Eagle A-III Pack, 10 years later.

As soon as I get some money, I'm buying one of these. My North Face bag has treated me well for about 7 years but it's time to trade up.

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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

quote:
Originally posted by Chris:
....One gripe I’ve always had about this pack is that the internal seams, particularly around the zipper were not bound, and from time to time, I have to go in there to sear and smear the fraying material. This hasn’t effected the pack structurally in any way, it’s just one of those minor annoyances.


This is a big pet peeve of mine, too. I do the same thing as you anytime a buy a piece of kit with a zipper. Cordura isn't that bad, but packcloth is the worst when it frays.
quote:
Thanks for posting this up Chris. I had been bouncing back and forth between the AIII and the TT offering as a new day pack. This review pretty effectively sealed the deal in favor of the Eagle.


That would have been a tough call for me. Between the two companies I might be hard pressed to choose one or the other based on quality. I'm not sure how the features vary. The basic pack design is fairly ubiquitous. Tactical Tailor quality has increased dramatically for the better over the years.

ALWAYS challenge authority.

Resurrecting an old post but a goodie.

Why, well the other day I was in my favorite second chance outdoor recreational gear consignment store and low and behold on the shelf is a Black,  made in USA Eagle A-III pack.  Complete with the waist belt and a 4 straps.  I have had A-III packs on the past but sold them and "upgraded" to other packs.

Photo Jul 21, 13 18 53

I have wanted a black USA made pack for some time.  As of late there are a few current threads on low pro travel and a recent one on a non-tacticool backpack suggestions. 

The buckle dates on this are "98 so I know for sure it was USA made.   I didn't know that Eagle was making that pack back then.  I was just a young guy who moved out of state and was at his first real career job and was not into gear so much at the time. 

I noticed in the above posts about Eagle/Gregory conundrum and did a search for Gregory 1977 catalog.  Interesting search and pics. It seems that Gregory did a 40th anniversary re-issue in 2017 of their  1977 pack and the AIII and Gregory look very similar in design. 

I also noticed some small differences between the " new AIIIs" and this one. 

1. The shoulder straps do not have the ladder adjustment system for the sternum strap.  It's more of a gliding adjustment.

Photo Jul 21, 13 15 33

 

Photo Jul 21, 13 16 32

Photo Jul 21, 13 16 40

2.  The edge of the shoulder straps are more squared off than rounded.

Photo Jul 21, 13 15 27

3. The end of the shoulder strap is squared off and not rounded as on my other pack.

Photo Jul 21, 13 16 53

Photo Jul 21, 13 17 00

4.  The hydration port has a metal grommet with a small plastic plug to keep the port sealed.  It's not useful for the way current hydration packs and hoses are made. 

Photo Jul 21, 13 19 13

Photo Jul 21, 13 20 50

All in all I ended up paying less that $40 for the pack due to having some consignment credit at the store so I'll call it the tactical gear deal of the year so far.  Maybe Eggroll or one of you other gear connoisours  can answer my question about when did Eagle start making the AIII ? 

Who's still using their AIII Pack 17 years later?

Just curious.

 

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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I had an original Bon Ami (outside Osan Air Base main drag) rip-off of Eagle's ripoff of the Gregory that is long gone.  My longest-lived bag is a black 80s Blackhawk ripoff (when they were made in America) of the Eagle A-III.

My latest is a Multicam Eagle A-III before ATK bought them up because they were eating into their made-in-Vietnam Blackhawk profit margin.

I was issued a black Eagle A-III, 3 day assault pack, back in the mid-late 90s.  For that reason alone, I wouldn't mind finding another, like you did.  My only complaint, over years of using them, was the padding in the shoulder straps would break down and get really thin, but I use to end up carrying a lot of comms equipment in mine (weight).  Definitely nothing wrong with them.  I'm sure you could get a pretty penny for it, especially if you were to find a picture of one being used in something like Operation Gothic Serpent (Blackhawk down).  The fanbois/reenactors LOVE the original equipment if they can find it.  


