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Well everyone seemed to want the thread but there have been no posts.

I have an Eagle MOLLE AIII and it works pretty well. If you are not familiar with Eagle quality, they are top notch.

Cost: $135.00-$174.31
Capacity: 2620 cubic inches according to Eagle
Pros: Pretty versitle design, not as expensive as some assault packs, the velcro for flag patches is a nice touch, easy availability and with the internal frame can carry a decent amount of weight. Build quality.

Cons: Radio Ports?????? No Internal zippered pockets, some people are not fans of the PALS webbing layout on the sides.

Here is a side view with a TT radio pouch. On the front is an Emdom WL. Don't pay attention to my boot.

Name: Kifaru Marauder

Cost: Standard Colors and w/o Belt(OD, Coyote) $257.00. Specialty colors (WC, MC, Desert Tiger Stripe, Black), adding grommets, embroidery, belts, etc will cost extra.

Capacity/Dimensions: Volume approx 2,500 ci, Weight approx 4lbs, Approx Height 19", Width 14", Depth 8.5". This may vary per pack.

Here are some pics of the pack as set up for a day-hike. It's pretty bulky looking now, but if you strip it down and attach low-profile pouches, it should not be a problem to use this in a vehicle.

The Marauder has PALS webbing on both the exterior sides (8x3) and front panel (8x8), and on the interior front/back panel (8x8). As seen above this allows for the attachment of an assload of pouches. Start adding the Kifaru Dock and Lock pouches and you can really go overboard. The upside is that you can easily turn this from an assault pack into a 3-day or more pack. Downside is that you can go nuts and start packing stuff that you really may not need for your current activity/mission and thus add unecessary weight and bulk. But really, who among us has ever done that? Wink

Oh yeah, and before you ask, I've got an EMDOM small shingle, Spec Ops X-4, 2 BPG 40mm 6-round Grenade Pouches, 1 Dock and Lock Side Opening Long Pocket, 2 standard GI canteen pouches with MALICE clips, and 1 BPG Upright GP Pouch.

On the bottom I've turned a Camelbak Transformer pouch into an E-tool Pouch. The little fasteners on the Camelbak pouch match up nicely with the little attachment things on the bottom of the Marauder, which I think were intended for a sleeping bag carrier. I believe the more recent Marauders also have loops to attach Dock and Lock pouches to the bottom. Note the two compression straps on the bottom, there are also two on the top, and two on each side. Having stuffed this pack with unreasonable amounts of crap, I can tell you that they work.

Some people say that strap management on the Marauder can be a bitch. With velcro/tape/whatever you can easily control loose straps. Just be advised that you want to leave enough slack to adjust the straps as necessary. Also be aware that the current Kifaru packs have black hardware, which a lot of people don't like, however I simply swapped mine out. According to Mel, Kifaru is working on getting the hardware to match on their packs, but they want to make sure that ALL the hardware matches, and not just buckles and ladderlocks.

Here is where the user interfaces with the pack. I've switched out the black waist belt buckle with an ITW Nexus center-release buckle. I also have a padded PALS belt with the power-pull. If you intend to use the Marauder as an assault pack/oh-shit bag, then it is not absolutely necessary to buy the belt. But if you are actually going to carry this thing for extended periods of time or use it for backpacking, camping, whatever, you really need to get a padded belt. This pack really shines with the belt. I've carried 50 pound loads with it very comfortably for 6-8 mile hikes both on trail and off trail. No numbness in my arms from the straps, no hot spots, basically a dream to carry. I've left the delta straps loose b/c they will be constantly adjusted, along with the waist-belt.

Some may think that Kifaru packs are overpriced. Until they try them out. And then they realize that they really do get what they pay for. Just be advised, the Marauder was intended to be an assault-pack. You can add pouches to expand its capabilities, but it can only do so much. Do not buy this thinking you will never have to use another pack again.

Anyway, that's my take on the Marauder. There's a lot of stuff I haven't touched on, but most of it has already been covered in other topics and by people who have put it through a lot more than I have in my two short months of using it.

