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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

Review: Eberlestock Bando Bag

I walk a lot, hike whenever I can, and run occasionally. I tell you this to justify the fact that I wear a fanny pack regularly… almost daily during some parts of the year. I even like doing it. Please don’t judge me. It is a convenient way for me to carry the items I want to have ready access to when I am outdoors and that includes a firearm.

It has been my experience that you can carry a firearm in almost any fanny pack but not all fanny packs are well suited to it. Access is the key. That is where my Eberlestock Bando Bag comes in. This fanny pack has a dedicated pocket that makes accessing a firearm quick and easy. I have been using it since December of last year.

There are other fanny packs that are suited to carrying vital self-defense items but what sets the Bando Bag apart is its appearance. It looks like any other sporty, outdoor-brand fanny pack and this is what I appreciate about it most. I don’t wear it into town but if I did, it would look like every other fanny pack you see in an outdoorsy area.

The Bando Bag features three compartments. The firearm compartment (5.5″ x 9.5″) is accessed via a full zipper. It can be “torn” open to allow full access by grabbing one of the zippers or hooking your thumb in the gap between the double zippers (my preferred method). It works well. This compartment will just barely fit a G19 (I usually use a G43 or small-frame wheelgun) but the new XL version fits full-sized handguns.

The second compartment is a very generous cargo compartment with organization. There are two small slip pockets and a large mesh zippered compartment with plenty of other loose space for larger items like phones. The third compartment is a zippered stash pocket on the front which is great for small items like chapstick or a lighter.

I have found the Bando Bag to be comfortable to wear and efficiently laid out to allow me to carry anything I would otherwise have knocking around in my pockets. Drawing from concealment is easy with practice. On top of all that, it is significantly less expensive than most similar bags. I like the first one I bought so much that I just ordered the new XL version to try.

As of the time of this writing, the Bando Bag and Bando Bag XL are on sale for 20% off on Amazon (the regular size Bando Bag is less than $40!): Bando Bag and Bando Bag XL on

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