This Christmas, I unwrapped the best way to carry shooting gear that I have ever seen (short of a Polaris MRZR).
I’ve been looking for a better way to carry all my 3-Gun gear for a while now. A good backpack was at the top of my list of options, but most packs are “top-loading”. That means I’d have to go fishing to find anything at the bottom of the pack. When you’ve got lots of gear, that can be a problem.
Enter the Phantom:
It’s a “Sniper’s Pack”. Snipers, apparently, have to carry quite a bit of gear over quite a bit of distance. They also really like having easy, instant access to any given bit of that gear once they take the pack off. For me, this was the one of the biggest selling points of the Phantom.
These Marine Scout/Snipers seem to like the Phantom. (Photo from the Eberlestock website)
But really, everything about the Phantom, top, bottom, left, right, fore, and aft, is its big selling point. The amount of attention to detail that went into the design of this pack is amazing! The Phantom is a rather large pack (as you can see in the above photo), but not an inch of space is wasted. Yet, at the same time, it doesn’t have 200 different compartments that you will wind up losing all your little bits of kit in.
The Phantom and all the 3-Gun gear that will go in it.
Most of the pack is devoted to a large “load bay” that is accessed through a door in the back of the pack. The load bay can be separated with a divider that velcroes into place. The top portion of the load bay also features a mesh compartment in the back that I use to hold paper targets.
The pack “door” sports plenty of PALS webbing (for MOLLE-type pouches). The load bay also has a 2-tall strip for smaller pouches. Note that all the zippers have a durable cord pull with a nice rubberized surface.
The load bay is lined with elastic-topped pouches. The lower portion will fit rifle magazines (shown here with an AI .308 mag and an AR mag):
Or a box of pistol ammo.
The top section of the load bay has six pouches that will hold pistol and sub-gun mags. They also do a good job holding 100 round boxes of .22 or .17 HMR.
The exterior of the pack door has four columns of PALS webbing, velcro for a flag-sized patch, and a large open-top pocket. I mounted a Condor double “Stacked” mag pouch to the PALS and keep a tool kit in the pocket. This would also be a good spot for a small trauma kit.
The bear is for morale. (There’s actually a funny story behind that bear involving a reindeer and a cylinder base pin. No, really, there is.)
My toolkit hidden away in the pack door.
Above the load bay is a smaller pocket. My eye and ear pro live here.
Pockets for hydration bladders run the full length of the pack on both port and starboard sides. There are also pouches that run the full length of the pocket, for spotting scopes, tripods, etc.
There’s also PALS webbing all down the side, as well as a spot to stow a canteen. The canteen pouch will also hold 4 AR mags.
The hydration pocket is also a great spot to stash an AR upper. This 14.5″ upper with an EOtech is completely sheathed (but my 3-Gun AR upper with a 1.5-6x scope and Dueck offset sights fit as well)
Takedown-style firearms such as this Winchester 1897 or the new 10/22 Takedown fit well into the tripod pouch.
The right side of my Phantom sports a Condor shotgun scabbard attached to the webbing. It’s too short for my 22″ VersaMax but carbine-type rifles (such as my Uberti ’73 or a stock 10/22) will fit well. The Condor scabbard also won’t fit any shotgun with a sidesaddle. It will soon be replaced with an Eberlestock A2SS. Putting the scabbard on also means no access to the tripod pouch on that side.
And yes, I can fit all my gear for a SASS match in here. I do need to find a way to mount my cavalry saber though.
Compression straps along both sides of the pack keep it as compact as possible when loaded up. They also help secure the Condor scabbard.
The Phantom also has handles on the top, left, and right sides. They work well for carrying the pack over short distances, but they really come in handy when you have to take the pack off fully loaded. Just another example of the attention to detail Eberlestock put into this pack.
The carry handle is to the left. The barrel end of the ’97 is in the pouch this time.
One of the Phantom’s biggest features that I haven’t mentioned yet is that it also carries a rifle. Behind the pack itself is a removable ”Backscabbard” that will hold anything up to (and, I’ve read, including) a Barret M107. Unfortunately I did not have an M107 on hand for testing so I just used this Remington 700 (in a B&C stock with a bipod and AI 10rd. magazine). (If anyone at Barret is reading this, I would love to test one as long as you send plenty of ammo too).
The scabbard has a wide bottom which enables muzzle-up carry. Of course, carrying a 16″ AR is no problem. The bottom also folds up behind the pack to reduce it’s footprint when you aren’t carrying a rifle.
Stock collapsed, muzzle-up. (The flash hider is visible through the carry handle).
The backscabbard protects the exposed portion of the rifle with a clip-on hood:
The scabbard also has a zipper near the bottom. I don’t know what it’s for. Maybe I’m just not “sniper” enough. Seems like a nice zipper though.
The scabbard and the pack body are easily separated via two long zippers, four buckles, and four tabs, if for some reason you don’t want to be able to carry a rifle at any given time. Why you wouldn’t want to be able to carry a rifle is beyond me.
Yes, the harness and hip belt do transfer to the pack. Otherwise this feature would be completely pointless. Unfortunately the padding (which makes the Phantom extremely comfortable even when heavily loaded) doesn’t come off the backscabbard.
The last but not quite the least feature of the Phantom is it’s pull-out rain cover:
Keep your powder dry! (If I had a nickel for everytime someone explained the origin of that saying…)
The rain cover comes hooked into the pack, but is removable.
When the rain/dust storm passes, all you have to do is stuff the cover back into it’s pouch and zip it up.
The G3 Phantom pack is available for $389.00 direct from Eberlestock. The MultiCam® version shown here is an additional $40.00. I rationalized that I might someday use this pack for hunting, but really it’s just what all the cool kids were wearing.
These guys are so cool their faces have to be blurred. Also there’s a fire. Apparently only the guy on the left is concerned.
The Phantom also comes in Military Green, Coyote Tan, “Dry Earth”, Black, and Desert Tan. As of right now only Military Green, Dry Earth, and MultiCam are in stock.