Picking a Range Bag
Picking a Range Bag
By Mandy Bachman
Many range-going enthusiasts that I have talked to admit to being range bag hoarders. I, myself, have bounced back and forth between different range bag styles and have quite the collection building up in my spare closet. I like to be prepared for a day at the range and like any other female that I know, I tend to over pack. Between the necessities and all the “extras” that I pack, I need a good, sturdy range bag that I can easily keep organized.
When choosing a bag, you will need to decide if you prefer the duffle bag style or backpack style of bag. I have used both and have been very happy with each style. Both styles have their pros and cons. For example, I have personally found that I can store more in the duffle bag than I can the backpack. However, I find it easier to stay more organized with the backpack. Once you decide what style you want to go with then there are a few more details to look at.
A sturdy bag is a must. The last thing you need is for your bag to give out on you while at the range.
Trust me, I’ve had it happen! There is nothing quite like walking to your first stage of a match and having to stop to pick up 250+ rounds spilled out on the dirt when the stitching on your bag busted loose! So, if you are like me and take a lot of range gear with you, you will need a bag that has good, strong stitching. You can check to see if the stitching is doubled at the seam. This typically means that the bag is of good quality. The double stitching will help the bag hold together with all the added weight.
While we are on the subject of weight, keep your back and shoulders in mind. Depending on how much you are hauling and how far you will be walking throughout the day, you will want to make sure that you can comfortably carry your bag. A wide strap to place on your shoulder is best when it comes to support and comfort while carrying your bag throughout the day.
Another biggie for me is how many pockets a bag has. Give me lots and lots of storage areas! I personally like to be able to categorize my items in different areas of my bag.
Pockets help me keep my bag organized. I can quickly and easily find my items when I have places to store them. With pockets, I am able to avoid just tossing small items into my bag to later get lost in its deep, dark depths.
Opening up or walking off with the wrong range bag at a match gives a similar feeling as walking into the wrong restroom in a store, which is why I like to have bags that I can customize and make my own. In a sea of black, tan, and green bags you need to have a way to set yours apart from the others.
I like to have bags that have large Velcro areas for patches. Having my favorite patches on my range bag gives me a clear visual clue as to which bag is mine.
I am also a firm believer of “you get what you paid for.” A cheap bag will usually be exactly that, a cheap bag. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of reasonably priced range bags out there. But, if you are wanting a bag that will last your more than a season or two, be prepared to spend a little more money on a quality bag. A well-made bag should keep your range gear organized and you happy for many range sessions.