Backpacks are one of those things that serious gear-heads can get really excited about. Anybody who has done a bit of traveling or had to hike long distances with their gear should have developed a real appreciation for versatile, capable and–possibly most important– comfortable packs. So when seasoned travelers, adventurers, and military veterans see a quality backpack they tend to show a lot of interest and want to try it on and play with all the bells and whistles.

The Hazard 4 Clerk is exactly that kind of bag, and I could easily write a thesis on every small thoughtful design feature that makes this bag exceptional. Instead I decided to go over everything in a detailed product video. You will find additional details and anecdotes in the article below.

Video review highlights:

Exterior: 2:21
Laptop compartment: 9:40
Concealed carry pistol demo: 10:45
Interior: 14:08
Drainage testing: 16:39
Concealed carry carbine demo: 22:00

I was lucky enough to attend SHOT show 2017 with Spotter Up in Las Vegas last month, and since it was my first time at the event I wanted to keep a tight budget and pack light. So pack light I did. With one small backpack for the whole week I figured I was playing it smart and keeping myself easily mobile. It worked out great until the last day, when I realized I had accumulated roughly three times as much gear and swag as I had arrived with at the beginning of the week. I realized I needed a bigger and better bag for my flight home.
The first name to pop into my head when I thought about backpacks was Hazard 4 Tactical. Having already used Hazard 4 products I knew they made highly adaptable and durable products with excellent designs and aesthetics. (I am currently sitting next to a Hazard 4 Defense Courier Messenger bag which is what I usually lug my laptop around in during my urban adventures). I made a beeline to the Hazard 4 booth using the sweet SHOT show app on my smart phone, and found a well designed booth full of people playing with a variety of bags, and browsing a newly released line of Hazard 4 watches which looked pretty nice as well.

Some attachment and buckle options for Hazard 4 bags and packs.

Hazard 4 bags have attachment points where you can add your own choice of hard points or lights.

Hazard 4 strobe light that can be added or removed by the user.

Being a civilian, the first bags that caught my eye were some really cool grey color backpacks that had no molle attachments visible on the outside and seemed like they would work as great covert tactical bags for someone like me. But according to Filip the owner of Hazard 4 who was in the booth, the grey bags were prototypes and aren’t on the market yet, so we will have to wait for those to finish their testing and design phase.

I also learned that Hazard 4 Tactical now has a separate division called Civilian Labs LLC, which will be the portion of the company that will release those types of equally high-speed, but more covert products for civilians and low profile customers.

After chatting with Filip about Civilian Labs, Spotter Up and some of his new products, he gave me a nice demonstration of the Clerk Bag and its features. I was really impressed with the thought that goes into their bags, and the amount of features that Filip revealed in just this one bag made my head spin. After some negotiations i was lucky enough to leave the booth with a brand new Clerk bag. You can watch Filip give his demonstration here

The specs from the Hazard 4 Tactical website state the following:

_ padded back-carrier pocket fits most 15″ laptops
_ back-pocket will also fit hydration bladders (up to 100 oz./3L)
_ anatomic, thermoformed back-panel w/ air circulation
_ 3D air-mesh underside on straps/belt for breathability
_ hydration hose/antenna port to main and back areas
_ full-width flip-down shelf w/ organizer to access on chest
_ protective, padded pods w/ velcro panel area above
_ large grab-handles for carrying or pulling to chest/back
_ internal mesh zip/elastic pockets for organizing items
_ high-quality 3D Hazard 4® logo in subdued color scheme
_ wide, padded belt has MOLLE webbing for pouches, etc. (belt is not removable)
_ buckle on harness strap for rapid drops in emergencies
_ compression-straps (which also secure tubular items)

Weapons Accommodations:
_ generous MOLLE for attaching holsters/mag pouches
_ side flat-pockets for paddle holsters/rifle magazines
_ hydration pocket also has velcro panel for attaching covertly our
optional modular pistol/magazine holster

