Flair For Your Radio Bag

Yet another bag for carrying radio gear

The world is divided into two groups: Bag Guys and Not Bag Guys. (I am using “guy” as gender neutral.) I am a Bag Guy. I am always looking for just the right backpack, computer bag, luggage or duffel bag. For example, I’ve got this special bag, a backpack, that I use for hauling my portable VHF/UHF radio gear. You might call it a Go Bag but it really only has radio gear in it.

My gear for Summits On The Air (SOTA) has expanded a bit, so obviously it was time for a new bag. I decided to buy this backpack because it has solid construction and plenty of pockets. I don’t plan to actually use this as a backpack, it will be more of a “toss the gear into the back of the Jeep” bag…but having backpack straps on it will come in handy. This bag will carry spare cables, chargers, batteries, etc. that I want to keep with the radios but won’t take on the trail.


USA and Colorado state flags

I chose the “Coyote” color for two reasons: 1) my kids keep making fun of me for always buying black bags and 2) it doesn’t show the dirt as much.  This bag came with a US flag attached to it, which was a nice bonus. I kind of like patches but I don’t actually attach them to my gear or clothing very often. My interest in any particular patch changes with time and location. And I don’t want to put on so many of them that I look like a Boy Scout with a sash full of merit badges.

Well, the military has solved this problem through the use of hook-and-loop attachments (“Velcro”) on tactical gear. Feel like a little flair? Slap on a patch. Get tired of it, just take it off. Brilliant. For a little background on proper flair, see this video clip from the movie Office Space.

Label your bag

I thought the US Flag was pretty cool, so I found a Colorado flag to add to the collection. Then I got to thinking about using patches to label the bag. I noticed the many vendors that make custom text patches (often referred to as “Name Tapes”). These work great for labeling bags, pouches, etc. I ordered mine from a third-party on Amazon: 3 Inches/Hook Fastener/ Personalized Custom Name Tape

Of course, another option is to put my name on the patch. By name, I really mean name and call sign. If there are a pile of radio bags, everyone will know which one is mine. This is where it can get tricky because my call sign has a zero in it and not all vendors know how to handle the slash-zero thing. I decided to give it a try by just inserted a slash-zero character into the entry field on the web page. As you can see in the photo, it worked out just fine.


Do a little websearching and you’ll find plenty of military/tactical gear that has hook-and-loop fasteners built into the design. But, you may already have your favorite backpack that doesn’t have this feature. No problem, go ahead and attach a strip or two of the fuzzy (loop) material to it and you can slap your favorite patch on it.

I can already see how this may will get out of hand. There are so many packs, pouches, bags, hats, jackets that could use some proper labeling, or maybe just a little flair.

73, Bob K0NR

The post Flair For Your Radio Bag appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Flair For Your Radio Bag”

  • Ron Wright, N9EE:

    I too like bags, good canvas type. I have lots of them, more than I need, hi.

    I have found a few sources that have good pricing and quality so one needs to look around.

    I use to go for the military bags, but found I liked others, had more assortment and often more pockets, etc. I have military tool bags, nice small bags with side pockets and are good for the small stuff, military back packs, but for small suit case type bags find many non-military suit me more.

    As for putting labels on the bag a good place to look is sources that supply name tags for uniforms, military, police, etc, can get many colors; background and lettering and about anything one want to say like “COMMUNICATIONS” or “RON N9EE”, or whatever. Just will need to sow on although some try glue. But is great way of getting info on bags.

    One good source is banggood.com. They sell lots of stuff, most from China, but do have good quality and assortment. There are others.

  • David WB4ONA:

    The pack on Amazon is (very loosely) compliant with the military/tactical MOLLE-II/PALS System. That’s what the sewn separated strapping is for – mounting attachable modules or pouches. To understand the myriad ways the MOLLE-II System works will take some digging. I can’t explain it here in this comment…

    Search Wikipedia for “MOLLE” wich stands for “Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment”. Currently the MOLLE-II specification is in effect.

    Search Wikipedia for “Pouch Attachment Ladder System” or PALS.

    Official U.S. Army MOLLE-II and PALS Documentation (released to Public):

    Do a Web search for and download the .pdf document for the following Army Technical Manual:

    TM 10-8465-236-10

    This is the “MODULAR LIGHTWEIGHT LOAD-CARRYING EQUIPMENT (MOLLE) II” manual which in original form should be a 136 Page ~839 KB download.

    Then there’s this:

    TM 10-8400-203-23

    This is the “GENERAL REPAIR PROCEDURES FOR INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT” Army Technical Manual which in original for should be a 650 Page, ~9,068 KB download.

    It amazes me that the general public (and Hams in-particular) don’t embrace the MOLLE/PALS concept for field operations. For-example, I would like to see AFFORDABLE MOLLE-II/PALS compatible pouches for specific ham radio handheld transcievers. Yeah, good luck with that (anyone know of any?)

    Best 73’s, David WB4ONA

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