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Walking around town holding your Glock 19 isn’t a welcoming sight for many. But you also need a gun with you for self-defense in case anything happens while out and about. A concealed carry backpack or bag addresses this dilemma. If you’re interested in buying one, then you’re on the right track!
Here’s an overview of the best concealed carry backpacks and bags featured in this review:
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Why Backpacks and Bags?
It’s common for an average gun owner to carry guns using slings and holsters. In fact, these add-ons make it easier to draw your weapon should the need arise. But why am I inserting bags and packs into the picture? The following can explain why.
1. Safe and secluded weapon conceals
As I’ve mentioned earlier, parading around with your gun out is not always the best idea. Although you want to bring one for self-defense. A concealed carry backpack or bag can neatly conceal your weapon no matter what kind of clothing you wear. You’ll also be able to conceal much larger weapons in a backpack than what you can on your person.
If you carry concealed, you not only need a backpack, you should also have a concealed carry insurance. You can read our concealed carry insurance article for available options.
2. Short and long-distance traveling
Whether you’re out hunting or hiking, backpacks are your nifty buddies. Not only do they store firearms, but they also keep essentials. Water bottles, spare clothes, food, gadgets – everything you need for your adventures. Additionally, backpacks make decent on-the-go pillows too.
And if you live in bear country, packing a gun for even a short hike is essential. I find there are few better ways of bringing one on a hike than in a backpack specially designed for this purpose.
3. Daily use
Who says concealed carry backpacks are only for firearm storage? Many companies today design their bags to look discreet. You could use them for work, school, or other purposes.
In addition, bags have designs that let you customize them to your liking. For instance, several bags come with adaptable straps. As such, these straps can have different purposes. You can sling it to your shoulder, across your body, or carry it like a suitcase. Hence, bags’ versatility makes them brilliant options for daily use. You can also carry them to your local gym, work, or school.
Which Concealed Carry Bag is More Fitting for a Woman?
Any of the bags on this list can fit both genders. However, I would recommend one of the smaller ones. It is also worth looking at other types of bags like purses that are also designed for concealed carry. These are usually able to keep small pistols and knives for unexpected dangers like robberies while being less bulky. Also, many stylish CCWs make good fashion statements. You can pair them with dresses, slacks, shirts, crop tops, etc.
Okay, now you realize you want a bag for your gun. But how do you choose which is the right one for you? Before buying, check for the following factors:
How to Choose the Best Concealed Carry Backpack or Bag
- Quality of Materials Used. One of a good concealed carry’s important traits is its quality. For example, nylon or polyester material gives backpacks durability and water resistance traits. Also, either of them provides the bags sturdiness that could last up to years of everyday use. Pick a bag/pack made of high-quality matter to get the best out of your money. As they always say: “Quality first over quantity.”
- Compartment Space. Another factor that you need to consider is a concealed carry’s storage capacity. More pockets could give you extra space for other items. Need to stow more ammo for your Glock? Get a pack/bag that lets you accommodate that. Extra compartments are useful when storing things for hiking, hunting, travelling, etc.
- Appearance or Style. True to its name, the art of concealed carry is to hide your firearm from onlookers. Hence, simplistic designs make your CCW look like a normal carrier. You don’t want people staring at your bag and knowing you have a gun, do you?
- Size. Of course, a good concealed carry is one that could fit your firearm well. Choose a bag depending on your gun’s size. Thus, check your firearm’s dimensions first so that you can get the perfect bag for it.
- Accessibility. A good concealed carry bag is one that lets you draw out your gun with ease. One example is the presence of a holster. Bags with Velcro panels provide gun holsters for quick weapon draws. Easy gun access can save you a lot of time (and lives) from life-threatening situations.
Best Concealed Carry Backpacks and Bags
I love almost everything 5.11 makes, but not a lot of it is part of my EDC because 5.11 tends to make everything look like it was made by 5.11.
If you want to bend in it’s hard to do with something that screams “off duty cop brand”.
The COVRT 18 was clearly made for people like me and it feels like 5.11 really took user feedback to heart when they were designing this bag.
The storage and compartments are awesome, the material is well made, and the stitching is fantastic. Even the little logo tabs are TUCKABLE so they don’t show. Once you tuck them away, there is nothing that says “5.11” visible. I love that.
What also helps make this a backpack that is actually good is that the padding is thick and airy. This is actually comfy to wear for long periods of time and doesn’t stress your shoulders too much while also making sure you stay a lot cooler than most other bags.
