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Vertx Tactical Fanny with Premier Body Armor: Ultimate EDC?

Fanny packs are in again, but not just for moms! The Vertx S.O.C.P. Tactical Fanny Pack can carry all your everyday carry gear and can be upgraded with Premier Body Armor.

Vertx Tactical Fanny with Premier Body Armor: Ultimate EDC?

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If you’d told me even a few years ago that I would be rocking a fanny pack every day, I would’ve called you crazy. However, just like with anything else, what goes out of style eventually becomes vogue again, and now it’s the fanny pack’s turn. What’s changed this time around, though, is that everyday carry (EDC) enthusiasts have realized the fanny pack’s potential as the ultimate means of carrying a sidearm and EDC gear. Arguably the best option on the market today is the Vertx S.O.C.P Tactical Fanny pack, which can hold just about everything up to the kitchen sink. What truly makes this option exciting is the included slot to hold a body armor insert from Premier Body Armory. This fanny pack setup is a game-changer for easy everyday carry, and it opens doors to options and gear that would be incredibly challenging to carry otherwise. So, let’s get into the weeds and break down optimal fanny pack carry.

Vertx S.O.C.P. Tactical Fanny Pack

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The Vertx S.O.C.P. Fanny Pack has a lot going on. To start, it’s available in black, dark earth tan, and rudder green featured here. Out of the box, it’s readily apparent that the S.O.C.P. is durable, heavy-duty and built to last. They didn’t cheap out on the zippers, either, and you can even upgrade those with the Vertx Rapid Access Tab Kit for about $20. These provide a large handle to more easily pull the zipper to access the firearm compartment. Truthfully, I’m more inclined to see them as a snag hazard, but I can see the appeal for rapid access, so just be sure to stay cognizant of potential snag hazards. From the front of the Tactical Fanny Pack, you’ll find a phone compartment pouch big enough to hold most modern, large smart phones. Inside, there are two plastic panels to protect your electronics from the rain, but they are not suitable for full submersion. An interesting feature is the ability to fold the phone pouch down, much like the tailgate of a truck. From this position, you can use the touch screen of the phone through the plastic sleeve, giving you the ability to text or review something even if it’s raining.

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Moving inward, the first large compartment is for your EDC gear. Opening this compartment while wearing the pack, you’ll see a zippered, mesh admin pocket to secure gear. Against the side facing you is a larger pocket with Velcro attachments to adjust pocket size. There is also a handy lanyard at the base of this compartment. This section is ideal for your extra magazines, knives, flashlights, etc. There is a lot of potential for customization, and we will touch on suggested optimal setup shortly. The largest compartment is for your firearm of choice. It’s pretty large, too, measuring about 17 inches diagonally. This is plenty large for even full-size handguns, so how much weight you like carrying is your only real consideration on handgun preference. The Tactical Fanny Pack also includes a holster retainer with a Velcro back to secure your handgun at your position and angle of preference. Out of the box, there is also an included mesh Overflow LT Pouch, which is removable or can be attached to the lanyard inside the firearms compartment.This is a handy addition if you simply like to carry a lot of gear. With the overflow pouch attached to the lanyard, you can quickly access your firearm and not have to worry about losing any loose gear in this compartment. On the very back of the pack is an additional hidden access pocket which features attachment points specifically for the Vertx S.O.C.P. dagger. If you don’t want to carry the S.O.C.P. dagger, it’s a good spot to keep papers without crumpling them. Finally, on the wings of the pack are two additional pockets. They don’t have zippers and are secured simply with overlapping fabric. Putting everything together, the sling itself is quite long and easily adjustable for those of us with larger guts than we’d like to admit. It’s ambidextrous and set up well for both waist and crossbody carry.

Premier Body Armor S.O.C.P. Insert

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There is one last pocket I haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s probably what makes this fanny pack most stand out. Inside the firearms compartment, there is a Velcro access pocket which is designed to perfectly hold the Premier Body Armor Level IIIA Insert for the S.O.C.P. Tactical Fanny Pack. This is a badass upgrade which turns your fanny pack into easy-to-carry armor and not just a glorified extra pocket. Measuring 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches, it weighs less than half a pound and is only .22 inch thick. It’s just enough to cover your heart and part of your center mass, but that is one place you simply cannot afford to take a bullet. You’d be surprised by how survivable handgun wounds can be, but there is nothing that can be done if you take one directly to the heart or brain. Even getting one lung popped is survivable if you get to a hospital in time. I’ve actually had the chance to test Premier Body Armor’s Level IIIA armor before. Testing one of their level IIIA backpack inserts, it stopped 10 rounds of assorted 9mm, .38 Special, .45 ACP, .357 Magnum and even the big, bad 10mm Auto. It even stopped a round on the extreme edge of the armor cold, providing true edge-to-edge protection. The S.O.C.P. insert is built from the same 500 Denier Cordura Kevlar-like ballistic material, which is rated to stop handgun ammo up to the .44 Magnum. However, it is not rated against rifle ammo. Premier Body Armor soft inserts are approved for air travel by the TSA, though, and the only places that don’t seem to allow bags anymore these days are sporting and concert events. Now, does the Premier Body Armor S.O.C.P. Tactical Insert offer full-body protection? Of course not. However, it’s easy to secure the pack and armor tightly against your chest directly over the heart and most center mass. Of your core vitals, this is undoubtedly the most vital, excluding the brain, and you can open the pack to access your firearm without moving the armor away from this area. Have no doubt that if you take a handgun round to the body armor, it’s still going to hurt a lot, but it will stop that bullet from going through you. While it may not be the perfect solution to carry body armor, it’s definitely an easy and affordable upgrade that offers you a unique tactical advantage in a defensive fight.

