|Creation date||June 21, 2012|
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I was fortunate enough to win this Assault backpack from Pantac USA's Facebook page during one of their “like” & “share” events , back in December of 2011. I was even more fortunate that they contacted my employer to make sure I received my prize, rather then moving on to the next winner (thanks to Facebook not wanting to show me posts from sites that I like.) So imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail from my boss over at the school, saying that some guy from some company called Pantac left a message for me. Thanks Chief!
I wasted no time in calling Pantac back, of course, and I promptly picked out a coyote brown for my Assault Backpack. It was shipped to me with in two days, and I was instantly using it! Now, it is great for my airsoft events, or my travels for airsoft, but this backpack has provide so many more uses than that! Surprisingly, it has seen more use as my “go-bag” for work and family events.
During the week and on weekends that I do not have any major activities planned, the Assault Backpack stands at the ready as my primary “go-bag.” Its largest compartment boasts room for enough Tech. Rescue pants and department long sleeve t-shirts for my required ability to be ready to deploy for 72 hours. There are loops on the bottom, and smaller ones at the top to loop a small sleeping mat or bag, and there is MOLLE all over so that you can attach additional pouches. The buckles are made of high quality plastic UTX clips, and the large YKK zippers give you the feeling that your items are secure inside. Zipper tabs are all replaced with braided paracord, adding additional strength and easy of use to the zippers.
Inside the large compartment, there is a sub compartment for your hydration bladder, with 3 separate tabs to secure the top of your bladder to the backpack. The sub compartment, while open at the top, is thick enough to protect your bladder from scrapes or punctures from other objects stored in your main compartment. On top of that, there is an elastic loop about 4 inches wide, that can secure a small/thin lap-top, or a notebook. Between that and the hydration sub-compartment, there is yet another thick pouch that is also open to the top, but could be used to place a couple of water bottles, or possibly some wet clothing items, to separate and protect them from the rest of the items stored in the rest of the large compartment.
The secondary compartment provides generous space as I typically use this compartment for either my toiletries or pieces of clothing that I could use on the fly. This compartment is the size of the main compartment of the backpack I had when I was in high school. The third compartment is a flat compartment that provides space for frequently needed items such as snacks or land navigation items like a GPS or compass.
The interior construction is excellent, with double stitching and high quality fabric everywhere. The seams are all folded, stitched, covered with a different form of fabric (sometime referred to as tape), and restitched to make sure there are not any cracks or openings, making the seems extra tough. I am not certain how water resistant or proof the backpack is, being that there is no interior lining, the thick 1000D Condura will certainly slow water down long enough for you to seek shelter.
The support structure for the backpack is such that any load that you can carry with this backpack will easily and evenly be distributed across your shoulders and back. The shoulder straps are heavily padded and reinforced with a 1 inch thick nylon strap the runs from the top of the backpack to the bottom of the shoulder pads Another nylon strap runs from the bottom of the backpack to the threaded buckles on the bottom of the shoulder pads. Each strap is then folded on itself preventing the nylon strap from reversing itself through the threaded buckle. The nylon strap includes two D-rings on both side (for a total of four) as well as a chest strap to prevent either shoulder strap from slipping off your shoulders.
The portion of the backpack that rests on the users back is heavily padded, and includes a ridged cardboard “splint” that keeps the bag rigid. The interior is also lined with an insulation liner to prevent body heat from transferring to the hydration bladder. There is also a thick hip strap that is removable, but adds extra stability if kept on.
While the term “assault” might lead some users to view this backpack as a possible second line piece of equipment, it does not have the ability to be attached to a plate carrier or any other type of MOLLE panel. There is however MOLLE everywhere else on this backpack, including 6 rows of 2 columns, and 3 rows of 3 columns on each side, 3 rows of 8 columns on the back, and 3 rows of 6 columns on the bottom (2 of which are used for bottom straps, but can be removed.)
The read facing portion of the backpack had has Velcro portions for flag shaped patch as well as a spot for name tap on the flap that covers the smallest compartment. There are also protective flaps for the zippers that open to the main and secondary compartment, adding to its water resistance. The additional pouch that comes with the backpack boast as additional storage capability, but I have to be honest, I’ve removed it and use it as a bag on to its own. I use it mostly for additional mags, Thunder Bs, backup first Aid, or for carrying my tennis shoes (at size 14, there are very few backpacks that I can store my boots/shoes in AND have room left over.)
With its solid construction and generous compartments, I’ve found this backpack to be extremely useful for both work and play. As I mentioned before, it is more then capable of standing in as my “go-bag” for my job, and providing storage as my third line gear during a weekend op. It is however, not suitable, nor marketed for long operation periods, as 72 hours is stretching the storage space of this backpack. Like I said earlier, it is great for many other uses such as hiking or weekend vacationing. I think that some hikers might not like the lack of side pockets, but those of us in the tactical world know, “there’s a pouch for that.”
Had I not won this backpack through FB, I would have most certainly purchased this backpack at some point. While the lack of ability to attach this backpack to a MOLLE panel might deter some, it makes an excellent assault pack for those who wear chest rigs for their load-outs, making it easy to drop for easy of stealth movement and agility. I personally took my larger pouch off my plate carrier for exactly this reason. I see this bag growing in popularity along with the already growing popularity of the chest rig and decline of the plate carrier.