What I first thought was an armor pocket is actually a TSA-friendly laptop pocket that is padded and folds down flat for when you’re going through security. Make sure to remove your gun and ammo first!
Speaking of the gun and ammo, the COVRT 18’s CCW pocket is great. Large enough to fit my Glock 19 with a WML and red dot attached it’s even large enough to stage the pistol from either side.
The pocket has velcro in it for attaching a holster and I strongly recommend that you do. You even have some room to spare for a magazine or something.
Unlike the Maxpedition bag, the tabs on the COVRT are actually easy to grab. They are also a highlight color, mine was orange but it depends on what color scheme you pick. This seems small, but it actually makes a huge difference in being able to quickly find the right tab, grab it, and open the gun pocket.
Put it all together and this is an outstanding bag. I highly recommend it!
- Looks and feels like an ordinary backpack
- Extreme durability
- Customisable inside holster
- Durability of bungee cords
- Only two internal pockets
Eberlestock B1 Combat Office Brief Blackhawk Diversion Gym Bag
The B1 Combat Office Brief is so close to being perfect, it really makes me mad that it isn’t. But that is life.
First off, this is really a messenger or laptop bag more than it is a concealed carry backpack. But it’s close enough.
I really like the laptop bag part of this because it’s really well padded and roomy. You have tons of pockets and space for stuff. Back when I was still taking the train to work and needing to port around a laptop, a notepad, and a crapload of magazines – I would have LOVED this bag.
That said… I really hate the laser-cut molle on the front. It’s so tactical and for no reason. No one is ever going to slap extra bags on this bag and the molle just ruins the look and feel of the bag.
While the CCW pocket is really easy to draw from and really well concealed, I’m not a fan of the fact that it’s literally just a pocket. No velcro, no trigger guard, just a pocket.
I threw my Glock 19 in the pocket unloaded but cocked to test how well it was protected. No matter what I did to the bag, I didn’t get the gun to go off – that’s a very good thing! So at least the gun is safe.
But I still would have really liked a proper holster to put it in. That said, I think one of those pocket carry sticky holsters would work well in this pocket.
All of that said – this bag is FAST to draw from, really comfy to wear, and feels great to use.
If only it didn’t have that stupid molle on it…
- Discreet design
- Large padded laptop pocket
- Divider keeps you things neat and organized
- Nice and thick shoulder strap for comfortable carry
5.11 RUSH MOAB 10
This has been David’s “gun show” bag for 3 years now. This MOAB 10 has been to SHOT show multiple times, plush he’s taken it to a half dozen industry events, and to the range dozens of times.
It even made it on a 1,400-mile road trip.
The point is, this is a very well-used and well-loved bag.
The water bottle holder and the IFAK on the sides are extras he added, so don’t expect to get them when you order a bag.
What I love about this bag it’s easy to use and easy to handle. Sure, it’s a little small but it can pack a lot more than you might think.
The padding on the strap is THICK and makes carrying the bag all day pretty easy. It’s also easy to swing around on your shoulder so you can access the main storage area without having to take the bag off all the time.
That said, I wish the CCW pocket was just a little larger in the opening. There is no zipper to fuss with and instead the pocket seals with just velcro. This works really well, but it also scratches your hand as you go for your gun.
In a life or death situation, that doesn’t matter. But it kind of sucks when you’re doing 50 draws on the range trying to maintain proficiency.
The inside of the CCW pocket has some velcro for a holster and that’s nice to have. It’s large enough to fit my Glock 19 with a red dot and WML. I can even fit my Beretta 92FS with weapon light if I really want.
I’ve beat the crap out of this bag and it’s going strong with almost no sign of wear. I highly recommend it for a concealed carry backpack!
- Proven durability
- Fast weapon draw
- Thick shoulder padding
- CCW pocket is slightly small
I’m not crazy about Maxpedition but knowing how popular they are, I felt remiss if I didn’t get one of their bags to test for this article. I landed on the Maxpedition TT26 because I actually like the look of it and it seemed to offer the features I wanted.
That said if looks matter to you… Maxpedition is unarguably about the only brand that makes concealed carry backpack that also looks fashionable by today’s standards. I think a lot of them are ugly, but I still wear Hawaiian shirts and New Balance shoes so maybe don’t look to me for fashion advice.
On the scale of looking like what is popular, Maxpedition wins hands down.
On everything else… meh.
The bag is very well made, I’ll give them that for sure. Great stitching, good material, awesome zippers.
