Shoulder Bag Comparison (Drago vs Maxpedition)

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Jay Tx, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Jay Tx

    Jay Tx Monkey+


    I picked up a Drago shoulder bag MOLLE-989 - ModGear Ambidextrous Combat Shoulder Pack Black by Drago for myself from Cheaper Than Dirt back in the summer. I liked the idea and function of my bag, and decided to get one for my BIL for X-mas. Decided on the Maxpedition Fatboy Fatboy G.T.G. - MAXPEDITION HARD-USE GEAR Tactical Nylon Gear for Military, Law Enforcement, Tactical Concealed Carry; Tailored to Perform Tactical for him. We are both left handed, BTW.

    So here's what I see when comparing the two.

    Comfort and fit:
    * Drago is ambidextrous, Max is dedicated left or right hand carry. My Drago does not hug the hip quite as good as the Max bag does. I attribute this to the difference stated above.
    * I am 6'3" tall, and fairly slender build. The Max bag's shoulder strap seems too short for me and the bag rides a little high on my waist instead of on my hip. The Drago's strap is sufficiently long enough that I plenty of adjustment left. For my BIL, this is not a factor as he is closer to 5'9" tall. If the bag we for me, I could always purchase an extension module for the Max bag and solve the problem as well as add storage capacity, but at an added cost.

    Storage, amounts and accessibility:
    * Both bags feature an ample "hidden" pocket that holds a pistol with the added purchase of a hook and loop holster accessory.
    * The Drago main compartment is a bit larger, has one larger pocket inside on th hip side with an elastic strap, and two individual webbed pockets on the off-hip side of the compartment. The one large on-hip pocket holds two AR mags with ease, the strap keeping them separated. The off-hip pockets are sized to hold AR mags as well. So that's 4-30rnd AR mags that will fit in the main compartment with room to spare. I can also fit, as an example of size, up to 5 boxes of 45acp ammo in the main compartment WITH the 4 AR mags.
    The Max bag's main compartment is one large undivided compartment. While this compartment rivals Drago's on overall size, things are intermingled and loose when stored, as opposed to Drago's where some organizing is possible.

    The main compartment of the Drago is zipper accessible, while the main compartment of the Max Bag has a large flap with a snap buckle and a draw chord to keep items from spilling out.

    Drago's Outer compartment storage has to pockets inside of it that will hold either 1 double stacked mag each, or 2 single stack (1911) mags each. Drago's outer comparment also has a more flat zippered compartment inside for smaller items, and has a larger void area area as well for additional items.
    Max Bag's outer compartment is a zipper accessed, moderately sized pocket, with an elastic web loop the would hold, as an example, one pistol mag and two sharpies. There is additional room in the pocket, comparable to what is left in Drago's outer compartment.

    Drago has Molle Webbing on one side of the bag for adding accessories.
    Max bag has an additional pocket on the same side that would hold about 2 double staked mags, or 4 single stack. No dividers or anything in this compartment.

    Drago has a zippered enclosure on the top of the main compartment access that will hold additional things, for instance, a short flashlight (my Surefire E-1), knife, objective magnifier for my red dot sight, and a couple of other small items. The top of this enclosure also has hook and loop backing, as well as an elastic corded webbing.
    The flap that covers the Max bag's main compartment has one small zippered enclosure that would hold a wallet or something similarly sized.

    * Both bags have similar water bottle compartment on the other side of the bags.

    * The Drago bag has Molle webbing on the bottom of the bag for adding accessories.
    Max Bag has none.

    * Drago bag has a storage compartment truly hidden against the hip that would hold extremely flat items like money, maps, paperwork, etc. This compartment is large in height and width, but very thin. It's drawback is that it is actually against the hip, so anything in there must be impervious to sweat or moisture, and very flat and uniform so as not to be uncomfortable against the hip.
    Max Bag has no such compartment, but does have a belt loop.

    * Drago's bag is constructed of all padded ballistic type material. Even the dividers between compartments.
    Max bag is constructed of single layer ballistic type material, but has zero padding anywhere except the portion that rides against the hip.
    This difference makes the empty weight of the Drago heavier than the Max bag, but also means the Drago's contents are better protected, even from each other, than the Max bag's.

    * Drago's zipper tabs are much more quiet that the max Bags are, and Drago has pull string attached to all zipper tabs for more positive feel, where max bag does not.
    Drago has, overall, more zippers, and thus they can be a little harder to access, or even sometimes confusing if you are feeling for one instead of actually looking down at the bag.
    Max bag is much easier to access by feel, due to fewer zippers, and the buckle access on the main compartment.

