I received the Vanquest messenger bag from one of our writers to review. This isn’t a bag that I would normally purchase because I already have a few messenger bags. For me messenger bags are great for daily carry to work or for leisure use but not really something I’d take to the gun range. I prefer instead to use a square range bag. My reasoning for this is not all gun ranges are set up the same way and I prefer a bag that will sit upright and not fall over. Some lanes let you use a cart to settle your gun bag on or it can be placed along a back wall. My preference is to keep all of my gear within my eyesight and not leaning against a tree or chair behind me.
Upon receiving the bag I wasn’t sure what to think. The Envoy had so much ‘going on’ for it that I was nearly overwhelmed. I could instantly tell the designers put a lot of forethought into making a good bag. They created something burly, stylish and practical. Truly a good bag with durable construction and nice compartmentalization in the overall design. It can take a beating.
I sat and stared at all of the zippered pockets, felt the sturdy material and instantly thought about the 2017 Shot show, two weeks away, and how I could put this bag to use for single or multi-day travel and beyond. It could easily hold a laptop, a Nalgene water bottle, pens, my hoody and nutrition bars. It was definitely made with Everyday Carry in Mind (EDC). I’ll tell you right now this bag is of the highest quality. There is a lot to like about it and it’s one of my favorite bags. This thing is ultra portable and relatively waterproof. You can really cinch down the top flap to keep light rain out.
The night before the 2017 Jan SHOT show I began to pack the bag. I jammed it full of business cards, Spotter Up patches, electronics items, some clothing, books and much more. The bag was heavy from all of my gear however it felt comfortable slung over my shoulders. Despite a lot of walking the excellent workmanship made my trip easy.
Being able to access my plan tickets, iPhone, and iPod was made easier too. It is constructed of 1,000-D Mil-grade Cordura® fabric with water-repellent Teflon® fabric protector by DuPont® (500-D Mil-grade Cordura® on Multicam & Multicam-Black). I carried the bag through the airport and straight into the hotel once I arrived in Vegas. It served me well. Let’s get into the details:
The Envoy has two, comfortable neoprene handles stitched with inverted seams and these seat over the cover flap. The neoprene handles are soft to the hand. This makes it easy to carry even when the bag is fully loaded despite long periods of travel and through places like a train depot or airport.
This is an aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing touch on the bag. The top cover of the Envoy includes a long zipper which allows quick access to a laptop computer, paper targets, maps, ammo boxes or anything else you can think of putting inside there. It’s roomy even for a bulky power supply and has a sleeve for up to a 15″ laptop computer. You can insert papers in here without wrinkling them. In the image below you can see my hearing protection, a First Spear holster and other goodies I stowed away.
The zipper allows the mouth of the flap to open widely. The bag has RC-Class YKK® lockable zippers, reversed for protection. There are circular zipper loops made of paracord to help you open and close the compartments.
They Vanquest bag has a strap named the GT-Cobra Sling Strap. Great name. The strap is durable, comfortable and ergonomically sound. Great for most users however a longer strap for taller people would be ideal. The strap is useful for someone looking to place this bag over their back when hustling on a racing bike or stowing it over the lap while riding a motorcycle. The sling can be adjusted for varying lengths and comfort. It has s stabilizing strap that can be used to fasten the bag securely to your body; important when moving on yor bike or jogging through a bus depot.
Place it high over the shoulder blades when moving quickly across unstable terrain or seat it against the hip for immediate access to your gun when in shaky territory. The specs on the strap are: GT-COBRA™ Sling Strap that uses THE world-renowned ITW / AustriAlpin GT-COBRA buckle (non-metallic, crush-proof, and rated at 500-lb tensile strength).
This strap can be adjusted easily and is padded well enough to keep your shoulder from getting sore. For those travelers that need quick access, such as commuters, you can tighten the strap quickly. This is an AMBI-dextrous bag and it can be switched between your left and right sides.
The shoulder pad is constructed with an enhanced 3″ shoulder pad of non-slip material. It is very comfortable and will stay in place due to the three, durable locking straps made of velcro material. do you notice the stitching? The entire bag is made with high tensile strength bonded nylon thread.
One touch I liked was the expandable Nalgene bottle pockets stitched at the ends of the bag for a 32 oz capacity bottle. Some bags don’t include a pocket feature to hold your hydration source but Vanquest scored a win for me. When not in use the flexible-pocket stays flat and when in use the shock cord loop will secure the bottle smartly. No need to worry about losing your bottle or other item you might stow there.
