Some things you buy online and the moment you hit purchase you say to yourself, “was that really a good idea?” That’s what happened to me when I bought the waxed canvas Defy Bags Parker Pack.
Defy Bags makes all their gear in a small shop in Chicago. I love supporting small shops and I really enjoy supporting places that make their own gear in the USA.
Last summer I took my kids to the park pretty much every day. Chasing after them is the best and when it’s me and the two of them I need to be quick… it’s almost like they enjoy putting themselves in dangerous situations.
Summer is almost here so I started thinking of a new to carry the small gear I need (phone, wallet, keys) in a way that it won’t spill out of my pockets. Enter the Parker Pack.
The Defy Bags Parker Pack
This rarely happens but I don’t even know where to start with this preview. I guess we’ll tackle this like a backpack post even though it’s hardly a backpack.
Not a backpack. But a unique pack you can take anywhere. A bag that’s small. Nimble. Zippered. One where you could simply fasten it around your waste and go.Defy Bags
See that last line? Fasten it around your waste (I think they mean waist?) and go. This, boys and girls, is a fanny pack.
What we have right here is the waxed canvas version of the Defy Bags Parker Pack. I went with waxed canvas (instead of the ballistic nylon) because I’m a big fan of the GR1 Heritage (video). I was also interested in comparing the waxed canvas used in this bag and the stuff that GORUCK used.
Looking at the top of the bag you can see there’s two zipper pockets. That zipper pocket on the front has more room than you’d expect… the whole bag can fit more than its appearance leads on.
There’s a single Defy Bags tag at the end of the front zipper. Nothing big or obnoxious here and if you really wanted I bet you could cut it off.
Defy Bags prides itself on using Cobra Buckles on all of their gear. Cobra buckles are expensive and retail for between $20 and $30 a piece.
Although they’re both expensive (and a little heavy) they do make a very satisfying “click” sound when you close them. Time will tell if I think this was a good decision or not.
It’s not that I don’t like Cobra Buckles it’s more that I don’t know if they’re necessary on a fanny pack. I’m not a connoisseur of fanny packs but I imagine you’d want to go with a lighter option.
Here’s what the male end looks like. You’ll notice there’s a D ring close by which is used for adjusting the strap.
Here’s the female end. You push on both of those gold(ish) sides to release the buckle.
The strap material used feels like a seat belt but is probably something similar to MIL-W-27265. Defy Bags notes that it’s MILSPEC webbing but they don’t say what type exactly.
Since we’re talking webbing we might as well finish up with the strap. There’s a nice clip on there for making sure the excess webbing stays secure. Adjusting this thing is a pain at first but if you send the 5 minutes to figure it out then it makes quite a bit of sense.
Finally the MILSPEC webbing is sewn over at the end preventing it from sliding through that clip we just looked at.
With the strap out of the way we can finally get back to talking about the pack. This is the part that sits against your waist or your back. There’s not much room for ventilation here (it’s also waxed canvas) so we’ll see what happens on hot days.
As previously mentioned there’s two zippers on this thing. The front pocket goes around the front and the top pocket goes over the top.
What’s that green stuff? This was hanging next to my Triple Aught Design Shagmaster and it looks like some fuzz from that might have transferred over. Hopefully this does not mean this is a dust/fuzz magnet.
The other side of the pack features a D ring. While Defy Bags mentions you could use that for a water bottle or a carabiner I’m not sure I’m on board. Maybe if you were carrying it as a backpack but I cannot imagine a water bottle hanging off my waist. I’ve already flown close to the sun buying this thing. I’m pretty sure if I hung a water bottle off of it I’d be flying directly into the sun.
The front pocket is essentially a cavernous hole. There’s plenty of room here for a camera although there wouldn’t be much protection for it. According to the Defy Bags website the Parker Pack uses 1000d Cordura on the inside.
Here we have a view into the top compartment. You can see that there’s slightly less room in this one.
This pocket also has a small divider in it which I’ve found myself putting my phone in.
Here’s a final look at that top opening. If you put googly eyes on the top it might look like a mouth.
Now that the bag is here I’m still feeling those same unsure thoughts. Was it a good purchase? Is this something I’ll actually use? Now that I have kids is this what I’ve become? When my kids get older will this embarrass them enough?
Although I don’t know the answer to any of those questions I do know that this is pretty much the GORUCK of fanny packs. The sewing is top notch, it’s made in the USA, and the materials are excellent.
Even that Cobra Buckle, which is severe overkill for something like this, is pretty cool.
If you’re someone who’s in the market for a cross body bag or a fanny pack then you can’t go wrong at least looking at the Parker Pack. It’s definitely not for everyone but maybe it’s for you. Leave your thoughts in the comments!