Whether you hit the range for competitive shooting or casually shoot, a quality range backpack provides exceptional organization and storage for your handguns and accessories. While any old bag could be used, the best range backpacks are specifically designed to make carrying firearm equipment easier.
With special features designed to hold firearms, ammo, hearing protection, and everything else you need, they prevent clutter and just plain make life easier.
We’ve scoured the web for the absolute best products on the market, but if you’re in a hurry, here are some quick picks.
Those are three top picks for specific consumer needs, but if you have a long rifle or need cheap weatherproofing, we’ve got you covered, too. Keep reading to learn what makes a great backpack, and why these and our other top picks made the list.
There are a lot of great reasons to invest in a range backpack, and chances are you’re already accustomed to and have accepted the problems that not having one causes. Too many gun owners simply toss their goods in a regular backpack or duffle bag.
Does that sound familiar? You could be doing yourself a huge disservice by not investing in the proper gear. Consider the two following scenarios.
In scenario one, you’ve taken your old duffel bag or backpack out to the range, and when it comes time to load up, you dig through all of your accessories, spilling out your expensive components on the hard floor.
You dig through everything, having to remove boxes of ammo, and before you know it you’ve removed everything just to have to put it all back in.
In scenario two, you’ve taken your bag to the field and it begins to rain halfway through your session. Think fast: are all of your accessories waterproofed? Is your bag waterproofed?
Having an excellent range backpack means not having to dig around in frustration for what you need. It also means protection from the elements.
Having a bag for all your gear means you’re toting around a lot of expensive and important stuff, and it only makes sense to invest in proper protection and organization.
As is the case with so many products when it comes to gun ownership, you never know what you’re missing until you have it. Imagine never having used anything beyond your stock iron sights, and suddenly discovering a reflex scope.
So it is with a dedicated bag. With weatherproofing, compartment labels, dedicated roll-out trays for handguns, and so much more, you’ll find yourself wondering how you ever hit the range without a specialized bag.
If nothing else, you certainly won’t miss the day that you break a thousand-dollar part.
With a proper range backpack, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
As you can see, a range backpack is a very wise investment. It’s easy to pick the wrong backpack that doesn’t offer these benefits, so doing your homework is critical.
Thankfully, we’ve already done your homework, so read on!
Now you know that you could use a range backpack, but are they all the same? Is there a difference between a range backpack and a range bag? Thanks to a free market, many different designs do exist, but the primary distinction is between a bag and a backpack.
A bag is more like a specialized duffel bag or hand-carried luggage, although they may have straps or telescoping handles or other features to make carrying easy. These often provide an excellent amount of space and are great for when walking long distances—like deep into the woods—isn’t expected.
A backpack, on the other hand, is just that. These generally offer less space but are designed to be carried on your back. These packs are thus much more portable and are better-suited to a variety of environments.
As you might expect, gun range backpacks also are specialized for different types of guns by size. You’re certainly not carrying your sniper rifle in a compact bag designed for handguns. Bags for rifles are longer and often feature compartments for tripods and other components handguns don’t need.
Brand names generally offer a better product, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t budget solution out there that can perform just fine. Notable backpack brands like Explorer and even gun manufacturers like Smith and Wesson have excellent and reliable products but doing homework on the bags themselves to get a good match to your needs is still key.
For our guide, we look at the quality of the components and craftsmanship for optimum value. This means that the brand that produced the bag isn’t as important as the brand that produced the zipper, for example. We’ll cover why that’s important below.
When it comes to choosing a range backpack or bag, there are a number of things to consider ensuring you get a bag that really matches your needs.
First, do you want your bag to be more portable or more spacious? A larger bag will generally provide more space for all your gear, whereas a smaller one will be less cumbersome but offer less space. There’s no right or wrong here, it’s just a matter of your preference.
Relatedly, do you want a bag or a backpack? While this goes in tandem with the previous consideration, some may prefer the convenience of a back-mounted bag. Of course, it also frees your hands.
Of course, you shouldn’t even look at bags for handguns if you have a sniper rifle. Aside from simply not fitting in smaller bags, rifles often require other components like tripods that handguns do not. You’ll want a bag that’s not only designed to fit your gun, but also its components.
