Review: Eberlestock Bando Bag XL

I recently reviewed the Eberlestock Bando Bag after using it for several months. In that review, I mentioned that I liked it so much that I was looking forward to purchasing the newer Bando Bag XL and spending time with that. Well, I’m glad to say the new Bando Bag XL has been great. In fact, I think this is the one I would recommend for most people.

The Bando Bag XL has basically all the features of the original Bando Bag with the addition of a tourniquet holder (more on this later) and more room. Both of those additions make the XL more useful to me. The layout and organization features are similar otherwise. There is a front slot pocket with zipper closure, a main compartment with zipper closure that also includes an internal mesh organization pocket and two internal slot pockets, and finally the loop-lined quick-access compartment for carrying a firearm.

Every compartment in the Bando Bag XL is larger. The slot pocket can now fit a full size smart phone in a case which is a game changer because it frees up even more space in the main compartment. The main compartment is cavernous enough to carry my packable windshirt/light rain shell. The quick-access compartment can fit a full size handgun including some full size handguns with a light and RDS installed. Eberlestock sized and shaped this bag very well because, as much as it fits, it still does not look like an overly large bag. They nailed it.

The tourniquet (TQ) holder surprised me with how clever it is. It is located directly inside the main compartment and consists of a simple elastic loop affixed to the “top” flap. I have tested it with CATs and my preferred RMT with no issues. It should fit just about anything. The genius of this location is threefold. First, it is straightforward to access – just pull the main zipper. Second, when you lift the top flap, it naturally gets out of the way of everything else you have in the main compartment. Third and finally, the TQ acts like a structural rib that helps the main compartment hold its shape making the bag carry better with a TQ in place.

So, should you go with the Bando Bag or Bando XL? Both are hard to beat in terms of price, especially when they go on sale. The Bando Bag is more affordable and well-suited to carrying subcompact handguns. If your use case is limited to exercise or you will only be carrying something like a G43 or small-frame wheelgun, this could be good for you. However, I think most people would be better served just going with the Bando Bag XL. The size makes everything easier without being too big and the addition of the TQ holder is very handy.

These are currently on sale AND they have an additional coupon savings as of the time of this writing. The result is that they cost less than they did when I wrote the Bando Bag review and a lot less than I paid for both of mine (note: check all the color options, some cost less right now). Check them out: Bando Bag and Bando Bag XL on Amazon.com

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