Year of the Gear! The Vanquest Javelin VSlinger Pack

2013 is the year of the gear!

All my favorite gear makers have been burning the midnight oil to come up with products more useful than TV mute circuitry that detects the voices of Piers Morgan and Chuck Schumer.

My latest find (score?) is the Vanquest Javelin VSlinger Shoulder Slingpack. Say that five times with a mouthful of Pop-Tarts.

While on your back, the Vanquest Javelin VSlinger looks ordinary. Rotate it to the front, and it's got a dirty little secret. Read on...
While on your back, the Vanquest Javelin VSlinger looks ordinary. Rotate it to the front, and it’s got a dirty little secret. Read on…

The basic gist of this pack is…

  • A single shoulder strap that mounts across your body
  • It’s designed to “swivel” from front to back instantly for access to the compartments without removing the pack.
  • It has a support strap which “fixes it” in place when you want to keep it steady on your back while walking, hiking or running from the IRS Obamacare Enforcement Division.
  • Given the “swiveling” design, it’s oriented vertically when on your back, like a traditional backpack. When you rotate it to the front side, it turns exactly ninety degrees and acts like a desk of sorts – with all the main access compartments facing up. This provides visibility and easy access to the contents, and also prevents all your junk from falling out.

Let’s take a look at the rotated-to-the-front scenario. As you can see from the picture below, the main compartment has a serpentine zipper design for access to the main compartment. This is one of those things you have to see to understand. It provides unhindered access to the entire compartment. A straight zipper requires you to separate the halves like a stuck-together taco shell to get at the contents, and corners are hard to reach. Not so with this design.

This is what you see when you rotate the VSlinger to the front. Note the asymmetrical zipper that allows access to the whole compartment. Alex even showed me how to use it as a "desk" for my elbows to stabilize camera shots. Neato!
This is what you see when you rotate the VSlinger to the front. Note the asymmetrical zipper that allows access to the whole compartment. Alex even showed me how to use it as a “desk” for my elbows to stabilize camera shots. Neato!

You’ll also notice that the interior is bright orange ripstop nylon. The bright color makes it really easy to see what’s in there and find gadgets and gear that may have fallen into corners. Why are the insides of other packs always black by the way? I constantly find year-old M&M’s and the occasional Justin Bieber challenge coin lost in the bottom of mine…

Bright orange inside. Easy to see everything except lost Skittles.
Bright orange inside. Easy to see everything except lost Skittles.

You’ll also notice the main compartment has multiple dividers. There’s a full-width compartment across the back for iPads, notebook computers, files, or whatever else you want. The main section has removable padded dividers so you can configure it however you want. As shown here, I was using it as a camera bag with compartments for the camera body, external flash and an extra lens. All are individually protected by padded walls.

Even the smaller storage compartments are full of subdivisions and elastic holder-downer-things.
Even the smaller storage compartments are full of subdivisions and elastic holder-downer-things.

In addition to the main compartment, you’ll find a few others. A small one just on top of the main area has divisions inside and elastic cord on the outside for external attachment of gear. While at Gunsite, I used the external cord for toting around electronic hearing protection.

The exterior elastic cording is handy for toting stuff that requires frequent access. The whole pack is also covered in MOLLE straps for accessory attachment.
The exterior elastic cording is handy for toting stuff that requires frequent access. The whole pack is also covered in MOLLE straps for accessory attachment.

Remember earlier when I mentioned a dirty little secret? Lest we forget that this web site is called BEARING ARMS, the Vanquest Javelin VSlinger is a concealed carry pack. It’s designed from the ground up for that purpose. When you swivel the pack around to the front, you are presented with direct access to your gun. There is a separate compartment behind the main one for a gun and magazines. Vanquest sells holster and magazine attachments that mount to the large hook and loop panels on the inside. Or, if you prefer, you can get specific Kydex holsters for this compartment like the CrossBreed Ohai. Your choice.

The concealed gun compartment has plenty of room. It's shown here with a Glock 32 and two spare magazines.
The concealed gun compartment has plenty of room. It’s shown here with a Glock 32 and two spare magazines.

Just a couple of other feature notes. The bag is hydration bladder ready and the shoulder strap has loops so you can route that big flexible straw up towards your face. And there are more straps, snaps and loops than I know what to do with.

The VSlinger has loops, holes and handles all over. I'm still finding ways to use all the organization and attachment features.
The VSlinger has loops, holes and handles all over. I’m still finding ways to use all the organization and attachment features.

Since this is a MOLLE bag, you can add whatever MOLLE compatible device you want. Need to strap on your MK-19 Grenade Launcher? As long as you have a MOLLE case for it, you’re good to go. Check out Vanquest’s ISOPOD fold up pouches. They’re designed to roll up tight until you need them, then just rip the cover and the pouch falls open. When you get around to hooking up MOLLE stuff, be sure to use the Vanquest MOLLE Sticks. I reviewed them over at My Gun Culture and they’re a lifesaver.

Here's a Vanquest ISOPOD mounted to the VSlinger with MOLLE Sticks. On the left is the folded pouch. It's shown in the open position on the right.
Here’s a Vanquest ISOPOD mounted to the VSlinger with MOLLE Sticks. On the left is the folded pouch. It’s shown in the open position on the right.

This is one awesome piece of gear. Everything on it is built like a cloth tank. The nylon is heavy, heavy, heavy duty and the zippers are beasts. You could indefinitely contain an irritable ferret in this bag without fear of its escape. Even the main buckle features a double-release mechanism. While you can operate it with one hand, it won’t come off until you want it to.

Highly recommended. You can get one here for about $135.
Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition
The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition