My Bag admission
Okay, I've admitted it before, I'm kind of a bag guy. I know, that may sound bad. But, what I mean is, I like bags, and I'll often go through a number of kits before I feel like I've got the right solution.
I've done that with medical kits, photography gear, travel bags, and now even range bags.
You really sometimes feel like the Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some are too big, others are too small and this one is just right.
It's good to finally get the right bag, and for range bags, the Osage River Tactical Bag is just that. Not perfect, mind you, but better than any other I've discovered.
What makes a good range bag?
From my point of view, a good range bag is durable yet light, big enough to fit all your gear, but not so big that it's hard to manage, with enough pockets and separations that you can easily arrange your gear without too much confusion as to where things are.
Sounds like the perfect solution. Well, let's get into the details.
Durable but light
The Osage is built with 600D ballistic nylon. This was one of the first military efforts for bulletproof materials. It didn't quite work but the material is strong, tough and durable. It's also lightweight and comes in four colors – black, tan, grey, and OD Green. The four basis tactical colors which should match all your tactical gear.
The zippers are heavy duty and you can see they are developed to accept a small lock to secure any compartment you wish. The pulls are less than desirable (they're normally just a piece of paracord), but I often will replace pulls on my bags with monkey's fist zipper pulls from Red Oxx. I know, it's a small thing but I think it really adds to the functionality and value of a bag.
If you have a moment, watch the video on how these pulls are made and where – really interesting.
The handle is somewhat lightweight but it works well enough and connects together with velcro. I have to say the included strap is somewhat lame but if you really need a strap, I would buy one of the typical stretchy camera bag straps, like OP/Tech at Amazon, that allows for half of the weight to be supported by the stretchy neoprene.
Finally, the bag has plastic feet on the bottom four corners to allow placing the bag on any surface without rubbing and damaging the bottom of the bag. A small thing to be sure, but a thoughtful touch.
Big enough to fit all your gear but not so big that's it hard to manage
I see some strange things at the gun range. It's not unusual to see someone gather five, six or even seven pieces of gear, plus eyes and ears before they make their way inside the range. Others even have rolling bags for their gear. Okay, that's fine but, really do you need all that?
Listen, I really advocate having similar gear with similar calibers. In other words, a few Glock 19's with a Glock 43 – all obviously 9mm. I think it's better that way. Shooting well is a lot of muscle memory, and shooting multiple guns with multiple calibers is maybe too much. It's even possible to use the same caliber – 9mm, 40, and 45 for example on an AR15 type platform. Anyway, just a thought.
With that in mind, I bring one Glock 19, a Glock 43 and some 9mm ammo – both range and defensive, and magazines. In addition, I have my eyes – clear and sunglasses, ears, a small first aid kit, some speedloaders, tools, splatter targets, and…well, that's about it. I don't need a cleaning kit since I'm not going to clean my gun at the range anyway so that about wraps it up.
The Osage comes in two sizes and priced really reasonably. The Light Duty is 13.5 x 10.5 x 7.5 inches, while the Standard is 18 x 13 x 10 inches. I'm perfectly content with the Light Duty (pictured on this post) but your needs may be different. In any event, you at least have an option.
Enough pockets and separations that you can manage your gear
Separate compartments are often a mixed blessing. Some bags have so many that you spend too much time trying to find anything. Others make their compartments essentially useless because of size limitations, locations, and other restrictions.
The Osage is really straightforward, it has a big center compartment for your ears and ammo, a front and back compartment for storing your handguns and side pockets for all the other gear. It also has small slip compartments, one zippered and one not, on the side pockets, to store things like your range card and a small first aid kit – bandages etc.
I want the guns to be separated by some protective padding so they don't mar each other and the Osage provides that on both front and rear pockets as you can see in the image above.
Again, the zippers are configured such that you can lock any pocket you wish. It won't keep any serious thief away but will certainly discourage almost everyone else – just a nice touch.
Perfect? No. But what is?
What really is nice about the Osage is that you can quickly fix any of the deficiencies, such as pulls and strap (if even needed) really easily.
It's the bag I use and I'm totally pleased. I have discovered a truth in life, and that is your gear will expand exponentially with the size of your bag. If you get a huge bag, you will eventually fill it. Maybe it's better to get a bag like Osage and live with a reasonable amount of necessary gear.
In short, the Osage River Tactical Range Bag will more than meet your needs and keep you from going overboard.
Be sure to check out the Recommended Gear page to see what other tactical gear I've reviewed and recommend.
Always be prepared, be safe.