If it's a Pain in the Ass....you're doing it WRONG

I don't make policy, only suggestions, take them as such.

 

Joined: 8/5/05    Location: 20 miles west of Gettysburg, PA

 

 

I've had a few packs since I joined here.  Most, like a billion dollars worth of Kifaru, still sit unused.

I bought a MC RAID because I thought it was a requirement to be a member here.  Thing was one uncomfortable motherfucker.  Never liked them.

But my go to baby for my very simple needs is my olde tyme Eagle A-III molle in Ranger Green.  I take it everywhere I need a pack.  I'll never get rid of it.

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IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

HRH (Ret.) The Most Reverend Consig

 

 

 

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

That is a great score.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Cytez posted:

I was issued a black Eagle A-III, 3 day assault pack, back in the mid-late 90s.  For that reason alone, I wouldn't mind finding another, like you did.  My only complaint, over years of using them, was the padding in the shoulder straps would break down and get really thin, but I use to end up carrying a lot of comms equipment in mine (weight).  Definitely nothing wrong with them.  I'm sure you could get a pretty penny for it, especially if you were to find a picture of one being used in something like Operation Gothic Serpent (Blackhawk down).  The fanbois/reenactors LOVE the original equipment if they can find it.  

Truth there, baby.

I was supposed to level a FAd'H station on D-Day of the Haiti invasion.  I was on the left plank of a little bird with an M4 /203, M1911 on my hip, Harris HF freq-hopper in my A-III, and orders that anything in khaki swinging an M1 dies.

Damn Jimmy Carter, Sam Nunn, and Colin Powell.

Operation Uphold Democracy - "The Imacculate Invasion"

 If this can a contest to see how much abuse a pack can withstand- I have an LBT three-day pack that is still going strong after about 15-18 years, maybe 20.   It has literally been carried daily, fell out of a couple of pickups, been dragged,  dropped, pulled on, etc. WAAAAAAAAAY more than a handful of other backpacks  would have endured collectively. 

Fishnshoot, this wouldn't by any chance be that place across from the Savers on Fairview would it?    I picked up an old Assault Systems rifle case there a few months ago for dirt cheap.  Back before you were born,  Assault Systems was pretty good stuff as I recall.  I still have a shoulder holster I got in the late 80's, and it still rocks.     Anyway, I wander in there from time to time and have noticed sometimes they don't know what exactly they have.

Bill, Idaho posted:

 ...Back before you were born,  Assault Systems was pretty good stuff as I recall.  I still have a shoulder holster I got in the late 80's, and it still rocks.     Anyway, I wander in there from time to time and have noticed sometimes they don't know what exactly they have.

Ah! Shooting Systems/Assault Systems. Loved that place. Still have a shoulder holster from there.

Wish I could go back in time. Visited once and they had some collection they'd just bought, everything for sale. Barret 82, FAMAS, Valmet Bullpup, more. But I was a poor college kid, and as much as they let us touch everything, no way could I afford anything. 

I always assumed all those guys were just disgruntled employees of Eagle who opened shop down the street, but does anyone know what the relationship is for all the STL-area nylon shops? Or is it so complex we'd need a flow chart? 

 

OT: Not sure how long, but I've had a TT 3DAP for a long time. By 2006 I had worn out one enough I had to send it back to TT to get repaired, and they sold me a weird prototype frame sheet (solid molded plastic vs the flexible sheet with the aluminum stay) for all of $10 for some reason. 

I had two at one time, wife had one she used all the time. I think I sold the newer all MOLLE one to someone around here a few years back. For the reason others have said: It's good, but heavy and there are better things now. But it works still, indeed. 

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

You know that's still a mystery to me.  When I first got off active, I worked for a company that was two doors down from Assault Systems in Fenton, Mo.  Always wanted to chat them up but they were such secret squirrels you rarely ever saw them.   Always wondered about the relationship with the Carvers.  John was in a unit at the same drill center I was at in St. Louis, although I never saw him in there either.  I left for Kali before I ever found out anything.  Didn't see John again until SOF expos at the Sands.