It’s also very roomy with lots of good storage and pockets. Maxpedition really knows how to make use of space and makes the 26-liter capacity feel much larger.
But as a CCW backpack, this fell short in several ways.
First, the tabs to unzip the CCW pocket are small and hard to grab. They lay covered by a flap that makes it tricky to get them in your hand when you’re in a hurry.
Second, the pocket itself is pretty small. My Glock 19 with a red dot fit but barely and I couldn’t attach either of my WMLs to the gun.
While the pocket is ambi, the size of the pocket doesn’t really lend itself to two-sided draws. You can either make it so that the gun is hard to access from both sides or easy to grip from one side and almost impossible from the other.
All of this said – the bag worked. With some drills and effort, you can make draws reasonably well.
- Well made
- Large capacity
- Perfect for urban users
- CCW pocket is small
- Shoulder and back padding is minimal
Elite Survival Systems Covert Operations Bag
Do you favor going undercover while outside your home? Or are you someone who loves to keep a low-profile persona? Then consider this bag as your best portable buddy. One of the Covert Operations Bag’s hallmarks is its portable design. Hence, this bag can conceal small firearms like pistols and revolvers. What’s more, is that it could also conceal broken down AR pistols! Need we say more?
Another thing worth mentioning is the bag’s internal compartments. The bag sports two internal sets of straps. These straps secure your weapon well inside your carrier. For instance, I like bringing my KPOS Gen 2 or Glock 17 with me. I can do that with the Covert Operations Bag alone. Plus, the whole bag uses 1000 denier nylon material. This gives the bag its durability which makes it perfect to use long-term. Since the padded divider is of nylon matter, this prevents your gun from rattling inside the bag as you run or jump.
Moreover, the bag’s small pockets let you store up to three SMG magazines. These pockets could also hold other items like gadgets, medkits, and extra ammo. Have I mentioned that all this comes at a price of $103.96? Not ESDY cheap, but not a bad deal.
Since it’s only made for small carry, this is also the Covert Operations Bag’s drawback. You can’t use it to store larger firearms and gear like rifles and chronographs. Still, the Covert Operations Bag never fails to conceal small weapons like a boss.
- Can store pistols, revolvers, and foldable AR guns
- Made of durable 1000 denier nylon
- Discreet bag design
- Composed of various pockets
- Limited gun capacity
Tactical Tailor Bantam CCW Backpack
Not in the mood for a full-sized backpack? The Bantam would make an ideal substitute! Best known for its compact size, the Bantam does a great job as your trusty concealed carry. For instance, its exterior’s air mesh lining grants you comfort when worn. Plus, the front zipper pockets provide extra space for bills, flashlights, and wallets. Unlike the COVRT18, the Bantam has bungee retention to prevent your bag’s cords from breaking. That’s one annoying thing out of the list.
Meanwhile, the Bantam’s interior includes two extra pockets: one large and one small. Also, the padded pouch helps keep your stored handgun secure. I am comfortable using the Bantam because I don’t feel my REI’s weight behind me as I walk. Moreover, its hidden pocket has a set of ambidextrous zippers in them. Thus, I have no issues opening my bag with either my left hand or right hand.
The Bantam also comes in five colors. The manufacturer’s website posted its list of available colors for this tiny buddy. I got it in black to give a small but powerful vibe to it. Also, the Bantam features a sternum strap that prevents sore shoulders. There are also two mesh pockets for water bottles and other similar gear (ex. umbrellas, mine fell out…). A nifty, little fellow indeed.
One major comment I can say about the Bantam is its limited handgun capacity. For instance, I could store my REI in it but not my Glock. Nonetheless, the Bantam still makes for a superb compact concealed carry.
- Small and covert style
- Extra storage space
- Perfect alternative from a full-sized backpack
- Can hold handguns
- Easy-access zippers
- Padded pouch for comfortable wear
- Has many color choices
- Sternum strap prevents shoulder and back sores
- Limited handgun capacity
Tactical Tailor Concealed Bag
Tactical Tailor is one of the leading companies for CCW gear. So much so I included two of their products on this list. To start, the Concealed Carry prides itself on its 500D Cordura construction. This material gives the bag a lightweight feel to anyone who wears it. It doesn’t matter if you sprint, walk, or even bboy on the streets. This baddie is not going to let you down.
