Hazard 4 Defense Courier Diagonal Laptop Bag Review

tl;dr – 5/5, awesome laptop bag, treated like hell for a year, still going strong

A little over a year ago, at the NRA Annual Meeting in 2016, I was in desperate need of a new laptop bag. Scouring different vendors on show floor yielded little result. Everyone had similar versions of the same bags, covered in MOLLE and sporting a myriad of pockets, but none of those I visited seemed to have a dedicated laptop bag.

On the last day of the convention, Erin pulled me over to the Hazard 4 booth. She was eyeing a very nice looking poncho and had brought me over to see if they could find me another bag.

The Defense Courier bag jumped out at me because it was distinctly NOT tacticool. It was a functional laptop bag that would blend in well in a corporate environment. I wanted the bag, not to show off at the range, but to actually use for work and hump gear from jobsite to jobsite. Some jobsites are not exactly permissive when it comes to the right to self-defense (some for legitimate reasons, others for purely political).

I didn’t just want to post a review right after I got the bag, though. I wanted to see how it actually held up. So here’s my report on the bag after over a year of hard use. It carried my tools and laptop every day of work and several for play. It wasn’t babied – it was thrown into the back of my truck, drug on the ground, dropped, and used roughly.

The front has a nice panel of loop material for patches to hook into. Minor complaint that the Hazard 4 logo is permanently attached and can’t be removed. A large enough patch can cover it up, though.

The smooth material has garnered a few scuffs – mostly from encounters with rough concrete. It’s structurally intact, and cosmetically it really should look far worse than it does for what it’s been put through. The buckles still work flawlessly, despite the right one having been slammed in a car door on accident.

The large front strap fits well when slung across the back. The padding doesn’t move and slide around like some designs, which I like when making longer walks with the bag (I recently worked in a convention center that took over 30 minutes to cross from one end of a hall to the other). There is a second, stabilizing strap that hooks into the main one, but I generally don’t make use of it and keep it tucked away.

The main compartment is huge. It’s tempting to fill it with too much stuff. While the bag can hold it, it gets cumbersome to haul around too much weight. My 15″ laptop fits snugly in the protective pocket and has been well preserved despite my treatment of the bag. The inner, side pockets are seemingly tailor-made for holding a power strip and the laptop charger. The power strip doesn’t stick out of the bag, when it’s closed it is a perfect fit.

A front zippered pocket holds pens, cables, and other random tools. The pouches attached to the front MOLLE are each an extra purchase from Hazard 4. I use them to keep cables, battery packs, and an extra pair of glasses.

This is the only other significant damage I can find on the bag. A couple of threads coming loose on the laptop sleeve from heavy use.

It’s an expensive bag. MSRP is $156. I got it on sale at the show for $120, and the extra pouches for $10 and $15. I have to say it’s absolutely worth it, though. A year of hard use and it hardly looks used. I heartily recommend it. I only wish they made a version for larger laptops as well.


Gunvault – Nanovault NV300 Review

This is a repost from 4/23/2013 and applies only to NV300 safes with a shiny metallic lock mechanism. Locks with plastic combinations dials have been revised and a future review is forthcoming.

Before getting into the review, you must understand my reasons for buying the NV300. I needed something to:

  • comply with safe storage laws
  • store a carry piece while in a disarmed victim zone
  • be moderately priced

I found the NV300 on sale on Amazon for $28 with Prime shipping in December 2012 and all three requirements were met.



The construction at first glance seems very sturdy; the metal exterior is very solid. I need to be very clear, though, that this is not a safe. Having only three digits, the combination lock can be bypassed in less than an hour just by cranking out successive combinations from 000-999. Most shocking, however, was how I accidentally discovered the construction of the latching mechanism.

After returning home from a trip with my carry piece locked inside the nanovault (I live in Mordor), the latch wouldn’t open after I entered my combination. Thinking the latch was stuck a little, I shifted the two halves of the nanovault and pulled. I heard a snap and the nanovault popped open. For a few seconds I felt like the hulk. I had only used a small amount of effort, not even straining myself. Sadly, it was not superhuman strength that led to the lock’s failure – it was poor material choice.


The cylinder that holds the latch in place is made of plastic. The one mechanism in the entire product that receives the most stress under an attack is supported by a brittle piece of plastic.

While the design department might have been lacking, customer service was very helpful. I had some difficulty with their online chat client – it kept disconnecting my session – but that may have been an issue on my end. I emailed them a copy of my Amazon receipt and they shipped out a new NV300 within a week, free of charge, even after I told them I broke it with my bare hands.


The replacement came with a much sturdier cable. Unfortunately, this “safe” suffered from the same flaw.

All things considered, I’m still using my NV300 since it meets all that I require from a container. Anyone looking for a secure container, however, should beware that the security is comparable to a TSA approved lock for a soft-sided suitcase.