Saturday, January 2, 2010

Turse NDT Review

So, I asked Tam if my Christmas present to myself was an example of what she had earlier called a "turse" - a contraction of tactical purse. Leaving for another day the distinction between "purse" and "handbag", let me point out that this example of the product type is probably best described as a shoulder bag, since there is no other provision made for a means to conveniently carry it except by the shoulder strap itself (there is a velcro closure loop permanently sewn to the body-side of the bag, which I presume is intended to serve as a belt loop to keep the bag in place during episodes of physical exertion - climbing, riding a motorcycle, etc). I got the bag from Cheaper Than Dirt across the state from me over in Fort Worth.

I would like to make special note that I ordered the bag (along with several other items) on-line on the 23rd of December. FedEx was banging on my front door the following afternoon, so "well done all around" there.

Let's see, other disclaimers or initial observations? I bought the black colored bag and the woven nylon material is decidedly not "fashionable"; it is extremely durable however and a good deal of care seems to have been taken to make sure the material was cut to the pattern dimensions. The fit and overall appearance seems quite good to me given the limitations imposed by the material and fundamental design criteria. There are a number of questionably located loops on the bag, but since they also provide reinforcement of the joints and seams I won't use them as appears intended but have no real objection otherwise. Finally, there is no provision for the "handedness" of the carrier. The bag is laid out to be worn over the right hip. Leapers lists this as a new product so there may be plans for future model variants, but no information to that effect is mentioned at their site. As Tam commented, the price seems quite reasonable as well.

Let me begin the actual review by acknowledging that this product is not a purpose-built handgun concealed-carry platform. Rather, it is a compromise between several potential applications, among which the requirements for toting a pistol in a less-than-obvious manner are included. The interior dimensions of the central compartment are: 8.5"w x 4" thick x 9.5"d (+3.5" of material in the draw flap closure). Also covered by the primary buckle closure is an anterior pocket internally measuring 6"w x 7"d featuring a zipper that extends at least halfway down the side allowing extreme accessibility to the contents.

Forward of the main compartment is another pouch (the only one with a dual-slider zipper, which also extends at least halfway down the side of the compartment) measuring 3"w x 6"d, while aft is a drink bottle pouch with it's drawstring closure (intended to hold the container secure, not actually close the pouch) which features a grommet in the bottom material to allow drainage/ventilation of spillage.

Finally, the interior-most compartment is a wide zippered opening (at fully open measuring 8.5" max) with an interior width at least 1.5" more. The pocket's interior depth is 9" and there are two velcro strips sewn in to the interior-most side of the pouch as well. Judging by the added padding sewn on to the body-facing side of the bag, I believe the intention is to provide a means of temporarily mounting a holster to the rear of the compartment and at least one spare magazine holder to the fore-end (I suspect that a revolver speed loader would be better accommodated in the forward-most zippered compartment mentioned earlier). I tried both my Colt Commander and Taraus PT 1911 and both fit quite comfortably (I already own a detachable velcro'd holster from a FAG bag) (I've got an assortment of 1911 magazine belt pouches; I'll look into cutting one down and gluing the other half of the velcro onto it and see how that works one of these days).

The shoulder strap is a full 2" wide with closure buckles that, while ballistic plastic, are quite stout in construction. One minor annoyance is the shoulder pad itself has no provision to be fixed in place once a strap length has been adjusted (I keep having to re-adjust the damn pad as it won't stay in place). Also, and as I commented earlier, there are a number of external loops that don't seem particularly useful/desirable in a heavily trafficked locale (they might prove extremely useful in a rural or more remote setting - camping or the like say), as well as a couple of spring-loaded hooks for key rings and such. Since I don't like clipping a pocket knife to the seam of my trousers pockets, I don't see the utility of hanging a knife out in the open myself. YMMV as they say.

In closing, and on short acquaintance, I recommend this product to anyone looking for an alternative pistol carry option or who simply has an interest in a well-constructed, convenient and relatively commodious day pack. I'll have to check first, but I'm thinking my daughter (or more likely SiL) might find one of these useful for baby related items once my new grandson moves out of his current lodging this March or early April. :)

Hope this review proves helpful and the seemingly obligatory FTC disclaimer follows: the foregoing is an unsolicited product review of an item(s) I purchased on my own initiative. No inducement or remuneration was offered or solicited for my writing this review (although such would not go unconsidered should they subsequently be offered :)).

PS: Tam, mine cost 8 bux, but thanks for this, it was really helpful. I told you you will always have a place in my life. :)


Tam said...

The loops are so you can attach various PALS-compatible pouches. :)

Will Brown said...

Seems a likely intention, but the location of the loops makes their utility doubtful.

With the exception of the forward-most zippered pouch having two loops on it's exposed surface, the remainder are located at the two carry strap attachment points on the bag body (but none on the strap itself) and across the bottom of the bag.

I suppose this would be one add-on item, or possibly this might attach to one of the bottom loops. Or this.

I did say I thought this bag was a compromise arrangement though. For ten bucks more, this might prove a better choice for the less terminally cheap than me.