Gay for backpacks: the Vertx Gamut Plus

 

Chris Hernandez

Late last year Vertx released its new “Gamut Plus” backpack. This model is an improvement on the original Gamut, which had slightly less cargo area. Quality remains unchanged; the Gamut Plus maintains the same high production standards as its older brother, with heavy-duty stitching, ergonomic layout and tons of usable space. I’ve used the GP since last October, and it’s become my primary photography bag. The bag holds an insert which can be set up as a range bag, aid kit, Fleshlight repair kit, knitting bag (probably, but since I’m straight I’ll never know for sure) or pretty much whatever you want.

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Vertx describes the Gamut Plus this way:

The EDC Gamut Plus Limited Edition bag delivers top-of-the-line features with the same conceptual design as our Gamut but in a higher capacity pack. Built to carry a full load and even more, this feature-rich bag includes all the necessary elements found in a standard pack for everyday carry plus game changing innovative functionality designed specifically for the prepared professional.

 The Gamut Plus (GP) carries a lot of gear. It’s designed to hold a laptop plus full-sized pistol, spare mags, radio, cuffs, or whatever else you need in one section (you’ll need to buy Vertx’s Tactigami accessories for the weapon and gear). It has a large main area which for the aforementioned optional insert, side pouches/pockets, a bellowed exterior section with a large concealed MOLLE panel, and small zippered pockets galore.

Vertx Tactigami holster
Vertx Tactigami holster
Zippered pockets inside flap
Zippered pockets inside flap

The GP’s insert is the secret to its versatility. The bag can be configured so that items which need to be immediately accessible go in the insert, while lower priority or backup items stay in the main bag. The insert is then removed as necessary, which means a user can, for example, pull a blowout kit from his bag and toss it to a teammate while keeping water and spare mags on his back. The insert is user-configurable, and comes with various panels of different lengths plus a lift-out “basket” for ammo or other critical gear.

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Velcro surfaces for attaching Tactigami accessories are spread throughout the bag. The MOLLE panel is on the exterior, has a section to attach patches and is covered by a bellowed flap which can be rolled up and velcroed out of the way. Or the flap can be left in place, secured with two hooks and expanded to carry a helmet or jacket.

Keep in mind: this bag was designed to go unnoticed in the civilian world. It’s not what I would have used in Taliban-held valleys in Afghanistan where contact was likely, but it’s great for strolls through urban America where contact is possible. You could carry this bag on campus without raising an eyebrow, pull your laptop and computer from it for class, then draw and reload from it should the need arise.

Speaking of drawing from the bag, Vertx has a pretty smart system for that. Mind you, I’m not a fan of off-body carry; however, just as with any other method of carry, there’s a time and place where it makes sense. Vertx designed their bags with a zippered compartment that opens to a large Velcro panel for attaching Tactigami holsters and gear pouches; that zippered compartment is opened by pulling a large, can’t-miss-or-confuse-it-even-in-the-dark handle. So if you’re carrying a pistol in the bag and are confronted with a threat, you swing the bag off one shoulder, grab the large handle, yank, reach in and draw, and leave the bag where it is so you can reload from it as necessary. No, it’s not as fast as drawing from AIWB, and yes the bag can be unwieldy. But it’s far superior to not having a gun at all. This bag can also hold a folded long gun, which makes it pretty handy for PSD types.

Long gun stowed inside Gamut Plus. From the Vertx catalog.
Long gun stowed inside Gamut Plus. From the Vertx catalog.

Here are the bag’s specs:

  • Size of bag – 24”H x 16”W x 9”D
  • Maximum capacity 35 liters
  • Sized to fit a 15″ laptop in addition to a full sized hand-gun
  • Front of pack opens completely for mass accessibility
  • Insert-compatible reinforced internal pocket
  • Full fold, loop lined concealment draw frame enables quick access to arms and opens flat for customized organization
  • Dual-sized pockets feature additional storage capacity and cinch-down side pockets with elasticized straps
  • Multiple internal organizational pockets
  • 1919 modular webbing on shoulder straps provide additional attachment points for accessories
  • Zippered, side compartmental pockets on each side of bag
  • Hide-out convertible front flap acts as an additional load sling or stows away to reveal MOLLE field

I’ve worn Vertx uniform pants for years, and am happy to have finally discovered their bags. The Gamut Plus was a pleasant surprise; it fills many roles, and I can see myself using it for photography, shooting and as an aid bag for many years to come.

CH

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