Review Posted: GGG Transport Bag: Carry More Than Most

Taking the concept of its Range Bag, and extending it into a “Go-Bag” for the discriminating professional, the Transport Bag by Grey Ghost Gear allows the end-user to pack a variety of field equipment, firearms, and other accessories.

Review Posted: GGG Apparition: Carry Your Rifle, Even In Plain Sight

Introduced in 2015, then revised in 2020 to include more color options, the Apparition Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) Bag by Grey Ghost Gear is made from a two-tone combination of rip-stop nylons similar to […]

Facebook Targets U.S. Users Over Terrorists, Hate Groups, and Cartels

Facebook was (and likely continues to be) more focused on targeting U.S. groups and users—and less about legitimate terrorists, cartels, or crime syndicates using its global platform.

Review Posted: DA Hard Leather Gloves: Improved Protection for the Digits

The Leather Hard Glove by Direct Action Gear is a more durable and flexible variant to its original lightweight glove design, the Hard Glove. 

Review Posted: GGG UGF Battle Belt v2.0: Upgrade Your Battle Belt

Updated in 2021, the revision to the UGF includes modification to improve comfort and accessory compatibility.

Review Posted: Bullseye “Sniper Edition” Target Camera: Take More Time On The Long Shot

Made ideally for long-range shooters, the “Sniper Edition” target camera by Shooting Made Easy drastically reduces the time wasted by endlessly walking (or driving) back and forth between the shooting line, and the long distance target when checking zero or recording shot placement. 

Review Posted: Warhawk Nautic Battle Belt: Lightweight and Ruggedly Built

Made from a variety of components, the complete Warhawk Nautic battle belt system by Direct Actionoffers the end user an ideal blend of lightweight yet durable materials, rugged reinforcement, and utilitarian design. Scoring […]

Body Armor For The Laymen: Part 4

Body Armor For The Laymen: Everything You Wanted to Know About PPE But Were Too Afraid to Ask

Review Posted: Stinger 2020: Like Looking Into the Sun

Revised for its release, the 2020 version of the Stinger line is one of the brightest handheld lights offered by Streamlight. 

Review Posted: Hellcat Low Visibility Plate Carrier: Keeping Things Hidden But At The Ready

Designed as a lightweight and low profile plate carrier for training on the range, or in use for concealment operations, the Hellcat Low Visibility Plate Carrier by Direct Action is a confluence in design from the Spitfire & Hellcat Plate Carrier line and offers more current, low-profile features. 

Testimonials

View All ›

T3 Urban Ruck: For the Daily Urban Carry

The Urban Ruck by Trident Tactical/Technical (T3) gives the user a sleek, low-profile EDC backpack that can accommodate up to 12-hours’ worth of essentials. Its 500D Cordura material allows for an optimal balance between the pack’s 20” (H) x 12” (W) x 7” (D) overall dimension, while providing for the flexibility and durability necessary to daily life.

Exterior

At the front, the T3 Urban Ruck has a 9” (W) x 13” (H) large accessory compartment (secured via zipper) that allow the user to store items of varying size and need. The exterior of the accessory compartment has a smaller accessory pocket with a split field of nylon mesh (secured via zipper), and an additional patch-sized (female) hook-and-loop field for an identification, unit, or morale patch. At the top is a plastic carabiner D-ring to hang a water bottle or other item.

Both sides to the Urban Ruck feature two compression straps (four total), with sliding buckles to ensure the contents stay secured. Additionally, both sides feature a pocket (two total) for storing Nalgene bottles or other items. At the top and bottom to both sides are (female) slide-release buckles to allow the user to mount either belts or straps as necessary with an associated buckle. On the pack’s left side, forming the corner with the backpanel, a full-length zipper allows access into the main storage compartment behind an internal divider for up to a 13” laptop.

The backpanel to the Urban Ruck includes closed-cell foam padding across the back. Both shoulder straps are contoured and anchored at the top of the backpanel with extensive bartack stitching, with QD slide-release buckles at the bottom. The shoulder straps have an adjustable sternum strap with multiple nylon webbing loops to hang accessories.

