Monday, April 02, 2007

The Ultimate Bag in the War on Terror …

… is the one presumably carried by Counter Terrorism Unit Agent Jack Bauer on the television show “24”. During the past season, Jack’s bag of tricks helped him defeat Russian separatist terrorists and a conspiracy that went all the way up to the Oval Office. Whether he was dodging bullets or evading Secret Service agents, Jack’s trusty messenger bag helped him carry the tools of his spy trade through all 24 episodes.

Rothco, as part of our Vintage Classic Packs and Sacks bag line, has a selection of over a dozen messenger bags in various colors and sizes. The best seller is the Heavyweight Classic Messenger Bag , a 22 oz. dark canvas bag that, according to a Seattle Times article , IS the same bag used by Jack Bauer in Season 5.

What makes the bag so special? Probably a lot of the same things that make Jack so special: it’s tough, versatile, looks good in just about any situation, has lots of great, rugged features, and is affordable (after all, Jack IS a civil servant).

Here are the bags features:
• Jumbo 15” x 11” x 6” size to fit weapons, hand tools or even a laptop computer
• An inside zipper pouch for those stealth items
• 3 Outside pockets for Jack’s never-needs-charging cell phone and other at-once tools.
• Brass hardware for durable good looks
• A 2” wide, adjustable shoulder strap for hands-free carrying
• 2 Outer Canvas Gear Straps to hook pens, carabiners, etc.

The Seattle Times writer is not the first to write about the bag. It’s popular all over the blogosphere, with articles at the appropriately titled, which speaks of all things Bauer related, at the somewhat mysterious, and at, a site touting itself as the “#1 buyer’s guide for men” which features a TON of cool stuff, and lastly, a blog named after and devoted to the bag itself, The Jack Sack.

The Jack Sack actually has an interesting feature where readers list the items THEY carry in their Jack Sack. Here’s a list from LEK, a newspaper crime reporter from West Virginia, who carries a cool list of items including the types of lights and knives you can purchase from Rothco:

"I'm a newspaper crime reporter and go to a lot of funky, somewhat dangerous places. In my bag, I carry two notebooks, numerous pens, two spare Nikon camera batteries, a flash attachment and batteries for same, Surefire 6-P flashlight with a striking bezel on it. Bottle of drinking water, 2-4 power bars, Cold Steel X2 Voyager folding knife, checkbook and 2-3 extra loaded magazines for the Glock 26 9mm handgun I legally carry everywhere but the courthouse, schools and post office."

In the interest of full disclosure I have to say that not only do I sell the “Jack Bauer bag”, I’m also a hopelessly addicted “24” fan from day one. I’ve cheered all of Jack’s heroics and booed all the bad guys whether they are Chechnyan, Middle Eastern, Bosnian or American in each and every season. You can obviously guess how juiced I am that the props people at Fox chose our bag for our hero. Watching “24”, I wonder as many others do, why our real agents aren’t able to diffuse crises in just one day the way Jack does. Tonight is another new episode and I’ll be eagerly watching.

John Ottaviano

P S There's a new stonewashed version of the bag that just came out in Rothco's new Hardstone canvas washed bags. See the picture above or click here.