Gear Review: Hazard 4 Grayman Takedown Carbine Sling Pack

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

The world is an unpredictable place, these days more than ever. One thing that we can do to try and tip the odds in our favor is to have the right tools available, make sure we are well trained in their use, and try to keep all of our options open as long as possible.

That’s where the Hazard 4 Grayman Takedown pack comes in, providing a way to package and transport that potentially lifesaving equipment in a format that won’t raise any eyebrows or make you a target.

The concept of a “bail out bag” is nothing new. Whether they have been called jump bags or E&E kits, the idea of having a single bag you can pull from your home or vehicle that has all the necessary tools to keep you alive and get you through any conceivable scenario is appealing. It simplifies things, and when second matter being able to grab everything in one hand is much better than trying to root around your trunk for that bag of spare magazines while trying to juggle a first aid kit and some loose bottles of water.

The problem is that many these bail out bags are decidedly…tactical. You know the look: black, FDE, or ranger green, with magazine pouches on the outside, and covered in MOLLE webbing. It practically screams “this guy is carrying some cool stuff you should steal.” They shine a bright spotlight on you, probably when you are just trying your best to blend in and get away from whatever threat has materialized.

Imagine a scenario where you’re downtown in a big city. Maybe there’s some protesting going on. And then, all of a sudden, there’s a terrorist attack. A large explosion goes off, streets are blocked, and now you need to quickly abandon your vehicle to get to safety.

With a traditional bail out bag, there’s every likelihood that the “tactical” appearance will make you seem like more of a target than one of the crowd. That could either draw the attention of law enforcement, who may try and apprehend you, or the bad actors who may try to attack you as a potential threat, forcing your hand to draw and engage rather than just getting out of Dodge.

This isn’t that outlandish of a scenario. At least not any more. The Westgate shopping mall attack, the Mumbai 2008 attacks, and the 2015 Paris attacks . . . all examples of coordinated attacks on civilians by armed terrorists that have happened this century which disrupted transit and forced people to immediately seek shelter and try to find their way home. All those attacks happened overseas, but there’s no reason something similar can’t happen here.

Or, let’s try a more likely scenario. You’re heading out on a family vacation to a cabin in the woods away from the madding crowd. You want to bring your home defense tools, but the wife would flip her lid seeing you stuffing a Pelican case into the trunk of the car. You need something a little less obvious that you can pile in with the rest of the luggage.

So the choice boils down to either trying to repurpose a normal backpack (which probably wasn’t designed for weapons storage), or trying to camouflage your bail out bag.

Hazard 4 thinks they have a solution to this problem with the Grayman edition of their Takedown sling pack.

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

This bag started as every other bail out bag, namely covered in MOLLE and with large velcro areas for morale patches. That’s great as a range bag, but sucks as a covert bail out bag. The idea was to have a pack that could accommodate a full size AR-15 that had been taken down (lower and upper separated) with some space to spare, along with some good pouches on the front for gear storage.

That sounds like a great bail out bag, if only the “shoot me first” advertising were removed. So that’s exactly what they did.

In this version, the MOLLE is completely gone. Their traditional stiffened and rugged material has been replaced with something softer and more civilian-y. They went with a nice neutral gray for the color instead anything that looks military.

Even basic black has a tendency to scream “tactical” in some situations, so a neutral gray is probably the least attention-grabbing color they could have chosen. The velcro patch areas have been covered over with a removable strip of material that matches the rest of the bag. That lets you can stay “hidden,” but still have the option to fly your operator flag if you want.

Overall, they did a smart job on the pack. The color is great, and the construction and style fit in with other non-gun-related gear. It feels like they actually spent some time thinking this one through.

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

The main compartment, as promised, fits a disassembled full size AR-15. Or, a folding brace AR-15 pistol with an 11 inch barrel and attached Sandman S silencer. The carry compartment runs the entire length and width of the bag, with the other pockets basically being bolt-on attachments to the front zipped cover of the bag.

The zipper for this compartment goes all the way around the bag, has two pulls (so it can open either way), and has attachment points for a small cable lock if needed.

There isn’t a whole lot going on in the main compartment, since it’s pretty much expected to just hold the disassembled AR-15. There’s a padded divider in there to keep your upper and lower from grinding and marring each other, with buckles and straps to help keep everything in place.

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

One thing I will note is that if you (like me) have gone for the side folding pistol option, you should only put a 20-round magazine in the gun when it’s in the compartment. Even with just a red dot, the firearm is just a touch wide for comfort and having a smaller magazine absolutely helps. Also, the nifty folding pistol grip is a great way to keep the whole package as compact as possible.

On the front of the bag are three handy pouches, two big ones and one small one at the top.

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

The bottom most pouch has some organizers inside for administrative items like pens and paper, which is handy. But in my case I just filled this completely full of first aid and survival gear.

I was honestly surprised by how much I could cram into this pocket. I’ve got CAT tourniquets, foil blankets, CELOX pressure bandages, multiple triangle bandages (the best of all bandages), road flares, and even one of those LifeStraw water filtration things in here with room to spare. So much room for activities!

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

The middle pocket is filled with (surprise, surprise) spare ammo. Two AR-15 magazines, two GLOCK 17 magazines, and that’s it. The contents need to be easy to identify and grab in a hurry, so it’s best to keep the pocket tidy and uncluttered.

The magazines fit with room to spare. I probably could have shoved two more AR-15 mags in there if I tried.

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

Up top was a smaller pocket I used for odds and ends. Small toolkit, multitool with a knife, lockpick set, compass, and a Geiger counter. Because if we’re being paranoid, why not lean into it and go all “dirty bomb explodes in a city center” level of prepping?

Again, everything fits nicely and snugly in the bag without any problem. Easy-to-close pockets and room to spare if I need it.

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

I haven’t needed to put this bag to the actual test yet, and frankly I hope I never will. But I have spent some time carrying it around, and I’m pretty pleased with it in general.

I’d have thought that the fact that this is a sling pack and not a backpack would be an issue, but in reality it’s fine. The weight is distributed over a rather large and padded single strap, and there’s some nice, comfy padding along the back of the bag to keep any of your gun’s poky bits from digging into your back.

The single strap sling also gives it the benefit of being able to be moved around quickly from your back to your front, so you can access all your pouches when you need it or to grab your gun and get into the fight. You don’t even need to take the bag off to get in there. It also allows for a much more slender and streamlined design, which lets you slot it into your car more easily and pull it out in a hurry with the oversized grab handles on the top or bottom.

The long and the short of it is that the Hazard 4 Grayman Takedown bag fills a very specific niche, but it’s one that needs filling. I love the flexibility it affords, being able to either stay covert and blend in with the crowd or quickly access all the gear I’d need to directly confront an issue. Self defense is all about having as many options available as possible, and this one piece of gear opens up more doors than others I’ve tried in the past.

Specifications: Hazard 4 Grayman Takedown Sling Pack

  • Overall size ~28.3″ L x 8.75″ W x 6.25″ D
  • Main compartment ~27.3″ L x 7.9″ W x 5″ D
  • Weight ~3.5 lbs.
  • MSRP $199 (about $145 retail)

Overall Rating: * * * *
The only thing I ding this bag on is the price. It’s just a touch on the high side. But honestly, even at that price tag, I found the features and usability more than enough for me to plop down my hard-earned cash and pay full price for one of these puppies.

comments

  1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    Interesting. I have a “reduced profile” AR gear bag that’s supposed to emulate a musical instrument soft case, and it’s truly well built with all the right considerations for the gear inside it. But being black and having rugged shoulder straps that look just like classic MOLLE packs, it still looks too tactical to allow for one to blend in to a crowd a-la Gray Man. I’ll give this one a look-see.

    1. avatar Darkman says:

      Have to agree with the it looks a bit tactical especially in black. I have an old beat up second hand acoustic guitar case for transporting assorted firearms and extras when I feel the need to blend. It has different foam inserts depending on what’s inside. It doesn’t get a second glance except at the range where it often elicits conversations about how I set it up. Plus the price was right. Got it free from one of the guys in a band I used to run lights and sound for back in the day.

