CapArms Question of the Day: Got Backpack?

After TSA found a number of hollow-point .45’s nestled deep in my dual range/travel bag, I decided it’s probably a good idea to have one bag for gun stuff and one for travel. At the NRA Annual Meetings Meghan Finley demo’ed the $100 5.11 Rush MOAB 10 (Mobile Operation Attachment Bag, not the Mother Of All Bombs) for us. Nice bag but . . .

I figure any bag festooned with MOLLE isn’t the most covert carry bag a man can carry. Just in case I want to carry something ballistic, like, say, a B&T .45 caliber pistol with an SB Tactical Brace. This one doesn’t accommodate my MacBook Air laptop. So nyet. Do you have a backpack for daily schlepping and occasional covert carry?

comments

  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I’ve been looking for a backpack that can carry an AR-15 broken down and a plate carrier at a reasonable price but I cannot seem to find one.

    1. avatar Neth says:

      Vhyrus, have you looked at the Hazard 4 Plan-B? https://www.hazard4.com/plan-b.html

      Tim from Military Arms Channel carried it during NRA:

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        According to the site the main compartment is only about 20″ long, but an AR upper is about 25″, so I don’t see how that could work.

      2. avatar Vhyrus says:

        So I finally got to watch the video. It can definitely fit the gun but I don’t think a standard plate carrier will also fit in there.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      The Arc’Teryx Miura 50 will do what you want and probably outlive you.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        Unfortunately they don’t seem to make that anymore.

    3. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I like my incognito BLACKHAWK! Diversion Racquet Bag, but that isn’t a backpack and you couldn’t also stuff a plate carrier in there. Great for the gun and some mags, though, and not getting a second look.

      I saw this at NRA Show and it’s incognito and would probably fit the bill. Not inexpensive though: https://kineticdg.com/product/kdg-apparition-pack-redblack/

  2. avatar Zerplex says:

    LL Bean deluxe book pack. Had it since 7th grade (18 years or something) still good to go.

    That bag has untold thousands of miles on it. Still holds things, cant ask for more.

    1. avatar NorincoJay says:

      I have a once blue now purplish blue Jansport early mid 1990’s vintage. It’s awesome

      1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

        LL Bean and Jansport? Newbs. Nowhere near complicated or tactical or expensive enough. Also needs a cool Tactical manufacturer and model name.

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I went to a second-hand shop in my area and purchased a really nice notebook computer bag (with shoulder strap) for $8. I can haul all manner of items with that bag and no one gives it a second look.

    I can even haul both a notebook computer AND firearms at the same time in that bag. It gets a little bit heavy though!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I did the same thing at a thrift store. And I scored a swiss gear backpack for 5 bucks. I use them both depending on my needs.

    2. avatar Matt says:

      To this day the best rifle sling I have ever had was a strap from a mid 90’s Targus laptop bag. Solid metal hardware, curved for the neck, and over an inch think pad in the center.

  4. avatar Jimmy James says:

    I bought a VooDoo Tactical briefcase a while back and it is my Go Bag for laptop or tablet, off body concealed carry, first aid kit, mad money, flashlight, pocket point and shoot camera, etc. Still looking for the perfect size BOB.

  5. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    I got one of those UTG “covert” single shoulder strap (plus waist strap) backpack/bag for my SBR, accessories, mags and such. It works well for me. I haven’t gone hiking with it or anything though.

  6. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Yeah, nothing except the backpacks for that video, huh RF?

  7. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Daily carry to work is a Camelback beast. It’s black with some Molle, but not a lot. Can carry all my daily charging gear, backup battery, umbrella, etc., as well as two laptops and an iPad Pro (yeah, it gets a little heavy at that point). I use it for commuting to work and as a carry-on for air travel.

    I specially DON”T take it to the range – I use a 5.11 shoulder bag for that, and an old Oakley backpack if I need to carry more range stuff.

    I don’t want a forgotten round to cost me my TSA Pre card.

