Concealed Carry Corner: When Carry Bags Are A Good Option

Matt E
by Matt E

Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we took a look at optimal versus practical carry guns. If you happened to miss that article, be sure to click the link here to give it a read. This week, I wanted to look at a topic that often times comes up more in the summer months which is carrying off body in carry bags. With the explosion in options for carry bags on the market today, is it a good idea to carry your gun in a bag? Let’s take a closer look if carry bags are a good option.

Concealed Carry Corner @ TFB:

The Off-Body Carry Concept

The whole idea of an off-body carry setup is the ability to have some sort of handgun for personal defense on you without actually being on your body. Some individuals who have kids don’t want to have a concealed handgun on their body and would rather carry one in a small bag when going out in public with family. Other individuals like to carry everything they need in their bag whether it’s their firearm, medical supplies or even soft armor plates. There’s a growing trend of people who look at their carry bags as a self-contained system in order to keep everything they need close by. The overall sizing can vary drastically depending on whether you go with a single-strap bag or a traditional backpack.

Single Strap Versus Two Strapped Bags

When looking at off-body bags, people have to ultimately decide how much space they really need to carry their support gear. When trying to decide what to carry, I always like to think that less is more. I would carry basic medical supplies and maybe a spare magazine or two in the bag and that’s about it. Certain people like to carry everything they may need including a small PCC, full medical load out, and 3-4 spare magazines for their PCC and pistol. If you are traveling cross country for weeks and want to have something slightly larger for overall security, that’s one thing but for just going out you want to keep it as simple as possible.

Most times a small single strap cross-body bag will be able to hold everything you need without being overwhelming. They hold enough to give you extra space on your body but don’t weigh you down. The biggest issue with larger packbacks is the ability to throw too much stuff into the bag creating a heavy cumbersome bag. Bigger bags mean more space along with larger armor panels and just more weight that you don’t necessarily need. If you are traveling and use it as a regular bag for everyday items as well, then a double-strapped traditional backpack makes more sense. For carrying just firearm-related items, a smaller single-strap bag really is a great way to go for its convenience and size.

Is it A Viable Option?

So with all the popularity of carry bags, is off-body carrying a viable option to carry a concealed handgun daily? My initial reaction is not really and there are a few reasons why I wouldn’t off-body carry. The first big factor is the possibility of your gun bag getting stolen fairly quickly, especially with single-strap sling bags. Having your sling bag strap cut and stolen along with the gun inside is a huge risk that people shouldn’t be willing to take.

I understand there are very select situations where off-body carry is the easiest way to carry a gun, but this should be a last resort. Too many people are starting to rely on carrying their handguns in a backpack and it’s not something that should be a regular practice. Handguns need to be on your body concealed as often as humanly possible. 98% of the time your gun should be carried on your body rather than in a bag or somewhere else. The bag should be more of a support system that will carry your medical supplies, extra ammo, soft armor and things like that if you so choose to create a loadout like that.

Tiered System

The best way to incorporate a carry bag is to set up a tier system where you keep the most important items on your body and build out your setup from there. Most people who incorporate a tier system will have one that’s a three-tier system that starts with the first tier being what they carry on their body. Whether it is their wallet, phone, keys and carry gun, these are usually essential items only. The second tier will be useful but optional items. This can include spare magazines, medical supplies, extra water, and some sort of non-perishable food in case of emergencies. Everything that would be great to carry on a daily basis but is too big to have on your body is what should go into your carry bag.

The third and final tier is usually the support items. Whether that’s a box full of road flares, a full medical kit, or a plate carrier, these items are usually tied to your vehicle. I’m still a big believer that no guns should be kept in your vehicle, but support items that are too large to carry are a good choice for vehicle-based options.

Overall Thoughts

Although carry bags may seem like a really convenient product and there are some great options out there, I think it’s a dangerous game when people start relying on them every single day to carry their guns instead of having them on their bodies. While carry bags can certainly be used in a supportive role, I don’t think they should be used to carry your main concealed firearm. What do you guys think about using carry bags as a daily item? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. if you have questions about 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 in 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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3 of 26 comments
  • Jimmarch Jimmarch on May 24, 2024

    My solution is somewhere between offbody and holster. First three minutes here:

    • Tdiinva Tdiinva on May 24, 2024

      @jimmarch Might work in a truck but screams gun.

  • DeadeyeDan DeadeyeDan on May 24, 2024

    If I ever spoke with someone in real life who told me that he has a "tier system" for when he leaves his house, I would laugh in his face. Who comes up with this? Do they also go to work by entering their Ford T-Platform through activating the entrance module, manipulating the ignition system, and performing a reverse maneuver to the exfiltration route?