Edited to fix a pic that is not working.
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Here is my Marauder the way I carry it in the field. It has a Kifaru long side pocket on one side, as well as on the bottom. On the front I have an Emdom Wideload and an Emdom large shingle over a Kifaru Claymore. On the side I have an Emdom Small Shingle and Kifaru GPS pouch over an EMDOM BOMB.

The Marauder itself is modified with internal slot pockets, and foam padding fitted to rigidize the main compartment, protect the stuff inside (mainly optics, comms, and electronics), and keep fuel and other liquids from penetrating if spilled on it. There are also external access zippers installed to the side slot pockets (in addition to the internal access). They are visible on the tops of the side panels. A heavy duty top handle, and some top sewn PALS webbing complete the major changes.

Name: Blackhawk STRIKE Cyclone (Formerly STRIKE 3-day assault pack)
Cost: $120.00-$149.00
Capacity: Listed at 1900CU
Dimensions: Pack is roughly 18" Tall, 12" wide. Main compartment 6" deep at the base. Large outer compartment of 12" by 12" by 4" at the base seam. Smaller outer compartment 10" by 6" by 3" at the seam. Has dedicated 100oz bladder compartment

Pros: Face, Sides, Bottom entirely covered in PALS. Comfortable and easily adjustable Padded waistbelt. very comfy shoulder straps, and a slightly padded back. Includes Hydrastorm bladder with backpack. Has two synch straps that come in handy for making the pack smaller, or stowwing excess/large gear on the exterior. Soft molded rubber on the carry handle is a great feature.

Cons: Zipper only opens about 1/2 of the pack so loading is not as easy as full panel loaders or top loaders like the ZULU. Because of the size, I would classify it more as a 1-day bag, but with a few GP's on the exterior this becomes much less of a problem. If I could redesign the bag the only two changes I would make would be enlarging it slightly to have about 600 more CU, and have the zipper extend further down the pack on both sides.

I've used this bag every day since march and havent had any issues with it. Only problem its had was I cracked a buckle when I slammed it in a car door, Doh.
Well, I figured someone would jump right on the RAID, but I guess it will be me.

Name: Lightfighter RAID Pack
Cost: 184.60-199.00 (depending on special colors/patterns)
Capacity/Dimensions: 2150

Pros: comfortable, durable, economically priced (considering features), ample size, considered by many to be the perfect assault pack, etc.

Cons: wait time (constantly backordered), no suspension adjustment for size ranges, because of internal volume and external PALS it can be overloaded easily if packing discipline is not considered.

I have been using the RAID Pack almost everyday in some form or another for more than 3 years now and have really come to appreciate its form and function. After Brad and I spent so much time perfecting the design and marketing the pack, it's nice to see it performing so well. If only we could solve the long wait times...


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Name: Maxpedition Vulture II
Color: Khaki
Cost: Approx $140
Capacity: 2810 cu. in. / 46 liters
Hydration -Up to 100+ oz Bladder
20.5"(H) x 16"(W) x 7.5"(D) Main Compartment
15.5"(H) x 12"(W) x 2.75"(D) Front Pouch
15.5"(H) x 12"(W) Slip Pocket

Pro's: Simple design. Very similar to every other 3-day pack out there, so you know how to load it up. Internal pockets are a big plus in my book. I like the packs ability to conveniently tuck in or access the waist straps.

Cons: The underside of the shoulder straps is lined with some sort of mesh. The mesh isn't the type you'd find on a FLC. The mesh feels like my basketball shorts, except a bit tougher and with 1/16" holes. I haven't used the pack long enough for a complete evaluation of durablility for the mesh, but my impressions of it at the moment aren't good.

DBT Upright GP pouch in coyote mounted on the side

Waist straps conveniently tucked in

The bottom of the pack is lined with some sort of rubbery/texturized material

For a scale reference, I am 5'11 and 190 pounds

I just picked up some pouches and thought I shoot some pix. My setup as it sits now is:

-Paraclete Medium horizontal GP
-Tactical Tailor Accessory Pouch 1V
-Tactical Tailor Grenade Pouch
-(2)Spec-Ops Brand X-6 Pouches

Some of the pouches may look like there sagging a little but thats only because the pack isnt full.

