Bush Craft & Wilderness Survival Articles, Gear Reviews & Videos
Maxpedition Falcon II - A Review
by Keith A. Williams
If there was ever a lesson that the USMC burned into my way of thinking, it was that I never again wanted to carry any more on my back than I absolutely had to. I do not consider myself to be an ultra light backpacker or anything of the sort, but with that theory in mind, I have managed to get the amount of "must carry" items down to a much lighter payload.
Although I could have continued to use one of my standard packs, I begin to test one design after another from several different companies. These all had slightly different configurations that stemmed from the same initial concept - to take a hydration bladder and build a pack around it in such a way as to get the most benefit from a smaller overall package.
After four previous acquisitions, I found a model which I feel best suited my needs. It was the Maxpedition Falcon, and I carried it for over a year before upgrading it to their Falcon II model. The main differences were that in the previous model, the opening to access the water bladder was secured by Velcro and this often let little thorns and twigs inside to puncture the bladder. The new model easily accommodates a 100 oz. bladder, and features a fully zippered enclosure which I find to my liking. Also, there are not two side compression straps on each side, instead of one. This is another nice upgrade.
This model is divided into several individual segments.
1. A zippered bladder compartment.
2. Main full length compartment (aprox. 18"x 9"x 4").
3. Secondary full length compartment (aprox. 16"x 8"x 3").
4. Full width 3/4 length outside pouch (aprox. 10"x 7"x 2").5. Small outside pouch (aprox. 4"x 7"x 2").
Other features include comfortable straps, PALS attachment points sewn in convenient locations all along the sides and front of the pack, an internal key keeper inside the outside pouch, protectively coated bottom, attachment straps under the bottom, carry(drag) handle, and removable Y-shaped yoke on the top.
I prefer to keep all of my zippers on the same side, and doing so, never used the bottom-most one on the main compartment. I didn't like for it to go all the way to the bottom because I feared that if the two zippers ever separated, there would be a hole for items to fall out of, so I para-corded it in place. As it turns out, however, I have never seen them actually do that at all. I keep my water container in a holder under the yoke, Infinity light on non-firing shoulder strap for hands free lighting and trail navigation, a machete on the side, and my trusty hammock under the bottom and am hard pressed to imagine a better setup.I have used this pack for two continuous years, and have absolutely no complaints whatsoever with its design or construction. I keep it full of my recreational gear and it has a permanent spot in my truck. If you are looking for a hard use pack, and have a similar view on things, this may be worth checking out.
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Briar Patch Outdoors
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