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You could be a sports marksman, a hunter, or in law enforcement, meaning that you need to bring along your weapon. Alongside your gun, an essential consideration for an outdoor hike would be safely and conveniently holstering your firearm with your backpack.
It could be that due to the current insecurity, you have chosen to carry your weapon along for the trek. The best backpack holster offers you the chance to feel safe again, and make it comfortable to carry a handgun for long distances.
Why Do You Need a Backpack Holster for Outdoor Handgun Carry?
If you carry your firearm every day, chances are that you know how uncomfortable on-body holsters can be. You’ve probably also tried to hike a long distance with one of those hip or thigh holsters, only to find they make it look cool on TV.
Handgun hip holsters can get in the way especially when you are sitting down. Thigh holsters will chaff you red and black as the straps tend to ride up your trousers in ways you can’t imagine.
Trekking clothing doesn’t leave much room and may restrict you from an on-body carry. Backpacks are roomy, allowing you to haul a load-out of mission-essentials like extra magazines, as well as medical emergency items.
It doesn’t matter how you look at it, the best backpack holster is a liberating tool. As a utility pack, space is expanded for holstering a gun, allowing for either discrete or indiscreet weapon carriage.
At times you’ll find that having a firearm on you not so desirable. On the other hand, being able to reach for one in the nick of time proves very vital.
If only for this factor, the best backpack holster can become a lifesaver. Use the utility of a quality backpack with a gun holster for concealed carry, outdoor or tactical applications.
Attributes of the Best Backpack Holster
If you are looking for the best backpack holster as a part of hike equipment, there are a couple of factors you should consider first.
While there are many varieties of handgun holsters, only a few will work for when walking extended distances. We only get to consider holster options when selecting which one to sport for personal protection or the most comfortable for range practice.
In my opinion, holsters for long-range trekking are a rare consideration. It’s not often that we factor in a holster that’s compatible with a backpack laden with outdoor recreation, bug out, or hunting equipment.
When looking for the best backpack holster, ask yourself the following equations;
- How easy is it to quickly access your firearm?
- How is the holster attached to your backpack?
- Is it a discreet combination or is your gun on display?
- What is the backpack holster’s build quality?
- Is it comfortable to wear and walk for long distances?
It’s with these parameters that I chose the best backpack holsters, and by how far each meets my preferred field requirements.
Owning one of these versatile backpack holsters bolsters your carry confidence when you are on a hike. I’ve listed backpacks for on body and off-body carry, hoping to cast my net wider for a broader spectrum of situations.
Overall Best Backpack Holster
Maxpedition tends to make their backpacks overly tactical. Most of their bags essentially scream of hidden weapons within, even when there are none.
If you’d like to carry your weapon concealed, tactical isn’t the way to go.
The Maxpedition Gear Entity 23 doesn’t look tactical and is a well thought out backpack covert backpack. This is a charcoal grey colored, innocuous 23 litter bag that has a pocket specially designed to hold your gun and magazines.
The holster pocket’s zip runs along the backpack’s back, which tips the scale at 3.4 pounds. Made from Hybrid Heathered Fabric with Polyurethane, this bag features rear 2-way access to a CCW compartment that’s fully loop-lined.
As my overall best backpack holster, I like how easy it is to access my pistol with the Maxpedition Entity 23 Backpack 23L for Covert Concealed Carry.
If I am carrying this backpack and need to access my holster, all I have to do is unstrap one arm and rotate the backpack around to the front. I can then unzip the large zipper and reach into the side pocket for my firearm without a snag.
I made the fastest holster retrieval with this bag than for any other double strap backpacks I reviewed. The Maxpedition Entity 23’s gun holster can fit an AR15 or M4 30 round magazine, plus a quick-release waist belt that’s removable.
This backpack also features a lockable, padded laptop compartment.
- Low visibility profile design and color
- 23 liters of room for utilities and lockable zippers
- CCW enabled with padded laptop pocket
- Only comes in one charcoal grey color
Best Tactical Backpack Holster
This is a second-generation backpack that has been specifically designed with your guns in mind. Not only does the Case Club Tactical 4 Pistol Backpack hold four handguns, but it’s quite discreet about it as well.
Your handguns have the perfect mode of transportation on the trail, or when you’re going to and from range practice. Open the back pocket to reveal a foam cradled compartment that’s super rigid and is designed to hold any pistol within the overall length dimensions of 8.58 inches.
The Case Club Tactical features twin side pockets with the capacity for six pistol magazines. Three other side compartments provide space for the rest of your gear.
At the top of this backpack holster is a rain cover, which you can pull out to protect your weapons in case of rain.
This Tactical 2nd Generation 4-Pistol Backpack by Case Club measures approximately 19” H x 16” W x 10” D. The backpack holster also offers built-in Molle straps for strapping on extra attachments.
