Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks.

Posted by: teacher

Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/16/20 05:29 PM

Been seeing more army-ish gear out there -- and picked up a 50l tactical backpack. ( review to follow)
What are your thoughts on these Molle infused packs?
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/16/20 05:54 PM

In other than combat use, an area in which I have no direct experience, the molle webbing is just unnecessary weight and clutter.

Doing SAR. carrying weights of 45 or so pounds, I preferred a pack with a sleek rounded profile, the better to penetrate brush and steep terrain. 50 L is a bit less capacity than I prefer, but that is more than many "tactical" packs can hold.

Civilian packs (Osprey, Deuter , Gregory, Mountainsmith, REi) come in varying sizes with adjustability options which give a more custom fit, key to the pack carrying well.

Tactical packs come in black or some other dull camo-like color. This makes good sense on the battlefield, but is a detriment in civilian life. i much prefer a brighter color. The color of the ppack I am now using is "molten red."

IMHO, tactical packs are overpriced mall ninja bait. I do have a Maxpedition Vulture 2 which suffered a seam failure after very light use. It was easily repaired but it has been at least thirty years since I have seen anything like that in a decent civilian pack, most of which saw fairly severe use.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/16/20 08:24 PM

Molle can be useful to me for things like attaching pouches. I don't want molle on my socks, but a little bit on a backpack can be helpful.

With that said, I've stopped using my Goruck GR1 (with a reasonable amount of molle) and been carrying an Alpha One Niner Evade 1.5, which has no molle.
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/16/20 08:48 PM

Molle packs are great. Lets me add pouches as I want. Or attach a jacket or someting like that with pack straps. And they are not in bright colours, I hate bright colours.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/16/20 09:29 PM

I really like having PALS webbing on my packs. It really doesn't add that much weight (although the kind of pack that would have a lot of webbing is likely a heavier, more robustly built pack to begins with). I don't like a lot of crap MOLLE'd to the outside but I really like to have a pouch for a multi-too, a fixed blade knife (either a Mora or an ESEE Izula II, usually) and a Thyrm CellVault on the outside of my pack. This is really key to me; those are items I don't want to have to dig for when I need them. No matter the pack those things are always on the outside and always in the same general location. That's really convenient for the way I hike, camp and pack stuff.
Posted by: clearwater

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/16/20 11:49 PM

I like the colors, but most of them are made of fabric too noisy for hunting.

Had a friend buy a new multi day Lowe pack. He cut off all the extra webbing he didn't need- second set of crampon straps and ice ax loops, extra webbing for tying on pads and tents etc. The pack went from 6 pounds empty to 4 1/2 pounds. And he still could strap on snow climbing gear on the outside. Tactical pack have even more web.

All the extra webbing looks to be on the back of the packs and if loaded with heavy gear would seem unbalanced. A down coat or foam pad, or Phaedrus' small items okay, but carrying several days of food, a water bladder or a rope in some sort of large strap on pocket, not ok.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/17/20 01:50 AM

Yeah, if you start hanging a ton of crap off the pack it starts getting heavy and unwieldy. Plus it defeats the suspension/load carriage abilities of the pack.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/17/20 02:58 AM

My current pack has eight zippered compartments plus a space for a hydration bladder, all with no molle or pals to clutter up the pack ,andadd weight.

Packs today are significantly better than those of past years, either civilian or mil surp - tougher, better designed, and better fitting.
Posted by: Tjin

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/17/20 08:05 AM

Things attacked on the outside throws the balance off. Keep it in the bag, distributed properly. Pouches are also a heavy way to add storage, far more fabric then just a slightly bigger pack.

Choose a proper size pack for a job and try to keep things as small and light, for comfort / less energy use.
Posted by: teacher

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/17/20 09:09 PM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
IMHO, tactical packs are overpriced mall ninja bait.


I tend to agree - they look cool, but fail as a well built, useful pack.
Posted by: teacher

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/17/20 09:17 PM

The one I'm looking at is the vlife tactical tactical pack

It feels heavy, the two side pockets are attache by velcro (failure points) the hydration sleeve is very light material, and the hip belt is poorly designed, moving most of the weight to the shoulders.

Its for light use, or keeping all you gear together, rather than actual hiking.
Posted by: Ren

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/17/20 10:31 PM

The laser cut molle looks far better and can be barely noticeable.
Posted by: AKSAR

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/17/20 11:05 PM

Originally Posted By: teacher
The one I'm looking at is the vlife tactical tactical pack
It feels heavy, the two side pockets are attache by velcro (failure points) the hydration sleeve is very light material, and the hip belt is poorly designed, moving most of the weight to the shoulders.
Its for light use, or keeping all you gear together, rather than actual hiking.
If it's just for "keeping all you gear together, rather than actual hiking", then you would be better off spending the money on a decent quality duffle bag. At a price of only $30.99, yet with all those "features", you know they have to be cutting quality.