I always thought that they were an off-shoot of Eagle- sorta like a marketing outlet that eventually went solo.  Be interested in knowing what the real story was.  

       

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

So my AIII was purchased from the factory in Fenton from the man himself, in Sep96, after I started rotations at Ft Lost in the Woods.  Still got it, going strong.  Use it every day.  Damn thing has been all over the globe from Middle east to Korea.

"Learning is the journey...."

Pat Rogers


"Good Medicine In Bad Places"

Damn. Reading this, you guys make me jealous.

I need to check out the Blackhawk 3DAP that I bought off of Ebay back in '05 to see if I can determine an age.

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Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

Ive got a made in USA Blackhawk! Raptor pack from 1999 in tan.   

Copy of the old school Ranger assault pack. 

Only mods to it are a pair of Ice Axe loops I had sewn on it in Colorado back in 2004.   

old faithful

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  • One Man's Fatwa is another Man's FRAGO. 
  • Two to the Heart, One to the Mind.
  • In Spiritu Et Veritate, Ad Logica Animo, Ad Hominem, Ad Captandum Vulgus.
  • BEHOLD, the LORD my GOD, who prepares my Hands for Battle and my Fingers for War! PSALMS 144:1
Consigliere posted:

I bought a MC RAID because I thought it was a requirement to be a member here.  Thing was one uncomfortable motherfucker.  Never liked them.

Was it a Eagle manufactured RAID or an ATS made RAID? The Eagle version has the same straps as the AIII. The ATS version used a different strap shape that fit me poorly and had an awkward drape with a odd padding configuration. 

I resold my ATS RAID almost immediately, but like my Eagle RAID.
The ATS Cobra straps are a lot more like the AIII in shape, and I found them much more comfortable than the ATS RAID straps.

Actually, the original precursor to all of these packs was not made by Gregory, but by a guy named Jeff Lowe and his company, Lowe Alpine Systems in the late 70’s.

Gregory packs in this same style started on the market in the late  80’s. I bought one of each, but only still own the Lowe pack. I still have my original Gregory Cassin backpack from 1980 though. That pack and the Lowe Alpine Expedition were the original plankowners of the internal frame pack market.

My Lowe 3 day pack was  bought by me in Colorado in 1981(!) at their factory,  made of 1000d Cordura, and is a brick shithouse, still going strong today. I  use it every winter as a backcountry ski and snowboard pack for all of my avalanche and survival gear.

I’ll try and post pics of it once I dig it up from my gear cage.

"Well, thank God we all made it out in time... 'course now we're equally screwed."

I still have one of three Eagle A-III Med Packs in red that I persuaded Gretchen Carver to make for my team when I was working for the Red Cross  back in the late '90s, early 2000s. I believe that they were the only ones ever made in that colour.

Until a short while ago, the HH6 was using it as her vehicle med kit, but it is now just sitting in the garage. It has a lot of internal organization, and it is about as non-tactical (un-tactical? is that a word?) as you can get, being that it is BRIGHT RED.

Regards.

Mark

Formerly known as ML

I nostalgically miss my original Black AIII's. I've had several over the years, and they are great packs that really stood the test of time. I think the Eagle versions are the only ones worthwhile after having seen some amazing failures of the other brands. I'd still rock the AIII, but if I were to go back to a retro pack, I'd buy another Kelty Redwing. The Kelty wasn't as bombproof as the AIII, but it is a better pack for general non-assault pack type use. 

