ecbc Lance Executive Daypack Video Review - $150 ($75)

Posted by Deron Chang on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 with 3 comments
ecbc Lance Executive Daypack Review


Video Review:



This is one great crossover daypack.  If you have read this blog, you know that I have a specific set of criteria that I am looking for in a "CDP."  As a professional, I need a bag that can carry electronic devices and files for work and yet, as a dad, I need a pack that can carry my gear for urban and natural adventures on weekends. If you are like me, then I think your search may be over.

The ecbc Lance crosses over these two needs beautifully!

You will note that I have purchased and reviewed quite a few packs since my quest to find the perfect CDP began a few months ago.  I had actually ended the quest this summer when I found what I thought, at the time, was the best compromise pack:  The Osprey Radial 26L.  Indeed, this is a great pack - and still does most of what I want in a CDP.  It was a compromise, however, so there were a few annoying issues that I had to simply live with.  I had resigned myself to the idea that I couldn't do any better.  Then I discovered the Lance a few days ago while searching for a messenger bag (I know, you might be asking "Why does he need a messenger bag?"  See the answer here.

First off, this pack is a bargain at $75.  It is currently on sale directly from the ecbc website (http://www.ec-bc.com) though most online retailers are selling it for the MSRP of $150.  Don't expect this deal to still be in place if you are reading this post well after February of 2015.

Let me start off by saying that this is my new everyday bag.

The Good Stuff:

The bag is well made with a strong but not too stiff ballistic nylon with pockets made from thinner ripstop.  The seams are taped, straight, and reinforced in high stress areas.  The zippers may not be as crazy beefy as those seen in my review of the STM Trust Messenger bag, but they are beefy and the pulls are large, attractive, and durable.  I can open the zippers with mittens on.

The two things that really sold me on this CDP are the fleece lined zippered pocket for my sunglasses and the legitimate waist belt.  First the zippered pocket:  it is on TOP of the bag in a safe spot that is unlikely to get crushed by a closing subway door, crowd of commuters, or if the bag simply tips over onto the floor.  I know that there are some pack makers that have similar designs and locations for this sunglasses pocket, but they don't usually have all the other great things this bag has.  It's like the bag manufacturer says "Well, we gave them a top-loading sunglasses pocket, so I guess we can't add in a dedicated tablet pocket."  I really think EVERY manufacture should include a sunglasses pocket in the same way they provide shoulder straps.  Enough ranting...

The waist belt:  I have done a lot of backpacking and rock-climbing in my life (ok...when I was much younger, darn it) and each time I used packs that had the weight transferring and/or stabilizing function of a hip belt.  Typically, hip belts are padded, molded, and stout.  They need to be since you spend a lot of time wearing your pack and this is a major point of connection between you and your pack.  Shoulder straps are more about keeping your pack in place while the hip belt takes the weight of the pack and transfers it to your hips.  This allow you to carry your load comfortably for hours.

For a CDP, one does not need a full-featured hip belt.  There is no need as you are not carrying the kinds of loads that one does when camping or climbing.  However, if you plan to use the CDP for an 5 mile hike on the weekend with 10 pounds of photo equipment, 2 pounds of snacks, and a pound of safety stuff, having a belt that transfers SOME of the weight to your hips is a god-send.  Also, if you are like me and you often find yourself running to a meeting that started 10 minutes ago, having the ability to lock your pack to your body as you run to make up time is essential.  Add cycling to your repertoire and a waist belt is not only nice, but a necessity.

The Lance has a superb waist belt.  Most daypack manufacturer don't even bother to include a waist belt and those that do provide a pathetic 1 inch removable waist belt that digs into your ribcage.  It's better than nothing, but it isn't good.  The Lance waist belt webbing is 1.5 inches wide and has wings where they emerge from the pack making it both a comfortable and functional.  Not only that, but ecbc provides a sleeve into which you can tuck this beefy waist belt when you do not need it!

Let me stop for a moment to admit how absurd it is for me to be praising a waist belt and pocket.  Know, however, that when a manufacturer does these two things well (and ecbc has indeed done just that) then you know that they had an eye for thoughtful details in other areas of the pack.  This is, in fact, just the case with the Lance.

I could go on and on about all the great touches about this pack, but I prefer to let my video do the talking and showing.  Frankly, I am shocked that you read all the way to this line.  As a bonus for your perseverance:  "Regina" at ecbc informed me that "ecbc" stands for Evolve Cases and Bags of California.  

The Bad Stuff:

There only one thing that I truly miss.  There is no lashing strap on the shoulder strap to which I can connect my retractable ID and key lanyard.  I decided to add my own piece of webbing, but the quality of the workmanship does not exactly match the rest of the pack (see below)...



The other thing that is not really something I expected from the Lance but, since I have been using the Osprey Radial for several months, I have become spoiled with its trampoline style suspension system. For the Lance, there is some relief (channels in the foam back) for ventilation.

That's it.  Relatively minor flaws.

Bottom line:

The pack is the best.  It is what I will use and what I will recommend to colleagues, students, and family.  Given that the pack is also on sale right now for 50% off, this is an absolute no brainer. Grade: A.

Photos: