G.P.S. Tactical Range Backpack "Tall"
By Officer Kevin Smith as told to Dr. Jim Clary
Let me preface this by saying, I have more bags sitting in my gun room than I care to admit (or my wife knows about). What I will admit is that all of these bags appeared to fit my needs prior to purchase. I am sure most of the readers here have their version of their "list" for a range bag, or duty bag. I bet most have a "must have" list that includes: it must be spacious, organized, comfortable and durable/dependable. Was I correct?
Let's be real here, these are not outlandish quantifications, they are necessities. They are what most of us look for in a range bag. However, it seems the industry is normally lackluster on the north front of the issue, providing sub-par stitching, cheap zippers, poor storage capacity and a generally inferior product, often at a high price.
This is what I assumed, until I was introduced to the G.P.S. Tactical Range Backpack "Tall." This bag has demonstrated to me that some companies still care about quality. G-Outdoors is at the top of the list.
G-Outdoors pulled out all the stops with this backpack, using YKK oversized, lockable zippers with Para cord silent pulls to assure longevity and security. The shell and straps are made of Teflon coated DuPont 1000 Denier H.D. material, which is easily the toughest material I have seen to create a backpack. This backpack is built for serious longevity.
If you are a law enforcement Officer, as I am, you know how to put products through the wringer. Even after abusing this backpack for weeks, I have yet to stretch a stitch or fuss with a zipper. G-Outdoors decided to go the extra mile for their customers by adding a feature I had never considered, a built-in/pull-out rain cover.
All of this is important, but how does this backpack feel when you wear it? I put as much into this bag as I could fit. Thanks to the internal honeycomb frame and padded waist straps, even with an extreme load the backpack feels very stable and comfortable. It fits almost as if it is part of your body.
I don't know about you, but I have had my share of bags that work from the truck to the range bench, but that is about it. I took this backpack one step further and decided to carry it for a few hours. I will not say the results will be the same for everyone, but for me this bag was extremely comfortable, even for an extended period of time.
The padded waist strap helps distribute the load throughout a person's center mass, while not causing discomfort in the area of the straps. However, because of the bag's size it was a little large for my wife to carry (she is only 5' 4" and weighs 115 pounds). If you have a small stature, as she does, it might be best to look into the more compact version, the original Tactical Range Backpack.
The final check mark on my list is storage/organization. More than once I have thrown a bag into the junk pile, because it does not have the organization or storage I require. This can be due to not having individual compartments for pistols, or not knowing what part of the range bag has my shooting glasses.
I have to say, I was surprised when I found G-Outdoors had dismissed the prevalent "more pockets, more organized" philosophy. Instead of simply adding endless amounts of pockets for users to lose items in, they used the trusty MOLLE (MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) for external carry capacity.
For visual storage their patented "Visual ID" system is one-of-a-kind in the industry. This system tells users where items are accommodated in the bag, such as eye protection, ear protection and tools. This system is so simple, yet it covers targets, target tape, target staple gun, rain cover, flash light, keys holder, lockable zippers and even cartridge cups.
I took this backpack to both indoor and outdoor ranges to see how it would fare. To my pleasure, thanks to the internal honeycomb frame, it stands perfectly stable on its own, even while fully loaded. Another added bonus is, because of the "tall" aspect of the backpack, users are given access to their range items without having to leave the bench to access them, or cluttering the bench if they want to keep everything with them.
The last little bit that was just a cherry on top was the front compartment folds open 90-degrees to allow use of the Velcro placed cartridge cups. A nice feature that made keeping track of loose rounds very convenient.
I have one more feature to add, which was the deal maker for me. The G.P.S. Tactical Range Backpack "Tall" is equipped with eight outside zippered pockets, two of which are used to hold the four padded internal pistol cases with magazine storage that make great truck gun pouches when not in use. Because of the spacious design of this backpack, I found it quite useful on and off duty. All of these features ensure that you, your weapons and your sanity, will be healthy for years to come.
The G.P.S. Tactical Range Backpack "Tall" has taken its place and it is not in the pile of rejected range bags. To purchase a Tactical Range Backpack "Tall," visit G-Outdoors at www.goutdoorsproducts.com.
Copyright 2017 by Kevin Smith, Jim Clary and chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.