There comes a time in a guys life, where he has to choose between a couple different ways of living. Whether its gym membership or a hiking regiment we make choices that effect our future activities. While many of these choices are about the mundane and everyday tasks we engage in, some of them can be life-changing, like whether we carry a gun, or a pocketknife.
You clicked on a backpack article right? Well the Eberlestock Cherry Bomb is in fact the subject of this article, but we are going to talk about how a backpack choice can effect your life.
Eberlestock is well known for making top quality backpacks and other outdoor gear. While their products are probably most popular among outdoor types like hunters and backcountry hikers, they are also quite popular with just plain gun-folk. I first heard of them years ago when my brother bought one of their Gunslinger backpacks, so when the time came for this project, my eyes turned towards Eberlestock.
Carrying a gun is a big deal that hopefully everybody takes with extreme responsibility, but there are many who take it to the next level. Your reasons might be professional such as public service or private security, or you might just work in the firearms industry or play with a lot of guns. On a day to day basis, a person not unlike myself might usually have a pistol and a rifle or two. One of those weapons should be ready to party at any given minute, and as a superior option to a handgun I would prefer the rifle. I wanted to see if the Cherry Bomb pack from Eberlestock would be suitable for an every-day carry backpack.
Having a rifle close and ready can certainly provide you with the upper hand should you need it, so after doing some measuring and research I decided to get a Cherry Bomb for my Desert Tech MDRX Micron.
The Cherry Bomb
The Cherry Bomb is a multiple compartment backpack that could easily be mistaken for a nice laptop carrier. It has an internal space of twenty-four inches by eleven inches wide, and has several dividers for storing assorted organized “things” inside. The pack comes with a removable waist-belt should you choose to use it, and it is available in a few different color schemes which don’t scream “Gun Inside”. The shoulder-straps are well padded and adjustable to fit most anyone, I chose to remove the waist-belt mainly because I don’t need it for carrying it on a daily routine.
Like all Eberlestock packs it is extremely well built, strong stitching and tough seams and zippers make it very robust and reliable to open and keep closed. There are two small zippered compartments at the bottom on each side, as well as a cunningly placed rainfly stowed in the very bottom. The interior of the pack has several dividers for keeping things like laptops from getting rubbed against your rifle. It also has some internal pockets for keeping small things like those you’d keep in your pants-pocket, but you have a backpack now. Next to the rigid weapon compartment there are also two pockets that are just right for holding extra magazines, complete with bungee retention.
The Grey man
I wont bore you with the grey man theory but to mention that the Cherry Bomb is a good start to your grey man kit. As I mentioned above it could easily be mistaken for a computer carrier or biking backpack. Carrying a concealed rifle around is easy with this pack, and you can do it with comfort and without attracting attention.
Stowing my rifle
Opening up the Cherry Bomb for the first time, I was excited to see if my measurements had been correct. I had my short-barreled MDRX ready to load up, and I was excited to see that not only would the rifle fit, but even with a shorty suppressor installed I could just squeeze it in. With a low profile red dot installed on the rifle, and a loaded 20 round magazine, the MDRX Micron SBR dropped right in. I stuck two additional thirty-round magazines into the pockets, as well as some other things that go well with a little rifle and zipped it up. The pack features zipper pull-tabs, and they are built well just like everything else. I zipped them both up to the middle-top of the pack, and decided to go for a walk. With a couple water bottles added to the outer pocket, I figure it probably weighed around fifteen pounds with all my gear comfortably stowed. The Cherry Bomb could easily carry much more weight comfortably, especially if you use the waist belt. Using only the shoulder straps for support I found it to be quite tolerable, and without the waist-belt it was still easy to maneuver and quickly remove the pack.
Just as important, I wanted to see how quickly I could pull my rifle from the bag, and be ready to shoot should such a need arise.
With both zipper-pulls at the top, I found it easy to “peel” the pack open like a banana, and the rifle was easily extracted by either pulling at the butt-hook of the stock, or just grabbing the sling and pulling it out. I also tried slinging the pack off of the shoulders and around the front using the waist-belt to keep my entire kit attached, which also worked out as a suitable option. After a little practice, either way I did it made for a fairly quick deployment. This is where the benefits of the bullpup MDRX were most apparent, most AR15 and similar SBR’s need either a folding stock, or be of the collapsible type. This requires an additional step upon removing the rifle from the bag, but my little Micron is ready to go with a slap of the charging handles as soon as its free.
The Cherry bomb quickly became a briefcase for me, traveling to and from the office with me every day. Easily stored documents and other everyday items were also stashed inside. To be completely honest, it almost seemed like a little bit of light duty for the Cherry Bomb. But the opportunity to put it into another role would soon arrive.
With the local deer and elk hunts inbound, I saw the opportunity to test a couple things using the Cherry Bomb. I have backpacks all over, but my wife would be coming along on this hunting trip as well. I figured the comfy straps of the little Eberlestock might make her day a little more pleasant. So as opening day arrived, I cinched the shoulder straps way down to fit her petite shoulders and replaced the waist belt. We were only planning on being out for the day, with hopes of getting our hands on an elk. But because anything can happen, she loaded up the Cherry Bomb with all kinds of gear.
She wanted her thermos of hot tea, water bottles, plenty of snacks, extra jacket, knives, ammo for her rifle, and of course an emergency shit-kit and so on. All the things she thought we may need fit snugly into the little pack, and she slung her rifle over the shoulder strap.
Its a good thing she went prepared that morning, as she was seconds away from plugging her first elk. But instead we ended up packing out a deer, and by the time we made it back to the vehicles we had exhausted the snacks, water, and even the tea. They were replaced by a rifle and some backstraps. All the while I kept asking her how she liked the pack, and if she was comfortable. It was quite apparent from her attitude that the pack was indeed comfortable, and I had to wrestle it from her the following weekend to take it hunting myself.
Part of the reason I went with the Eberlestock from the beginning was because I was confident I would like it. With their well known reputation for quality, my assumption that they would think it through was correct. The Cherry Bomb is an excellent backpack, whether you are using it to stow your daily rifle, as something to carry your daily effects to work, or to haul pieces of game from the bottom of a steep canyon draw. It’s adaptability to a variety of uses is perhaps it’s strongest point. I love carrying it wherever I go, knowing that readiness waits inside the Cherry Bomb.