> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Review: HawkePak Quick N' Dirty Essentials Bag



Review: HawkePak Quick N' Dirty Essentials Bag

I'm back and forth on the best way to carry spare mags for a fighting rifle. Chest rigs, war belts and sneaky bags all have their merits and uses. For most normal everyday guys, I think a low-profile shoulder bag makes a lot of sense--fast to grab in a home defense scenario, and won't draw attention like a chest rig will.

Suarez International has been promoting the use of shoulder bags for a while now, mainly the original Sneaky Bags, but more recently the HawkePak produced Terrorist Interdiction Bag (TIB). The TIB hits a sub-$60 price point, making it very attractive. I went to purchase a TIB, but found them out of stock. As of this post, they're still out of stock.

I ended up purchasing a similar HawkePak product, the Quick N' Dirty, sold by SKD Tactical. The QND is similar to the TIB, minus the zipper side pockets, and the main compartment has six mag pouches instead of three and no back pocket. You can't carry as much misc stuff in the QND, but you can carry more mags--12 AR-15 mags if you load the QND to capacity.

The QND is a well-made bag, though the materials aren't as solid as some of the Maxpedition products I've used; they use a lighter weight Cordura, though I'm not sure what the exact weight is. It's a tough bag though, sewn well and with quality zippers and other hardware. It's worth the $55 price.

The QND's main compartment, capable of holding a dozen AR-15 mags.
The main compartment is made up of 6 magazine pouches, each large enough to hold two AR-15 magazines. Yes, they will also fit a Glock or similar sized pistol as well. The compartment is sealed with a zipper, which is easily and quickly opened. I've removed the zipper pull from one of the zippers to help facilitate a speedy opening. If you have time, the mouth of the compartment can be folded back to allow for better access to the magazine pouches.

The mag pouches come with the standard elastic retention bands, which I found to be too clumsy to remove at any kind of speed. The interior is too cramped to quickly find your desired mags, flip the elastic off and then pull the magazine free. It just becomes a big tangle of elastic and mags, with the zipper lid complicating matters. Luckily, the elastic tabs are removable (velcro), and I've removed them. The magazines are now fast to remove for reloads. Tactical reloads--removing a full magazine and replacing a partially expended magazine in the pouch--are slower, with a little bit of fumbling to find the magazine pouch, but still pretty good.

However, running without the elastics brings about a new problem. With the main compartment opened, there's not much to retain the magazines. This isn't a problem if you're standing, running, kneeling or whatever, but if you move to any kind of prone position, a few magazines are liable to spill out onto the ground. I'm currently looking at picking up some kydex inserts for the magazine pouches, which should provide the desired retention and also aid in speeding up tactical reloads.

The capacity of the QND is a bit overkill--I'm planning on three spares at the moment, and am certainly not planning on using a full twelve. A bag like this should be light and maneuverable, and a dozen loaded magazines is generally not light and maneuverable. Excess capacity usually doesn't hurt though, and you could certainly fill this to the brim if your heart so desired.
The front pocket of the QND. Yes, I need a new backdrop for my photos.

The QND has a decent sized front pocket, sealed with a side-release buckle and velcro..err, hook-and-loop. I keep a blowout-kit inside. An elastic organizer panel is sewn into the back of this, with slots to hold pistol magazines, folding knives or what-have-you.

There are also two small slots along the sides, right below where the shoulder strap connects. These are of marginal use--a Glock magazine is the biggest thing that will fit, but with no retention, concealment and the shoulder strap hardware in the way to foul a draw. Not sure exactly what to put in here, if anything.
The back of the QND. You can see the carrying handle, shoulder strap hardware, metal triangle thingies
 and one of the side pockets/slots.
A belt of some kind is a wise addition if you're planning on doing much running-and-gunning with this bag. Without  it, the bag flops and swings around a bit, getting in the way or making for unpredictable mag changes. However, a makeshift belt introduces new issues--it may interfere with other gear, like your pistol/holster or backup pistol magazines. I'm trying to figure out the best way to work this out, and may go without a belt or figure out some kind of way to attach to a belt. The QND comes with two metal triangle thingies (technical term), placed for some kind of user-provided belt attachment, which makes life easier.

I'm not a fan of the velcro panel on the front...I don't like "ID panels" or whatever you want to call them in general, but especially on a bag like this that's supposed to be low profile. I plan on removing the velcro panel in the future.

The Quick N' Dirty is a pretty good solution for carrying a basic fighting load in a low profile way. It's not perfect, but for the $55 ticket price, it's pretty darn good. If you're looking for a magazine-carrying shoulder bag, the QND is one of the best options currently on the market.