Do you expect to shoot outside? How about off of the range? A bag that’s weatherproofed will provide the ability to take it out on hunts and protect your gear in any weather conditions.
Lastly, you should consider your budget. If you don’t expect much from your bag, it might be worth investing your extra money into gun components. If you need a great bag, then you’ll probably want to set aside more finances for a product that checks all of your boxes.
Our guide ensures you’ll get great value regardless of what you’re looking for. That said, we’ve kept those on a budget in mind, so if you’re not on a budget, you’ll likely want to opt for a premium bag for even better durability or features.
Since not all range backpacks are created equal, there are several key components to keep an eye on. It’s not just about quality, but also convenience and durability.
A zipper might not seem too important, but a high-quality and durable zipper will ensure a long life. Unless you’re a real handyman, you might find yourself needing a new back as soon as the zipper breaks. The zipper is one of the few mechanical parts on a bag, so this seemingly minor part must be quality.
Bags that use quality parts will proudly say so. Look for bags handmade in countries known for superior manufacturing, like the US or Japan. If these components are glossed over, it’s probably a red flag.
This is one of the primary reasons we’re not just using any old bag, remember? So be sure it has not only ample compartments, but compartments that make sense for your needs. If you most just want to store lots of ammo, your needs will be different from someone who wants lots of specialized spaces for gear.
Of course, it’s easy for a bag to be too accommodating. Do you just want to bring spare ammo, ear protection, and safety glasses? Then you probably don’t want a bag with tons of little compartments designed to fit a slew of scopes and other stuff.
Additionally, quality matters, too. Are the compartments reinforced to protect against crushing? Don’t break your shooting glasses! Crush-proof compartments ensure that your spare thousand-dollar reflex sight doesn’t get turned into debris under your ammo case. Additionally, compartments that are of various sizes or have zippers or locking mechanisms ensure things don’t get jostled around haphazardly.
Simple design choices can make a huge difference. Are compartments located in an intelligent way to allow easy access? Are there quality of life features, like shoulder straps on a hand-carried bag?
A really smart design doesn’t matter much if it doesn’t cater to your needs. For example, a bag that has tons of specialized and crush-proof compartments for a range of scopes and other delicate instruments is pointless if you just want a better sack for toting tons of ammo.
Keep how you shoot and what you’ll be carrying in mind foremost. Typically, a bag is designed from beginning to end with a particular type of consumer in mind. If you don’t mesh with this target consumer, you’re not likely to get the bag that’s right for you.
It’s easy to focus too much on the bag itself and its features and not your gun! Are you bringing a Glock to the range or an AR? Needless to say, a bag might have all the features in the world that get you excited but if it’s designed for a handgun and you’re packing a rifle, you’ll run into trouble.
Those who have a gun anywhere in the wide range between a handgun and a long rifle will want to pay very careful attention to this aspect.
Generally, bags cater to one extreme or the other. If you have a shotgun, for example, you’ll have to weigh whether you want something too small, or potentially too big.
Plus, a bag might offer everything you need, but if it’s so big it takes up your entire backseat, it might be cause for concern.
Generally, you want to find a bag that’s big enough for everything you want to bring, with just a little extra room.
Too much and you’ll find that your bag defeats the purpose of simplifying your outing.
Material matters for two big reasons: durability and weatherproofing. Durability should be critical for everyone, as it ensures a long product life. But weatherproofing may not matter to those who only shoot indoors.
It’s worth noting that durability and weatherproofing do not always go hand in hand. Heck, plastic wrap is waterproof, but you certainly don’t want to use that. You’ll want to find a product that clearly states how durable its material is regardless of what proofing it offers.
Nylon is a good starting point, as are various polymers. You’ll want to avoid anything that’s made from cloth, and certainly run from anything that doesn’t even mention what material it’s constructed from! Don’t forget that the material used in components matters a lot, too, as cheap plastic buckles on a premium nylon bag won’t do any good.
Now it’s time to look for the best gun range backpack on the market in 2019. Each backpack will be analyzed for the aforementioned features and components, so keep in mind what your preferences are in addition to general pointers. For example, if weatherproof material is important to you specifically, that might be more important than having all the compartments just right.
