I travel about once a month and about half of that time it is usually overseas in austere conditions. I’ve destroyed my share of bags through wear and tear, and I’ve come to know a good bag from a cheap bag.
Once I received the Mission Ready™ 3.0 90L bag I was off and out the door on a few trips. I’ve traveled three times since receiving the bag and already have more trips scheduled. The bag is a near perfect size for everything I need for a 5-7 day trip overseas or for teaching an out of town, 2-day firearms class.
When flying overseas for a week, I’m able to fit all of my PT gear, shoes, toiletries, and clothes, including a suit. I was worried about my last trip because the forecast called for snow, but I had no issues fitting in additional cold weather gear.
When driving out of town to teach a 2-day class, I can fit all my range clothes and tactical gear that I don’t feel comfortable leaving in the car. It’s nice to be able to bring in one bag instead of luggage, gun bag and range bag. I can even fit my BCM carbine, but I have to break it down, though it would be nice if the bag were just 3-4 inches longer.
I know that bags going through the airlines will suffer the usual wear and tear and that’s to be expected. One thing I can’t stand is breaking part of a bag and having to pay more than the bag is worth to get it fixed. 5.11 has come up with a great set of instructions for replacing commonly worn out parts of the bag (skid rail, u-foot, wheel housing, wheel, and corner protector). http://static.511tactical.com/media/Product/3-luggage-replacement-parts-inst.pdf I found this to be an exceptional idea. Though the wheels appear to be heavy duty, I can see them needing replaced, especially with all my traveling overseas. I’ve walked out of many airports where I’m pulling my bag through dirt, mud, gravel, on messed up concrete or just the harsh terrain dragging it from FOB to FOB. It’s normal wear and tear, but most companies don’t have a plan for those that travel in austere conditions. However, it looks like 5.11 is leaning forward here.
The bag stays upright on it’s own, which is surprising because not many duffels will do that. I’ve had several from different companies that were supposed to stay upright, but they would easily tip over. This was not the case with this bag.
The bag easily fits in the trunk of most modern sedans and I had no problem with it in a rental car.
Features Details listed from 5.11
- Clear vinyl document storage pocket and business/ID card holder
- Retractable handle and self-retracting grab handles
- 4 external zippered pockets with name tape and morale patch holders
- Three internal pockets and light colored interior lining
- Dedicated top compartment with optional roll away dividers for top loader access to the main compartment
- Replaceable heavy duty wheels, wheel housing, skid rails, corner protectors and U feet
- Internal fiberglass rods allow for easy loading and the bag to stand on its end or compact storage when removed
- Impact resistant bottom base panel
- Removable webbing strap with buckle included for tethering additional 5.11® luggage or bags
- Lockable YKK® zippers
- Water-resistant 1050D nylon and 1680D ballistic nylon
The bag dimensions are: 28.75″H x 16.0″L x 12.25″D, for a total of 57 inches. That’s 5 inches less than what most airlines allow. The next size up bag that 5.11 offers is the SOMS™ 3.0 126L, which is 2.5 inches over what most airlines will allow for a checked bag.
If I were able to make any changes, I would add additional “civilianized” colors, like maybe a dark blue. I would also move the outside pockets to the inside and would add 5 inches total to the dimensions along with making the bag slight lighter in weight.
Overall I’m very impressed with the bag and would gladly recommend it. It is well built, with lots of pockets and options. The two fiberglass rods maintain the shape and structure of the bag and ensure that it stays in an upright position when needed. I suspect the bag will last many more trips.