Gear Review: Maxpedition’s Compact Range bag

I’ve been hauling this bag around for more than a year now.  As such, this review is way overdue.  It also may be one of the most complete reviews I’ve ever written.  I don’t usually get to spend this much time with gear before I have to write about it.

The Compact Range Bag

If you haven’t ever put your hands on anything from Maxpedition, you should.  The quality is outstanding.  From the over-sized zippers to the bombproof nylon, their packs and pouches can stand up to heavy use.  When I say I’ve taken this bag with me for the last year, that’s no exaggeration.  It has made every range trip.  It travels with me when I travel.  And it hasn’t noticeably aged at all.

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The dimensions are nothing to write home about.  Compact is a fancy word for small.  But the case doesn’t need to be big.
It is about 14 inches long, and 10 inches wide.  It isn’t very tall, either, at just under 10 inches.

A zippered flap on the front of the bag covers a smaller pocket and a nice row of six magazine holders.  These are ideal for holding multi-tools, double stack magazines, or two single stacks side-by-side.

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The back of the bag has a more utilitarian pocket with a simple mesh pocket and another flat zippered space.  The covers for both of these sides fold out flat, which makes a great place to set a pistol, or small pieces.  The nylon offers decent protection and the rim of the zipper keeps things like scope mount bolts from rolling away.

Both sides of the case have small zippered compartments.  While I don’t use them to store much of anything, I’m constantly sticking things in there.  They are perfect for holding a magazine’s worth of carry ammo, for example.  I unload a magazine and need a place for the fancy hollow points that I’m not going to shoot at paper.

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The top of the bag has several carry options.  Two mesh handles lock over the bag.  There are D-rings for a shoulder strap.  And the main flap opens on three sides, to expose the entirety of the inside.

The inside of the Compact Range Bag holds even more versatile options.  Maxpedition makes a wide variety of pouches, many of which attach with hook-and-loop style fasteners.  Both sides of the bag have full panels of this, so you can customize it however you’d like.

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Inside the case is a smaller removable tote.  It is large enough to fit in the case neatly, but not so large that it would interfere with any added extras, like admin inserts, or hook-and-loop holsters.  The tote is padded on all sided (except the top) and offers even more protection for your guns.

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If that weren’t enough, it has full length zippered pockets, and a padded, movable divider.  I often use this tote to carry guns in and out, but use it at the range to pick up brass and serve as a general catch-all for anything I need to carry.

Overall impressions

The 1,000-denier nylon and over-sized YKK zippers make this bag feel overbuilt.  But that’s not the case.  When you’ve got it packed up with a ton of lead and steel, you’ll have a different appreciation for the quality.  The straps, the nylon, the zippers … they all have to carry a proportionally heavy load.  And they have to stand up to the sand and oil and solvents we expose range bags to.

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This bag can take it all.  I’ve only ever found one bone to pick with the case.  I would like for it to have a dedicated pocket for sunglasses/eye protection.  Many of the Maxpedition bags do.  That said, I’m not sure where I’d put it.

And that is my favorite part about this bag.  The compact size makes it easy to hide.  It tucks away neatly in a car, and can be as inconspicuous as you’d like.  It also stows easily in a safe, which is great if you have to rush in and put things away, but don’t have the time to secure guns individually.

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The MSRP on the bags, which are available in black or khaki, is $159.99, but they often sell closer to the $125 mark.  Not cheap.  But neither is the bag.  And consider what you are asking it to do, and protect, and that price-tag seems a whole lot more reasonable.

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