We’ll take a look at each aspect, and also point at the pros and cons objectively. Lastly, we’ll recommend who the back is best suited for as part of our final summation.
Maxpedition Compact Range
14" x 10" x 9.5"
Bulldog Cases XL Deluxe
15" x 8" x 10"
13.5" x 14" x 9"
16" x 10" x 19"
Best Long Gun
Target 3 Rifle Case
Choosing one single range pack as the absolute best on the market is tough, but we decided it needed to fulfill a few basic requirements. It needed to be exceptionally durable, weatherproof, use premium parts, have superior craftsmanship, and support a wide range of owners.
You’d better believe that this Maxpedition Compact Range Bag knocked all of those qualifiers out of the park. While it is not a very specialized bag (for that, read the rest of the reviews), it should make anyone looking for a premium gun range backpack very happy. It features an unassuming cubic design and is 14” x 10” x 9.5”.
There are four outer compartments that are highly spacious but don’t feel so cavernous that things could get lost. They are padded and reinforced to protect your valuables. Inside, the bag’s entire dimensions open up to a wide and cavernous space, featuring removable dividers.
Among these is a removable tote for handguns. Of course, these are all reinforced and padded. As they are removable, it’ easy to customize the space to your liking.
What really makes us happy, though, is the construction and materials. First off, it is a ballistic nylon fabric, triple-coated with polyurethane and finished with DuPont Teflon.
Not only does this provide exceptional durability, but premium water resistance.
This quality extends to all the bag’s parts. Zippers are YKK brand, which is arguably the best zipper on the market. A Japanese brand, they are exceptionally smooth, weather-resistant, and are notorious for their long lifespan.
Straps, attachment points, and handles are constructed from military-grade nylon, making them flexible but highly rugged. Buckles are Duraflex, again an excellent brand. Solid as a rock but also silent, they provide durability and discretion.
It’s also attention to details in the construction that matter. Seams and stitching has been minimized, ensuring few points of potential wear. All stress points and corners are reinforced with a strong composite thread.
Comfort is also on order with generously padded straps. The surface is smooth and comfortable, and easy to wash with a cloth.
Overall, the Maxpedition Compact Range Bag is designed to be a premium bag that appeals to a wide range of gun owners, and it does that exceptionally well. Let’s recap what it offers:
That said, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, because there is no single best range bag for everyone. Every gun owner is different and has unique needs. There are some reasons you might want to continue looking.
You should certainly consider the Maxpedition Compact Range Bag to be a default choice if you own a handgun. However, you’ll want to continue reading our guide to be sure one of our other choices doesn’t cater more specifically to your needs.
Durable, heavy-duty design for compact gun users.
We’ve already looked at one of the best range bags, and it suits a wide range of gun owners and is waterproof, so why look at a separate product for weatherproofing? Well, the Maxpedition Compact Range Bag is certainly an excellent product, but there’s also a niche for consumers who might want to forego some of the Maxpedition’s premium features but retain weatherproofing.
For those gun owners, there’s the Bulldog Cases X-Large Deluxe Black Range Bag. At a fraction of the cost, it doesn’t offer the same premium product, but it still meets our high standards on quality and offers complete weatherproofing.
To start off, it’s 15” x 8” x 10”, roughly the same size as the Maxpedition bag. It also offers a very similar design, with an extra-large inner compartment that will fit up to two handguns and plenty of ammunition. The bottom features a pistol rug for minimum movement and extra protection.
The exterior is fitted with a simple but aptly-sized three pockets. These pockets are reinforced and padded, and perfect for stashing a variety of gear. As with the Maxpedition bag, the design is not hyper-specialized and made to appeal to a wide range of shooters.
Of course, what you’ll really want to compare is the material quality and weatherproofing. Made of ballistic, heavy-duty nylon, it is fully weatherproof and heavy-duty enough to withstand a lot of abuse.
Buckles, zippers and straps are all well-made and of premium quality, although none of the parts are brand name. Of course, this is because the bag is much more of a budget solution for those who demand weatherproofing than Maxpedition’s top-of-the-line bag.
