I was first introduced to the concept of a “boom bag” amid one of my many overseas adventures, and since then it has been a mainstay of my time at the range. Done right, a boom bag (or satchel bag) can be a versatile and essential piece of every-day gear that has a wide array of applications.
The premise of a boom bag is pretty straightforward. They are small packs or bags that hold spare magazines (loaded or unloaded), loose ammo, grenades, aid kit, or whatever is essential for the mission at hand. The idea being its a bag that can be grabbed and thrown into use without a jumbled mess inside – where everything is easily accessible and secure. They need to be durable enough to last hard use, but not so bulky as to rival the added weight of another rucksack. Lots of folks use the typical range bag or every day carry bag to fulfill this role; but as I found, not all bags are equal.
The S.O. Tech MGB was introduced circa 2005 as a trauma bag, then revamped in 2015 as an A1 model with added features that celebrate S.O. Tech’s 10 years as the choice pack by US Special Operations. Its size makes it ideal as a medical bag, carrying radios and batteries, breaching tools, E&E components or anything you could need for the task at hand. Designed by founder Jim Cragg based on his own experiences in the military, the MGB offers two main compartments, smooth zipper closure, and 12 different carry configurations—but its real advantage is in its well-thought-out design.
Unlike its contemporaries, the MGB’s main compartment has a deep opening, so that when accessing the contents everything is visible in a single look (something that in a high stress situation can be critical). Inside the main compartment are four side pockets with drawstring and cinch closures. This allows you to keep an assortment of loose items or packages secure and separate from the rest of the contents in the main compartment. For example, if viewed for a medical purpose this design enables the MGB to have dedicated and secured pockets for Israeli dressings, hemostatic agents, bandages, and other aid elements while still leaving the main pocket compartment available for other use. The main compartment also features a divided sleeve along the back that can keep maps, notebooks, or other legal-sized documents.
The secondary compartment on the front is accessible via another zipper closure, and has two, eight-slot MOLLE panels stitched to the outside. Inside, the secondary compartment is rather straightforward with a legal-sized storage area and a Velcro panel for adding secondary accessories with a similar backing.
Another unique feature about the MGB is its ability to adapted to 12 different carry configurations that include:
- Belt pack
- Brief case
- Chest pack
- Pack mount
- Sling pack
- Vehicle wall pack
- Vest mount
- Waist pack
On the whole the MGB is amazingly versatile regardless of how you intend to use it. The 500D Cordura nylon construction gives it a proper blend between durability against hard use, and flexibility that allow it to conform against the body or pack as needed. On the back, the rubberized pad proved to be a lifesaver in preventing heat rash or excessive movement of the pack. The only noted negative was the shoulder strap itself may need some more padding given its width. In any of the over-the-shoulder methods you may find it rubs exposed skin a little raw. In addition, the handle straps don’t have significant padding to be carried as a briefcase throughout the day.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): At $130 the MGB is at a price point comparable to other packs on the market of similar size. For an additional $10 you can get a special operations edition with embroidery.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The MGB was surprisingly comfortable in many of its configurations, especially as a backpack. However, lack of support material in the handle as a briefcase, and strap for over-the-shoulder use gave it negative marks.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): The 500D Cordura material is very puncture and scratch resistant. It won’t stop a blade attack or isn’t bulletproof, but it will hold up against dragging, pulling, or field use extremely well.
- Functionality – Excellent (5/5): The number of carry configurations make the MGB extremely adaptable, for any mission or role.
- Weight – Good (4/5): The bag itself is merely 1.5lbs, but you can fit a lot more weight into it than that. Each pocket in the main compartment holds approximately 1k lose rounds of 9mm, or roughly 800 rounds of loose 5.56/.223, so it can carry a good amount. Your largest limiting factor on weight will be having to carry what you put in it.
- Overall Rating – Very Good (21/25)
Product website: https://sotechtactical.com
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.
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