Survival Gear Review: Leatherback Gear TACTICAL ONE Bulletproof Backpack


I needed to find the best tactical bag I could use as a carry-on for airlines. People say I travel a lot, but I think that depends on one’s perspective. I might travel periodically for work, but that is usually limited to a trip to Las Vegas for a SHOT Show or to tour the Las Vegas underground home, which pales in comparison to the corporate businessman or woman flying from meeting here to meeting there. It’s more common to find me travelling for vacation and adventure than for work; and compared to the average American, who doesn’t take the vacation time they deserve, I probably do travel more for vacations.

By Derrick, owner of Prepper Press

Regardless, I travel enough that I have become particular about how I travel. I am mindful of what I should pack, how to pack it, and what to pack it all in. I have had to watch the weight of my carry-on bags. I have also flown on smaller Cessna planes that limit what you can bring. I have also had my luggage delayed enough times that I try to avoid checked bags whenever possible.

Being a prepper also forces me to see travel, and thus luggage, through prepper eyes. Compound that with the fact my wife and I trend toward the more adventurous side of travel. That means we always skip the all-inclusive resorts in favor of finding our own way, which at times, has led us to… shall we say “questionable” areas in places like Belize and Mexico. We have generally found the American stereotypes of these places (and of the people) to differ wildly from the reality there. Still, the same as you might travel to parts Chicago, D.C., or Detroit and suddenly be struck with “I probably shouldn’t be here,” the same has happened to us more than once in foreign countries.

So, being a prepper with a bag fetish (don’t judge) and an interest in travel, I set out to find the best tactical carry-on bag for flying. I had five criteria in mind:

It must be a backpack. Carrying a bag by hand from terminal to terminal, from airport to shuttle, and while out adventuring, gets very old very fast. I want to wear that weight on my back.

It must fit within airline dimensions for carry-on bags. This may seem obvious, but it rules out many backpacks that might otherwise fit the bill. I wanted a bag that will fit just within the dimensions so that space can be maximized. Not smaller, and not bigger. “It won’t fit,” are three words you don’t want to hear as you attempt to board the plane.

Check out: Survival Cache Podcast – Interview with Derrick of Prepper Press 

It must have features that allow easy access to different items. I wanted a bag where I could access different items without having to sort through the entire bag.

It must accommodate a laptop. Owning and operating a business like Prepper Press means I need to take a PC with me when traveling. The site has gone down (or required a different prompt fix) more than once.

It needed to be a tactical carry-on bag. “Tactical” means different things to different people. For some, it just means “tacticool.” For me, it means solid construction with top-grade materials, able to accept MOLLE accessories, and possessing the best safety features I can get.

Enter Leatherback Gear’s “TACTICAL ONE Bulletproof Backpack Pro.”

The market for bulletproof backpacks has shot up (no pun intended). Mass shootings, school shootings, or the natural development of the firearms and related accessories market, pick your reason(s).

Whatever they are, the demand for bulletproof backpacks is only increasing. I never set out to buy a bulletproof backpack, but it fit the bill. Let’s see how it fit into my criteria. 

It must be a backpack.


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