An alarm has sounded, and you are ready to go to your next call. Thankfully, your gear is packed away in your sizeable turnout bag, ready for this emergency situation to happen.
When you are a firefighter on the job, the last thing you want to be worrying about is the quality of your turnout gear bag, and whether your gear and personal belongings are safely tucked inside.
You want to be reassured that, regardless of what happens during your shift, you can quickly and efficiently pack away your gear and navigate your days with ease.
Well, that may be much harder to do when you are lacking a supportive, durable bag that is comfortable and provides necessary support for your gear.
The main issue is that it can be difficult to narrow down the most appropriate choices for a turnout gear bag as there is currently such a large variety available on the market.
Do not worry! We are here to help you and have narrowed down five of the best picks. We have also written a buyer’s guide to help you make a decision.
Best Overall: Re-Designed Lightning X Fireman Premium 3XL Firefighter Bag
Are you drawn to color? Do you like having an abundance of tactical leftover space for other necessities? Then this product offers the perfect solution for you.
Meticulously designed by firefighters for firefighters, this version of the Lightning x Fireman bag offers many unique elements that are not commonly offered in competitor products.
Firstly, it comes with the option of four different colors – black, pink, red, and fluorescent yellow – providing you with the opportunity to carry your gear in style and comfort whilst standing out from the crowd.
It also features four uniquely shaped PVC reinforced mesh air vents at the front and rear of the bag to promote cross ventilation and keep your gear fresh.
One of the notable features of this bag is that it has ballistic nylon webbing handles with reflective stitching sewn into the both sides of the front and its rear straps for 360 degrees of visibility.
This excludes the pink model. The shoulder strap has been recently re-modeled to ensure that it does not tear at the seams.
Additionally, the inclusion of bar tacks and a thicker padded fabric on this strap ensure it is comfortable but still very sturdy.
Its pockets all have dual zippers that grant you 360 degree full access to your equipment at all times and securely hold your gear, helmet and boots – without being so large that it becomes a burden to carry around with you.
With a large zippered top flap on top of the bag instead of the front, this Lightning X item grants “step-in” access to your gear located in the main compartment.
You know this product has been designed by other firefighters, as it fully embraces the complexities of the role and provides alternative access to gear in case of an emergency.
- Value for your money
- Large storage compartments for your gear and personal items
- Easily accessible
- Decent weather protection
- Somewhat bulky
Best Value: Ergodyne Arsenal 5005P Large Polyester Firefighter Rescue Turnout Fire Gear Bag
If you want a sturdy turnout gear bag that you know you can rely on in the heat of the moment, then look no further!
This eye-catching bright red Arsenal bag repels water, resists abrasions and punctures. Whilst similar bags are made with nylon, this product has been manufactured using a tough 1000D polyester to help keep your gear protected from extreme weather conditions and tears.
In addition, heavy-duty zippers, and deep pockets finish it off nicely. It also measures an impressive 30 inches by 15 inches by 15 inches and weighs only 1.8 pounds for easy maneuverability.
This specific bag has been designed to optimize your comfort whilst out on the job. Two strong haul handles on each end of the duffel bag make it much easier to pick up when removing from fire apparatus, a fire truck, an ambulance, or any other emergency vehicle.
With an adjustable and removable padded shoulder strap that makes transporting your bag around a breeze, this product favorably toes the line between providing comfort and practicality.
It has more than enough room to store all of your gear, with additional large end pockets available for use. Its main pocket is water-repellent and double-coated in polyurethane, which offers a tear resistant interior – so you can be rest assured that your gear will remain well-protected when stored in the bag.
Ultimately, this lightweight turnout gear bag ticks all the right boxes. And, with frequent discounts available online, it will not leave a sizeable dent in your wallet!
