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Review: American Rebel Concealed-Carry Backpack

I’m not big on carrying a handgun on my person. I am however big on carrying a handgun. The reasons I don’t like wearing a gun are personal and revolve around disinclination and bother. I don’t like being a slave to concealed-carry wear. I’m a t-shirt and cargo-shorts type of person. I’m also active outdoors. I’m in and out a lot, here to there, back and forth, runing errands and such. A hidden-from-view holster is, for me, constantly omnipresent.

American Rebel backpack with two handguns

Thanks to American Rebel, here’s my carry gun (left). Without American Rebel, there’s my carry gun (right). Now. I love my little Glock to death and ruination, but, I don’t like carrying a gun on me. That’s why my Glock is a little Glock. That’s why I like the backpack. For me, it’s easier, more simple, more comfortable.

And I’m a “patter.” Allow me to explain. A friend who was a big-city deputy sheriff for a couple decades told me that an inexperienced concealed carrier usually gave it away by patting—touching the gun location—when in proximity to others. Same thing as when someone might glance toward the location of something hidden when asked about its location. I realize that I do that. The reason, clearly, is because I’ve not had years of a daily carry habit.

Backing up several years, here’s how this article topic came about. As said, I’m active, and my main activity is cycling—mountain bike. Most usually, that’s done on single-track trail loops in an area designated for that purpose (owned by a local university). Single-track demands a lot of attention; our trails are steep, twisty, and rough. Sometimes, I just like to ride, explore, and give adrenaline a holiday. So, I started running my own local routes incorporating a combination of rural paved and dirt roads, public-use lands, ATV trails, some trails I have no idea where they’re going or for how far. A more diverse sharing of the pathways resulted.

I also found out that adrenaline can return right quick like and in a hurry. Among my traveling companions are packs of wild dogs and (gargantuan) wild hogs, and ‘troublemakers.’ No more details on that last, but neighboring big-city bad boys often choose our woods for activities that it is best not to roll up upon unannounced. Adventure! With some genuine risk. Not far away, not long ago, a couple of loose dogs killed a woman who was walking her dog along a country road. And I’m thinking: “and here’s me with my pepper spray…

inside of the American Rebel backpack

Beau coups compartments, all well-designed, well-conceived, including a laptop slot, and an isolated hold for dang near any and all else to satisfy full and prompt completion of a modern lifestyle checklist. The outer compartments are handy for water bottles, and speedloaders.

So, given my newly-expanded territories and the gnawing need to reduce the likelihood of realizing my imaginations, I was faced with the tasks of choosing a firearm and figuring out how to tote it.

Choosing the arm was easy—big-caliber, medium-frame revolver. That was and is a confidence- and competence-based choice (always has been for me). Now, the gun I chose, at 35 ounces and a little less than 9 inches in length, was too big to holster. Plus, it’s daggone unwise to try to ride a bike thataway. Not only do I feel like some sort of warped-out Arizona Ranger, it’s a hindrance to the activity. That Big Iron on my hip is uncomfortably and continually omnipresent.

One idea was a fanny-pack. These provide a nondescript means to carry a handgun, and there are purpose-built concealed-carry models that can house fairly substantial pistols. I passed because I don’t like anything around my waist when I’m riding. I also questioned access ease.

Another popular carry solution for a handgun while engaged in athletic activities is a belly-band. These work especially well for runners. A belly-band holster is a specialty wide elastic wrap that goes around the torso and holds a pistol closely against the stomach area (some allow placement options). I didn’t like this, though, because such a setup favors a smallish gun, and also because while sitting on a bike, there’s a forward tilt at the hips—you’re leaning ahead—and the firearm thereby becomes most noticeable. And it’s still around the waist.

rear padding on the American Rebel backpack

The pack inside face is heavily and perfectly padded, an often-overlooked detail in some more expensive packs I’ve had. Big key. Done well, as did American Rebel, the padding locates the pack snugly against the body even on the gnarliest and fastest of rutted downhill runs. No flopping! It stays high, stays put.

I went with a specialty backpack. I wear a pack anyways and for the other things I’m liable to need, such as first-aid items, essential tools, body fuel, and a flat-fix.

As good an idea as it seemed, I was surprised to see there was not an abundance of available choices. It turns out, there was no need to lament over a shortage of options, after settling on the one I went with.

American Rebel Concealed Carry Backpack

The American Rebel Concealed Carry Backpack is well beyond first-rate. It’s also not cheap. Right off, it’s easily and completely the equivalent of any pack I’ve seen from any of the usual manufacturers in and even beyond its price range (I’ve had a few). I’ve been rolling and strolling with it for months now.

The design team’s efforts were well-coordinated and complete. On and in this pack there is a zippered or hook-and-loop fastened pocket, pouch, slot, or cubby for most anything anyone can imagine to store. I also like that the central pocket is generous enough for me to overstuff, a criticism I had with previous packs of similar-sized packs.

pistol hidden in a black backpack

The pistol is not noticeable (zero “printing”) and it is safely, securely, and sanely contained. No chance of unintentional dislodge, let alone discharge. Fully protected, fully accessible. Quickly? For me, yes. For you too with some effort directed toward experimentation and practice.

The central and differentiating trick in this one is the separate—as it should be—containment for a handgun. It accommodates mine well. It’s “that much” from maxing it out, but that’s fine with me. It fits!

The Holster

The handgun containment is fully isolated from the other holds in the pack. It’s located inside the pack, nearest your back. It’s accessible from either side via oversized and easy-to-run zippers. Inside there’s a “sandwich” construction of two dense foam inserts covered in likewise dense fabric. The gun fits between these inserts. It’s well secured, with its grip still accessible—it’s an easy reach. Since it’s really more of a holder than a holster, it’s not picky about what’s inside. It’s a secure and accessible den for any frame and design that matches within its length limit.

No Boundaries

I got this for use for a very specific purpose, and that’s been radically expanded. For me, and on this whole wide topic of concealed carry, this has become just about the daggone coolest contraption I’ve found. Too late to make the whole story short, but, were it not for this pack I likely would not travel armed near as often. I will not give it up!

Glen Zediker riding a mountain bike

Weight empty is 3-lbs. 5.5-oz. by my scale. Loaded with my must-haves, I’m taking an extra 8-lb. 7.5-oz. uphill. 2-lb. 13.5-oz. is guns and rounds. A few extra squats, much more piece of mind. American Rebel has other on-topic solutions for different needs, like a single-strap version for urbanites.

I keep it handy, and handy it stays: no matter how I’m carrying it, this outfit is discreet and accessible. Sitting on the front seat of my vehicle, strapped down for a ride, or slung up by one strap for a stroll down the street, it draws no undue attention, requires no undue attention, and I know I am not compromising on my capacity to protect myself.

My (personal) other tolerable option is a Glock G42 in a mighty-fine Sticky-brand holster, there is a considerable difference in power. Like a ton, well, about a half a ton. If inclinations tugged me, I could carry both! There could be some merit to that. I can stow the Glock in its holster in the outermost pocket and then I have a choice for different environments during my rounds in a day.

The pack shown is a medium. Small-size is the bomb for smaller handguns. There are bigger ones also but that’s getting pretty big, more of a hiker’s pack. I recommend this one, at this size, because it can become your daily pack, assuming that might include a laptop. At $149.99 it’s a value, not counting the incalculable asset American Rebel offers: piece of mind.

Do you have a favorite off-body carry solution? Share it in the comment section.


Check out the Zediker Publishing website for more articles and to see all the books written by Glen.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Source: Cheaper Than Dirt

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