If you’re looking to get into Concealed Carry or if you already carry concealed on a daily basis, chances are you’ve looked into or heard about concealed carry backpacks.
Backpacks are a great way to carry a concealed pistol, especially if you don’t want to carry a pistol on your body or can’t due to clothing restrictions or work restrictions. The great news about a concealed carry backpack is it allows you to really set up your ideal concealed carry loadout to include extra magazines, medical gear or other emergency items.
With the increasing popularity of concealed backpacks, we wanted to put together our recommendations of putting together a good loadout and what bag to select to help you ensure success.
Pros of Concealed Carry Backpacks
Concealed Carry Backpacks offer a lot of pros to include increased ability to carry mission essential items, ease of concealment, and the ability to simultaneously carry snacks (most important of all). We like concealed carry backpacks because chances are you carry a bag with you in most aspects of your daily life, so why not make part of that bag an ideal concealed carry setup.
Even if you already carry concealed, a backpack is a great way to augment your primary carry. Think of it as a tiered approach. Even though you have life-saving equipment on your body, you can augment that with additional life-saving equipment in your EDC backpack.
Cons of Concealed Carry Backpacks
The biggest downside of a Concealed Carry Backpack is accessing your pistol. In an emergency situation, a concealed carry backpack option will be slower than if you carried it on your body. Further, it’s easy to get separated from a backpack, and if you do, you now have an unsecured firearm as well as one method of protection out of arm’s reach.
What to Look For in a Good Concealed Carry Backpack
Usability is probably the most important thing to look for when selecting a good concealed carry backpack. Always ask yourself, “can I quickly and easily access my weapon?" If the answer is “no," you probably need to keep looking. The best way to find out is to simply set up your pack with your pistol inside and time yourself getting the gun out and into action. In many cases, a bag you already own might be sufficient for concealed carry.
Concealed Carry Bags should not only conceal your weapon but they should also be covert in nature. The bag itself should not look as though it might have a weapon. In many cases, the best concealed carry backpack is a normal day to day pack that you can modify to fit your needs. One of the biggest mistakes people often make is getting a tactical pack to fit their tactical needs. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and alter a good day pack into a good CCW pack.
A good CCW pack is probably going to need to be a little more durable than your average day pack. You will most likely be carrying around items that are heavier and will put a greater strain on the pack itself. In addition guns and magazines tend to have hard sharp edges that can wear through cheap material over time.
Price is obviously dependent on your own personal budget. The biggest thing to keep in mind with bags is they are either inexpensive because they are poorly made or made overseas. It’s up to you to determine if that’s an issue in the decision-making process.
What To Carry in a Concealed Carry Backpack
If you’re looking to carry concealed in a backpack there are a lot of great accessories you can add to your bag to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success. It’s easy to overload a backpack with every item you might need to fight zombies in the apocalypse, but here are a few essential things to consider adding for a good everyday civilian carry. Think of this as a go bag with everything you need and nothing you don’t to get you home safely.
Secondary or backup Firearm (Primary firearm if carrying off body)
When it comes to making the best concealed carry backpacks, Vertx has been at the top of the list for good reason. We’ve had a chance to work with their design team and they are a group of incredibly intelligent guys who put a lot of thought, time, R&D, and effort into ensuring they are putting out a solid product.
The Vertx Gamut 2.0 has a sleek styling and unassuming appearance that conceal the capabilities provided in this full-featured rifle-friendly gear hauler. Equally capable on the trail and the city streets, the emphasis is on efficient organization of your loadout and quick access to your firearms.
The 16-liter size is, in my opinion, the perfect size for the everyday commuter. Whether you’re headed into the office, to school, or just to the local coffee shop to get some work done, the SOG Surrept/16 will carry what you need without the bulk and unnecessary features of other daypacks. I chose the steel blue color to keep a lower profile and blend into the urban environment.
The exterior of the SOG Surrept/16 keeps a low profile and protects the contents from inclement weather with a 4200 Nylon Ripstop material. The material is pliable and quiet when in use.
The water bottle pockets actually hold a water bottle securely. I cannot tell you how many times I chose not to buy a daypack solely because the water bottle pockets were poorly designed. Then SOG finished off the exterior design with a hidden pocket on the bottom of the pack. Nobody would know otherwise unless you told them about it. The way they recessed the zipper and seam, make it virtually impossible to detect, even when carrying it on your back.
The team at SOG (Studies and Observations Group) really hit the nail on the head with the design of this new line of daypacks.
Usually, we shy away from Maxpedition due to their habitual tendency to create overly tactical looking bags. Most Maxpedition bags scream “hey I have a weapon in here" and if you’re looking to carry concealed that’s not the best way to go. However, the Maxpedition Gear Entity 23 is actually a very well thought out bag that doesn’t scream tactical. In fact, the bag is arguably the most innocuous bag in our lineup.
At 23 liters, the bag itself is the perfect size for everyday carry and it has plenty of pockets to fit all your daily needs. One thing we really like about the bag is the side zip pocket that runs along the back of the bag that’s specifically designed for your pistol and magazines. To access simple take off one strap, rotate the bag 90 degrees and unzip.
In the event you need to get to your pistol quickly this is probably the fastest two-strap design we have come across. We also like that the bag comes with a computer pocket making it ideal for use as a travel bag. Priced at around $140 this bag is a great bang for your buck and offers a ton of great features.
Eberlestock is no stranger to the tactical pack business and they have created some designs that are used by some of the best military units in the world. The Eberlestock Little Trick Pack is an awesome pack that’s perfect for concealed carry. The bag comes with a quick access CCW pocket that is secured using magnets.
The 18.6-liter pack is small but will still easily hold whatever items you might need for your day-to-day use. One thing we also like is that the bag can fit broken down sub guns such as an MP5, AR pistol or similarly sized item.
In addition, it comes with pockets specifically designed for rapid access to your magazines. This feature is especially useful for police officers looking for a good active shooter response bag or federal agents.
One thing we don’t like is, the bag is a little more tactical than what we’d want to see in a concealed carry bag since it comes with exterior MOLLE. However, while it is more tactical in nature it doesn’t necessarily look as tactical as other bags on the market.
Finally, we had a chance to try out the Eberlestock Little Trick Pack and we were very pleased with how it carried, especially with heavier items. The bag sits comfortably and securely and would make a great day hiker as well.
Ok, so the Peak Design Everyday Backpack isn’t specifically made for concealed carry, but it just so happens that it’s actually a great non-tactical option. The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is specifically designed for photographers, however, many of the features that photographers need, translate very well to concealed carry.
The bag itself comes with a fully customizable, velcro lined interior that can be set up using any aftermarket holster or velcro pouch. In addition, Peak Design made the pack for rapid access to a camera, or in our situation, a weapon.
We really like the Peak Design concept because if you’re wearing it people would assume you’re a photographer or a daily commuter before they’d assume you were carrying a weapon. If you’re looking for a great civilian bag to use for concealed carry this is a great option.