- Good amount of protective storage for heavy gear
- Its low weight significantly reduces the amount of stress on your body when carrying your gear around
- Waterproof main pocket
- Easily accessible
- Little to no reinforcement in the sides, meaning the bag may sometimes not be fully supportive
Best For Security: Lightning x Fireman Premium 3XL Turnout Bag
Are you more conscious of the way you present yourself? Do you wish your turnout gear bag was visibly more simplistic?
Unlike the newer and more recently developed model of the Lightning x Fireman Premium bag, this is available only in the simple yet classic colors of red or black.
Yet is no less effective. Made of heavy-duty water-resistant nylon, it offers a practical solution to the age-old worry of venturing into the rain with personal belongings on you.
Its frontwards facing mesh vents create a high-visibility, triple trim reflective visage that immediately draws your attention. All logos are embroidered onto the bag itself, which results in its more polished appearance.
Though its color and design may be simplistic, the inclusion of material and extra large eye-catching zippers means you will be more unlikely to lose it – or lose your temper with it – in stressful situations. They also increase durability!
In terms of design, this Lightning x Fireman product also features a strong padded shoulder strap that will bear the weight of up to 100 pounds of gear without the risk of seams bursting open.
The turnout bag has separate compartments to hold just about everything you will need whilst on duty including your helmet, jumpsuit, SCBA mask, and gloves.
New wrap-around reinforced bottom and sides not only prevents excess water leakage from occurring, but also gives the bag additional protection and support.
Finally, the compartment designed for your helmet runs the full width of your bag, so you can be rest assured that it will be a worthwhile purchase to fit up to two sets of turnout gear.
Everyone in the firehouse will be asking where you got your bag!
- Large storage capacity
- Its interior is effectively sealed against the elements
- Simplistic yet effective color scheme and design
- Made from resilient nylon
- Zippers can be quite flimsy
Best For Practicality: Innovatex 3XL Firefighter Duffle Bag
Innovatex are one of the most reliable turnout bag brands currently in the market. Available in tan, camo, black and red – this emergency turnout bag truly does offer a color for everyone.
However, do not let the name of this duffel bag fool you. It has a distinct lack of logos to represent the fact that anyone can use it, from paramedics to survivalists.
This product is the ultimate all-purpose gear bag for firefighters everywhere. The job entails constantly being on the go, whether that is jumping in and out of emergency vehicles or heavy lifting, and this bag has been designed to ease some of these strains.
A reinforced, abrasion-resistant lining at the bottom of the bag means your gear is fully safe and protected for a longer period of time.
Also, the inclusion of a long, adjustable shoulder strap makes the bag easy to maneuver. Simply pack your gear in and throw it over your shoulder.
Let the comfortable padded strap do the majority of the heavy lifting!
With a larger storage capacity to store essential gear and any relevant personal items, you can rely on this bag to help you prepare for any emergency situations.
More specifically, Innovatex are great in customizing and optimizing their compartment storage.
Its main storage features are a spacious main pocket for your jumpsuit or SCBA mask, a large left pocket for your helmet and right-hand pocket for more personal items – or a change of clothes.
It also has quick-access outer pockets which are convenient for smaller items like your wallet, phone or your keys. You can also utilize this space for first aid equipment, but it is completely up to you.
- Storage is optimized
- Prioritizes comfort to help ease the strain on your body in emergency situations
- Easy access to necessary equipment
- Built to last
- Side panel stitching can be unreliable
Best For Convenience: Rolling Firefighter Gear Bag Fireman Equipment Duffel with Wheels
The K-Cliffs rolling turnout bag is the perfect balance between performance and practicality. Best of all, it has wheels!
When duty calls, do not send yourself into a frenzy trying to locate your gear. This K-Cliffs rolling turnout bag will hold all your gear and anything else you deem necessary.
It has optional ventilation straps, which helps you to keep your gear well-circulated and ready to wear on your next shift.
Weighing a mere 5 pounds, it is relatively light for a turnout bag and will not hinder you in any physical way. Did we mention that it has wheels for easy maneuvering?
