For years I’ve been using a LA Police Gear Tactical Bail Out Bag as my main range bag. It has served me well enough. I hadn’t put much thought into a range bag beyond price. The LAPG bag was a mere $28.99 so I didn’t feel like it had to live up to much. The bag would hold the items that made it to every trip such as eyes, ears, tools, pens, etc. I would then swap out the contents in the main body of the bag depending on what guns were going to the range. I would stuff it with mags, ammo, pistols, and other misc gear until it was bulging at the seams.
It was then I attended an enhanced Idaho CCW class and one of my classmates gave me bag envy. He strolled up with a 5.11 Range Ready bag which looked much larger than my bag. Because of the additional size he was able to compartmentalize and organize his gear for easy fetching. I spent a few minutes gawking at all the space available. The only info I got from him at the class was that it was a 5.11 bag and he was happy with the purchase.
After a few email exchanges I found the exact bag he had. I contacted 5.11 to send a review unit. I have done reviews on 5.11 gear in the past and had always had a pleasant experience. They sent me the 43L version in black as requested. When it arrived I began eagerly unzipping all the pockets envisioning what would make its home in each one.
I’m using photos from 5.11’s website because their photography trumps mine. In the above photo you can see there are two large square pockets along one long edge. There are also two pockets on the ends. These pockets feature two zippers per section so you can zip them in either direction. They are also comfortably padded, so don’t worry about setting your bag down with extra care.
I used one of the square side pouches to hold all my mag loaders. I have been really happy with the ETS pistol and AR mag speed loaders, and they fit in the pouch just fine. I also bring a Maglula for regular mags that the ETS doesn’t handle.
The other side pouch holds my staple gun along with extra staples and my Pocket Pro shot timer.
The end pouches hold my pens, pencils, range tools, eye protection and optic cleaners.
The opposite side of the bag is shown below. As you can see that large rectangular panel unzips and itself turns into a nice padded section to lay your pistol or other items down onto. This is nice when working off wooden or concrete range benches that may scratch your high end firearms.
There are also 8 elastic loops for carrying pistol magazines to the range. I hardly ever bring more than 8 mags to the range at a time so this storage compartment was very handy for me. It also encouraged me to preload a bunch of mags to save time at the range.
Behind the mag pouches is a convenient pocket to hold a pistol.
The bag comes with a drawstring dump pouch as well. I clip this to the D rings on the outside of the bag so it hangs on the outside of the bag. This is handy to collect trash or brass at the range.
There is also a nice pullout bag within the main compartment of the whole bag. It has it’s own two handles to easily extract it from the main bag. It comes with a few moveable velcro lined divider panels. I use these to compartmentalize the bag a bit and make it easier to find things. Ammo fits perfectly in this pull out bag. With the inner bag inside the main bag there’s a nice flat protected areas to slip papers in between the two bags. I use this space to put paper targets in for transport. They are fully protected so they stay nice and flat.
~Photos courtesy of 5.11 Tactical