Looking for a good quality 2 - 3 day pack?  The Maxpedition Vulture-II might be just what your looking for.  When your looking at backpacks, there seems to be small, medium, large and super large.

Small - good for day hikes and short trips

Medium - good for day hikes or overnight trips

Large - good for 3 - 5 day trips

Super Large - good for 5+ days trips (think expedition)

The problem I have, I need a pack that fits right in-between medium and large.  These are the ones where you can pack enough for a 1 - 3 day trip, but not too big or too small.

This medium sized pack is where I'am trying to fit the Maxpedition Vulture-II.  I need something for warm / hot weather camping, and just big enough to carry some food,  one man tent, rain poncho, hammock, poncho liner,,,, but not too big that I'am tempted to carry gear that is not needed.  If your like me, and if there is spare room in your pack, your going to find a way to fill it up.  A half full pack just does not look right.

Before a pack is taken out on a hiking or camping trip, it needs to be loaded, tested and checked out.  So before my Maxpedition Vulture-II was taken on a real hiking / camping trip, it was loaded up and taken on a trip to the deer camp.  Inside the pack I was able to fit - hammock, one man tent, 3 legged stool, couple of MREs, compass, map, and topo map compass.

From the Maxpedition website:
* Main Compartment: 20.5"(H) x 16"(W) x 7.5"(D)
* Front Pouch: 15.5"(H) x 12"(W) x 2.75"(D)
* Slip Pocket: 15.5"(H) x 12"(W)
* Capacity: 2810 cu. in. / 46 liters
* Weight: 3 lbs , 8 oz
* Hydration: Up to 100+ oz Bladder
* Support: 1" Sternum Strap, 2" Integrated Belt (min 19" strap alone / max 52" strap alone; min 34" loop / max 67" loop)
* Optional accessories: Hook & Loop Modular Accessories and Grimloc Carabiner, Hydration reservoir
*1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
* Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
* High strength YKK zippers and zipper tracks
* Triple polyurethane coated for water resistance
* High tensile strength nylon webbing
* High tensile strength composite nylon thread (stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread)
*AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material for superior shock protection
* Internal seams taped and finished
* Paracord zipper pulls
* Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or "Box-and-X" stitched for added strength

The 2 complaints that I have about the Vulture-II - it needs a couple of small pouches on the outside of the pack, and I wish it was just a "little" bigger.  2,810 cubic inches is nice, but 3,000+ cubic inches might have been a little better for a 3 day pack.

If you need more room, just add a few extra Maxpedition pouches on the outside of the pack.  Even though the pack has a place for a water bladder,  I added a mini-rolly polly dump pouch and a Maxpedition water bottle holder.  The water bottle holder has an extra pouch built onto it that large enough for a GPS or map compass.

In pack design you have 2 basic types - the panel loader and the top loader.

Panel loader - this is when the pack fully unzips and makes it easy to organize the contents.  This type of pack is good for people who like to organize stuff.

Top loader - just as the name describes, you load the pack from the top.  This design is good people people who like to cram stuff into the pack, and when its full stomp on the contents, and pack some more.

Strength - by design top loaders are usually stronger then the panel loaders.  Panel loaders are limited by the strength of their zippers, top loaders are limited by the strength of the fabric material and stitching.

The Maxpedition Vulture-II seems to be a combination of a top loader and a panel loader.  The pack unzips down both sides, but not all the way.  To help hold everything together there are 2 compression straps on each side, and the classic Y strap at the top of the pack.

Please post your comments in this forum thread about the Maxpedition Vulture-II .
* Disclosure: The Maxpedition Vulture II used in this article was supplied free of charge. But that did not influence the authors opinion.