I’m no prepper, but my experience in emergency response has only reinforced that tried and true motto I learned long ago: be prepared. And that preparedness starts with having the training and the gear to deal with any situation you might encounter. That’s the whole idea behind a “bail out bag” – something you can throw in the trunk and forget about. But when you need it, the bag will be ready to go with all the supplies you need. Hazard 4 is a relatively new company in the field of tactical gear, but they think they’ve hit the nail on the head with their Plan B bail out bag design . . .
The observant reader may remember a while back that I had a little Top Gear-esque challenge where Tyler and I made our own bail out bags. And while Tyler may have “won” with his load-out, I still maintain that I chose properly on the design. And the reason is the compact and concealable nature of the bag I chose.
Specifically, this bag: County Comm’s Sat Comm bag with some extra goodies taped to the sides. And the reason I liked this bag so much was that it had enough room inside to stow an entire AR-15. In fact, I still leave this bag in my trunk (AR-15 included). The other reason I liked it so much was that it was a single strap design instead of a two-strap backpack. That makes it slimmer and easier to get in and out of tight spaces.
Hazard 4’s bag grows from the same concept. This isn’t a bag designed to be carted over many hundred miles and support a family of four. All it needs to be able to do is hold enough supplies to get you out of trouble and back home.
Starting from the outside, there are more MOLLE straps than you can shake a stick at. Which is great — everyone is going to want their bag setup a little differently, and as long as the core is solid (and has room for expansion on the outside) the end user can customize their bag to meet their needs.
The strap setup is more or less as you’d expect (with the strap attaching to the center of the top of the bag), but the bottom of the strap is attached to one of the sides. The end user can choose to which side the bottom attaches to accommodate the shoulder you’ll use to carry it and make the bag carry more comfortably.
Another benefit of the strap is you can rotate it quickly around your body to access your gear without having to take it off. If you had a backpack you’d need to take off at least one strap to get to any of your stuff, but thanks to the single strap all you need to do is grab hold and yank it around to reach a handgun or bottle of water. That not only keeps you comfortable, but keeps your gear handy in a possible emergency situation.
Speaking of comfort, the bag has some soft spongy panels on the back that not only keep your gear from digging into you, but also keep the air flowing across your back. And that’s important if you’re fat like me and sweat a lot when doing physical activities, as the sweat will dry off pretty quickly thanks to that air flow.
Moving to the front, the main front pouch is a monster that has more than enough room to comfortably fit my P226 Mk25 plus ammo (although a Glock 19 might be more comfy in that space). There’s also room for pens and such, but I’m still naming this the “firearms storage compartment.” Up top is a smaller pouch for, I dunno, business cards and stuff. Lip balm, perhaps. Anyway, a small pocket of some description, which we’ll now slide over and proceed to the main event.
The large compartment in this bag is one continuous space. So if you wanted to stash a long gun in there (like a Sub 2000, an AR-15 won’t fit unless you get a tax stamp to go with it) you can do it. It also has a compartment for a water bladder for hydration and more mesh pockets for various and sundry items.
But if large continuous spaces aren’t your thing, you can install dividers that come with the bag. These foam dividers grab onto the felt sides with velcro and keep everything more or less separated. They can be infinitely adjusted to suit the end user’s needs.
So what we have here is a definite step up from County Comm’s offering. Looking at the bag with the idea that it’s a shell — a base upon which to build your bag — it’s pretty good. There’s lots of space for additions, and the built-in pockets are pretty well thought out. The addition of the hydration bladder pocket is a nice touch, too. But personally, I would have liked to see the bag be a little bit longer. I like to have the option of hiding an AR-15 in my bag should the need arise, even if I don’t exercise that option. On the other hand, it gives me a great excuse to buy a Sub 2000.
Hazard 4 Evac Plan B
MSRP : $126
Ratings (out of five stars):
Design: * * * * *
I really like it. Its not exactly a “complete” solution, but its a solid base on which to build your ultimate bag.
Functionality: * * * *
It works just fine. All the zippers zip and all the buckles buckle. But…something about it feels a tad cheap. It’s the difference between slamming the door on a H3 Hummer and a Pinto. I’m not saying it IS cheap, just that it FEELS cheap.
Overall Rating: * * * *
The design is great (I’ll keep my 16″ AR desires out of the summation). The execution is good enough, but the price might be a little on the expensive side. County Comm’s similar bag goes for $60, and while it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, it’s good enough for a base. I could see $80 to $100 for this, but nearasdamnit $130 seems just a touch high.