Backpack upgrade recommendations (Non-Tacticool look) for outside of work use (Travel,Beach,Holiday,Commute).

I’ll echo what Con said since he beat me to it—I’ve had a few Kifaru packs, all of which screamed tactical, except my latest one—the Antero (mine is black; they now have grey as an option). I’ve carted it all over the world and I seldom get a second look. Cover up the small PALS section on front with an admin pouch and you’re GTG. Excellent quality, made in ‘Murica. 

+1 on Hill People Gear for all serious uses. I, too, have sold every other pack -- with the exception of an old Kelty external frame and an even older Kelty child carrier, both of which now have HPG harnesses rigged.

Only, and I do mean only, problem with them is that for normal, everyday use the harness and compression strap design is fiddly enough that it's easy to look like a walking gypsy camp.

I ended up with the  CamelBak Urban Assault XL I like it a lot, it's big but not too big, significant build quality improvement over my old pack, sits a lot better on the back and on the  shoulders, and I like that all the straps can be rolled up and and neatly wrapped so nothing is flapping about.

You can't really notice the skull symbol I was worried about. 

There's new old stock on Ebay right now for good prices, I had to import it from the US and pay some extra taxes but still got it a a decent price.

 

 

So far: 

Pretty well love the GGG pack. Wish it was a more comfy material on back, as it's pretty sweaty on the worst days, but that would add weight/bulk presumably. Wears like the original, organizes well for my purposes. Just got rained on in a boat today, and it's fine. So, except for shipping time, very recommended if you want small. 

So far in airports, train stations, tourist towns: 

  • LOTS of people, but especially Americans, carry black packs with molle webbing. Molle means nothing. 
  • Man are local brands sometimes prevalent. Even e.g. Deuter is rare in Amsterdam. Simply everyone here has Fjallraven Kanken. And just to confuse the matter, they are from Sweden, so "local" is whatever the locals use.
  • Weirdly large number of camo packs. Often knockoffs, but they are camo and with molle. 
  • Seen a few Americans traveling high end things like the MR tri-zip thingy. Sorry, even without velcro, no patches, no Remove Before Flight or other cute things, with reduced webbing for the "slick" pack, in only CB vs say MC: Stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe just to me but as in the other thread on low-profile travel, people in the know may be who you care about. 
  • Oh, the FBI guy traveling with an FBI pack! Seriously. Black molle pack with the seal embroidered in white on it. No, not a poseur, an FBI analyst (not agent) of some sort.  

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

shoobe01 posted:

So far: 

Pretty well love the GGG pack. Wish it was a more comfy material on back, as it's pretty sweaty on the worst days, but that would add weight/bulk presumably. Wears like the original, organizes well for my purposes. Just got rained on in a boat today, and it's fine. So, except for shipping time, very recommended if you want small. 

So far in airports, train stations, tourist towns: 

  • LOTS of people, but especially Americans, carry black packs with molle webbing. Molle means nothing. 
  • Man are local brands sometimes prevalent. Even e.g. Deuter is rare in Amsterdam. Simply everyone here has Fjallraven Kanken. And just to confuse the matter, they are from Sweden, so "local" is whatever the locals use.
  • Weirdly large number of camo packs. Often knockoffs, but they are camo and with molle. 
  • Seen a few Americans traveling high end things like the MR tri-zip thingy. Sorry, even without velcro, no patches, no Remove Before Flight or other cute things, with reduced webbing for the "slick" pack, in only CB vs say MC: Stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe just to me but as in the other thread on low-profile travel, people in the know may be who you care about. 
  • Oh, the FBI guy traveling with an FBI pack! Seriously. Black molle pack with the seal embroidered in white on it. No, not a poseur, an FBI analyst (not agent) of some sort.  

Having just gotten back from a Dallas trip flying from Home to Den,  and Den to Dal.   And then Dal through PHX to home with layovers I can second this this post.  The only MC pack I remember seeing was a solider returning home with his MOLLE II pack.  Yes a variety of MOLLE packs were everywhere and no one seemed to bat an eye except for myself.

I specifically remember 5.11 rush seemed in "style".  Even saw a Kifaru pack in CB and RG. 

A lot of different Camo packs were all around as well.

Looking back I could have gone with my MR 3 DAP, I only saw one of those on the trip, and been fine and slightly more comfortable than with my LBT 3 DAP.

Bless the Lord, who is my rock.  He gives me strength for war and skill for battle. PS 144:1

 

It's ok to be open minded, just don't let your brain fall out!

 

Joined: 19 Nov 2002    Location: The BLUE turf, ID

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