It’s no secret. As much as I love the outdoors, hunting, shooting, and being in the wild – I love gear. Good, high-quality gear that you can depend on is critical. The last thing I want is something that looks good, but will fall apart on me when I need it most. Some of my favorite gear looks rough, isn’t very pretty anymore, but is dependable as the day is long.
Research is your friend when looking for quality gear. You work hard for your money, and don’t want to waste one red cent, right? I don’t. That craftiness (my buddies would say being a tight-wad) leads me to research stuff before I buy it. And when I say research, I mean hours of searching, reading, watching videos, and crawling forums looking for pictures, opinions, thoughts, experiences, reviews and details about a product before I buy.
A few months back, I was looking for a new red-dot sight for an AR I have and came across Optics Planet. I’ve known of these guys for some time, but for whatever reason I hadn’t really landed on their site much. They did, however, have a very cool version of a popular red-dot I was looking to get my hands on, so I started talking to them about optics and asking questions. Their customer services and support was great. It turns out many of the guys are avid hunters, outdoorsmen, and shooters themselves and they speak from first-hand field experience.
Between you and me, few things frustrate me as much as a salesman who had no idea about the practical use of the product he sells. If I had a dollar for every pile of absolute trash I’ve heard spouted behind the gun counter at the local big-box retailers around here, I’d be a wealthy man. I found the guys at Optics Planet to not only be super helpful, but they also know their stuff – like, really know their stuff.
So what does all of that have to do with a couple gun cases?
Along the way, I had the opportunity to get a few of their OPMOD gun cases for review and I have to say – I’m pretty impressed. I’ve only had time to use them for banging around town a little bit, and hitting the range on a Saturday afternoon, but so far I expect these things are going to hold up like champs. I’m going to do a more detailed, long-term review later this year. For now, I wanted to introduce you to a couple bags I expect will spend a lot of time in the back of my truck in 2015.
First (my favorite) the OPMOD TUB 1.0
TUB stands for Tactical Utility Bag, and I don’t think they could have grabbed a better word than Utility in the name. This thing is crazy. It’s versatile, durable, sturdy, and just huge. It’s the good kind of huge too, not the ‘so big you can’t carry it through a door’ kind of huge. I really (did I mention really) like it.
It has molle straps and Velcro everywhere. Every. Where. You can attach enough pouches, accessories, straps and add-ons to this bag to make it do just about anything you’d need for a trip to the range or hunting camp. I won’t get into all the details and components since their website has a great overview video that goes into detail about all this bags features. I suggest you check out the video, but I do want to point out a few things I love about it too.
#1 – Organization
It has two zippered compartments inside that will fit a mid-sized handgun like a glove, and proved to be super handy for small things like earplugs and batteries. I set mine up where these two compartments divided the bag into 3 even sections and it’s very convenient. Accessories in one compartment, handgun ammo/mags in one, rifle ammo/mags in another. Perfect.
#2 – Options
There are three velcro webbing straps that run around the inside of the bag, and molle straps that run across the outside. The amount of options are endless. You can pick up compatible accessories just about anywhere and plug and play on this TUB. One of my favorite features are the lashing straps on top. It’s a great way to carry a shooting mat (or a heavy jacket) when you’re headed out to the rifle range for a few hours.
#3 – Easy to Use
The TUB is big and wide enough that you can get in and out of the bag with one hand. The zippers are durable, large, and operate smoothly. I can access the bag sitting in the floorboard in the back of my crew-cab pickup easily and quickly.
All-in-all, the minute you load up and throw this bag over your shoulder, you know it’s not just a bag – it’s a piece of gear. It’s sturdy, easy to configure, full of options and has some seriously heavy duty hardware on it. I immediately developed an affinity for the TUB and plan to use the ever-loving-crap out of it this year. Be looking for a follow up report on durability and long-term testing to come this winter.
Next up: The OPMOD AARC 3.0 Double Rifle Case
It’s a mouth-full, right? That’s a lot of letters and numbers for a bag. But, what the rifle lacks in simple naming, it makes up for in versatility. It can be used as a rifle case, drag bag, shooting mat, or just to haul tons of gear – a versatile piece of kit to say the least.
The OPMOD Double Rifle Case has the same thick, high-quality, construction as the TUB – a win in my book. It also features the heavy duty zippers and hardware too. On the inside you’ll find some interesting features. Instead of a simple smooth surface, they’ve added webbing and straps to give you options for loading your rifles. Just in the few times I’ve had it out, I carried my rifle a different way each time.
The double rifle case also came with a some padded, velcro dividers that work great for separating 2 rifles in the bag, or for keeping magazines and accessories in place and protecting the finish on your boom-stick at the same time.
The outside of the bag features two large compartments that are great for bringing along extra handguns, bi-pods, ammo, magazines, accessories, or whatever you’re heart desires. The only thing I would add, is that you may want to grab a few extra velcro straps to take advantage of all the space in this thing, especially in the front compartments.
As with the TUB, the OPMOD AARC 3.0 Double Rifle Case has an excellent overview video on the Optics Planet website. The bag was designed to fit inside popular hard cases for travel and makes for a very versatile system when coupled with one of the options they mention in the video.
The Double Rifle Case has great padding, is pretty comfortable to carry on your back like a drag bag, and has some heft to it. You can feel the quality and construction when you pick it up. This isn’t some Wal-Mart special, it’s legit.
I was able to fit an AR, a bolt action, 2 handguns, and several magazines into the bag without feeling like it was stuffed, or that the gear was going to get banged around. I can really see this bag replacing my 2-3 rifle cases/bags that typically accompany me to hunting camp in the fall!
Overall, I was very impressed with the latest bags coming out of the OPMOD line at Optics Planet. If you’re looking for quality bags for the range that won’t break the bank – you owe it to yourself to check these bags out. Optics Planet backs their stuff with a limited lifetime warranty and has some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. Check them out for more info on the OPMOD TUB 1.0 Utility bag, and the OPMOD AARC 3.0 Double Rifle Case or any of their OPMOD line of equipment.