The Vertx Ready Pack – The Gray Man Backpack

I’ve been a big fan of Vertx gear ever since I got a Commuter sling years ago, and they’ve continued to impress me with their various offerings. The latest is the Vertx Ready Pack. It was time for SHOT Show, and I needed a bag to rock as I walked around the show. Hitting the show floor isn’t as easy as just heading down there and going for a member of the media. We need notebooks, batteries, and something to hold all the free swag you grab from booths. Plus, with a bottle of water costing six bucks at the convention center, I wanted to pack my own hydration. 

I’m also going to be honest with you. I don’t like being that guy with the uber-tactical backpack trying to look like an operator. My beer gut betrays any chance I have of being an actual operator, so why pose as one? The Ready Pack looks like Jansport could have made it. There isn’t really anything to give it away as a tactical pack. I look more like a guy going on a light hike than a guy that would scour SHOT Show. 

I didn’t necessarily get the bag with the intent to review it, but how often do you get the chance to put this many miles on a pack in a short amount of time? According to my smartwatch, I walked about 35 miles from the day I left for the airport to the day I arrived. That means I was, on average, walking about seven miles a day. That wasn’t all with the backpack, but the majority of the time, I was trotting about with a green Ready Pack on my back. 

Inside the Ready Pack 

Tactical is as tactical does, and I won’t try to say whether certain features make a bag tactical or not. The Ready Pack could be used as an assault pack if you really wanted, so I guess it’s tactical. To me, the features are all about utility, and the Ready Pack is a utility tool.

We get five pockets in total. Starting from the front, we get a mini pocket that’s great for quick access to gear. I used it for an external battery and phone charger. Behind that, we get another small pocket that is loop-lined that I used to drop in patches and swag. 

The pocket behind that is large but thin and features a layer of loop covered layer cut MOLLE and some loop material below. It was perfect for dropping catalogs in. Behind that, we get the main pocket with a removable hook and loop admin pouch, a mesh internal pocket, and a laptop pocket. Here, I stashed my laptop and charger. 

The final pouch is the CCW pouch, which didn’t get used for SHOT. It’s thin and completely layered in loop material. It’s big but thin and well-hidden. The CCW pouch comes equipped with the rapid access pull tab. This massive device makes it easy to grip and rip to open the pouch. The tab can actually be moved to any of the zippers easily enough. 

The pouch also has a hot pull. This is a tab inside the pocket that can stick up between the zipper. When pulled, it opens the pack rapidly and easily. 

Packing the Pack 

I took it from floor to floor, from range day to the show, and even around parts of Vegas when needed. The Ready Pack comes with a nice molded set of packs in the back and very thick shoulder straps that distribute weight well and make the whole setup quite comfy. The pads allow air to flow around the back and increase comfort. I’m still getting sweaty, just not as sweaty. 

The Ready Pack comes with both a chest strap and waist strap. I didn’t see the need for either for my expeditions, but if I was going off-road with a heavier load, it would start to make a lot more sense. The side hydration pockets always had at least one water bottle present, and the bungee retention ensured it didn’t matter if it was a big or small bottle. 

The bag remained quite comfy, even when it was stuffed to the gills with catalogs, my computer, and the varying other thing I might carry, like a jacket or a six-pack of beer. The Ready Pack toted it all in comfort and proved to be quite supportive for what looks like a backpack. 

I think Vertx has knocked it out of the park with the Ready Pack. It’s low profile in design and comes in a few different colors. Inside, we get some very modern features that aren’t present in the typical sports or school backpack. I love the extra utility the pack offers while still being able to be somewhat stylish and blend in well. My oldest has claimed it for school, so I might have a fight on my hands. 

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.