Guest Gear Review: EMS Big Bang 38L Daypack
|Our guest reviewer and EMT extraordinaire with |
the EMS Big Bang all loaded up!
Gone are the days of carrying around a book bag, laptop bag and gym bag. The Big Bang Daypack does it all without making you look like you're on an intercontinental expedition. Though the Big Bang is clearly made for the overburdened student or business person looking to carry everything they need for multiple activities, I found it quite useful as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
The layout of the smaller compartments keeps my gear organized and accessible while the big compartment swallows everything I feed it, and hungers for more.
The massive main compartment has one thick piece of fabric dividing it in half. This keeps books and laptops snug against your back while your lunch, gym clothes, shoes, and other items float freely in the remaining space. Give your laptop one taste of the 11x16" plush padded compartment and it won't want to come out. It's big enough to fit a giant-screened media laptop, and you know your electronics will be well protected.
On the outside, a smaller organizer compartment provides a padded Velcro sealed iPod/phone holder, space for pens, two large slip pockets and an internal zippered pocket for smaller loose items. Just bear in mind that this "small" organizer compartment could hold a 2L hydration pack; it's only small in relation to the bag itself.
|A laptop and big books fit in perfectly.|
The Big Bang is comfortable thanks to thick, breathable padding around the lumbar area, upper back area and shoulder straps. The outside of the pack, not the sides, is made with thick ripstop nylon and the zippers are the same heavyweights found on more rugged backpacking packs. There is also an adjustable sternum strap and removable waist strap.
Though I was generally impressed with the Big Bang, there is room for improvement. Despite the pack's burly construction, I noticed the stitching starting to pull away at the edges of the shoulder straps after a short period of use with light to moderate loads. For a pack that could easily be loaded with 30 pounds, the shoulder straps could be attached more securely. (Editor's note: EMS product engineers confirmed this isn't typical of their packs. A replacement is on its way, and we'll update the review when we've had a chance to test it out!) The pack could also use compression straps on the shoulders. This would add adjustability, increase strength and durability, and make carrying heavier items more comfortable. I found that the bottom part of the shoulder straps with webbing occasionally rubs against my sides. There is also only one water bottle pocket on the outside, and a second could easily be added for more water carrying fun. The pocket is also much too short for a 1L Nalgene bottle.
|The separate zipper pockets keep essentials |
close by. (D. Herscovitch)
Overall, it's a quality pack with a well thought out design allowing someone away from home all day involved in multiple activities to keep everything they need well organized. It will be a great asset for any student or business person on the run who carries a laptop, large books, an ensemble of small electronics, snacks, and even a rock collection with them everywhere they go.
Huge thanks to EMS for giving us a complimentary bag to review! As always, the opinions expressed here weren't influenced by the fact that the product wasn't purchased. What do you think, is this backpack for you?