SOG TOC 20 Backpack

  Most people have heard of SOG knives. Well, SOG has now gotten into the backpack market. They are offering a pretty good selection of different size and use packs. They sent me one of their smaller ones, the TOC 20 in gray. The "TOC" stands for Tactical Operating Center. Thanks to SOG's website I now know this. When the pack first got here, there was very little info in the web about it, now SOG has plenty of info on their packs.

  I have lugged this TOC 20 pack for about 3 months now. It went to a couple trade shows with me. I used it as a makeshift range bag on a few occasions. But I didn't drag it behind a truck. The pack is very useful. Not the largest, it is stated as a 20 liter pack, but a nice size for day hikes, concerts, trade shows, or just lugging around town. The padded straps are a nice touch, once the pack is loaded with stuff. The straps are also quickly adjustable with pull straps at the bottom. There is also an adjustable strap that goes between the two shoulder straps, that latches them together at about chest level. I am sure there is a name for it, but I can't think of it. These straps will also slide up or down on a little rail system for best comfort and fit. The little buckle also has a built in whistle. Also on the straps are various Molle straps and some eye loops.

Looking Inside Main Compartment

Looking Inside Protective Pocket

  Now on to the pack itself.  The TOC 20 has 2 main compartments and 3 smaller ones. The main compartment, as I will call it, opens up at the top with the zippers going about a third of the way down the sides. Once open, one has access to the full depth and width of the pack. Inside the main compartment are 2 other zippered pockets, one on the front and one on the back. The front zippered pocket zips in the center and has a little lanyard loop inside. Probably for your keys. The other one zips all the way across and is about 5" deep. Along with the inside zippered pockets, there is also one that is just open. But on the front of this pocket are little inserts to slide pens, knives, etc into. Now behind the main compartment is another full size one. This one is for either a laptop or a water bladder. This compartment is what they call a pass through. It has full length zippers, one on each side of the pack. On the front of the pack are two zippered pockets, one on each side. These pockets are really nice to store bottled water, etc. I carry medical stuff in one of them. At the top of the pack, on the front, is a hardish padded dome pocket. This pocket is used to protect something like a cell phone or sunglasses, etc. Also, inside the padded pocket are some other little pockets to store stuff in. The only real problem I ran into with this protective pocket, was that it is easy to accidentally open it when trying to open the main compartment. Then everything in it falls out, defeating the protectiveness of the pocket. On the outside of this "safety compartment" is some hook and loop to put your Patriot Patch Co, patches on. All the pouches/compartments have dual zippers with finger pulls. The pulls are actually pretty sharp at the bottom of the half circle, but are big enough to work well without any problems. 

  Now on the front of the pack, they put this pannel with slots in it. This panel makes it possible to attach Molle gear and other such items. It is made from Hypalon. Hypalon is a durable synthetic rubber used on inflatable boats and such. I pulled pretty hard on these slots. It didn't even stretch them. It also has some other cloth Molle attachment points on the pack bottom. 

  Now that we have covered just about everything. The TOC 20's outer shell is made from 500D nylon. They also coat the nylon with polyurethane to give it a water resistant coating. I never dipped it in water, but the coating should help when it's raining. There are also two carry handles, one on the top, and one on the side. So if you don't want to sling your pack, there is another option. 

  So if you're looking for a new pack, look into SOG. Not your normal pack maker, but the TOC 20 is a good pack. And if you want something larger, they make those too. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Tactical Day Pack

Target Market:

Day hikers, students, or anyone looking for a small well organized daily carry pack

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product): 

  • 20 liter capacity
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Adjustable sternum strap w/whistle  
  • Molle attachment points
  • Impact resistant top storage compartment 
  • Pass through access to laptop/hydration area
  • Plenty of pockets and compartments
  • Large zipper pulls
  • Water resistant  
  • 20.1" x 11" x 7.5"
  • 32.5 ounces 

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?


What others are saying?:

Scratch at 5 /5 stars.

Thoughtfully designed and real good quality

I've long been a fan of SOG products so I had high expectations for the TOC 20. I wasn't disappointed. The quality of materials and construction is high and attention was paid to smaller details like zipper pulls and straps. The bag has multiple compartments allowing for separation of wet/dry and hard/soft gear, all of which are easily accessible. The ability to access the main areas through side zips, and the side handle are especially useful when traveling. The impact resistant top pocket is cool because when you open it, it acts as a tray - something I've liked on various fishing gear I've owned - which gives you good access to the contents without the risk of your stuff falling out. Finally, comfort - I'm over 6 feet tall and 250 lbs. with broad shoulders. Most day packs have straps that are either too narrow, too short or badly angled. The straps on my TOC 20 fit comfortably, even when the bag is fully loaded. It also feels good against my back while hiking or even jogging. If you're looking for a well-made, versatile day pack with with quality construction and features, the TOC 20 is a solid choice.

Link to other reviews:

None Found

Price point:

(MSRP versus actual retail)

MSRP = $159.99 at

Retail = $113.86 at Amazon 

I need it now! Availability:

Amazon or SOG knives 

Our Rating:


  • Padded straps
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Molle attachment points
  • Water resistant  
  • Side and top carry handles
  • Pass through compartment  
  • Hydration compatible  
  • Protective compartment


  • Zipper pulls are sharp
  • Easy to accidentally open protective compartment when trying to open main one
  • Big SOG logo
  • Too tactical looking

Score: 7.5 Good


Chad's favorite link: Axelson Tactical

Thompson Tactical Gun Belt

   Thompson Tactical is a small leather shop specializing in custom belts. You can find their belts at When I say they make custom belts, it means they craft them by hand, and the craftsmanship shows. Their gun belt is a double layer, hand stitched belt. They also offer standard, single layer belts. 

