I recently had a need to find a good pack to carry a short-barreled rifle (SBR). I’ve used other manufacturers packs with full length rifles and shotguns, and smaller packs if I was willing to break down a rifle, but hadn’t explored SBR-specific options. Therefore, I began looking at various manufacturers and one option that came up was Elite Survival Systems (ESS) Stealth SBR backpack


The ESS Stealth SBR pack is a fairly basic backpack. While they call it “Stealth” to me that is a stretch. No it is not overtly tactical, as it has no MOLLE or external Velcro, in all black (or grey and black) it also doesn’t scream hiker backpack either. A broader color palette would help it blend in to the sea of hiking backpacks that are out there.

It has a very large main compartment and a few other smaller/tangential pockets. The main compartment can be fully unzipped and opened flat. On the back of the compartment is edge-to-edge Velcro and companion straps to allow you to custom fit your firearm. At the top of the back is a thin zippered compartment that enables use of separately sold armor panels.

On the top half of the main compartment is top to bottom PALS/MOLLE webbing. Completely customizable to your specs, I set mine up with AR mag pouches, and IFAK and other options.

The front of the pack has four separate compartments, and the waist belt itself has two small ones. From top to bottom: a very small zippered pocket on the top of the bag between the should straps, a rolled edge (like a dump ouch or dry bag) pocket closed by side-release buckles, a small wallet/cell phone/headphones/keys pocket with a weather resistant zipper, and a lower compartment with multiple slots and other small pockets inside (good for pens, knives, tourniquets, small notebooks etc.. The waist belt pockets are very small but could hold car keys, a pocket knife or other small items.

The main compartment was spacious and easy to use/access, holding (just barely) and 8.5” SBR with folding stock. A collapsible stock on the same length weapon would likely have been too long. Any shorter barrel combinations with folding or collapsible stocks would fit perfectly.

The other pockets were less useful to me other than the pocket on the front of the pack. I found them either too small, or too difficult to access and so rarely used them.

The pack is well made and robust. Two carry handles (on top and side) give a couple of other options for carrying the bag other than wearing it was a pack. I think the pack will be very durable over time, and the buckles and d-rings all seemed sturdy.

Plenty of padding and adjustability on the waist and shoulder straps make for comfortable wear. It is comfortable, even when loaded with rifle, mags, ammo etc.

One thing I noticed missing, when compared to similar packs was a water bottle holder. Definitely would recommend their considering adding one.

Cost – $189.99 from the ESS website though you can often find is 20% cheaper through other distributors


It’s a decent pack albeit it heavier than some many similar size packs out there. I would recommend you look for the right pack for your needs, with the right pocket/compartment set-ups for how you intend to run it, in the right weight and price range. This pack will do the trick for some, but with so many options out there, there may be other packs that are a better fit for you.

From the manufacturer

A smaller, streamlined version of our STEALTH discreet rifle backpack with handgun compartments, the STEALTH SBR covert rifle backpack has a discreet, modern appearance with a robust tactical interior. The STEALTH SBR has an internal length of 20 inches to accommodate most short-barreled rifles, and is built with ample MOLLE/velcro attachment points for carrying magazines and accessories.

•Heavy-duty exterior provides a discreet, modern appearance

•500 denier nylon inside provides durability

•Main compartment is lined with velcro loop for complete customization

•Adjustable tie-down system to secure weapon included

•Accessory panel has both velcro and PALS webbing for adding pouches

•Zippered comapartment for armored/ballistic panel

•Padded sides and bottom protect firearm

•Front compartment has admin panel for organization and a mesh pocket for visibility of parts, etc.

•Quick reference pocket near the top handle

•S-shaped backpack straps with sternum strap for comfortable carrying

•Heavy-duty #10 covered zippers with quiet cord pull tabs

•Waist strap with zippered pockets and quick-release buckle

•Vented back panel with aluminum stay for support

•Heavy-duty carry handles on top and sides of discreet SBR bag

•Discreet rifle case backpack available in Black and Heather Gray


Dimensions: 20” x 12” x 7.5”

Weight: 4 pounds, 11 ounces.


Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product. The pack was returned to the manufacturer after review.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


By DougP

Doug is a former CIA officer with extensive overseas experience in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. He has an MBA from Wharton and worked in high tech, private equity and manufacturing. He regularly writes on business and intelligence topics for both web and print publications and advises on film and TV productions

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