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Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack Review: The Best Range Bag?

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Safariland Shooters' Range Backpack Review

Over the past three years, I’ve purchased seven popular range bags, and I can’t believe it took me so long to try the Safariland Shooters Range Backpack.

It is the best range bag I’ve used thus far.

Being someone who practically lives on the range and competes nationwide, I carry gear everywhere almost every day.

I can give you some perspective and insight that a casual shooter or reviewer cannot.

That said, if you’ve considered buying the bag, I highly recommend it. I’ve been using it for over three months now, and it is now my favorite range bag for all my shooting range gear.

If you’re wondering why I love it, read my full review below.

What is the Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack?

The Safariland Shooter’s Range Backpack is an easy-to-carry range bag in backpack format designed to distribute weight more evenly on the shoulders and hips.

It has assorted compartments and dividers to store and organize your shooting range gear, with a reinforced large lower compartment for heavy ammunition and a removable dual pistol sleeve.

It also comes with an all-weather cover and is available in either black, gray, or tan.

Features & Dimensions

  • Assorted compartments and dividers to store and organize your shooting gear

  • Heavy-duty lockable zippers

  • Reinforced large lower compartment for heavy ammunition

  • Rugged ballistic pack cloth construction

  • Removable dual pistol sleeve

  • All-weather cover

  • Dimensions: 21″ (H) x 13″ (W) x 11″ (D)

First Impressions

Safariland Backpack Review

When Safariland sent me the range bag to review, I opened the box, took a quick look, and didn’t think the backpack would be unique.

It looked like any other range bag–just designed as a backpack with compartments added to different places.

Boy, I was wrong. It is now my go-to bag for the range.

I feel like the bag was made for me and my needs. The bag is near perfect to me–more on why it isn’t below.

It has more than enough pockets to fit my essential gear and a compartment for heavy ammunition.

What’s different from other bags I’ve used is that every pocket and compartment is easily accessible, i.e., you don’t have to open the bag thoroughly to access a lot of your gear.

What I liked the most was the dual pistol sleeve that has its own compartment next to the backpack straps.

Out of all the range bags I’ve used, this is the only bag with a sleek way to store pistols without taking up other space.

What I Like About the Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack

Overall, the bag is simple, just like other range bags. There are various compartments and pockets for your gear, and it’s made of durable material.

However, Safariland did a great job designing the bag. It is purpose-built for shooters.

Multiple External Compartments

Big pocket
3 small pockets

Typical range bags will have enough pockets to hold your gear, but few have a lot of external compartments.

Having pockets on the outside means you don’t have to open and close your bag’s main compartment to grab anything, making use more convenient.

Previously, my favorite range bag was the Mystery Ranch RATS pack. It is designed to be a medical bag, but I repurposed it to be my range backpack because it is designed in a way that allows me to store and organize shooting gear in an organized manner.

The RATS Pack has a lot of individual compartments and removable/adjustable pockets that I used to pack specific items. For example, one pocket might be for medical gear, and another for cleaning and maintenance tools, etc.

It was great. But the one thing I disliked was having to open the bag’s main compartment almost every time I needed something.

The Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack solves this because it has six external pockets for easy access, making it easy to organize your shooting gear in.

There are three pockets on one side, one big compartment on the other with a small pocket inside, and one big pocket on top of the bag.

These pockets addressed a pain point I had with the RATS pack. Now, I don’t have to open my bag constantly to access gear.

Reinforced Large Lower Compartment

Reinforced lower compartment for heavy items or ammo.

I’ve only seen reinforced lower compartments in competitive shooting range bags.

As someone who shoots almost daily, I’ve wondered why companies neglect to add this feature to their range bags.

It comes in handy for storing ammunition or fragile items you don’t want to be crushed inside your bag.

I use it primarily for ammo but will throw magazines and even extra pistols in there if necessary.

Serious shooters will appreciate this feature.

Removable Dual Pistol Sleeve and Pistol Compartment

Pistol Sleeve Compartment
Dual, removable pistol sleeve.

I’ve had range bags with a dedicated area for a pistol, but these bags fell short in many other aspects, like not having enough pockets to organize shooting gear neatly.

The bags with many pockets didn’t have a specific place for a pistol. I’d have to insert the pistol in a separate padded case, then throw that into the main compartment of the bag.

