Concealed Carry Corner: Tactical or Practical Carry Bags

Matt E
by Matt E
Concealed Carry Corner: Tactical or Practical Carry Bags

Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we discussed the various steps to take when training strictly for concealed carry. If you missed that article, click the link here to check it out. This week, I wanted to look at some new items hitting the market and a fundamental shift in the gun community from what used to be normal 5-10 years ago. Small carry bags are becoming more popular among younger people and female shooters for ease of carry and simplicity. Not everyone agrees with carrying off body which is valid, but for those of you who do, there isn’t a ton of information out there. Let’s take a closer look at tactical or practical carry bags.

Concealed Carry Corner @ TFB:

Tactical Bags

The inclusion of tactical bags in the market really allowed both men and women to carry not only firearms but also medical equipment and other items that aren’t the easiest to put on your body. These styles of bags allowed people to have a hidden compartment for their carry pistol if they chose to carry it off body. Typically tactical bags have velcro sections for their favorite morale patches as well as MOLLE attachment points to throw various pouches or extra storage on. I purchased a few and thought they were a fun way to carry things while personalizing your bag for daily use.

Others started carrying larger firearms like AR pistols or PCC-style firearms in addition to their carry handgun. Most of these bags had a number of storage sections with a full-size compartment as well as a separate smaller section for everyday items or medical equipment. While there was a number of companies making these style of sling bags, my absolute favorite bag was the 5.11 MOAB 10 bag. I ended up snagging three bags in various colors with different guns and gear for each. Depending on where I was going or what I was doing, I would grab one of the bags and go on with my day. I absolutely loved the ease of use with these bags but they certainly weren’t perfect.

Practical Bags

The progression of carry bags has certainly changed from how they were used even 5 years ago. The reality of today is the fact most people don’t carry a PCC-style firearm and with the changes legally to AR pistols, most people don’t bring them in public in bags like they used to do. Bags have become smaller with a much more thought-out setup that allows the carrier to draw a pistol out faster than some of the older style bags. The newest bag I’ve been trying out is the Viktos Upscale 3 sling bag. This bag comes as a brown leather sling bag which screams more city dweller than gun carrier. Some people reading this would never carry this bag because of the leather, but it is exactly what you should be carrying. It’s completely under the radar which is the general trend for newer-style bags.

Most carry bags coming out of companies today have options for brightly colored or leather to make them seem like everyday bags. This lets you fly under the radar which is the number one goal of most people who carry a concealed pistol. Any indication that you may have a firearm is less than ideal to not stick out and seem like you’re a potential threat to people. I like the fact it has compartments for small pieces of soft armor as well as compartments that are easier to draw from. The larger compartment for firearms is Velcro lined so someone is able to buy any of the Velcro holster accessories to drop in and use daily.

Why The Shift?

There are a number of reasons why there could have been a shift from tactical bags to practical but I have a few theories. I think the biggest one is the oversaturation and popularity of tactical-style bags. Whenever I fly to various parts of the country, I will see countless guys walking around with either an FDE tactical sling bag or a full-size surplus bag with molle attachments and velcro patches everywhere. The ability to have a low profile with some sort of tactical bag has faded because of the overall popularity of these bags.

Since tactical bags have become full-blown mainstream, it’s not good for carrying a concealed firearm anymore. Companies like Vertx have made more commonly used bags with carry options for years now and the rest of the market is catching up to Vertx bags. Having the ability to fly under the radar really allows people to confidently carry a firearm off body without worrying about being caught. There is still certainly a market for tactical bags but the market for practical gun-friendly bags will only continue to grow.

Overall Thoughts

What do you guys think when it comes to carrying a bag when you carry a concealed firearm? Do you use it for extra items you can’t carry comfortably on your body or do you ever put a firearm in a bag? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. if you have questions on carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you next week for another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.

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Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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  • B Rad B Rad on Oct 13, 2023

    Excellent article. Thank you for posting. I use a Venum backpack to carry a Sig Rattler in 300 blk. With the sandman-k it fits perfectly. It's loaded with supers and I also have a magazine of subs.

  • John huscio John huscio on Oct 13, 2023

    I have great appreciation for a well thought out, well made, east to access bag.

    I carry a p229 in one of these hiking and camping and it’s excellent. Carry lots of other stuff in the pockets it too


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