Review: Singing in the rain with the Orca Tactical Range Bag
Come hear our song of lead and steel!
I took way too long to get a range bag. I used to haphazardly carry gun boxes, ammo, PPE, and such to the range like an idiot. I’m not sure why I waited so long, but once you get a range bag, you don’t go back. I’ve owned and utilized a dozen different models over the years, and each has had its pros and cons.
Size-wise, I typically go rather large for trips with multiple firearms and super small range bags for when I’m just practicing with my CCW. I didn’t have much in between until I stumbled across the Orca Tactical Range Bag. This hefty little fella is a medium-sized range bag that doesn’t take up much bench space but still carries a surprising amount of gear. It seemed to be the perfect Goldilocks size of range bags that would help me eliminate my collection of both small and large alternatives.
What drew me to the relatively inexpensive Orca Tactical Range Bag is both the size and the pocket and organization ability. My big range bag tends to offer lots of room but little organization. It’s a black hole that I toss things in and then have to fish them out. I liked the idea of being able to keep the gear I need at the range on-hand at all times and have easy access to it.
Editor’s note: the Orca Tactical Range Bag also made Task & Purpose’s list of the best range bags of the year.
As far as the company, Orca Tactical, I’m not very familiar with them. Lots of nylon and textile companies exist, so it’s tough to know them all. Orca Tactical is an American-owned company that’s headquartered in North Carolina. They started with an EMT pouch and have grown from there.
Like many, I’m picky about gear, especially when the gear can cost close to a hundred bucks. I approached with caution, like a deer, nervous but interested. Let’s see if the Orca Tactical Range Bag is a tasty corn treat or a hunter’s trap.
The bag is 16 inches long by 11 inches tall by 9 inches wide and offers plenty of room for storing your goodies. It’s a big bag, and it doesn’t come in a box, but we can talk about first impressions.
Once you pull out the Orca Tactical Range Bag, you can see it’s full of pockets and pouches to an extreme degree. Lots of stuff zippers, Velcro, and straps. I examined the bag prior to stuffing it full of range gear, and I’m still finding pockets in this thing. They are everywhere, both small and large, inside and outside. Pockets offer options, and I like options.
Outside of the pockets are tons of elastic bands of varying sizes to keep things from getting too cluttered in the bag. The varied sizes allow you to stash rifle and pistol magazines, flashlights, tools, and shotgun shells. One side has bands capable of fitting rifle magazines, and the opposite side pouch will fit PCC and pistol mags. In the main pouch, there’s a long strip of mini elastic bands for the small stuff.
The pockets include four external pouches, two small internal pouches, as well as various dividers. The main pouch has both a fixed and removable divider. The removable divider allows you to have plenty of room for tons of gear. I’m going to stop listing pouches and pockets now because I could waste the entire article doing so.
The bag has a suitcase-style joint handle and a big carrying strap with a pad. The main strap is also removable. Orca Tactical used 600D polyester fabric to construct the bag, and as such, it’s tough but not superbly waterproof. It’s water-resistant — and trust me, I put that to the test.
How we tested the Orca Tactical Range Bag
That’s easy: I loaded this mother trucker down with gear and took it with me to the range over and over and over. Range gear for me is split between the everyday necessities and the ammo, magazines, and gear required for particular weapons. Everyday gear includes ears and eyes, a stapler and staples, a shot timer, a multitool, and similar items.
I loaded the Orca Tactical Range Bag with the everyday gear first. It gets first dibs on placement. I organized this gear to emphasize easy access, and it was quite easy to do. All those little pouches make it easy for me to squirrel away the necessities to ensure they are never forgotten.
I appreciated the ability to organize my gear for easy access at the range. I can pop the ammo, magazines, and more with ease. The big main pouch allows me to stash several hundred rounds of ammunition, as well as my PPE and gun cleaning gear. The massive mouth of the main pouch makes it easy to pull things out and toss them back in.
