A few weeks ago I was asked to do a review on two sling bags, one made from a certain foreign country and the other made right here at home in the good ‘ol US of A. The TravTac Company is a small business and the CEO is eager to sell bags and has actually taken my advice on the price point. This is rare with companies who make tactical gear. This review is on the USA made bag called the “Onyx”, I will do a second review on the foreign made.
Here in San Diego I run two operations, a non-profit called Triple B Adventures where I take veterans outdoors and a for profit company called San Diego School of Survival. Needless to say, I always have gear and a way to carry it with me. In all honesty I have never really found a use for sling bags in wilderness environments, specifically because I want two straps to bear a good portion of the load I carry and storage. After a few miles with a heavy sling bag carrying my field gear, I begin to get sore which in turn makes me a less than happy hiker and I begin to get cranky. I have found that sling bags would be more appropriate to more urban environments and tactical applicative scenarios. Occupations like medics, surveillance, security and executive protection would be more fitting for this product, and since I do a little EP, this review is about my application of the TravTac while doing my job.
Lets start off with a couple downsides, for my job I still have to do some office work, and since this bag doesn’t have room for a laptop, I have to carry a separate bag. This bag carries my EDC just fine as seen by the pictures, but that also means I have to bear the load of a laptop in my hand. I tend to like my hands free. I brought this up to the CEO of TravTac and an idea is already in place to make a larger one. I will be putting some of my thought into that idea as well to help with that product. The head shed at TravTac are very innovative and very open to new ideas; these guys want to make good products, which I love. The other down side was the original price point but after much discussion and ideas the owner reduced the price to a very affordable and reasonable price at $149. Which is a terrific price when you understand that material used in the product and the fact that it is American made.
The interior doesn’t have a lot of room for a water bottle so I would recommend TravTac make one or partner with a company that makes pouches for water bottles to attach to the outside. Other than that, I have no complaints about this bag.
Lets talk about the good stuff. The bag is well designed and well put together, very good stitching so it will last a good while and stand up to use in the bush. I carry my EDC in here for work as seen in the pictures, the only thing is people like to ask what’s in there, being that it looks tactical and people know that I am former military, they tend to profile the bag with the person and suspect, usually accurately, that I have tools in my bag for my job doing Executive Protection. The cordura that the bag is made with is really strong and I like the stiffness of it so that it keeps its shape and makes it easier for me to grab items when I need it.
TravTac also sells some modular pieces that are really great. They sent me a holster, admin pouch, rifle bandolier to fit inside. All of which are Velcro and easy to put inside and place where you want with ease, which is something I have not seen with other sling bags like this. This allows for so many types of configurations for so many different applications. The modular pieces are really affordable so one could buy as many as they needed to fit this bag to their specific needs. For my setup its pretty traditional, in the back pocket I put the holster which holds my Glock 19. In the main compartment I put a water bottle, and my first aid kit and other incidental items. The small compartments house my flashlight, headlamp, OC spray, Cuffs, multi tools, and some other little tools for the trade. All in all it’s a good bag for on the go. Its big enough that it doesn’t feel like a man purse and comfortable to walk around. The bag comes with an “O loop” which allows for another way to carry the bag comfortably and more secure. The large padding on the top extends the comfort ability for longer treks and longer periods of carry.
Depending on how you use this bag, it’s fantastic. Well built, well designed, and well thought out. In the kindness of TravTac they have opted to donate this bag for an opportunity drawing for Triple B Adventure’s outdoor fundraiser called the “Modern Mountain Man Rendezvous” (www.3MR.vet) and we appreciate their generosity and kindness. To really see how it’s built check out the specs below
Onyx Sling Bag Specifications:
11.5”h x 9”w x 7”d (not including carry handle or tongue)
Genuine 1000D CorduraTM fabric shell
Completely assembled in USA
Lifetime material and workmanship warranty
Main zippered compartment – 11.5”h x 9”w x 4”d – (8” wide TMC attachment area)
Front zippered compartment – 6”h x 6.5”w x 2.5”d – (6” wide TMC attachment area)
Rear fast access compartment – 9.5”h x 9.5”w x 1.5″d (up to 8” wide TMC attachment area)
Combined Capacity of Front & Main Compartments – approx .310 cu ft. / 8.77 L
Total Capacity (including rear pocket) – approx .397 cu ft. / 11.24 L
TMC and MOLLE attachments
Revision notes – 01/31/18
Several design and material changes have been made to the TravTac Onyx bag that may have not been updated yet in all marketing materials. They are as follows:
The original bag featured ballistic material for the shell. The new version features
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.
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