How about a training aid that gives you maximum training benefit while taking up minimal space during pack out? If you’ve served in the military, gone on a long vacation or drove a small car, you know what I mean. When I was given the opportunity to test Explosive Ops Gear’s (EOG) Operator Training Bag I jumped at the opportunity. I have been a fan of odd object strength training for years. Sandbags, atlas stones, ropes, and tires are all extremely beneficial for building a solid foundation of strength that can transition over into any area of your life or job.

Being strong is important, but if you are only strong when you’re gripping a barbell or on a leg press machine, then what good are you in a real life or death situation? If you’re in the military, police or emergency services you should be training with odd objects multiple times a week. Sandbags are great because you can collapse them, pack them away and then fill them when you arrive at your destination. It truly is a take anywhere gym.

I received the Medium Long Shell bag in Multi-cam and upon arrival I gave it the usual detailed inspection. After unfolding the contents (one bag + 2 filler bags) I took a closer look at the quality. First, the exterior bag looked extremely rugged and was made from 1000 denier cordura with 2” milspec seatbelt webbing. What does this mean to you? It is pretty damn rugged and can take a beating. After looking at the materials the next thing you should always do is inspect the stitching.

The stitching on the handles and down the webbing was high quality and reinforced the bag extremely well. The handles were solid and had some shape to them rather than being flat with sharp edges. This gives you a better grip while decreasing the chance of getting a cut on your palm while tossing the bag around.

The zipper is heavy duty with additional Velcro to keep the flap down and zipper covered. The liners had double Velco on the interior of the bag as well as the flap in order to keep the materials inside.

The only aspect that I did not like on initial inspection was the random Velcro patch on the exterior that appears to be present in case you wanted to add a flag or motivational patch.  Personally this bag is going to be tossed, dragged, lifted and carried; the additional patch would just rub on me and be annoying. This would never deter me from purchasing this bag as it could easily be removed if it caused that much of an issue.

The bag is long though thin, however this is the Medium bag. I thought this would be more of an issue but I hardly noticed. I would have liked a little more size during movements such as Sandbag get ups (SBGU) and running; however the size was perfect for compound movements such as clean and jerks (C&J) and throwing it on top of the ruck.

Moving on to the application of the bag. I used the bag with two types of filler but primarily stuck to sand during testing, as it added more weight.

Filler Material:

There are two types of fillers that I would recommend. The first is the playground shredded tire rubber that you can buy from Lowes or Home Depot. This allows you to fill the bag to a greater capacity while still being slightly lighter.

I would recommend this filler if you are using this bag for more compound movements such as clean and jerks, snatching or long but slower movements. It has a more rigid feel and holds shape during quick movements but becomes malleable under pressure (such as falling on it).

The second type of filler is the traditional sand.  Sand is great for a heavier bag that has some give to it which makes it easier to control on your shoulder during movements.

When filling the bag I noticed that the filler bags didn’t reach the full length of the exterior bag. There was an additional 6” of open space around the filler bag at the end. Once the first filler bag was filled to capacity I noticed that the second bag would not be able to fit if filled to capacity. I simply filled the second filler bag up enough to fill the open gap left at the end from the first filler bag.

A simple fix to this would be to utilize a trash bag or fill both filler bags partially and overlap them in the middle. My goal was to test capacity so I went as full as possible (this also allowed me to see if these bags would hold their materials in during the subsequent abuse that was to follow).

Results:

This sandbag was slammed, dragged, tossed, lifted, and hoisted through workouts, during training on the range, and bouncing around in the back of a classic truck for multiple weeks. I have not noticed any significant tearing or ripping of the material or stitching. I thought that it might be caused by only using the bag in gyms or on turf/grass so I decided to do a 400m rotational throw down the road with the bag. The bag still held up great.

The number of handles is perfect. With my old Rogue bag there were three handles and two tags for gripping. The EOG bag gave me numerous options and because the handles were beefed up I was able to connect them to ropes or carabiners for drags and hoisting.

The filler bags held the sand in perfectly even when filled to max capacity. If I was planning to fill this once and use for a long time I would throw a little tape on the filler bag flaps as an extra precaution. (I learned this the hard way with the Rogue back around year 3 of owning it).

In conclusion, this is a great bag from a great veteran owned company. The additional handles and the attention to detail that went into creating this bags ensures that it will last through years of abuse. I plan to take this bag with me on future trips to supplement my training anywhere in the world.

If you are in the market for a sandbag, or you are into odd object training, I highly recommend ExplosiveOps Gear and their functional conditioning products.

Pros:

  • Durable, takes an incredible beating without tearing.
  • Filler bags are beefed up as well and did not leak during testing, even when filled to max capacity.
  • Extra handles (compared to other Sandbags) increases the options for training.
  • Beefed up handles, ensures a solid grip without the annoying cutting of your hand that flat nylon handles sometimes cause.
  • Multiple sizes available to fit your needs.
  • Additional webbing sewn in to add to the strength of the bag. Can take the abuse you dish out even when filled to max capacity.
  • Reinforced stitching on all handles and additional webbing.
  • When empty it collapses down enough to fit into the bottom of any ruck sack.
  • Extremely versatile.

Cons:

  • Filler bags do not match the length of the sand-bag.
  • Velcro patch on the exterior can get annoying on your skin during long workouts. (Minor issue).

The company states that the medium long OTB shell measures 34″ x 9″ and is a 0-120lb bag. You can use up to two medium long liner bags in this shell. You can also just use heavy duty Hefty bags as well. If you’d like a custom color bag or your team/gym logo embroidered on bag, just email them at explosiveopsgear@aol.com for pricing and lead time.

MSRP: $120.00

Functionality: 5/5

Durability: 5/5

Cost: 5/5

Comfort: 5/5

Style: 5/5

Overall Total: 25/25

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 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.

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About The Author

Special Forces veteran turned Vetpreneur. Chet served as a U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret) communications sergeant and then as an intelligent sergeant during his team time. With multiple combat deployments, visiting both Afghanistan and Iraq, Chet firmly believes that the Army took the best hair years of his life. Chet has a Masters of Science in Sports and Health Sciences and is in the process of completing another Masters of Science in Exercise Science. When he is not nerding out over physiology he spends his free time lifting weights, shooting guns and racing bikes (mountain and road). He believes in solar flares, sun spots, sporadic E and he lives by the motto of “do and learn everything you can, you only get one go at this life.

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