Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review: First Strike - Snatch Bag-ii

A running joke at our place is whenever I come home with a new piece of kit, i get asked "its not another BAG is it???" This isn't a bad thing, I get a lot of support about both my prepper leanings and my avid collecting of gear (hi all my peers at GHA). It is however a fairly regular occurrence that I will start waving a new piece around and get the grins and eye-rolls as I say "but this one is DIFFERENT..."

Having had a look at a couple of other items by Oscar Delta Special Products, namely their Deep Carry Tube and SERE V-cutter SnakeDr sent me one of their new Type II First Strike "Snatch Bag" bags, which I've been looking forwards to putting to good use.

I've been thinking about going for beach-runs and bushwalks with pretty minimalist gear (I know, this has usually meant a 10kg daypack of "needfuls" in the past) but a recyclable shopping-bag just doesn't lend itself to an active lifestyle. This is where a bag like the Snatch Bag come in.

Here it is folded up, small enough to fit in a Platatac FUP pouch for storage.

When unfolded, the 36cm (14") by 50cm (20") bag is really very spacious. Made from official Crye Precision LLC, MultiCam® in 500D Cordura material. It has also been given a waterproofing treatment to adds to its already a rugged and resilient construction. The internal seams are taped and triple stitched giving an extremely stable and strong bag for its weight.

The shoulder straps are really good, and multifunctional. Two 2.10m (7') strands of OscarDelta's very fancy SERE Go-Cord 960 (Hybrid Technora), also in Multicam. Even the stitched webbing shoulder straps are Multicam, for all over colour and pattern matching. Great attention to detail..

The nylon eyelets give a very strong, silent and stable feed for the straps to run through, without putting extra bulk, or unduly straining the corners of the pack, as a sewn-in strap might.

No hook-and-loop, no clinking metal. This is a lean, mean storage unit!
Internally, a rip-stop nylon divider panel gives you two separate compartments, without adding extra bulk,and you can see there are three green internal loops, (two in the edge seams, and a bigger on at the back of the lip. Loops like this give you attachment points for dummy-cord, karabiners or Grimlock clips, as well as a means to hang the pack as the need arises.

Here you can see a closeup of the heat sealed GO-Cord, along with the eyelet and the  ITW  Nexus twin-hole spring-locks which are a really simple, and unusual cord management system. I liked its elegance, and of course, it's metal-free.

The draw string closure of the bag is strong and dependable, having twin cords forming this really helps, and there is a feeling of dependability to it. The drawstring stitching is snug and held tight throughout some vigorous tugging and rough handling, even whilst loaded up.

Here is the load seen in the bag above, a "going for a beach-run for a few hours" pack. Perhaps too much stuff, but I'm notorious for that.

My CAOS admin pack, by Nulu Nylon Gear, Zombie Squad 1L Nalgene, a take-away container of food, my running shorts and shirt, and a Sea-To-Summit microfiber towel.

This probably doesn't represent a well-thought out "bug-out-bag" loadout, but it does represent one of the key elements of "snatch-bag philosophy". This is what I had on hand when I pulled out the bag to take photos, and needed to fill it up -right now-, in a "this, this, this, this and that" fashion. No messing around with intricate pouches and MOLLE pouches, just grab and move.

This bag does exactly what it is designed to, it is simple, stowable, deployable and comfortable to load up and get out there with. The over all construction is tremendous (although I did notice the shoulder-strap webbing edges were unfinished, perhaps this was done on purpose to add to friction, or maybe I was just lucky enough to get a rough-and-ready per-production model (I love those!).

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