Sometimes carrying a concealed gun on your person just isn’t an option. When that occasion arises and you still want to have your firearm close at hand and reasonably accessible, an option may be a concealed carry backpack. Backpacks designed for concealed carry offer not just a way to conceal your gun off your body, but also a way to carry other everyday items. A trip to the beach is a perfect example of needing extra cargo space and keeping that concealed carry gun close at hand.
What to Look for in a Concealed Carry Backpack
When considering a backpack for concealed carry, there are some things that should be part of the backpack design and construction.
- Easy access to the gun. The backpack should be designed with a pocket or a compartment that will accept some sort of holster.
- Make sure the backpack fits your other needs. If you can’t carry what you want to carry or the backpack is uncomfortable to wear, it will probably be left at home and becomes useless.
- If you anticipate carrying this backpack every day, you should look for the highest quality materials and construction possible for your budget.
- Consider how you intend to use the backpack. You should look for different styles and looks based on where and how you expect to use the backpack. A camouflage pattern backpack intended of hunting or treks through the forest may not fit in well in an urban or professional office environment.
Our Picks for the Best Concealed Carry Backpacks
Best Sling Bag Style Backpack – Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger
Maxpedition has built an incredible reputation for bags of all kinds. The Sitka Gearslinger is no exception. This is a rugged, well-built, and tightly designed sling-style bag. Sling-style bags are excellent choices for concealed carry. The freedom of movement allowed by a sling bag brings the bag forward quickly and allows rapid access to anything you need from the bag. This is a fantastic feature in a concealed carry bag.
The bag itself weighs about 3 lbs. With the Y-compression straps, you can easily carry this sling-style bag for long distances without tiring. Maxpedition builds touch durable bags made to be used.
Among the features that Maxpedition has built into the Sitka Gearslinger are:
- Y-compression strap for comfortable carry
- Anti-theft zipper or prevent bag pilfering
- Extra Retention Strapping
- Concealed carry pocket with lockable zippers and enough room to carry large frame pistols
- Extremely durable materials
Other Notable Features:
- It’s super easy to carry
- Includes a hydration feature
- The material is extremely durable but lightweight
The main problem mentioned by most users is the look of the bag. The Sitka Gearslinger is a no-nonsense bag that is built for rugged handling. It looks like a tactical bag. The addition of MOLLE strapping for attachment of external accessory packs and the style of zippers and buckles do make this bag look much more military than other bags.
Best Overall Concealed Carry Backpack – VERTX EDC GAMUT Backpack
If rugged professional quality gear is your goal, then you won’t be disappointed by Vertx. Top operators and professionals rely on Vertx gear daily. Their history goes back to 1982 when their parent company, Fechheimer, began manufacturing and selling men’s work clothing.
The Vertx EDC (Every Day Carry) backpack is an ingenious design that offers so many options that they are almost impossible to list and describe.
- Concealed carry pocket with hook and loop lining, allowing the attachment of an appropriate holster for your gun
- Rapid Access pull tab for quick availability of your concealed carry weapon
- Ballistic panel pockets
- The main compartment includes adjustable additional padding panels for custom fitting of laptops and other equipment
- Hot-Pull-Tab offers almost instant access to the main compartment
- Includes a waist belt for extended wear, which tucks away conveniently when not in use
Other Notable Features:
- Tactical quality yet a subtle softer appearance that doesn’t attract attention
- Lots of extra pockets for securing gear
- The quick-release system on the shoulder straps allows the GAMUT to be dismounted like a sling bag with one quick pull of the lanyard
Very few users had complaints about this bag. The one complaint that we saw over and over was that the side pockets were small and didn’t hold larger items. The other major complaint was the price of the bag, which does put it at the higher end of our list.
Best Tactical Covert Concealed Carry Backpack – 5.11 COVRT18 Tactical Covert Military Backpack
Most of us are familiar with 5.11 gear. Their clothing is some of the best tactical gear on the market. What many people don’t realize is that 5.11 has carried their concepts of quality and design over into a line of gear such as backpacks.
The 5.11 COVRT18 Tactical Covert Military Backpack is just one example of the innovative designs that come from 5.11. This backpack is a bit larger than some of the other backpacks on our list, which are better suited for everyday carry. The COVRT18 is enough larger and has the features that make this bag versatile enough to be used as an overnight bag or even a three-day bag for some of us.
