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The Worst Kept Secret In Budget Assault/Day Packs Review/Overview

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Brushpopper Brushpopper 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #46032
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    For folks looking for a pack to fill their day/assault pack needs who want a high quality pack without the $2-300 price tag- Here ya go:

    http://www.awsin.com/proddetail.asp?prod=50657

    Better pics in this review on LF (not mine);

    http://www.lightfighter.net/topic/review-aws-inc-assault-pack-aka-yote

    As you can see, it can fit everything you want for day pack (and then some) or can be cinched down via the side compression straps.
    If you want less space, more like a “bladder carrier-Plus, the beaver tail completely unzips.

    I personally own one of these, and will be getting another if/when cash allows. If you were at the Sept. 2015 Land Nav, or innagural CQB, you’ve seen me with it.
    It works well. Very well. If Diz was still around he could fill in on the technical info, but I know he had one and liked it.
    At the Land Nav class I purposely stuffed it to the gills with a variety of equipment to test it (that was the first time I T&E’d it) coming in at 18 pounds. It could handle 20 just fine without any more discomfort than you would expect from a small pack at that weight. More than that and you just plain will need a bigger pack because you’ll be out of space…

    Frankly, if Max wasn’t planning his own line of gear to include a pack, I’d vote to make this the official MVT Day Pack. ;-)

    My own pros/cons:
    The shoulder straps could be slightly better-the contour is pretty good when wearing both standalone or with armor (no where near as obnoxiously angled under your arms as other straps can get) but they can be a little stiff. However you could replace them with literally any other pack straps that attach via 1” webbing (like the First Spear ECP straps) if it really bugged you that much.
    The sternum strap is actually very well done- good combo of stiffness and flexibility, and the height adjustment on the straps is decent as well.

    The small zip pockets on the upper exterior of the beavertail panel, as well as the pack body are annoyingly small- best you can hope for is a pair of light MEchanix gloves. Then again for batteries or some bug spray or whatever… it’s not that bad.

    The top drag strap is to small to really be effective for picking the pack up- it’s more a 2-finger loop, and the lack of an add-on 3D mesh back panel (like the Tyr Tactical assault packs have) can be annoying when hot. Also, I will probably never carry enough Tactical Rave Accessories to make use of all the webbing loops on the beavertail panel, and I wish they had just put a 3×3 MOLLE area at the top instead of the little zipper pocket…

    However, given the price, those are such minor annoyances I don’t even care (and I don’t think anyone here would either) because of how much good stuff this pack does;

    If for some ungodly reason you hate beavertails, it’s completely removable (unlike some of the more expensive Beavertail packs out there). However, if you’ve never owned a beavertail pack… I’m guessing once you try it you won’t go back. You can use it for more than just a helmet…
    The back of the main pack body is full-length MOLLE in case you want to use that instead of the beavertail.

    The main body of the pack is well sized- it’s not pathetically undersized like some other packs in this genre, as if AWS actually grasped the concept that in order for it to be useful as a multi-role assault pack there needed to be an appropriate amount of actual packable space left over in the main body of the pack *after* a full bladder was inserted. Imagine that… ;-)
    As a result, as you can see from the picture in the linked review, you can fit a LOT more in the thing than you’d think (you could put that ammo can in the main pack with a bladder…)
    However, if you want less space, thanks to the 6 cinch straps (2 top, 2 side, 2 bottom), it’s also perfectly usable as just a “bladder-plus” type pack.

    Put simply, there’s enough room here to carry enough for a day (or day+) and still have a little space left over if needed for enemy loot or something, while keeping the pack in the size range talked about here in recent loadout articles,

    The interior also has a (removable) plastic frame sheet, which surprisingly does a decent job keeping it fairly stable, and a decent job of stopping the bladder from bulging out the back of the pack so you don’t get that “rolling” instability across your back or PC.

    The final thing they did right with this pack that really sets it apart from others in the genre is the side molle panels. As you can see there are no lame-ass sewn-on off-size pockets to contend with, but instead a very useful 3×4 MOLLE space. Do I really need to go into detail why this is such a great thing? No? Ok.