  8. avatar NorincoJay says:

    I had an associate that fanny packed it. He would go deep cover with a big touristy camera around his neck, knee high socks and shorts, total goof look. You’d never guess the guy didn’t take s**t from no one.

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    A “tactical Tailor” has always been my carry on/travel bag.
    For a briefcase style carry, it’s an older Al Mar tactical, bullet proof.

  10. avatar Gunrunner says:

    I really like 5.11 bags.

    I’ve had MOAB 10’s for a couple of years. We have them in the vehicles for basic get home bags. The hidden firearm pocket is nice, especially with how you can swing the pack around to the front for access.

    The MOAB 10 just barely holds an MPX pistol (mag removed) in the main compartment.

    My daily laptop, firearm, assorted junk carrier is the 5.11 Rush Delivery Lima. It comfortably carries a couple of handguns, mags, laptop, AC adaptor, cables, and many assorted other items. Oh, and it will externally carry my two 20oz Contigo travel coffee mugs.

    1. avatar Arc says:

      +1 for 5.11 bags, my 72 hour rush bag thing looked “functional” in the MCX so I forked out for it back in Hawaii, its been through Afghanistan, Okinawa, now its my bug bag. I “borrowed” *wink wink* some tent repair supplies to fix one of the straps because I had loaded it down with way too much stuff a few times but otherwise its still holding up. I’ve shoved in the area of 80-100lbs of stuff in it at times, used it at my computer bag >40lbs, etc.

      I just wish some prick didn’t cut the chest strap on it, or steal my afghan and Japanese flag patches off the back. the 5.11 rush could use a little more hip support but otherwise works.

      5.11 products are good shit, Tac shield rigging belts, and BDS tactical leg rigs.. I need to get myself a new belt strap for my rig, the velcro has finally worn down, but its still sitting on top of my go bag.

      /satisfied customer

  11. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    If you plan on humping 20lbs or more of stuff in a go bag (i.e. Extra ammo + plates are heavy), I’d recommend a hiking backpack that is designed to carry the weight in your hips as opposed to shoulders.

    Osprey is a good brand. Most modern hiking packs have resovoirs for hydration and nice flat insert pockets on the back perfect for soft or hard plateS.

    Another benefit to a hiking pack is you’ll look more civilian than carrying a molle pack, but to each their own.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      I second this. Mine’s a Kelty though. I’ve retired the same backpack 3-4 times. Tried other bag styles, and I always go back to my Kelty.

      I don’t currently carry a firearm in it, but it held my sub 2k plus a bunch of other stuff just fine. I’ve carried that thing all over. And I’ve had TSA find ammo a couple times now. :/

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        How did they respond to that? Finding ammo in your bag, I mean.

        1. avatar tjlarson2k says:

          I’ve found one .22 casing in my backpack that must’ve been there for several domestic and international flights. No one caught or mentioned it.

  12. avatar max says:

    Chrome Metropolis Messenger.

  13. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    I carry a Saddleback Leather classic briefcase, XL, in tobacco. It easily holds my 19″ laptop and everything else I would need, including a Glock and extra mags. I would never use it as a range bag, though.

    I figure it could carry something compact like a Keltec Sub2K, if I thought that were called for. Although as a rule, if I think I may need more defensive firepower than my EDC and BUG, then I try to avoid going there.

  14. avatar JohnnyIShootStuff says:

    “my dual range/travel bag”

    Why baby Jesus why? Bags are cheap and the full search from TSA is not fun. Travel bags are never used as gun bags and gun bags are never used as travel bags – if only for the reason of the residue on the bag will set off the chemical sniffers.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      “the residue on the bag will set off the chemical sniffers.”
      From GSR? No, it won’t. I’ve had my bags swabbed within hours of being filled with firearms and ammunition fresh from a course, multiple times, with no positive result. I’ve had swabs taken directly of the compartments where my pistols sat, only hours before and after hundreds of rounds fired, without a positive result.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Does that apply to the sniffersthough?

