This Tough Tactical Duffel Bag Can Haul More Gear Than You Possibly Own
Product: RUSH LBD XRAY 106LTK
Release Date: Available now
During my brief time in the military, I was issued a “kitbag” to haul all of my gear back and forth to base. It was green, about three feet long by one-and-a-half feet wide, made of green nylon, and an utter piece of shit. It broke during maybe my second week in the service, and I recall being pissed, but not particularly surprised, when one of the flimsy straps snapped and all my gear fell off of one shoulder.
Rather than requesting a new piece-of-shit bag, I went to a local outdoor/military kit supplier and bought a better one that served me well for the rest of my time in the service. I still keep that bag, with all my gear in it, ready to go for reserve duty.
However, that bag is halfway around the world. So when Gear Patrol was invited to tag along with Waves for Water on behalf of Panerai down to Colombia, to install water filters in a remote village, I needed a new bag to haul all of my gear, and I called up 5.11.
What We Like
Unwieldy, mil-spec-y name aside, the RUSH LBD XRAY 106LTK. B is roomy as hell (31″L x 14″W x 15″H), with a capacity of 106 liters, and made from tough, tear- and water-resistant 1050D nylon. It has only one external zippered compartment in addition to the main compartment, but the main zippered flap has a further three zippered sub-compartments in it for quick access to essential kit. An ID/flash panel provides an easy method for ID’ing your stuff.
The bag features external, reinforced grab handles and backpack straps, Duraflex hardware, compression straps, and lots of MOLLE attachment points for web gear. This is a simple, well-designed bag meant for quick access to gear, available in two colors. That’s about it.
Watch Out For
Not a ton to dislike here. I was mostly hauling clothing, some hydration systems and other kit to test down in Colombia, and personal gear — roughly the same type of stuff I would haul around in the army.
I wouldn’t have minded, however, to have another external zippered compartment or two for quick access to select smaller items. Having all the big stuff mix together in the main compartment is fine, but when you’re looking for a smaller item (flashlight, notebook, etc.), it makes your life easier to be able to organize it into several external, easy-access pockets.
If you’re a particularly old-school, salty, seagoing type, you can spring for the old canvas “seabag,” a duffel that closes from the top using a simple clip-and-loop system. They’re cheap ($22+), they’re tough, and they’re a nightmare to find anything in, so keep that in mind.
More in line with the 5.11 offering (and significantly more modern) is the Mule from Israeli company Agilite, which features a 105-liter carrying capacity, three large external pockets, anti-rip reinforced corners six padding-lined internal walls for $110.
If you plan on leaving and never coming home (or not coming home for a very, very long time), you can go for the Mercury Luggage ACU/ABU Alpha Military Deployment Bag with Wheels for $104. I’ve dragged one of these halfway around the world several times and it’s an absolute beast, with an internal divider, 600D polyester construction and the certainly of getting you charged at extra $100 at the United counter for an overweight bag.
The RUSH was perfect for my brief trip down to Colombia, but I’m even more excited to test it next year during a stint of reserve military training, which is when I tend to stuff one of these bags to the breaking point full of uniforms, gear, and various and sundry nonsense. Traveling down to Colombia, the 5.11 bag traveled under the plane, and thus undoubtedly got the crap kicked out of it as it was tossed around — none the worse for wear, mind you — but the army always adds a further level of beating.
I’m all for the idea of designing an item to do one thing, and one thing well, which is the line along which the RUSH LBD was constructed. Simple and largely unadorned with extraneous features, it’s a great solution for hauling lots of gear, and though it’s probably not the right choice to accompany you to The Ocean Club, if you’re heading someplace a bit grittier — whether to SCUBA dive, hike, or use in a military environment — it’s likely the perfect solution.
5.11 provided this product for review.
Issued kit, available to Joe Civilian. Read the Story