After a bit of an ordeal with acquiring a new EDC back pack I finally have what i hope will be a good set up for a while. The goal: a budget edc backpack that is tough, large enough to do everything I need it to without being too big, adaptable to different roles and affordable. I was initially going for a "Grey man" approach, which still isnt completely out of the window as the Black color really makes it less military looking than any of the other common colors like FDE or desert tan, not to mention camo. After much research the 5.11 rush 12 kept coming up as the one that seemed to fit the role nicely, but I really didn't want to spend the $100 bucks for it. then i found this one, the reviews were good enough and with amazon I know i can just return it if its not what I expect, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
The 24 liter size of this pack seems just right, and the design makes really good use of that 24 liters. There is basically one large packet, with a clamshell design, and then a good sized front pocket with lots of organization. one thing i like in a pack which this one does well is the ability to have stuff in pockets or spots along the middle and top of the inside of the pack. This keeps everything from piling up in the bottom and making it uncomfortable to carry. In my previous pack i was using a medium sized molle admin pouch, approx 3"x5"x9", however this pack was able to absorb all that stuff into its various internal pockets saving weight and actually making it easier to get to items quickly.
I used to ONLY buy packs with water bottles on at least one or preferably both sides. I have since "evolved" on the issue as some politicians might say. not having the external pockets makes for a slimmer pack that doesn't catch on things as much. Plus, each side of the pack has molle webbing to allows for attaching things like a water bottle holder or extra layers of clothing, or just to allow for more space inside. I took some bungee cord and looped it through the molle, this makes for a great way to store a jacket on the side of the pack, just kinda roll it up and stuff it into the bungee loops.
the lined glasses pocket at the top of the bag is a good idea, however the glasses just protrude down into the main compartment of the pack. this isnt normally a big deal, but if you were to want to fill the main compartment to maximum capacity, especially with more solid objects, the glasses could be crushed and even break. i also have a molle glasses case that can be attached to the outside of the pack if i need to fill the inside.
This time I wanted to go with a black theme as I have many other packs but not a single black one. black seems to blend in more to me, and it makes it harder to see all the molle webbing as it just kinda looks like a black blob.
As far as EDC load out, I tend to keep a core of items, regardless of environment, and then there are some things that vary depending on where im going and the weather patterns. I live in a state and climate that can and does often change very drastically. It recently plunged over 60 degrees in just 24 hrs, or it can go from sunny and 80 to windy, raining and 50's in just minutes. so I like layers and to have extra protection from the elements. that said, this is an area of gear that can take up alot of space in a pack even if it doesn't add much weight. Ill typically have a light warming layer and a light wind/ waterproof layer in the pack. if its really cold Ill swap out the light warming layer for a thicker one, or perhaps a down jacket that stuffs into a small sack. sometimes ill start the day with layers on, but nothing in the pack and slowly it will fill up as the day warms.
gloves, a beanie in the winter, cap in the summer, and one of the SA gear face shields are always in there.
New with this pack is a smallish fixed blade knife. a Schrade schf57, its cheap, so no big deal if it gets lost or stolen; it seems sharp and stout enough to fill its urban EDC role. It is replacing a large folding knife that was good, but lacked in several ways. I figured since I carry a good folder on body, and another small folder in the pack, that the third, larger knife ought to be a fixed blade, even if a small one. there is no real difference in weight between the fixed and folding knifes.
the Pack did come with a sternum strap that seems decent quality. It is not designed in a way that it can be removed without cutting it, which is unfortunate because I really dont think this pack needs one, and i dont really like them flopping around on packs that arent heavy enough to use them consistently. I may cut it off. I have others than can be adapted for use on this pack if needed in the future.
Thats all I can think to write about it now, only had it a few days, will report as time and usage continue.