REVIEW: AWS Inc. Assault Pack aka "Yote"

Has any one ordered from AWS recently? I placed an order last Friday,  June 3 but have heard nothing.  I tried calling the numbers but no answer.  Tried an email but was kicked out once.  The pack looks great but this is getting a bit aggravating.  

 

Kevin

Member since: May 2006.                 Location: NY on the Vt border. 

 

Never forget, never forgive and never ever fear. Fear is for the enemy. Fear and bullets. - The Crow

I think they are a bit behind right now.  We use lots of their products and lead times are hit and miss.  I've had a plate carrier come in a week and a half but one of our guys just took a couple months to get a belt.  Guess it depends on what contracts they're working on and shit like that.  I'd call on the phone, they are usually pretty responsive to that.  Good folks in my experience. 

Ditto what SOTEX said, they make great stuff at solid price point, but it comes at the expense of wait times and customer service. You'll get exactly what you order, but think of it more like a "surprise" as to when it actually shows up...

PRAISE THE FALLEN

SSG Kevin Roberts KIA 7-May-08         SPC Peter Courcy KIA 10-Feb-09

1Lt Nick Dewhirst KIA 20-July-08          PFC Jason Watson KIA 10-Feb-09

CPL Charles Gaffney KIA 24-Dec-08

 

Joined: 2/21/04          Location: Seattle,  WA

I ordered one of these packs after reading this thread a while back. I sent an email asking about tracking and delivery times but got no reply. The pack showed up a day later. It wasn't long after ordering. Hopefully it will come soon. After seeing mine, I have a friend who wants one now. It is a good pack. Versatile and a great size.

 

Thanks.  That is what I figured being a contract site.  One pack does not take president over 100 med bags.  I get it.  I ordered it on the recommendations of people here so I can't wait.   Again thank you 

Member since: May 2006.                 Location: NY on the Vt border. 

 

Never forget, never forgive and never ever fear. Fear is for the enemy. Fear and bullets. - The Crow

The strap kit is just a set of adapters to attach the pack to a variety of platforms. From mine and comparing it to the SFLCS strap kit, it's basically a pack adapter, a set of adapters to connect it to a Rhodesian vest, and a set of adapters to connect it to a larger pack.

"We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful."

Well my pack just arrived.  Ordered on June 3, shipped on July 21.  Total of 3 phone calls, two to them, one from.  Overall decent experience.  They were ways very nice and polite to talk to.  Only negitive was CS did not seem to know what was being made and shipped when.  I called on July 13.  She said that a lot of stuff in coming of the line this week, just not sure what and in what color.  

Just need to find a water bladder for it and put it to use.  Great little pack.  Thank you Light Fighters for recommending it and the company.  

 

Kevin 

Member since: May 2006.                 Location: NY on the Vt border. 

 

Never forget, never forgive and never ever fear. Fear is for the enemy. Fear and bullets. - The Crow

I have used this particular piece of equipment before and I would like to add, for the sake of the conversation, some minor points that I ran into during my experiences with it.

Overall I think the design is excellent as a one stop shop for absolutely necessary equipment in the field (poncho, mre, ww top, eyepro, earpro, gloves, weapon cleaning kit, etc.). The removable beavertail was very convenient  if I felt like strapping my ACH to the back if the situation permitted, and I usually did that if I was able to because who the hell likes to wear their helmet if they don't have to.  I also pushed it into the ammo bag role on a gun team and it was just the right size to carry 300 rounds of 7.62 link in useable configuration. I would just drop pack when the gun was in position, unzip, link up, and prepare to feed rounds.  In the situations where the beaver-tail wasn't necessary, being able to take it off shaves a little weight and unnecessary bulk off of the overall profile of the pack. I, like everyone else who has to, hate carrying unnecessary shit.  The price is also right on this one when you compare it to its Eagle/First-Spear/Tyr brethren.

Some negatives that I found in its use were that under reasonable load the little ovaloid rings at the top of the detachable straps would shift into a vertical position. Not a huge issue, but annoying. It could be fixed by incorporating some form of hard sewn strap retention into the body of the pack, going out the top, but still being removable.  Another issue with the straps was that after several months of moderate use the shoulder strap stitching where the straps attach to the bag began to pull out, and I was worried for a bit one, or both were going to bust and (pun alert) leave me hanging. The third issue I found after some rough and tumble with the pack was that the friction between the unfinished edges of the plastic frame-sheet and the 500d pack exterior was rubbing a hole in the pack on the back. Also, I found that the thing would ride exceptionally low when using it mounted to a plate carrier. I would have to mount the molle interface three rows higher than one would expect to alleviate this issue. This could be fixed by widening the profile of the pack by two molle rows, and shortening it by a few inches.

That's just my two cents on the kit.

I just picked up one on the recommendation of the OP. I'm liking it in the day and a half that I've had it, will be going to the field with me next week. I have a BFG Overlord that I love, it just works for me, but being in Bradley's now, it's just too big thus why I was looking for something smaller. This seems like it can be a fix I just have to get used to shaving more weight due to it's small size, but then, learning to shave weight has never hurt anyone.