I still have my A-III in OD.  Doesn't see much use anymore since we changed over to coyote.  But I will never get rid of her!  I sewed my own "rocket" pouches based on the Eagle originals, and that was my go-to bag back in the early 2000s.  I still use it occasionally on weekend road trips.  I picked it up for $99 back in the day from Stubby Gear (you old farts will remember that shop from the old board days).   I was issued van LBT 3-day in coyote, but it seemed a lot smaller than the A-III.  I also bought a TT 3-day in coyote tan, buy it seemed too long and the strap pads too thiick, and it wasn't a panel loader like the A-III.   But that went to Iraq with me so it's sentimental.

I bought a BLK slick AIII in 2005 for a DOJ co-worker who spent a yr in Iraq with it on a Rule of Law mission. I got it back from him in 06 and have rocked it as my EDC ever since.  I bought a TT 3DAP shortly thereafter as a backup. My daughter started carrying it in 7th grade in 12/13. She is taking it to college next week.

US Made, 1000D Cordura, YKK # 10 zippers, sewn by somebody who has done it once or twice and poof- a lifetime piece of kit so long as it is not burned, shredded or exploded.

fishnshoot posted:
can answer my question about when did Eagle start making the AIII ? 

Who's still using their AIII Pack 17 years later?

Just curious.

 

I bought an Eagle AIII in 1994 (the buckles were dated 93), the same year I got one from Blackhawk and LBT. I was a dealer for all three companies and I wanted to compare before ordering several more.

The BHI pack felt a little flimsy and the LBT version while it seemed the most robust, it also had the sloppiest stitching and details. I sold both of these packs to an overseas collector in the early 2000s for 3 times what I paid for them lol

The 93/94 Eagle AIII was my go-to day pack for years and I honestly still use it as a carry-on when flying now and than.... so yeah, I never really thought about it, but that pack is 24 years old now!

__________________________________________ First rule of MegaForce is we don't talk about Megaforce.

I’ve got an old OD or Ranger green Eagle AIII pack that I got in college and used some.  It came with two additional long pockets that could be attached on either side of the pack with quick-clips.  As I recall it has metal hardware and sliders.  I then got a LBT AIII pack in black with a (new at the time) frame sheet that went in the interior rear panel.  The LBT got use until I got a Kifaru pack.....all good stuff, this thread has got me digging in the gear room to look for them.

How many different manufacturers produced the A-III for Eagle?

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

If anyone is looking for a nostalgic Eagle A-III, I have a black MOLLE, a MJK slick and a slick Multicam with rocket pouches available that are taking up space. The black is for sale, as well as one of the slicks.

I also have a Eagle RAID in RG, along with a RAID  pistol/2xM4/2xM4/pistol shingle for sale.

All have LF history of one sort or another.

PM for details.

 

Consigliere posted:

I've had a few packs since I joined here.  Most, like a billion dollars worth of Kifaru, still sit unused.

I bought a MC RAID because I thought it was a requirement to be a member here.  Thing was one uncomfortable motherfucker.  Never liked them.

But my go to baby for my very simple needs is my olde tyme Eagle A-III molle in Ranger Green.  I take it everywhere I need a pack.  I'll never get rid of it.

..you can always give it to me...problem solved..

 

 

Longeye posted:

If anyone is looking for a nostalgic Eagle A-III, I have a black MOLLE, a MJK slick and a slick Multicam with rocket pouches available that are taking up space. The black is for sale, as well as one of the slicks.

I also have a Eagle RAID in RG, along with a RAID  pistol/2xM4/2xM4/pistol shingle for sale.

All have LF history of one sort or another.

PM for details.

 

What are these rocket pouches of which you speak? are they sewn on, or removable?

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-We are the sheepdogs, bad people looking out for the good people by killing worse people
-Don't get PTSD, Give PTSD. Make the taliban wake up screaming in the night because he fears Canadians are coming to Kill him.

-Location - Canada - Joined - 2006MAR19

It turns out the first variation was stitched up November, 1989.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Who has an A-III which they are willing to photograph (hi-resolution), for use in an article?

The pics don’t need to be glamour shots, and in fact if you’ve got an older one with some wear and tear and character, all the better.

Please hit me up by PM for an email address.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Bump.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

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