Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Platatac - MAC Mesh Back Pack

This unusual piece is a now discontinued line from Platatac, something of an experiment of theirs that didn't pan out commercially as well as hoped. I however, think they are a great idea. The concept is that a daypack has been mated with the Medium Armour Carrier back-piece.

You'll remember from recent posts that I got this particular piece of gear as part of a deal along with the Front Opening Panel which I reviewed not too long ago, but this is interchangeable with that as well as the closed front MAC plate carrier that makes up the front of my usual rig.

The ability to chop and change these pieces gives the wearer the ability to have a permanently mounted pack, integral ballistic plating carriage and modularity to connect it to an existing front piece.

As with all Platatac's main-line gear, I chose khaki, to suit my aesthetic, and is made of the same 1000d Cordura material I've come to expect from their gear.

As well as two spacious "most of the way to the bottom" unzipping side-pocket, each with a set of 3 row, 2 column PALS/MOLLE, but also with a large  "1/3 of the way opening" main compartment. Inside the main compartment there is an elasticized internal pocket, up against the back wall, suitable for a hydration bladder, or soft-storage. At the top of the pack there is a vent, cut and covered to prevent the casual ingress of water and dirt, which would allow a hydration tube and/or cables to exit the pack.

The pack also has a beaver-tail flap, which is fitted with multiple cinch straps, two fastex-style clips, one on each side, and a criss-cross of shock-cord running through D-loops to give additional storage. The beaver-tail will fit most ballistic helmets, I read, but for my purposes, it fits my Pro Tec Classic skate helmet just nicely.  For all my brain-bashing adventure needs!

The "inside" of the pack shows off its plate-carrying nature, with a heavy hook-and-loop closing pouch, allowing your vitals to have that much needed protection. Below this, you can see here the belt-pouch, where it is possible to run a waist belt, or the strapping needed to secure the bottom of this piece to the bottom of one of the front components of the MAC family.

The inside of the belt-pocket has another patch of hook-and-loop, to secure any strapping you use to prevent it sliding one way or another. You can also see some additional loops and attachment points. These came in very handy when I rigged this pack for solo-wear, by running two meter-long lengths of webbing from the bottom, up to the fastex-style clips at the shoulders. There are also two sets of wide elastic cable/tube keepers sewn into the shoulders, and additional d-rings for further attachment options.

Underneath the beaver-tail helmet carrier, there is extensive PALS/MOLLE real-estate, with 6 rows of 7 channels, the top one being hook-and-loop loop field, with an additional band of MOLLE-spaced loop-field below that for unit, name or morale patches.

The pack was just big enough to fit my ubiquitous CSI folder and most of my daily needs. I also fitted my bottle-carrying FUP pouch, and my half-med pouch, as well as some other needfuls, as you can see here.

All in all this is a very interesting hybrid. I would have made some further adjustments and recommendations if Platatac were looking to continue the lin, namely to the placement of some of the loops and attachment options, but all in all, it was a worthy investment. Now i can kit out another member of my household, and put a pack on them that cant be lost or forgotten!

Good thinking, and staying prepared!


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