CEven the smallest backpacks will fit a pistol and spare magazines. However, if you’re looking for a way to carry a concealed carbine, choosing your pack carefully becomes a much higher priority. The large backpacks are able to hold a rifle, but they are also loud. there’s a gun in here — that may not be the message you want to send when you’re walking through a hotel lobby, parking lot, or other public location.
Smaller packs may not fit your rifle or may look awkward and bulky once they’re loaded with a weapon. The setup shown here is a compromise between these two extremes. Priority was given to carrying a multi-role, fully concealed folding carbine.
Vertx Gamut has been an important name in the everyday-carry backpack market for years. Vertx Basecamp, a larger version of the bag that I already own in several other sizes, seemed like an obvious choice. I made sure to carefully compare its measurements to those of my carbine in advance, and I wasn’t disappointed when it arrived.
The Carbine Setup
The bag fits snugly but comfortably my 12.5 inch AR with a LAW Tactical adapter, 20 round magazine and LAW Tactical foldable stock. This rifle is equipped with a Nightforce NX8 1-8x optic in a Badger Ordnance Condition One 1.7-inch-height mount, as well as a Holosun 509T red dot on the slimming KOENG.CO 12 o’clock mount.
The carbine was designed to be the most versatile general-purpose weapon I could pack in my bag. This allows easy access in an emergency. To ensure that it could be fired without pausing to fold the stock and put on ear protectors, I added a LAW Tactical Dominus-K suppressor. The AR base build consists of a San Tan Tactical Pillar matching Receiver Set and a VLTOR Freedom Handguard, which has an ARCA rail section and built-in handstop. The AR build also had to be capable of working in both daylight and darkness.
To this end, it’s equipped with a Modlite PLHv2 light on an Arisaka mount activated using a UNITY Tactical AXON switch. Utilizing a 12 o’clock mounted red dot also means I can passively aim the rifle through night vision, if necessary. The Criterion 12.5 inch barrel is superbly gassed and makes suppressed shooting a pleasant experience. Equipping the Carbine with a PRI 84 Gas Buster Charge Handle also helped to reduce gas blowback.
The choice to utilize a 20-round magazine wasn’t due to any regional restrictions, but rather to allow easier access to the carbine through the top of the bag without stripping the entire face open. A 30-round magazine will fit tightly, but it means having to rip the backpack wide open, which is less than ideal if you’re in a hurry to access the weapon.
Basecamp comes with many useful features including an interior laptop sleeve and pouches that zip up to hold small items. Dark Earth was selected for its functionality as well as its aesthetics. The carbine is painted in the Pro2Customs custom M81 Arid and it fits perfectly. This makes it easy to hide the weapon when used in an arid environment. The laptop sleeve had to be removed in order to facilitate the setup. This pack’s removable laptop sleeve wasn’t present in earlier versions of the Gamut series, which is another selling point of Vertx’s newer bags.
In the desert, I like to store things such as batteries away from direct sun or heat. Having these small storage options at the top of my pack is a good idea. The large zippered pocket at the top of the flap is where I keep paper goods and other items that are less heat-sensitive. Vertx has included a Hot Pull Tab on the top flap. This can be positioned between the two zippers, and then pulled to open the main compartment. This allows you to quickly open the main compartment without having to hunt for zippers.
The large internal compartments allow for the concealment of a carbine as well as a Dauntless Manufacturing Hiker Tanto with its sheath mounted on the included TactiGami panels, a Ryker Nylon ankle IFAK that is fully stocked, using the hook to attach the kit, and a SureFire Stiletto flashlight stored next to a Dauntless fixed-blade. The main compartment also contains a Beyond Clothing reversible MultiCam/black Alpha Lochi Jacket, providing warmth as well as concealment.
Lastly, there’s a GRAYL GeoPress water purifier bottle. In the metropolis of the desert city I live in, I can fill the bottle with 24 ounces from any water tap or purify the water I collect from drainage ditches and ponds. I can carry both the GeoPress and a 32-ounce water bottle in the external stretch pockets.
In the future, I plan to improve my bag’s design by adding more TactiGami panels inside the bag for better magazine storage. I will also use the external PALS strapping hidden under the flap outside the pack. I’ve used this outer storage space effectively in the past by mounting specific pouches for sundry items that might require access without exposing the main compartment’s contents. I can think of basic toiletries and pens and papers, as well as a book, multi-tools, and some snacks.
In my opinion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded and durable backpack at this price point. Basecamp appears to be no exception. The Gamut line has always been well-built, reliable, and durable. If you’re in the market for a multi-role backpack that offers concealment for anything from a subcompact pistol to a carbine, medkit, and spare magazines, you should give this bag a closer look.
Vertx Basecamp pack info
- Make and Model: Vertx – Basecamp
- Capacity: 30 Liters
- MSRP: $280
- URL: vertx.com
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Editor’s Note: The original content of this article has been modified for web.
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