Can you think of 22 different uses for most military surplus gear? Probably not. For efficiency, most military surplus equipment serves one purpose and satisfies one particular need.
Cheaper Than Dirt’s more popular military surplus, such as gas masks, weapon-related gear and fuel cans, are difficult to repurpose. For collectible reasons or additions to survival supplies, those items are important and useful. Even with all the different military surplus bags and backpacks available, many are too big, fit outdated electronics or are limited in size. One issue I often face is how awkward some of the military bags are to carry. However, once in a while, a product comes along that is so versatile, it seems foolish to pass it up. One of those is the tactical operator’s case.
First, I really like the shape. It is square and fits nicely in the corner of the trunk of my car or a larger suitcase, leaving plenty of room to organize other gear. Its full, thick padding means the case will not collapse, making it stand 6 1/2 inches tall. Before putting it under your seat or in a confined space, check to make sure there is enough clearance. It measures 12 inches across.
The top of the bag sports a single-stitched, reinforced web handle with two smooth-sliding zippers and nylon pulls. The top opens almost all the way flat. However, the zippers do not go fully around the back of the case.
The case has one primary, open compartment covered in soft, albeit thick and extremely sticky, hook and loop fastener. The interior space measures 12 by 10 inches. Two removable nylon- and hook and loop fastener-covered, rigid inserts allow you to create separate areas in the main compartment. One is 6 inches long and 3.5 inches wide with hook and loop fastener strips on each end. The longer insert measures 11 inches long and 43 inches wide also with a hook and loop fastener strip down the center on one side and two at each end. In the main compartment are two small, zippered pockets sewn into the front, measuring 3 inches tall and 5 inches wide.
Four thickly meshed pockets with zippers are triple stitched into the top of the case. Each measures 8 inches high and 8.5 inches wide.
In the lid is a pouch with a clear plastic front and stiff hook and loop fastener strip extending the 11-inch-long pouch to keep it securely closed. It easily fits a full-size iPad with room to spare. Behind the pouch is an open compartment with a completely removable second case measuring 11.5 inches wide by 9 inches long. Two wrap-around zippers with nylon pulls allow the case to lie flat.
On the front of the second, smaller case is a 7-inch by 10-inch open pocket with a clear-plastic front. It also fits a full-size iPad or a single handgun. To protect your electronics and gadgets, both sides of the second, smaller case are slightly padded.
On the back of the case’s lid is a nylon web strap with a rectangular patch of hook and loop fastener to secure the removable bag to the main case.
If you look closely, you may find some inconsistencies in the stitching. It reminds me of expensive name-brand purses I buy at the outlet mall—perfectly useable items that do not quite pass inspection. Those subtleties make no difference to me, especially on this case. It appears brand new, unissued and unused. With a bag so versatile and overall well built, who cares if a few stitches are out of alignment?
My immediate thoughts are to use the bag as an emergency kit in my vehicle. Jumper cables, a bottle of water, energy bar, flashlight and gloves fit without a problem. As more people saw the bag, they came up with their own uses:
- First aid kit
- Range bag
- Lunch box
- Tactical makeup case
- Toiletries bag
- Storage for Ham radio or other communications equipment
- Storage for electronics, optics or surveillance equipment
- Necessities-only bug-out bag
- Mobile office
- Diaper bag
- School bag
- Cool hat case
- Hairdresser’s tool kit
- Carry-on bag
- Case for photography equipment
- Gas mask and decontamination gear bag
- Shooting league or competitor’s bag
- Tackle box
- AR-15, surplus rifle or other modern sporting weapon accessories case
The only thing missing for me is a way to attach a shoulder strap. However, sewing D-rings on to the case will remedy this.
If you like it, buy it here!
How many uses for this bag can you come up with? Share your ideas in the comments section.
Suzanne Wiley started shooting at a young age when her older brother bought a Marlin 60 and taught her to shoot. She took to shooting and developed a love for it when she realized she was a natural with a .22 LR rifle at summer camp. As an outdoor adventurer, she enjoys camping, fishing, and horseback riding. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter and the modern-day prepper, and is a staff writer at Cheaper Than Dirt!
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