ALPS OutdoorZ is traditionally associated with hunting gear and its extensive line of purpose-built packs. I have pulled these packs across many sections of the Appalachian Trail and on numerous hunts across the continent. While they fit the needs for specific outdoor activities, I’ve always wondered how they would address an “everyday carry” variant should they find market demand for one. Well as the world turned into the fiery shit show that was 2020 that day came and Alps has delivered the Ghost 30 EDC pack.
The Ghost 30 takes the Greyman concept quite literally as it is, well, grey. The “30” alludes to far more than the magic number that makes a magazine deadly and evil, it represents the total capacity of 30 liters. This bag is loaded with features that are conducive to everyday life like a padded sunglass compartment right up top that is also good for delicate electronics. More padding is found in the main compartment to accommodate a laptop and a tablet…even two laptops, if that’s your jam. Adjacent to this is three rows of stitched webbing that can accommodate MOLLE gear or whatever you want to D-ring off of it. Slightly below that are two mesh compartments, one over the other making it very easy to find what you are looking for without having to dump your entire pack.
As we rifled through this bag, we found several more of these mesh internal compartments, which just makes organization sweet and keeps frustration levels at a minimum (unlike literally everything last year and so far this year too). On the outside of the bag are two elastic pockets designed for larger, 32-oz.-sized bottles, or can be used as stuff sacks for light jackets or similar clothing. Towards the bottom of the bag is an attached rain cover that can be removed by slipping it out of the H-buckle should you want to have an extra compartment or just don’t want the extra weight.
Other features include six pen-style pouches for writing implements or even long tools like screwdrivers. Lastly, even though it isn’t built for survival on the trail, there are two H2O outlets should you want to hook a hydration bladder through your bag. Hey, if nothing else it’s a good way to sneak vodka into concerts. (Remember concerts?)
While this bag has everything that it takes to haul around whatever junk you may carry on a daily basis, the star of the show is the massive padded handgun pouch that presses flat against your back. This pouch has two openings, one on each side to accommodate both righties and lefties, or if you just feel the desire to carry two guns that day (and you should, shit’s cray-cray). This pouch is lined with a hook-and-loop fastener system that we all know by the brand name our lawyers won’t let us use but starts with “v” and rhymes with “melto.” This allows you to fasten a holster that already has or has been fitted with the rough or “hook” side of this popular fastening system.
I tested the bag at the range with a variety of semi-automatic handguns and revolvers. I liked how the bag supported the guns, but you definitely need to find the right position and fasten your holster in place. It is very spacious back there and the last thing you want to do is search for your gun in an emergency. Even though it was up against my back I did not feel the gun digging into me in any way, and that’s just a testament to the comfort level that ALPS delivers. To access the gun, I needed to take at least one strap off my shoulder, but I’m not exactly the most limber guy in the world either.
The strap system was top-notch and shared a lot of the same features of the “long-distance” packs that Alps makes. I found them easy to adjust and was happy to see that the Ghost 30 had the oft-unappreciated sternum strap that keeps everything from sliding down your shoulders. Comfort and ease of carrying play a big role here. For more information visit http://www.alpsoutdoorz.com/
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