Sandpiper of California’s Bugout bags offer a mix between tactical necessities and travel conscious specs. They have specialized in “quality travel bags and backpacks since 1980” and have a firm grasp on the middle ground between the two as well as both ends of the spectrum.
As soon as I put my hands on the bag I noticed the broken in feeling the Long Range Bugout already had. There was absolutely no stiffness in the material yet it is thick enough to ensure durability. Most packs need a few months or more to get that true broken in feeling where everything sits just right, the Long Range Bugout felt like that right from the beginning. You can tell in the picture just by how the bag falls in on itself that it is ruck ready right out of the box.
Obviously the second thing I noticed was the massive storage capabilities of the bag. When constricted the bag comes in at 4,200 in³ and 5,600 in³ expanded, according to the website. I was able to store a few days worth of clothes, hygiene gear, and a pair of shoes easily in the pack with plenty of room left thanks to the user-friendly compartmentalization of the bag. The bag easily transforms into a flight ready duffel bag in literal seconds.
The bag’s exterior is your standard coyote brown with MOLLE strewn throughout the front in two separate sections. I have to caution against attaching anything too heavy (over a few pounds) to the MOLLE because of the width of the bag. It tends to sag if the bag is not filled out in the interior and with substantial weight on the MOLLE. The internal aluminum frame is a staple of a good pack and SOC obviously included it. What they also did is allow the aluminum frame to compliment the duffel bag feature as well, creating a solid floor on the bag for garments and other soft materials.
What showcases the hybrid between tactical and travel is the shoulder straps and hip belt. The shoulder straps quickly and easily detach in order to allow them to be tucked inside the bag itself. The waist belt tucks away into itself and instantly transforms the bag into an airline friendly duffel bag. At 26″x15.5″x10.5” it is slightly over TSA’s maximum dimensions for carry ons which is 22”x14”x9”. However, using the adjustable straps on the sides, bottom, and front, the bag easily becomes TSA compliant. While it does transform perfectly for airline travel, the shoulder straps are fastened to the pack via a D-ring and standard clip, making me uneasy about packing out a significant amount of weight and carrying over a long course.
Clip and D-ring attachment for shoulder straps
Pockets galore give the bag the awesome feature that a lot of companies forget, compartmentalization. What’s better, when it’s filled out, the expansion zipper can be released in order to make more room or zipped to fit the gear tighter. It also puts less stress on the outside pockets and allows easy storage and access to things inside. The worst is packing and having to gnaw through a zipper because the bigger pockets push into the smaller ones and constrict access.
Built in Camelback features, a matching bag tag, and two different carrying handles (one on the top, one on the side) shows how SOC cares about the small things, making the Long Range Bugout a go to for a few days trip.
Three days worth of gear in main compartment with PLENTY of room left on top and sides thanks to the three durable straps.
SOC makes their money on the interior of this pack. It boasts three different compartments on the front and four side pouches (two each side). The main pouch has a 10”x8” netted pocket, perfect for small gadgets that need to be protected. I lay my clothes on top of the pouch with an iPad inside the netted pouch as an absorber and it worked perfectly. The main pouch also has three tie downs (two horizontal, one vertical) for clothes or whatever else you find yourself putting in there. The straps are rugged, not like the common ones in roller bags, and can handle cinching down a lot of gear which equals more space for you gear heads. Because the straps are so rugged, cinched down they leave A LOT of room on the sides of the pack, as shown in the picture below.
Two more netted pockets in the deep second pouch continue show how much you can really fit in this thing! The pockets open to a ridiculous width for how small the bag looks. Don’t let it fool you though, this thing can handle some serious packing.
The third pouch has an assortment of administrative pouches that are perfect for smaller gadgets, note taking gear, passport, etc. The yellow accents gives it a “pop” that you fashionistas will like. It boasts two small netted pockets, pen holders, and a velcro strap to secure it all down.
Three days worth of gear in main compartment with PLENTY of room left on top and sides thanks to the three durable straps. Overall, this is a great hybrid bag for both travel and tactical training. I wouldn’t bet all my marbles going outside the wire with it, but works great for a few days hike or a weekend getaway. Paired with the SOC lifetime warranty, you know this thing can take a beating.
Functionality 4/5 stars
Cost: 5/5 stars
Comfort: 4/5 stars
Durability: 4/5 stars
Weight: 5/5 stars
Written by FA
• Hydration compatible
• Rugged, abrasion-resistant exterior
• Compression straps
• Concealable shoulder harness
• Aluminum back stays
• Expandable main compartment
• Adjustable waist belt
• Organizer panel
|Dimensions:||26″ x 15.5″ x 10.5″|
|Volume:||4,200 in³ / 5,600 in³ (Expanded)|
|Weight:||6 lbs 8 oz|
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