The bag comes with a durable MOLLE, PALS webbing system which allows you to quickly attach a MOLLE pouch onto the PALS webbing in seconds. Vanquest also offers what they call the Duraflex® MOLLE Stick. Instead of using traditional ties and clips the MOLLE sticks allow for easy threading through the webbing.
The image below shows how simple this can be. The stick inserts into the PALS easily. This is done by using the pull-forward cord which unlocks the top latch, and is followed by an upward pull. This motion removes the MOLLE Stick from the webbing. You can also bridge the pull cords together to enable the fastest one-handed removal of multiple MOLLE Sticks. They are made of high tensile strength Acetal polymers.
One of the nice features Vanquest came up with is their replacement of traditional hook and loop or MOLLE webbing attachment points with a system they call the MOLLE-Air system. This is lighter-weight and you can attach any system without the use of adapters.
“This system combines ultra-durable Cordura® fabric, laminated with loop face that has laser-cut and stitch-reinforced MOLLE slots.”
It can be used to place patches or identifier tags over the flap and I put this to good use at the SHOT show. People kept staring at our logo in good part because the patch stood out on the flap. But safety is one of the most important things when riding and the hook and loop can be used to affix reflective patches, reflective strips or even a lighting feature when riding at dusk.
You can see the numerous pockets on the bag with the additional hook and loop material running vertically on the compartments. Sturdy zippers with pulls allow fast access to the pockets. Total of 22 pockets and slots for maximum organization. The front pocket can be used as a concealed carry pocket or for documents. The bag uses large clasps to close and lock the main flap.
The Drop-In Organizer is the one feature I really liked. This feature allowed me to store my ammo boxes any way I wanted and gave the bag more structure so it could stand upright. The gray and orange color are a nice contrast to the black bag (also available in other colors).
There are three, square-shaped orange inserts that can be used in numerous ways to create sub-compartments inside the drop-in organizer. Notice the fabric handles and buckles on the organizer. They are made with a high-visibility, lightweight & moisture resistant 210-D Ripstop nylon.
I took a lot of photos of the bag and I could have taken more. This is simply a brilliant bag. Everything on the bag is practical. The zippers, the compartments, the organizer are all spot-on. This bag served me well at SHOT show to store the numerous catalogues the manufacturers were handing out.
The Envoy 3.0 is available for $149.99. It is a winner. One of the downsides to the bag is it isn’t a ‘light-weight’ bag per se due in part to the thick material they use to make the bag. However it cannot be torn easily and despite the thickness and few added ounces (overall 2.60 pounds) it really isn’t an issue at all. This bag is a winner. Something you should look at getting.
Overall Total: 23/25
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Vanquest via Spotter Up. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
● NEW: Ambidextrous & collapsible bottle pockets fit 1-Liter Nalgene bottles with elastic cord retention. Pocket closes flat when not in use.
● NEW: Additional Loop panels inside Main and CCW Compartment for accessory attachment
● NEW: Stabilizer strap connector made from ultra-durable Hypalon
● Net Weight: 2.60 pounds
● Exterior Size: 11″ (H) x 17″ (W) x 7″ (D)
● Main Compartment (Interior): 10″ (H) x 16″ (W) x 6″ (D)
● Fully padded main compartment with loop panels for attachment
● High-visibility, lightweight 210-D Ripstop Nylon interior
● Padded sleeve compartment for a tablet or a laptop (up to 15″)
● Spacious compartment for CCW holsters and accessories
● Over 22 organizing compartments and slots
● Ambidextrous design
● Luggage handle attachment with a zippered pocket
● Non-slip, adjustable shoulder pad
● MOLLE/PALS webbings on front and sides for accessoriesMaterials:
● 1,000-D Mil-grade Cordura® fabric with water-repellent Teflon® fabric protector by DuPont® (500-D Mil-grade Cordura® on Multicam & Multicam-Black)
● Genuine MADE-IN-USA MultiCam® & MultiCam-Black Cordura® by Crye Precision™
● High-visibility, lightweight & moisture resistant 210-D Ripstop nylon interior
● Durable RC-Class YKK® lockable zippers, reversed for protection
● MOLLE-compatible attachment system with PALS webbing
● Lightweight MOLLE-Air structure for MOLLE accessory attachment
● Mil-grade ITW® and UTX-Duraflex® hardware made from high tensile strength Acetal polymer
● Circular zipper loops made of paracord
● High tensile strength nylon webbings and binding tapes
● Finished with high tensile strength bonded nylon thread