Friday, April 13, 2012

5.11 Range Ready Bag Review

Let me give you a little history on my love affair with 5.11.  In 2005, during my first trip to SHOT Show, the 5.11 tactical pants caught my eye.  I was walking the floor and I noticed the coolest pants ever on a couple of guys.  I'd never seen them before, so I stalked the guys until I could get close enough to see whose pants they were wearing - I wanted a pair!

After SHOT Show, I came home and ordered a pair and thus began my love affair with 5.11 apparel.  I've got a couple of tactical pants, some training shorts, and shirts and I love them all. 

I have been noticing that my current range bag was starting to show its age, which I bought at the 2005 SHOT Show and have been hauling it all over ever since.  But little things were starting to not work so well.  Mostly the shoulder strap will stay on if I bend the clip just right, and who really needs the feet on the bottom of the bag anyway?

I started looking for a new shooting bag, all the while keeping 5.11 in the back of my mind.  I loved their clothes, why wouldn't I love their range bags?  When the opportunity arose for me to review one of their bags, I jumped at it.  It was like fate or something.

About a week and a half ago, the mailman brought me a very, very early Christmas present (or a very late one).  I got home from work and a huge box was sitting on the couch.  I opened it up and there inside was a magnificent bag, much larger than my old range bag.
5.11 Range Ready bag on the left,
old, beat up bag on the right.
Range Ready bag on the left,
old, beat up bag on the right.
I'm somewhat of a compartment freak.  I love compartments, the more there are, the happier I am.  The Range Ready bag made me positively giddy.  There are two large compartments on the ends, a place for a water bottle, two large compartments along one side and a zip-down workspace along the other side.  And all of that is on the outside of the bag, I haven't even gotten to the inside.
I love having a place to lay my guns.
I immediately started moving things from my old bag into this new one.  Now, instead of having my cleaning stuff divided between two compartments, it all fits in one.  My sunscreen now has its own area, as does my eye and hearing protection - it's not all jumbled together - and I still have a whole compartment I've purposely left empty for a small first aid kit and some QuikClot.

The inside of the bag is just as joyous.  The large inner compartment (9x18x10) has padded side pockets to help protect pistols (they might be for pistols, but that's where my staple gun and extra staples ended up) and has what the website calls a "removable ammo tote and brass bag with two side zipper pockets".  I call it genius!  The removable portion of the bag is just right - the zippered pockets on each side are big enough to slip pistols down inside.  There are handles for carrying just the "ammo tote" or you can take the shoulder strap off of the main bag and attach it to the D-rings at the ends of the ammo tote.
Inside the ammo tote I have: 100 rounds of .45 ACP,
my Para and paddle holster,
two magazine holders,
and six high-cap mags.
There was still room left over!
Another little bit of genius, and proof that the people at 5.11 pay attention to details, is the addition of a bag for brass that fits in the ammo tote.  I love having a brass bag!  It sure beats the grocery bags I've been using.  Okay, that's a lie.  I've been just dumping my brass into the bottom of my range bag because I kept forgetting to put a new grocery bag in.  No matter, I *love* having a bag just for brass.

Though I am head-over-heels in love with this bag, I would be less than honest if I didn't mention two little drawbacks.  Number one, it's a big bag, which means it would be very easy to overload and make too heavy to comfortably carry.  If you are someone fun-sized like me, you should take that into consideration.
It does, however, detract from the size of my butt.
Number two, the very handy magazine pouches in the zip-down workspace don't fit my extended magazines.
Standard 1911 mags on the left,
extended mags on the right.
Seriously, those are the only two drawbacks I can think of and I've already got a solution: the Range Ready bag lives in my car.  When I get home from the range, I simply pull out the ammo tote, which has my guns, ammo, and brass in it, and bring that into the house.  For matches I'll do the same thing, only I'll add the shoulder strap to make it easier to move between stages.  As for the extended mags not fitting in the magazine pouches, that's not a big deal, I've loaded them up with standard size magazines and my extended mags are now living in the ammo tote.

If you're looking for a great all-around, versatile range bag, this one is darn close to perfect.  It's listed on 5.11's site for $119.99, which is a phenomenal deal for something that is going to last a very long time.

Disclaimer: I received the 5.11 Range Ready bag for purpose of review, but have receive no financial compensation.  The opinions contained in this review are mine and have not been swayed by receipt of the product.

1 comment:

agirlandhergun said...

Looks like a great bag. My husband bought me a range bag for Christmas. I use it all the time love it. Never had any idea what all those small "pockets" we're magazines...duh. Now I