Everyone needs a great tote bag. No joke. No matter if you’re lugging around heavy vehicle recovery gear or oddball-sized items, owning a durable go-to carrying case is important. Enter 5.11 Tactical’s 39-liter Load Ready Utility Large tote. In our opinion, it’s all that and more.
Terrifically Designed Tote
The 5.11 Tactical Load Ready Utility Large tote bag is a “heavy-duty, haul-all stackable utility bag.” It’s constructed with a super-tough 1050 denier Nylon and is extremely well sewn. It showcases a double layer internal/external waterproof and ruggedized base, perfect for keeping the bottom of the bag and its contents dry from our rainy Pacific Northwest winters.
The 5.11 39-liter tote bag measures in at 12″ H x 18″ L x 11″ D and can used in two ways. It can act like a normal open-topped bag with a single oversized compartment to fill it. Or, it can be zipped shut with a thick mesh “lid” that transforms it into a fitted and stackable rough-and-tumble tote.
Upon initial investigation, bright orange toggles/loops safely house the mesh lid when not in use—smart. In open mode, simply roll and stow the lid. Or, let it dangle loose in the tote but you’d risk damaging it when loading up gear.
In addition to the main compartment, a small interior mesh pocket allows for safe storage of less-than-large cargo.
No matter if you grab the reinforced side grab handles and drag the 5.11 Tactical Load Ready Utility Large tote out of your 4×4 or plunk it down using its heavy-duty top-mounted handles, you’ll have the ability to maneuver this cargo-carrying tote in a variety of ways. A Velcro patch is sewn onto each end, allowing name tape to be added.
If you’ve got lots to stow, multiple utility bags can be ganged together with front, rear, and corner lash loops. A simple MOLLE or “modular, lightweight, load-carrying equipment” system dons both sides of the tote, allowing users to attach MOLLE pouches or accessories to the tote for additional storage, too.
This 39-liter bomb-proof 5.11 Tactical Load Ready Utility Large tote is part of their signature Center Line collection and is available for $69.99.
There wasn’t much we didn’t love about the 5.11 Tactical 39-liter Load Ready Utility Large tote. It’s well-made and thoughtfully designed. This tote withstood continual abuse as evidenced in our cross-country trip to Moab for the Easter Jeep Safari off-road event.
This tote quickly became a go-to cargo carrier. It carried a large variety of odd-sized gear during our off-road work trip. This included items like Mountain House freeze-dried meals, our SnowPeak stove, an ARB tire patch kit, and VSSL emergency kits. We also brought extra motor oil for our Pajero and misc. recovery gear not stowable in our existing backpack. We can’t forget about tons of sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer as we socially distanced our way through the event.
Even with our cargo overflowing, the mesh lid easily zippered shut. However, we occasionally adjusted our gear in order not to snag the open-designed material when closing the zipper.
Although we didn’t weigh our tote upon departure, we figured it to be about 50-60 pounds or so. The 5.11 tote didn’t bat an eye over the weight; it happily carried our gear through several states and multiple trips to hotel rooms via wobbly luggage carts.
We can say with confidence this tote is worth its price.
The tote’s mesh cover is permanently affixed on one side. However, the other three sides can be zipped shut. We’d prefer the lid to be zippered on all sides, so it can be replaced if needed.
Once damaged, you have a solid tote with a sliced lid … and no way to fix it than with Gorilla tape or heavy-duty thread.
Think of it this way: we’d like to see this well-made tote’s design tweaked. Change it just enough so that the mesh lid acts similarly to a zip-off pant leg. Slice or dice the lid? No problem, we hope 5.11 would sell replacement lids.
With the 5.11 stacking and cargo carrying ability, we only worry about damaging the mesh lid than anything else about this rock-solid setup. Price: $69.99
5.11 tactical supplied this bag at no cost in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.