Odds are, you own pistols and you like to shoot them somewhere besides your living room. In which case you need a range bag, right? And not just any bag will do if you’re anything like me. For about a decade I’ve used a variety of gear from Elite Survival Systems and their Loadout bag is the best range bag I’ve seen in several years.
Range Bag Problems
So I should qualify my statement that the Loadout range bag is the best I’ve used in several years. I own too many bags. Range bags, backpacks, Walmart sacks… You get the idea. And some days it seems when I want to go to shooting, I end up taking several of those and maybe a cardboard box to help keep things organized. Getting guns, ammo, eye, and ear pro, etc. out the door can be daunting.
Why not cram more in one of my bags?
Well, besides the lack of organization, my other range bags just don’t hold up. Maybe yours fair better?
What’s the Best Range Bag Size?
That question is, of course, personal. In my case, I don’t remember the last time I took just one pistol when going shooting. Seriously, shooting remains fun at any age and more guns in the bag equate to more fun. Or in my case, more research. Right now I’m focused on developing my relationship with the Masada 9mm from IWI for a future review. But that means I’m taking a VP9 for comparison, an RM380 to maintain some sense of proficiency, and whatever else strikes me as fun that day.
The Loadout bag easily carries four pistols, “full-sized” says Elite Survival Systems. Well, I don’t have a Desert Eagle, but let’s call those “Jumbo Size” guns. I believe the bag will hold two of those in the heavily padded and divided removable pistol pouch, in addition to a couple of normal-sized pistols on either end.
Pistols typically ship with two mags. Take a wild guess at how many mag pouches are sewn into the large front compartment? If you guessed eight, you win a virtual high-five from the SHWAT™ Team! However, these large mag pouches can often hold more than one mag. I can fit more than eight on most outings.
Notably, the Loadout range bag also has a removable “insert,” a removable bag within the bag. It seems most range bags would have their biggest compartment sewn in, right? Elite Survival Systems seems to have prioritized access to everything in the bag. Removing the insert opens up even easier access to the pistols.
Hold that thought, though. I already pointed out that the largest pistol pouch (which can easily hold two large handguns) is removable. And so is the “insert” bag. If you head to the range with another shooter with whom you’ll share ammo, guns, whatever, these features provide a safe easy way to pass the gear around.
So yes, in the range bag wars (if that’s a thing) size matters. The Loadout bag measures 17″ x 10″ x 11″.
The Built-In Loadout Range Bag Gun Mat
I may have gotten ahead of myself there. In order to access your guns or the insert, you first have to unzip the bag. I know you’re shocked… Unlike the rest of my range bags, unzipping the Loadout bag’s main compartment reveals not only incredible access but the flap lays down flat revealing a thickly padded gun mat.
Ever go to a range with nasty concrete benches? Yeah, you don’t want to set down your precious pistols on that. Or if you shoot outdoors in the middle of nowhere you don’t want to throw your guns in the dirt. The Loadout range bag mat solves those problems literally as you open it. Guess you could say I’m a fan.
Maybe this should have been called the “Access” range bag instead of the “Loadout” bag. Not only do we get a cavernous yet organized interior, but a number of the pouches are also removable. “Big deal” some might say? Well, if you’ve ever had to go digging through your range back to find something hidden behind some flap, you’ll understand my point.
The most obvious removable is the main compartment “insert.” Besides that Elite Survival Systems provides a see-through mesh pouch for smaller odds and ends and a glasses case I often use for other things.
A removable dual AR style mag pouch is hidden in a pocket on one side of the Loadout bag while a removable dump pouch attaches to the other end via molle.
Laser Cut MOLLE
While the MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) for attaching gear to other gear isn’t new, Elite Survival Systems’ laser cut slots are one of the best implementations I’ve seen. Easier to deal with than the original MOLLE designs, the laser cut version weighs less. It’s also cleaner, in the sense of avoiding lots of potential snag points.
Range Bag Build Quality
Everything above this line matters not if the range bag isn’t solidly constructed. Summary: Yeah, like almost every other bag I’ve used from Elite Survival Systems, the Loadout range bag is overbuilt, super solid. The one exception that forces me to put “almost” was a bag they quit selling. It’s hard to be perfect all the time.
Made from 1050 denier nylon construction for maximum durability, the Loadout bag uses closed-cell foam padding throughout. On the bottom, sturdy luggage rails provide structure and protection.
Loadout Range Bag Conclusions
Yes, it’s the best range bag I’ve used as of this writing. To bring balance to this review, I asked a couple of friends to test drive it (including Pro Staffer Amy Rutzen). They concur. Bigger than average, yet much smaller than the Range Roller Bag from Elite Survival Systems I reviewed a few years ago (I still use it for bigger outings), the Loadout range bag feels “just right” in the words of Goldilocks (who was unavailable to assist with this review). The Loadout range bag comes in two tactical colors, black and coyote tan, and retails for $159.95. If you shop around, you can find some significant discounts.