Introduced in 2019 by Helikon-Tex, the Range Bag is intended to provide the end-user with sufficient storage space to transport everything needed for a day on the range—regardless if that is for pistol, rifle, or both.
Made from an overall 500D Cordura nylon, kydex inserts for added rigidity and structure, and genuine YKK zippers, the Range Bag measures roughly 13” (L) x 10” (H) x 8” (W). It includes two carrying handles, a removable shoulder strap, and multiple magazine inserts/dividers to keep the internal space organized.
The Range Bag (RB) is padded on all sides, with multiple exterior pockets to help keep organization of items easily within reach. All pull-pockets and inserts also include a nylon pull tab to assist in opening or separating the hook-and-loop material.
At the front of the RB has a 12” x 8” accessory pouch that is secured via hook-and-loop. Inside is an elastic nylon organizer stitched into five different segments for securing pens, earplugs, or other items.
One either side of the Range Bag is a 7” x 8” sleeved pocket secured via hook-and-loop for keeping smaller accessories such as tape, stapler, notepad, etc. Anchored at the top of these pockets is the slide-release buckle (female) necessary for the removable shoulder strap. The 1” wide Type 13 nylon webbing that supports the slide-release buckle (female) runs under the side pockets, along the base, and up the opposing side for added support when utilizing the shoulder strap.
The back of the Range Bag has a 12” wide document pouch that is secured via hook-and-loop and ideal for flat items like targets or other papers. At the front and back is a continual band of 1.5” wide Type 13 nylon webbing that runs under the front/back pockets to create the two carrying handles for the Range Bag.
At the top of the Range Bag is a 11” YKK zipper that gives access to a envelope pocket to store small immediate-need items. On the exterior of this pocket is a 2.5” x 5” hook-and-loop (female) field for attaching morale or identification patches.
The bottom of the Range Bag is unremarkable aside from the continual band of Type 13 nylon webbing that runs under the bag for the side carrying handles.
The main compartment of the Range Bag is accessible from the top of the bag via a continual three-sided zipper, that opens up two sides of the bag to provide the greatest level of access to the interior. The bag’s interior space is completely lined with hook-and-loop material, and stitched into a gridded pattern to help visual alignment.
The Range Bag also includes a semi-rigid and padded removable divider that allows the end-user to customize the size of the desired internal storage space. Additionally, the Range Bag includes three rifle magazine inserts (1×5-magazine slots, 1×3-magazine slot, 1x2magazine slot), and four pistol magazine inserts that further add to compartmentalization and keeping loaded magazines secure.
The Range Bag is available in Multicam (featured), Black, Coyote, and nine other popular patterns.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): With its list price of $139, the cost for the Range Bag by Helikon-Tex is appropriate (or average) in cost for the bag’s dimensions, features, and 500D genuine Cordura. Often many range bags simply do not use nylon to that level of abrasion resistance (expressed as denier) as means of cost savings and opt for something like 250D, but with its Range Bag the manufacturer opted to focus on the side of quality and durability by upgrading the base materials to something more adequate for a rugged range life. In comparison, range bags of this similar design include Grey Ghost Gear’s Range Bag ($175), Velocity System’s Range Bag ($80), the Pistol Bag ($129) by Lynx Defense, or Propper’s Range Bag ($59.95). Again here, the influencing factor to cost is design, features, and base materials—all of which place the Range Bag at an appropriate (or average) range of cost for its higher quality and durable material.
- Comfort – Average (3/5): When fully loaded and carried, the Range Bag had an appropriate (or average) level of comfort regardless of the method in which it was transported. The two unpadded nylon carrying handles provided an appropriate level of comfort to where the weight of the bag, nor the nylon materials cut into the hand. One recommendation to Helikon-Tex would be to include a cuff on one handle that could otherwise join the two handles together and provide an additional comfort while in the hand. Likewise, the shoulder strap itself was adjustable to allot for different lengths, and the slide-buckle hardware provided a solid and safe connection, but without a shoulder pad the strap would cut slightly into exposed skin due to the weight of the overall bag (if fully loaded). Otherwise, the comfort of the bag was determined by its contents, and how well those contents remained balanced within the bag during transport. The customized internal dividers and magazine inserts help to ensure everything was evenly spaced and did not shift unnecessarily. The YKK zippers continued to function smoothly, although had some minimal binding on the tight 90-degree turns to open the side panel. The 500D Cordura still retained enough softness and flexibility so as not to be abrasive against the skin and easily contoured to bulky internal items.
- Durability – Good (4/5): From a durability aspect, the 500D nylon exterior fabric is well known amid the market for a good level of durability that resist abrasion and remains flexible enough to remain usable. Thus, with an exterior made from this material, the Range Bag proved to be extremely adept at transporting an extensive number of items with no stress to the materials or stitching. There was extensive use of bartack and double-line/X-pattern stitching noted throughout (not just at key stress point). In addition, the nylon bands that created the carrying handles and shoulder strap also run under the opposing sides of the Range Bag, adding to the overall support of the bag. The result was a bag that simply felt stronger with minimal concern for overtaxing the design (most pistol/rifle range bags are meant to accommodate a single handgun and a maximum of 500 rounds of ammo) or stitching. Heavy use of the zippers showed no cross-feeding or compromise to the shuttle, fabric line along the zipper, or its associated stitching.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Range Bag performed better than expected for bags of this size—which is to say it was able to carry a large volume of handguns, holsters, magazines, and accessories for a day at the range. However, the biggest advantage to the Range Bag was its ability to take the interior and customize it per the end-user’s needs, and kept contents very well organized. The removable magazine inserts were a key component in this regard, and used to hold other non-typical items (flashlights, batteries, pocket knives) as needed. As stated above, the zippers functioned without fail, though still took the 90-degree turns a little stiffly. The hook-and-loop liner on the entire interior added to the range’s bag structure and kept its internal shape from collapsing when loaded down. Otherwise, with the extensive amount of reinforcement, there was absolutely no trepidation in loading the bag to maximum space, and it easily accommodated all the necessities for a day on the range. Perhaps the only recommendation to Helikon-Tex would be to consider adding a rubberized exterior material or cleats on the bottom that would otherwise help prevent abrasion/wear as well as weatherize it from moisture saturation.
- Weight – Fair (2/5): At 4.26 pounds (empty) the Range Bag was still lightweight given its material and extensive reinforcement. The limiting factor of its weight then became just how much weight from added magazines or accessories it could bear. Unlike many other range bags intended for a single pistol with five magazines max, or about 200 rounds—the Range Bag was clearly capable of holding a lot more. The padded and semi-rigid sides and bottom also gave the contents a good level of support and balance to the contents. In comparison, Grey Ghost Gear’s Range Bag (2.10 pounds), Velocity System’s Range Bag (15 ounces), the Pistol Bag (2.8 pounds), or Propper’s Range Bag (3.55 pounds) show that Helikon-Tex’s Range Bag is the heaviest amongst these options. This weight is almost certain due to the added reinforcement and material involved in the overall size and design but still a fair weight for its function.
Overall Rating – Average (16/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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