Eagle Industries A III Large Assault Pack Review.

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Eagle Industries A III Large Assault Pack Review.

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:21 pm

Eagle Industries A III Large Assault Pack Review.

Been a bit slack on posting gear reviews therefore going to make up for lost time. I have owned this pack for a few years now. It has served me well as a larger daypack, smaller truck BOB, and reduced gear overnight outings. It was once stolen then tossed by the side of the road. Has been dropped, pushed through brush, kicked and generally disrespected. Carried on my back for a loooooooooooooooooong distance during that time. Here is the Eagle Industries description. Much of this review also applies to the standard A-III without MOLLE webbing.

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A-III Pack Large:
Designed to provide an increased carrying capacity, the Large 3-Day Pack has the same basic design and unmatched durability of the standard 3-Day Pack.

Specifications:

Dimensions: W x H x D (All dimensions are approximate)
Main compartment: 16” x 24” x 7” = 2688 cu in (40.5 cm x 61 cm x 18 cm = 44.469 L)
Main compartment: 16” x 24” x 7” = 2688 cu in (40.5 cm x 61 cm x 18 cm = 44.469 L)
Front pouch: 12” x 18” x 2” = 432 cu in (30.5 cm x 45.75 cm x 5 cm = 6.976 L)
Front pouch: 12” x 18” x 2” = 432 cu in (30.5 cm x 45.75 cm x 5 cm = 6.976 L)
Slip pocket: 12” x 18” (30.5 cm x 45.75 cm)
Slip pocket: 12” x 18” (30.5 cm x 45.75 cm)

Features:

Made of heavy-duty, #1000 denier abrasion resistant Cordura® nylon
Stitched with bonded nylon thread
Inside slip pocket accommodates optional rigid internal frame
Padded back and padded shoulder harness
Main compartment features heavy-duty YKK® zipper
Side retention straps with side quick release buckles
28" removable sleeping bag straps
16" removable cargo straps
Removable and adjustable chest strap
Fully adjustable removable waist pad
Hydration compatible
Eagle WaterPoint™ Compatible
Custom embroidery and screen printing available
Lifetime Guarantee
For those who don't own the standard A-III here are the those dimensions for comparison:

Main compartment: 16” x 20” x 7” = 2,240 cu in (40.5 cm x 50.75 cm x 18 cm = 36.996 L)
Cargo pouch: 12” x 16” x 2” = 384 cu in (30.5 cm x 40.5 cm x 5 cm = 6.176 L)
Slip pocket: 12” x 16” (30.5 cm x 40.5 cm)

Ok with the manufacture's info out of the way here is a closeup of the features.

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The shoulder straps like everything else are robust. There are 4 D rings, multiple loops and adjustments. The attachment points are very strong. After years of use there is a bit of scuffing on the upper attachment of the right padding yea would need a microscope to see it. Only my OCD would have picked this up. Often I grab the pack by this strap to toss around. From some reason I rarely use the handle but frankly should as it is beyond overbuilt.

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The sternum strap has some stretch webbing that aids in the comfort and use of the strap. It is also adjustable in length and position up or down on the padding. The hardware doesn't seem to slip much which is nice. On a side note I tend to avoid packs without a sternum strap unless very small and even then often add one.

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The belt has a small area of padding plus wide strapping material. The buckle looks to be the same size as my Kifaru EMR. There is enough material for someone who takes a large belt size. I hate when packs don't provide enough strap material. Both the belt and shoulder straps offer enough material for most people. The back is padded but not overly so.

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There are three pockets secured with what looks like YKK # 10 zippers. Not much to say about them beyond they hold stuff. LOL! The zippers are really strong with flaps to help shed rain. The medium pocket is lined. There is also a sleeve for a ridged frame. A self sealing port for a hydration tube is on top

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There are straps on the top and bottom to lash larger items such are clothing or ground pads. I tend to avoid packs without straps at least on the bottom for lasing the all important closed cell ground pad or other larger but not overly heavy items.

Field usage.

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Pros.

1. Durable. This pack is overbuilt.

2. Often copied by other manufactures because the A-III is a winner. This is the original manufacture.

3. Larger than a smaller daypack but smaller than a multi day pack. Hits that sweet spot of larger daypack and minimalist overnighter. Also works as smaller BOB or lager GHB.

