- Category: Reviews
- Published on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 13:44
I've recently been looking for a smaller laptop bag, something to fit a 15" so I've been looking around and found a pack from Direct Action Gear. This pack is their Messenger Bag and they also have a small Messenger bag in case this one is more than you need.
What made me really take notice were two things, one they're using a laser cut MOLLE system and second the bag comes in far more colors, even a winter camo. What I like so much about the laser cut system is its fully flush panel that's almost undetectable from a distance. This is great if you want a bag that has a more covert footprint, nothing makes a bag stand out like MOLLE loops all over a pack. MOLLE loops I've found are very detectable to anyone who uses the gear, and this is why companies are moving to lines of gear that are Mil-spec and have a lot of the same carrying options, but made to look like civilian gear.
This system gives you the best of both worlds, you get the smooth undetectable look and the ability to mount pouches any time you need to. This MOLLE system also allows you to get the same benefits of a MOLLE system with less weight and bulk and the option to be more low profile when needed.
With the Direct Action Messenger Bag you get a ton of mounting options since you have MOLLE on both sides as well as on the front panel. This front panel also has a large patch of Velcro to mount patches and IDs. Just above this patch mount point, you have a full length zipper pocket that's large enough to fit a magazine "the book not the gun Mag" but I'm sure you can fit a number of them in there if you so please. Just under the flap you have added MOLLE cutouts on the two front pockets, so you can mount knives, mag pouches and other gear out of sight and less detectable.
Something I think would be helpful is to make the flap removable, either by zipper or Velcro. This way if you find yourself in "Direct Action' you can tear the flap away so you have easy access to pouches and gear quickly (this can still be done by folding the flap to the back or even in the zipper sleeve where the waist belt is hidden). On the top of the main flap you will find a grab strap as well and two D rings, which can act as a second attach point for straps and gear.
Under this flap you also have something I like a lot, that's a map panel with see-through rubber. This is ideal for identification, small maps or anything you need to take a quick look at like photos. Direct Action has also added a small but smart add-on, here you will see on the underside of the flap two spots with Velcro which hold the flap down. Direct Action has added small pieces of Velcro to these spots so that you can cover over the small patches of Velcro making the flap accessible without any noise or just using the two buckles, which is nice for any kind of hunting you're doing!
The main carrying strap is designed so it has two large buckles, one on each end. The shoulder strap can be removed in seconds. What's also nice with this design as opposed to the pull out kind, is that you can remove the strap without having to adjust it, and it can be put right back on already the way you like it. You also have the standard non-slip strap pad.
I will also point out now that we're talking about it, the bag has the same non-slip fabric covering the bottom of the bag. This material is very water-resistant, with a bungee system that can be used to hold a rolled up jacket or sweater as well as being used to tighten up the bottom of the bag.
On the two front pockets you have plenty of organization. One pocket has a cell phone holder and an area for pens, along with a mesh pocket and a larger back pocket for small field manuals. On the other pocket you have a clamshell design that fully opens the pocket like an IFAK. This pocket also has a ring of paracord that can be adjusted so the pouch only opens as much as you need, on the flap side of the pocket. You have a large panel of Velcro, which is ideal for any small gear you have that can mount to Velcro, like a mag strap or small pistols, and you have a large mesh pocket as well. With all the pockets you get something that's nice to see and that's a dummy-like system that can be used to attach keys to, or as I do, long dummy cords.
You have two side pockets, one designed for a water bottle or gas grenade and the other has the same MOLLE slot system on it. On the inside you have a dummy cord system, mesh pocket and elastic pocket. The Direct Action Gear Messenger Bag has a ton of organization and modification options, and that's just the outside, I haven't even mentioned the inside!
On the inside of the pack you will find a laptop or iPad Sleeve with a strap closure. One point I will say could be improved is that the bottom of the laptop sleeve would benefit from being lined. It does sit up off the bottom of the bag about an inch but I feel putting the bag down over and over hard could hit the laptop. I think a nice improvement would be to put in a little bottom protection, just to prevent bumps.
The most unique feature of the inside of this bag is the entire inside of the main compartment is fully lined with Velcro. This gives you an insane ability to mod the inside of the bag or set it up just how you need it. Not everyone's the same, and if you're left or right handed, or you want to mount or move pouches around on the inside you can set it up perfectly to fit your needs and that's important to mention because not all bags on the market have that ability!
This brings me to color, the Direct Action line of gear comes in a great number of colors and camouflages, but something that is remarkable is they made all their products in a winter camouflage. I don't remember any other gear maker putting out a winter camouflage and this is awesome if you're a hunter who does a lot of hunting in the winter or in the snowy months.
Something people might find as a down side is, the Direct Action bag is not 1000D it's only 500D and some might think that's only half as thick so it's half as durable. But I can tell you, you're not going to notice it at all. This bag is so well made I don't even notice!
This Messenger bag has the DWR (Durable Water Coating) as well. One thing I do notice is it's half the weight of a 1000D bag, which makes EDC or (Every Day Carry) that much more appealing! If you carry bags like this that are 1000D you know they can get very heavy all kitted out. Direct Action also uses YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles - two points to look for in a quality bag.
To be honest I don't like a heavy shoulder bag, I find after lugging any shoulder bag all day you soon start to dislike it if it's too heavy and some bags can weigh pounds even before you load them out, so making the bag lighter without losing any real quality is very welcome!
To Check Out Direct Action Gear Go To directactiongear.com