Undoubtedly, tactical gear has always had a place outside of the military, in the beginning leaking into civilian hands as a memento of a previous military service and then through Surplus Army and Navy stores across the USA and the world. All that effort into conceiving state of the art gear, built with the best materials and technology, was recognized by many who “recycled” that military equipment into their day to day life.
Even today, there are many that purchase tactical gear because it suits their needs and pragmatic way of life. On the other hand, many manufacturing companies that build high end sporting, working and outdoors gear have adopted for their products design concepts, advanced materials and construction, that derive directly from tactical equipment, i.e. PALS/MOLLE webbing. Many such products have found great popularity, such as the Maxpedition Wolfspur shoulder bag we reviewed .
However, there is a catch. Such products, especially if used in a professional environment for concealed carry of a defensive handgun, are immediately recognizable for what they are: a state-of-the-art battlefield tool carried by a potential operative, that may attract undue attention and increase risks. They are not low profile, and while we stand by our opinion of the concept and execution, there are definite moments, and users, that may desire or need a much more subdued and low-key approach.
Enter the Entity series from Maxpedition, built using their own Non-Tactical/Tactical (NTT) concept, introduced early this year at Shot. The Entity line includes concealed carry enabled backpacks, crossbody bags, sling bags and ancillary accessories.
All are available either in extremely low-profile Charcoal or Ash color, with subdued markings and a sleek, modern exterior devoid of characteristics typically associated with the “tactical look”. In Maxpedition’s words, “the new Entity line focuses on discreet concealed carry for pros and prepared citizens who choose to be unnoticed.”
The backpack is built out of premium, rugged and weather resistant materials: PU coated 500D Kodra fabric, Fray-Resistant Gossamer Mesh, with Duraflex Xlite Buckles and tough YKK zippers. All seams are reinforced, the quality of the assembly is outstanding. Inside it’s a wealth of pockets, loop lined panels and compartments, many of which are zippered, all in a high-visibility greyscale.
The first thing that we noticed handling the Entity 23 Backpack is the rationality and cleverness of the design. The Entity 23 features a concealed carry compartment that can be accessed from both sides, with a Security Lockout Strip; to carry a handgun, an optional Wrap Holster is needed. A large lockable and padded compartment, accessible from the top, is conveniently sized for a 15” laptop… or a size “L” SAPI plate, or Class IIIA soft panel.
The main compartment has two external magnetic wings that can close the zippered clamshell flap and tucked back when not used. Tough, tubular Shapeshift grab handles are placed on the sides and top of the backpack. All zippers are extremely smooth and positive in operation.
Properties of the Maxpedition Entity 23 Backpack
We received directly from Maxpedition (thank you, Tim!) an Entity 23 Backpack with a small selection of accessories: Hook & loop mesh storage panel, Utility pouch medium, Modular pocket, and a pistol /dual magazine wrap set for concealed carry of a full-size handgun as a 1911 or Glock17 semiauto. The “23” in the name stands for the total capacity in liters.
The most prominent feature of the Entity 23 – and the whole series of Entity products –is its really pleasant, minimalistic and clean appearance.
The smart exterior design, stylish fabric texture and smooth lines would not look out of place carried by a suit-and-tie clothed company executive.
Thanks to Gossam er Mesh lining the back and shoulder straps, and non-chafing Seatbelt Webbing, wearing the Entity 23 is very comfortable. Even loaded out, the weight is well balanced and distributed on the body.
Wearing the pack in front, with both shoulder straps linked with the sternum strap, makes for a very effective front-only armor – provided a plate or soft armor in placed in the laptop compartment -, allowing full access to the concealed carry handgun. The two side pockets are sized so that standard M4 magazines can be stored and easily accessible, and in the left side compartment, three pockets allow immediate access to standard pistol magazines.
Maxpedition Entity 23: wrap-up
We used the Entity 23 for a full month in a large city for EDC, sometimes even carrying a full-size plate in the laptop pouch, in addition to a Glock 17 service pistol. We can only recommend the Entity 23 and all accessories we tested ; the suggested retail price of 279.95 Euro may seen steep but is justified by the quality and added value of the exclusive low-profile design.