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Wrong gun, perhaps? I chose a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 w 17 and 33 round 9mm mags. With a Canik TP9SA 9mm (although cheap and good, an obvious better choice is a 9mm Glock which shares mags with the Kel-Tec) I have two reliable weapons, both of which easily fit within a ubiquitous looking backpack with plenty of room left over spare mags and sundry SHTF kit.

  2. avatar Bob says:

    Too tall and skinny, it looks like a gun bag from 50 yards away.

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      This.
      I had several run-in with NY & NJ LEO back in the mid-80s, due to a headless Steinberger guitar in a soft case that looked similar to this gun case.
      Was actually thrown down (with hands up) onto the hood of a patrol car TWICE.
      In one of those instances 2 other LEOs were holding their unholstered handguns.

    2. avatar SoCalJack says:

      Agreed. It will make you stick out like a sore thumb no matter the enviroment or situation, well except at a backpack convention.

    3. avatar enuf says:

      Yeah, looks that way to me too. If a case is made for a fold-up or break-down long gun, it cannot help but look the part just on account of shape and dimensions.

      The only way to look like you are carrying a piece of luggage is to use luggage as a gun case and customize the innards. The musical instrument case is a good idea too.

      Just remember anything can and will get stolen if somebody suspects it is of value.

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    This bag might not get me shot, but it does underline, “looks like some expensive stuff in that bag”.

  4. avatar Prndll says:

    If I came across someone carrying that, it would catch my attention for sure. This is not Grey (or gray) man. This is trench coat in summer.

  5. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

    Leave the wife, take the Pelican case and pick up the girlfriend on the way after hitting the liquor store.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Priorities, I like it! 🙂

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Exactly. Unless you have a wife who would tell you to go back and get the weaponry if for some odd reason you forgot it. That’s the best-case scenario.

      Also, the “abandon your vehicle, ready the goblin slayer, and hoof it to safer ground” scenario isn’t as farfetched as this article makes it seem. It’s a daily consideration if you live in Portland.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        LOL. My wife’s the chick you describe.

        She’s the one checking the gun cases and making sure her PC is properly adjusted.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          You are a lucky man.

          My wife owns a pistol but refuses to carry it or practice with it — but on the other hand, she is fully on board with whatever weapons I choose to keep and/or carry, and she’ll remind me if she thinks I might have forgotten to sally forth properly armed. Not quite the best-case scenario, but it’s close enough for jazz. 🙂

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Portland. Goblins. Rustling in the shadows.

        And when Trump wins his re-election, coming to a city near you.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          I think it’s more likely that Trump loses. The appeals are not going well, and they’re not likely to bear any fruit.

          So far there’s no clear proof, and I don’t think there ever will be. If there was enough fraud to tilt the election (which I suspect there was), no one in the publicly responsible positions is going to admit that the entire system could have been subverted or that they knowingly let it happen; and the people who should be keeping the rest of them honest are willing to sink the entire ship with everyone on it, because Trump.

          Actually, I think it’s about 70/25/5 for Trump losing/Trump refusing to leave regardless/Trump winning on discovery of fraud.

          In all of the above likelihoods, yes, the goblins are rustling in the shadows. The only difference is what they’ll do when they come out.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Actually, I think it’s about 70/25/5 for Trump losing/Trump refusing to leave regardless/Trump winning on discovery of fraud.”

          Trump will leave, if necessary, on schedule. The question is, “Can we really trust the vote totals?” Right now, Trump can only win an EC vote, not the popular (I do not believe the Dims manufactured millions and millions of popular votes across the nation). Yet, the popular vote may soon become the EC vote. What we need to know is the message we should be receiving when looking at both 2016 and 2020. The nation seems to have tipped leftist.

          The feelz component infected many who should naturally align with Trump’s accomplishments and agenda, yet they voted opposite. Some friends of ours are ardent Trump supporters….yet they aren’t. They actually voted straight Dim ticket. I asked why they would desert their values, and both responded that Trump is just not the kind of person they would want to go to dinner with. If they couldn’t stand to share a dinner table with Trump, they certainly didn’t want the rest of the world to see Trump representing our country. And yet, both agreed the Never Trumpers were horrible conservatives.

