It’s In The Bag —
Choosing A Range Bag


You helped your female customer choose her firearm and her eye/ear protection. Now it’s time to talk range bags.

There are numerous articles titled something like “The Best Range Bags For Women.” You read them and wonder if any of them are really the best bag for female customers. Are the reviewer’s likes and preferences the same as your typical customer’s? Will their recommendations actually work for her? 

You can help your female customer by asking her some questions to help her decide which range bag will best work for her needs. 

Choosing a range bag is like choosing anything else — it starts with asking questions, such as:

• What will she be using it for?

• What should she put in the bag versus what does she just want to put in the range bag?

• What features and options should she consider?

How Will She Use It?

If she’s just going to an indoor range, she might want a simple bag she can move discreetly from her car to the indoor range. If she’s parking right out in the parking lot, she may be able to leave any “extras” in her car and go out to get them if needed.

But if she’s shooting at an outdoor range, she may need to walk quite a distance from her car. Then she may want to think about what she can reasonably carry so her bag isn’t too heavy since she likely won’t want to run out to her car.

If she’s just shooting a handgun, again, a simple range bag may suffice. However, this may also depend on whether she’s planning to shoot more than one during practice or competition. Then she may need a larger bag to hold multiple handguns.

If she’s shooting long guns as well, such as in a 3-Gun match, she will also need to be able to carry ammunition and magazines and other supplies for each firearm, thereby requiring a much larger bag.

“If you don’t have what she wants in stock, offer to order it for her or at least help her find it online or elsewhere.”

Features & Options To Consider

Since you’ve helped her think about how she plans to use her bag and what she wants to carry in it, it’s time to talk about the options. Fortunately, there is a large variety of bags available to her, and at reasonable prices. If you don’t have what she wants in stock, offer to order it for her or at least help her find it online or elsewhere.

You can show her the simplest (and typically least expensive) option of the duffel bag style. Explain they are available without padding, which will work fine, but a padded one will protect her guns and supplies better. 

Discuss how a heavier, thicker bag will simply hold up longer to extra weight, and a bag with several pockets for organization is important and can also save time during practice or a competition when she needs to access her supplies quickly and efficiently.

Show her backpack range bags that help distribute the weight across her back, allowing her to carry a little more than she might otherwise. Make sure to show her both single-gun bags and multi-handgun bags.

Wheeled options can be helpful, particularly if she isn’t able to carry a heavy bag on her shoulder or if she wants to carry extra supplies with her.

If she’s shooting a multi-gun competition, she may not want a typical duffel-style bag at all, but one specifically to hold her assortment of guns and all the supplies required for each of them.

As for colors, show her while black and tan are the most common, range bags don’t have to be boring. Maybe she’s a bling gal, or she simply wants to be able to pick her bag out quickly from a sea of black bags when she’s with other shooters. Or maybe she doesn’t want it to be obvious what she is carrying around. Most people don’t suspect a colorful bag to contain a firearm. Encourage her to go for those great colors if it’s what she likes!

Value Of Personalized Recommendations

Does she still need help trying to decide? Encourage her to ask her friends and other shooters about their bags, what they keep in them, what they like and dislike and where they bought them. People are always happy to share information.

For instance, firearms instructor Dolly Hughes likes her all-in-one wheeled bag and chair called the ZÜCA Cart.

“I like the convenience of it; it’s roomy and I love sitting on it when I need to sit. You can fit anything in it you need and everything I need on the range fits easily. Everybody who has tried sitting on it just thinks it’s so comfortable because it’s the right height,” she said.

Tiffany Venters, a competitive shooter and member of the IPSC Shotgun World Team, prefers the Safariland 3 Gun Range bag.

“I like that one end has a zipper we can unzip so our longer shotguns can fit in the bag (with our extension tubes on them). I also also like that they fit perfectly in our Pelican travel cases. We just put the range bags in the Pelican case and then pack the guns into the range bag. There are pockets for handguns, ample room for ammo and other 3-Gun equipment in the side pockets. The backpack straps make it easy to haul gear around the range,” she explained.

And of course, online reviews can be very valuable. She’ll want to look for reviews that discuss the features and uses of most interest to her.

Final Thoughts

You can show your female customer there really is a large variety of range bags available to fit her budget. However, if she’s concerned because money is tight and the last thing she wants to spend it on is another kind of bag, let her know you get it, and truly, she can simply start with one of the reusable grocery bags if she needs to. Or she may start with one kind of bag, decide it doesn’t work for her and try another, and of course, that’s fine as well. We all continue to learn what works best for us as we go along.

As long as she has her necessary basic supplies, safety gear (eye/ear protection) and her gun is held safely in a bag or box, she really can use whatever she wants, whatever fits her budget. Encourage her to just get started and not let the lack of a fancy range bag stop her from getting out there and practicing and joining in the fun. 


What should she put in the bag and what does she just want to put in the bag?

A list could be helpful for her to remember all the items. At a minimum, she will need:

• Eye protection

• Ear protection

• Empty chamber Indicator

• Hat or visor

• Ammunition

• Magazines

• Firearm

• First-aid kit

She may also want:

• Lead wipes

• Towel

• Multi-tool

• Gun oil

• Rods

• Shot timer

• Stapler

• Trauma kit with tourniquet

• Ammunition loader (such as an UpLULA)

• Sunscreen

• Cooling towel

• Small flashlight with extra batteries

• Permanent marker

• Masking tape

• Rain poncho

• KT tape

• Scissors

• Gloves

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