GPS Handgunner Backpack Review

G•Outdoors, Inc. is a maker of hunting, fishing, and shooting gear and supplies. Founded in 2002 by Patrick Gee, the Chino, California-based company has a mission to create and manufacture the best sporting products for enthusiasts. G•Outdoors focuses on quality and innovation.

G•Outdoors designed the GPS Handgunner Backpack for a single purpose: one or more days at the gun range, a shooting competition, or a firearms class.  It isn’t a “tactical” backpack, and it isn’t for hunting. It’s for transporting up to four handguns, and plenty of accessories, to and from the range, hands-free with easy access. 

The range backpack concept seems to have originated with action shooting matches, like USPSA and IDPA, which have grown in popularity over the past twenty years. These packs became necessary because the competitors shoot multiple stages during each event, toting all their equipment with them.

Here are the specifications and features of the backpack:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 19 Inches
  • Weight: 1.5 lb Empty
  • Vertical Storage Cradle (Holds 4 Handguns)
  • Visual ID System
  • Room for Accessories
  • Lockable Zippers
  • Waterproof Pull-Out Cover
  • Freestanding
  • Velcro for Morale Patches
  • Available in Black, Digital Camo, Black/Tan, Tan, Gray, and Rifle Khaki

The Handgunner Backpack promises a  balance between storage, accessibility, and hands-free mobility. 

What We Like

At 16 x 10 x 19 inches, or approximately 3040 cubic inches, the GPS Handgunner Backpack is roomy, but still highly portable.  Weighing in at just 1.5 pounds empty, you won’t be weighed down by this backpack as you carry your gear around. 

The “Vertical Storage Cradle” is a CNC-cut hard foam insert that holds up to four pistols in place by their trigger guards. According to G•Outdoors, a significant advantage of this design is that it offers 360 degrees of protection in transit.

To access the pistol storage insert, unzip the lower front compartment. The cradle slides out for easy access to your handguns. The capacity of the insert is adequate for most users. You can’t fit a “Dirty Harry” .44 magnum in there, but a full-sized 1911 service pistol or an S&W service revolver will both fit fine.

 We like the modular design of the Handgunner Backpack pistol storage system.  You can remove the insert at the range to shoot, put it back in the bag, take the pistols home to clean them, and then store them in your gun safe in the insert. There’s no need to fumble with pistol rugs or pouches.

The maker’s “Visual ID System” is a smart labeling system to help you keep organized. There are pockets for each specific item, each of which is indicated by its symbol. Shooting glasses, ear protection, cleaning supplies, and more have their own designated pocket or area.

The GPS Handgunner Backpack keeps the following accessories secure and organized in transit to and from the range:

  • 12 Extra Magazines
  • Ammo
  • Shooting Glasses
  • Ear Protection
  • Targets
  • Stapler
  • Tape
  • Binoculars or Spotting Scope
  • Shooting Mats
  • Cleaning Supplies

It has a Velcro storage area for rolled-up targets, so you don’t need to worry about crumpled up targets.

 We found the capacity and organization of the backpack remarkable.  Users have reported filling the bag with so much ammo it weighed 38 lbs., or at least 1000 rounds assuming the bag also contained at least one or two pistols and some other accessories. That’s more than enough rounds for most weekend classes or competitions.

The Handgunner Backpack doesn’t deform or sag, even when it’s full. The freestanding design means you can put the bag on a range table, car seat, or the ground, and it will stay upright. For a bag that can hold enough gear for two or even three shooters, it’s very comfortable to carry around.

The backpack also has lockable zippers, which are necessary for lawful transportation in some states. The lockable zippers won’t deter a dedicated thief, but they are a nice layer of added security against young children when paired with other safety measures like firearms locks and gun safes.

The GPS Handgunner’s  waterproof pull-out cover is a well-thought-out addition  that demonstrates G•Outdoors has tested the backpack in real-world conditions. Users taking outdoor classes, shooting at public ranges, or using the bag to transport their handguns on a motorcycle appreciate this feature.

The backpack has sturdy stitching, robust fabric, and an internal liner. It’s built to last. It isn’t the most expensive range backpack on the market, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. With six different colors available, you can pick a bag to match your personal preference or duty uniform.

What We Wish Was Different

Some users found their handguns didn’t fit in the “Vertical Storage” insert for one reason or another: most lasers,  some optics, tactical lights, and larger guns like a Browning Buckmark .22 lr pistol are no-go’s. 

We would love to see G•Outdoors offer aftermarket foam block inserts for different sized pistols. Since they don’t some users trim the foam to storage three pistols, then rotate it 90 degrees for more storage space. Another user threw away his pistol storage unit, but still loves the bag!

Some users may find the GPS Handgunner overbuilt for their needs. If you only go to the range once a month or less, the Handgunner is overkill.  If you aren’t shooting hundreds of rounds in a single visit or attending competitions or classes, you’d be better off with a cloth bag or standard backpack. 

What Other Customers Say

Paul B. can fit two sets of everything – including eye and ear protection – plus plenty of ammo. He says the GPS Handgunner Backpack is a great range backpack.

Customer “Watson” loves his bag and says it’s everything you could want in a range bag.

“KC” uses his GPS Handgunner when he rides his motorcycle to the range. It’s well made, and he appreciates the 12-pocket labeled storage system.

Wrapping Up

The Handgunner was picked as the best backpack in our list of the best range bags

The Handgunner is more expensive than a basic range bag, but compared to competitors’ range backpacks it’s economically priced.  If you are a casual shooter, you may be better off with a simpler bag that costs less, but if you’re an avid shooter, the GPS Handgunner is a top pick for value and function. 

The GPS Handgunner Backpack is a top-notch range backpack. It looks, feels, and performs excellently, and has more than enough room for 99% of serious handgunners.

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About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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