Like many modern working class professionals, I often find myself making short business-related trips around the country, or even traveling over long weekends for recreation and to visit family or friends. I usually pack a small rolling suitcase for these types of trips, something that can easily fit in an overhead bin of an airplane or behind the seat of a car. However often times the suitcase is overkill, and I don’t need that much storage for a weekend or three-day trip. This is where a nice mid-sized duffel bag would be perfect.
When I first laid eyes on the “Ranger” bag from Highland Tactical, I said to myself “well that looks useful”, and I started thinking of all the ways it was going to make my life easier. The “Ranger” has one spacious central compartment and two good-sized side pockets. There are four additional organizational pockets on the front, giving you some great options for stashing your important small items and miscellaneous necessities. Here are the specs:
23″ (L) x 11.5″ (D) x 12″ (H)
2,691 Cubic Inches
Constructed of heavyweight durable polyester
Large main compartment suitable for most storage needs
Multiple front compartments to separate small gear and accessories
Side pockets add space for additional gear
Hook and loop patch holders
Removable padded shoulder strap
In my opinion, this bag really is the perfect size. Its got enough storage space to live out of for a few days, and its easily slung over the shoulder as a carry on. The first time I used it, I had to stay at my buddy’s place for three days to dog sit while he and his wife were in the hospital delivering their first-born child. I loaded up this duffel with three days of work clothes, one pair of shoes, socks, underwear, gym clothes, toiletries, headphones, device chargers, laptop, and anything else I needed for three days of living out of this bag. I was able to easily and comfortably fit everything I needed, to include my computer and charger and a spare gun to dry-fire with.
Fully loaded, the bag was heavy, but not so heavy that I couldn’t carry it around for a while. The shoulder strap has a modest padded section that easily slides along the length of the strap as needed. It’s not the best padding I’ve ever felt, but it serves well for carrying the bag short durations.
The overall construction of the bag seems appropriate for its role as a sturdy travel bag. The zippers all worked easily and the stitching appears durable enough to hold up under regular and routine use. I would not rate this bag as duty-grade however, it just doesn’t give me the impression that it would withstand long-term hard use, or getting thrown around with heavy loads. That said, I did not torture test this bag and I have no evidence that there are any points of failure anywhere in its construction. Additionally, there is no padding in the main compartment to protect sensitive items or equipment, which further leads me to view this bag as ideal for carrying clothes or other non-breakable mission-related gear.
I did break down my 10.5″ rifle to see how well it fit inside the bag and it was a perfect fit. You could use this bag as a “bag-o-doom” if you wanted, easily packing several loaded magazines and a short barreled-rifle, along with a pistol or two. However, you would probably want to add some soft padding to protect your equipment, as it’s essentially a soft bag with no frame or protection as I already mentioned.
My second outing with this bag was a three-day work trip to Georgia. This time I filled the bag with only the clothes I needed, skipped the computer, and the Glock and ran out the door. This is where I think this bag really shines as a grab-and-go. When it’s not loaded super heavily and to absolute capacity, it’s a very easy and convenient bag to sling over your shoulder and hit the road with. I was able to comfortably carry this bag over my shoulder through the airports and around town as needed. The sizable pockets on the side and front made it easy to quickly stow extra layers like an arc’teryx packable hoody and my small items like wallet and phone charger. The soft-sided bag collapses around your body just enough when you carry it full of clothes, but not so much that it impedes your ability to carry it or access the compartments. Additionally, it fits in a standard overhead bin perfectly, and I was happy to have such an easy piece of luggage to manage for a three-day trip on planes, trains, and automobiles. The bag also sports rubber bumpers on the bottom which made me feel better about pushing it across the floor of the terminals while I was waiting in security lines.
Overall I would recommend this bag for anyone who needs a handy duffel with a tactical look. Simply put, the ample storage and additional pockets make this bag damn useful for any kind of light-duty use. You can buy it direct from Highland Tactical for $49 and they offer free shipping inside the U.S. and a two-year warranty against manufacturers' defects.
Overall Rating 20/25
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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