Over the last few months, I have had a chance to use The Byte soft case by Lynx Defense. The Byte is Lynx’s discreet soft case designed for PCCs, SMGs, and PDW-style firearms. Let’s take a closer look at The Byte and what it has to offer.
Gear & Optics|Gear Review
By Drew Bryant
March 24th, 2023, theloadoutblog.com
There are many options on the market regarding soft cases for your pistol, rifle, or shotgun. The quality of those soft cases and their price vary widely on the market. These vast options make it difficult for consumers to decipher how to spend their money wisely. Consumers can buy top-tier products with excellent build quality and use premium materials but not have the functionality a consumer is looking for. In comparison, other soft cases might be more budget-friendly, with decent build quality and a reasonable price point. Unfortunately, there isn’t one case to rule them all, and compromises will be made. Over the last few months, I have had a chance to use The Byte soft case by Lynx Defense. The Byte is Lynx’s discreet soft case designed for PCCs, SMGs, and PDW-style firearms. Let’s take a closer look at The Byte and what it has to offer.
Before I delve into this assessment, I want to discuss my relationship with Lynx Defense. Someone working with Lynx Defense contacted me and asked if I would like to review their products. I told them I would, and shortly after that, Lynx Defense shipped a case out to me.
I am not affiliated with Lynx Defense, nor was any money exchanged for this assessment. I will give my honest evaluation of this product without any outside influences upon me. Now, let’s move on to the assessment of The Byte.
The Three Pillars Of Design
Regarding cases, I am looking for three pillars of design. Those three pillars of design are: build quality, functionality, and price. Let’s summarize these ideas first before investigating each with an in-depth analysis.
First, let’s discuss the concept of build quality. When discussing the quality of a build, I am referring to the quality of the materials used and the manufacturing process to create that product. If the manufacturer uses inferior products and tailoring methods, those shortcuts will show in the final product, which will be highly compromised.
Next is the functionality of the product. In regards to the functionality of the case, I’m looking to see how easily it can accommodate a firearm with accessories. I want to know what accessories come with the case or what accessories I can buy to aid the organization within the case.
Lastly, there is the price-to-value ratio. Is the price reasonable for the end product that I am receiving?
Let’s investigate the build quality of The Byte soft case. The build quality of this case is quite impressive. Lynx uses high-quality materials with excellent build quality to create a great case.
Let’s start with the fabric used to build this case. The Byte is made with durable Cordura fabric. Cordura is known for resisting dirt and grime while also being tear resistant. The material is also 100% waterproof and non-porous. Water will bead up and roll off the fabric when water touches the fabric. Also, this unique fabric is self-extinguishing and will not act as an accelerant if caught in a fire, which is a pretty interesting detail. This rugged fabric is used in a wide variety of products and gear in many different industries. In my experience, Cordura holds the color of the material very well.
Secondly, the case uses double-stitched seams when being put together. Double-stitched seams provide a stronger bond for fabrics sown together and reduce the odds of the fabric fraying.
Thirdly, The Byte uses HDPE, which is high-density plastic. The HDPE gives the front and back of the case its structure. I believe the sides of The Byte use soft foam to construct the support beam of the case.
Overall The Byte features high-quality materials and impressive build quality. This SMG soft case can stand firm against any competition in the market. Lynx Defense’s SMG case can stand on par with the INCOG SMG case by Haley Strategic.
The next pillar to be discussed is functionality. Now, functionality is a very vague term used within our industry. In the context of this assessment, I want to clarify this concept. When speaking of functionality, I am referring to how easy it is to use the product. I’m looking for weapon retention, storage, and the ability to organize my gear within the case. That is the type of functionality I am looking for in a soft case of any size.
How does The Byte measure within these metrics? Let’s take a closer look at each concept individually.
First, up to bat is weapon retention. I am easily able to secure my Stribog within the interior of the case. The Byte comes with a full Velcro backer, which allows you to use the two weapon straps to secure your weapon within the interior of the case quickly. I couldn’t carry the Stribog with a magazine inserted because of the length of my magazines. If I wanted to roll the Stribog loaded, I would have to use a ten or twenty-round magazine instead. You can easily fit a loaded MP5 or Scorpion Evo into the case. Potentially, a B&T APC9 with a 20-round magazine inserted. It depends on the firearm used, magazine capacity, and whether it is equipped with an optic. The Byte safely, neatly, and easily secures my firearm within its interior.
Next, let’s discuss storage. When it comes to storage, this is where I think The Byte begins to struggle. This case offers limited storage capabilities. On the outside of the bag, you have a small zipper pocket. It doesn’t have much space or depth in the pocket, so you can’t fit that many accessories into that pocket. The pocket lacks the depth to provide usable space for gear or accessories.
The large inner pocket provides a good balance between size and depth. This pocket allows you to put extra magazines, gloves, and other gear inside it. The pocket has adequate depth enabling you to pack a lot with The Byte’s interior pocket of the case. So, its sizeable inner pocket is excellent for generalized accessories.
