As part of my adjustments from being a country boy to a city boy, and living in an apartment while house hunting continues, one of the biggest problems an urban prepper faces is a lack of privacy. I live on the ground floor of a three story apartment complex, and the people on the upper floors have outdoor balconies. And prying eyes that follow you. Anytime you carry in goods or groceries, I can feel these beady eyes watching, and I look up and see a mother or grandma watching my every move - human nature to look for things and to covet, as we all know....
I have a soft case for my handgun which is a small rectangular pistol rug/case that most people think is just a business satchel of some kind and it goes largely unnoticed. My carbines are still back in my old home state, but I plan to bring one or two back over the coming holidays, but an obvious rifle case will be noticed by the nosy neighbors. Plus, moving a rifle case from vehicles draws unwanted attention from sheeple and thieves alike. Most of my gear is hunting or tactical gear, which is fine in some settings, but sticks out too much in the city.
So, in an effort to keep a low profile and yet be mobile while transferring a weapon from dwelling to car trunk legally, I wanted something that does not scream "GUN" when I carry it out into parking lots, etc.
So, I bought one of these this week:
5.11 Tactical Covert Gun Bag - M4 Collapsed Stock | Official 5.11 Site
It looks very much like a skateboard or snowboard pack. The colors are bright and friendly, cheerful even. 511 makes great gear (no affiliation with the company, just a happy consumer) and this thing matches their usual excellent quality bags.
The zippers function easily with easy to grasp pull tabs; the interior gun compartment is smooth fabric lined ballistic nylon, with a thick fabric muzzle cup to protect your crown or flash hider/muzzle brake; a velcro strap made into a loop secures the stock or buffer tube, and a collapsible stock M4 fits inside the padded case.
A single strap goes across your shoulder, and it can be switched right or left for people who like ambidextrous gear (or who are lefties). A securing strap passes under your support side arm to keep the pack secured onto your shoulder of choice, handy with a nine pound gun on your back.
The upper compartment has these somewhat weird straps sewn on in a pattern of loops, which I assume is for attaching carabiners or lashing gear. The inside of the upper compartment has a ~3" x 6" Velcro loop patch area, and MOLLE webbing, with a couple securing points to hang gear from.
The lower outer compartment is completely configurable open space, and if you own 511 Tactical's excellent Bail Out Bag, it is sized to fit right inside this compartment. Suitable for any kind of lightweight storage items.
The shoulder strap is padded (nicely), has a quick release cam buckle, and a lengthy Velcro strap to secure items. The support strap/pack stabilizer is fully adjustable, and the rear of the pack has a padded ventilated spine protector to reduce rubbing under load, and to ventilate perspiration on those hot days.
The material is aerospace breathable on the shoulder strap and spine/back pad.
There are two grab handles on the top and side, which are wide and nicely padded to spread the load on your fingers.
The bag is 34" high, 12" wide (past experience tells me tall optics like ACOGs may be too tall to fit), and 2.5" deep, in the interior gun compartment area.
The bag itself is 500D/420D (Dernier) water resistant nylon.
The lower front compartment measures 21-3/4" high, 10" wide, and 3.6" deep.
The bag itself is very well made, usual 511 high quality build and materials. Gun case padding is thick and dense, and would protect your carbine in a dropped case mistake, or if you had to hit the dirt for a reason.
Thee are also two fabric loops to lock the outer compartments with a luggage lock or zipties.
The YKK zippers are also lockable or can be ziptied shut for securement.
The untrained eyes will never know this is a gun case.
In the woods, we have a saying: "Blend in or go hungry."
In the city, blend in and go unnoticed.
Overall, very nice bag, excellent quality, hides in plain sight, appears to be comfortable, and although it is pricey ($129) I hit a 20% off sale, so I bought mine for $103 plus tax. Reasonable considering value and purposes.
Now, if I just had my carbine so I could field test this package....