Emergency Life Saving Armor In a Bag!

Earlier this year, I posted an article about a bag that transforms into a plate carrier. Click here to see the article. However no one, myself included, knew who made this bag. Well I found it that it is made by Martinson Industries. It is called the Emergency Life Saving Armor aka ELSA. It retails for $199 on their website and comes only in black. Click here to check it out.




On the outside, ELSA appears to be an ordinary soft briefcase, but with one swift action of a YKK zipper, ELSA quickly transforms into fully functional, armored plate carrier. ELSA can be deployed and secured within seconds, instantly creating a safe barrier between you and any potential threats.

Elsa will accept and adjust to industry standard sized hard plates or soft armor inserts.

Manufactured from highly durable 1000 D Cordura and the latest ITW Ghillie Tex hardware, ELSA is tough and ready for the task at hand. ELSA’s unique design features full front MOLLE panel and three rows on the top back, allows the user to prearrange internal items in any configuration they deem necessary. With ELSA, you can be fully prepared to spring into action quickly, efficiently, and with confidence.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • minameismud

    I bought this back when they first released it and it was a pre-order. My background: slightly concerned citizen with mall-ninja tendencies. For the next bit: not name-dropping to be tacticool, more for people to get a better idea of what can fit.

    I’ve got an RTI wheel mounted front top center for any of my holsters for easy right-hand draw, currently it’s an M&P9 in an OTG Nocturnal Sidewinder. The bottom half of the front has, left to right, an Esstac DST blowout pouch (filled with TacMed Downed Officer Kit), an unknown-brand single flashlight pouch (with Surefire G2X), an empty column of molle, double-stack Esstac KYWI M4, and finally a single-stack Esstac KYWI M4 with a double Tactical Tailor pistol mag pouch. In the mag pouches, I’ve got 2 PMAGs (30 rnds, 5.56), a 7-shell velcro 12g card, and two pistol mags. Plate pockets are filled with 3A kevlar. Tried level 3 plates, but the thing was just too damned heavy, and I knocked my forehead good with a plate while practicing donning the rig.

    With all that on the front, there’s no room for anything on the back and still have the ability to zip it up into something resembling normal. I did stash two bigass handcuff zipties though. …and a morale patch, because mall ninja. I should probably get a full-width patch that says “GOOD GUY” with a rainbow background or something to put the liberals at ease.

    Right-hand chest draw allows access to the handgun from the “top” of the bag when closed. I keep both PMAGs and 12 gauge in because I don’t want to mess with the loadout depending on SHTF/bump-in-the-night long-gun choice.

    It’s right next to the bed when I sleep, and it’s in the car behind my seat when I go somewhere. Nobody has ever looked at it twice, but I know it’s full of more hole-punching than I should ever need.

    • Russ Kell

      “…probably get a full-width patch that says “GOOD GUY”

      Lol. I think I want one of those too. Like Castle “Writer”

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      I think using it as a covert car carry option is a better role than the originally intended “walk around in public”.

    • Dallas Doc

      I just don’t understand why you keep saying you’re so “ecstatic” about all your equipment.

  • Rick O’Shay

    If you’re in circumstances where you feel you need to carry soft armor/chest plates, why not just actually wear them from the get-go?

    • Vhyrus

      This. There is no freaking way it is easier, lighter, or more advantageous to carry around a suitcase all day rather than just wearing it underneath your shirt. Bonus: you can rip your shirt off like superman when the terrorists attack!

    • Bill

      Or not go at all?

      Really, as a cop, I can go lo-viz, but no way I’d futz around with something like this when I need to futz around with my rifle, comms or trauma kit.

    • billyoblivion

      Well, if you not a badged gun bearer and you work in a place that is a high value target you could shove this under your desk.

      It would also go in the trunk, or the back seat of a car etc. without shouting YOU A PREPPER TOO? BE A PREPPER! or something.

  • John

    Has anyone ever tested the good ole fashioned cast iron skillet? I’ll bet it would stop most non-armor piercing rounds and it costs about $20. You could attach one to each wrist like Wonder Woman.

    • Edeco

      I’ve seen video of it, 22 plinkster maybe… iirc a cone of metal gets knocked out like when a bb hits glass.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      I’ve got a comment pending approval containing Nutn’s video of him shooting pistols at a cast iron skillet. .380 hollow points almost penetrate, everything else blows big holes clean through.

    • Bill

      You obviously haven’t had to buy the Missus for-real quality cast iron, it aint no 20 bucks.

      There’s a probably apocryphal story about a local turkey hunter who caught a load of #4 shot from another hunter that was stopped by a frying pan he had in a backpack. I personally doubt it, ’cause no one could explain why a turkey hunter would be carrying a cast iron skillet in a backpack while calling turkeys.

    • John


      Got it.

      Use a pan only to cook your eggs, not protect your bacon.

    • Paul White

      Hell with it. I’m going to an outdoor range on the 28th, weather permitting. I’ll try to buy a cheap Lodge cast iron pan and shoot it with some stuff.