    A great accessory for one side, if you want to make up for the lack of “small item” storage elsewhere in the pack is the Tyr Tactical MSS Sniper Upright pouch. Fits the pack like it was made to be sewn on, and a very useful organized GP pouch a well…

    http://www.tyrtactical.com/products/details/general-purpose/sniper-gp-pouch/

    Needless to say this MOLLE space also gives you the option of carrying more than 2 rifle mags on the exterior (or other ammo/ordnance types) *IF* so desired…

    Another thing with the side panels that you cannot see in the pictures is the close-bottomed slot pocket behind the MOLLE area. Excellent for sticking a spare TQ, large knife, or even hatchet/tomahawk handle for carry on the side of the pack.

    So anyway… considering there seems to be a lot of people looking for an assault pack here… I just wanted to share something of more than average usefulness within pretty much everyone’s budget.

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #46033
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    One caveat- the AWS site is from the stone age, do not order with your personal credit cards. It has been known to retain personal info in the fields resulting in fraudulent charges.
    Create a dummy order to get a total price + shipping and then use a pre-loaded gift-credit card, or call direct.

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #46034
    Profile photo of Darkrivers
    Darkrivers
    Participant

    I just got one of these to replace a hill people tarahumara. I think these are a great value. The beaver tail is just right for an Ops-core helmet. They can also be found on ebay occasionally.

    If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from Texas

    #46040
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Why are these so good? Looks like poop to me.

    :scratch:

    #46042
    Profile photo of Brushpopper
    Brushpopper
    Participant

    I found a 30L Karrimor, brand new with tags, in multicam, on Ebay for $80.

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    ~ Little - South Texas

    #46059
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    Why are these so good? Looks like poop to me.

    :scratch:

    Well, I’d like a little more clarification on “looks like poop”, unless you’re referring to the brown color? :unsure:
    But I can assure you these are of a far higher quality than anything UR-Tactical is selling…. ;-)

    I would put AWS on par with Tactical Tailor/Grey Ghost- maybe not quite Mayflower/First Spear perfection, but pretty good nonetheless.

    As far as why these are good, well, I suppose there’s some personal preference at play for each individual, but the main reason is versatility, and in the AWS version of the beavertail style assault pack, it has a few more configuration options than some of the other packs out there of the same style.
    What that translates into is the reason I posted this up- there seems to be a lot of folk here who want a small assault pack, but don’t really know what they’re looking for. This is a pack that, IMHO, could be configured to fit just about anything many here seem to want at a price point most can afford.

    @brushpopper
    Which is a great deal, but this isn’t a 30L pack…
    I was afraid it would be taken that this is a large[er] pack, given the overloaded pictures in most reviews, including the one I linked to up top . It is not- with the beavertail removed, the main body would have the approx. volume of a Mayflower 24hr pack (give or take).

    Here’s a great overview video that may help explain things better than words:

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #46066
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Clearly I am going to catch flak for the ur-tactical, which I caught too late made in china US materials. I have it now, it can’t be criticised for quality, only for place of manufacture.

    The point is that a 15-liter-ish pack, like the Ur-tactical or the mayflower 24 hour etc is what you want, for this purpose. It is a liye hydration pack. This AWS looks like poop to me for the ergonomics / design. If you wnat something bigger, then the karrimor 30 is the next step up. Made in UK….;-)

    As for having a spot for a helmet, tjat is a separste deal. If it is for night vision, you can wear a crye nightcap. If you are taking a helmet, wear it if it is ballistic. Or put it under the flap of the 30Liter, or bungee to the back of a 24 hour 15 liter pack.

    #46068
    Profile photo of Darkrivers
    Darkrivers
    Participant

    The aws pack is the same size as the mayflower 24 hour pack.

    If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from Texas

    #46072
    Profile photo of Chris
    Chris
    Participant

    Another good daypack is the Voodoo Tactical SRTP Short Range Tactical Pack in coyote. It fits with Max’s gear recommendations for a ‘Patrol Pack’ and is well made. They are affordable, around $100, and have exterior MOLLE straps for additional gear attachments. I have two and recommend them, especially in hot weather environments… you can find them on Amazon…

    Now that I'm over 50 I realize that my People Skills are fine...it is my tolerance of Idiots that needs work.

