The Galco FasTrax PAC is a concealed carry fanny pack that gives shooters the ability to carry a gun without having to use a traditional holster. After seeing a competitive shooter practicing with the FasTrax PAC on Instagram, I was curious if it would be a feasible option for off-body carry.
I picked up a pack and used a weighted Smith & Wesson M&P Shield blue gun to test it out. I carried the blue gun in the FasTrax PAC through various daily tasks and practicing my draw for two weeks. Keep reading this Galco FasTrax PAC review to see my overall thoughts and why I think there are better concealed carry fanny pack options.
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Galco FasTrax PAC: What Is It?
The Galco FasTrax PAC is a fanny pack-style waistpack that features a gun compartment with an adjustable, steerhide holster. The holster rotates upward with the pull of an external activation cord, bringing the gun’s grip upwards and to a horizontal position for easy access. The holster is fairly thin and flexible, can be made ambidextrous, and can be adjusted to fit many different guns. It also has a small zipper front pocket not connected to the gun compartment that can be used to store small items. The FasTrax PAC comes in two sizes, compact and subcompact, allowing for a number of popular carry guns.
How to Use the Galco FasTrax PAC
The way the draw works according to Galco:
- Simultaneously grasp the activation cord with your support hand and the top zipper pull with your primary hand.
- Completely unzip the holster compartment.
- Pull the activation cord up and towards the centerline (solar plexus area) of your body. This will rotate the holster almost 90 degrees, with the butt of the firearm coming out of the firearm compartment.
- Grasp the butt of the firearm in a firing grip while keeping your trigger finger straight. Pull the firearm up and out of the holster, while simultaneously releasing the activation cord from the support hand. Allow the activation cord to fall away from the support hand. Your support hand should remain in position on your chest. Once the firearm is pointed towards the target and before extending your arms, grip the firearm with both hands using a proper shooting grip as taught by an accredited firearms safety and training course.
To reholster your gun into the FasTrax PAC:
- Return your support hand to the center of your chest while visually confirming that the holster is not obstructed and in the vertical position.
- With your finger well clear of the trigger and along firearm’s frame, gently ease the firearm into the holster.
- Slowly seat the firearm completely in the holster.
- Pivot the firearm and holster component so it is completely enclosed in the holster compartment.
Galco FasTrax PAC Review: The Good
The first thing I noticed with the FasTrax PAC is how comfortable it is. It features an adjustable (up to 50”) 1.5” wide elastic waist strap that is incredibly comfortable to wear. The back of the pack uses Galco’s own proprietary padded mesh backing that is also moisture wicking.
The front pocket is big enough to fit my iPhone 13 Pro Max and a small keychain which is nice when I’m out running errands. It also has a passthrough port for earbud cables for those who have yet to upgrade to bluetooth headphones.
The FasTrax PAC comes in three different colors. While I was using the black and gray for testing, I found the multicam black pack to be an attractive pattern and not overly-tactical.
Galco FasTrax PAC Review: The Bad
Now, let’s look at some of the downsides to the Galco FasTrax PAC.
In order to evaluate the FasTrax PAC, we need to know what to look for in our carry gear. A safe and functional holster should do the following:
- Provide trigger protection so the gun cannot be fired while in the holster.
- Retain the gun so that it does not fall out of the holster (holster retention).
- Presents the gun at the same angle, in the same orientation every time you reach for it.
The FasTrax PAC does have a holster to protect the trigger guard, but it is less than ideal. The FasTrax PAC’s holster is made of a soft, steerhide leather material that bends and folds. This can be dangerous if part of the holster were to fold into the trigger guard while reholstering your gun, causing a negligent discharge.
Reholstering a loaded gun is potentially one of the most dangerous things you can do with a gun. That’s why we reholster slowly and deliberately everytime we’re returning our gun to its holster. Shooters who carry appendix know that in order to reholster without muzzling any important parts of the body, you need to position your feet in a certain way, then lean back at the hips before looking your gun into the holster.
Reholstering with the FasTrax PAC is similar to reholstering with an appendix holster. Without muzzling yourself, you must first use your free hand to ensure the holster is upright, open, and has no obstructions. While leaning my hips back so I would not muzzle my legs, I found that I sometimes had to dig my blue gun into the holster because the soft opening was not always open all the way. This resulted in muzzling myself – something we never want to do when reholstering.
