Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wish Lust: Platatac - BF pack

Early last year I popped into Platatac HQ in Hallam and shot the breeze with BDC himself. He took me through the warehouse, and the factory, where all their in-house kit is constructed.

One of the things he showed me was the then as-yet unreleased BF Pack,
and I was pretty impressed. I then saw them again having been given prominent display at the SSAA SHOT Show this year, and whilst I haven;t managed to pick one up myself, I wanted to get a bit of a Wish-Lust review out there for you all, as they look like a really innovative pack.

The BF pack is designed as a short patrol pack, with key features to cover a variety of soldiering needs.
It would provides every soldier with a personal TACEVAC litter, SSE bag and room to enhance mission capability as needed, according to Platatac.
The main feature that sets this pack apart form anything I've seen previously is a lightweight TACEVAC litter, capable of carrying a soldier and his equipment, out of harms way for further treatment, built right into the pack.

Pic swiped from Platatac
The pack itself is comparable to that of other short patrol packs like the Propper UC pack I recently covered , measuring 46cm (18") x 27cm (10") x 9cm (3.5") internally but encompassing an expanding  SSE pocket allowing quick stowage of documents or extra equipment to further your load capacity. This is stored away behind zippered flaps, and cinching compression straps and topped with a hook-and-loop cover flap to keep it secure.
Pic swiped from Platatac
When those straps are unhooked, I wonder how well the fabric of the SSE pocket holds up against the load of the front of the pack, but with it, I've no doubts.

An ADDITIONAL kangaroo pouch beneath the external cover flap will take a triple shingle or insert for extra mags/medic supplies or other similarly sized kit for even more sustainment in the field.

Clever design also adds a pocket for hydration bladders to be stored behind the cord-locked SSE pocket.

Pic swiped from Platatac
The pack also features a small 3 row, 5 channel PALS-MOLLE covered external admin pouch with a two internal mesh pocket allows you to store and have easy access to essential documents, gadgets, spare batteries, cyalume or whatever kit you need to have on-hand when out and about. There is no shortage of storage in this pack, and that's even before you look at the main compartment.
Pic swiped from Platatac
Internally the main compartment is fitted with full PALS-MOLLE webbing, all of which is also loop-field for taking either permanently attached pouches, or "tear-away" ones. the "back" is fitted with 7 rows of 6 channels, and the front lip has 8 rows of 6 channels. The whole thing clam-shells for ease of access to everything stored.

I must say I really prefer this over the all-loop/no MOLLE lining of the Propper UC pack, as most of my internal carriage would be permanent pouches. There are three zippered off internal pockets, one on the back, and two on the front the back one being big enough to take a 3L hydration bladder. Two ports give hydration tube / antenna access points.

Another cool feature is the wire fed Quick Release System (QRS) built right in. Feeding the included wire through the built in loops, and the back of a plate-carrier, or a larger pack, you have the option to with a yank of the top handle, release the back and have full access to its features. 

This makes utilizing the built in and lightweight TACEVAC litter, which is designed to be capable of carrying a soldier and his kit,out of danger. I checked, and Platatac don't recommend using it as a hammock, it's not designed for that. The two sides of the litter stow away into hook-and-loop closed inset pockets, and are accessed by simply pulling away at the tabs. The pack straps can even be stowed away in the top pocket when the QRS is employed.

All in all, from the twin side carry handles, to the use of the same quality materials and hardware I've come to expect from Platatac to the level of detail given to not only carry capacity, but also clever storage options for all the loads, the BF pack would be a good step up from my old favorite the Bulloch Echo even before the addition of the litter feature.

I really hope this kind of system makes it's way into regular use, I can only imagine the benefits to those putting themselves in harms way to have a fast and effective way to deploy a TACEVAC system like this.

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