Thought I'd throw this out there for anyone thats looking for a good ruck. I've been searching for a pack for a few years now, that was bigger than a typical 3 day type pack, but didnt want something big enough to put a fullsize refridgerator in. Something in the 3k-4k CU range, give or take. I've looked around at the usual suspects, and while I like some of them, I just couldnt quite find exactly what I wanted. All of my longer range rucking has been done with my old issue ALICE pack. I wanted something more comfortable than that.
I found out earlier this year that Tactical Tailor was coming out with a new line of rucks, and was instantly excited. I've been a huge Tactical Tailor fan for some years now. Their gear is some of the best in my opinion, not only in quality of construction but in design and engineering as well. Enter their new line of Elite Operator Series Packs
. The Extended Range Operator Pack instantly caught my attention, and after looking over the details on their website as soon as I saw they were up, I placed an order for one in Coyote. Finally got it in and thought I'd throw up a few initial thoughts on it. You can read most of the technical details about it here
. I havent used it yet obviously, but, my initial impressions from just giving it a once over and test fitting, I am VERY impressed with it. It doesnt have all the bells and whistles of some brands/models, but, it has just enough for my taste.
Its an internal frame pack with an interesting clamshell type opening, but can be used like a top loader. There are dual direction zippers that run about 2/3rds of the way down each side. This allows you to access the main compartment from the top, or the sides. It has an external pouch on top, 2 mesh pockets on each side of the main compartment, as well as a mesh pouch and enclosed pouch on the inside of the lid. There is a seperate pouch for a hydration bladder. There is a hidden pouch on the top that contains a pull out VS-17 type marker panel for emergencies. The bottom is lined with a similar material to make finding things in the bottom a bit easier. The shoulder straps are nicely padded, as is the waist belt, and have QR buckles at the adjustment points. The waist belt is not removeable, but does have a couple of columns/rows of MOLLE webbing. The sternum strap is very easily adjusted for position. The shoulder straps, waist belt, and back area are all covered with breathable mesh, and the back is nicely padded with a air channel running down the centerline.
The oustide of the pack itself obviously has MOLLE webbing on each side and down the back, and there are a total of 6 compression straps. Plenty of expansion capability via user added external pouches. One thing that I really like, is how all the hardware such as the buckles, zippers, etc., is all color matched. To many other brands skimp in my opinion and simply use black hardware across the board, regardless of the pack color. TT also add's 550 cord pulls to all the zippers. This not only makes opening and closing them easier, but helps to silence them as well. These small touches may go unnoticed by some, or may be of little interest to others. To me, they say a lot about TT's attention to detail. I'm sure I've missed something, so I'll be happy to try and answer any questions. Here are some initial pics. I plan to take some additional shots along side a few other packs just for size comparison, as well as add some more thoughts once I have a chance to load it up and get out with it some.
Shoulder straps and back area.
Load lifters on top of the shoulder straps, and a excellent low profile carry handle.
Top zippered pouch.
Top view again.
Lower bungee attatchment points of the VS-17 panel.
External pocket...one on each side.
4 internal mesh pockets.
Bottom inside view.
Inside lid view, mesh pocket and zippered pocket.