Piper Gear Long Range Bugout bag

Posted on Friday 1 August 2008

Rating 4 of 5 stars
Design internal frame bag
Size extra large
Number of Pockets 6
Max. Load Carried untested
Price Paid $76
Pack Weight 6 lbs
Total size 4400-5550 (expanded)

Long Range Bugout bag is created by Sandpiper of California (PiperGear.com). They make various sports bags as well as travel packs, and “bugout bags”. I snagged a used Long Range Bag on eBay last week for testing and reviewing purposes.

This bag is huge, no wonder they call it the Long Range bag. Like most suitcases, there is a zipper in the back that compresses additional 3.5″ of fabric, which adds 1116 cu/in to the main compartment. Unexpanded this pack is around 4400 cubic inches. Expanded it is around 5550 cubic inches. Because of its ‘square’ design, and expandable feature, the Long Range bag reminds me of a travel suitcase. In fact there are two carry handles, and a zippered back compartment to put away the shoulder straps. This can be handy if you fly with this pack, or travel via public transportation. Material is 1000-Denier Cordura, ACU color pattern. Stitching seems pretty good, however the metal carabiner attachments at the end of shoulder straps seem flimsy for the kind of weight you can carry in this pack. The bottom attachment points for the shoulder straps could use reinforcing.

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dmitry @ 1:53 pm
Filed under: Packs and bags
MOLLE Sustainment Pouch

Posted on Tuesday 3 June 2008

For review today I have a MOLLE Sustainment Pouch. These are designed to attach to the sides of the Main MOLLE Pack to carry the “sustainment load – MREs”. I imagine they can be used for anything, from carrying clothes to food to bottles of water.

My pouches are made by SDS, and have waterproof coating on the inside. There is a draw-string closure on top, and a flap with buckle for added security. For real-world sizing, I stuffed a Medium/Regular set of BDU pants and shirt, and a Fleece inside. It is about the right fit for the three items; I can probably fit a pair or two of socks inside, if all the clothes are rolled and compressed really tight.

The pouch measures about 12″ tall x 8″ wide x 6″ deep, which makes it around 570 cubic inches in size. Fabric is usual SDS cordura with good stitching and waterproofing. I have yet to be disappointed by SDS quality of materials and craftsmanship. Personally, I have to use for the Sustainment Pouches at this time, they are too big to fit on the sides of my MOLLE Assault Pack, and would add too much space to my regular UTG Web pack. If you are have a MOLLE vest, a couple of these could probably be used instead of a rucksack altogether.  There are four MOLLE attachment straps on the back, so two rows of webbing on the main pack will be used for each attachment point.  Because of the size of these pouches, and the kind of weight they can carry, I would secure the MOLLE straps with either duct tape of a zip-tie near the end.

dmitry @ 10:07 am
Filed under: Packs and bags
MOLLE M-3 Medical Bag

Posted on Thursday 8 May 2008

Another good MOLLE accessory from CheaperThanDirt.com is the Medical Bag. Originally designed for combat medics this bag contains more First Aid and surgery items than the Individual Soldier’s first aid kit. There are several variations of this design: three, four and five compartment models. The bag from CTD has 3 compartments, and it can be used as intended or as a small BOB, or a small stuff bag for day hikes. There are 2 MOLLE attachment straps on the back, so it can be secured to anything with PALS webbing. I am pleasantly surprised to find the inside is vulcanized to make the whole bag waterproof, and overall construction is pretty solid. One thing I do not like about CTD MOLLE gear it is somewhat cheaper quality than current US Army issue stuff. SDS makes a lot of Army packs, and they use YKK zippers, which are a big plus in my book. I imagine that most of the bags and pouches at CTD are imported, and do not have the same quality control as US made products.

This bag measures 11″ wide x 12″ tall x 4″ deep. There is an adjustable and removable shoulder strap, and two MOLLE straps. I do wish there were three or four straps to hold it in place securely. I have attached it to one of my backpacks, and if the pack was dropped or thrown around, the medical bag may come off. There is also a carry handle on top, and a quick-release buckle to keep all the compartments together.

dmitry @ 12:45 pm
Filed under: Packs and bags
MOLLE II Assault Pack

Posted on Monday 21 January 2008

Rating 5 of 5 stars
Design Frameless 3 Day Assault Pack
Size small-med
Number of Pockets 1
Max. Load Carried 25 lbs
Price Paid $65
Pack Weight ~4 lbs
Total size 1650+450 cu inches

This is my second MOLLE Assault pack. The original one is first generation Woodland Camo version. I am using the Woodland pack as my BOB, and the Desert Camo version for 2-3 day summer camping trips. Both are my by SDS (Specialty Defense Systems). There are several differences between the first and second generation packs.

  1. Shoulder straps are different
  2. Gen 2 pack has a waist belt
  3. Gen 2 large pocket has a zipper instead of draw-cord
  4. Gen 2 has an additional small Velcro pocket on the outside of large pocket
  5. Gen 2 has four cinch straps on the sides

Everything else is pretty much the same. Fabric, zippers, buckles and total volume are the same. This pack is constructed from 1000 denier Cordura. The fabric is vulcanized on the inside to make it waterproof. SDS used YKK self-healing zippers, glide easily, and do not break.
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dmitry @ 12:05 am
Filed under: Packs and bags