This heavy-duty duty bag also has a spacious main compartment with strong oversized zippers that will be handy to store a full set of your firefighting gear alongside any additional equipment.
Its interior has been constructed with durability in mind, meaning that there will always be room to spare. It is also form held, so you can put your gear into its respective place – and take it out – without having to worry about the bag collapsing in on itself.
Also, the bag has large zipper side pockets with a name tag holder, so you will never lose sight of your bag!
- Wheels for easy maneuvering
- Easily accessible
- Decent sized interior storage
- No embellished design so can be used by anyone
- Interior seams can tear easily
Regardless of the individual that intends to use the bag, it is important that a turnout bag features a style and design that cater to all needs. Whether that is more on the simplistic side or something more ostentatious, there must be viable options for the design.
When purchasing such a product, most of the time the user is given the opportunity to choose which color bag they want to have, so they can compliment their own style, even though their uniform looks the same as everyone else.
A good quality turnout gear bag should be able to successfully hold all of your equipment, including your protective gear and your hard helmet.
Always look at the manufacturers’ information to get an idea of the space your product has. This is usually presented in the product description, where you will also find exact dimensions and other relevant information pertaining to its capacity.
Ideally, it is a good idea to look for products that offer both interior and exterior protection from water. This means investing in an item that has well stitched seams.
Waterproof bags are generally bigger and more useful than ordinary bags, so searching for a product with this feature will help you increase your organization and packing skills.
It is for the betterment of your physical health that you search for bags that offer extra elements of comfort. This means filtering your search to include bags with added bits of material that will help to support the weight of the bag on top of your shoulder.
Depends solely on the material used to construct your bag, as well as the items that are placed inside. If your bag is slightly heavier than average, you need to ensure that it is comfortable to carry for extended periods of time.
This is the time to prioritize reinforced pockets and double layered linings to prevent the items in the bag from digging in to your side, or weighing you down.
It is also important to seek out bags that feature padded straps and breathable mesh panels so that it is comfortable, and your gear does not suffer as a result.
Polyester is the most ideal because it is the most breathable fabric.
It is far more resistant to heat and UV rays than nylon, and is also more fast drying, meaning you will not have to worry about water damage affecting your gear or the interior of the bag itself.
Finally, it is also quick-drying, which would be very beneficial in limiting potential stressors around you whilst on the job.
There are many advantages of using nylon to manufacture turnout bags.
Though it is generally heavier than polyester, nylon is a highly elastic, abrasion resistant and resilient material that would be a perfect match for the intense nature of a firefighter’s job.
It is also resistant to mold and mildew, which is an additional positive.
Overall, it is apparent that nylon is the most practical material to choose for your turnout bag due to its longevity, strength and general capabilities as a storage bag.
This has everything to do with the amount of strain your turnout bag will be put under.
It is intended to store a large amount of equipment in the bag, so durability is one of the most important factors that you need to keep in mind when browsing the market.
It also needs to be tough enough to withstand exposure to water, along with many other every day stressors.
Additionally, it is important to consider bags made from polyester and nylon, as they will be able to withstand the weight of your gear and any additional accessories.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Turnout Gear Bags?
Turnout gear refers to the outer layer of a firefighter’s uniform worn in extreme emergencies. Therefore, turnout gear bags are large, spacious bags used by firefighter’s everywhere to store emergency gear and equipment.
Usually these bags are made from a water-resistant and durable material and are easily accessible from all angles in order to cope with the intensity of such emergencies. They are also typically lightweight to not add any extra pressure to the firefighter’s body in an already stressful situation.
What Is Usually Carried In A Turnout Gear Bag?
There are many elements to turnout gear in general, but you cannot carry every piece of equipment with you at all times. The vast majority of firefighters tend to carry around their helmet, gloves, jumpsuit and SCBA mask at all times.
However, turnout bags are large enough for you to also store some of your own spare clothes and any other key accessories in addition to your gear.