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Things That Don’t Suck – Vertx SOCP Fanny Pack

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The SOCP Fanny pack is perfect for concealed carry (Travis Pike for TTAG)

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A wave of 1980s nostalgia hit us in 2016 and still hasn’t let up. The 1980s are still considered cool, and I’d like to see us pull some of the more valuable things out of the 1980s. Like gas prices, a lack of the Hughes Amendment and fanny packs. The good news is that we get one of the three, and that’s fanny packs. In 1988, fanny packs were hailed as the product of the year, and in 2024, we have a small but growing market of fanny pack options for concealed carriers. One of these modern options is the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack.

There was a time when the all-black fanny pack was considered a CCW tell. If a random guy had one conspicuously close to his right hand, he was carrying a gun. They were the photographer’s vest of their era. With fanny packs falling out of style and the arrival of hundreds of concealed carry holsters, I think that perception has faded.

I also think products like the SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack aren’t the best for everyday carry. Concealed carry fanny packs are another tool for the toolbox, which leads us to explain why the fanny pack could be a valuable choice for you.

Why Fanny Packs

I landed on the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack after researching ways to carry it while I worked out. That led to me looking for an option to carry a firearm in all sorts of unusual situations. How do I carry when I take my kids to the beach? Or to a water park? What about when I mow the yard? That led to numerous alternative options but ultimately had me settle on the fanny pack.

Don’t call it out of style. Travis Pike Photo

The concealed carry fanny pack offers you an extreme degree of concealment. If you pick an adequately sized fanny pack, you can hide a full-sized handgun without a problem. Your fanny pack is still a pack. It can carry your gun, a reload, a knife, a light, a cell phone, medical gear, bug spray, sunscreen, chapstick, wallet and so on. In those odd situations, it becomes quite valuable beyond even the gun.

I use my fanny pack for more than guns. Travis Pike Photo

I live in the middle of nowhere in Florida, which is essentially Australia junior when it comes to things that can kill you. When I work outdoors, hike, run, etc., I stay strapped, and the fanny pack dominates concealment, security and retention. The downside is a slow draw that requires practice, but I think it’s worth the effort.

Why the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack

There are many fanny packs out there, and many are aimed at the tactical and concealed carry market. I’ve tried a few, but after finding the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack, I stopped looking. It offered me everything I could want, including a massive dedicated concealed carry pouch at the rear of the pack.

The bag can be worn as a cross body option. Travis Pike Photo

The concealed carry pouch opens completely for easy access to your firearm. Inside that pouch, Vertx includes a holster retainer that allows you to attach your standard belt holster to the retainer. The retainer attaches to the loop material on the inside of the pouch. Using your standard holster is quite nice, and you aren’t reliant on a quasi-universal design. This improves safety and makes the gun quicker to draw and get on target.

A fanny pack allows you to carry some spare goodies with ease. Travis Pike Photo

The pocket can hold a full-sized gun, but it would be tight. I’d stick to Glock 19 and smaller. I tend to just carry my P365 or a J frame with it.

Going Fast

I do wish we had a hot pull option inside the SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack, but the massive Rapid Access Tab does an excellent job of making the weapon accessible. Drawing from a neutral position and getting an accurate shot on target takes about three seconds for me when I start cold. I could get to it under three with practice and with staging the zipper and rapid access tab just right.

See how the retainer holds the gun and holster? Travis Pike Photo

You can open the pack, reach in and grip the gun without drawing it. If your spider senses tingle, you can pre-stage your draw and reduce the time to under a second. If your spider senses are wrong, the gun remains concealed. It’s a bit like pocket carry, but obviously, it can be a little more apparent and less casual than pocket carry.

Drawing with one hand presents another interesting challenge that’s also considerably slower than a normal holster. It’s the nature of the beast.

Drawing isn’t the fastest from a fanny pack. Travis Pike Photo

Fanny packs aren’t a great option if a quick draw is your primary goal. This lack of speed is why I think a good, dedicated holster is a better solution in most situations. For activity-specific tasks, the Vertx SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack offers you a capable solution versus heading out unheeled.

Wearing The Pack

The thick and very adjustable waist strap makes carrying a heavy gun comfortable. I don’t mind it on my hips as I move and work. It doesn’t beat me up during the day, and I can shift it to my side and forget about it during some dynamic activities.

The belt’s adjustment makes it easy to size the fanny pack into a small cross-body bag. Some people haven’t accepted the superior fashion choice of wearing a fanny pack, so they might prefer to carry the bag across their body. At the end of the fanny pack, where the waistband attaches, sit two micro-sized pockets big enough for a small spare mag or speed loader.

This micor sized pocket allows you to carry a spare magazine. Travis Pike Photo

The external appearance is plain and somewhat muted. It looks a bit more like it’s part of what the kids call “street wear” rather than tactical. It’s not overtly tactical, but perception might change from person to person. In my use case, I don’t care what people think while I run, mow, hike or run a chainsaw.

The SOCP Tactical Fanny Pack offers a large admin pocket with plenty of room for extra goodies. There are mesh organizers with internal pockets to make it easy to organize your goodies. The fanny pack also comes with a gear overflow pouch that can be moved around and attached inside the bag.

The included overflow pouch is a nice touch. Travis Pike Photo

There is a dedicated front phone pocket. This pocket can flip forward and act as a nav board, so you can use your phone’s internal GPS and map to navigate. With the pocket in the up position, you can remove an exterior flap and open a window so your phone’s camera is exposed, making it easy to record.

Boom, now its a nav board. Travis Pike Photo

A Fanny Pack Option

Not everyone needs a fanny pack option for concealed carry. It’s a stand-out attachment, but in many activities, it blends in well. It offers me several pockets full of goodies in a convenient and easy-to-carry package. The appearance is low-key and doesn’t scream tactical. Most importantly, it offers me access to a firearm during some activities that would make wearing a holster uncomfortable, unsafe or impractical.

It’s a tool I plan to keep in the box.

 

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