This has become my 3 season / Garrison bag. Winter Ops requires clothing that has bulk and weight that I feel go beyond the ideal load ability of the AWS Assault pack. 

"Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered and teach your subordinates to do the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide." - Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

 

Joined: 12/24/04    LOCATION :NOVA, VA

I've been using an AWS Yote for a while now, for everything from a range bag/fishing bag to a 24 hour patrol bag during a major emergency.  It packs out a 3 liter hydration carrier plus mission essential gear for a 12ish hour gig, plus an overload very easily.  That the yote is removable and the pack can be slimmed down to an overbuilt hydration carrier with MOLLE is great.  Can't emphasize enough how versatile this has proven in both work and play.

Anyone have any info on getting one of these?

 

I tried ordering this pack back in February, and hit a 500 error on the AWS website. The 800 number was dead so I tried their e-mail form, same 500 error. Today I checked back and their 3/27/17 update says pretty much what the Feb update did about their coms being down. I tried their local number as a last ditch and after several rings got blasted with a dial-up modem/fax noise. Still no hits on my credit card statement.

I picked mine up in early 2016, so I am not really sure what the status of AWS's orders are.

If you are looking for a similar bag-type--a 10-12 liter bag that can be used for hydration + METT-TC gear--check out the 24-hour bag section over at OP Tactical.  They have 4 or 5 bags that are essentially the exact same design, including the Eagle Yote.  Personally, I'd grab the SORD pack for the buck-twenty they are asking and be done with it.  The finishing on the First Spear bag looks fan-freaking-tastic, but I am not sure it's worth TWO of the SORD or AWS bags.

Thanks for the heads up.

The First Spear ECP is one I was considering before I saw the AWS, but I'm not a huge fan of the shock cord beavertail attachment. At that price, I'd pick up the Eagle Yote. Still poking around for a decent review of the SORD HHC  - my Google-Fu is lacking.

Honestly, I can't talk down about the Eagle Yote.  For the price, however, the SORD looks like it does everything the AWS Yote does, less a couple of admin pouches and excepting the zipper-removable yote.  The SORD's beaver tail looks like it is hard mounted on.  The only other major difference I can see is the PALS/MOLLE on the backing uses 6 attachment points vs 2 very long ones.  Either way, it is the same core design, without the big fat price tag or the non-removable, maybe useless, maybe not side pockets of the Eagle.

I'd guess that you would be hard pressed to regret any of the packs listed, though.

Tried again recently. Order went through without a hitch and the bag was delivered in less than a week. Shipping was a bit high at $18, but probably why I got it so rapidly. I didn't get to see the label or the packaging, as I had it forwarded to me. Purpose was to replace my Camelbak Linchpin; which I feel is too bulky for its internal capacity (which is more than I should need), I can't properly fit an ACH into the beavertail (though I can sort of wedge a CVC in there), and the Futura harness doesn't play well with LBE or winter layers.

My first impression is that this bag is small. I mean, that's why I bought it, but it still struck me as very small. It's pretty good if I don't have a helmet in the beavertail, but helmet stowage was one of the primary reasons I bought it. My 100 oz short Camelbak bladder was too wide. The 100 oz long fit well once situated, but I had to have the pack mostly empty every time I filled up. It's always an issue with every hydration carrier I've used, but it's much more noticeable with the AWS Yote. The ITW web dominator remains the best thing I've found for securing hoses when not in use, and the hose gets in my way a lot less than it does with the Linchpin.

Once I dropped my waffle in favor of the silkweight, I had more room to play with. I never needed the silk, extra undershirt, or socks. I did use my wet weather top once. I still only managed one field stripped MRE for food, and skimped on the hygiene supplies. Strapping the ww top to the bottom would free up space, but I'm worried about tearing it. The bag gets tossed a lot.

I did notice the shoulder strap attachment rotate once, and it's not immediately clear to me how I can easily replace it with other hardware. I'm 50/50 on leaving it as is and doing a hackjob replacement.

Other than those issues, the pack has performed extraordinarily well over the three weeks I put it to hard use. I'm quite happy with the purchase. I admit that I haven't tried rigging up a strap set to mount it directly to LBE, but as we're generally mounted the shoulder straps have worked well enough for now. It's on my list.

I am however still searching for pouches. Current frontrunner is BFG's medium vertical utility pouch, but adding $100 to a $135 bag hurts the wallet a bit. I know it's about the same as TT's pouch, so that's probably just me being poor. Current plan is to store food in one side and a small 16 oz Klean Kanteen in the other, with any other misc gear I might need to throw in.

Did a NTC rotation with mine. It held up great and was adequate for carrying what I needed. My role was a dismount in a mechinized infantry company, Javalin gunner on a three man weapon team that was trying to be a weapons squad. The Sgt rocked the 240 while me and my AG humped the javalin up and down mountainsides in the Mojave yay for fun times....the army really needs to invest in a way to carry this torture device, a laundry bag and 550 is NOT the right answer. I got this pack because I needed something small that I could keep with me in the back of a Bradley but still hold what I needed when it was time to get out and do Infantry stuff. I was able to get the following in it with a little extra room.

