In an effort to provide protective transportation of critical deployment needs, the Deployment Bag by Canadian manufacturer The Requirements Group/Shadow Tactical offers a means to customize firearm storage while still providing for complete protection.
Made from 1000D nylon blend with polyurethane, the Deployment Bag (DB) measures approximately 28” (L) x 14” (H) x 4 ¾” (W) and is Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treated to prevent moisture penetration. Both front and back sides of the DB, and internal dividers are made with closed-cell foam padding to provide complete protection. Dual genuine YKK zippers run along three of four sides to allow for lay-flat opening.
On the front, the DB has a 3” (H) x 4” (L) laminated window for identification cards, and reinforced with genuine leather.
In the center of the front exterior is a 7” (L) x 9.5” (H) hook-and-loop (female) field for identification or morale patches. On either side, and around to the back, are two bands of Type 13 webbing that reinforce and provide support to the overall bag. These bands come to form two handles at the top, which can then be joined together with a padded hook-and-loop cuff.
On either side is a reinforced band of Type 13 webbing that anchors an aluminum D-ring for the removable shoulder strap. The shoulder strap itself is adjustable with metal hardware and a removable shoulder pad.
The complete outer edges of the DB are lined with a continual plastic insert that provides structure and rigidity to the overall bag.
The interior of the lid has a zipper-secured, 27” envelope-style padded pocket that runs the entire length and is divided into two compartments. Inside each compartment is a removable padded insert that can hold a separate handgun.
The interior of the base, and inside edges are lined with hook-and-loop (female) fields that allow for customization of the interior padded dividers. The DB comes with two 4 ¾” (H) x 28” (L) large dividers, two 4 ¾” (H) x 14” (L) small dividers, and four removable tie-downs.
The Deployment Bag is available in Coyote (featured), Black, OD Green, UTP and Vegetato.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): For $132.90 as a soft nylon deployment bag for weapons and other accessories, Shadow’s envisionment in design and material brings together a freely customizable case for use in a variety of scenarios and equipment. Other types of notable deployment bags include RE Factor’s Advanced Special Operations Bag ($275.95), the LaRue Covert Rifle Case ($194.95), or the Incog Rifle Bag (Long) by Haley Strategic ($180). While generally the market is awash in different designs to deployment bags, its size and complexity are often the determinate factors on the overall price. For its purpose of providing a discrete double rifle case, that can accommodate up to two pistols and multiple other accessories, the cost of Shadow’s Deployment Bag’s is one of the more inexpensive ones currently available.
- Comfort – Average (3/5): Comfort wise, the Deployment Bag (empty) is relatively lightweight. It wasn’t until fully loaded that the weight distribution, and choice of how the internal dividers were configured, became more apparent. The shoulder strap was a definite necessity for the Deployment Bag when fully loaded, although it would be an improvement were the shoulder pad longer to cover more of the shoulder’s surface area. The one notable aspect was the bag tended to “bulge” with loaded and the weight of its contents were carried. Although the Deployment bag does have extensive padding on the top/bottom with rigid plastic inserts along the edges for structure, it would seem that the weight of a single rifle, magazines, ammo, and other accessories was still enough to pull on the material. So, it was a little bulky when transporting. The YKK zippers moved smoothly and at no point cross-fed or bound, while the internal dividers were able to be easily customized.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): Made from an extremely durable 1000D nylon, the Deployment Bag held up remarkably well despite transport in the rear of a truck with other hard cases. Continual pulling, repositioning, reconfiguring the interior dividers and hardware showed no signs of compromising the extensive hook-and-loop material or its threading. A majority of the internal foam padding and hook-and-loop fields were held in place by single-line stitching with double-line in high stress points for reinforcement. The Type 13 webbing around the center of the Deployment Bag and the shoulder strap gave it a solid center by which to carry via the handle, or shoulder. These features were the only elements with noted bartack and X-pattern stitching for increased strength and reinforcement. The choice to go with metal hardware to the shoulder strap was a nice inclusion as many designs in the market often skimp this aspect by using cheaper plastics that are often more brittle and break easier. The divider panels showed some instances of over-threading/lose threads that were easily removed, but in no way compromised the stitch line. The water resistance of the fabric could not be tested due to lack of rain at the time of evaluation.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally, the Deployment Bag performed well, was easily customized, and able to securely retain all contents with minimal spillage (some magazines did work their way around on the inside). As noted above in Comfort however, the weight of the contents caused the bag to slightly “bulge” in the middle as it pulled on the material when being transported. This could be alleviated by Shadow by potentially adding the rigid plastic inserts to the top/bottom as it did on the sides (the sides of which still felt somewhat flimsy, and could do with a thicker type plastic such as the type in its Elite Range Bag). In addition, it would have been preferable had there been several more removable tie-downs to secure other items. One suggestion for Shadow to consider that would improve the functionality of the Deployment Bag would be to consider making all four interior sides lined with hook-and-loop, as well as both sides of the dividers, as only three sides of the interior and one side of the dividers made it somewhat limiting to configure. Another thing to consider would be making the bottom interior laser-cut MOLLE hook-and-loop lining so the user could use just basic straps at any location. That would alleviate the need for tie-downs and just necessitate supplying the hook-and-loop straps.
- Weight – Average (3/5): At 4.5 pounds (empty) the weight of the Deployment Dag was largely determined by its nylon materials. With 1000D fabric, the weight is an offset to the added durability of the nylon. Additionally, the more contents you added the heavier the bag became, first necessitating carry by the handles, then eventually by the shoulder. Thankfully both had adequate padding and were wide enough that the combined weight didn’t cut into the hands or shoulder. In comparison; the ASO Bag (5.40 pounds), the Covert Rifle Case (4.5 pounds), and the Incog Rifle Bag (2.88 pounds) all demonstrate that the design and materials used can often influence overall weight. More traditional nylon based cases, such as the ASO and Covert Rifle Case show that the Deployment Bag from Shadow is within the average weight. Whereas the lighter and more expensive materials, such as the Incog Rifle Bag relate to an overall lower weight of the product.
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
Product Link: https://shadow-gear.com/collections/bags/products/shs-522-deployment-bag
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, 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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