That said, buckles are still tough as rocks and close seamlessly.
Zippers operate smoothly and are larger than run-of-the-mill zippers which should keep them running properly for a long time. Straps feature thick reinforcements included a padded shoulder.
The bottom of the bag is also reinforced with thick plastic to help absorb drops and maintain the reinforced structure. Additionally, the pistol rug has a hard backing and can be removed if desired.
Overall, you are not getting the absolute best bag on the market, but it is assuredly the best bag for those looking for weatherproofing without spending an arm and a leg. For many, it offers the perfect advantages:
That said, you should bear in mind some potential disadvantages:
If you need weatherproofing along with a simple but premium design, and don’t want to spend a ton of money, this is probably the bag for you. If your budget is a little higher, or you want features that are more specific to your needs, you should continue reading to contrast it against others on our list.
Toughest material to last through wet or dry conditions.
Explorer produces many of the best bags, and they’ve produced the best shooting range bag for those on a budget. This Tactical Range Ready bag is shockingly well-priced, but don’t think you’re not getting a whopping value.
First off, we should make clear that this is designed for handguns. At 13.5” x 14” x 9”, it is relatively small. That said, a lot of thought went into how to maximize space, and it pays dividends.
The first design feature that we really love is the fact that the inner compartments utilize a modular design in the form of removable partitions. Whether you carry a lot of little items or a few big items, this bag can be customized to your needs This is absolutely perfect for those who want to carry lots of little gadgets, or those who want to carry tons of ammo.
That said, there are already seven magazine pouches in a front compartment and four in the rear. This bag is ready to provide quick and efficient use on the field. Additionally, there are two zippered handgun pouches that are 13.5” x 1” x 7.5”.
The bag is compact enough that you wouldn’t know it at first glance, but there are 13 total padded compartments, which is quite generous. There are also two beverage holders inside, though you might wish they were on the exterior.
Additionally, the main zippered compartment features a keychain attached to the zipper. This is perfect for not only keys, but a smart gun owner can also hook on IDs and common tools like Allen wrenches.
Don’t think that Explorer skimped on materials to bring you this budget solution, either. Made from 1200-denier nylon, it is highly durable and should last a very long time. While it’s not specifically designed to be waterproof, you should expect a good degree of water resistance and it’s small enough to easily protect.
However, some corners are necessarily cut. Explorer has opted to use a high-quality zipper, but it is not name brand. You should expect them to last relatively long, and operation is smooth.
Compartments are also padded to resist crushing. A comfortably wide, albeit unpadded, shoulder strap is easily detachable. A thick, padded carrying handle provides quick and versatile transporting, which is quite easy at its light 4.5-pound weight.
You can easily make this bag either your own or discreetly camouflaged thanks to a generous seven colors to choose from. Brown, ACU camo, black, black digital camo, navy digital camo, army green, woodland camo, and zebra are all on offer.
Overall, this bag is quite exceptional. It’s not the most premium bag out there, and it has its drawbacks, but it’s important to remember it’s also a fraction of the cost of other bags. Let’s recap what it offers:
That said, bear in mind some negatives that come with a budget solution:
All in all, this is an excellent option for handgun owners on a budget. It’s truly surprising how great of a bag Explorer was able to produce while keeping it so low in price. While we’d recommend that those with a bigger budget get a bag that offers at least full weatherproofing, you can’t go wrong here if you’re short on funds.
A moderately priced bag jam-packed with all the necessary features.
Are you looking for the best tactical range bag to stow a small army’s worth of gear? Do you really hate digging for your stuff?
Whether you’re a control-freak or trying to become one, the G.P.S. Handgunner Backpack is very intelligently designed to promote clutter-free carrying. Not only does it offer compartments aplenty, they are wisely arranged so that no one compartment gets in the way of another. Plus, they’re labeled!
To start, you’ll get space for four handguns stored vertically, along with 12 main magazine slots. Side pockets are provided for an additional six magazines. A foam cradle slides in and out to help protect handguns, while crush-proof main compartments are perfect for safety glasses or other fragile things.