Main compartment:

-100oz Source bladder in a LBT insulated pouch

-NVGs in a padded case 

-Oakley eyepro case

-Small fixed blade (it goes everywhere with me, didn't come out of the bag this trip but still kept it round)

-Spare socks

-Zip lock with energy gels and chews

Beavertail:

-Snugpak Jungle bag

-10x10 Multicam tarp

-Cas-strap (basically 23 foot of 1 inch webbing water knotted into a loop

Top pouch on the beaver tail held a extra surefire light, signal mirror, and multitool. Bottom bigger pouch held batteries, headlamp, 3 tubes of NUUN tablets, and some smaller odds and ends. Kept a TT water bottle pouch with a Klean Kanteen on one side and a Otis cleaning kit on the other. I still had room to field strip down a MRE and stuff it in there if I needed to.

In conclusion, after having this thing for a while and putting it through it's paces, I like it. 

 

OP you're awesome, thanks for pointing me towards this thing.

 

 

runningwolf posted:

 I got this pack because I needed something small that I could keep with me in the back of a Bradley but still hold what I needed when it was time to get out and do Infantry stuff. I was able to get the following in it with a little extra room.

Main compartment:

-100oz Source bladder in a LBT insulated pouch

-NVGs in a padded case 

-Oakley eyepro case

-Small fixed blade (it goes everywhere with me, didn't come out of the bag this trip but still kept it round)

-Spare socks

-Zip lock with energy gels and chews

Beavertail:

-Snugpak Jungle bag

-10x10 Multicam tarp

-Cas-strap (basically 23 foot of 1 inch webbing water knotted into a loop

Top pouch on the beaver tail held a extra surefire light, signal mirror, and multitool. Bottom bigger pouch held batteries, headlamp, 3 tubes of NUUN tablets, and some smaller odds and ends. Kept a TT water bottle pouch with a Klean Kanteen on one side and a Otis cleaning kit on the other. I still had room to field strip down a MRE and stuff it in there if I needed to.

And that is what a true assault pack issupposed to do.  Most bags marketed as an "assault pack" miss the mark in form, fit, and function.

Thank you for providing input on how your purchase is working out.

@Decoy3: You'd do fine with any type of well-built GP ute bought second hand here or off Ebay.  Don't bother putting more than $30 into pouches for the AWS pack.  $40 max. 

--------
...with liberty and justice FOR ALL.  

 

Mad respect for Brando and the perseverance in his current fight.

You'll sweat if you're wearing this.  I've never worn a pack that didn't cause sweating.  Even w/o armor.

I honestly think mesh, bollards, etc. have only a minimal impact when you've got a good bit of exertion going on.

--------
...with liberty and justice FOR ALL.  

 

Mad respect for Brando and the perseverance in his current fight.

doomonyou posted:

Still concidering one for a MTB/hike pack.  Whats the sweat factor like with this pack? 

I had a HPG Tara-loved the pack. Had to carry a spare shirt though.  

And with that, size comparison of the two? Anyone? 

What happened to the Tara?  That looks like a good pack - especially considering the suspension chassis- for $125. I'd prefer more PALS, but as a bugout bag it could have potential.

--------
...with liberty and justice FOR ALL.  

 

Mad respect for Brando and the perseverance in his current fight.

The HPG Tara is a solid little pack especially when you add the Tara panel to attach pouches. I loved it!

That said, that flat fabric back panel, I poured so much sweat my shirts could be wrung out. And these were in average temps.  

I love to hate that little pack and may just get another!   

Actually my day hike set up has been an MS Day with the strap kit. This is a fine piece of kit. 

Decoy3 posted:

MidwayUSA is selling TT nods pouches NIB for $13. Ordered two, looking forward to putting this all together. Next step is getting some webbing and rigging up some QASM buckles to my OTV. 

This little bag continues to impress. 

For the price, it's hard to find an equivalent value.  Glad to hear it's working well for you.

--------
...with liberty and justice FOR ALL.  

 

Mad respect for Brando and the perseverance in his current fight.

Ok, I have had my AWS assault pack for a while now. Absolutely love it. But for the life of me can't figure out how the strap kit is supposed to attach to my carrier. Anyone have any tips or info I can look at? Been scouring the web but my google-fu has failed me.

Yeah, it's kind of a mess but you need four main pieces:

1. Vest connectors. These have a 1" female buckle with an "L" shaped webbing coming off of them which has a snap fastener attached. Those attach directly to the MOLLE on your vest.
2. Shoulder strap connectors. I don't have my strap kit in front of me so I don't remember what these look like, but they also have a 1" female buckle. I made my own shoulder connectors so I don't remember what AWS included.
3. Upper pack connectors. These are a 1" male buckle with a snap fastener in line with the webbing. The webbing will wrap back on itself. These go on the daisy chain webbing at the top of the pack.
4. Lower pack connectors. These are a length of webbing with a 1" male buckle at one end and a loop on the other. These loop through the D-ring where the should straps connect and then pass through themselves. Pull to adjust, and these clip into item 1.

I'll try and remember to take pictures when I get home.

"We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful."

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