Seems like we've had this discussion regarding tacticool gear before? Real military gear has its place, but is optimized for the needs of the military. Cheep knockoffs are not worth buying.

For civilian use, I'm with hikermor, clearwater, and Tjin. Keep it lightweight, keep it simple, keep it clean. Minimize the stuff hanging off the outside of the pack. Too much junk hanging on the outside of your pack ruins your balance, gets caught on brush or other obstacles, and makes you look like an amateur. Excess velcro, outside pockets, webbing, buckles, etc just adds weight. If you need to carry more stuff, get a bigger pack. If you don't need the volume, then cinch the pack down.

In my opinion, currently the best compromise between weight, comfort, durability and functionality is in packs made for serious mountaineering. There are lots of good choices out there. My own current favorite for moderate loads is the Black Diamond Speed 40. It weighs only 2 lbs 11 oz (1.3 kg), and has 40 liter (2440 cu in) capacity. Comfortable to carry with reasonable loads. Options to strap some minimal gear on the outside (sleeping pad, climbing rope, etc), but most of the extra straps, the lid, etc can be removed if you want to go really light. The framesheet pad can be removed and/or used as a bivy sit pad. Decently durable. That's my current go to pack, but there are other good choices out there.
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/18/20 12:06 AM

I just want to add this and it´s just my personal view. I don´t like the look of so called civilian packs nor their colours.
I use a coyote brown Kifaru 30 liter pack and a green smaller 10 liter made by same company that makes packs for finnish armed forces and sold by Varusteleka.
Posted by: haertig

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/18/20 04:14 AM

I don't have any molle packs, but I do have a few EDC bags that have it. I've never attached anything to the strapping, but I view it as reinforcement for the material the bag is made of.

[img]https://cdn11.bigcommerce.com/s-q9ptxvuk...4327627.jpg?c=2[/img]

https://lapolicegear.com/lapg-137-molle-bag.html
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/18/20 03:51 PM

Subdued colors certainly have a purpose and a place and time. My prefrence for bright colors comes primarily from my time doing SAR, where generally you want to be as conspicuous as possible.

But I would rather have a properly fitted pack in subdued shades that carried well, than the brightest colored, ill fitting pack.
Posted by: DaveL

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/18/20 09:21 PM

Yep Kifaru
Posted by: teacher

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 01/21/20 11:43 PM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Subdued colors certainly have a purpose and a place and time. My prefrence for bright colors comes primarily from my time doing SAR, where generally you want to be as conspicuous as possible.

But I would rather have a properly fitted pack in subdued shades that carried well, than the brightest colored, ill fitting pack.


I get the benefits of both with a bright pack and a camo pack cover.
Posted by: teacher

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 02/21/20 10:34 PM

Conclusion: most cheap packs lack the weight carrying capacity - and features - that make a mid sized pack useful. I'd stick to either a wilderness backpack or a well known brand of tactical one.
Posted by: teacher

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 03/20/20 06:34 PM

I prefer a school bag for smaller thing and a hiking backpack for bigger.
Posted by: gulliamo

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 03/21/20 07:17 AM

One thing I love about the GoRuck line is the clamshell opening. I'll never go back to a top loader except for my ultralight backpacking.
Posted by: quick_joey_small

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 03/22/20 10:52 AM

Does that have a frame? If not it's worthless. Just try carrying any amount of weight without a frame and you'll soon see why..
again and again one sees survivalist sac contents gear recommendations and before they start you think 'that's a bad choice of pack, why should I trust your opinion?'

qjs
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 03/22/20 11:45 AM

The GoRuck packs have an internal frame sheet. It works well, for me, with fairly heavy loads for the size of the pack. I expect that with the largest pack (the GR3) if it was packed more heavily than I use it that the frame sheet wouldn’t be good enough,.
Posted by: gulliamo

Re: Thoughts on "tactical" backpacks. - 03/23/20 02:25 AM

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
The GoRuck packs have an internal frame sheet. It works well, for me, with fairly heavy loads for the size of the pack. I expect that with the largest pack (the GR3) if it was packed more heavily than I use it that the frame sheet wouldn’t be good enough,.

I have most of the GoRucks. The frame sheet on the GR3 is very thick and stiff compared to the others. The pack will easily support more weight than I am capable of carrying.