Monday, August 9, 2021

Erin's New GHB, part 1: the Bag Itself

Not actually Erin.
As& is used with permission.

January 2020, aka "in the Before Time", I decided that my current Get Home Bag wasn't what I wanted and that I should get a new one. It's taken me a long time to get to a point where I'm mostly happy with what I have, and so I'll share it with you. 

My old GHB, detailed in this post from 2014, was a SwissGear SA9259 Backpack that has since been repurposed into the bag I grab for late-night trips to the Emergency Room with my parents. I still really like it, as you can tell by the fact I continue to use it, but it just didn't have what I wanted in a GHB. In fact, I made a list of my requirements:
  • Affordable
  • Durable (i.e. good reviews)
  • Comfortable to wear
  • MOLLE loops for modularity
  • More than 30 Liters of storage
  • Belt and sternum strap
  • Backpack-style wide zipper opening (as opposed to a rucksack-style top-load method)
  • Did not interfere with carrying a concealed pistol
As with most things in life, I never got 100% of what I wanted. However, I got pretty close and was able to modify the rest into more or less what I wanted.

The pack itself is a 50L "assault style" backpack with removable MOLLE-strap pouches that give an additional 10L of storage to it. It has a 4.5 star rating and close to 5,000 reviews. I bought it for $35. 

It's better than okay but less than great. It does what I want it to do, and it's durable enough to withstand being banged around in a vehicle and hauled around the neighborhood, but I haven't yet tested it in field conditions. In other words, while I expect it to last for its intended purpose of getting me home after a period of 5-7 days, I wouldn't expect it to last for weeks or months of hard living like I do my Bug Out Bag. 

The biggest problems were how the bag attached to me:

  • The pack's belt was practically worthless in that while it did secure the bag to my waist, it in no way bore any of the pack's weight so I acquired a battle belt and attached it to the pack.

  • Since the battle belt also had MOLLE loops, I was able to attach to it a universal holster and magazine carrier. They aren't ideal, but this was the only way I could find to have a weight-bearing belt that didn't interfere with a carried pistol.

  • The shoulder straps were as thin as the belt, so I added shoulder strap pads to increase comfort.

 This is how it looks now. As a point of interest, it interfaces well with my chest rig

I wish I could say that I love it, but I still have problems with the way the shoulder straps attach. If I attach them to the sides of the pack the way it originally went, then it pinches me along the side below the armpit. However, if I attach them to the battle belt, then the belt cinches upwards rather than cinching the pack downwards. Any suggestions on how I can fix this are greatly appreciated. 

Next week I'll detail what I've mounted to the outside, and why. 


  1. Make & model? Source? Want to put this on my "to buy when the Eagle screams" list.

    1. , but there are similar models to it on Amazon.


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