SB610 makes SBR’s or Short Barrel Rifles legal in the great state of Michigan. With this change we are seeing a unprecedented rush of new registrations for SBR’s and an increase in registrations for AR and AK pistols so that people can begin building now while they await a tax stamp.
Once those stamps start to arrive and people take possession or complete their builds for SBR’s we are likely to see an increase in the amount of SBR related products that come to market. HEavier buffer tubes, collapsible stocks and ways to facilitate transport for these weapons. One interesting thing about the way the SBR laws are in Michigan is that a SBR configured and registered as a pistol is legal for concealed carry. (This is not legal advice please consult a lawyer for actual legalities in your municipality). As such when adhering to the concealed carry laws with a proper CPL it is possible to conceal an SBR in your vehicle.
This is leading some to install larger center consoles in trucks to fit AR-Pistols/SBR’s as well as backpacks designed to carry these short rifles. There is certainly not as many SBR bags as there is 72 hour bags on the market but you are likely to find more options for this niche market than one may think.
Tactical Tailor is the maker of one such bag and it is called the Phantom Trekker SBR Bag.
Phantom Trekker SBR Bag
Tactical Tailor makes this bag in a wide assortment of colors that range from welcome back from Afghanistan to it was great seeing you at Starbucks yesterday. While those are not the official colors (TT you think we can talk about changing the color names?) I hope you get my point.
The bag itself is designed to look like a hiking pack so while it can be disguised in civilian colors it may stand out due its shape. How many times walking around the zoo or town do you see a person with a wilderness pack? You can get a good idea of how big it is with these specifications.
- Main Compartment: 30 1/2″ tall x 13 1/2″ wide x 6″ deep
- Front Pocket: 20″ tall x 6 1/2″ wide x 3″ deep
- Top Pocket: 2 1/2″ tall x 9 1/2″ wide x 8 1/2″ deep
- 1000 denier Cordura nylon on key stress areas
- mix of 500 denier and 420 denier rip stop making up the rest of the bag
Large Main Compartment
30 1/2″ tall x 13 1/2″ wide x 6″ deep
The main compartment is designed to hold a SBR. Not only is it designed to hold the SBR securely it has been designed to allow very fast access to the gun. The compartment will fit a 10.5 AR rifle with the Sig Stabilizing Brace or collapsed stock without having to break the weapon down. If you need to carry a larger carbine, it will accommodate up to a 16 inch rifle that is broken into 2 pieces.
We run a 10.3 barrel with a KX3 which adds an extra 3.28 inches, while it is a bit tight it fits and is still easily removable. If you went with a full 10.5 barrel you would need to use a shorter break on the end or it would not fit. Also be aware that the KAK extended pistol lowers designed for the sig brace will not work with a 10.3 or 10.5 barrel and a muzzle device. You may want to either go with a shorter buffer tube or barrel to get it to fit in this bag.
The compartment opens in a non traditional way opening from the bottom up as opposed to top down like 99% of other bags. There is a reinforced grab handle that allows you to actually grab the compartment flap pull up and access the gun without having to mess around with any zippers. Let’s face it if you’re carrying an SBR bag on you or in your car you’re likely going to be doing so for a reason, fast access would be a must.
The inside of the quick access flap is lined with hook and loop so you can attach magazine carriers, admin dappers or other hook and loop fastened pouches that will fit your required loadout.
The main compartment interior is completely lined with hook and loop material and includes 4 adjustable straps that can be moved around to fit your exact weapon. This can even be used to secure a secondary gun or several mag carriers depending on your needs. Additional pouches and kits can be purchased to configure this main compartment as you see fit. While I could easily fit my G19 in the compartment I have opted to carry that on body or in one of the outer pouches and instead carry mags in the large pouch.
20″ tall x 6 1/2″ wide x 3″ deep
This is an easily accessible standard top down zippered backpack pocket. The zippers only open the pocket about half the way so you have a deep concealed pocket even when fully unzipped. The upper half is lined with hook and loop for attaching more pouches or a holster.
If you wanted to conceal carry off the body this is the most likely spot to do so. This is also a great place for other gear that needs to be hidden yet accessible such as comm’s, magazines, rope, knives or a med kit.
Included in this pouch is a mini hook and loop organizer. This was a nice bonus as there is no mention of this at all in the online summary of the product but is in the pictures. This mini organizer will hold 5 pistol magazines. In addition it has MOLLe/PALS attachment points so you could attach a holster to this or knife or flashlights. There is a zipped pocket as well for small maps, identification or administrative items like pens notebooks and such.