Heres a pic of how big that PPM ASP is:

And my only complaint is that the PALs on the horizontal are OD
Name: Eagle A-III

Cost: $119.16 from Lightfighter

Capacity/Dimensions: Main compartment = 16 x 20 x 7, 2240 cubic inches.
Cargo pouch = 12 x 16 x 2, 384 cubic inches.
cargo slip pocket = 12 x 16, This is a flat slip pocket on front.

Pros: Bombproof, neat workmanship, good design, reasonable price.

Cons: Lack of internal organization, Lack of Fastex buckles for quick release on shoulder straps.

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Name: London Bridge Trading Ranger Assault Pack

Cost: $261 from Down Range Tactical (Lightfighter does not carry these)

Capacity/Dimensions: approximately 3,000 cubic inches

Pros: Bombproof, interior straps for securing radio, three big ports for hand mike/antenna/hydration tube, drain grommets.

Cons: Inability to add frame sheet due to radio retention straps, lack of internal organization, zipper does not open all the way down, High price.

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I carry an AIII daily over here. However, it is getting old, while the LBT pack is brand new. It is not that uncommon for gear that isn't in the crew compartment of an 1114 to get torn up while the crew compartment gets no shrapnel through the armor. So if I'm going to have an assault pack riding in the rear of my vehicle with the possibility of getting blown up, it's going to be the pack that is getting old, not the brand new one.
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Originally posted by onthe8thday:
I carry an AIII daily over here. I guess that is good enough for me. However, it is getting old, while the LBT pack is brand new. It is not that uncommon for gear that isn't in the crew compartment of an 1114 to get torn up while the crew compartment gets no shrapnel through the armor. So if I'm going to have an assault pack riding in the rear of my vehicle with the possibility of getting blown up, it's going to be the pack that is getting old, not the brand new one. It amazes me how much people will go out of their way to be a spotlight ranger.

No issue with that choice, the AIII is a good pack. Perhaps I just assumed that you were making due with the 'okay' issue pack or some PX chinese junk.

My response was driven by the number of folks (both here and off the boards) that will buy cheap junk because they don't want to 'invest' in their lives/career with higher quality, albeit more expensive gear. They will save a buck or two per pouch and $10-20 on a vest/pack, that has one or more of the following traits:

  • flashy marketing campaign
  • easy to get (i.e. PX junk)
  • lifetime warranty (that you will use, over and over again
  • copy of original, high quality product

I too, will use a well used, tried and true piece of gear over a brand new item, especially when damage is likely, to reduce the risk to my investment(s).
Name: Blackwater GO-BAG

Cost: $105-145

Capacity/Dimensions: 12"W x 18"H x 7"D 1500CU IN Main compartment, plus there's an slim oustide opening pouch/sleeve.

I was looking for a good pack to hang next to me in the H60 that I could use as an access panel of sorts while also providing an appropriate size for E&E. I was using a CamelBak HAWG but wanted something a little sturdier.

Pros: Lots of attachment options and efficient size to base from. Removable, semi-Rigid backing.

Cons: Zipper opens only 3/4 down, to make room for the additional side molle loops.

The zippers are covered by water resistant hypalon flaps. There's an opening slit (also hypalon protected) right at the back for running antenna or hydration tubes out of the internal compartment.

The internal compartment has a mesh sleeve, two cinch straps and a series of hypalon attachment points.

There's a Velcro flap at the top to access the semi-rigid insert.

