You’ve seen the person who’s an unorganized mess at the range. The one who has magazines strewn about on a bench and loose ammo in their pockets. Or perhaps you’re the person who makes multiple trips back to the truck to track down extra ear protection, a water bottle, or extra staples. Then, when you think it’s time to send lead downrange, you realize your targets are sitting at home on the kitchen table in a sporting goods sack. You, my disorganized friend, need a range bag to be more efficient with your time and shooting.
I’ve been there myself—multiple times—and finally, I had enough. The best investment I ever made was a quality range bag. Not only was I thankful for it, but so were my wife and kids, who were glad they didn’t have to run back to the truck or house because dad forgot something. I’ve compiled a list of the best range bags, that way you’ll always be ready to hit the range with all your gear in one place.
Things to Consider When Buying a Range Bag
Between work, kids, sports, and everyday life, I might only have 30 minutes to empty a magazine or two at the range and then head home. If I didn’t have a range bag with my ammo, hearing protection, extra magazines, targets, etc. all in one place, I’d never make it out the door in time. Investing in a range bag has been an investment in my time.
Most professional shooters have dubbed range bags a must-have item, and I couldn’t agree more. If you spend time shooting at the range, or even if that range is something you and your buddies built on a piece of private property, you need a top-notch range bag.
Range bags come in many sizes, shapes, designs, and prices. But you’ll need to figure out what gear you want/need to take to the range first. So here’s a list of items you’ll probably want to include or consider when you look for one:
No, that’s not everything, but it’s a good start, and you get the idea. Knowing all the gear you need to tote makes it easier to visualize what will fit where when looking at different range bag designs.
Range bags get used and abused. They get tossed in the back of trucks, have cleaning solution spilled on them, and the zippers get a real workout. You’ll want a bag with a beefy build, plenty of padding, quality YKK zippers, and is made from a material like Cordura or polyester.
Something else to take into account is transportability and comfort. Some range goers prefer a duffle-style tote with reinforced grab-and-go handles and a shoulder strap, while others prefer a backpack-style range bag. I’ve used both and find them equally effective. Whatever you decide, you don’t want a bag that doesn’t carry well when it’s loaded with weight. Range bags get heavy quickly, and you want handles with extra padding and support.
There are trap and skeet range bags, those engineered for tactical rifles, handgun bags, etc. So be sure and familiarize yourself with the bag’s purpose before you drop a significant amount of cash.
- 3,051 cubic-inch capacity
- Fully padded construction
- Internal dividers
- Elastic mag/accessory panel
Why It Made the Cut
With the capacity for several handguns, plenty of ammo, targets, ear protection, shooting glasses, and more, this is the best do-all range bag I’ve ever used.
- Organized compartments
- External Molle straps
- Great access
- Not the best padding in straps
Sporting 3,051 cubic inches of space, this range bag by 5.11 lets you take everything and the kitchen sink to the range. The bag is padded, and the PSE board base promotes stability and boosts overall bag function. And the large loop front panel allows for patch and ID attachment, while the left side pull-down pouch has an internal name tape. The front inner pocket has elastic magazine carriers, and those mag carriers work well for other accessories and small handguns. Elastic loops under the lid mean you can carry loaded anywhere, and the YKK zippers are lockable. The main compartment is spacious and deep, and you can fit a lot of gear in this bag.
I’m not great with organization, and I applaud the removable inner dividers and elastic bands. Plus, all pockets, Molle additions, zippered pouches, and elastic bands serve a purpose. I don’t like features in a range bag that take up room, drive the cost of the bag up, and don’t give the user any benefit. The Molle side compartment makes it easy to add gear, and while the bag doesn’t have an overabundance of padding, it has enough for me.
- Four medium-sized pockets
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Molded main lid compartment
Why It Made the Cut
This bag is spacious enough to hold a litany of necessary range-day gear at a budget friendly price.
- Durable make
- Removable tray
- Comfortable to carry
While this isn’t the range bag for the pro shooter or the shooter that trains weekly, it’s a solid choice if you hit the range at least once a month. While this bag isn’t the biggest, if you organize your gear well, you should have plenty of room for everything you need. The pack is multi-purpose, meaning you can use it to stack sporting clay shotshells, clay pigeons, or use it to tote a few handguns, targets, etc. It even features five elastic loops to hold shotshells or other chokes, and an adjustable shoulder strap is included. The molded lid main compartment opens fully and flips out of the way, which makes the primary compartment extremely functional.
This bag is comfortable to carry and comes with a fold-up mat that allows you to work on your firearms on the spot, and the removable inside tray is perfect for placing on the bench when you need easy access to your gear. The main compartment is lockable, and the added feet on the bottom provide a nice touch.
- Soft internal fabric
- Dual-density foam
- S.T.R.I.K.E. Webbing
Why It Made the Cut
When I’m headed to the range, I like to know my handguns are protected, and this pistol-only range bag offers that in spades.