    Overall, I like the Drago bag better. The features built in to the bag, and the possibilities with adding features via the Molle webbing far outweigh the fit and comfort benefits offered by the dedicated-side carry of the Max Bag. I do not claim this comparison to be an "Apples to Apples" review, as Maxpedition has a full line of the type of bags available, while Drago offers one style only. Max might have a bag that more accurately compares to Drago. But I will say, I would have spent MUCH more money on a Max Bag that would rival the features of the Drago bag, even then Drago has a few features built in to their bag that Maxpedition does not offer.

    That's my assessment of these two products. No doubt opinions will vary. I do not feel one could go wrong purchasing either of these bags. This comparison is not intended to be negative in any way to either product. Either bag would be better than not having on at all.
    Tonners and CATO like this.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Nice review. I have the smaller Max bag and generally like it - haven't held the Drago yet but I'll keep my eyes open for it. One thing I do not like about the Maxpedition bag (might be the case with any bag) is that it tends to slide off my shoulder and I feel like I'm having to constantly readjust it.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Melbo, Get your wife to sew you a Cross Chest Strap, that Velcro's on to the Bags carry strap. That way you can use it, or not, depending on the situation, and the amount of time you will be carrying the bag.
  4. Dogfood

    Dogfood Monkey+++

    Thanks for the review. I have one of the smaller Max bags as well, keep it as a grab and go thing in my truck. Spare pistol, light and other things. It has crossed my mind to pick up a bigger bag of this type I may need to give the Drago a try.
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    It's rock solid if I put it over my head in cross carry. Just doesn't work so well in purse mode.

    Then again, I have the bad habit of carrying gangsta style with pistol shoved in the front of my pants.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have the Maxpedition Jumbo Fat boy and my wife uses the fatboy. Both are great. A buddy of mine uses the Maxpedition Colossus for his BOB.

    I also use one of Maxpeditons attache bags for my laptop, I have not bee too happy with it. On the front of the bag there are several zippered pockets. The main pocket has the zipper starting (when closed) almost inaccessible by another pocket, very hard to get to the zipper pull. I managed to break one of the clips for the shoulder strap, when I called Maxpedtion they said that was not covered under warranty and that I would have to buy a new strap. Instead, I've use some paracord to hold it together.
  7. strunk

    strunk Monkey+

    In general I've soured on shoulder bags. They always seem awkward & cumbersome to carry after a time. They walk across the shoulder & chafe the neck. They put an asymmetrical burden on the neck and back muscles that will translate into pain after awhile. I guess there's something to be said for a good old fashioned double-strap backpack.

    With that said, I've disappeared into the woods for a few days at a time carrying nothing more than the clothes on my back and the tools I could fit into a Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack... and later a Fatboy Versipack. After such experiences, I was so impressed with how comfortably I could live out of one of these things that I carried one with me everywhere I went until my aging neck and back cried "no mas!"

    The only bad attention I would get while carrying one in public is the stigma of a man carrying a purse, which is not really a big deal anymore in more densely populated areas (where such a sight is now pretty normal).

    I've been nothing but happy with the build quality of the Versipacks. At some point, that experience is going to translate into a backpack purchase (double strap, not a gearslinger)
    Guit_fishN likes this.
  8. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I completely agree with Strunk. I have a Maxpedition EDC, which I find to be a great EDC bag. However, when I have that thing fully loaded (pun intended), it is extremely heavy and will wreak havoc on your body if you don't have a strong core (or haven't been doing your situps). [whistle2]

    IMO, a "normal" backpack looks far less interesting to LEOs and civilians and is much easier to carry.

    RE: the "manpurse." Think diaper-bag. Lay an obvious burp-rag across the top and hang a pacifier or obvious kid toy on it and you've transformed yourself from suspicious right-wing whacko, to a cool dad (or grandpa) that doesn't make mom carry around all the gear. (Although my bag has a 'Zombie Hunter' patch on it).

    Funny story: I was a store one day and there was this guy in front of me and he had some type of smaller Maxpedition sling-type bag on. I hadn't seen this kind (or didn't recognize it) and said "Excuse me, what kind of Maxpedition pack is that?"

    The guy turned around and started telling me what a great bag it was very sturdy and the number one reason he bought it was that it had a special pocket for his iPad. He slung it around to show me. I told him that I really liked my bag and agreed that Maxpedition makes some very sturdy gear.

    I immediately noticed that the guy was very obviously gay and dressed very .... I don't know--like something in a trendy magazine, nothing like I dress anyway--most of my clothes are from Cabelas and I'm 6'4 300#. So, I told him the real purpose for the hidden pouch was to conceal a pistol.

    His eyes got wide and he said "Oh." He gave a nervous laugh "really?" (very incredulous) "Yep." His eyes then drifted down to my EDC, then quickly back up. "Well, that's good to know," and he quickly left.

    Still makes me fellas are so cliche.
  9. lemon_fresh

    lemon_fresh Monkey+


    He was dressed all metro.

