Many of us become endeared to the “Day Pack” or “3-Day Bag” we are issued in the military. It can be used for everything from a short trip to the range, to living out of it on a mission for weeks at at time. However, once you turn in the backpack to your supply section, it is difficult to find a replacement that lives up to standard.
I wanted something rugged, but did not scream “I’m an American Veteran” for my travels domestically and abroad. Things with digital camouflage patterns were out of the question. I bought the Maxpedition Falcon ii Backpack, and it has been one of the best purchases of my adult life.
I have carried this pack through 14 different countries over the last four years, most recently while backpacking Russia.
Here are the top three reasons I recommend it:
The Falcon Backpack is small enough to fit as a carry-on item for flight, but has generous pockets for your belongings. The longest I lived out of it was for 21 days while backpacking across Europe – I was able to pack four changes of clothes, and occasionally stopped to do laundry.
It boasts a volume of 1,400 cubic inches, or 23 Liters, and weighs in at about 3 pounds. The Falcon ii came with a 100-ounce water bladder that fits in a sleek, designated pouch.
Out of all my travels with this pack, I have never had any issues with the zippers or clips. I have only had two stitches pop on the carry handle, and that was when I mistakenly was pinched by a very unforgiving metro car door in Moscow. My companion pulled my full weight by the top handle in order to save me from bodily harm. The majority of the strap’s stitching remained in-tact, and was easily repaired even after supporting my weight of 270 pounds.
The straps and buckles on the outside of the pack allow you to attach larger items like a sleeping system or fold-up stool. During hikes, I will often attach a collapsible tripod for my camera; the built-in MOLLE weaving allows you to fasten additional pouches. I also attach a First Aid kit for easy access during outdoor activities.
I can streamline it or bulk it up, depending on what the situation calls for, all this and more without drawing too much attention to myself.
Observing similar styled bags overseas, I looked like just another European hiker; it may be a small observation, but an important one to those of us who want to maintain a low profile. This is in contrast to some other service members I have spotted overseas, thanks to their obviously “tactical” bags.
Founded in 2003, Maxpedition has a reputation in line with its mission statement: “To build high-quality gear based on in-house designs. To provide customers with world-class service and support. To be an ethically and socially responsible global company”
I have taken this bag all over the world, and it has exceeded my expectations.
Maxpedition makes a variety of other packs of different sizes and configurations.
All opinion articles are the opinion of the author and not necessarily of American Military News. If you are interested in submitting gear for review, please email [email protected]