Safariland’s Range Backpack, a Better Way to Carry Gear

Safariland's Range Backpack is built to make getting around on the range easier.

I am the first to admit, like millions of others I have hated these stay at home orders imposed by state governors. They are a hodgepodge of rules across the country. How effective they are depends on what outlet you listen to. For the most part I choose to ignore them and live my life. A few things have been certain: Easter was ruined; spring athletics were destroyed, weddings cancelled and competitive shooting season has been fairly shot. Most importantly Americans have had their oomph sucked out of them, including your author.

 I have done my best to make my feelings known to my governor and have done everything he has “ordered” us not to. I have refused to wear a piece of cloth on my face; I dangle it from my ears to go into grocery stores. I am out daily to walk, get something to eat and most importantly shoot. Spring competitions may have been rescheduled and in some cases cancelled, but I am still going to the range to shoot.

Now that we see a light for matches to start, it is time to sit down and talk about Safariland’s Range Backpack. I looked at the Range Backpack (MSRP $195.00) when my custom built Eagle Industries (E.I.) range bag started showing its age after the thousands of miles it has traveled to countless matches and training sessions. With June and an RV trip west to shoot USPSA State Matches in Wyoming and Montana, it is time to break out the new Safariland Range Backpack.

I have used Safariland gear for years. My 3Gun rifle case, my gear bag for Glocks, my belts are all Safariland and they have served me well. When I saw the new Range Backpack, I knew it was the bag to replace my EI pack, she will be held in honor in my gun room.

Over the last few years I have been using a backpack that I had received from Black Hills Ammunition for my stage bag, because I did not need to carry all the stuff that my E.I. bag carried. However, I found I did something that was more organized than the backpack was needed. Enter Safariland’s new Range Backpack. This pack was designed for and by shooters; it is not one that you adapt to make it work.

Available in grey, black, and coyote the Range Backpack has many unique features. The least noticeable is the built in flexible frame that is the back of the pocket that will carry a hydration bladder or 15” laptop with ease. The frame keeps the pack from collapsing. The shoulder straps are as serious as you would on any serious hiking pack, complete with a chest strap which if you have hiked the hill at PASA Park you know it’s not a little stroll through the park. At the top of the straps is a carry handle.

Thanks to wide straps, a sternum strap and built-in soft frame you can easily carry your gear, even across rugged terrain. The handle
in the middle of the straps makes it easier to grab the pack and go.
The ammunitions section of the Range Backpack carries 600 rounds of BHA .223Rem. There should be plenty of room for handgun ammunition.

When it comes to pockets, Safarliand ensured there were plenty of them. At the top of the pack is one that is perfect for shooting glass cases. The three pockets on the right side of the pack are ideal for cameras, cell phones; while the single pocket on the left will hold the single gun case included with the Range Backpack. There is a small zipper pocket inside of this one that would be ideal for keys inside the lockable main pocket six magazine sleeves that will each hold a pair of single stack magazines. There is another zipper pocket on the main flap as well. The main compartment has a semi-rigid floor so you can easily stack small parts boxes on it. On the outside of the pocket is a loop portion of hook/loop to attach ID panels. The last pocket is one of the most important, a semi-rigid ammunition pocket. It will easily carry 300 rounds of boxed 9mm.

These three pockets are on the left side of the bag and are ideal for shot timers, tools. oil, etc. You can store the pistol pouch in the
hydration pouch pocket .

If you shoot enough you are going to get caught in foul weather. To combat adverse conditions there are four rubber feet on the bottom of the pack. You will find another pocket here too, that contains a rain fly. I found it works best to cover the top of the pack, you can force it to fit more but it will not last long.

You can keep your gear dry thanks to this rain cover that stores in the bottom of the Range Backpack

The last items that make this bag unique is the two straps at the top of the bag. While you can stick a light jacket through them, that is not their purpose. They are there to carry your belt. This is one of the best design features of any rang bag I have seen. When you hang your belt on these straps, you do not have to worry about the hooks of the lining snagging your clothes. This keeps everything together and ready for the next trip to the range.

I don’t know of another pack that has straps for your belt like the Range Backpack.

Once you purchase your Safariland Range Backpack, load it up with your range gear and get ready for the next match. Remember when you are out competing to have safe travels, shoot fast, shoot accurately and have fun.

Scott Smith
Scott is a former federal LEO who served on active duty in the Army in numerous positions and USAF Reserve Security Policeman. He is active in USPSA and three gun competition and is a charter life member of IDPA. Over the past twenty plus years he has written for numerous publications and has graduated from many shooting schools including Gunsite, Sig Academy, Blackwater. Scott passed on June 15th, 2021. He will be missed.