The Best Range Bag is a big topic, but it really is pretty easy to define. To determine what the “best” means for you, you need to first decide what type of shooting you’re doing and go from there. The reason is that getting the top performance out of a range bag will depend on what you’re using it for.
First – What Kind of Shooting Are You Doing?
- Pistol Range Bags
- Rifle Range Bags
- Sporting Clays Range Bags (or other clays in general)
- Tactical Bag
- Range Backpacks
The categories above will each have different characteristics that are required to be “best.” Even still, it’s so subjective. For example, some guys like the heavy, leather, more stately looking bags and other guys like lightweight, high tech materials. Just depends on who you are and what you’re doing. Still, we can take a crack at defining the best range bags…
The Best Pistol Range Bag
For pistols, there are a couple major considerations that the other types don’t have. First is the capacity and slotting. We have lots multi pistol range bags that feature 3 pistol slots and a couple that have 6 slots or more. Specially moulded slots with a high quality retention system – usually a strap – is huge with pistol bags. The next big consideration is magazine storage.
One other consideration…what about range bags for women? the number of women who shoot is up huge – more than 77% in recent years according to the NRA. The features and functions of the best pistol range bag are the same for women and men, but women might like something…more ladylike. There are bags that have nice splashes of color, but retain all the same features a good bag should expect.
Rifle Range Bags – Which is Best?
This gets a little tricky because there are many subsets of rifle shooters and uses. For example, plinking in the back field with a 10/22 your needs will be different than if you’re into high caliber long range. See what I mean? With that in mind, there are still some basics that a nice rifle range bag will have:
- Ample length
- Barrel fit and protected
- Large side pockets for folded mat (or perhaps dual purpose)
- Padded interior pocket for various optics
- Smaller Compartments for tools
- Space for ears and eyes
For the AR crowd, and even sometimes for the long shooters, I usually talk about a second bag; one for the rifle and one for your gear. But, I’m a gear bag junkie, what can I say.
The Best Range Bag for Sporting Clays
Now this type of bag is near and dear to us here – we LOVE clays. A bag for clay shooting doesn’t need as much room for tools, but it does need room for shells.
Stack up 200 rounds of 9mm (4 boxes) next to 200 shells of 12ga. (8 boxes). See what I mean?
Subjectivity aside, I’m an unabashed cheerleader for Peregrine bags. I have both the Wild Hare Deluxe Bag and also the Leather Shell Carrier. I love both.
I replaced my old Allen Shell Pouch with the Wild Hare pouch and love the sturdy feel and the nice leather. Way better, no question.
The Best Tactical Backpack or Bag
Here we get into the murky area that blends range bags with go-bags. Tactical bags are not necessarily purpose built for carrying pistols. But, you get some features that you don’t necessarily see in bags that are specifically range bags either.
Case in point, the NcStar Assault is a pack that I think everyone should own. It is killer. MOLLE webbing, large internal compartment, hydration compatible, interior zippers and a ballistic panel. As far as tactical backpacks go – this one is it. Dare I say it…the best. But there are others that are bigger/smaller, more pockets, less, etc. Just depends…is it sitting dormant in the back of your truck waiting for the zombie apocalypse, or are you gearing out a couple times a week?
Range Backpack Choice Picks
Similar to Tactical Backpacks are range specific backpacks. The difference here is that these bags are really designed with holding and transporting firearms, with ancillary pockets and storage next. There are some of these that we consider AFB’s – that’s an acronym for a awesome f… Well, a really cool bag. Check out the G Outdoors Executive – my personal favorite.