Getting rifles and large-format pistols to and from the range without drawing much attention has always been important to us. It's not every trip that the rifle bags can be kept completely out of sight, or that we are able to make a trip directly to and from the range or woods without having to stop somewhere. Are your neighbors nosey? Do they respect your civil rights? Not all of ours do, and even if they did we don't need them knowing we're taking guns in and out of the house. The same is even more important when traveling to training or events and staying in a hotel. Leaving the guns in the car overnight is a bad idea, but so is alarming fellow guests.
(Find DRACO AK pistols HERE )
From range trips to multi-state road trips we've done them all ad nauseum and had the chance to try quite a few discreet bags and would like to share our favorites. Some of them were shown in this 2019 video. Two years later we still use them.
Here's a basic breakdown of the Elite Survival Systems (more expensive as they are US-sourced materials and US Made) bags from the video and some others (less expensive imports). Some links are affilaite links from which we earn a small percentage.
Elite Survival Systems Covert Operations Discreet Rifle Case: This is a basic-looking bag and
that's a good thing! With next to nothing to attract attention it's easily overlooked and works very well with large-format pistols with a folding brace such as an MP-5 clone, Draco AK Pistol, or Grand Power Stribog. There is some potentially wasted space due to the shape of the bag, but that shape is also what makes it not look like a gun bag.
EliteSurvival Systems ELS7725-IN Stealth - Covert Operations Backpack:
Considerably bigger in size, this bag has seen lots of use with us. It's long enough to handle just about any modern rifle that can be broken down such as an AR. Elite Survival Systems made smart use of the depth to not only mask potential bulges, but also create three levels of pockets. As shown in the video the middle pocket can easily fit another gun and front pocket has essential organization done so commonly that opening it to retrieve something non-firearm almost doubles to make the bag's entire contents seem mundane. The straps are adequate to hike with, just don't add too much weight or the bag's lighter-weight structure will sag.
Elite Survival Systems Stealth SBR - Rifle Backpack: Very-sharp looking, like something a hip urbanite would have. The risk with this is maybe that it looks too good, like something worth breaking into a car for. That bit aside the bag is incredibly comfortable and inserting an SBR, folding-brace gun, or split AR pistol feels like pampering. If there is a drawback it would be the weight and bulk. The same nice fabric that looks and feels so good means this bag will maintain its shape. That hides things, but also makes for a bag that never gets smaller, even when empty.
For around $70 this is a decent bag. Materials are good and zippers ok. Certainly a step down from those listed above, but it works. I recently took this to a rifle course where I knew I'd be in and out of a hotel with the bag and didn't want to draw too much attention. It looks like a specialty bag, but not a rifle bag for certain. The shape means there's extra space for leftover mags, but getting things in and out of the bag takes a little more time due to the zipper placement. Like the bags above there are straps inside to secure things and plenty of Velcro and MOLLE loops inside as well. I've not used those features much as a 36" rifle is an almost-fit most of the time. For 16" barreled AR's with a collapsible stock this would be a perfect fit.
Viktos Kadre Tactical Backpack: This bag is the lead image as seen in our review of the Draco pistols in Combat Handguns Magazine. The Mini Draco with a folded brace is about as big of a gun as you can reasonably fit in this tidy bag, but everything has a place and the build quality is excellent. Viktos' marketing style is a bit cheesy, but they make some good stuff including this bag. If you can get past the "tacticool" brand image the bag itself is excellent for your super-short guns.
These aren't the only discreet bags we've used, but they're the ones we keep coming back to. As we discover more we'll add to this list.