The bag is absolutely covered with spare compartments and slots, with absolutely zero wasted real estate. It’s easy to store just about anything you need for your gun and still find room for first aid kits, cleaning supplies, and so on. There are even two dedicated holders for water bottles.
All compartments are zippered for extra security. Although the zipper brand does not appear to be a high-profile brand, they operate smoothly and seem long-lasting. The zippers are all easily accessible, with nothing “hidden” behind something else.
Wide shoulder straps provide exceptional comfort, making this bag a great choice for longer walks. While the bag is not fully waterproof by design, it does offer a built-in rain cover, so as long as you use it, you’ll enjoy protection from the elements.
A comfortable rubber handle also provides easy hand-carrying. A Velcro compartment for storing badges or IDs allows easy access to these items or could be repurposed to hold most phones.
The construction is primarily a tough nylon with rubber and foam reinforcement and padding. It should last a long time, although you’ll want to be careful with sharper items like tactical knives.
As for size, it is 16” x 10” x 19” and weighs seven pounds. It’s perfect for handguns, but too small for anything else. You can choose from either a black bag with orange details or a gray digital camo design with black details.
Let’s recap some of the advantages:
Let’s not forget some drawbacks:
Overall, this is an excellent bag for anyone who sticks to handguns and wants versatility and precise organization. Those who tend to pack simply will likely be overwhelmed. You know what kind of person you are best!
The shooter who brings lots of stuff to the range and wants a comfortable, back-mounted solution will find a lot to love here. It provides the versatility of being appropriate in a range of environments with a little responsibility on the owner’s part.
It’s definitely an excellent value and should be seriously considered by anyone who loves organization.
Excellent value for maximized space and multiple compartments..
If you intend on bringing a sniper rifle, you can’t settle for a small bag designed for handguns. Thankfully, we’ve found the best carrying bag for your long rifle, and not only does it provide a lot of room and features, but it’s also durable and affordable.
While this Target 3 Rifle case doesn’t have a lot of consumer reviews, you can rest assured that it is packed with features and an excellent design. Additionally, Explorer is a well-respected brand producing some of the best cases and packs out there and specialize in products for gun owners. Their products are U.S and NATO standardized whenever possible.
You might have noticed that this isn’t the only Explorer bag on our list, and that’s because they consistently produce excellent products. Thankfully, they’ve thought of those with longer rifles, too. Thankfully, Explorer keeps their products reasonable, and this is well-priced whereas many rifle bags, being larger, can fast get way too pricey.
Let’s start off with the size: you get 52” of length for any long gun, along with 13.5” in width and 4” in height. Aside from accommodating your rifle, you can either load up with extra longer items or pack up to two additional rifles. You won’t get this from shorter bags!
That said, there are plenty of other pockets available for your gear, and those are long, too. Five exterior pockets can store goods like tripods, spotting scopes, shooting sticks, or whatever else you’d like to add. A smaller bottom pouch is perfect for holding your ammo.
Internally, you’ll have separate compartments for even more ammo or cleaning supplies, safety glasses, and accessories. The long spatial real estate of the bag has been put to great use, and these compartments don’t add any bulk to the bag.
Inside and out, the bag is designed to be heavy-duty. Pockets and compartments are padded and reinforced to protect your goods. The surface is made from 6000 polyester and repels water and cleans off easily.
Combine the weather-proofing with comfortable and reinforced shoulder straps and drag straps, and you’ve got an excellent option for either the range or the woods.
It can be very difficult to find a bag that fits longer rifles, and too often sacrifices need to be made. With this bag, you’ll get a premium option that is versatile and can withstand brutal conditions. Let’s recap:
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s for everybody. Let’s look at some disadvantages:
Overall, it’s hard to find a better bag for carrying a longer rifle. With weatherproofing, great durability, room for up to three rifles, comfortable straps and handles for transportation, and an excellent price, this is hands-down the top choice. The market is littered with poor bags for long rifles, and this option is the polar opposite all around.
The best bag in the lot for the longest of guns.
A gun range backpack or bag is a necessity for keeping your guns, ammo, and accessories organized and safe from damage. Providing better protection and more features than a generic duffel bag, they offer many different designs. Use our guide to determine your needs, and browse the products we’ve served up to match those needs to the best bag for you!