    #46074
    Profile photo of Max Velocity
    Max
    Keymaster

    Problem is, we can keep throwing out suggestions. I personally do not like the design of the AWS. The Voodoo pack just suggested is 28 liters, so in the range of the Karrimor 30, which fits in as a Lite Patrol Pack.

    Problem is, plenty of room for more stuff. MOllE, ‘badger tails’ or whatever that is etc. That is fine if you are looking for a lite patrol pack. I have the karrimor for that purpose.

    But the concept is for a lite hydration pack. A water bladder and no more than 15 liters of storage. These are found being called a 24 hour pack. It is actually a more appopriate size for an assault pack, because you are not doing any assaulting with 30 liters hanging off your back.

    I feel this is becoming kit fest, and missing the bones of the concept, which is what I am trying to get across. I will be either using my Camelbak Mule, or my Ur-tactical pack, as a lite hydration pack / assault pack. If I do the research and get Patriotic, I may replace the ur-tactical with something similar like a Mayflower 24 hour pack.

    There are additional problems with adding a helmet to this load that are tangental. Either wear it, or use a nightcap if you just have it for night vision. There is no need for a beaver’s ass or whatever it is called.

    I think my woes here are related to the woes First Sergeant faces when he talks about suitable combat rifles. It seems to often result in nothing more than a list of alternatives, accurate or just what someone heard, and misses the point of what is being said.

    Gear. Fuck.

    #46075
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Clearly I am going to catch flak for the ur-tactical, which I caught too late made in china US materials. I have it now, it can’t be criticised for quality, only for place of manufacture.

    Anyone that does should let us inventory their stuff at home, it’s impossible to only buy US made products.

    My Badlands Ultra Day “Lite Patrol Pack” is made in Vietnam.

    Does this somehow make me less of a man?

    Don’t hear anyone bitching about Wolf Gold .223 manufactured in Taiwan or any number of other reasonable priced foreign ammo.

    #46078
    Profile photo of Darkrivers
    Darkrivers
    Participant

    Amazing how worked up everybody gets over gear and gets away from the point of using what works for you and what is doctrinally sound. Ie carrying less weight so you can stay mobile. I like to buy american when I can, but if something is quality and good value I could care less if it comes from overseas. Definitely get the point about the helmet and just bought a night cap, but if I like beaver asses that’s my god given right. :yahoo:

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    If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from Texas

    #46081
    Profile photo of WTL
    veritas556
    Participant

    I’ve been using a Haley Strategic Flat Pack for some time – 10L or so. I might do a video on it this weekend. For Max: what do you see as must-haves for going inside such a pack other than 1L min. of water? I think that may help guide folks to the right gear solution.

    #46104
    Profile photo of Ivarr Bergmann
    Ivarr Bergmann
    Participant

    If you havnt used a ruck for at least a year, you have no business suggesting or recommending it to anyone for any reason, price included.. I dont mean owned it for a year, i mean used it at least once a week under every possible reason you’d need to use it..

    Ivarr

    #46113
    Profile photo of WTL
    veritas556
    Participant

    Max: NM – just saw your earlier post on gear systems.

    #46117
    Profile photo of JustARandomGuy
    JustARandomGuy
    Participant

    facepalm

    Well, this seems to have made a nice hairpin turn from what was intended.
    Just go back up, read my response to Brushpopper and watch the video.
    I honestly don’t understand how this is being confused with a 30L or other sized pack…

    After that, if it works for you, great.
    If not, also great.
    I’m not telling anyone what to use, just making a recommendation, same as a previous pack thread here…

    "Time come Kimosabe, when good men must wear masks."
    ~Tanto

    #46122
    Profile photo of Darkrivers
    Darkrivers
    Participant

    :good:

    If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from Texas

    #46159
    Profile photo of Brushpopper
    Brushpopper
    Participant

    @justarandomguy
    I see now, it definitely looked bigger in the initial photo.

    ~ Little - South Texas

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