2 1/2″ tall x 9 1/2″ wide x 8 1/2″ deep
This is a very small rectangular pouch that will be right behind your head when wearing the bag. It is an odds and ends type pouch. There is no organizational straps or hook and loop so its along the lines of a dump pouch.
On the lower outside portions you will find 2 mesh pockets perfectly sized for a Nalgene bottle. The mesh allows the bottle top sweat and breath without soaking your bag.
Running down the middle of the Front Pocket you will find a series of 10 Cordura loops. These loops are the perfect size for shotgun shells but as those would announce what is in the bag that is likely not the reason they are there. What they would work for and the purpose I believe they were designed for was to allow for tying gear such as tarps, bed rolls, jackets or other soft bulky items you may need but would not want in the way of the gun. Since the large pouch has the grab handle and easy pull system even larger items tied here will not interfere with getting to your SBR/Pistol.
At the very top directly over the top pocket you will also find bungy cord for attaching light clothing or a helmet.
The bag is designed to look like a hiking pack and is designed to be worn in the same way. There is a double shoulder straps with reinforcements with a cross strap at chest height. Both shoulder straps have plastic D-rings for additional attachments. There is a reinforced belt strap to distribute weight that is fully adjustable,. . The straps are all 3 inches wide at the thinnest points and a bit wider at the base for a stronger attachment point. All of the hardware on the straps is heavy duty plastic for low weight and weather resistance. The backpack, shoulder and waist straps are all padded mesh to increase airflow and reduce moisture.
In addition to the standard hiking style backpack this bag was designed to be used in a multi mission configuration. At the base of the backpack is a small pocket that conceals a large panel of 420 denier. This panel is designed to zip around and conceal the backpack straps turning the bag into a low drag grab bag. For those looking to stuff this in a trunk or under a truck seat you can have all the benefits of the straps neatly tucked away but in a fast grab low drag solution that won’t get hung up when you go to pull it out.
To make this grab bag style of carry easier Tactical Tailor has provided you with thick padded handles on the sides as well as the top of this bag. Due to the shape and the construction of the bag a suitcase or briefcase carry is actually very easy and balanced (dependent of how you attach your gear via hook and loop).
This is not a 72 hour pack, day pack or a bag like anything else we have ever reviewed. Since it is so unique and outside our typical reviews it is hard to compare this to anything else we have worked with. It does not have as much storage in it as you would think based on it’s size. You could load it up with gear, but then you would not be able to access the SBR/Pistol and the bag would become useless.
This bag is very singularly purposed. If you are a trucker for example having plenty of spare mags easily reachable under your seat this would be great. For the day hiker in dangerous territory with bear or other predatory animals that want more than a 10mm on them this is a huge win. For an emergency get home bag in a SHTF type scenario or in an evacuation situation where you don’t want to look tactical I can see this being beneficial.
The drawback I see is that this would not work well for your operator style or bodyguard type. A giant mountain pack would look so far out of place it would make the person wearing it look odd unless in one of the situations listed above. The good news is most of the people reading this blog are not on covert operations in any of the “Stans”. For those reading this blog there is likely plenty of places this bag would allow you to carry without saying hey look over here I have a giant gun.
The product itself is advertised as American made and it is well manufactured. I have been using this bag to transport my SBR to the range as well as carry it around on hikes and while doing yard work. While it has gotten dirty the stitching is holding up great even when I have intentionally loaded it to capacity. The fully adjustable straps do great to offer support and comfort even with heavy loads and extended carry.
Unlike my other bags throwing this in my car was neat and clean while being easy to grab thanks to the ability to hide the straps and store them. This feature has proved to be one of my favorite parts of both this bag and the assault Mil-Spec Monkey bag that is also made by Tactical Tailor.
If you have an SBR/Pistol and have thought hey I want to bring my gun with me then this is likely the bag for you. If your preparing for a evacuation.bug in, bug out emergency situation that involves a rifle this is likely the bag for you. If you are the most tactical range monkey on the plant and want all your friends to bow to the power of your gear whoring then no question this bag is for you.
While the useful applications of this bag may be limited to specific niches, its ability to fill that niche offering the right tool for a speciality job. With quality construction and well thought out use of space, this bag will hold up to the rough environments it was made to perform in.
While $350 is more than some might want to pay, it is inline with the cost of quality American made products and boasts the lifetime warranty that Tactical Tailor has become famous for. This is a prime example of paying the extra money to get the right gear instead of having to pay twice to replace “cheap” gear.
I am glad to add this bag to my collection and have found a place for it in my plans. If you want to get your own SBR/Pistol bag or see the other quality gear put out by Tactical Tailor check them out: http://www.tacticaltailor.com/phantomtrekkersbrbag.aspx