When I sat down to start typing this, even after doing the testing and research, I had to wonder just how serious it would be taken. A "tactical businessman?" Let me be clear: I'm not talking about the stock broker or lawyer who simply enjoys the idea that he owns stuff designed for today's warriors. I'm talking about today's warriors who often find themselves in the business or corporate (or similar) environment and don't want to sacrifice readiness. The following is a list of items, and how they've performed (as I've been able to test them) that you might find yourself carrying, wearing or using, along with that shirt and tie.
The first item on my list is BlackHawk's Advanced Tactical Briefcase. I saw one of these at SHOT Show and it seemed like everywhere I looked someone had a ATB hanging on their shoulder. Was it really that great? Or did BlackHawk just do that great of a marketing job? One of their reps showed me all the ins and outs. It certainly seemed versatile. Could I get one to test? Yep. So, here it is several months later and I've been using the ATB exclusively for carrying my laptop, portfolio and other needs to and from work, and I've not been disappointed.
One of the features that I most enjoy about it is the strong adjustable shoulder strap. The strap is wrapped by a non-slip padded section that Velcros on right where you need it to be. My strap is adjusted so that it's comfortable for me to carry, but also so that I can use the strap to hang my ATB in the passenger seat of my vehicle allowing me easy access for whatever I need during a duty shift.
And while I'm actually carrying it, if I need access to the common items such as a PDA, cell phone, business cards, etc., the ATB has pockets perfectly sized and located on the flap. They are literally right at hand when the bag is slung. When it is slung, the back has two padded sections that let it rest comfortably at my hip, protecting not only my hip but also the contents of the bag from being banged around against it. Between those pads and the back of the main compartment of the bag is a section perfect for storing ID holders. It snaps at the top and has a zipper at the bottom. Now, I couldn't figure out the zipper right away, so I had to check out the BlackHawk website to see what I was missing. This back compartment, with the zipper open, allows for the briefcase to be mounted on the pull-up drag handle of wheeled luggage. The snap at the top snaps between the bars of the handle and the ATB stays securely in place.
There is a clear map pocket on the inside of the flap and the entire thing is lined to be waterproof. It's important to recognize that's "waterproof" to water falling down or windblown. It's NOT waterproof if you drop it in a pool. Like all good "tactical" bags, it also has a method for allowing you to mount a holster for your pistol, magazine pouches, etc. Along the back of the main compartment is a padded Velcro-lined pocket that is the full length and height of the bag. While this pocket can be used for transporting your laptop, it can also be used to include Velcro-mounted accessories. BlackHawk has a series of these available, but the bag works just as well with anyone else's.
5.11 Tactical makes what they call their "back up belt system," which permits the concealed carry of your pistol, magazines, etc as listed above. These nylon pouches are pretty generic and can be used on any Velcro platform (like the one in the ATB). With a little imagination and understanding that the ATB's pocket is limited in size, you could realistically carry a handgun, two spare magazines, handcuffs and a flashlight or OC Spray. Putting my Springfield Armory 1911 .45ACP pistol in there requires mounting it at an angle and giving up space for some other items. Putting in my Glock 19 9mm allows me to mount it straight up and down and allows me another inch or so to work with.