Alternatively, depending on the bag I used, I sometimes carried my firearm in a separate bag because it wouldn’t fit.

In contrast, the Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack has a dual pistol sleeve that you can insert alongside the padding that touches your back.

I thought this was awesome. Now I didn’t have to worry about my pistols taking up space in the main compartment of a bag or carrying another bag just for my guns.

The padding is thick enough that you won’t feel the guns along your back when using the bag.

And as I said, the backpack provides ample room to transport not one but two pistols.

Gun Belt Holder

Gun Belt Straps to hold a belt.

Anyone who shoots knows how stiff the majority of gun belts are.

They are so stiff and big that they can’t be stored inside of a range bag because gun belts typically maintain the shape of a circle (because of their stiffness).

The people at Safariland understand this, so they added external straps to the backpack so you can hang your gun belt on the outside of the bag if you’d like to.

Large Top Pocket

Large top pocket.

A large pocket at the top of the bag allows ample room to transport and store a lot of gear for easy access.

From Safariland’s website, it sounds like they designed this area to place your hearing protection, but you can throw anything you want that you will access regularly.

Perhaps your ear protection, eye protection, wallet, phone, etc.

The top compartment is large enough to store your standard-sized ear muff, like the Safariland Liberator HP 2.0, with much room to spare.

Bottom Zipper Compartment

Bottom zipper compartment with all weather cover.

Lastly, I like how they have a pocket at the bottom of the bag.

When you get the backpack, the all-weather/rain cover is stored in the bottom pocket, which you can remove.

I like using bottom pockets to store messy or dirty items, separating them from all my other gear.

I thought this was a nice touch.

Other Things I Liked

Backpack straps.

The backpack has a great handle to carry the bag in case you don’t want to use it as a backpack.

Along the backpack’s straps is PAL webbing so you can attach molle accessories and/or other gear.

The backpack also has adjustable straps by the shoulder area that you can tighten or loosen to help evenly distribute weight across your body’s shoulders, back and hips.

The bag also has heavy-duty lockable zippers to secure your shooting gear.

What I Dislike About the Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack

I have only two issues with the backpack, and they are minor.

First, the bag can get very heavy depending on how much gear you carry and how much ammo you bring.

If you plan on doing a lot of walking, be prepared, as it may feel like you’re in a ruck.

Packing in a lot of gear doesn’t bug me on average range days, but if I take the bag to a major competition, where there is a lot of walking and standing around, I prefer a bag that can attach to a cart of some kind.

For local matches, I don’t mind a heavy bag.

Lastly, I still haven’t quite figured out the source of this issue, but when carrying a lot of stuff in the backpack, I sometimes hear a little squeaking.

It seems like the sound is coming somewhere from the straps. Perhaps one of the strap buckles is rubbing against something, causing the sound.

Again, I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t happen often, and only does if I’m carrying tons of gear and the bag is really heavy.

What Do Others Say About the Range Bag?

The backpacks main compartment.
Pic of the main compartment.

As I said at the start of this review, I can’t believe it took me this long to find this bag. I think it’s excellent, and apparently, many others do, too.

On Safariland’s website, the bag has received 4.8 stars from verified buyers, and many of them have also said it’s the best range bag they’ve used.

Best range bag hands down. I have had every brand and size of range bag. This one is by far the best I have bought to date.

Jamison K. (Verified Buyer)

Watch My Video Review

The Final Verdict

You will love this bag if you’re a serious shooter who spends a lot of time on the range.

It is a great bag, and I don’t know any other alternatives like it. The closest was Mystery Ranch RATs Pack I mentioned above, but the Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack is a better, more portable option with easier-to-access pockets.

Give the backpack a try. I think you’ll love it.

Photo of author
About the author


Myles is the Founder of Tactical Hyve, a competitive shooter, and a life-long student of all things dealing with the tactical and self-defense worlds.

2 thoughts on “Safariland Shooters’ Range Backpack Review: The Best Range Bag?”

  1. Thanks for the review, Myles. Have you used the Safariland backpack for airline carry on? It looks like it might be marginally oversized. I am curious about your experience. Thanks, Greg

  2. I’ve been waiting to see an in-depth review of this bag. Thank you for making one with lots of pictures!


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