Okay, so you’ve got a drawer full of holsters. You like some of them, are indifferent to others, and gave away the ones you discovered you hated. Here’s the thing, you like to tuck your shirt in, and most holsters print whenever you do that. So, what’s a person to do? I think FNH USA has one possible answer for you. Their backpack has a built in compartment at the small of the back that holds two, count ‘em, two guns!
I travel extensively and I’ve actually been looking for a backpack with some of the same features this has to handle all the stuff I carry around with me. Obviously, you’re not going to be traipsing through an airport with a gun or two in your backpack unless you’re stupid. This ruck will do double duty for air travel, around town concealed carry travel, camping, hiking, and just about any other scenario you can think of. This thing is loaded with pockets and has an absolutely cavernous interior.
The front of the bag has three stacked pockets running horizontally across the face of it. The bottom pocket is a single zipper. It measures roughly 10”W X 5 ½” H and has the FNH logo stitched to it. The next pocket up is roughly 10”W X 6”H. It has a lower 2 inches wide Velcro strip running across it to slap on your favorite morale patches, or whatever else you might have. There is also a small surface pocked with a Velcro closure, along with a D ring hanging from the upper right corner. The main pocket has a zipper closure, three pen holders mounted horizontally and a small inner pocket. There is a bit of mesh that looks like a pocket, however, there is no opening for it. It appeared to me to be a good place to drop in your business card, but alas, I could not open it. I guess it’s one of the many mysteries of the world. The final upper pocket is another 5” high with a zippered surface pocket and a zippered closure. Inside the main pocket, there is another mesh pouch with a zippered closure running the entire length of the interior. There is yet another, but smaller, D ring on the upper right side of this berth.
Both sides of the pack have two padded stash pockets. The lower pockets have two rows of MOLLE webbing running across them and a zipper closure. The inner surface of the outer shell on all four pockets is lined some nice padding, great to keep from scratching up the screens of your electronic gadgets. The upper pocket has a small Velcro strip across the top to secure it. The lower pockets are roughly 6” X 4” and the upper are 5” X 4”.
The main section is also a zipper with two sliders on either end opening about 180 degrees. Inside is a padded sleeve large enough to put a 17” notebook in. There is another mesh compartment with a zipper on the back wall of the bag. This main compartment measures roughly 18”H X 4 ¾”D X 11 ¾”W. There is another compartment behind that with a zipper running up the left side. That zipper also has dual sliders. Inside there is a flap with Velcro attachments presumably to retain a laptop. In my opinion that makes this unit ideal if you have to transport two laptops. The top of the bag has a nice 2” nylon handle stitched into the back, with four small utility loops running down either side.
The back of the backpack is where the small “holsters” are hidden. At the base of the mesh backing, there are Velcro closures for pockets to conceal a handgun. One is stitched in above the other, with the top having an opening to the left when on the wearers back, and the lower one opening to the right. Both have 1” Velcro closures running the entire length of the opening. The pockets are separated with a diagonal stitch. They are both triangular shaped. This forces the pocket on the wearer’s right side to have to fit the gun into it upside down.
I felt the need to test fit a variety of guns, just to see what this could hold. My LC9 fits very nicely into it with room to spare. CZ P-07, no problem. Beretta 92FS? It fits! At the moment, that’s the largest frame handgun I have to test out, but it fits with a little room left over (very little).
It was time for a little field testing, so I threw a few things in the bag that I’d need for the day and stashed my P-07 in the concealed pocket. Not once did I notice the gun digging into my back. In fact, had I not known it was already there, you wouldn’t notice it just by putting on the pack. You can certainly feel it there by running a hand over it, but not from carrying it around on your back or shoulder. I have a tendency to throw a backpack over one shoulder or the other if I’m traveling short distances.
The shoulder straps were all-day comfortable. The adjustable sternum strap made it easy to deal with heavier loads. Both straps have a “D” ring sewn on for attaching extra stuff, just in case the bag itself doesn’t carry enough on the inside, or you want to hang a magazine pouch there.
I will tell you, you’re never going to win any quick-draw contests with this thing. The lower attach point of the shoulder strap partially blocks the entry to the holster pocket. In addition, if you’re a “righty”, you have to pull the gun out upside down, as previously mentioned. The Velcro closure is going to fight you all the way and once you’ve finally got it apart to reach the weapon, you’ll probably have strained your shoulder. So, drawing from the work on your back position, not so good. It can be done, but not with much finesse. It’d be unlikely that someone else in the room would know what you’re fiddling for, thus still providing an element of surprise to your foe, but clumsy nonetheless.
I recommend taking it off and grabbing the gun with the pack in front of you. Since the holster is in the back, the front of the bag would be presented to the attacker and provide some form of distraction or protection. With the way the entire back unzips from the side, it would be an ideal place to stuff a ballistic plate into making this bag even more effective as a self-defense tool. In fact, the folks over at Bullet Safe sent us one of their 10X12 inch plates to insert in the back. It fit easily. These panels run about $149, though I’ve seen them as low as $99 (Amazon). That’s pretty cheap for such a serious security enhancement.
While it doesn’t completely fill the rear compartment, it is certainly better than nothing at all. Now, I have a holster and a fair degree of survivability with just this one backpack. Basically, we’ve just created a modern day Captain America stealth shield. So now, you whip the pack in front of you to draw your weapon, and it affords you protection from up to a 44 magnum round. The Bullet Safe panel added a mere 20 ounces to the overall weight on the back pack. Essentially it’s undetectable both visually and weight-wise.
I’ve stuffed this pack with ammo, laptops, guns, camera equipment, iPads, iPods, water bottles, notebooks and all manner of keys and general stuff. It seems I never ran out of room. My back gave out before the bag even noticed the weight. I carried several different semi-autos in the concealed pockets, once through a medical center, and not one person looked at it or me with a suspicious eye. With back packs being ubiquitous these days, this is the best man (or woman) purse I’ve found to date.
Once you’ve made your purchase there, go see our friends at Bullet Safe.
Both are quality products and are very rugged. I think you’ll find the same value and versatility I did.