Review of the Maxpedition Remora Gearslinger

IMG_7424Small backpacks and mini-packs seem to be all the rage right now. It seems like Preppers everywhere are buying them as an Every Day Carry (EDC) bag including men like me who seldom ventured in the man-purse or “murse” arena before. These compact, low-profile packs are perfect for activities like a hike in the mountains, an afternoon at the zoo or at the ballpark, a bike ride, or a day of shopping. An excellent example of one of these mini backpacks is the Maxpedition Remora.

The Remora is the newest and smallest member of Maxpedition’s Gearslinger line. The bag measures just 7.5×10.5×4 inches and provides up to 225 cubic inches of storage. The Remora features a single 2 inch shoulder strap, making the bag easy to carry and less obtrusive than the standard two-strap backpack. The sleek, feature-packed bag comes in several colors–black, khaki (the color pictured in this review), OD green, and foliage green–making it perfect for both men and women in both urban or rural settings.

The quality of the Remora is first rate. The bag is constructed of rugged 1000-Denier nylon fabric that has been coated with not only Dupont’s Teflon fabric protector to resist grime, dirt, and stains, but also with a triple-polyurethane to resist water. All stress points on the Remora have been double stitched with a composite nylon thread for extra strength and durability. The YKK zippers are well made, slide easily, and are topped off with a small loop of paracord to make them easier to grab. The versatility of the bag is further enhanced with the rows of MOLLE webbing on both the front and sides where you can attach additional MOLLE compatible items like cell phone, utility knife, and water bottle attachments.

Storage in the Remora is plentiful for what is considered to be a small bag. Measuring 7x10x3 inches, the main compartment is large enough to hold two Nalgene water bottles and several energy bars or if you prefer, a small laptop. Within the main compartment you’ll find two large slip pockets, one of which is lined with Velcro for a CCW. Another Velcro lined pocket, measuring 7×7.5 inches, can be found on the rear side of the bag as well which can also be used for a CCW.  I purchased Maxpedition’s universal CCW holster and found that either CCW pocket works well for a medium sized pistol, though for quick and easy access, I’d rather have my weapon located in the back pocket. Either way, I’m glad that Maxpedition provided options.

View of the Remora’s main compartment.
The Remora’s rear pocket–easy access for a CCW!

One feature of the Remora that I really like is the nifty front pouch. Measuring 6×6.5×3 inches, the inside of the pouch features two elastic bands in the front and one slip pocket in the back where small items can be organized and stored. Within this two-zippered pouch you’ll also find a Maxpedition exclusive, their so-called “Keyper,” a swivel-mounted retainer clip where you can secure your keys. Need more storage? A large zipped pocket, measuring 6×5.75 inches, is located on the front of the pouch where additional items can be stashed. Nice!

Internal view of the front pouch of the Remora.

Perhaps the most distinctive looking feature of the Remora is what Maxpedition calls the “Torch-Lair,” a Velcro lined sleeve framed with an X-pattern shock cord retainer. Some Remora owners aren’t quite sure what to make of this feature or what to store in it. That’s certainly understandable. It isn’t a feature that you typically find on a backpack or day bag. The Torch-Lair was designed to house a flashlight (hence the reason why Torch is in the name), but also works well in securing a water bottle, a wad of paracord, or a small hand pump for bicycles. The Velcro loop field, of course, makes a great location to affix a name or unit patch.

Closeup of the Remora’s Torch-Lair.
The rubber-like rear pad on the Remora is soft and breathable.

The Remora offers true versatility in how the bag can be carried. Four D-rings, one in each corner of the bag, enable it to be carried on either shoulder. If carrying the bag sling-style isn’t your cup of tea, you can do as my wife, and carry the bag on your shoulder using the top two D-rings as attachment points. Or, if you want to hand carry the bag, you can easily do that, too! Simply remove the shoulder strap, tuck the buckle flap in the rear compartment of the Remora, and snap it closed. Genius! The Remora even comes with a velcro buckle loop on the rear of the bag to allow it to be carried around your waist.

The buckled flap tucked in the Remora’s rear pocket. 

