Shooting Gear

ESS Guardian EDC Backpack Review

I continue to be impressed by the quality of Elite Survival Systems products, and I hope to relate why in this ESS Guardian EDC backpack review.

I needed a low-profile backpack to carry all of my gear. I relied on another backpack for many years. While I was happy with its performance, it didn’t exactly blend into most environments.

Shooting Gear

New Maxpedition Bags for 2019

In time for the 2019 SHOT Show, Maxpedition announced its new offerings in bags, backpacks and accessories that will likely appeal to many in the concealed carry market. Among the new products are new models in the covert Entity line, a new color option and several new add ons to expand the functionality of existing bags.

Maxpedition is possibly my favorite backpack and bag company – not because they send me free gear (they don’t) or the company makes inexpensive stuff (they don’t). Rather, I like the products the company makes because every single one I’ve bought has been extremely durable and very functional. Yes, the packs tend to be pricey, but they last seemingly forever.

New Maxpedition Backpags 2019

New Color – Ash

Ash is the new medium gray color offered by the company. It is a lighter shade of gray than the existing Charcoal offered in the Entity line of low-profile bags. I prefer the darker color, but Ash will appeal to many people and having choices is good.

Entity 19

Part of the company’s existing Entity line, the new 19 will be the smallest backpack offered in the covert series. As with the other Entity bags, this one is practical for CCW carry and normal life.

It has a 13″ laptop sleeve and 1160 cubic inches (19 liters) of storage space. Maxpedition built it with an internal zippered compartment and twin water bottle pouches. Internally, there is a large hook and loop panel for the mounting of accessory pouches.

A hidden rear compartment stores a handgun for self-defense. This compartment is accessible from both the left and right sides. As an added feature, the zippered areas have lockouts for increased security.

The shoulder straps have low profile PALS webbing for attaching more pouches, knives or other gear. There are also quick detach buckles on the straps.

One of the things that I really like about my Maxpedition bags are the heavy duty carry handles. They are over-engineered and have proved to be much more durable than other brands I have tried. The Entity 19 has the same quality carry handle on it.

In either the Charcoal or Ash colors, the suggested retail price on this bag is $169.99.

Entity 35

Maxpedition Entity 35

While the new Entity 19 takes over the role of smallest backpack in the Entity line, the new Entity 35 now holds the top of the line with the greatest amount of storage – more than 2100 cubic inches or 35 liters.

Available in both gray colors, this massive backpack retains the same CCW capabilities as the smaller bags, but adds a number of additional features including:

  • an internal frame
  • waist belt and chest strap for increased comfort over longer distances
  • lifter straps on the shoulder straps
  • increased hook and loop area for attaching internal pouches
  • padded sleeve for larger laptops – up to 17″
  • lockable main compartment
  • zippered organizer pockets on both sides of the bag in place of water bottle holders
  • two side ports for threading phone & tablet charging cables

Maxpedition sets the retail price on this one at $259.99. If you want to discreetly transport a takedown rifle, check out my Elite Survival Systems Stealth SBR backpack review.

Entity Crossbody Bags – Small & Large

Maxpedition Crossbody

If you prefer crossbody carry, the new Entity Crossbody Bags might be of interest. Offered in two sizes – one with 14 L/850 cubic inches of storage and a smaller bag with 9 L/550 cubic inches of internal volume – the new bags retain the same nondescript appearance of the rest of the Entity line.

The bags have a sleeve that will fit most tablets. Additionally, they have zippered interior compartments for pens and other items plus a hook and loop panel for adding an additional pouch or other accessory.

A water bottle pouch and zippered external pouch are standard on both bags.

A lockable zippered compartment is accessible from the top of the bag, allowing for an easy draw with either hand. The compartment can be locked.

The shoulder strap has a pad with PALS webbing for the attachment of yet another pouch, scabbard or other item. The pad is removable.

One of the things I really like about these bags is the use of seatbelt webbing for the shoulder strap instead of standard military style material. This means the strap is very soft and smooth while being exceptionally strong.

The small bag has a MSRP of $133.99 while its larger brother is ten dollars more.

Tech Sling Bags – Small & Large

Maxpedition Entity Tech Sling Bag

Maxpedition is now offering two new sling bags – a large one and a small one. They have 610 cubic inches/10 L and 430 cubic inches/7 L of internal space respectively. Neither bag will carry a standard sized laptop (13″+). However, both have a padded compartment that will handle a tablet, 11″ netbook or MacBook Air.

Both sling bags have internal storage compartments and a top accessible CCW compartment. Like the crossbody bags above, the Tech Sling Bags also use seatbelt webbing. Pricing runs from $102.99 – $108.99 depending on the size you prefer.

I cover another backpack you might want to consider in my ESS Guardian EDC backpack review.


Maxpedition announced two new accessories. The first is a simple mesh storage panel. It has a zippered front for storing pens, cables, medical gear or anything else. The back has a hook and loop panel for mounting in any of the company’s bags. It has a suggested retail price of $17.99

The second new accessory is an admin panel. This is a hook and loop backed panel that allows you to add a flashlight, tools, pens or medical gear to it for easy access and organization. It will sell for $18.99.

Shooting Gear

Store a Glock Magazine in Your AR-15 Grip

AR grip that stores glock magazine

If you are running a pistol caliber AR carbine, or carry a Glock handgun to back up your rifle, TriTech Tactical has a pair of new grips that may interest you. These grips store a Glock magazine in them.

Designed as a replacement for the standard A2-type grip found on most AR pattern rifles, the TriTech Tactical design mimics the interior dimensions of a Glock pistol so that it can carry a spare magazine. Taken at face value, that seems like a good use of space – especially if you are running a pistol caliber carbine that feeds from Glock magazines.

The size and shape of the grips may be off-putting to some. However, since many people seem to like the grip size of a Glock pistol, I imagine that a lot of shooters might like the feel of these in the hand.

TriTech Tactical

One grip, the TPG-ARGL910, is the shorter of the two options. It is designed to hold a subcompact magazine such as those used in the G26 and G27 pistols. The larger of the two products, the TPG-ARGL915, is designed for both the compact and full size Glock models. This should include sizes like the G17, G19, G22 and G23.

Right now, the company is showing these products as being available in mid-January. That is the same time frame as the SHOT Show where the company will be displaying its products. I will try to get by the company’s booth and get a look at these. Be sure to follow my 2017 SHOT Show news page that I will update each day of the event for you guys.

While the full size grip looks disproportionately large on an AR, I’m keeping an open mind on this. These could wind up being more practical than a first glance might suggest. The MSRP is set at $39.95. These are made in the United States.

Shooting Gear

H.A.W.G.: A New Gun Grease

Rand HAWG grease

The folks at Rand CLP are now offering a grease for your guns: H.A.W.G.

Heavy Applications Weapons Grease, or H.A.W.G., is a non-toxic weapon lube that was originally developed for use on heavy machine guns like the Ma Deuce. Heavy machine guns generate a lot of heat, pressure and wear on their parts which necessitate an excellent grease to keep things running. According to Rand CLP, that is exactly what the company developed this grease to do: perform under heat and pressure.

Shooting Gear

Taser Pulse

TASER Pulse review

TASER International will announce a new self-defense product at the SHOT Show called the Taser Pulse. This new unit is a compact design that is intended for concealed carry and non-law enforcement self-defense.

Unlike the C2 model intended for self-defense, the new Pulse has the shape and general functioning of a compact handgun. There is a grip, trigger and mechanical sights like one would expect in a Glock or Smith & Wesson. However, instead of a deadly force projectile, the Pulse uses a pair of barbs as projectiles.