Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Drago Sentry Pack For iPad/Tablets Review

Drago Sentry Pack For iPad/Tablets Review

If you play word association about me with my lovely wife, Ms Pandemic, and start with the word "Bags", she will make it abundantly clear that I have a serious obsession with bags. Some would say I have a sick obsession which requires medication and personal time alone in a little rubber room... well according to my wife anyway.

Oddly enough, Drago reached out to me because I had stuck up for them regarding their quality to price ratio at a writers and media event where one manufacturer was comparatively leaning pretty heavy on Drago. My rather blunt and public rebuttal in the meeting was something to the fact that "Wait a minute, Drago delivers awesome tactical feature rich bags and probably the best bang for the buck when it comes to sub $70 packs." Those words somehow made their way back to Drago of my heroic ground standing comment regarding their brand. The result was that they wanted to thank me with my choice of a pack. I was a little surprised but immediately took them up on their kind offer by choosing the Drago Sentry Pack For iPad/Tablets.

ABOUT DRAGO
Drago is actually an OEM company that produces packs, cases, and sporting accessories for very big names in the industry, however they also offer their own line of high value products as well which includes the Tracker. I would love it if everything could be made right here in the US, but the price point of this pack dictates overseas manufacturing which Drago heavily supervised to assure their ethical and quality standards are met.

FIT, FEEL, FINISH, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
I travel a lot for my day job; around 120 days a year. During these travels, you learn a lot about what packs work best when you are carrying camping and hunting gear, laptops, tablets, guns, and the general assortment of crap I have somehow convinced myself is handy when traveling by train, flying, driving, walking, or in the case of my last nearly missed flight, running.

In most cases, I am carrying either Drago Tracker or 511 pack. When loads add up I use the Trekker, and when carrying concealed, the 511's trick little CCW pouch is super convenient especially when you are running in and out of client meetings in a suit. That noted, more and more I seem to be just traveling with a tablet such as my Ipad and I do not need a small laptop accommodating hiking pack just to carry keys, pens, TSA approved Leatherman, chargers, battery backup, bluetooth, ipod, 20 feet of paracord, business cards, two large trash bags, a ferro rod, aspirin, a few protein bars, a tactical light, and headphones.


If you fly a lot, you know that you will often find whatever you hauled on the plane needs to be stuffed under your legs. As a bigger guy with an old right knee that tends to lock up on me, maximizing my legroom is essential, so I am always attempting to get my bag size as small as possible and the Drago Sentry Pack is the perfect size of small for tablet owners.

To date, I have logged about 30 days in travel with the Drago Sentry pack and absolutely love it. Essentially the pack has two external pockets, a main compartment with internal zippered pocket and a velcro closure pocket divider to separate tables from all your other crap in the main compartment. On the back, Drago has included a rubberized cushion back pocket to provide both a CCW pocket and keep the pack planted during spirited jaunts.


In theory, the rear CCW pocket provides a non-compartmented option to stash small-mid sized CCW pistols and a mag, however will require some sort of retention. The inside of the compartment is lined with a Velcro hook and loop field to secure the firearm, however Drago does not include any straps or universal CCW holster.  Without retention, the firearm ends up flopping around in there unsecured.  This is a problem as using the single sling style of the pack spins the pack from your back under your arm into a vertical position when accessing the internals so you need to be careful that you do not dump you CCW pistol on the floor.

One of the better options would be to use a Velcro backed holster such as a Crossbreed Purse Defender (which also works on any bag) in this rear compartment, however the firearm selected should be a thin pistol without too much bulk or it will be obvious you are carrying something back there. The pack is already not big by any stretch of the imagination, and the rear compartment is even smaller only about 7”x7” square, so it really limits the size of the firearm carried. A Kahr CM9 or any of the single stack 9mm or .380 pistols would be good options for carry in this position.


I end up carrying my CCW firearm on my hip or placing a larger firearm in the main zippered rear compartment. I have found that the rear pocket works extraordinarily well for carrying a folded magazine or paper since the main compartment is too small to accommodate said periodicals. The back pocket also have a center closure tab, which I guess was added to increase stability and help keep the pocket closed. The tab performs that job, but does not provide any firearm retention. For a fast CCW carry bag, 511 Rush Moab with the secret CCW velcro pouch is still one of the fastest and most ergonomic options around. A similar front secret velcro closured pocket starting at the top of the sunglasses pocket to the bottom of the pack would be an awesome everyday CCW bag.


The top front external pocket is fleece lined for sunglasses and the lower external pocket is minimal, but does have some organization for pens and a pistol magazine/business card pouch.

The tablet pouch inside the main compartment has a little cushioning and secures the table with a velcro closure, to assure you don't dump your tablet on the ground while fishing through the main compartment for your phone charger. The pocket is big enough that mini- laptops can also fit in the pouch - dimensionally the small Apple  iMac Air should fit.  The zippered pocket in the main compartment is handy for small and less used items such as trash bags, paracord, and ferro rods.

Externally the Drago Sentry Pack For iPad/Tablets is covered with MOLLE webbing and D-rings at various points, so if you do want to add a pouch for added capacity you can. I did move the Molle compatible cell phone pouch from the shoulder strap to the left side of the pack. I will also be adding an elastic AR15 magazine pouch on the side as well to primarily hold a drink bottle, but provide Magazine carry capacity if needed.

If you need to go all high speed, there is even a removable sternum strap, however I have never used mine.

The Drago line is an absolutely the best dollar for dollar deal on the market when it comes to packs. They are made overseas of course. In fact almost every product is way under $100. Even the quality of the materials is as good or sometimes better than what I have seen on high dollar premium packs. Though the material and components are high quality on all three of my Drago packs and they all wear like any other heavy duty quality packs I own. With all the good points, I have come to expect that I will not see top end workmanship on their packs.  Good workmanship, but not great. The seams will always be functionally durable, however not always straight, more than a few loose threads inside and out on the pack, and where a seam was missed, there may be another stitch line to secure the materials. Priced at about 75% less than comparable bags, with durability intact, I can let the workmanship slip for the price.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Just as I justify with every bag I own to Mrs. pandemic. Now for the mic dropping conclusion to this review. The Drago Sentry Pack For iPad/Tablets is under $40 out on the street. Yeah, I know that is just insane even if you just need to carry your iPad and gun back and forth to Panera or Starbucks. The Drago Sentry pack delivers a solution unique to the industry which is just big enough for most small laptops, iPads and tablets with just enough extra room for everyday items, a few survival bits, and even a handgun. Welcome to my obsession. You need this bag if you own a tablet. I do wish Drago would offer this in Grey and khaki colors in addition to black. If they did, I would own three. Mic dropped.

SPECS
Drago Sentry Pack For iPad/Tablets
ITEM NUMBER
14-306BL
Quantity:    Availability: In stock
PRODUCT FEATURES
Internal storage compartment specifically designed to hold your iPad® or tablet
Thick cushioning and secure strap help keep your device safe and protected
Designed to hold iPad® with our without case
Fast access concealed-carry compartment
Sunglass compartment
Organization system for power adaptor, charging cable, pens and keys
Smart-phone holder on sling strap
Made of 600D Polyester
Dimensions: 13"x10"x7"
Approximate Capacity: 659 cu in
Street $39.99

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