How does the Remora wear? Extremely well. Indeed, the bag is so light and comfortable that I often don’t even feel it on my back. A pad for the shoulder strap can be purchased, but I honestly don’t see a need for it with how light the bag is. Some may find the 2 inch shoulder strap a bit too wide (my wife changed out the original shoulder strap with a narrower 1-inch one for everyday use), but I found the width of the original 2 inch strap to be perfect. Making the bag even more comfortable, a thick, breathable, rubber-like pad lines the back of the bag. What’s the bottom line? Cyclists and those traveling on foot will find the Remora a pleasure to wear and much easier on the shoulders and back than the traditional backpack.

The Remora carried as a sling.
The Remora carried as a purse with a small strap.

While the design of the Maxpedition Remora is pretty genius, I do have some complaints. With an MSRP of $93.99, the bag is pricey. A similar sized bag with comparable features can be purchased for $30-40 less. Sure, you can score on a Remora for less than the MSRP (like on Amazon.com where I bought mine), but you’ll still spend more for a Remora than a comparable bag. Another complaint is the Remora’s lack of pouches for organizing smaller items. More sleeves and pouches, like those found in the Maxpedition FR-1, would’ve been perfect. Lastly, the Remora sports two grommet holes in the bottom of the bag. These are great for keeping the compartments aired-out and for internal spills, but not if you happen to place your bag in liquid or spill something on it. In spite of these complaints, none are what I consider to be deal breakers. It’s still a great bag.

Maxpedition greats–the FR-1 left, Remora right.

So if you’re an outdoors enthusiast or prepper looking for a lightweight, compact, and versatile bag that doesn’t dig into your shoulders, the Maxpedition Remora is for you. The durability and high grade construction ensures that the Remora will provide many years of quality use. Sure, you can buy a much cheaper bag, but something I learned long ago, is that you get what you pay for. You won’t find a better shoulder carried EDC bag on the market than the Maxpedition Remora. It’s a winner.

For a look into my EDC bag contents, click here.

Note: This is an independent review. I do NOT get paid to review products on this website. I will only recommend products in which I use and believe in and which I think will benefit my audience. The views expressed in my reviews are personal views and are written without any influence, whatsoever. That said, I reserve the right to engage in paid affiliate marketing and promotion with brands, companies and individuals whose products I review.

About Mello Mike 687 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator, he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, worked in project management, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top. - KK7TCA

5 Comments

  1. Nice review. You are right, IMHO, the price is up there. But for what they charge, your review gives ample info to decide if that's what a guy wants. I would like to see a section dedicated to medical organization and storage.

    One of the things I dislike about any kind of carry bag is that lately, it is more and more viewed by LEOs as a way to CCW. It will eventually be a signal to stop any competent looking guy near some place vulnerable. While slapping a Red Cross on the bag, such as on the FR-1 in your pic shows, might help deter curiosity, it might also make someone ask, "Why do you need to carry a medic bag with you? Plan on getting shot?"

    I wish there were a more acceptable method of carrying like this. I considered buying a laptop bag, that obviously LOOKED like a laptop bag. Thieves may take an interest, but officialdom might take a pass on it.

    As of now, I am bagless. My wife carries a TDI-KaBar in her purse, and being a purse, it gets no special attention. I make good use of pockets and belt loops. Still looking for a good alternative….

  2. Huh… never even noticed that there was a "rage" on right now for small backpacks…. I have three full-size ones I carry in the trunk of the car, one filled with RPG manuals, one empty that gets used for clothes for overnight visits, and a third which usually get's used for work, but currently carries my cigar kit.

    Traditionally, I never wear them very far, so perhaps that's why I never considered a "murse" before, usually everything I need in an average day of my life either fits in the pockets of my pants, coat, or rides in my usually nearby automobile.

    So, this is definitely something to look into, though I doubt I'll buy one, personally, I don't have a direct use for it.

    When I cycle, everything I carry goes in the four saddle bags on the bike, or is strapped to one of the two cargo racks it has on it ;).

    • Great thoughts, Matt. An EDC bag is good for things like hikes, an afternoon at the zoo or at the ballpark, a bike ride, or a day of shopping. I don't carry with me everyday, per se, just when I'll be away from home or the RV for a lengthy period of time.

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