Today I want to talk a little bit about a very handy piece of equipment that I have used on a daily basis for over a year and a half now. It's the Mil-Tec 50 Liter backpack. I had, and I guess still have, a German Flecktarn camo pattern obsession. I used to travel quite a bit for a living, it was part of my job at the time, and I would go through the El Cheapo day packs like water, they just could not hold up to the demands of my profession. When the last one started ripping apart at the seams, I decided it was time to get something that I knew could take it, or at least have a better chance.
The first thing I went looking at was real military day packs, or patrol packs as they prefer to be called. I saw several, but unfortunately I'm picky about patterns… and unfortunately the Germans are the only ones that issue Flecktarn (the Russians do also, but its a poor rip off of the German version). Anyway, I started pouring over the internet and found a Molle Flecktarn pack! It was made by Mil-Tec. Now I am familiar with that company as I had a few of their other products before this one, and they all seemed to be of pretty good quality. Most are made in Germany instead of China. Despite the appearance, and description, I don't think any military in the world issues this pack, rather its a niche product, but the manufacturer is good. After reading the reviews, I ordered the pack, sight unseen, and I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived and unpacked for inspection.
Being old school, I really despise metric measurements and 50 L meant nothing to me, CI is what I prefer. But these are made in Europe, so I cant gripe too much lol. The pack is a good size larger than a typical day pack, it has two main compartments, each separate from the other with there own zipper, good zippers by the way. The largest one has a small zippered compartment next to the back, about the size of a large envelope. I put important papers and other things in it. The large compartment also has a large mesh pocket, now I really don't like mesh pockets, to me they are a pain in the ass and rather a cheap ass concept to me, so I promptly cut it out and tossed it. The next main compartment has a good organizer pocket set up on one side, I use it a lot and it does not interfere with the overall compartment. The pack then has two external zippered pockets attached to the secondary main compartment. One small one medium, with lots of Pals webbing, the pack also has Pals webbing on the sides of the main pack.
The Molle/Pals webbing has become a critical feature for me now, and I almost won't buy anything that doesn't have it. The reason for this is that after getting used to it on all the military gear I have, I now understand why the military makes such heavy use of it. This system allows you almost complete customization abilities, this is very important because every persons situation and needs are going to be different, and an off the shelf arrangement will not cut it for most of us. Molle allows you to build your load as you need it to be. In this case I picked up 4 Molle canteen/ gp pouches, two on each side of the pack. Only one has a canteen in it, the others carry small gear that I may need most often, like a military poncho (flecktarn lol) gloves, first aid kit, etc. Leaving more room in the pack for other things.
One other feature this pack has are compression straps, this is VERY handy. What they do is allow you to pull in unused space to make your pack smaller when it needs to be, it also helps stabilize your load. Compression straps also provide another attachment point. I typically roll up a light jacket and slip it under the straps, its held firm, its easy to get to, and eliminates the need to take up room in the pack. This pack has NO FRAME, I don't have a problem with that, for what I use it for, but just letting everybody know. This is pretty comfortable pack for the loads you will carry. Its held up well so far, I love it.
You will notice our Siamese cat, he insisted on being part of the show, he is actually a very big cat, the pack is not that small...
And some more angles (click to enlarge):
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