I ended up catching COVID. The whole family got it actually, so we had to self-isolate for 10 days and I needed something to do. I figured I'd grab the DSLR and do some nature photography. That way I could avoid coming into contact with anyone, and just get out for a little bit.
Plus this was obviously a great chance to spend some time with the Vertx Transit Sling 2.0 that I purchased just a few weeks prior.
I saw a very nice looking 60's or 70's era Corvette on the way to my shooting location. I thought about stopping off to try and get photos of that, but right COVID, gotta stay away from people. Too bad.
A little bit about the bag though, there are three main pockets in the bag. The pocket closest to the body is pretty slim, and has hook-and-loop (i.e. Velcro) padding inside. It's technically made for off-body carry of firearms. You can stick Vertx's own Tactigami in there, but you can also get plenty of Kydex holsters with Velcro backing to go in, which in my mind is the better idea. The holster necessarily becomes part of the safety mechanism of the firearm once you're carrying a striker-fired handgun with a round in the chamber. That positive retention is really important.
The pocket also has a slot for a custom body-armor panel from Premier Body Armor. I did order one of these panels and it fits pretty well perfectly. I'm not going to ballistically test it, you can check Premier's website for that info, but it is IIIA certified. I am planning on getting some magazine pouches for this pocket as well as off-body carry isn't my thing, but having some extra mags would be nice. I can also probably get a document pouch in here, or maybe a couple of organizers for slim stuff, but this is definitely not your main cargo carrying pocket.
Moving on to the middle pouch, this is where you're going to be carrying most of your stuff. I'm able to fit a 13" MBP comfortably into the retention strap (the extent of the protection you're going to get for your laptop though), alongside my AirPods Max with a carrying case. I've got plenty of room left over for a fixed-blade knife, a small survival kit (Superesse Straps' EDC Pocket Tin), a lighter, a ferro rod, and some miscellaneous odds and ends. You can fit probably a decent bit more, but not much more. I'm planning on adding a battery bank and some charging cables. I might be able to fit a journal and an emergency bivy sack but that is probably going to jam it tight.
This may sound like I'm knocking the sling for being too compact, but I'm not. For EDC I want something that has my essentials but doesn't allow me to carry too much, lest I get myself into a situation where it's too heavy to comfortably carry and I end up not carrying it. So in this case it's forcing me to decide on what is really important on each trip, and this can be very valuable.
Alright, onto the front pocket. The front pocket has two zippers and a bunch of molle webbing in it. It's designed to fit a trauma kit effectively, and that's exactly what I've done with it. I took a class on Stop the Bleed from my local gun shop (and I highly recommend you do the same as well, it's a fun class and you'll learn how to use that TQ and chest seal you carry with you before you actually need to use them, albeit I do recommend wearing old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty), and after taking that class and learning some important facts, I'm committed on carrying this gear as often as I carry my sidearm. If not for me, then to save someone else.
Also in that class, I learned the importance of a good set of shears. Fortunately I already had a Leatherman Raptor and the trauma kit plus raptor fit comfortably into the molle webbing of the front pocket. It even zips up properly so the pouch can be ripped open (as it's designed to) for rapid access to the trauma kit. Very good thinking on Vertx's part.
Back to how the bag performed. I got to my shooting site, and the bag was very easy to deal with. I wasn't really out and about but the bag never really got in the way. It was easy to access the contents from the driver's seat and minimal snags.
Flash forward to after my COVID infection and it was time for my baby girl to be born. Finally a good first test for the bag. Back and forth from the hospital room for a couple days, with some load hauling.
How'd it do? From the load hauling perspective, it did about as well as I expected it to do. It hauled the minimal amount of gear I carried, and then had enough space left over to shove in some extra outfits for my baby girl (somehow, once again, my wife and I seem to have completely forgotten just how much newborns spit up).
What the bag did excel at was staying mostly out of the way. If you bend over and don't have the extra strap buckled (I didn't, I have it cinched all the way down so it stays out of my way), it'll slide off a bit, but standing upright it does a great job just being non-cumbersome. I don't have to be anywhere near as aware of myself (like you do with big backpacks in cramped spaces).
Plus it wasn't heavy, nor did it get tiring on my shoulder(s). I did have to remove my trucker hat (honk honk!) to get it off and on, but that's seriously minor.
Also fortunately, I avoided yet another chance to test the body armor. God is good!
To bring everything to a conclusion, I was looking at this bag as an EDC bag. Something small, lightweight, and not cumbersome. Thus far this bag has excelled.
As mentioned, this bag is designed for off-body carry. It has a large zipper pull on the back zipper designed to make it easy to sling the bag from your back to your chest, then draw the firearm. I'll let you hop on YouTube to find examples as such, as this is not really the application I'm interested in this bag for. However, I'm going to have to explore over the coming months varying things that can be done with the slim back pocket. I think I worked a deal to buy a bunch of mags for my CCW, and provided I can find the ammunition, that'll be one thing I can use it for.
Now that the first date's done, I'll update again here in a few months after I've had some time to dial in a carry kit for this bag.
And in case you were curious, here are some other shots from my nature photo shoot.