I want to take a quick detour and discuss product accessories quickly. The Byte has an excellent selection of product accessories. Accessories include pistol and rifle magazine holders, a handgun holder, and a zipper pouch for ammunition. These accessories allow you to play Tetris within Byte’s interior. They enable owners to use their imagination and use the space efficiently as possible.
All the accessories mentioned here are sold separately. It would have been great touch if Lynx Defense added a pistol magazine or rifle magazine with The Byte or both options. The accessories available from Lynx Defense are fairly priced. Accessories cost anywhere between $14 to $30, depending on what accessories you purchase.
Finally, let’s discuss organization within The Byte. Organization within the case is lacking due to some design choices by Lynx. On the case’s exterior, you have that small pocket I’ve mentioned before. This pocket is essentially useless and adds no value to the organizational aspect of this case. This leaves a large inner pocket for all your gear and accessories.
I wish Lynx had turned the sizeable interior pocket into two pockets. Creating two pockets would allow you the opportunity to organize your gear better. You could use one pocket for magazines, a mag loader, or ammo. The second pocket could be used for accessories such as gloves, hearing protection(earbuds), note-taking gear, etc. Having two pockets prevents you from digging into a Pandora’s Box of accessories, not knowing what you may grab. Considerations like these aid in the quality of life with a product.
The Byte retails for $209. Regarding the price, it will be on the top side of the price bracket for this type of case. Haley Strategic INCOG SMG case retails for $189.99, which means The Byte costs $20 more. Does the price match the value proposition? Yes, it does when you know its build quality, where it was built, and the quality assurance process involved. Let’s take a deeper look into the build of The Byte.
All the components to build the Byte are a resource from here in America. The product is 100% made here in America by talented tailors. Each bag goes through a rigorous quality assurance assessment to ensure all cases have the same quality throughout the product lineup. The $20 price increase equates to using high-quality materials, excellent build quality, and a detailed inspection to ensure the consumer has the highest quality case possible. The quality, time, and level of detail put into The Byte reflects its price increase.
Before we delve into my final thoughts about The Byte, I want to discuss one major caveat I have with this case.
There is one caveat I want to explore how the design limits the organizational capabilities of The Byte.
When designing a product, it is natural to have design limitations. This limitation could be due to the original concept being too costly to manufacture or choosing one design element over another. These choices can affect the functionality of your final product. This tug-of-war creates options for the designer to consider when making the end product. When assessing a case, my concerns are the economy of space and how I can organize within that space.
The economy of space refers to how much space I have for the firearm, accessories, and gear. The Byte allows me to place my Stribog securely in the case quickly. Once secured to the Velcro backer, I can put items around the firearm without hindering accessibility. I also have a deep interior pocket to place accessories in the case. The economy of space is essential because it allows me to plan how I will lay out my firearm and its accessories within the case in an intelligent way. I can easily lay a pair of larger hearing protection with my PCC without hindering access. From there, the large pocket allows me to add accessories of your choice. Overall The Byte does a great job with the economy of space within the case. This efficient space usage will enable me to secure my firearm while providing room for other accessories.
Next, let’s tackle organizational space. When it comes down to the organizational area, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Let me explain. I know I just spoke highly of the economy of space. That is how I can use that space to accommodate all my gear. In that regard, it is a solid case. However, we are discussing the organizational properties of the case. This is where Byte’s framework shows some cracks.
The Byte only offers one main functional pocket to put accessories or extra gear in. The front quarter pocket is essentially useless. It doesn’t provide any depth or size as a pocket. I wouldn’t put anything in that pocket, which limits me to one large pocket in the case’s interior. So, now I have one big pocket to organize all my gear in. When traveling and moving around, the contents will shift, causing your items to get mixed up. When I go into a pocket, I like to know where everything is. So, if I had to reach into the case in the dark or with little light, I could find what I was looking for.
A way to solve this problem is to divide the large pocket into two equal size pockets. Two pockets would allow you to separate your gear and accessories better instead of having one pocket to rule them all. The Byte provides ample space for gear and accessories, but it removes my ability to organize my bag as I please. It’s just like a junk draw that I can stuff all my extra stuff in. I want to maximize my organizational capabilities.
Over the past few months, I have enjoyed using The Byte by Lynx Defense. My time with the case has been a great one. The case features excellent build quality and functionality at a competitive price point. When finding a quality case for your gear, you always sacrifice one aspect or another. It’s trying to find the right value proposition for your hard-earned money. Money is tight nowadays, so it becomes even more critical to use it wisely at the end of the day.
In conclusion, The Byte is a solid soft case for any PCC, SMG, or PDW-style firearm. The case features excellent build quality, solid functionality, and great accessories. It is a solid choice for someone looking for a discreet soft case for their compact firearms.
The Byte struggles in the realm of organizational space within the case’s interior. The outside pocket is useless in the grand scheme of things and should be removed, which leaves you with one main pocket to store all your gear and accessories in. I believe there is room for improvement, and the second generation of The Byte should be considered to fix these shortcomings.
The Byte is for people looking for a well-constructed, practical, and modular SMG soft case. The Byte is at the high end of the market, price-wise. This increased price will ensure you receive a high-quality product with excellent attention to detail. If you are looking to take the leap and purchase The Byte, you won’t be disappointed in your investment.