be the shoulder pad.  Even the Jumbo Versipack comes with one.  The velcro attachments allow you to attach it anywhere on the shoulder strap, and the strap may move independently of the pad preventing chafing.  I don’t really see this as an add-on, and think Maxpedition should include it with the messenger bag.


Maxpedition #0243 Horizontal GP Pouch 5″x7″x4″

This pouch has PALS webbing on one side and velcro on the other with a drain grommet for the main compartment.  Inside is one large spot to organize your things with two flaps on the interior of the large sides.  If you’re wanting to carry this solo, it is possible to attach a shoulder strap or use the bag as a MOLLE attachment.  My use for this is to carry my Pari Trek S nebulizer.  I can fit the compressor, battery pack, AC adapter, car adapter, tubing, medicine and neb cup inside this pouch with room to spare.  I can easily drop this inside the Larkspur or my Jumbo Versipack as well as carry it by itself.  It’s been a great help transporting the neb in an efficient manner.

Well I think that’s enough review for now.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Larkspur as well as an upcoming review of the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack.

CRKT M16-04Z

Columbia River Knife and Tool or CRKT, also referred to as “cricket” by some of my friends, produces various knives, multi-tools and accessories.  I’m a big fan of their every day carry (EDC) line and tactical fold outs.  They’re built fairly solidly, are available with different configuration options, have great locking mechanisms and cost much, much less than some of the other big-name manufacturers.

CRKT chooses to highlight their designers and I really dig Kit Carson’s designs.  Today I am reviewing the M16-04Z from the M16 line.

M16-04Z

The first thing I want to try and explain is the model number.  The left half, “M16” designates the model.  The next two numbers reference the length/type of the blade and the letter(s) on the end signify the type of handle, left-hand/right-hand and other options or features.

CRKT M16 configurations:

  • Blade length/type – 01, 02, 03, 04, 10, 12, 13, 14
  • Handle types and options – A, D, KE, KS, KSF, KZ, LE, LEK, M, S, SF, SFG, SFGL, T, Z, ZE, ZER, ZLEK, ZM, ZSF

Here are the specs on the M16-04Z:

Dimensions
Open Overall Length 9.25 inches
Closed Length 5.375 inches
Weight 5.9 ounces
Blade
Length 3.875 inches
Thickness 0.14 inches
Material AUS 8
Blade-HRC 55-57
Finish Bead-Blast
Grind Hollow
Style Tanto
Edge Plain
Handle
Material Glass Filled Nylon
Liner 420J2
Lock
Type Locking Liner
Safety System AutoLAWKS
Carry
Carry System 1 Position Clip
Features
Flipper Yes
Patent U.S. Patents 5,596,808 7,437,822

Thoughts:

  • Clip – Not too stiff when new and doesn’t eat your pants pockets.  It can also be repositioned to all four corners of the handle.
  • Blade – the tanto style is great for utility purposes and stabbing things, as awkwardly morbid as that sounds.  The knife is just under 10″ and the blade is just under 4″.  This isn’t always the best tool for opening tiny packages and doing precision cutting.
  • Handle – lightweight and non-abrasive.  It’s not the easiest thing to hold if your hands are wet though, but I will say the size fits perfectly in the palm of my hand.
  • Liner lock – I absolutely love the AutoLAWKS system.  I’ve seen more people praising this design than complaining about it.  If this is a knife you’re actually going to use, you’ll figure it out in no time.  If this is just a pretty thing to make people think your tough, then it’s not really a tool nor is it an EDC knife and you might have issues with it.

For me, this is a great working knife.  I use it outside, cutting open boxes and the top of the blade can double as a flat-head screwdriver in a pinch.  This isn’t really something to carry at work if you’re in an office environment.  People will freak out.  Did I mention it snaps open with a sound not so different from working the action on a Remington 870?

Some of the blade finish has started to come off.  I think it’s because I didn’t clean something off the blade which then etched the finish.  It might have been from cutting an orange or some sort of adhesive stuff.  I can’t really feel any difference on the blade itself, it just looks a little weird.  Sharpening the blade is a little interesting if you’ve never dealt with a tanto before.  Just be careful with that obtuse angle on the end of the blade.

While CRKT offers all of their knives for sale on their website, the MSRP is more than you can purchase it elsewhere…like Amazon.  There was one issue when the M16-04Z was purchased – I received a very old version of the knife that had opening/closing issues.  When I contacted CRKT, they had me send in the knife and replaced it without any hassle or questions asked.  There are a lot of fakes being sold on the market so if you’re concerned about getting the real thing, you can always buy direct.