At one point, I had forgotten to ensure the holster and inside of the pack was clear. In the process of returning the gun to the holster, the activation cord ended up in the holster with my gun. Had I not been using a blue gun, this could have been an issue. While this is a user error on my part, I think this is a safety issue
Being able to have a repeatable draw is important when carrying. This is where I had some issues with the FasTrax PAC.
In order to draw, you must first open the zipper with your strong hand, then pull the activation cord with your weak hand. This rotates the holster, bringing the gun’s grip parallel with the bag. You can then draw the gun normally.
My first issue was with consistently pulling the right zipper. Between the two zipper strings and the activation cord, it’s easy to grab the wrong thing. One trick that helped a little was tucking in the bottom zipper that doesn’t get used. This gets it out of the way.
The next trick is to always put the zippers in the same spot after every draw. This is so you’re not having to search for it everywhere. I also found that staging the zipper at the top corner above the activation cord gave me the most consistent and problem free draw.
The second issue I had involved the rotation of the holster. On occasion, the gun’s grip would get hung up on the pack’s opening, preventing it from fully rotating up.
Lastly, was an issue with retention. Remember before we said that the holster should retain the gun until you draw? Sometimes, in my over-exuberance to draw the gun, I would pull the tab so hard that the holster would come quickly enough to fling the gun out the holster. It would either by hanging a little loose in the bag, or in one instance, it ended up on the floor.
If you were being attacked and only got as far as opening the zipper before being entangled with an attacker, I’m not confident that the gun would stay in the holster.
Why Fanny Pack Carry?
Now, we all know that off-body carry is a highly contentious form of concealed carry. There are special considerations to take into account when carrying off-body. However, I don’t really consider fanny pack carry as off-body carry. That’s because it is attached to the body and cannot be snatched from you as easily as a purse.
While many may think that a fanny pack is tacky and unfashionable, I would argue that fashion trends change. Over the last couple of years a trend in women’s everyday fashion has been the rise of the Lululemon Belt Bag. It’s a small-fanny pack style bag, typically worn across the body. With the rise in popularity of the Belt Bag, have come many copy cats. It’s not uncommon to see women carrying small fanny packs these days. I’ve carried some medical gear and keys in a fanny pack when walking my dog. Fanny pack carry is a viable option for blending in while carrying.
Perks of Fanny Pack Carry
There are a few reasons one might conceal carry using a fanny pack:
- Shooters with physical limitations that keep them from carrying in the waistband but still want to conceal comfortably
- For carrying during appointments with the doctor
- In situations where you need to easily, safely, and discreetly remove your gun to lock it up in front of others without revealing it to others
CCW Fanny Pack Alternatives
If you’re in the market for a safe and functional CCW fanny pack, there are a couple safer options I can recommend.
One of the most well-regarded off body carry gear companies is Hill People Gear. Their Belt Pack is a fanny pack that provides a secure compartment for your gun. The compartment has a velcro loop and dummy cord loop that you can attach to a Kydex trigger guard holster like the Raven Concealment VanGuard 2 Minimalist Holster.
While Hill People Gear is considered by many to be the gold standard of off body carry, it also may be too pricey for those just testing the water. For that reason, it’s possible to rig up a safe concealed carry fanny pack using other products. For example, you can take a fanny pack that is rigid enough, like the Elite Survival Systems Gunner and modify it to work for you. First, you can throw out the included “holsters” and instead put velcro on a low-profile Kydex holster like the Phlster Skeleton. Then, you may want to include a shock cord attached to the holster and the bag that gives enough slack that you can safely reholster your gun outside of the pack.
Galco FasTrax PAC: Final Thoughts
With the FasTrax PAC, it feels like Galco was trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. The purpose of the rotating holster is to make the grip more accessible. While pulling the activation cord to rotate the holster up does make the grip more accessible, I find the entire process to be more complicated than necessary with some critical safety issues.
With a CCW fanny pack set up like I described previously and some practice, you will have minimal issues accessing your gun, it will be in the same place every time you draw, and the trigger will adequately be protected.