Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: Australian Army Butt Pack

I've reviewed a lot of modern packs and pouches, almost all of which I use regularly, or plan to in the event of an emergency. Cordura, nylons and all the modern trimmings. However, there is a lot to be said for the packs that were cutting edge or at least fit for purpose in yesteryear. These are the pieces of kit you find in op-shops, and in discount-barrels at Army Surplus and Disposal stores. This is one such piece. The OD Canvas Butt Pack one of several I have, from a variety of sources but here is the one that I use more often. The name comes from the position you wear this on your belt, right at the back, at the small of your back. Silly name, good pouch.

The heavy "government issue" 20 oz canvas pouch comes with a fold-over lid-flap that features a name-tag pocket as well as a carry handle. The lid-flap is secured by two metal fittings through which thick canvas pull-straps feed to give a easily fastened and openable lid. A series of riveted eyelids line one side of the lid, I'm uncertain what this is for, but i threaded a length of paracord through them. You never know. It also serves as an attachment point for other kit.

The back of the pouch features two sewn-in Alice keeper clips, another pair of canvas pull straps, which act as compression straps matching with another set of metal fittings found at the front of the pouch. A set of eyelets can be found at the top of the pouch, on a pair of reinforced canvas toggles. I've used these to fit a shoulder-strap to turn the belt-pouch into a slingable one. Useful if you have several of them, want to pass the contents from one person to another or any other reason to not have it physically attached to yourself, but still hands free. Simple really. The wide canvas belt around the pouch looks like standard 50mm webbing, and has a couple of extra loops for Alice keeper clips, and two extra wide loops for slinging other kit, one on each side of the pouch.

The inside of the pouch is really quite spacious, and I can fit two of the "3L dead people jars" in a pinch, with a little extra room, with measurements of 23cm x 21cm x 15cm (9" x 8.5" x 6") or around 7.5 L (2gal) giving you an idea of the capacity. Nothing to be sneezed at. The inside of the pouch is lined with plastic, making a pretty waterproof container. There aren't any drainage grommets and it doesn't seal shut, but is certainly dunkable and rain resistant. I expect it could act as an improvised bucket as needed. This may not be what you want after falling into a lake though.

One interesting feature is the large turtle-neck sleeve of the plastisised lining, which allows the user to fold and cover over the top of the pouch, before closing and securing the lid, to offer some water resistance. It also acts as a secondary means of securing your load, even when the lid-flap isn't fastened. I previously used this as part of my Stargate lasertag LRP kit as a dump bag, which I replaced with the Platatac gas-mask bag but I still take a couple of these with me, with shoulder slings attached. I also gave one to my step-daughter to use as a bug-out-bag when she expressed an interest, following Season 1 of Walking Dead.

These are great pouches for what they are, tough, dependable, and if you can find one in good condition, that hasn't been trashed by it's previous owner, I expect they will see you through pretty much anything you care to throw yourself into.


  1. I think i have one identical to this some where in my box of stuff. Got it when i did cadet back in the day. Remarkably useful little packs.

  2. Love what you're doing here guys, keep it up!..
    Belt pouch


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