The Urban Ruck has a knapsack design that secures over the top of the backpack to the front via two slide-release buckles. At the top is a small, zipper secured accessory pocket for sunglass case or other items.

The bottom of the Urban Ruck features the same foam padding as the backpanel.

Interior

The interior of the Urban Ruck is accessed via a single drawstring. The main storage compartment includes an internal divider, with a zipper-secured pouch on the interior of one side, and a sleeve pocket on the other. Above both compartments is another zipper-secured accessory pouch.

Available in Multicam Black (featured), Coyote, and Urban Grey (Coming Soon).

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): At a listed price of $220, the Urban Ruck has a significant amount of materials for its design, to include thick padding in its shoulder pads and backpanel. All of which work to give the pack a non-tactical appearance that could easily fill the role on the range, on a day hike, or commuting in your daily life. Other market comparisons would be from Tru-Spec’s Tour of Duty ($177 in Multicam Black), or Triple Aught Design’s FAST Pack (in Multicam Black $335). It should be noted however that in both of the competitors listed, their packs still lend towards a “tactical-not-tactical” appearance despite being marketed for everyday life. Additionally, source of manufacturing tends to lend itself to more inexpensive products, and those produced domestically trend to higher cost (which would help explain the price difference). If the user needs to maintain a low profile in an urban setting then the Urban Ruck is appropriately (or of average) priced.
  • Comfort Excellent (5/5): From a comfort aspect, the Urban Ruck offered a good deal of comfort given its thick padding in the shoulder straps and backpanel. Its soft shell provided good comfort and contoured to the back when worn, and the 500D Cordura material had sufficient flexibility to not give the pack any hard edges or angles. All the zippers functioned smoothly and did not bind, while the slide release buckles snapped/secured cleanly. Weather worn for a few hours or all day, the Urban Ruck was consistently comfortable.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): The main 500D Cordura material offered a good amount of abrasion resistance to withstand general range work, and performed well for an EDC bag to daily life. Bartack and X-type stitching was noted anchoring the shoulder straps two points of contact into the backpanel, and at other key stress points to reinforce the Urban Ruck’s overall durability. Double line stitching also reinforced all YKK zippers and all of the paracord pull tabs appeared to be secured inside plastic end caps.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally the Urban Ruck is more reminiscent of a day pack, one with a tactical mindset to keep that low-profile for life in urban settings. The over-the-top closure flap completely covered the drawstring opening, though the slide-release buckles were still exposed. The exterior split field accessory pocket on the front did provide immediate access and visibility to its contents, but also to anyone else (in the city this could prove tempting to thieves). The Urban Ruck was able to comfortably carry several pairs of clothing and range accessories, and could easily be configured to any need necessary. One thing to bear in mind was items placed inside the Urban Ruck can get buried down inside the main storage compartment, as unlike backpacks that open on three sides, the Urban Ruck is top-down access only. One thing T3 may want to consider is changing the material in the interior of the main storage compartment to a high-visibility color rather than black. This would make searching the interior easier.
  • Weight Average (3/5): Coming in at 3.8 pounds for 25-30 Liters of storage space, the Urban Ruck was lightweight enough that wearing it for several hours (3+) did not become uncomfortable with a moderate amount of weight (books, food, clothes, etc.). There was a notable limit to weight that could be carried however, as heavier items (ammo or electronic equipment) pulled more on the pack over time due to its lack of an internal frame. This merely reinforced the design that the Urban Ruck is intended for daily and light/moderate use. In comparison, the Tour of Duty came in at 5 pounds for 37 Liters of storage, and the FAST pack was 2.04 pounds for 28 Liters of space. This would put the Urban Ruck appropriately (or at an average) sized for its weight and offering the user a good sized EDC pack.

