LBT Evolution Shadow Bag

London Bridge Trading Company Evolution Messenger Bag Shadow BagI thought this review would never happen because it seemed London Bridge Trading Co. had discontinued their Evolution line. Recently, Sam and I were talking about EDC bags and after a bit Google-Fu he found the bag still listed on LBT’s website. Problem is, LBT doesn’t have anyway to get to that page directly from their website. No worries here is the direct link:

The Shadow Bag’s discrete look was a key selling feature for me. Other popular options like Maxpedition bags look too tactical with hook and loop panels and PALS webbing on the exterior, but the Shadow Bag looks like an every day laptop bag. It may not be suited for a 1st class business man, but for the average office worker, the styling is just fine, but style isn’t everything. Open it up and you’ll see that this incognito messenger means business.

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The Shadow Bag’s materials and durability are top notch. Made of heavy denier nylon, I haven’t had so much as a loose thread after a year of every day carry. The plastic swivel hooks that attach the shoulder strap to the bag have held up fine, but can get a little squeaky every now and then, but that’s nothing a little lube wont fix. The heavy duty zippers are smooth and have never snagged. Hollowed 550 pulls provide quick and easy access to the pockets.

The front flap cover features a top carry handle, and dual adjustable fastex buckles. A zippered opening on the top of the flap allows access to the bag without opening the flap completely. Open the flap and you’ll find the main zipped compartment and three roomy front pockets measuring 8″ tall, 5″ wide and 2″ deep. Each zippered pocket features a high quality elastic retention loop sewn to the aft of the pocket. The loop is large enough to accept standard M4 magazines or anything else you may need them for. Also, on each side of the bag, there’s a water bottle pocket. It’s not large enough for Nalgene style bottles though. An adjustable and removable padded shoulder strap completes the package.

Onto the interior. LBT’s specs gives the Shadow bag 1200 cubic inches of interior capacity. At the seams it’s 19″ long, 15.5″ tall and 5″ deep. Inside, toward the back of the bag, there are is a and a padded and felt lined pocket that will hold up at a 17″ laptop with a simple velcro closure. You’ll also find a large hanging pocket that can be flipped out of the bag for easy access. This large zippered pocket features a couple of small pockets inside, and is covered in organizational pockets. Pen pockets, coms pocket, a windowed ID pocket, and felt lined elastic pocket. Even with the large hanging pocket, there’s a ton of room in the main compartment area for your day to day work gear.

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Finally, the backside of the Shadow bag has full-size padded compartment with 3 zippered entry points (sides and top). This compartment features a hook and loop strip and a universal holster that will easily accept PF-9/LC9 or comparable sized pistols. However, the pocket is large enough to just about any piece you’d like to carry.

The Evolution Shadow Bag is able to blend in with the ordinary, but it’s internal capabilities are anything but standard. You may choose not to use all the bags provided features, but I like that there are options. The capacity, organizational capabilities, versatility, and discrete look make this bag a winner in my book.

It’s price compared to similar bags is also worth noting. I picked mine up on sale for $45. Yeah, 45 bucks, but these days they’re regularly priced at only $55 and it’s covered by LBT’s lifetime warranty. If your in the market for an office friendly non-backpack EDC carry option you should really consider the LBT Evolution Shadow Bag.