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Off-Body Carry Done Right

You may opt for off-body carry due to the constraints of your dress, or you may simply choose to carry off-body for (hopefully risk-adjusted) convenience.  Either way, you will want a high-quality, purpose-designed pack to carry your gun in – slipping your gun into any old bag will result in poor retention, poor access, and possibly an unsafe gun.  Sister companies Tactical Tailor and Grey Ghost Gear are well-known for their high-quality military/law-enforcement gear, and both make low-key concealed carry packs for those customers that are also ideal for the concealed-carry citizen or off-duty cop. 

What makes for a proper concealed carry pack or bag?  It has to look non-tactical --  no PALS webbing, no military colors, and no certainly camouflage.  It should have a “civilian” shape – more rounded than rectangular.  Your goal is to blend, not be tacticool.  Yes, I’ve heard the argument that no one really notices or recognizes a coyote-brown/PALS pack as a gun bag, but I’m not concerned with how 99% of the population reacts.  I’m concerned about  the bad guys – who most certainly do notice these things.

Another vital characteristic is a well-thought out concealed carry compartment.  It should be loop-lined to accept hook-backed holsters and mag carriers, allow full-hand access, and be easy to find and withdraw the gun from.  Finally, it should be sturdy (not flimsy) and high-quality; a loaded handgun is a heavy object and its weight should be supported by the bag.

The 776 cubic-inch Tactical Tailor Concealed Carry Sling Bag is all of the above, incorporating extremely high-quality beefy material (500 and 1000 denier cordura), webbing, hardware, and stitching.  The bag has a wide padded upper shoulder strap and a breathable mesh-padded back which make it very, very comfortable to carry.  The shoulder strap can attach to either bottom corner, providing ambidextrous carry, and all compartments are zipper-accessible from either side.  The front admin compartment is loop lined to accept a provided reversible hook-backed admin panel.  The main compartment is big enough to fit a couple sweaters and has more loop lining.  The full-height concealed carry compartment is at the back, is completely loop lined, and comes with a universal holster.

Neat features of this bag include the fact that the unused lower shoulder strap can be either folded away into a small compartment or attached to the upper shoulder strap to become a stabilization strap.  The lower shoulder straps have a small strip quasi-PALS-like webbing for attaching carabineers, etc., and the upper shoulder strap has a small section of Blue Force Gear-licensed helium-whisper panel for attaching a pouch.

Them’s the specs; here’s the bottom line: an extremely comfortable sling bag, bomb-proof construction, actual discrete appearance, true ambidextrous carry, and enough room to carry a useful amount of gear over and above your handgun.  My score: 5 out of 5 stars.  Really.

The 887 cubic-inch Grey Ghost Gear Stealth Operator Pack is a two-strap pack for covert concealed carry.  This is an excellent size for everyday carry, concealed or not.  It’s enough room to carry a useful amount of stuff, but no so big that it feels like a hiking pack.  This pack also meets my three criteria above; non-tactical look with a rounded profile, practical concealed carry compartment, and sturdy construction..  First class stitching and materials all around, and the 500D cordura combined with a neat-looking diamond-pattern ripstop nylon give it a classy two-tone look of sturdiness.  The main compartment has three interior pockets on the front side, made from heavy mesh, two of which are AR-15 magazine sized.  There is a full hydration compartment at the very rear.  The front single-vertical-zip opening pocket has a few admin pockets, and behind them a hidden Velcro-closed concealed carry pocket that’s nine inches deep with internal horizontal loop strips to mate to a supplied hook-backed holster.  This is not a fast-access system, but it ingeniously conceals the very existence of the CC compartment even if someone opens all the zippers during a bag search. The mesh padding on the back of the pack provides comfort and gives the pack some structure.

My bottom line here: very comfortable, very discrete (downright covert, actually), and a perfect size.  I actually use this as my EDC pack, even without a gun.