Luke Cuenco 04.30.21
Range bags are a universal item in almost every gun owners inventory. Although we may have different preferences based on what types of gear we carry on a day to day basis there are a lot of things that make range bag great no matter what type of shooting you’re doing. Today we’ll be going over some of the best range bags currently on the market.
Table of Contents
1. 5.11 Tactical Range Ready Bag 43L – Editor’s Pick
I have personally owned a 43L Range Ready bag for many years and it is my go-to bag for all around shooting. The bag itself is designed to work around housing multiple pistols but I have found in the past that it works perfectly well with some SBRs, PDWs, and take down guns.
The removable ammo tote is convenient for taking your ammo with you during a competition when you don’t want to bring all of your tools and other gear with you and the tote is compatible with the included shoulder strap that can be switched to be used with the entire bag.
The side compartments are great for storing tools, and the bag also has a removable brass collection bag as well as a water bottle pouch that can house a full sized spray paint can for solvents or rem oil.
The feature rich 5.11 Tactical Range Ready 43L bag is the jack of all trades when it comes to range bags and it comes in at a very competitive price too at just $99.99 from the 5.11 Tactical website.
Pros/ll the features you want and need and none that you don’t
Cons/Doesn’t include a lot of the other features other bags do like patch mounting options, or included pistols cases.
Bottom Line/Best in the business and will probably outlast you
2. MidwayUSA Range BagBackpack – Best Beginner Bag
MidwayUSA’s own in-house brand of range backpacks and bags are a great place to start especially if you’re a new gun owner. If this is the case, you’ve likely just bought your first handgun for self defense but it’ll likely not be your last as you continue to practice with it and learn more about what works well for you in a pistol.
The Midway USA range backpack is a quick and convenient way to carry up to 3 pistols and all of their magazines, ammunition and just about anything else you think you’ll need at the range. Each MidwayUSA Range Bag Backpack comes with 3 compartmentalized individual paddled pistol cases that care stored horizontally inside the lower portion of the backpack. I think this is great as my bag tends to end up more disorganized after a range session if I don’t have everything separated into its own specific cases.
The backpack feature of this bag makes carrying all of your pistols, ammunition and gear an easy affair and also leave both of your hands free for opening doors, carrying rifle bags or targets with you to and from the range. MidwayUSA sells their Range Bag Backpack for $112.00 retail but it often goes on sale for just under $100 so it makes for a great place to start if you’re unsure of what you’ll need or if you are looking for a gift to give a new gun owner.
Pros/Lots of space for pistols, ammunition, cleaning kits and extra gear
Cons/Tapered design means you’re getting less space up top for boxes of ammo or tools
Bottom Line/ Great Beginner range bag that’s easy to carry around
3. VERTX COF Range Bag – Pistol Pick
VERTX has a bunch of range bags available for sale but I think one of their best is the COF Range Bag. This bag is what I’d like to call an “essential pistol” bag that is great for carrying one or two pistols to the range, as well as a couple boxes of ammunition.
The bag is made from durable nylon and also features an included cleaning mat should you need one at the range. If you select the “heavy” version of the bag, you’ll receive two included ammo caddies which can store loose ammunition inside the case, or the “Light” version which only includes one ammo caddy.
Both sizes of the COF range bag include a six pack magazine holder which is why I think this is a great bag to take to the range if you plan on doing some dedicated training with just a single pistol. The Vertx COF Range Bag is available for $139.99 for the “Light” version or $186.99 for the “Heavy” Version
Pros/Dedicated storage for your pistol, its ammo and magazines – very organized
Cons/Very limited space, the bag is about the size of a large lunch box and you can’t carry any extra you might want or need at the range
Bottom Line/Perfect for dedicated practice with one or two pistols
4. G.P.S. Executive Backpack
In contrast to the previous bag, this bag has got room for a lot of pistols and the entire workbench it seems. The G.P.S Executive Backpack has room for up to 5 pistols stored in a unique foam cradle that sits neatly in the bag. There is also a removable I.D. tag where you can store your range membership tag for easy viewing, twin sided pockets for storing patios magazines or extra tools. Finally there are a handful of other pockets available for the storage of ammunition.
What I find great about the G.P.S. Backpack is that it also has a great loop system for storing paper targets if you’re finding that you need or want to bring your own. Another cool feature that you don’t see on many other bags or backpacks is that G.P.S includes 16 different removable patches for each of the hook and loop ready pocket sections. With these you can endlessly configure your bag just how you want it and know where everything is easily.
The G.P.S Executive Backpack is available for $179.99 but I feel the high price is well justified given just how many features the backpack includes.
Pros/Lots of storage for everything and anything range related
Cons/Pricey, Not great for rifle shooters
Bottom Line/If you’re planning on a long day at the range – this backpack should have storage for everything you need to be prepared
5. Savior Equipment American Classic Double Short Barrel Rifle Gun Case/Firearm Bag – Rifle Pick
Since I am a frequent rifle shooter myself, I have to throw some love out there for my fellow riflemen. This bag is specifically designed to hold two Short Barreled Rifles or AR-Pistols and is extremely compact. The bag is made from durable 600D PVC Nylon and features lockable zipper sliders on both of the firearm compartments to keep them from sliding around or against each other inside the bag.
The bag includes several external compartments for magazines, tools, and ammo. The bag can be carried with either the included shoulder strap or with the padded carrying handle. The bag comes in several colors including Dark M81 Camouflage, Flat Dark Earth, Obsidian Black, OD Green, and Gray. Savior Equipment also sells larger rifle cases should you need a decent range bag for your longer guns but this SBR Double Gun Case/Bag comes in at an affordable $49.99
Pros/Not as large or cumbersome as a full sized rifle case Can fit both pistols and rifles
Cons/Only a few external pouches for storage of extra ammo/magazines
Bottom Line/Great for those trips to the range with SBRs or AR Pistols
Things to carry in every range bag
Range bags are a great way to stay organized on the range. I’m a huge fan of staying organized and I feel like in the long run it leaves you less likely to leave behind anything you’ll need at the range which might lead to a premature end to your range session.
As part of my main range bag I always keep a few essential items on hand so that I’m prepared for almost everything. Here’s what I usually keep in my bag at all times:
- Simple Pistol Cleaning Kit
- Small 4oz hammer
- Pair of Pliers
- Rags for cleaning
- Gun oil/ CLP
- Hearing Protection and a spare set
- Eye Protection and a spare set
- Spare batteries
- A blowout/ first aid kit
- Spare chamber flags
- Staple gun for mounting targets
- Bottle of Water
I’d recommend at the bare minimum at least keeping a spare pair of eye protection and ear protection as well as a blowout/first aid kit as part of your essential items. Those three things are paramount to having a safe day at the range and you’ll find that you make a lot more friends when you have a spare set of safety equipment for them to borrow when they’ve forgotten theirs.
All in all, range bags are great and they are a core part of the shooting experience so choose wisely!
What should I have in my range bag?
The basics for any range bag include hearing and eye protection, ammo, gun oil, basic tools and a first-aid kit. Beyond that, it’s up to you.
Do I need a range bag?
If you shoot much, then yes, you need a range bag. It will help you remember to take the basic gear you should have at the range every time. Hearing and eye protection is a big one, along with basic tools, first aid and, of course, ammo.
Can I carry guns in my range bag?
The question of carrying guns in your range bag is a tricky one. You simply must know what is legal in your area before you do something like this. Remember, it is your responsibility to know and stay legal.
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