  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Clyde bought me a Diaper Dude diaper bag in camo and orange when my daughter was born. The outside bottle pockets work well for double stacked 30 round .223/5.56 mags and the roll out changing mat is great for getting prone or for amputating your buddies arm in comfort when it's fragged beyond repair.

    Slight exaggeration - but as Guit_fishN pointed out, it's pretty inconspicuous.
    hank2222 likes this.
  11. munchie3409

    munchie3409 Monkey+

    I have the Maxpedition S Type Fatboy and it's made very well...I tend to agree if you have it completely filled up that it's going to put a strain on your spine. I don't load mine up all the way...basically a pistol and a few other gadgets are good enough for me.
  12. hedger

    hedger Monkey+

    There you go: If you are ever worried that you might look a little "too tactical," slap a high visibility rainbow on your bag!
  13. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    The rainbow may still draw some "wrong minded" attention. Either from hostiles or from amorous friendlies. LOL
    Tonners likes this.
  14. Tonners

    Tonners Researching Gear

    I greatly appreciate the review! I hadn't heard of Drago yet, but I am about ready to check it out.. I've got an ongoing Excel list for all my comparing, haha.
    I guess in the EDC aspect,.we ladies have an advantage. Unless it is very tactical looking, people are used to seeing women with bags and purses. I am right handed but carry om my left shoulder.. My coach (I only bought it because a friend threw a purse party - I am definitely no girly girl, lol) can get heavy, but it hasn't ever really bothered me much. I keep seeing reviews on versipacks where the men complain about it being on the side when they walk, but the feeling of my bag there is comforting - having a couple fingers looped through a ring on the side makes the purse feel more secure, and less likely for some goon to try snatching it, and it gives me something to fidget with and focus on. I actually have a purse that is less than half the size of the Neatfreak, just to have something to fidget with!

    Also, if you don't want to pose as a dad.. you could always stick a tennis ball, a sweat band, or even just a gym patch or sport patch on your bag. Maybe you just came from the gym and are at the store on your way home. For all I know, you just have a change of clothes and workout joint bands and gloves, maybe a protein shake bottle in your bag.. Speaking of which, some businesses (hubby and I like's gear)
    even have things like 'Train' or 'Muscle', etc. on their bottles.. and make great water bottles.
  15. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Purses have their down sides, as well. I good friend of mine's mom is a juvi-cop, and carries everyday, but seldom really needs a weapon. She was in a grocery store during an armed robbery. she could NOT get her gun out of her purse with all the other junk stuffed in there with it! So she hit the perp with her purse! and the chunk of steel masquerading as a hand gun, knock the gunman out cold! As a cop, she will NEVER live that one down.
    Moral of the story is , if you can't get to it, and use it quickly, it is no better than a club.
    BTPost and Tonners like this.
  16. Tonners

    Tonners Researching Gear

    I hope they never recognize a purse as a weapon, haha. Better a heavy purse than a light one. Reminds me of 101 Dalmatians - in the adult version, Anita had a brick in her purse, lol. Or maybe two or three.. for her garden? I can't recall, but still not a bad tactic.. I do love the CC pouch spots on things like the versipacks.. curious to see if they work as well with a well-filled pack.. I think there are a few youtube videos I need to rewatch.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    @alaskachick tells a Story in a similar vein, when she was a Union Rep, and had to attend Union Meetings at the Union Hall, that was in a very seedy District in Seattle. She had a Carry Permit, and would carry Her Stainless Dan Wesson .357 Mag, with the 2" Barrel attached, in her purse, along with two Reloads in speed Loaders. She figured that if she had an issue with one of the local Transients, (ScumBags) she would "Smack the Perp, Up side the Head" with her Purse, and then if he was still wiggling, take out the Dan Wesson, and finish him off. That purse usually weighed in the neighborhood of 20 pounds......
  18. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I carry a Max knock off, cheaper at 1/3 and has nver let me down. Bought off Ebay. It's Camo and I have a left side carry so I can do a cross draw. Live out in the boonies and always carry water with me. Nobody has ever said a word about my single starp backpack. Works well on AMTRAC and with so many kids with pack packs I blend in well, dressed in work boots or climbing boots and a Mil ball cap.
  19. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Thanks for the review!

    I haven't bothered with an over the shoulder bag this size, simply because I don't feel as though I need it. I work 2.5 miles from home, and always have my GHB in my car trunk, so don't feel as though I need to haul around a bunch of stuff. Whenever I'm not going to work, I'm carrying concealed, so no worries about being armed.

    I do, however, have a Drago rifle bag for my .308 rifle, and have been VERY happy with it.....not only for the design, but for the quality of it. I'm thinking that once I finish my new AR15 build, I'll be buying a Drago bag for it. [winkthumb]
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