Fanny Pack EDC Setup and Carry

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Let’s get into the weeds on how best to set up and carry an EDC fanny pack. Starting with carry, I think cross body is the optimal way to go, especially if you upgrade the S.O.C.P. pack with the Premier Body Armor insert. Plus, if we’re all honest, anyone who still carries a fanny pack around the waist looks like a super nerd. Cross body distributes the weight of the pack better, and it keeps the body armor closer to where you need it. You definitely don’t want to be fumbling with moving the pack into position while taking rounds. Another great feature of this pack is that it is pretty ambidextrous. The firearms and admin compartments feature double zippers, and they extend to the extreme left and right sides of the pack. If you’re a normal, right-handed individual like myself, then having a strap over the left shoulder is the way to go. If you’re one of those unfortunate few who have been afflicted with left-hand dominance, then the S.O.C.P. pack works equally well over the right shoulder. As I stated previously, the firearms compartment is plenty large for full-size handguns, which I tested with a 1911 handgun and my full-size Walther PDP.However, I’ve opted to stick with my Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP for what I think is the optimal weight/capacity ratio. With 14 rounds in the gun and two extra 13-capcity magazines, I have 40 rounds of Hornady 115-grain Critical Defense ammo on my person at any given time, and it carries easy weight-wise. Moving to the admin compartment, this is where you’ll have a lot of room to customize what is most important to carry. I started with medical gear first. In the mesh compartment inside the admin compartment, I opted for a tourniquet and a packet of Quick-Clot gauze. While there’s not enough room for an entire IFAK, a mini bleed kit is a no-brainer. If you can stop the bleeding, you massively increase the odds of survival from a severe wound. There are a few other medical items you could add, but a tourniquet and pack of Quick-Clot gauze should be the priority. After medical items, I’ve already mentioned I keep two extra magazines for my Hellcat RDP, but a knife and flashlight are obvious additions to the admin pouch. From here, we’re really getting into personal preference. I’ve touched on what I consider the absolute minimum for EDC, but there is plenty of extra room for what you most value in an EDC setup.

Final Thoughts

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The Vertx S.O.C.P. Tactical Fanny Pack is a great tool for any time of the year, but it truly shines in the summer. When it’s hot outside, I’m almost always in gym shorts and a t-shirt. You can try it, but carrying a firearm with light athletic shorts is pretty challenging. With the tactical fanny pack, I can carry everything, literally, and it doesn’t add anything to the heat. Carrying with the cross-body method, I haven’t even been given a second look. I did try the waist carry a few times and received a few snickers, but those are arguably deserved. I say stick to the cross-body carry. With the tactical fanny pack, everything I like to carry is quick to access, and more importantly, it’s ready to go 24/7. I don’t have to think about anything when I head out the door. I just grab my S.O.C.P. pack and go. At the time of this publication, the Vertx S.O.C.P Tactical Fanny Pack retails for $100, and the Premier Body Armor Insert also retails for $100 on its own. However, Premier Body Armor is also running a package deal for both the armor and fanny pack for just $145 at the time of this publication, so jump on it now while it lasts. All-in-all, I’m pretty happy with my new EDC setup. I just hope fanny packs will stick around in style this time around. However, if they do fall out of fashion again, this EDC setup is just too sweet to walk away from. Sometimes you just can’t worry about what other people think, especially if you have the tactical advantage.

Vertx S.O.C.P. Tactical Fanny Pack Specs

  • Total length (wing to wing): 17 in.
  • Wing length: 3.25 in.
  • Height: 7.75 in.
  • Front compartment opening (total): 17 in.
  • Back/main compartment opening (total): 17.5 in.
  • Center (straight up): 7 in.
  • Diagonal (corner to corner): 11 in.
  • Width: 10.25 in.
  • Front cell phone compartment: 7 in. x 4 in.
  • Strap length (max each side): 19 in.
  • MSRP: $99
  • Manufacturer: Vertx



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