[Product Review] Blue Ridge Overland Gear – The Strap Bag

A while back I wrote the first of a series of articles on recovery gear.  Eventually I’ll get around to the next articles in that series but in the meantime I wanted to address a question I have been asked a lot since I posted that article:  “How do you store your recovery gear?”

To be honest, I used to store it in a small duffle bag.  Now I have something new.  Something better. Much better.  The Blue Ridge Overland Gear “The Strap Bag.”  I first saw this bag strapped to the front of a Mountain State Overland rig in one of their videos.  Ever since I’ve wanted one for my gear.  Well, I finally got my hands on one.  Read on for my review and how I set up my basic recovery kit…

“The Strap Bag”

As with all BROG bags, the quality is top notch.  The most notable feature of this particular bag is the pass-through design which allows the strap to be pulled out of the bag without opening any zippers.

The fabric BROG uses for this recovery bag is a heavy vinyl coated tarp material that is both tough and water resistant.
This means the bag will hold up for years of abuse in the harsh off-road environment common to all overland adventures.

One of the may stay features of all BROG bags is the MOLLE compatible loops.
This make attaching other smaller bags or equipment really easily.

Military spec field serviceable buckles and 1″ nylon webbing form a pair of straps allowing you to attach the recovery bag to bumpers, roll cages, or even a “go bag”.  This helps keep the recovery gear accessible and secure.

Setting up a basic overland recovery kit

As I mentioned in my article before, the overwhelming majority of the recoveries I’ve made over the years have been with nothing more than a tow-strap and some shackles.  Currently my basic kit is comprised of a 30 foot two inch static tow strap, a pair of Warn ¾” hard shackles, and a pair of Custom Splice soft shackles.
Laying out my kit with the new BROG Strap Bag ready to set up my recovery kit
Unlink other bags where the tow strap gets dropped in rolled up (which usually means the strap ends up in a knot) the strap is layered into the BROG bag in a zig-zag pattern wit the loops poking out of the slots at each end.
This means the strap can easily extend free of the bag without worrying about twists or knots.
It’s a little more intensive on the setup side, but a bag like this will save a lot of time on the trail.
The MOLLE loops and webbing straps on the outside of the bag make it possible to secure the shackles right to the bag.
As you can see both hard and soft shackles find their home with relative ease.

Conclusion

The Blue Ridge Overland Gear “The Strap Bag” is priced at a modest $45.  For a hand-made bag made right here in the United States that is an amazing price.  The fabric is tough and will withstand a lot of abuse (just like the Mountain State Overland team) and the utility factor of the bag makes it a valuable investment for storing and organizing your recovery gear.
An example of a simple recovery done with my 30′ tow-strap and Custom Splice soft shackles.
The bag can be found here on the BROG site by itself or as a full kit here which includes soft shackles and a recovery strap for just over $175.  The Custom Splice soft shackles are available on their site here.  For a full like of straps and hard shackles check out the Warn Industries site.

Stay tuned for more…

In the coming weeks I’ll be doing another pair of articles on expanding your overland recovery kit.  While a strap and some shackles is the bare minimum you should carry with you, sometimes things can get a little dicey.
Last year during the Appalachian Rendezvous I had to break out every bit of my recovery gear.
That meant not only using my 30′ strap and soft shackles, but also my Custom Splice winch-line extension.
And that was in addition to all of Grant’s recovery gear as well.
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