Note: This review was contributed by one of our readers. Jeremy from Alaska compares his previous EDC bag from Maxpedition to his newest one, the Rothco Advanced Tactical Hip Bag.
I carry concealed on a very regular basis, but sometimes there are situations where on-body carry is just not practical for me. So, I take the next available option: off-body carry in a “man-purse.”
Now, set aside your reservations for this, because I understand most, if not all, the disadvantages to taking this approach. This review is for those who take this option.
About two years ago, I bought a Maxpedition Jumbo EDC, and found it quite adequate to the task for my every day carry needs: from handgun, holster, and reloads, to first aid kit, multitool, flashlight, cellphone, handheld electronics and accessories, water and a few snacks.
However, the Fastex clasp over the main lid broke which, paired with a couple of minor annoyances I had with that bag, gave me good opportunity to look for a new bag. Since Maxpedition’s “tan” is actually a greenish-tan better suited for the Army’s digital sage pattern, I sought something closer to the coyote tan of my other gear.
The Advanced Tactical Hip Bag
Bug Out Bag Guide offered the perfect replacement. I wound up paying about $15 more than I did for the Maxpedition, but just out of the packaging, it seems to have been well worth it.
Now, both bags follow largely the same layout: The main bag partitioned into a rear compartment for handgun & holster, and the main compartment itself.
Outside the main bag are four smaller external compartments, one being open-ended, cinchable, and able to be further secured by a velcro tab much like you find on some rifle magazine pouches. There are three other zippered ones on the top, front, and the opposite side.
The main lid extends over the front to secure the main compartment and cover the aforementioned front compartment, which itself features an extra open pocket. The lid has a zippered pocket, too, and a strip of velcro long enough to accommodate two flag-sized patches, or nametape, etc.
Both offer a padded shoulder strap that can quick-release with its Fastex buckle, and is anchored to one end of the main bag that features a small area of MOLLE/PALS webbing for attaching a small gadget pouch (radio, etc). Both bags also offer breathable cushioning on the bag’s back.
But, it’s the details that set the two apart, and all in all, I think the bag offered by BOBG is the better of the two.
Concealed Handgun Compartment
I carry a full-size HK USP45 (one of the larger service semiautos). The Maxpedition accommodated it and a Bianchi Black Widow holster just fine, with room to spare for an extra magazine. BOBG’s offering does it at least as well. Both also feature velcro backing on one side of the compartment, to help further secure handguns in holsters.
Both bags feature enough space to fit a military-issue IFAK (enclosed in its case) with just a tad more room to fit in, say, a pair of sunglasses in their case. The compartment of both have a mesh pocket on one side, and a regular pocket on the other.
Where they differ most significantly is how they keep out dust and moisture, given the gaps left open by the lid. The Maxpedition does nothing to keep small loose items from spilling out, but the Advanced Tactical Hip Bag (henceforth referred to as “ATHB”) has a liner you can cinch closed to prevent that as well as block dust and moisture from getting in.
Neither bag is completely waterproof, but BOBG’s bag does feature a moisture-resistant lining (the sort you find on the lid of old-school ALICE packs) on practically all of its interior surfaces.
The underside of the Maxpedition has a single loop of webbing to hold the main compartment’s strap in place. The Advanced Tactical Hip Bag has two more to either side.
Both are comparable, including the MOLLE webbing on the side compartment. The Maxpedition is a tad roomier on the side compartments (for example, you can fit three USGI 30-rd M4 mags into the open pocket while the ATHB can fit only two), and offers paracord attached to the zippers (to make them easier to grasp while wearing gloves). It also features a strip of webbing in the front compartment for a flashlight, multitool, pens, etc.
The Advanced Tactical Hip Bag instead has a zippered mesh pocket and a clip lanyard. The ATHB also offers another pocket inside the other side compartment (the one with the MOLLE webbing) that can fit a full-size double-stacked pistol magazine. Furthermore, the ATHB’s top zippered pocket features MOLLE webbing, something the Maxpedition lacks.
Both feature an adjustable strap that runs through a shoulder pad, secured by velcro, and permanently sewn into one end of the bag (behind some MOLLE webbing), and fastened by a quick-release Fastex buckle on the other end of the strap. The Maxpedition strap is sturdier, and has a plastic D-ring above the MOLLE webbing, while the other end features another section of velcro for another patch.
However, the Advanced Tactical Hip Bag has a metal clip (almost like a miniature carabiner), and yet another Fastex-secured small pouch for a knife, multitool, flashlight, cellphone, pistol magazine, and a sleeve for a pen.
I wore my Maxpedition on pretty much a daily basis, taking it to work, hiking, etc. I’ll be happy to submit a review on this bag after a couple months’ worth of use. If you want to get your own Advanced Tactical Hip Bag CLICK HERE NOW.
UPDATE: After Using The Bag For 2+ Months!
Two months owning the bag, and I still like it very much. Here’s a follow-up review I had promised.
I discovered a way to free up the main compartment by moving my rip-away IFAK to the outside. I secure it by sticking it on the loop strip on the external flap and running a carabiner through the top pocket’s center MOLLE loop with the other running through the IFAK’s top handle (see attached photo). It makes opening the flap (and accessing the front pocket) a little more cumbersome, but it works until I can get something on the order of AR500’s EPIK just to use with this bag.
Also, while the thinner main strap might be something of a compromise, I figured recently that it might be a good thing if you find yourself having to cut it away.
Overall, the bag has survived a few hikes and two months of nearly daily use. I have thus far been very satisfied with it.
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