  Now that we know something about Thompson Tactical, lets get into the great gun belt that they so graciously sent me. The belt is made from products purchased in the USA. This includes the full grain leather, the various buckle options, etc. When ordering the belt, one can also decide the color of the belt, ranging from tan to black and even mossy oak. Another nice touch is being able to select what color thread you want the belt to be stitched with, either single or double stitching options. My favorite option is the ability to have a kydex insert in the belt. The kydex adds a slight stiffness, but its real advantage is that it keeps the belt from stretching over time. 

  When I learned that Thompson Tactical was sending me a belt, I immediately went and ordered one. My belt is 1.5" wide, black, has a stainless non-roller buckle, single stitched with a kydex insert. I ordered the 1.5" belt because it is basically the standard for gun belts. Options are also available for 1.25" and 1.75" widths. Additionally, I opted for the kydex insert, because who doesn't want a little extra stiffness and a longer lasting belt? The kydex insert appears to be stitched in place on the back layer of the belt before the two sides are beautifully stitched together. The edges are burnished together for what looks like a single piece of leather. Chicago screws are used to hold the buckle on, and the logo is then branded on the inside. 7 holes are spaced 3/4" apart to give you adjustment. Following the instructions on Leathergunbelt, the measurement of the belt was spot on and I wear it on the 4th hole. 

  I have worn this belt everyday since it arrived at my house. All I can say is "Wow", this is by far the best gun belt I have seen, let alone worn. It has one slight flaw, that isn't really the belts fault. Some IWB clips are not deep enough to fit over the belt because of the belt being 2 layers thick. Other than that, it fits perfectly. It has the right amount of slip or flex, so it moves with you. The stiffness is perfect, as it holds a gun all day without the gun moving, or me even noticing the weight. The stitching is straight and beautifully done. And, best of all, at least in my opinion, it smells like a leather shop! 

  So now that you know about these belts. Head over and check them out at The belt is really a piece of functional art. You can wear it 7 days a week,  even on Sunday,  and not be under dressed. It may take a long time to get one, but quality takes time. I doubt you will be disappointed. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Hand made leather gun belt

Target Market:

People needing a quality gun belt 

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):  

  • Full grain leather  
  • Hand made
  • Double layer
  • Kydex insert
  • Chicago screws
  • 1.5" wide
  • 25 year warranty  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

 Tan, Honey, Cordovan, Brown, and Mossy Oak

What others are saying?:

Gary P. at

I got my first Thompson Gun Belt just about a month ago and I have not worn another belt since then. Today I changed the oil in my Jeep and my son's pickup and so I decided to wear a regular belt so I didn't mess up my "real" belt. Spent a couple of hours yanking my pants up and generally hating wearing a "regular" belt again. Couldn't wait to take a shower and change back into my real belt again. Even though Francesco makes a "gun" belt his belts are actually "real" belts as far as I am concerned! If I have to roll around in oil or mud I will probably wear an old "plain" belt, but for every day- whether I am carrying or not- I'll never wear anything but a Thompson Tactical gun belt!

Phillip N. at

I received my belt today. I am more than impressed with the quality of the belt. You have absolutely exceeded my expectations! Thank you for the obvious pride you put into your work. I will definitely spread the word.

Link to other reviews:

Mattsplat's Gun Reviews (YouTube) 


MSRP = $97, + $25 for kydex, + $10 for double stitching

I need it now! Availability:

Our Rating:


  • Full Grain Leather
  • Double layer
  • Kydex insert
  • Hand crafted  
  • Made in USA  
  • Lots of available options
  • 25 yr warranty


  • Thickness may cause problems with some holster clips
  • Wait time


Score: 9.0 Amazing

Chad's Favorite Link: ABC House Benefit Match


Maratac AAx2 Tactical LED Flashlight Review

Maratac 2AAThe Maratac AAx2 LED Flashlight is a compact, powerful flashlight, powered by two AA batteries. The body is aluminum and is 7/8” wide. The tailcap is “Zombie” green, for no apparent reason. It activates by pressing it until it clicks. This means that there is no momentary-on. There are three brightness modes available: High – 620 lumens, Med – 110 lumens, and Low – 5 lumens. There is also a secondary set of modes when you loosen the head by ¼ turn. They are: Strobe, Fast Beacon(flash every 1 second), and Slow Strobe(flash every 3 seconds). To switch betweenMaratac 2AA Button modes, you simply “soft” tap(tap without fully depressing) the button, or quickly click it off, then back on again. There are raised fins around the activation button that shrouds the button from accidental activation. Personally, I believe it makes the button awkward to press. They get in the way, if you don’t position the light correctly in your hand. The crown of the light is crenulated, similar to a lot of other tactical lights, but it is not very pronounced, so I don’t think it would really do much damage if used defensively. Maratac 2AA Sharpie

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Compact and bright LED light

Target Market: Anyone that needs a light

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Bright
  • Compact
  • Many modes
  • AA batteries
  • Cree XP-G2 LED
  • 620 Lumens (advertised)
  • Mode Memory
  • Military Grade Anodized

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: TheMaratac AAx2 Tactical LED Flashlight is only available in black.

What others are saying?: I couldn’t actually find any reviews for this particular model light.

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this light from County Comm.

Our Rating:

+-Bright +-Multi-mode +-Mode Memory +-Reversible clip

--Awkward button --No momentary on

Score 7.575