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UTG Multi-Functional Tactical Messenger Bag
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TACTICAL OPERATION BAGS/BACK PACKS, UTG Multi Functional Tactical Messenger Bag, Complete with Concealed/Belt Carry Dual Use Pistol Holster – Woodland Digital
- Package Dimensions : 14.5 x 12 x 2.5 inches; 2.2 Pounds
- Item model number : PVC-P218E
- Date First Available : May 29, 2009
- Manufacturer : UTG
- ASIN : B002BJH3DA
- Best Sellers Rank: #315,240 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I concur with many things mentioned in previous reviews: the clanking zippers came off immediately (thanks to Ace Hardware for loaning me their cutters) and were replaced with paracord. I wish the top pocket and the concealed pocket had two zippers each like everywhere else. The keyper in the inside pocket is laughably wimpy. Meanwhile the main buckle, and also the quick-release buckle on the strap, are so huge, they're almost too big for one-handed operation by my small hands. I also wish it had a handle just to pick it up by, and a waist belt for extra stability when loaded up and for longer periods. But I'm definitely going to create the latter, and possibly the former as well.
A quick word on the orientation of the bag. I'm a leftie who carries on my right shoulder, so the bag's on the left side. This bag is supposedly designed to be carried on the right side off the left shoulder. This can be seen, for example, because the quick-release buckle of the strap would thus be at the front and accessible, and arguably the other side pocket should be at the front and not the water bottle. But I actually prefer the water bottle at the front. And I experimented a bit carrying the bag on either side, and I actually found it more comfortable on the left anyway. (So I'm glad I didn't shell three times the amount for the "S" version of the competitor!)
For my case, there's one more thing that wasn't applicable for most reviews I've read, which is the adjustment/sizing issue. For me, the note that this bag is a bit smaller than the major competitors was actually a positive. I'm 5'4" with a short torso, and I'm narrow/small too. Aside from some tools, my stuff is generally smaller as well. I've needed to shorten the strap on just about every bag or purse I've ever had, and I was fully expecting to have to do so with this one, since most users seem to be men and nearly everyone is bigger than me.
Well, I took my time over doing it. The shoulder pad is large and excellent, and I used it, together with a couple strong safety pins, to take a big hitch in the strap, and for the first couple days I walked around with it first mostly empty and then gradually loaded up fuller and fuller. I was impressed by how much I could stuff into it, and I was impressed by how comfortable a carry it was even before I'd completely adjusted the strap. The design means that the weight is well distributed. I had read (or watched?) someone say he wished that the strap on the main buckle were longer so that it could be loaded fuller and still closed. Seems to me that maybe this comment was heard, as mine has quite a long strap, and I was still able to close it (with some tugging) having loaded the bag proud of its top.
I measured many, many times before I cut the strap down. And I ended up cutting off 20 inches!!! Of course I burned the ends, and I stitched them together with fishing line. Sounds like drastic surgery, but it's so comfortable and stable now; it's really worth getting the adjustment right. And I might use some of that 20 inches of nylon to fashion a carry handle. And I've ordered these straps to attach as waist straps: OP/TECH USA 1301012 Uni Adaptor Loops (Regular) - System Connectors
My smartphone is a fairly standard size, 3x5.8, and it doesn't fit very well in any of the quick-access pockets (except for the concealed carry pocket). It squeezes into the side pocket, but I kind of want that spot for a first-aid kit. I'm thinking I might go with a velcro pouch attached on top.
Attached photos: the first one shows the cut/reattached strap. The second shows a pocket knife attached in the webbing on the water bottle side of the strap. The third (sorry it's sideways) shows that a large pair of scissors -- these ones Fiskars 01005692 Cuts+More, 9 in. Length, 3-1/2 in. Cut, Black/Orange (FSK01005692) will fit in the side pocket behind the "main" side pocket, so it's impressively deep. Also a shopping bag attached to the webbing with some twist tie (bit of an orange/black theme going on).
The extra strap to secure the water bottle is an interesting touch I haven't seen before. It will only go around the neck of a narrow bottle, but it will happily go through the handle of a klean kanteen or nalgene type handle. The water bottle compartment will also easily fit a container stack like this one BlenderBottle GoStak Twist n' Lock Storage Jars, 4-Piece Starter Pak, Black in case you want modularized storage rather than water.
So far, I'm very satisfied, and I'm glad to have joined in on the quest to modify the bag so that it's perfect for myself and to share how that goes.
Even without the add-ons it would probably still be a bad idea to walk into a coffee shop on campus and act like there is something in your bag. People are ready and waiting to freak out. This bag doesn't look like something a friend-of-bet0 would carry. Just sayin'. Other colors might be better if you plan to look less "tacticool".
My only real complaint:
It has velcro inside the back compartment for attachment of a mounting system for CCW. However, the mounting IS NOT INCLUDED. Other brands include a piece of webbing with velcro to attach to the back pocket that will allow repositioning for comfortable/accessible carry. This bag has the velcro on the interior, but nothing is included to create the "holster" or mounting sling for the CCW. Or at least the one I received didn't. If I want a mount/sling, I have to purchase one. That means the overall cost to me just went up.
A very minor complaint(if you can call it that) is the HUGE buckle. There is absolutely no functional problem with it. It works just fine. It is HUGE. I'm not really sure why they chose such a huge buckle. They are by no means the only manufacturer that uses the huge buckle. They aren't even the first. I just don't like the aesthetic it creates. Some people may think it looks great. Just my opinion.
Other than that, it's a good bag. Lightweight but built pretty well. A little more expensive than competitors, but it has a few extra features that I believe make it worth the FEW extra dollar. I really like the carabiner/attachment clip on the strap. I usually hook my keys to that so I can access them quickly. The strap pad is large, comfortable, and adjustable.
Good bag. Doubt it will last a lifetime, but it is very well built and designed for the price. Unless you NEED a CCW interior mount. You'll have to buy one after market.
Lots of external pockets, one large main pocket and an internal zipped pocket for storing a large frame pistol, er, iPad or other tablet. Side pockets have drawstrings to cinch tightly plus a drain hole. Zippers for all other compartments. The flap secures well with a large buckle that can be manipulated easily with one hand.
Would function equally well as a fashionable diaper bag for the tactical father.
It holds, with room to spare:
Four 30-round AR magazines
Six Glock 22 Magazines
Tourniquet + Isreali Bandage
Bottle of water + snack
...and more that I'm forgetting. You're only limited by the amount of weight you're willing to carry swiftly.
Top reviews from other countries
At this price, its easily a more cost effective purchase than the original Maxpedition that it copies, but there are also far more cheaper versions that are also a good purchase and well made (recently purchased a £12 copy for my son, slightly cheaper material but just as good stitching and fit etc. if and when i need to replace the UTG I might be tempted by the lower priced version).