4. Someone knew what they were doing when designing it.

5. Cost isn't all that expensive for what yea get.

Cons.

1. The pack and it's accessories are almost impossible to buy. Just today when writing this review noticed the "Large Accessory Pouch" was listed. Oh wow! Grabbed my card and called. Sure enough the last pouch was "on hold" for another order. LOL! I kinda expected that. The large internal frame has also been MIA forever. I am glad that Eagle is so busy but that is little solace. The same is true for many of Eagle's offerings.

2. The padded back will sweat up during hot weather. Just the nature of the beast for this style rather than an issue with this particular pack.

3. Did I mention the frustration with getting accessories?

4. Refer to 1 and 3.

5. No MOLLE webbing on the large A-III pack. Some will find this a pro. If you want that feature maybe the standard size MOLLE style would be preferred.

6. The pack is made of durable materials. Sure that's a BIG pro but it also means it isn't UL.

7. Few pockets. Again that's a pro or con based on the user.

Conclusion.

This is a very good pack. Built like a tank for heavy use.

Here is a video review for those who want to know more or prefer that format. Thanks for looking.

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"There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"
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Boondock
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Re: Eagle Industries A III Large Assault Pack Review.

Post by Boondock » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:41 pm

Wondered if you were ever gonna review that pack. I like the slanted zipper on the outside pocket. Looks sturdy and simple.

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Re: Eagle Industries A III Large Assault Pack Review.

Post by Boris » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:58 am

Wonderful pack, and a nice review. I'm confused as to why this bag seems to be vanishing. I've owned one for several years and taken on many varied types of outings. Through all of the abuse it basically looks brand new. The only real con I have against it is the lack of any internal organization. While that is fine for the main compartment, the smaller ones could've used a small pocket or two to keep the really small items in place, instead you have to dig around for them like when you were a kid looking for that one Lego in your bin. Admin pouches are the best answer, but they just add more weight.

I feel incredibly lucky just to own a set of the add-on pouches (same color as my pack no less), and may put my future kids through college by selling them off some day. Again, I don't understand why these seem to be so rare and hard to get ahold of. They're so much better than MOLLE pouches in that they have a ton of space, but not at a great weight cost. I wish more bags were doing something like that than just suggesting you throw a bunch of MOLLE pouches on.

I will throw out a strength that I don't think I saw mentioned, which is that most of the gear straps are user-removable. There may be a couple that aren't. I like that if you don't want them or aren't using them, you can just take them off and put them in the pack or leave them at home.

As for the optional internal frame, I use http://www.skdtac.com/ats-raid-frame-in ... ts.513.htm. It works well, but makes it a little harder to fit the water bladder inside.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
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Re: Eagle Industries A III Large Assault Pack Review.

Post by therianthrope » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:27 am

I have the "Medium" version, and I'm one of the guys that finds most of the listed Cons as Pros.

- I wanted a lower-key pack (sometimes use it for business trips), so no MOLLE is ideal.
- For my use of it (travel = tossed and stuffed everywhere, and hunting = snags and pokes and hard-edge contents), durable is far more important than light.
- And I love that this pack doesn't have any internal organization, because I tend to organize myself anyway by using my shell or clothing to wrap grouped-gear, or use tins or mesh bags, or dry-bags - so it saves some weight.

Regarding the hard-to-find accessories, I made my own frame-insert using reinforced card-board. This stuff came from our Ikea couch packaging, it is the double-layered, corrugated, sturdiest-cardboard-I've-ever-seen. It has so-far worked perfectly, the pack has a noticeable lack of vertical weight-distribution without it, but you could also get some heavy-duty, corrugated plastic sheeting from a craft store to make your own if you don't trust or have the cardboard.

I've also see the waist-belt criticized other places for not doing it's job - it too is removeable from the pack and just secures to tri-glide buckles at the lower corners so it does conceivably lack some greater structural support. And while the Medium's belt does ride an inch or two high on me, if I have any sort of layers on it does fine to help take some load off the shoulders, and this may not even be a problem for someone with a shorter torso or the Large pack.

My $0.02

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