It’s summer in Florida, so that means it’s almost flooding here. It rains and rains a lot. If I want to get work done, I’m getting wet, and so is the Orca Tactical Range Bag. If you’re gonna name your company Orca Tactical, it better be able to withstand a little rain.
Surprisingly it seemed to do fine. I didn’t spray it with a water hose, but it got a shower or two. As long as the bag was closed, nothing on the inside got wet. Maybe a little humid, but not wet. It dried rapidly too. After 20 minutes in the sun, I couldn’t tell it got rained on.
What we like about the Orca Tactical Range Bag
First, I love the pockets, the elastic bands, and all the organizational ability I get from this bag. The relief it gives from my old black hole of a bag is fantastic. I love being able to easily grab what I need when I need it and start shooting.
The bag size is also fantastic. It’s not big enough to be obnoxious and take up a ton of space on my range bench. On the bottom is a set of rubberized textured feet to keep the bag from sliding around, which is also something I appreciate because it sucks to spill your range bag.
The big mouth of the mag does make it easy to grip and rip gear and also toss it in. When I’m at the range, I’m at the range, so I’m not always putting things back where they go immediately. Sometimes I just want to toss stuff in and start shooting. The variety of pockets also allows me to store small gear that’s easily lost, like batteries, tools, and lens caps.
One pouch also offers a rather wide zipper radius which allows me to access the pockets, pouches, and elastic bands inside the pouch. Also, as you’d imagine, I like the fact that it resists water and keeps my internal gear dry. Overall it appears to be a tough range bag. It’s been kicked, dropped, tossed in a trunk, and left in the sun, and it’s yet to fade, the metal hasn’t rusted, and it’s far from frayed.
Speaking of metal hardware, the YKK zippers provide smooth zipping action. The zippers are broad and easy to grip and pull when wearing gloves or dealing with sweaty hands. Little things matter and I appreciate the quality YKK zippers offer.
I also like that I can toss a couple of bottles of water to the sides of my range bag. Again, Florida in the summer is hot. By 8 a.m., I’m sweating, and I like to keep hydrated.
What we don’t like about the Orca Tactical Range Bag
First, the side pouches need to be a little bigger height-wise. The elastic bands designed to hold magazines work well as long as your magazine is strictly an AR or 9mm magazine that holds roughly 30 rounds. The 32-round magazines from Daniel Defense and the 35-round Magpul Scorpion magazines fit tightly and make it almost impossible to close the zipper. AK magazines will be an absolute no-go if you plan to close the pouch. Additionally, the elastic bands won’t fit AR-10 mags or similar massive magazines.
Second, while lots of room, pouches, and elastic bands are present, you can use all of them and close the pouch. With my current loadout, the bag just barely closes. There is room and empty pouches left, but anything added will make the bag impossible to close. You have lots of options, and you just can’t use them all.
The Orca Tactical Range Bag offers a lot of organizational ability and gives you a mid-size bag that packs quite the load out. The organization and size make it plenty easy to store and find your gear, guns, magazines, ammo, and targets with ease. Plus, it seems to be able to take the pain of rain, sand, and weight with ease. It’s not perfect, but I do like the design and find it to be that Goldilocks option for size and efficiency.
FAQs about the Orca Tactical Range Bag
More questions? Here’s Task & Purpose’s additional brief.
Q: How much does the Orca Tactical Range Bag cost?
A: MSRP is $84.99 on Amazon.
Q: Can you safely carry guns in the bag?
A: You can carry unloaded guns safely, and the bag provides plenty of dividers to keep guns from bumping into each other.
Q: Is there any MOLLE for expansion?
A: Negative Ghost Rider, you get the pouches you get.
Q: Can I lock the zippers?
A: You can lock the zippers of the side pouches, but not the main pouch.
Got questions? Comment below & talk with T&P’s editors
Travis Pike is a former Marine machine gunner who served with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines for five years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army. He plays in the great outdoors of Northwest Florida and enjoys good beer, sharp knives, and long walks in the woods.
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