        3. avatar Ing says:

          Yeah, I think that a lot of us who tend to think and analyze underestimate how important that “nice friendly guy” impression is to most people. Despite all the objective indicators that should tell any conservative (or at least non-leftist) that Trump has been doing exactly what they’d want a president to do, there are a lot of people who just couldn’t get past the abrasive personality and all the media negativity.

          As for the nationwide socialist tilt, I guess that’s what happens when that side holds the high ground of academia, news, and entertainment. We’ll have to see if they manage to keep it; if enough people on our side can learn from the Left’s long-game tactics and harness them, we might see things turn around. Maybe. I don’t know how, but I’m trying to stay optimistic.

          And as for Trump staying past his appointed time, I hope you’re right. I’m willing to admit that I may have spent too much time reading my wife’s news sources. 🙂

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Patience, friends. From what I’ve seen explained over recent days by election officials, statisticians, database analysts, mathematicians, etc…there is a plethora of evidence being compiled and prepared for presentation.

          And according to Trump’s latest addition to his legal team, this time they’ll be pressing not only for voting clarity, but criminal convictions. Tampering with a presidential election is tantamount to treason, and I want to watch perpetrators being shuffled off to prison.

        5. avatar Dave G. says:

          Haz:
          I like your new avatar.

    3. avatar James Campbell says:

      Pelican cases?
      Check out an Explorer case. A true dust and waterproof seal that allows the case to be submerged in water for days with the interior remaining bone dry.
      Heavy, but good. The one for my AR-10 SPR weighs almost 20 pounds empty.
      Try one and you’ll never purchase another Pelican case again.

  6. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

    “Because if we’re being paranoid, why not lean into it and go all “dirty bomb explodes in a city center” level of prepping?”

    Then where’s your particulate respirator? If you’re concerned with a radiation dispersal method, smoke is the best way to spread your radioactive agent.

    …and what did you use for that folding mechanism? what disengages the buffer spring?

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      “where’s your particulate respirator?…. ”
      Give me an empty 1gal bleach bottle, 12″ of clear packing tape, a small damp sponge, and one minute. I’ll have a functional particulate respirator.
      Will even work in areas effected by low levels of teargas.
      This is BASIC SHTF level stuff.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        An improvised bleach bottle for a respirator has one glaring problem – the bottle still stinks of the bleach you just dumped out. Chlorine gas and lung tissue is not a happy mix…

        1. avatar James Campbell says:

          True, the bleach bottle needs to be rinsed and air dried before use.
          1 gal windshield washer fluid bottles are dump and use.

  7. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m not sure who has the bigger boner for this bag Nick or Nathan Murr back when he reviewed the original for BreachBang.

    I have to admit this version is less overt but that’s not really saying much.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    I’ve seen a lot of “discreet” rifle bags and the one thing they all have in common be they instrument bags, sports equipment bags or this bag here is that they’re definitely NOT discreet.

    The former being very situational dependent. Why do you bring your racket to the office everyday? Really, you carry your violin literally everywhere!

    The latter by its appearance. Though it may not scream “rifle” it’s certainly screaming “can’t fit a laptop in here.” so what’s in that bizarre looking tall and thin bag you have there? Not paperwork. Not a laptop. Not a change of clothes. A really fat pool cue, maybe?

    The lopsided oval slingbags seemed a more discreet option for everyday everywhere carry.

  9. avatar EpsteinDidNOTKillHimself says:

    Looking at various pics and videos of protests around the nation, and just walking around a college town, I think a medium sized back pack would stand out less.
    Some of the Patriot Prayer attendees had decent sized packs, many of them “tactical” looking.
    The antifa counter-protesters had more than a few black packs.

    Maybe I should carry a set of golf clubs to work, and carry a full sized AR/FNFAL/M1A/Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range hidden in there. In some parts of the country, no one would even notice the golf bag.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      A golf bag is always suspicious.