What’s Included:
_ 1x Sternum strap

Internal SizeNo
External Size~18″ L x 11″ W x 6.2″ D (46 x 28 x 16 cm)
Main Compartment~17.7″ L x 10.5″ W x 6″ D (45 x 27 x 15 cm) – 18.8 L
Laptop Compartment~17.4″ L x 10.5″ W x .8″ D (44 x 27 x 2 cm)
Total Gear Capacity~20.1 L (1,227.6 cubic inches) – including hard shells/pods
Product WeightNo
Care InstructionsSee product tag
Main MaterialInvista® 1000D Cordura® (500D Camo models); PU x2 water-repellent coated for superior water resistance.
Overall sizeNo
DesignLong Beach, California – In-House Team.
ManufacturingImported

Once I got to my hotel, I sorted through all the things I needed to get home from Vegas and started finding places in the Clerk for them to go. I managed to fit everything I had brought with me and everything I had accumulated at SHOT into the bag in a well-organized manner, although I think I essentially tested the bags capacity and tensile strength of the handles on the first day having it.

The design of the shoulder, chest and waist straps allowed me to carry this bag fully loaded on my back comfortably throughout my travel home from Las Vegas. The bag also fit nicely into the overhead compartment of the airplanes.

Clerk bag full of swag

Main compartment full of clothes and gear

The Clerk loaded to capacity and hanging safely off the bathroom floor from the side carry handle. The sturdy carry handles on three sides of the bag make it easy to grab and go from any orientation.

In the weeks following SHOT show I took this bag everywhere with me, and used it for a variety of functions. I loaded it up with everything I would need for a day of shooting and that would normally fill up one entire range bag and possibly take additional space in a rifle case.

I also loaded it up for a multi-gun match and it worked well as a range bag for when you have to keep picking up and moving positions. The amount of organization options and high strength handles makes this a highly versatile, easy and quick to use bag, as long as you don’t have a low-profile requirement, as the molle webbing on the outside definitely gives it a tactical/military style aesthetic.

Packing up the Clerk for a range day loadout. The ability to open up the main compartment fully allows easy access to the interior of the bag, and makes this an easy bag to work out of. It’s ideal for a range bag or first responder kit for instance.

The organizational pockets in the exterior pocket open messenger style, which encourages a workbench style of use when hung off the shoulder or placed on the ground.

Loading magazines before a match. The organizational pockets work well for securing pistol mags.

The Clerk is right at home on the range.

Blending in to its environment like a Chameleon

I made sure to see how well I could fit a 16″ carbine into the bag along with everything else I would need for a range day, including a full-sized concealed pistol and ammo for each. The bag easily fit my rifle with variable powered optic with extra room for my other shooting necessities. There is a zippered opening on the top of the bag that allows some flexibility for fitting oversized equipment into the main compartment.

I broke down my competition rifle and fit the barrel through this opening to see how well it worked. I also tested out quickly I was able to unsling the bag and get the carbine out and into action -you can see my very first attempt in the full product review video at the top, wherein I also demonstrate the concealed carry and quick access capability for pistols.

Full range day load out with 16″ competition rifle and concealed pistol with quick access capability. I was able to remove the rifle, assemble it and put it into action relatively quickly on my first attempt (see main video). With practice this could be done very fast. This rifle has a slick rail with no lights, iron sights or aiming devices. Any of the above mentioned accessories would make it more difficult to quickly remove the upper through the top opening of the bag.

I’ve used high quality backpacks for years in a variety of situations: A three-day bicycle ride and camping trip down the central California coast; Snowboarding with a daypack in the Rocky mountains; Three day travel bags for multiple deployments to Afghanistan. A well-built, well designed and comfortable bag is essential for hauling your gear around for long periods or distances, or else you run the risk of neck or back injury from uneven or improperly supported loads putting strain where you don’t want it.

I can honestly say that the Hazard 4 Clerk is one of the most–if not the most–comfortable backpacks I’ve ever worn. This will likely be my new default travel bag and I’m already using it regularly as a day pack/overnight bag.

The Hazard 4 Clerk can be purchased direct from their website here

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Hazard 4 via Spotter Up. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

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