When I tested this backpack, I stowed four of my handguns in its padded and super strong utility compartment. I comfortably carried a Glock 19, 1911, a Charter Arms .44 special, and a .357 magnum with this stylish backpack holster.
- Offers hands-free, secure and discreet carry for four handguns within a reinforced compartment
- Side accompaniments for up to six magazines plus to hold other range or hunt accessories
- Protects handguns from damage with foam padding and pull-out rain fly
- Tactical backpack with Molle straps for attaching knives, flashlight or canteen
- Not fitted out to hold large revolvers
Best Concealed Backpack Holster
This is another non-pretentious but tactical backpack that allows you to carry your handgun anywhere. The American Rebel Small Freedom Concealed Carry Backpack is a one-strap sling pack with an everyday bag style; helpful in concealed carry situations.
With six tactical-friendly colors, this backpack holster features a Proprietary Protection Pocket for quicker weapon access. The holster bag has a sandwich-like pocket that keeps your pistol in the preferred draw-ready position.
Large zippers with pull tabs on each side accommodate both right and left-handed shooters of any gender.
You can store additional magazines or tactical gear in the elastic secured back pocket of this backpack holster. Made from Ripstop Water Resistance Fabric, this backpacks strength and durability are assured.
This is a compact-sized backpack holster, with the dimensions of 15” H x 8” W x 5” D. it allows you to conveniently carry your handgun anywhere you are legally permitted to without drawing undue attention.
Since it doesn’t look like a tactical or military type of backpack, I took mine to the office and also ran errands with a concealed semi-auto. I had picked a black colored bag with grey accents, and I was able to also carry my tablet and some personal knick-knacks.
- Small, compact and conveniently sized to effectively conceal a handgun and magazines
- Features a protected pocket that sandwiches your gun for easier split-second access
- Made from durable, water-resistant materials, and the large zippers have pull-tabs
- Zippers are not lockable
- Not roomy for extra magazines or other tactical accessories
Best Multipurpose Backpack Holster
This is a concealed carry shoulder backpack designed for men to act as a multipurpose pack. East TN. Outfitters Tactical Sling Bag comes with a free ETO holster that fits most handguns sizes.
Made from 600D nylon, this backpack holster is water-resistant, lightweight, and durable. The Tactical Sling Bag has versatile and compact dimensions of 9.8″H x 7.8″W x 4.8″ D.
You have multiple zippered pockets, plus an extensive Molle strap system for attaching accessories. While this bag comes with an East TN. outfitters embroidered patch, you can customize your patch to stick on the hook & loop on the backpack’s front.
The ETO IWB handgun holster is made from breathable, padded neoprene with soft foam to prevent chafing discomfort. This holster will conceal the outline of your pistol, and you can either carry it on-body or in the backpack’s zippered pockets.
When I reviewed this backpack alongside it’s concealed carry holster, I could haul it as a handbag, chest bag, or sling bag. It’s the perfect size for tactical gear, and you can carry your holstered handgun with a couple of magazines.
- Multipurpose EDC backpack with a free conceal carry handgun holster
- Made from waterproof nylon material that’s durable and lightweight
- Can be carried as a sling hand or chest bag
- No visible attachment for holster onto the backpack
Best Compact Backpack Holster
This is the backpack that you should keep organized with supplies in case of emergencies, or when you need to make a field getaway. Featuring a 12-inch shoulder drop, the Small Tactical Military Backpack by Verndari Gear is made from 600d polyester for water resistance and durability.
The MOLLE backpack features a front-facing Velcro attachment strip on which a detachable pistol holster and a flag patch can be stuck. A large range bag, this backpack measures 12H x 9.5W x 6D inches.
There is enough space in the main storage compartment for ammo and tactical gear, alongside one other gun. You can use this backpack with the holster as a sling bag, as the shoulder strap has a smaller strap that reduces movement during vigorous activity.
If you are looking for a compact handgun transportation solution that’s soft and sturdy, the Verndari Gear Small Tactical Military Backpack is your answer.
- Made from water-resistant and durable polyester and features Velcro holster attachment
- Compactly sized with a comfortable shoulder strap alongside a movement easing optional strap
- Tactical sling backpack that can accommodate two firearms with space for ammo or tactical gear
- Only offered in a black color
Backpack Holsters as a Secondary Carry Option
We carry backpacks around daily, and they don’t draw attention as an on-body holster would. You can also augment your primary on-body weapon with another in the backpack holster.
Downsides of most backpack holsters that I must mention include weapon accessibility in emergency scenarios. Grabbing your gun from an attached or in-built backpack holster is slower than if you were retrieving it from an on-body holster.
Another detriment of rucksack holsters could arise if you were separated from your backpack. This not only puts the weapon in uncertain hands but it also means that your one mode of protection is out of reach.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.