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I carry a ton of crap with me every time I go to the range. From spare magazines and prototype holsters to cameras and fistfuls of ammunition, fitting all of that into a compact space (like the trunk of my Ford Focus) and getting it onto the firing line without multiple trips is the goal. I’ve tried all kinds of bags and sacks in an attempt to find the “perfect” range bag, and all have fallen short. Vertx is my favorite firearms-related clothing and accessories brand (I wear their pants every day), so when I realized that they also made a range bag I had to give it a try. Their current pride and joy: the A-Range Bag . . .

The bag meets and exceeds what I would expect from Vertx, and does it in a familiar and subtle manner. Let me explain.

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The overall size of the bag is somewhat large. The outside dimensions are roughly 12 inches high by 19 inches deep, and 10 inches wide. That’s a big sucker, which is great for storage space, but not ideal for keeping a low profile. Vertx realized this possible issue — that the large size makes it hard to conceal in a car, and a smash-and-grab robbery might net the baddie some expensive gear — so they smartly designed in some security features.

On the ends of the bag are a pair of rubber coated handles, and underneath that rubber coating is a steel cable. The cable runs the entire length of the bag, which makes picking the bag up easy even when fully loaded. It also doubles as a way to secure your stuff.

Simply lock that steel cable to your car (typically with another steel cable) and there’s no way someone will quickly grab it and scarper off. Then again, at the end of the day it’s still just a cloth bag, so given enough time, as with any bag, thieves will still be able to get in.

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The top main compartment is much shallower than the competition’s, and I don’t mean that in a Kim Kardashian way. In practical terms the compartment is about three quarters of an AR-15 magazine deep and three magazines long. That’s plenty of room to store some light gear, but might not be enough for everything you want to take.

Shown here is pretty much a standard “rifle only” match loadout for me and everything fits comfortably in the bag, but if you added much more it wouldn’t fit. For 3-gun competitions there’s no way you can cram everything you need into this one compartment, but for pistol competitions or day trips to the range you should be right as rain.

On the sides of the compartment are some pockets for various small gubbins, and there’s some padding to keep everything from getting bumped and bruised from external factors. The bottom of the compartment has a hard plastic liner, which is ideal since the top compartment only extends about halfway down into the bag. What’s underneath? Glad you asked!

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The real party trick here is this nifty ammo storage space. There are two slide-out trays which are intended to be used for loose ammunition storage. That can be a real godsend, since usually the bulkiest thing with ammunition is the box it comes in. Allowing the ammo to roam free as the wind within these compartments means you can increase the density and efficiency of your ammunition storage space. Or, for those who don’t like big words, you can carry more gun food.

These trays come with a removable mesh lining that can either be used to carry the ammunition around with you on the range, or used to collect spent brass after your day of happiness. The mesh nature of the bag means that the small dirt particles and other filth slips through the cracks while the delicious brass remains behind. A much cleaner solution than a standard dump pouch or Ziploc bag.

Above the trays are two zippered compartments for small items, like a MultiTasker and some sunscreen for my poor pale Scottish skin.

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Over on the other side of the bag, there’s a padded and zippered compartment which is pretty much perfect for handguns. The pocket is large enough to accommodate both your handgun and a magazine caddy of some sort, but adding multiple handguns might be an issue.

There is no compartmentalization here. Everything kinda just slides around. So if you’ve got multiple handguns, they might rub against each other marring the finish. A soft handgun case would fix this, but that takes extra effort and I’m lazy so I’m just going to complain. Or I suppose you could get a soft holster that sticks with Velcro backing which would work, too.

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Also included in the package: a handy handgun magazine case to hold all your mags. Which is nice.

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Overall the bag is great. It has enough space to be useful for range trips, the layout is very well thought out, and it looks good on the range. Ronan Farrow likes it. The problem (as always with Vertx) is the price. While the bag is really cool, I’m not sure that it’s $219.95 cool. There’s no doubt that it is head and shoulders above similar offerings from Safariland and Uncle Mike’s in both quality of the materials and usefulness of the design, but when the competition is a quarter to a third the price, that’s a big leap.

Vertx is the Gucci of the firearms world, it seems. And they are demanding prices roughly on par with that status. There’s no doubt that the bag is cool, and for those times when you’re heading to the range with a couple handguns and not a ton of gear this would be an ideal solution. But if you need to truck around much more than some spare magazines and eye protection then you might find yourself quickly running out of space.

Specifications: Vertx A-Range Bag

Size: 12”H x 19”W x 10”D
Price: $219.95

Ratings (out of five stars):

Build Quality: * * * * *
Rock solid. I’ve been abusing this bag for months and have only succeeded getting it a little dirty.

Value: * * *
I’m not 100% sure whether the bag is worth the extra cash. It’s unquestionably better than the competition, but that’s like saying a Ferrari is better than a Ford Focus. The question is do you want to invest that extra money for the added performance.