      • John

        Ooooh, I smell a YouTube video! Make sure it is the HEAVY cast iron skillet. A lot of these guys are shooting thin pans which obviously won’t work.

  • Black Dots

    This now tops my list of “Sh*t I Want But Have Absolutely No Use For”.

  • MeaCulpa

    I like statistics and have therefore reached the conclusion that I’m far, far, far more likely to fall in to a body of water and drown than I am getting shot in some mass shooting, but I like this idea. So I’ve decided to emulate it and now I always carry a big ass lifejacket in a plastic bag everywhere I go. Some people say that I seem awfully paranoid and borderline ret…. “challenged”/”special” walking around with a lifejacket in a plastic bag in Arizona, other people call me stupid when I carry my lifejacket in a plastic bag when I’m out at sea…. I really like this idea.

    • Bill


      I’m all for carry, do so all the time, but I’ve used a fire extinguisher FAR more frequently than my guns, and don’t carry a 5 pound ABC extinguisher around all the time. Same for a defibrillator.

      • Roy G Bunting

        EDC Fire extinguishers, it’s a virgin market!

        I do own more fire extinguishers then guns.

    • Bill

      Just get one of those CO2 auto inflator types, but make sure it’s covered with reflective SOLAS tape, a whistle, and a water-activated strobe light.

      I’ve always wondered what happens if you wear one of those in the rain.

      • Don Ward

        Nothing. The sensor is self contained. And they have new PFDs which are pressure sensitive where it won’t inflate even if you drop it in a puddle of water.

        • Bill

          Well hell, that’s no fun. I was going to wear one and go play in the lawn sprinkler.

          • Don Ward

            Remember to pack a towel!

          • billyoblivion

            Dude, you should know to ALWAYS carry your towel. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

          • Jim Thatcher

            You, sir, win the internets today. Or at least you should.

          • iksnilol

            It’s really handy for hitchhikers.

          • Anomanom

            Now there’s a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is.

          • Whitney Philbrick

            You were one of the first up against the wall when the revolution came, comes, will come?

          • billyoblivion

            Will have comen, IIRC.

            And as for being put up against the wall, I am not in a marketing department and wouldn’t last long.

            Also to quote a different philosopher:
            “Shoot pacifists and anarchists on sight; but beware anarchists — they shoot back.”

    • Grey Beard

      Crazy until you are caught in an arroyo in a monsoon shower. Then we can just follow the strobe downstream if you got the high tech one.

  • car54

    Or you could just carry a vest in soft brief case Iike I’ve been doing for 30 years.

  • Bill

    I’m patenting this idea:
    *Put plates/panels in carrier.
    *Put carrier in bag.
    *Carry bag

  • Brett

    Has anyone ever had a moment where think of something and look on the inernet and find that it is true? Now, this, and me…

  • Polaritypictures Ken

    *plates/panels not included.

  • Don Ward

    How many times are you guys going to rewrite the same press release about this product? This is what? The third or fourth time someone has written about this idiotic concept in the past 12 months?

  • TC

    After you ‘swiftly transform’ it into a plate carrier, you are good to go. Just hope you aren’t up against someone that takes head shots, and you aren’t hit in the arms, legs, shoulders, or lower torso.

    • Dakota Raduenz

      Honestly you picked the only invalid argument. It puts you on the same level as cops, feds, and investigators short of SWAT. Plenty of them get in gunfights and the rate of LODD is fairly low (though far too high for those one hundred families each year).

      Whether it’s practical or tacti-kewl is a much more valid argument.

      • Bill

        Except we are either wearing soft vests to begin with, or have some warning to put our hard armor on. Wrestling my way into a plate carrier/LBV is enough trouble without having to Transformer it from a briefcase.

    • iksnilol

      A better argument would be won’t you have better stuff to do than fumble with the bag? Things like taking cover and hiding, returning fire and such.

  • Kirk Newsted

    Somewhere out there Geko45 just had an orgasm seeing this.

    • milesfortis

      Not for that listed price it don’t!

    • st4

      Only if it stops getting shot in the back from a 338!

  • Greg Smith

    Does this bag come with the plates?

    • Porty1119


  • Roy G Bunting

    I’ve been debating a set of rifle plates for some time. On one hand, they’re cheaper then soft armor. On the other, I’d never use them. This just reinforces the idea that hard armor is pointless for me* because I like it so much.

    *Might be right for you, enjoy if it is.

    • Porty1119

      I wear plates while training. If I shot at public ranges, I’d wear them every time because morons. They aren’t nearly as encumbering as most folks expect; it’s comparable to wearing a backpack with a few textbooks, only with better weight distribution.

      • Roy G Bunting

        Ranges I go to are pretty safe in that regard. If I did training, they’d be a higher priority.

  • iksnilol

    Does it work as a bag tho?

  • FLdeepdiver

    I much prefer the AR500 ESCORT version and it is slightly less expensive. It is appropriate for my wife (a high school) teacher to keep under her desk. She has no other defensive options (that I can openly talk about) provided to her. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd8c80cd87fd1c3d81679b518964d85f94da24e4d66a1aa7621563cb063bed00.png