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Discussion Starter #1
hey all, I am looking at upgrading my BOB / Camping pack, my deuter has been good but it is too small and lacks decent organizers.

I use small to medium size packs because I dont like overpacking, So I have narrowed it down as best I can using the forums and net searches to these candidates...

The North Face Recon http://www.thenorthface.com.au/secureshop/product.php?ProductID=669
Kelty Redwing 2650 http://www.kelty.com/p-28-redwing-2650.aspx
Blackhawk 3 Day Assault Pack http://www.blackhawk.com/product/3-Day-Assault-Pack,865,44.htm
Maxpedition Vulture II http://www.1sks.com/store/maxpedition-vulture-2-3-day-assault-pack.html
Camelbak Motherlode http://www.camelbak.com/government-military/hydration-packs/motherlode.aspx

In particular I am interested in any info on the blackhawk, there's a lack of info on this bag but I have heard its a great bag, but I cannot find out if it has an organizer.

any info would be good because here in Australia none of these bags are in a store, so I cannot check them out in person, Cheers!
 

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I have a Blackhawk 3 Day and like it a lot. I used it for fishing trips last summer and have it set up as a BOB now. Mine is an older one made in USA but they are well made and should serve you well. They are hydration compatible and getting the accesory pouches is a good move and will up the ante to 3000 ci.

There is no organizer on mine and I don't know if the new ones have it or not. I doubt it.

I don't like zippers but they are very tough. I don't like Hydration packs but it's very well set up for them. The top of the pack isn't real suitable for attaching anything big or heavy. Long guns strap down pretty well to the sides.

They don't have Molle attachments but the belt will accept all sorts of things. A hammock is hooked up to the bottom of mine.

Rubbermaid makes a box that fits the middle compartment perfectly. That's where I keep my food and it's air and water tight. Any Wal-Mart has them for $9.

Link has a good deal on one. Blackhawk has the accessory pouches on sale for $11.50 right now. Scroll down on your link and you will see them.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=155605123
 

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hey all, I am looking at upgrading my BOB / Camping pack, my deuter has been good but it is too small and lacks decent organizers.

I use small to medium size packs because I dont like overpacking, So I have narrowed it down as best I can using the forums and net searches to these candidates...

The North Face Recon http://www.thenorthface.com.au/secureshop/product.php?ProductID=669
Kelty Redwing 2650 http://www.kelty.com/p-28-redwing-2650.aspx
Blackhawk 3 Day Assault Pack http://www.blackhawk.com/product/3-Day-Assault-Pack,865,44.htm
Maxpedition Vulture II http://www.1sks.com/store/maxpedition-vulture-2-3-day-assault-pack.html
Camelbak Motherlode http://www.camelbak.com/government-military/hydration-packs/motherlode.aspx

In particular I am interested in any info on the blackhawk, there's a lack of info on this bag but I have heard its a great bag, but I cannot find out if it has an organizer.

any info would be good because here in Australia none of these bags are in a store, so I cannot check them out in person, Cheers!

if your looking at a blackhawk you should look at this one real hard :thumb:

http://www.blackhawk.com/product/100oz-X-3-RAPTOR-Pack,867,1407.htm

just because you got a large pack dosent mean you have to totally load it up lol you can still pack it light. i would much rather have plenty of room than not near enough. but to each his own :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys, Cant say I am thrilled though, was hoping the blackhawk had an organizer. Might have too look at the motherlode or the kelty.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
found this about the 5.11 pack


seems like a better pack than the maxpedition VII more organization, less strappyness and awesome side pockets, which I think is a must for water bottles etc.
 

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There are a few things that I did not like about the Maxpedition Vulture II

1 - the buckles of the nylon straps I was using would not go through the loops on the bottom of the pack. The loops were sewn on so tight, that there was not enough slack to push the buckle of the nylon strap under the loop. This means that I could not attach anything to the bottom of the pack.

I sent an email to maxpedition about it, but never heard anything back.

2 - there is a plastic loop on the shoulder strap that I feed the tube of the water bladder through. The mouth piece of the water bladder would not go through the loop. Its no big deal, I just used the loop to secure the water bladder tube so its not moving around too much.

3 - a 32 degree coleman sleeping bag will not fit into the vulture II. My opinion, a 32 degree bag is a good measure, because that is the freezing point. A 3 day bag should be able to accept something like a coleman exponet 32 degree bag. Since coleman is such a popular brand of outdoors equipment, I think it is a good measure.

The pack needs some smaller outside pockets for stuff like maps, gps, bug spray, and compass - stuff that you need everytime you stop for a rest break.

The points I did like - YKK zippers, paracord pulls on the zippers, heavy duty nylon material, all seals double stitched, place for a water bladder.

