The Masada Backpack – Crazy Cool Discrete Body Armor

I like discrete stuff. I like discrete weapon cases, discrete tactical bags, and even discrete armor. The Masada Backpack Armor might be an exciting way to combine all three. This plain jane looking backpack is as far from tactical as you can get. It looks like a Jansport over a Blue Force Gear backpack. The Masada bulletproof backpack is very plain and very simple. No MOLLE, no telltale tactical signs that make you look like a Commando on his day off. 

Inside the Masada Backpack are two IIIA plates. One to protect your back and one to protect your front. Now, you may ask how something on your back can protect your front? Well, that’s easy. Inside a somewhat hidden compartment is what’s essentially the front of a tactical vest. There are two quick deploy tabs that are pulled, and then the user can pull a panel over their head and secure it to the front of their body. 

You can now effectively have a soft armor carrier wrapped around your body. The front panel is complete with tons of MOLLE laddering to allow you to attach a medkit, extra magazines, or even a firearm itself. 

The Masada Backpack As A Backpack

If you purchase the Masada Backpack looking for a big backpack to carry your daily gear, then you might be disappointed. The backpack has very little storage space. In fact, most of the room in this rather large bag is occupied by the body armor. You get a pouch capable of carrying a laptop and some basic everyday stuff, but this isn’t a three-day pack by any means.  There is some built-in organization, and mini pockets, but that’s about it. It’s not a AR 15 case by any means. 

The good news is that it’s robust and quite well made. You can see a lot of care went into building and designing it. The Masada is also designed to look very plain. It’s red, grey, and black and looks so incredibly indiscreet. 

The Masada Backpack weighs a ton for just a backpack. That armor is quite heavy. Remember, this is more of a vest than a backpack. The good news is the backpack portion is heavily padded and highly comfortable. The pack comes with a waist strap, which is more for keeping the vest portion in place than supporting a ton of weight in the pack. Adjustments are also broad and allow for a multitude of different sized people to wear it comfortably. 

The Masada Armor 

The main draw isn’t the fact it’s a backpack, but the fact it’s a discrete set of armor that can be instantly deployed at any moment.

On the shoulder straps, there are two pull handles. Grip and rip them, and you pull out a set of tubing on each side that instantly opens the compartment holding the front of the vest

You pull both of those tabs upwards to free the vest, and then it falls across the front of your body. The vest has two wings with Hook material imbued upon them. The waist straps are where your Loop material lives.

You connect the two together, and bam, your vest is secured. The vest, as mentioned, is complete with lots of MOLLE laddering for adding equipment. 

You can add a medical kit, extra ammo pouches, and even a MOLLE based holster to tie it all together. The Masada Backpack acts as what’s essentially a bulletproof, active shooter response kit. The armor included is an IIIA soft armor rated against the majority of pistol rounds. 

If you want to up your protection level, you can add hard plates to the carrier, and the Masada backpack can carry them. That’s all up to the individual user, and while your protection level is increased, as will your weight level. However, beating rifle rounds is pretty damn appealing. 

Best Practices 

The Masada Backpack is an interesting piece of gear. For the secretive Mossad-like  commando, it could be a piece of EDC. Most of us don’t exactly wear a big backpack daily, but that doesn’t mean there is no use for discrete armor. As an everyday dude, there is value in being able to drop this bag in my office or keep it in my vehicle. 

The Masada looks like a backpack and draws no more attention than any other backpack. You can have it on hand without having a Second Chance vest chilling on your desk. A vest in a vehicle may draw looks and attention, but a plain-looking backpack? Nah, that’s not going to happen. 

That’s how I view the best way to use the Masada Backpack as a normal everyday dude. It’s something I can stash in a vehicle, building, or office and have a set of quick donning, socially invisible body armor. 

The Masada Backpack is an awesome piece of gear that’s crazy cool and quite inventive. The discrete, or gray man, solution for armor is a tough one. The Masada Backpack solves it rather cleverly. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.