Whether used as a carry-on, daypack or range bag, the EDC Gamut Backpack delivers functional versatility for the competitive shooter
Story by Bobby Walla
A few months ago, I reviewed the Explorer Cases Ultimate 3-Gun Travel Solution Kit, an excellent product that excels in protecting your guns through TSA and air travel adventures. But, in my experience, no hard case can handle the entire load when traveling to a 3-Gun match.
And today’s review covers the Vertx EDC Gamut Backpack, which, in my opinion, is the best way to get everything else to a match. Vertx is a leading manufacturer in the industry, producing well thought out duty and civilian apparel and bags, and the Gamut is no exception.
When traveling, my Gamut is loaded out with clothing, snacks and various items that I am taking on the trip. I will pack my guns in a case and check it, and I ship the ammo. A lot of other essentials, whether for on the range or off, reside in my carry-on bag, which is the Gamut. The size of the bag enables me to get everything I’ll need for a weekend on the range. It is extremely well thought out and easy to organize, especially with Vertx’s Tactigami system.
Once I get to the hotel before a match, I will unpack my clothing and load up everything I will need for the following range days. During matches, I use a long gun case to carry some gear, while everything else is in the Gamut.
At a major match, my Gamut will contain:
- Rifle Ammo-300 rounds
- Shotgun Ammo-150 rounds
- Pistol Ammo-300 rounds
- Shotgun slugs-20
- 5 Pistol Mags
- Rain Shell
- Medical Kit
- Ear Protection
- Eye Protection
- Safariland ELS Belt
- Water Bottles
- Spare Parts (rifle, pistol, shotgun)
Starting from outside and working in, both sides of the bag feature sleeves for water bottles. Probably one of the only shortcomings of this bag, if any, would be the sleeves don’t fit much bigger than a standard water bottle. There are tons of attachment points though, to attach a Nalgene or CamelBak.
Unzipping the front pocket of the bag, you’ll immediately see copious amounts of mole and Velcro attachments. This is where I keep my flashlight, multi-tool, and magazines utilizing the Tactigami system. The front pocket also opens up completely and attaches to the bag via hooks, providing storage for any over-sized items.
To the sides of the main compartment are two additional organizational pockets. On the right side, I keep writing implements, write-in-the-rain notebooks, dope card, pro-grip, lens cleaner and hand sanitizer. In the left pocket, I typically keep sunscreen and some energy and protein bars.
When It is all said and done, my range pack weighs in around somewhere between 40-60 pounds, depending on the match and how much I need to carry before a resupply trip to the truck. Above the front panel there is a leather-wrapped, carry handle that I’d have no concern carrying it by completely loaded out without damaging the bag (not sure if Vertx recommends this, but you can)! Before opening up the main compartment, at the top of the bag, there is a small pocket for my range glasses that I keep in a soft case and a lanyard to attach keys (I never understood why anyone would use these….until I lost my rental car keys in South Carolina).
Finally to the main compartment! It’s tough to really write about all the options because they are ENDLESS. There are multiple zippered organizational pockets, while the internal compartment is pretty much decked out head-to-toe in Velcro for attaching additional organizational pouches if needed. It has a rear, padded pocket that will fit a 15-inch laptop, and the flap can be buttoned to offer top access only OR you can undo them and unzip to have full access of the main compartment.
I start at the bottom by packing my rain shell, then my ammo, and towards the top of the bag is where my soft pistol case, medical kit, and ear pro will sit. No matter how much I am lugging around at a match, the Gamut carries it effortlessly, and I stayed organized. The top carry handles are where I attach my ELS belt when heading to and from the range. The carry system, just like everything else, is very well executed. The straps are sufficiently padded to distribute weight, the back panel is vented to promote airflow, there are removable chest and torso straps and the backpack straps also have a quick-release option.
Rounding out the bag and its features, I would be remiss to not talk a little about Vertx’s Rapid Access design that they are known for. While 3-gun shooters might not find much application for this system for our sport, my Gamut bag serves multiple roles: range pack, carry-on bag, and it is also my go-to “daily carry.” Realistically, I am not carrying it much of anywhere, but it goes with me from my house to my car everyday and houses things I may need while working. The Rapid Access compartment is a padded portion between the back panel and main compartment.
On the side of the bag there is a huge pull-tab attached to a YKK zipper. The interior pocket is completely lined with Velcro to attach just about anything inside. In addition to my firearm I carry “on-body,” I also keep an additional one of the same brand and caliber with additional magazines inside. If need be, I could gain access to the firearm inside the bag rapidly by swimming out of one backpack strap and pulling the tab.
Honestly, I cannot say enough good things about Vertx products and as a company! They listen to leading subject matter experts and the community to deliver thoughtful, well-built products for a great price.
The Vertx EDC Gamut retails for $199.95.