Overall: * * * * 
I like it a lot, and if your usual range-based mission involves a few handguns and a lot of ammunition, then this is a match made in heaven. Those looking for a little more storage (or to spend fewer samolians) space may want to look elsewhere.

17 Responses to Gear Review: Vertx A-Range Bag

    • My number one, single, and only go-to criticism of Vertx gear is the price.
      Best example: the ‘gunfighter’ shirt @ £125 rrp… I can get a Surpat shirt and trouser set from srvv.org including shipping for that (and don’t consider that cheap either).

  1. “There’s no doubt that it is head and shoulders above similar offerings from Safariland and Uncle Mike’s in both quality of the materials and usefulness of the design,”

    I’ve not handled the Vertx bag, but I find it very hard to believe it is that much better in quality over Safariland’s bag. I have had excellent results with Safariland’s products over the years and their range bag you linked to is approx 1/3 the cost. So I can buy three bags vs. one Vertx bag? Let me think about that… tick tock… nope! no way I’m spending that kind of money on this.

    I can get FOUR of these for less money: http://www.safariland.com/gear/shooters-premium-range-bag-1167966.html#start=1

  2. Its difficult to show the difference in quality among range bags, and other soft goods. Its not like a fire arm where the finish, fit, and accuracy are all measurable. I’ve got a Tac Force bag that I’ve had nearly 10 years that was only 90 bucks when I bought it and has held up to a lot of rough treatment, a lot of over filling, and two moves where I used it to haul non fire arms related items. I would have a hard time justifying spending double that on another bag, where as spending 1500.00 on a rifle is not such a hard decision.

  3. My range bag is right about the same size and though it doesn’t have all the pockets and magazine slots it works pretty well. Oh, yeah the price was less than 10% of that and I picked it up on a trip to Lowes. Amazing to me that people can’t look at a tool bag and realize that it will hold mags and ammo and hearing protection just as easily as wrenches, screwdrivers, and hammers.

  4. Ill just keep using my MidwayUSA brand range bag that I picked up for $25. That price is way too steep for a range bag for the majority of the gun loving public. Is it a really nice range bag? For sure, all the features look really great. Is it worth nearly the price of a case of 9mm? Not for me its not.

  5. Agreed on the Vertx pants. I have their Phantom LT ones, and they’re the bomb. Comfortable, lightweight, and durable.

    But YIKES, that bag is pricey!

  6. I use a Piper Gear black backpack. It holds my small tool box and two ammo boxes with a pistol case on top. Or similar combos. I can also attach my PS90 to the side of it with the straps if I feel like expensive plinking. I also have plebty of pockets for other things like a stapler, tape and pens. I think the bag cost about $55 dollars and has held up fairly well for being over 8 years old.

  7. Hard to beat a Goodwill/garage sale standard rolling carry-on bag as a range bag. Completely inconspicuous, holds a ton, opens completely, lasts forever, and you know, ROLLS. plus you can fit three at least in most trunks. I can usually get by with 2, but I haul an enormous amount of kit to the range routinely.

  8. Sounds like a nice bag.

    But here’s the thing. Every time I try a new bag / backpack / whatever which promises better organization, I run into the same problem.

    All those little dividers and thingies both limit how big something can be, and take up space that could otherwise be used.

    I just keep coming back to my very first range bag, from Midway, with a nice BIG central compartment and a couple of full-length side pockets. Pistols go in small hard cases (e.g. Plano triangles), ammo goes in a separate ammo can on pistol days. On rifle days, rifle case goes in one hand and ammo in the range bag. It always holds eye- and earpro, ballcap, notebook, magazines, etc.

    Basically, I find I much prefer a bag that doesn’t demand a certain way of using it.

  9. I just got my hands on a gamut plus backpack from a sale vertx was running a month ago. so far, I love it, it’s the limited edition grey and red version and it’s a great combination of capacity aesthetics and features. I’m using it for school this semester and so far, it has room for all my school supplies, an ifak, the potential for my daily loadout, (if I wasn’t on “protected ground), two water bottles, and the potential to hold a soft armor insert if I had the scratch for it. It also maintains a fairly low profile, it looks fancy, but it’s not exactly crapping molle out the wazoo, and other than its size, it doesn’t stand out compared to that of my peers.

    With regards to the price, Vertx has fairly regular sales and also goes for quite a bit less on retailers such as la police gear.

  10. Wait on a sale from Tactical distributors. It’s still steep but I fit mine for 25% off. The the article failed to mention that the side pockets and half of the side of the top compartment is lined with loop. Some cheap elastic mag holders and holster help in the side compartment and offer lots of customization for the rest of the bag.

    Yes I realize you’re spending more money on an already expensive bag but if you’re the type that likes more than a tool roll from Lowes for a range bag this is a good option

  11. Christ, I paid just over a third of the cost of this Vertx bag for my range bag and it has more room, is as sturdy as hell and looks good to boot.

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