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Two Underappreciated Blackhawk Bags

Earlier this year Blackhawk introduced a number of new bags and two of them haven’t got much press so far.  I can’t figure out why—they are both excellent products that fill clear needs.  One I call the sleeper because it’s deliberately plain exterior hides its actual function, and one I call the sexy one because it looks so cool.

Diversion Courier Bag

The Blackhawk Diversion Courier Bag – the sleeper -- is a cross between a battle bag and a messenger bag.  Wikipedia has a good definition of the battle bag: The battle bag, or Mann bag, is a lightweight load carrying system designed to allow the combat infantryman to carry ammunition and ancillaries such as medical supplies, spare batteries, and radio equipment…The battle bag was originally designed for use as a "grab bag" to allow drivers and vehicle-borne troops to grab essential supplies in a dismount for such functions as an ambush or the assault phase of a mechanized attack. From there, it has spread in popularity due to its ability to be worn over body armor, as well as the fact that it can be rapidly removed from the wearer in a medical emergency, or to allow the wearer to crawl through [small spaces].  Blackhawk helped to re-popularize the concept of the battle bag a few years ago when it introduced its own version, and  the follow-on versions to it (here and here).  While these three battle bags do not scream “tactical” or “cop”, they are a bit of an unusual size for a publically-carried bag (in the United States, at least), and they can look a wee bit on the tactical side.  On the other hand, you see messenger bags everywhere, and carried by every demographic. 

The Division Courier Bag looks like an ordinary small messenger bag that you’d see students, business people, contractors--basically just about anyone—carrying, and never give it so much as a second glance.  It truly “blends”.  Yet on the inside, it very much resembles previous version of the Blackhawk battle bags, with some changes, of course.  Its exterior dimensions are roughly 13.5” wide (excluding side pockets), 10” high, and 5” deep, so it is sized appropriately to carry a laptop computer, and of course to blend. 

Starting with the flap: it has two very useful features.  First, it completely zips off, if you prefer a bag without a flap.  Second, is has a pass-thru sipper, which allows you to access the interior of the bag without unbuckling the flap.  The underside of the flap contains, like the other Blackhawk battle bags, a clear map pocket which is zipper-accessible. 

Under the flap, the half-height full-width packet on the bag’s outside is PALS-faced (three full-width rows)  This full-width pocket has a zipper top and will store smaller items.  But, and this is unique, the zipper can be completely removed (it’s held in by hook-and-loop material), exposing the pocket’s fully loop-lined interior.  The bag ships with six sewn-together  double panels of hook material, each of which can be affixed in the pocket to create smaller pockets for magazines and other items.  Essentially, this pocket comes with its own segmentation system.  Bungee cords with pull tabs are also included, and you can use them to secure the items in the pockets (this configuration is shown in the photos, with AR mags being the items secured).

There is a full-width, nearly full-height, zippered flat pocket behind this outside pocket and the main compartment.

The main compartment is organized much like other Blackhawk battle bags.  In the rear is an elastic-top flat pocket, while in the front is a zippered mesh flat pocket.  Affixed to the front  of the rear flat pocket are a two of radio-sized mesh pockets and two rows of elastic loops.  Most of the space of the main compartment is open, and there’s a drain hole at the bottom.

The sides of the Division Courier Bag each have 6-inch high full-depth pockets for smaller items and each of these has two interior elastic loops to hold items the size of lights or pistol mags.

Finally, the back of the bag is nicely padded, but conceals a full width, full height concealed-carry compartment, which is fully loop-lined on the front side of this rear-most pocket.  It is  ambidextrous, with zipper-access from either side. 

The two-inch wide shoulder strap comes with a padded center section, and is buckle attached/releasable from either side.  The main compartment also has an elastic-covered port for routing hydration tubes, radio antennas, or communication system wires.  Constructed of heavy 500 denier nylon, the bag sports a carry handle on top.

This is one very well-thought-out, well-made bag.  It addresses my wish list relative to the previous Blackhawk battle bags.  It is completely discrete – it does not look mil or LE at all.  It offers ambidextrous concealed carry.  It’s set up to carry comms and tactical gear.  (Think of a police officer embedded in a large public event like the Boston Marathon audience.  This is the kind of discrete bag they’d need to carry the specialized kit they’d have.  An ordinary school pack wouldn’t do.)  It is quick-release from both sides, and you can get to your gear quickly with via the pass-thru zipper.  You can use it equally as well for your EDC bag or as a specialized low-profile tactical bag.  This bag should be getting a lot more attention!

Brick Go Bag

The Blackhawk Brick Go Bag is the sexy one.  I mean, just look at it – I can’t recall the last time I saw a bag that just looks this downright cool!  Basically, this approximately 18”long x 7” wide x 4” deep rectangular-shaped sling pack is a customizable equipment carry case that can be easily carried.  The main compartment is loop-lined on each side and the rear face.  The bag comes with five hook and loop partitions that can be configured within the main compartment to segment it into sturdy sections of almost any size.  This is ingenious, and a superior way to carry—and quickly access – hardware such as NVGs, FLIR cameras, scopes, trauma kits, and so in.   Think of it as a soft, slingable version of a hard case.

Because it looks so cool it’s a bit striking in appearance, and for that reason it probably isn’t completely, totally discrete…but it is reasonably so as it looks “neat” rather than “tactical”.  The Brick Go Bag is also a convenient size to slip into crannies and spaces in vehicles where more conventionally-shaped bags may have a problem. 

There are two zippered pockets with internal elastic loops on the front face of the bag for smaller items, and a carry handle on either side.  The back and quick-release sling strap are padded with breathable material and the strap has a single row of Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E.  (PALS) webbing.  The bag is ambidextrous in that the sling strap can be attached to either bottom corner of the bag. 

Functionally, the Brick Go Bag is a straightforward gear haulage appliance.  But it’s customizable interior, flexibility, stowable size, quality materials and construction and visual appeal will cause it to be—very effectively—used for many other applications.