      “…My possessions are causing me suspicion but there’s no proof…”

  10. avatar Pb_fan59 says:

    So, about 10 or so years back, a local county sheriff followed me into my gun club. While I was keying into the gate opener, he got out of his squad car to come up and talk to me… (At the time I was carrying a Rock River Predator AR in a Pro-tech(sp?) base guitar case backpack style on my Kawi kz1000 R. Turns out, he was looking for a base player for their bar band )… after me telling him I thought what was in the bag was more appropriate for rythmn and him getting over the shock of a mid50’s guy on a retro crotch rocket , we had a good laugh- even though he didn’t like to see anyone carrying a load on their back on a bike …. he turned out to be a fellow rider. Long story short, he thought it was a good carry system, better than shit ten years that screamed ” operator wannabee” . Wish ammo was available like back then!

  11. avatar gus says:

    I don’t know. still looks like a gun bag. might have been better if they put those pouches on the inside lid and made it one big flip-open bag.

  12. avatar Montana Actual says:

    Grayman? lol no. Obviously a rifle bag.

    I have a couple Savior Equipment Specialists. One 30″ and one 34″. They are much more “grayman”.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      The name’s a bit misleading with this one because they have an entire line of stuff called “Grayman” which is… gray versions of other stuff that they make. It’s not really meant to be super 007 lowpro.

      I find this kind of product mildly amusing. They just took their Takedown, which is essentially meant to be a highly stowable bailout bag for vehicles, deleted the webbing, changed the color a bit and called it something else. That entire “Evac” line is meant for maneuvering in crowds or storing in lockers and vehicles.

      A review of the original bag five years ago suggested making it into a highly colored camera bag. Which is kinda funny because they make something that looks almost exactly like this thing and it’s meant for camera equipment specifically. They make another one for civilian drones if you can believe that.

      Hazard 4 does have some really innovative (well, they were years back) internal features on some of their stuff. I was tempted to try them out a few years ago but with their price point I’d like to get my mitts on it before committing to a purchase and I’ve never seen a retail vendor for any of their stuff.

  13. avatar Biff says:

    This might be useful if you live in an apartment and don’t want to be seen carrying what is obviously a rifle case. For a bail out / get home bag there are a lot of backpacks that would be a better option, if only because you could actually carry some useful supplies. Because it might be nice to have a MRE, a water bottle, some rain gear and whatever else you decide you can’t live without. Using a bag that only holds a rifle, a few mags and a Geiger counter seems like a poor choice.

    I would also argue that an AR15 with a short barrel and a LAW folder, a .300 BO Sig Rattler or a PCC like a MP5k or a Scorpion Micro are also probably better choices than an AR15 that is split in half. Lots of people write off the short barreled PCC as worthless, but they can easily hit man sized targets at over 100 yards and make head shots at 50 while still folding into a very small package. Running around in an urban area during a disaster with an exposed MK18 is sure to bring attention you really don’t need.

  14. avatar R S Morgan says:

    Something in blue or civilian green would be less obviously tactical than grey.

    Disassembled AR-15 would be far from my #1 choice for a likely “aw s#$&” situation. A full-size pistol or something like a Mossberg Shockwave would seem more suitable (more effective than a subcompact carry gun), and it plus lots of supplies would fit in a large, and unobtrusive, briefcase. My goal is to get to someplace else, not play SpecOps “dominate and win” games.

    1. avatar Dave G. says:

      R S Morgan:
      “…briefcase.” NOW you’re talking!

  15. avatar Wheaton Jaeger says:

    When I saw the photo I thought this would be a review of a rifle case, it looks like a rifle case to me, I don’ t think it meets my idea of a gray man case. A gray man case should blend in with the crowd. I think a cloth rectangular rifle case held by its handle would blend in better, or at least would stick out as much as this case.

  16. avatar bazoo cam says:

    the photo I thought this would be a review of a rifle case, it looks like a rifle case

  17. should blend in with the crowd. I think a cloth rectangular rifle case held by its

  18. would fit in a large, and unobtrusive, briefcase. My goal is to get to someplace else

  19. avatar Jake says:

    I own one. I carried it through malls in south Florida all last Christmas season while there were plenty of LE wandering the malls. I looked like the low speed-medium drag middle aged guy that I am will wandering around with a sig rattler and spare ammo. I even hooked a carabiner onto it and carried my wife’s bags like the well-trained husband I am. No problems. YMMV however. I don’t tend to wear my tactical tuxedo out and about though either. My biggest complaint revolved around not being able to switch it to my favorite should due to the angle the strap is sewn at.

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