Here's my current configuration. The pouches include:


I have a couple Battlelab pouches on back order. So far this seems to be just what I was looking for, plus, for the fashion concious, the "Khaki" is a perfect match for the main khaki/green or "Grhaki" of the Multicam pattern..
camelback acu patterned monstrosity, i really love it. but the last pack i had new was a large alice i bought right before desert storm(82nd seemed to think you could be an fo with a medium alice!!retards), and i used it until it died in 2004. after that ancient stuff, this camelback seems like some kind of alien tech! still, i wish it had more molle attaching points on it and a bacvkup to the zippers, they seem sturdy, but i dont trust them.
Becker Patrol Pack MOLLE (BPP-MS)
Cost: $260 - $185
Capacity: Listed at 1100CU
Main compartment: 18.5 X 10 X 6

"¢ Typical Eagle construction, built like tank.
"¢ Lots of Molle attachment points.
"¢ Waist pad included, even though I never used it.
"¢ Two sides and one front internal slip pockets that allowed me to quickly grab items.
"¢ Cool Max padding on back and interior of shoulders.
"¢ Zippered compartment under lid.
"¢ Storm flap allows

"¢ Really need Becker frame sheet to maximize packs capabilities.
"¢ Use of Camelbak would limit internal storage space.
"¢ While listed as pro I would say the internal pockets sometime proved a hindrance, to storing stuff.

I use this pack at work for range ops and it is perfect during the summer. It does not fit a lot of snivel for those longs days on the range in the winter.

A really good pack, as long as you know its limitations.

Originally posted by SonOfLiberty:
Hey Mr. Glory, the go-bag seems to be what I'm looking for. Do you have any pics with it fully loaded up on your back?


I managed to stumble across a full multicam version so I sold my khaki and bought it.

In it's completed form, I've attached:

EssTac NALGENE POUCH, and 7 CELL GP POUCH // Battlelab SMOKE/FLARE , and ADMIN pouches // BDS NVG Pouch.

So far I love the setup, it's the perfect wearable/hangable utility loadout for flying.
Name: CamelBak Talon
Cost: $155.00 - $158.00
Capacity/Dimensions: 1820 cu in / 17 in x 14 in x 10 in
Pros: Integrated Hydro pocket, antenna and handmic rouing, PALS, Velcro for nametapes built in, built in strap managment.
Cons: Questionable shoulder strap construction, "Six-point strap system"

I have a CamelBak Talon that I picked up from the local MCSS. It served as my "go-bag" during my short deployment in the Ghan as well as my "anything" bag prior to that.

My initial thoughts on the bag were that the "6-point strap system" was a whole lot of useless, and the whole pack could have succeeded by simply sewing the admin shingle down to the front face and grow a lot more PALS, also simplifying the high-speed, high-drag strap system to just become compression straps.

A year of using the pack later, My opinion hasn't changed much. During my deployment, the Talon served to carry along some snivel, food, and ammunition for my SAW. I used the "6-point sling" system as compression straps and found that it worked decently, but could've been better. CamelBak advertises this system as slinging down an AT-4 rocket launcher, an image I constantly get a good chuckle at. I barely trusted CamelBak to hold two drums of SAW, water, snivel, and my food for an 8 hour mission, no way in hell I'm going to trust it with a piece of explosive ordinance. The only time I really used the strap system for what it was worth was when I slung a new style M240 tripod to it (it placed the tripod feet behind my head) and when I slung a polis litter to it for coming into KAF. Both times it held the stuff and didn't let it move around much, but I also had the straps rolled up and veclroed down right behind the buckles (using the CamelBak's built in strap retention system) so the straps didn't have much material to let out anyway. I feel the buckles aren't grippy enough to hold the straps tight without movement when they are under load.

As far as accessibility, the Talon is a sort of Pseudo-top loader. The flap opens at an angle, half top and half to the side. the "lid" has a mesh zippered pocket sewn into it for small things, and there are also zippered side pockets on the exterior, which are also angled opening affairs. There is an Admin "shingle" on the front with a half-length zipper opening and built-in pockets for cell phones, pens, and papers and such. There is, of course, the reservoir pocket on the backface with a zipper closure, and the tube routing slot sits right up top. The Talon comes with a rigid frame sheet pre-installed inside the reservoir pocket.