Overall, I liked the maxpedition vulture II. But because I can not attach a sleeping bag to the bottom, or put a 32 degree bag into the bag, its a warm weather rated pack. There is no way I could take this pack on a cold weather hiking/camping trip. Mainly because I can not carry a sleeping bag rated in the 30s in it.

If the loops on the bottom of the pack had a little bit more room so that the nylon strap buckle would go through them, then it would be a great pack. I thought about ripping the seams off the loops and re-sewing them.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks kev, I run a ultra compact 40 degree recon bag http://www.kitbag.com.au/prod537.htm which fits inside a 2100+ cubic inch pack, which would probably get me around that problem but the other points you mention like lack of smaller external pockets really get me with the VII pack. I dont like adding pouches to backpacks

looks like the 5.11 rush 72 hour is the winner as far as I can tell without a hands on, there is also the kelty map 3500 http://www.shadowenterprises.net/detail.aspx?ID=292 too many options I say!
 

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The kelty map 3500 looks like it does not have enough attachment points on the outside. I dont even see a PALS ladder on it.
 

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Why put your bag inside the pack, rather than strapping it down outside? I have never done that before. Sleeping bags and tents are too bulky to take up the much needed space inside a pack unless you don't need the room.

I attach my tent to the top and bag to the bottom. They will cushion a fall, too. If you are worried about them getting wet, use a WP bag.

Most hydration packs make the siphon tube hole pretty small to keep out the rain and debris. All of my packs are made this way.

The attachment webbing is only meant to take the strap because something heavy will not be stabilized with 1/4" more play in there. Attach the buckles after you thread the strap through.

Kelty packs have the slots too close together; bags flop and slop all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why put your bag inside the pack, rather than strapping it down outside? I have never done that before. Sleeping bags and tents are too bulky to take up the much needed space inside a pack unless you don't need the room.

I attach my tent to the top and bag to the bottom. They will cushion a fall, too. If you are worried about them getting wet, use a WP bag.

Most hydration packs make the siphon tube hole pretty small to keep out the rain and debris. All of my packs are made this way.

The attachment webbing is only meant to take the strap because something heavy will not be stabilized with 1/4" more play in there. Attach the buckles after you thread the strap through.

Kelty packs have the slots too close together; bags flop and slop all over the place.
To be honest the only reason I like to keep it internal is to stay as inconspicuous as possible (for bugging out) but for general hiking and camping I attach it externally to allow for more comfort items :thumb:
 

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I have the Fox Tactical knock off of the Vulture II. I love it, and its made very well IMO. I'd go with that one just because im familiar with it, and love it.
 

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Why put your bag inside the pack, rather than strapping it down outside? I have never done that before. Sleeping bags and tents are too bulky to take up the much needed space inside a pack unless you don't need the room.
Per one guy on another site, he was taught in military to do it that way, so therefore that was the ONLY way to do it. Put bag in pack, period. I asked what if pack wasn't big enough? Same answer, he was right, I was wrong.
Watched a youtube on packing a pack, it showed tent and bag packed inside pack with other gear. But it was a big pack. One guy said you don't need a big pack, 30#+ is too heavy to carry. Old backpacking pics show sleeping bag on top of external frame pack and tent on bottom of frame.
But, it's your pack, load it the way you like and carry the weight your back likes. Screw anybody that says different.
 

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To be honest the only reason I like to keep it internal is to stay as inconspicuous as possible (for bugging out) but for general hiking and camping I attach it externally to allow for more comfort items :thumb:
If you are buggin' out then a great many other people probably had to as well. I get the low profile issue (I live by it) but even you are trying to be inconspicuous, that is the last thing folks are going to raise an eyebrow on.
 

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If it was me personally, I would go for the Kelty Redwing, mainly because it looks more like a civilian backpack than the rest, but also because it is the biggest (i think) and one of the cheaper ones (and i'm kinda broke at the moment lol...)

I have heard good things about all of those manufacturers though, so you probably cant go too wrong...

I agree with CryptKeeper though, I would probably be going for an 80+ litre, lightweight backpack. You dont have to fill it, but the extra space may be handy. Some lightweight packs dont have all the framing etc at the back, so if you dont fill it you can still fill it into a small space if required.
 

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I would probably be going for an 80+ litre, lightweight backpack. You dont have to fill it, but the extra space may be handy.
I have said this on another site, get a big pack. But some people think that folks don't have enough sense NOT to overload it. Some extra space would come in handy for coat or jacket, instead of lashing it on the outside. Or for any goodies you find on your trip.
How many people have had to buy another suitcase cause they bought something while on trip and their suitcase wasn't big enough???
 
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