Overall Rating – Good (20/25)

Product Link: https://www.t3gear.com/t3-urban-ruck/

IMG_2889_TackenbergI am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

 

Hazard 4 Pillbox: Keep the Electronics Safe

Designed for photography, optics, or other sensitive equipment the Pillbox by Hazard 4 offers a unique hard case for users to carry the consolidated items in a protective and ruggedized backpack. Combined with Hazard 4’s patented Hardpoint compatibility, MOLLE straps, and internal padded dividers the Pillbox provides outdoor enthusiasts, drone operators, and professional photographers with expanded adaptability.

External

Married between two molded thermoformed shells and 360-degree side padding, the exterior of the Pillbox has six Hardpoint connections along the outer exterior shell. These allow for Hardpoint hardware (sold separately) to be added and provide additional retention straps, both on the exterior and on the interior of the molded shell.

The sides are made from 1000D Cordura and feature MOLLE webbing and metal retention rings on either side that allow the user to hang additional accessories. The bottom of the Pillbox also has a nylon carrying handle. At the top of the Pillbox is a durable plastic carry handle, and two plastic slide-release buckles that anchor the shoulder straps. Under the slide-release buckles is a fleece and nylon padded pocket for a hydration bladder or laptop that is zipper secured.

On the back panel are multiple mesh and foam pads to provide comfort and rigidity to the overall frame, but also insulate/pad the zipper-secured hydration bladder pocket that can also double as an additional laptop pocket.

The shoulder straps are slightly tapered with MOLLE nylon webbing down the length of the strap. It also features an adjustable sternum strap, that is anchored to the sides of the Pillbox just below a removable waist strap featuring Hazard 4’s patented locking buckle.

Internal

Inside the outer protective shell is a gusseted administrative pouch secured via zipper, whereby the gusset is connected to the shell via hook-and-loop, and can be disconnected to allow full access to the inside of the protective shell. The admin pouch consists of a fleece-lined 16” laptop sleeve, document sleeve, three accessory pouches, two pen pouches, four SD card pouches, and an identification card holder. In addition, there is also a (female) hook-and-loop field with MOLLE-compatible laser-cut slots.

The main storage compartment is secured via zipper and is entirely fleece-lined for maximum protection of accessories and measures 19.7″ (L) x 12.2″ (W) x 3.7″ (D). In addition, the Pillbox also comes with seven padded internal dividers (three large, three medium, one small) that connect to the fleece via (male) hook-and-loop that afford the backpack to be customized based on the electronic or accessory being carried.

The Pillbox has a storage capacity of 29.5 liters of space and measures overall 19.7″ (L) x 12.2″ (W) x 3.7″ (D). Its overall materials vary depending on color. The Black and Coyote variants are 1000D Cordura. The Grayman (featured) is made from polyester.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): With a listed MSRP of $199.99 on Hazard 4’s website, as of this writing it is being offered at $159.99 and can be found on the internet for as low as $139. This makes the Pillbox comparable to other professional-grade photography bags, but many do not feature the protective design that Hazzard 4 has incorporated in this product.
  • Comfort Good (4/5) When fully loaded with digital or field equipment, the Pillbox became very heavy. Yet, the contouring of the shoulder straps, and the inclusion of the removable/adjustable waist belt helped mitigate that weight on the body. But the waist belt itself is just a nylon strap without padding and when combined with a fully loaded Pillbox, it became uncomfortable during long-term wear (1 hour +). It should be noted Hazard 4 does offer a Deluxe Strap Pad (sold separately) that can be used on any of its 2” straps, and could be used to pad the waist straps if desired. The padded back panel helped ensure that more padding along the spine made for a comfortable carry.
  • Durability – Average (3/5): Although the Pillbox earns high marks for its padded foam shells and limited 1000D Cordura nylon, those features were offset by the zipper enclosure materials. The zippers (or the slider/pull) felt thin and frail, and had difficulty turning the corners of the pack by snagging the cover material. Something I have experienced in lower-quality packs. Hazard does advertise that they use YKK zippers, but its choice to go with such a thin enclosure material undercuts the overall durability rating of the backpack. Otherwise the use of bartac, and the double/ “X”-type stitching on stress points will help extend usage.
  • Functionality Excellent (5/5): There is a high degree of functionality built into the Pillbox for the professional photographer, drone operator/racer, motorcyclist, or competitive shooters. In comparison to other photography bags, the ability to customize the internal compartments of the Pillbox allowed for any number of electronic or sensitive items to be stored safely and securely. The admin pouch helped keep maps, manuals, and accessories together with whatever you carried. An extra bonus was all zippers feature TSA-compliant locking loops that allow the user to secure each compartment using the appropriate locks (not included).
  • Weight Good (4/5): The Pillbox weighs approximately 5.25 pounds (empty), and considering it features the same durability as some high-end protective luggage (which is much heavier), the Pillbox is extremely light. When compared to other professional packs (most of which do not feature the protective thermoformed shell design) it is within the median range of weight. Yet as you load the Pillbox, because it has almost 30 liters of storage space, the pack’s weight increased dramatically. The adjustable shoulder straps helped distribute that weight and kept it high on the shoulders, and the adjustable waist belt also aided in distributing that load to the hips as well.