These features include:
- 30L size has more than enough room to use this backpack as an overnight or hiking pack
- The concealed carry pocket is ambidextrous, making your firearm available from either side with either hand
- The concealed carry pocket is large enough to handle large frame weapons
- The main compartment includes a padded laptop sleeve
- The well-padded shoulders straps and an adjustable sternum strap make for comfortable wear
- Water-Resistant 500D Nylon Construction
Other Notable Features:
- Low profile. It doesn’t attract attention like some more tactical style bags
- Plenty of generously sized pockets hold a lot of gear
- It can be used as an EDC bag or repacked as an overnight hiking bag
- Hydration system compatible
There aren’t many complaints about the design or the manufacturing of these bags from 5.11. The most common suggestion seen in the comments was that 5.11 could include a Velcro holster with the bag. For me, I would rather purchase my own holster that fits the gun I intend to carry.
Best Bulletproof Concealed Carry Backpack – Guard Dog Security Proshield Pro Bulletproof Backpack
Wearing body armor all the time is something I would rather leave to law enforcement. It is uncomfortable, hot, and bulky. However, since I have carried an EDC bag on a regular occasion for many years, the Guard Dog Security Proshield Pro Bulletproof backpack is an interesting option.
The Guard Dog Security Shield backpack is indeed bulletproof. The bag is certified by the NIJ for Level IIIA protection, and each bag comes with the certification paperwork. If you don’t understand the NIK protection levels, suffice it to say that Level IIIA certified armor will stop anything up to a 44 caliber handgun round. That is considerable protection.
Guard Dog didn’t stop with just adding bulletproof protection to the Proshield backpack. The other features allow it to compete well in the concealed carry backpack market are:
- An RFID sleeve is built into the backpack for personal information security
- Designed to not look like a tactical or military bag
- TSA Approved for security screenings
- Over 20 pockets provide ample storage for smaller items
- Built-in Concealed Carry compartment and holster for securing your gun
- 1610 cubic inches of storage (approximately 26 liters of space)
Other Notable Features:
- Great additional protection with the certified protection levels
- Ergonomic design and great straps make this bag comfortable to wear and carry
- A huge number of external and internal pockets allow carrying almost everything I should ever need
- This bag came with both a laptop sleeve and a tablet sleeve
Almost the only complaint about the Guard Dog backpack was the cost. However, many users noted that they had purchased this bag for their children to carry to school and that the bulletproof protection was the selling point, and the price didn’t matter.
Best Budget Concealed Carry Backpack – Condor 3-Day Assault Pack
Condor builds some of the best quality equipment for a budget price that can be found on the market. We believe that Condor is an overlooked option for many people. The Condor 3-day Assault Pack is no exception.
This is the largest bag on our list and, true to its name, you can load this bag with almost more than you can carry. The larger size makes this a perfect bag for longer treks into the wilderness. You can lighten the load and the Condor 3-Day assault pack makes a great day bag or even an EDC back, especially for students who must carry computers, books, and other materials.
Condor doesn’t skimp any features, either.
- 1000 Denier material
- Extremely heavy-duty and rugged construction
- Seven Compartments
- 3,038 cubic inches (almost 50 Liters of space)
- Designed for comfortable carry and durability
Other Notable Features:
- Comfortable to wear and carry. The wide shoulder straps, chest strap, and waist belt distribute the weight well
- I love the tie-down straps in the main compartment. Nothing floats around anymore
- This bag is big enough that I use it regularly for multi-night camping and hiking trips
- Great price
Some users did experience some problems with the Condor 3-Day Assault Pack. Chief among their complaints was the quality of the zippers used on these bags. On the other hand, many users report no problems at all, and for the price, the bag performs well.
One additional thing about this bag, it is not advertised as a concealed carry bag. However, it does have multiple pockets that readily accept and secure almost any size handgun and can be easily adapted to concealed carry use.
Concealed Carry Backpacks – As You Head Out
There are thousands of backpacks and bags on the market, many of which are designed and advertised as concealed carry backpacks. Also, once you’ve secured your backpack, you should also be aware of everything else concealed carry as well. As always, your goal should be to find the one that best fits your needs and your habits. We hope that this list of our choices of the best-concealed backpacks helps you get an idea of what to look for and what is available.