Next, let’s discuss its appearance. You can choose a specific hue for your Concealed Carry. Like the Bantam, this one is also small in size. Also, you can find three pockets on it: two overt and one covert. The covert pouch lies at the bag’s backmost part with two small zippers. Meanwhile, the standard pouches can hold a lot of gear. Hence, you can stash tourniquets, magazines, ammo, etc.
Last, we shift our focus to the main pouch. It consists of its own wall of loop material that helps stash your gun with ease. Also, it contains a universal holster for quick handgun access. Since the main pouch has deep and open space, you can put even the larger guns inside. Want to carry your Magnum 45 with you? No problem.
My only problem with this Tailor bag is the location of the covert pouch. Since it’s in the very back of the bag, it’s difficult to locate it at times. It takes a lot of time trying to find, open, and pull your gun out in sudden life-threatening situations. Still, we cannot deny that the Concealed Carry makes a great on-the-go CCW backpack.
- Pouches can hold a variety of things
- Universal holster allows quick gun access
- Can accommodate larger guns like Kel-Tec Sub 2K
- Covert pouch takes a lot of time to find
Vertx Transit 2.0 Sling Pack
Here it is, my new favorite CCW backpack. While I love my 5.11 Rush MOAB, the Vertx Transit 2.0 has the benefit of being a newer design and takes everything the old Transit did and makes it better.
Everything about it is really well made, from the buckles to the stitches to the zippers. All of it is noice.
The padding in the shoulder is better than most but not as good as the 5.11.
Vertx’s CCW pocket is hands down the best of the bunch. Large, easy to use, velcro, and SO easy to open.
While the other bags use normal zipper toggles for their CCW pocket, Vertx went a different path and makes that specific toggle HUGE. It looks like it’s just a bit of flash, but it’s actually 100% tactical.
Making that toggle huge makes it really easy to grab and open in a quick hurry. Once open, drawing feels very natural since you can position a holster any way you want. The CCW pocket is large enough that I can fit a Kydex holster holding my Glock 19 w/ red dot and WML.
That said… the bag itself is a little small. The compartments are well organized, but at 13 liters of capacity, this is the smallest bag of the bunch.
If you want rapid CCW deployment, this bag rocks. If you’re trying to carry textbooks, you might need something larger.
- Low profile
- Fastest weapon draw
- Comfy for long use
- Large CCW pocket
- Kind of small
For fast deployment of your weapon, Vertx wins hands down.
If you want a real backpack that also has a CCW mindset, 5.11’s COVRT 18 is almost perfect!
Laptops and tablets? I really dig Eberlestock’s B1 – even if I do hate that molle.
And if it’s drip or drown, Maxpedition is a fashion statement with teeth.
With that said, you won’t go wrong with any of these options!
How about showing the packs with an AR pistol inside? Broken down or with a folding stock adapter. Or both. With over all length, folded length, and barrel length listed.
I’d be interested in seeing covert or discreet carry options that allow for rapid deployment (3 seconds or less) of a SBR / PDW / AR pistol. The only one that comes to mind is the 5.11 Select Carry Sling Bag – great bag, but it has some limitations as well.
By chance have you tried any of the backpack inserts like The Policy by Lynx Defense?
An AR bag implies a LAW folder will be used – otherwise it’s going to be minimum 26 inches long, which is why my AR pistol barely fits into the old spare barrel carrier for an M60. There is no getting it out quickly when the zippers etc all enclose it out of sight, same as any back pack. A pistol can be retrieved quickly – as much as a shoulder holster could be, too. I’ve decided no “off body” carry will ever do as well.
Nonetheless, having looked myself for a travel/vacation/car back pack, Im sure something in the Swiss Army line can be found. I chose a small book pack in about the same shade of bright green – it’s 80’s hiker look isn’t macho or CCW at all, yet it still has hydration capability. its NOT a TSA laptop bag which are bulky, expensive, and actually unecessary – TSA tends to ask for the laptop separate no matter what. A simpler day bag will do better.
In a messenger bag I’d look into Timbuk2 which are highly crafted with a number of alternate pockets which are accessible left or right handed when worn cross body. I used it on the last trip to the Gulf and it was more than adequate for carrying all the “stuff” for CCW that we tend to drag along. And the best part – buying them on ebay for less than a third the price retail. In fact, the Timbuk2 was a flea market find for $4. My first Swiss backpack I got at DAV for $25 which I thought was high yet my son is now using it exclusively for his last semester, and my other son also has one. It’s hard to go wrong with them and they are more “business class” than covert or in your face Molle.