Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: Platatac Nomad Daypack

I've been searching for a replacement for my venerable Crumpler Messenger Bag for some time now. Partly due to it's having taken a considerably soiling over the years, partly due to ergonomics and partly because I've been told I carry too much stuff. So I put the word out that I was looking for a daypack, basically, something I could carry my daily load to and from work. That basically means including my "emergency" EDC load, my lunch, my iPad and my note-folder. My good friend recently showed me his Maxpedition STIKA which is a great pack, but I also put my question to the guys at Platatac, and this is what they had for me: 
This is the Platatac Nomad their answer to my question. Firstly I was surprised that they stocked such a generic and every-man looking pack, but that in fact is part of the point of the Nomad. This is the pack you pack when you -don't- want to look like you are ready for anything. Almost every element of this pack screams "I'm just a backpack" but it is oh so much more. However, that's not to say that there is anything less than I have come to expect from a Platatac product. The shoulder straps are well padded and highly adjustable, both top and bottom. They come with a sternum strap that recesses into pockets  fitted in the outer of the straps when not in use. An adjustable waist strap also stows away in the bottom of the pack when not needed. The entire shoulder strap system is also detachable, and can be stored behind the top flap, under a zipperable compartment. A webbing handle on the side of the pack gives a brief-case like carry option, or the main handle at the top, which is padded and fills the hand nicely. A narrow band of hook-and-loop is unobtrusive but gives me some room for some fun.

The front of the pack offers three pocket options. The grey panel is an elastic pouch, good for water bottles and the like. Next up is a deep zippered pocket, fitted with a keychain retaining hook, and is sizable enough for me to put a book in, even if George R.R. Martin wrote it.The second zipperable pocket is the felt-lined glasses / goggles pocket. This is a great idea, and although I have left my spare specs in a case, I really appreciate the thought that was given to that kind of feature.

This leads us to the two large segments of this pack. I'll start with the "secondary" one. Under the felted glasses pocket, which hangs free, freeing up valuable real-estate on the inner side of the segment, are two mesh pockets. The upper of the two is zippered and the majority of my EDC lives in there. The second mesh pouch is larger,  elasticized, and carries my over-stuffed and soon-to-be-replaced First Aid Kit. This is as good a point as any to mention the construction of this pack. Again it features a 1000d Cordura outer, which is treated to repel rain, and features all taped and sealed inner seems, keeping your gear snug and dry. Both the large compartments feature lips over the zipper, to further shield the contents from water invasion.

The "inside" of the secondary compartment features several pen-pockets (one of which keeps my eating irons) and also a larger pocket for maps, a PDA, or what-have-you. A retention strap crosses the 55cm x 40cm compartment, allowing you to compress and secure bulky jackets and the like. I've used mine to secure my keiko-gi and hakama for kendo as well as spare clothes when I have spent the night away from home. A really clever feature. One thing I've found though, is that if I leave this compartment partially unzipped, the weight of the contents of the mesh pouches can drag the front of the pack open. Something to consider when it comes to packing and humping it places. Again, all of the features are no different to those I'd expect of any other well made backpack.
The main compartment is where the magic happens, however. The entire back panel is made up of PALS/MOLLE webbing, with 7 rows of 8 channels, there is a lot of real-estate for attaching internal pouches. I've installed one of my FUP pouches, for my bottle, and piggie-backed my paracord filled Crumpler Thirsty-Al pouch to that. Below that is my microfiber towel. This whole compartment can be expanded by unzipping an expansion panel giving you a lot more capacity (from 45L to 50L total) , but even then, there is more to this pack. True to their design aims of this pouch, which is to say, covert transport, this pack is designed to accommodate the HK-G36C and Short Barreled M4 Carbine variants, and can still accommodate larger barreled options with its hideaway extender sleeve. This sleeve zips shut on the bottom of the pack, and props the bottom out beaver-tail style to extend the length of the pack from 55 cm to quite the lengthy 75cm. The two attachment straps are included.

 Now, far be it from me to try to demonstrate this capacity in anything other than silly NERF style, as I did whilst demonstrating my 215Gear Sling, so here again is my Nerf Stampede which fits the bill nicely at 74cm long. Combined with the included straps,  I was able to stow my foam-spitter, unloaded, with no troubles whatsoever. Good to know before the next Humans vs Zombies Melbourne event comes along, but it also happens to fit my favourite piece of gardening equipment as well.

I'm very pleased with this pack, it's certainly a considerable upgrade on both utility and presentation on my old messenger bag, I think my only concern is that it is still quite large, and I will be tempted to load more into it, just because I can. Wearing a two-strap bag has already proven itself to help my back, regardless of the weight I haul, so that's a win right there.


  1. This will serve you well when the zombie horde comes aknocking. Do you have apocalypse gear for the corporate/metro look? XD

  2. You certainly do know a lot when it comes to bags. Indeed, this blog post is very informative, and how you wrote your review is very awesome! It’s very vital to have a backpack like this when outdoors. This is durable and very beneficial for it can carry a lot of stuff.
    - Kisha Kitchens


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