Since I started writing for TTAG I’ve been traveling more and more each year covering gun-related goings-on in the world, and as a result I’ve needed to figure out how to best carry the gear I need to get the job done. For the last year I’ve been using Optics Planet’s OPMOD PAC, and while it worked great for a while, it just didn’t have the capacity I needed to carry all of my day-to-day gear. Then I saw 5.11’s Rush Delivery Messenger Bag, and it looked like a home run in terms of organizing and carrying all of the things I need . . .
On the outside, the bag has all the trappings of the modern military chic look. There’s enough Velcro straps to slather on all of your morale patches, and they double as MOLLE webbing if you feel the need for yet more pouches. The trend continues around to the side, but the back is Velcro free. The bag also comes in your choice of four militaristic colors: grey, black, OD green and tan.
The front of the bag also sports two small zippered pockets, which are the perfect size for a set of earbuds or some small electronic devices. There are two Velcro strips that keep the front flap in place when down, but there’s also a pair of buckles that will hold it down more securely if you need. Along the top of the flap there’s a line of MOLLE straps that are quadruple stitched into the bag, and the center has a handle for easy carrying.
Open the front flap and you’ve got instant access to a rather well thought out array of pockets. There’s two long pockets on either side, a slot that’s the perfect size for a flashlight, a couple pen holders and a card holder pocket for business cards. These are all things that you’ll need on a regular basis, so popping them on the front panel is a nice design feature. A little further up there’s an open pocket, another one that’s held closed by Velcro, and a further full-length pocket that is closed by a zipper. So no matter how you want to contain your important gubbins there’s a way.
For larger things, there’s yet more pockets on the inside.
On either side of the main compartment is a large, full-length pocket that is secured closed by a Velcro strap. One pocket is made of a thin material, and the other is padded and designed to hold a laptop. I use it to carry a level IIIA body armor panel, but whatever. Interior to those pockets are four smaller pockets, two on each large pocket, that can hold things like books and small tablets. I’ve got a Nexus 7 and Moleskine notebook nestled in the front small pockets in my bag and they fit just about perfectly. On the front side, interior to those smaller pockets are yet more pockets, but zippered this time and made of a mesh material, perfect for small objects like quarters.
Yeah, this bag is basically the Inception of pockets. Or perhaps the Xzibit of bags.
Right. Moving on.
The back of the bag is mostly plain, but there’s a double sided zipper at the top that opens into a Velcro lined pocket, which would be a nice place to stash a gun if you can’t carry a holster (see RF, it’s gun related!).
The bag comes in three sizes, the Mike, the Lima and the X-Ray for Medium, Large and Xtra-large I assume. The version I ended up with is the Lima, which clocks in right around $100. And I hate to say it, but I feel like there are too many pockets. Especially on the front side of the bag, I feel like that first full-length inner pocket is completely redundant. Either have the full length pocket, or the two smaller pockets, but both of those sets plus the pockets on the front is just too much material wasted.
Specifications: 5.11 Rush Delivery Messenger Bag [LIMA]
Size: 11” H x 17” L x 4” D, 748 Cubic inches
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ease of Use * * * * *
It’s a bag. Everything is pretty self explanatory.
Utility * * * *
Saying it has too many pockets makes me feel like a crotchety old man, but that’s how I see it. Works great otherwise.
Overall * * * * *
If you’re looking for a “tactical” style messenger bag for your everyday use, this is the best you’re gonna get. Hazard 4 has something similar, and the Tactical Tailor also has an offering, but none so aesthetically pleasing, spacious and inexpensive.