Monday, April 22, 2013

Review: Zombie Outbreak - Trekker pack

Here is the second of the Zombie Outbreak packs that I was sent by Global Gear, a follow up of the Hydro-Bugout pack  I reviewed a little while ago.

This time it is a slightly larger and feature rich pack, the Trekker.

The first thing that struck me about this pack was the range of attachment points, it is simply covered in PALS/MOLLE loops, loop-fields, shock-cord loops, and that is before you even get to the compartments.

Made of the same cordura-like fabric as the Hydro-Bugout, one of the things that I noted with this pack was the significantly better stitching and finishing. The MOLLE loops were even and cleanly spaced, the loop fields were heat-sealed and the webbing was all seated much better.

I gave this one a bit of a workout at a recent indoor lazer-tag event, where i loaded it up with my gear, change of clothes, bottle and the like.

This 30L, 33cm  13"(W) x 53cm (21") x 13cm (5") pack is backed with a breathable mesh and features contoured shoulder straps with both D-rings and webbing loops for attaching accessories. The adjustable pectoral strap will slide up and down a fair way to give you a comfortable carry, and the webbing all mounts to the pack by secure looking construction. 

I liked that the drag-strap poked through the opening of the front flap, and was mounted to the back, rather than the top of the pack, it gave me better balance when picking the pack up, I felt.

The front of the pack features a very large flap, that covers over 1/2 of the front, and has a number of pocket (i'll talk about those a bit later. The whole thing covers the front of the pack, except for the interesting cut-up where the drag strap pokes out, and presumably where you could get grab-access to the internals of the pack without exposing it all, or run hydration tubes or comms lines.

From the side you can clearly see the five rows of two channel PALS/MOLLE webbing, along with the dual fastex-style buckles making up twin compression straps on the sides, allowing you to really cinch up the pack to keep it tidy.

You can also see just how far that front panel will extend, this being an unburdened and only lightly stuffed demo, if needed, that front panel could be buckled down way to the bottom of the front, giving you serious compression and packing minimalism.

I had a problem with the ends of the compression webbing coming loose and falling out of the buckles, mostly I assume because they weren't under tension, but also because of the way they were finished (a diagonal heat-cut, rather than a hemmed tab, but this was a minor inconvenience, as I didn't use them much.

The front panel features a pocket right on top,
with a "back-opening" zipper closure, and is itself topped with both a 2 row, 4 channel PALS/MOLLE field, but also a sizable loop-field for affixing patches (as I've done here with one of my TAD patches.

Below that, a zippered pocket opens up to fill the bottom of the flap. On top of that however, is an interesting addition. A shock-corded set of webbing-loops, over the top of another loop-field, and all of this is over a tube-like opening that runs horizontally below the middle set of loop-filed seen here under my "Zombie-Hunter" patch.

The whole front panel is closed and locked down by the really large buckle, which feeds through the front loops of the bottom of the pack.
Under that front flap there is another set of two-row, four channel PALS/MOLLE webbing, this time all loop-field equipped, below which are two more pockets opening up into separate compartments at the bottom of the pack.

The male section of the main front closing buckle is seen here, and this has webbing that feeds through yet another set of loop-field PALS/MOLLE straps, although these are broken up by the extra-wide buckle-strap, giving two sets of three by two loops.

The two main compartments open up beyond these.

The "front" compartment is the bigger of the two, with a full width, top to bottom space. It opens via double ended zippers, and will open all the way to the bottom when needed.You can see here the shiny backing of the fabric used throughout this pack. I don't now what it is, but it feels like some kind of thread-impregnated vinyl.

The internal materials (such as that seen in the large panel-pocket here) has a lightweight tent-feel to it.

The "back" compartment features a padded and hook-and-loop tabbed laptop compartment / hydration pouch/ plate carrier pouch.

This whole compartment only opens 3/4 of the way, ensuring that you don't spill all your needfuls, or that it is not dragged open by the weight of the forward compartment and pockets.

The twin sets of compression straps also act in your favor here, holding the pack open, whilst still giving you access, even when bulky items may hinder zipping it up.

All in all this is a decent pack. I liked the various options for mounting accessories, and the range of pockets throughout the outside, to stow smaller items, without having to open up the main compartments. The large over-flap was an interesting addition, and could almost certainly work like a beaver-tail to stow larger items.

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