- Oversized coil zippers
- External slash pockets
- Flimsy bottom
- Lack of pockets
Thanks to its build and tactical webbing on the shoulder straps and contact points with the addition of tactical web handles, the BlackHawk Sportster is comfortable to tote and will haul a load. A pair of external pockets offer some extra room, and several rows of S.T.R.I.K.E. webbing makes attaching pouches and other accessory items easy. Blackhawk went above and beyond in the protection department, and the main internal pocket with a dual-slider opening provides immediate access to the bag’s inner contents. This isn’t a large range bag, but it’s designed for the pistol shooter, and there’s plenty of room for ammo, ear protection, and shooting glasses if you’re just looking to empty a few magazines after work.
- Specialized velour-lined pockets
- Hands-free carry
- Removable handgun storage cradle
Why It Made the Cut
This stylish backpack from GPS doesn’t just look great, it also has incredibly intuitive pockets that make accessing and storing your range gear efficient.
- Plenty of storage
- Handgun cradle
I’m a backpack guy—a Western hunter—and I appreciate this stylish range bag‘s comfort and durable build. The zipper function is excellent, and it’s hard to ignore how well the removable blue/black foam cradle holds five medium-frame handguns, and it makes a terrific option for the shooter who wants to take multiple handguns to the range conveniently. The removable cradle allows you to easily access your pistols at the range, and the Visual I.D. System patches give the shooter the ability to label pockets and add gear accordingly. The Visual I.D. system comes with 16 logo-specific patches, and via the pack’s numerous pockets, shooters can swap patches back and forth until they find an organization system that’s right for them. The pack has lots of room, and specialized pockets are lined with velour for added gear protection.
- Capacity: Holds two rifles
- Weather and shockproof
- Velcro fastening
- Molle webbing loops
Why It Made the Cut
This rifle range bag is fitted with enough features to make any rifle shooter smile, including the sub $80 price tag.
- Two-way anti-theft zippers
- Hook and loop straps
- Thick padding
- Molle pockets only on one side
- Lack of color options
Made from 600D denier polyester and fitted with several large pockets, this case is highly functional and durable for a soft case. When it’s loaded with rifles and gear, it feels extremely sturdy, and whether you use the dual hand strap or shoulder straps, it’s easy to carry. The double rifle slots have a sewn-in padded shooting mat in the main compartment, and the case comes with detachable divider flaps. The hook-and-loop rifle attachment system makes attaching and removing rifles easy, and though they don’t go all the way around the case, there are lots of Molle attachments. Overall, the case will hold two rifles and a pair of pistols.
One rifle securely fits under the top lid, while the other slides in the main compartment. Those rifles don’t ride on top of one another (GGD added padded, detachable divider straps). Velcro and hook and loop straps secure the rifles, and three large front storage pockets hold a litany of necessary range gear.
- 3+ handgun storage
- Removable Velcro divider/main compartment
- Four elastic loop bands
Why It Made the Cut
The Orca Tactical Range Bag offers ample storage and room for three handguns, and these same features make it an excellent option for so much more.
- Tough as nails
- Lots of space
- Organized pockets
- Lack of Molle straps
- Luggage lock not included
The Orca Tactical Gun Range Bag is compact yet has plenty of storage The 600D polyester fabric makes it bulletproof—double sewn at all strength points—and the bag includes top-notch lockable YKK zippers on both side pouches. And the Velcro-faced accessory pockets have plenty of room for displaying morale patches. This bag’s build makes organization easy and customizable, and it has numerous purposeful pockets, pouches, and elastic. The fully padded compartments mean you can even use this as an impromptu camera, diaper, or JIC bag in a pinch.
Q: Do I need a range bag?
Yes, take it from the king of disorganization. When you have a range bag that fits your needs and you take the time to develop an organization system in that bag, you can go to the range knowing everything you need is with you. The days of running back to the truck to grab a target or back to the house to grab a magazine and ammo will be over.
Q: What should I keep in my range bags?
The best thing about a range bag is deciding what goes in it. Aside from the obvious items you need at the range, I never leave home without a good pair of optics, rangefinder, snacks, water, and a quality first-aid kit in my range bag.
Q: What is the ideal size of a range bag?
The ideal size range bag depends on what you plan to use it for. If you plan on hitting the range once a month and toting a single handgun, some ammo, and a few items, you can go with a smaller bag like the BlackHawk Sportster. If you’re a range enthusiast who likes to haul multiple handguns, rifles, accessories, etc., you’ll want a more extensive range bag that can handle loads of gear.
Q: Can I use a backpack as a range bag?
Yes, and backpacks actually aren’t bad options for range bags. As long as the shoulder straps are padded, you can haul plenty of gear. And if your backpack happens to have Molle straps, even better.
To find the best range bags, I tested these by loading them with tons of equipment and hauling them to the range. I placed particular emphasis on durability, organization, ease of use, and if the product performed as the manufacturer advertised it. Also, I tested each bag to see how they carried after I loaded them with gear.
Take it from someone who fought the range bag revolution tooth and nail. I didn’t want to spend the money, and I figured a standard backpack or duffle bag fitted with a few compartments would suffice, but I was wrong. Not only was I an unorganized mess, but I also ripped pockets, lost magazines, and banged around handguns during transport.
Buying one of the best range bags will make your range days more efficient and organized. Find one that fits your needs, and you’ll wonder how you ever got along without one.