Overall Rating – Good (20/25)

Product Link: https://www.hazard4.com/pillbox.html

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Pelican 1626 Air Case: Perfect for Matches or Training

Released in 2016, the line of Air cases is one of the latest in a series of hard cases by Pelican that is up to 40% lighter than the original hard case. The 1626 is specifically designed for mid-sized or smaller tactical rifles, but can accommodate a variety of other items to fit within it. The Air series of cases continues to provide Pelican’s leading protective cases to consumers, but at an affordable price point and lighter weight to the consumer.

As with all Pelican cases, the 1626 Air Case is made from Super-light proprietary HPX²™ Polymer with features taken from the Protector series to deliver a lightweight, watertight, crushproof, and dustproof case that offers a significant amount of protection.

Exterior

With an overall exterior dimension of 31.12” (L) x 13.33” (H) x 17.05” (W), the 1626’s exterior is comprised of Pelican’s Super-light proprietary HPX²™ Polymer for a lightweight shell that maintains maximum strength and impact resistance.

The 1626 includes six newly redesigned Press and Pull™ latches made from an ABS polymer that secure the lid to the bottom. In addition, there are three heavy-duty, ergonomic and foldable handles on either end to aid in picking up.

Several protective features built into the 1626 are its two stainless-steel padlock protectors, and its single automatic purge valve made with hi-flow Gore-Tex with a 3 micron, hydrophobic non-woven material.

The 1626 has two quiet-rolling wheels with stainless-steel bearings that, combined with the collapsible trolley handle, aid in rolling and transport of the case and its fully packed weight. On the exterior is a single, clear plastic business card colder for an identification placard. This card holder is only accessible with the lid open and thus prevents tampering.

Interior

With an interior space of 28.14” (L) x 11.72” (H) x 14.00” (W), the 1626 has an overall internal storage capacity of 2.69 ft³.

A one-piece, rubberized EPDM O-ring provides a watertight seal to the interior storage space.

The 1626 comes with optional three layers of open-cell, pick-and-pluck foam that is customizable to meet storage needs.

Specifications:

  • Foam Layer 1 (Lid)……..1.95″ (6.4 cm) – Convolute
  • Foam Layer 2 (Base)……2.68″ (5.6 cm) – Pick N Pluck
  • Foam Layer 3 (Base)……2.68″ (5.6 cm) – Pick N Pluck
  • Foam Layer 4 (Base)……2.68″ (1.3 cm) – Pick N Pluck
  • Foam Layer 5 (Base)……1.44” – Pad
  • Minimum Temperature…-60° F (-51 ° C)
  • Maximum Temperature…160° F (71 ° C)

The 1626 Air Long Case is only available in Black (featured).