        I’ve never had a problem with a swab test but I’ve wondered about those machines that you stand in and get air blown at you. Do they even still use those? (I used to fly a lot, but alas, not much these days.)

        1. avatar Warren says:

          Yes, they still use those, and yes, they’re testing for the exact same thing the swabs are. Firearm residue and components won’t set those off. Fancy expensive hand lotions will, oddly enough. It’s the glycerin that does it. My wife’s been flagged more times than I have, and between the two of us I’m the one who’s constantly handling firearms.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “…Fancy expensive hand lotions will, oddly enough. It’s the glycerin that does it.”

          So, K-Y and similar ‘lubes’ will set it off???

    2. Calguns is full of reports of shooting bags being flagged by the swabs after shooting classes, and I watched a flightmate get yanked aside for lighting up the swaps after a shooting class.

  15. avatar jwtaylor says:

    http://vertx.com/edc-gamut-bag#
    http://vertx.com/edc-satchel#

    Exceptional bags. Well made, very well thought out. Fighter Design makes soft armor inserts for them that makes them pistol caliber proof.

    1. avatar OODAloop says:

      Dang, you beat me to it. The Gamut is awesome. Two sizes, lots of storage, *not* covered in molle, zippers (and pulls) are different for different pockets for ease of identification, interior is a lighter color to aid in finding stuff, back panel has a large zipper around the circumference with interior “fuzzy” hook & loop to allow attachment of holsters and gear, etc, etc.

      Great feature – the 15″ laptop sleeve is padded sides and bottom and slightly elevated off the floor of the pack to keep your laptop from getting damaged if you should set the pack down a little hard.

      I had been running a 5.11 Covrt for a few years before moving to the Gamut.

      BTW, what’s up with the “temp shadowbanning” of posts? I’ll post to TTAG and the entry will show up a 30-60 minutes later. No amount of refreshing will change it…

  16. avatar Rokurota says:

    Ful Apex that holds a 17″ laptop and everything else I cart around all day for work. I guess I could stick an SBR in there, but the TSA might take exception to that.

  17. avatar Mark N. says:

    I have a dedicated range bag, and that is the only place it goes.

  18. avatar Lucas D. says:

    A got a really nice one from Davidoff at a tobacco trade show. Don’t know the brand off-hand, but it has a tough nylon mesh exterior, a soft interior with several internal pockets, folds up to a very thin profile when empty, and is around 2 feet deep; plenty enough to hold a taken-down AR or folding stock AK and several magazines in the laptop pouch. It doesn’t look anything like a gun bag, so it can do double-duty as an ordinary bookbag without raising any eyebrows.

    When I get home from work, I’ll look up info on the manufacturer and specific model and post it here.

    1. avatar Lucas D. says:

      …Damn, I work late.

      Anyways, it’s made by Timbuk2, and they’re apparently more pricey than I thought (Thanks, Davidoff!). Of course, they are made in San Francisco, so I’ll be sure to keep that in mind each time I use it as a range bag.

      For anyone who has a ready-made list of why it’s a terrible idea to use it for that purpose, just go ahead and pretend you didn’t read any of this, because I won’t have to pretend that I’m not gonna read your feedback.

  19. avatar George in RI says:

    with all the stuff I schlep around to the range, I have no idea how anyone doesn’t have a purpose-range bag dedicated and kept full and ready at all times. What do these folks do, dump all the stupid ear protection, eye prot, magazines, various mag feeders, snap caps, small tools for sight adjustments, and like 50 other things that are useful in a pile in their basement when its time to re-purpose the range bag? not to mention the whole TSA thing, and its not just ammo that they can find. Some places you fly to do the bomb sniffing stuff and spent ammo residue got my buddy frisked and interviewed when flying into Israel with his “dual purpose” bag. There is sometimes a fine line between “thrifty” and “dumb” and this is one of those times.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      “What do these folks do, dump all the stupid ear protection, eye prot, magazines, various mag feeders, snap caps, small tools for sight adjustments…”

      Some of us actually put that stuff away, like on shelves or in a cabinet, when we return from the range so that we can easily find what we’re looking for later.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        …and some of us actually have more than one set of tools for various things, like a stainless set for being out on the boat in salt water, another for out boring holes through the sky, in my pocket while riding the bike, ect…

      2. avatar George in RI says:

        my original post does sound kinda douchy as I read it again, sorry if I offended. But why put range supplies “away” afterwards? if you put the empty range bag away on a shelf too, why put all the bits and pieces inside away in separate locations? just put the whole thing away at once and not worry about leaving something out that is critical for the next range trip. any “tools” that serve a purpose other than range shooting can be replicated to prevent having to repack every time. It just seems kinda penny wise and pound foolish, but then again, my damned range bag is HUGE and is pretty much full with “essentials” so I may be viewing this from a skewed perspective. When I find time to sneak out to the range, I can’t be bothered with packing every time. grab bag from shelf, grab gun and mags and ammo and insert into said bag, and GO before the wife and kids jam up my george time.

  20. avatar Elysium says:

    I’m using the Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials (https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/airport-series-backpacks/products/airport-essentials) for my range bag. It has modular compartments for up four pistols, ammo, eyes and ears. Has lots of pockets for tools and cleaning kits as well. Has a laptop pouch for targets as well as a computer.

    Has a waste belt to distribute weight.

    Zippers with an eyelet for locks as well.

    Just black and very discreet.

  21. avatar Shwiggie says:

    I carry my SBR’ed CZ Scorpion in a $28 Fieldline bag (a MOAB rip-off) from Walmart. Cheap, but it hauls the gun with a half dozen mags and silencer with no problems.

  22. avatar onezero says:

    I have two range bags that do not look like range bags. Tool bag and fishing bag. Guns and ammo do not go in anything else.

  23. avatar strych9 says:

    There are a lot of good backpacks out there.

    Personally I use a Oakley Mechanism for a lot of daily tasks. Holds quite a bit, is well built, and doesn’t look tactical, it gets knocked for being “poser technical”. It’s also darn water resistant and with a few coats of Scotchgard it’s even more so.

    Don’t pay full price though, you can find them online or at an outlet for around $100.

  24. avatar FlamencoD says:

    I have three packs: a bug out bag full of bug out gear, which is a Sandpiper of California Three Day Elite Lite — SO much storage and organization capability in that pack. For shooting, I use a regular backpack with several convenient pockets and organizers. For personal travel, I have a NorthFace Recon backpack that is pretty sweet. Nice molded shoulder straps, instead of using cheap foam, and nice back padding, etc.

  25. avatar jwm says:

    My range bag is an old wal mart tool box.

  26. avatar Dan l says:

    Kelty redwing 44. 100 bucks, under 2lbs without the waist belt. Will hold 50 lbs easy. Panel load, which is a big plus. 26 inchs long will hold a 16 inch barreled ar upper, big enough for an ar and plate carrier. It looks like a large regular backpack very inconspicuous. Can carrier on if not totally full. Even has molle webbing on the bottem. Im a backpack hoarder, and ive found the best imo…

  27. avatar Matt says:

    I’ve got one of those rubberized German surplus back packs. It is surplus but not super military looking with a drawstring and clasps which is what I wanted over zippers. I use it for EDC, travel, and day/weekend tripping.

  28. avatar Andrew says:

    Never, EVER use your range bag as a travel bag. If you’d been travelling to Mexico, almost any south american country or europe (except Czech republic) and got nabbed for the ammo on arrival (rather than by TSA on departure from the US) you would be arrested and in some countries face criminal prosecution with prison time very possible.
    You can rant all you like about stupid european laws and treading on natural rights till you’re blue in the face, in those jurisdictions they will laugh, put you away and move on.

  29. avatar ROFuher says:

    Goruck.com

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