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

Blackhawk Diversion Carry Bags

Blackhawk Diversion bag

Blackhawk is producing the Diversion line of carry cases and bags that provide shooters, and CCW holders, the ability to carry their weapons in a more discreet manner. These bags are Blackhawk’s solution for active individuals who carry every day items or sports gear, and need their firearm within arm’s reach in the same bag.

The Diversion bags are fully functional in their general purpose design. Made of high quality 420-500 denier nylon with popular color schemes, the bags blend in with “ordinary” bags. However, each Diversion bag is specifically designed to house a firearm, and provide quick access to the stored firearm for owner protection. Access is achieved with pass-through pockets, or compartments with large zippers and easy-grip pull tabs to avoid fumbling with fine motor skills in dire times.


There’s Never a CCW Holder When You Need One…

It is really a shame that none of the defenseless victims in this crime was a CCW holder with the ability to respond appropriately to an armed felon.

In this video, a man is shown walking up to a restaurant, which appears to be a take-out place.  In other words, the area for the customers is very small with no seating for eating on the premises.  When the armed criminal gets to the business, he begins firing at the occupants of the small, confined area and tries to make entry.

The only defense the occupants are able to muster is to try to take cover behind about 6″ of wall directly next to the glass door and try to keep the door closed.  The suspect fires through the door multiple times and three people are ultimately injured.  Through luck or divine intervention, the victims are not killed.  Somehow, the victims were able to keep the criminal outside until he ran the gun dry and fled.

Can anyone tell me what proposed law would have prevented this felonious assault?


Wilson Combat Super Sentinel

The Wilson Combat Super Sentinel is a new concealed carry pistol chambered in .38 Super.  The pistol is a traditional 1911-style platform with a 3.6″ barrel and weight of a touch over 25 ounces.

Wilson Combat Super Sentinel

Like all Wilson Combat pistols, the Super Sentinel is a beautiful gun with clean lines and features that make it an excellent choice for concealed carry.