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Good (4/5): At an MSRP of $336.95 the 1626 Air Case can be found on third-party retail stores for as little as $278. Care should be taken when ordering from non-direct vendors however as the condition and legitimacy of such products can sometimes prove dubious. As a whole, the 1626 is part of the overall ‘Air’ line and made from Pelican’s proprietary HPX²™ Polymer. This new material provides for consistent strength and impact resistance over its more traditional products, yet is still lighter. Comparable market alternatives would be the Nanuk 970 ($332) or the 3026-15 iSeries Case by SKB ($355.99). Given the available price point of the 1626 Air Case on the market as $278, it places the Pelican case at a good cost among its competitors.
  • Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, while the 1626 is one of the moderate-sized cases in the Air lineup, and in comparison, the case was surprisingly lighter than expected. This was attributed to the HPX²™ Polymer which allowed the case’s shell to be up to 40% lighter than other polymer cases of similar size. The 31” overall length easily accommodated multiple rifles, handguns, and equipment while the foldable middle handle on the side made maneuvering a fully loaded case easier than alternative cases without that mid-handle. The three collapsible handles felt very comfortable in the hand and did not dig or pinch in the hand. The push-button latches were a notable improvement over more traditional C-type clamps, and provided an improved level of security against accidental opening (despite several attempts at trying to force it open from the bottom of the latch). One aspect of the 1626 that is shared with the Protector series are the locking cleats across the lid and bottom. These cleats provided added strength and allowed for potential stacking of multiple cases if needed. The rolling wheels moved easily and quietly while rolling the case between shooting venues. Perhaps the only negative aspect from a comfort aspect was that because of its overall bulk, the 1626 was a bit unwieldy when carried, vice rolled and the latter would be the recommended transport method whenever possible.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): From a durability aspect, Pelican cases generally are thought of as the apex in hard cases. And the new Air line of cases continued that reputation by basically being left unsecure in the back of a pickup truck bed, and driven around on and off road (with other items to include several steel ammo cans). Rough handling was not held back. The shock and impact resistance held up excellent, with nary any effect to the weapons contained inside. The pick-and-pluck foam was not customized for the weapons used during this review (instead one base layer was simply removed), however between the lid and remaining base layers they held enough retention to keep the weapons secured. Despite some surface marring to the exterior shell (superficial scratches, gouges, dents, etc.), neither moisture nor dust penetrated the interior at any time.
  • Functionality – Good (4/5): The 1626 is similar to other Pelican hard cases in that it was designed to be a protective box for ground and/or air transport. While the 1626 Air Case has an improved polymer blend and new push-button latches, the Air series as a whole had a low-profile appearance and was designed more for the avid traveler (such as trainers or instructors) in mind, not members of the military. Features like the rolling wheels and the pressurization valve were essential as part of the design for long-term use or carrying. The stainless-steel protectors (in conjunction with TSA-approved locks – not included) and hinge pins likewise fill an essential aspect of design as it ensured forced entry (shy of cutting) wasn’t possible. The pick-and-pluck foam was of the typical thickness and appropriately perforated to allow customization. As noted above, the 1626 did share some rigidity aspects of the Protector series with the locking cleats that aided in added reinforcement. Since the 1626 is intended as an equipment case, there are options for it to come without foam, or with compartmentalized inserts.
  • Weight – Excellent (5/5): At 18.10 lbs. (with foam), the 1626 Air Case has an appropriate (or average) amount of weight for a case of this size and intended to hold multiple firearms or equipment. As such, once fully loaded, the 1626 was somewhat heavy and bulky to maneuver by carrying it from the two side handles. Truthfully the best method in transporting the fully loaded 1626 was rolling it around via the trolley handle provided it was a smooth, improved surface. The rolling wheels did not facilitate rolling over loose rock, thus necessitated the carry method. In comparison; the Nanuk 970 (26 pounds) or the 3026-15 iSeries Case by SKB (40.99 pounds) were all over the weight of the 1626 Air Gun Case despite similarities in overall dimensions and design. This validated the benefit of the proprietary HPX²™ Polymer in the 1745 and gave it an excellent scoring.

Overall Rating – Good (21/25)

Product Link: https://www.pelican.com/us/en/product/cases/air/1626

I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

%d bloggers like this: