I am definitely not one to carry a “tactical” bag. Whenever I see someone with anything screaming military it makes me cringe. So when I got this bag, I went into it with hesitation but quickly became friends with it. I have not used a messenger bag since elementary school, however, its efficiency and versatility have made it a valuable addition to my life.

The Direct Action Messenger Bag

First, it has a laser cut Molle pattern covering the bag, so mounting pouches is not a problem. One thing I always do is put pens in it for work. I also stuck a snap link to it for my keys. On the outside, there is a field of Velcro to attach any necessary patches or markings. To top it off, the front and back have two zippered pouches to stow away small items such as books, although these pouches do not expand quite enough for a handgun.

Direct Action Messenger Bag: A versatile messenger bag for any lifestyle

On the sides of the bag, there are two pouches: one is open on the top and can hold a full-sized handgun with a light, which has been nice when I am using this as my go bag. The other pouch can fit a small bleeder kit. Underneath the bag is a bungee system that can hold a rain jacket or any similarly sized item that you don’t want to have inside. The bottom is also covered with a rubber lining keeping your contents dry if you set it down on a wet surface.

Direct Action Messenger Bag: A versatile messenger bag for any lifestyle

The inside of the lid has a clear plastic zippered pouch. At first, I didn’t think the clear material was necessary, but I realized it could be nice if you are traveling in a new area and want to toss a local map in it or the menu of your favorite teriyaki joint. The interior pouch is entirely lined with velcro to allow mounting of any organizers you have that work with that system. The laptop pouch is large enough to fit a full-size MacBook. The sleeve is fully padded including the sides and bottom, the padding between the interior and the back of the bag is the thickest– your laptop should be in good shape if you choose to carry it this way.

Direct Action Messenger Bag: A versatile messenger bag for any lifestyle

The final interior pockets on the bag are also large enough to hold a full-size pistol. One pouch is intended to hold personal items like your phone, wallet, keys, and pens. The other pouch is just a mesh pouch with another field of velcro.

The last part I want to point out on this bag is the zippers. It uses YKK zippers and Direct Action did something I have never seen before. They put heat shrink on all the zipper pulls, making them stick out from the bag, meaning that they are glove friendly. This is an excellent idea that really sets this bag apart from others. I plan on adopting this modification for my other bags.

The craftsmanship of this bag is very well thought out and I could not find any imperfections on it. Switching the loadout from school, to work, then to the range is both fun and keeps you organized.

If you have not used a messenger bag before, I recommend trying the Direct Action Messenger Bag.


Author – William Hoyt is a former Army Ranger of 1/75. He is now pursuing his bachelors in psychology and coaching swimming.