Under load, the Talon performed about what most expect from CamelBak: seen worse, seen much better. The Shoulder straps are attached to the main compartment by two thin strips of webbing, I wouldn't trust this pack for the long run, although it's so far seen a year of light to moderate use with no real problems, the method they used to secure the load bearing points is just stupid.

My conclusions on the Talon are that it is essentially more of a book bag or a "day bag" for use by the college student, or garrison soldier, than it is a viable assault pack. The dedicated pockets in the "admin" shingle really sealed the coffin on it for me, this is a feature you see in most CamelBak packs of this time, and in my opinion, it's a perfectly good waste of pocket space and pack cloth. Why in Blue Hell would I need an Assault pack to carry my cell phone, PDA, pens, keys, and papers?
CamelBak has their head in the right place, but, they're assault packs are kinda like ACUs, half way up the chain of good features, they just say fuck it and send it out to the fight.
If the pack would have had a dedicated compression strap system, the "Admin" shingle sewn to the front without the dedicated pockets inside, a more robust shoulder strap system, and either a front-opening or top loading opening system, not this pseudo riding-the-fence-because-I-dunno-if-I'm-a-fag idea, I feel it would have better suited it's job and been a decent runner in the medium sized assault pack field. But, since it didn't, it has been relegated to the "garrison day pack" slot while I wait for the mail room to recieve my RAID.

That's my 2 cents, keep the change and as always, YMMV.
Name: PPS, formerly TAS MAP
Cost: $180.00-200.00
Capacity: 3000
Dimensions: 11X15X21

Pros: I carried this pack for the last year and will give the good and the bad with this posting. I was primarily on a convoy security element and knew what I was doing before going over. At the time I had a RAID which I decided was too small and a Marauder which was a bit too small. I was told that add on pouches were not a good idea when stuffing and pulling packs in and out of a HMMV, MTVR, and Cougar. They were right as many lost pouches or ripped gear doing this. The general construction is similar to Eagle with some Kifaru thrown in. 100% bulletproof. Every stitch and seam is over built. One thing that stands out is the front of the 2 main pockets; it goes all the way down instead of stopping like Eagle or Tactical Tailor. I like this feature. It has 2 slot pockets on the front as well. One is full length and the other is half length and has an internal organizer. In side there is an hydration carrier and a small velcro pocket for odds and ends. I also attatched a small Kifaru mesh pocket inside for another stash place. Total of 6 pockets. Very usable, well thought out. There are lots of useful features on this pack. D rings all over, ports for hydration or radio antennas, grommets for drainage, PALS webbing on the sides, bottom, and front, carry handle, heavy internal aluminum frame stays. It is a full length clam shell opener. The pack also comes with a belt, sternum strap, and very nicely padded shoulder straps. This is one piece of gear that will be with me from now on. It was my only constant piece of gear. I sometimes was out for 8-10 days and this held everything I needed. In another post I will describe the contents. I overloaded it at times, stretching the seams. Normally it weighed about 50 lbs. At times about 80lbs. When I occasionally had to hump it it handles the weight as well as any other well designed pack. It expanded and contracted very well, thanks to long, strong compression straps. You can get it in just about any color. In my opinion there is not any reason to buy the SAP. It is just about the same size as the MAP, regardless off the stated sizes. I am speaking from experience as I sold a SAP and MAP to other team members before ordering this last one for myself.

Cons: Well, not many that are real. It is too large for an EDC pack. It's built heavy, which depending on your use could be a con. Make no mistake this is mucho larger than a RAID, T.T. 3 day, Eagle 3 day or Becker.
Got a quick question regaring the RAIDS:

ATS states that the raid is:
Size: 20 1/4"x 12 1/4"x 8.5. Cubic Inches: 2150

TAG seems to state that their raid is/was:
Size: 19"x 11.5"x 7.5". 1638 Cubic Inches.

Are they THAT different in reality in size etc?

So did TAG do a smaller version or are the numbers wrong? And was the LF brand (TAG made) RAID different from the TAG brand (TAG made) RAID?

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