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