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1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« on: February 15, 2015, 11:53:40 AM »

So I recently returned to CAP after a long break. My Squadron has started GTM3 training, so I'm piecing my ES gear back together. For my 24 hour gear, I picked up the Orange Molle Vest from dutyapparel.com and now I'm in search of my 72 hour pack.

Originally, my 72 hour pack was a large ALICE, which was given to me as a Cadet by a Senior who wasn't using it. When I left CAP, I donated my packs back so another Cadet could make use of them. Now I'm on the hunt for a new pack, maybe a little smaller than a large ALICE.

I've looked at a lot of civilian packs, but most in my price range were nothing more than a large single compartment on a frame. I've always liked tactical packs for their multiple compartments, and ability to add Molle pouches and accessories to expand their capability. I would like to find one in a higher vis color, like orange or red, but there are limited options available, and unfortunately none local.

Most I've seen on the internet are from Fox Outdoors. My local surplus store carries Fox, but none of the models that are available in red or orange. They can order them for me, but only if I pay first (almost double what Amazon charges) and if I don't like it, there's a 15% restocking fee. I can order from Amazon and ship the pack back if I don't like it, but I'd rather not order a pack if someone on here has used it and found it to be junk.

Does anyone have any experience with any of the Fox packs that are available in hi-vis colors (Medium Transport, Tactical Duty Pack or Advanced 3 day Combat Pack)? What are your thoughts? Durability? Comfort? Big enough for a 72 hour load.

Does anyone have any experience with another pack other than Fox that's available in orange or red that might work?

I would love to find one locally and try it out, but that doesn't seem to be an option in this area unfortunately, so any insight would be greatly appreciated!
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
Storm Chaser
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,680

« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 03:41:46 PM »

GroundHawg has some nice orange packs available. Click on the headers of the quotes below to take you to his posts, which have some pictures of the packs he sells.

I sell these packs and many different orange molle pouches at my gun store. I offered local squadrons to purchase them, or any other CAP related items at cost.... Not one taker yet. The hunters, local fire department, and SAR teams love them though.

The second pack is available in 3 sizes, (25,45,75 liters) and there is more to come. I have some of the accessory pouches now, and they are awesome.

Available now for $49 shipped
"Key features include: One large main compartment, One outside pocket with inside mesh accessory pockets, Hydration pocket with Velcro® closure and carrying handle; complete with 2.5 liter bladder, modular attachment points on front face, Expandable design and stay-coolmesh backing, Fully adjustable shoulder straps, Heavy duty zippers and hardware, Fully expandable.
Size: 17" x 8" x 5"
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1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 03:45:05 PM »

I noticed his posts on the orange molle thread. Some of them look like the Fox packs, I wonder if anyone has purchased one and used it in the field? I will message him and see if he has any recommendations, or maybe he's personally used them.
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
sarmed1
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 932

« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 03:50:11 PM »

I have a fox tatical pack that I haul my everday junk around in for work.  I am not impressed.  The zipper pulls on the main compartment fell apart after the first week or so (I replaced them all with 550 cord).  The fastex buckle on the rightside backpack strap wont stay connected under a single shoulder load with a moderate amount of weight in the bag.  The main compartment zipper has a tendency to come undone with a moderate amount of weight in the bag if I dont tension it all down with the internal staps.

But it was cheap, so I guess you get what you pay for.  I would look at other options

MK
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Mark Kleibscheidel
TSgt USAFR
1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 03:57:59 PM »

Unfortunately for hi-vis they seem to be the only ones. I may have to just get a regular OD or camo pack to get quality, but it would be great if someone had a decent quality pack that was also a hi-vis color
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
winterg
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 746
Unit: SER-FL-182

« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2015, 04:32:37 PM »

Sadly, honest politicians are easier to find than orange MOLLE gear.  I fond this one and am considering it.  It is the exact one I use now in hi vis orange.

http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Outdoor-Medium-Transport-Safety/dp/B00AC7RMV6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1424032222&sr=8-3&keywords=orange+molle+pack

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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,253

« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2015, 04:48:50 PM »

For 72 hour gear, there's really no requirement if be a "pack".  CAP doesn't do "hike-in/hike-out multi-day SAR" the 72-hour gear
is base gear and can be in a duffle or similar.  Mine's in a parachute bag, assuming it isn't in a flight container in the truck (which
doubles as a desk, etc.)

Otherwise, you can look to the cycling community for a number of hi-vis options in backpacks that would work, or just get the
pack you want and cover it with something like this:

http://www.reidcycles.com.au/monkeysee-hi-vis-back-pack-cover-high-viz-fluro.html

Or you could just get a high-vix duffle:
 
http://www.tsasafety.com/safetybags.html

Thinking back to the CAP GT and GBD missions I've participated in, a wheeled bag or hard-sided case
is a lot more useful then a big ruck.
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1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2015, 05:01:44 PM »

winterg, is the Medium Transport large enough for 72 hour gear? I saw a Rothco version up close and it looked a bit small.

Eclipse, I thought about a pack cover, I used to use one with my large alice, although not for visibility. I know there aren't ever missions requiring hiking to mission base, but I've done several training missions that did. I have a duffle that would work, but the straps aren't comfortable enough for more than a brief walk.
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
winterg
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 746
Unit: SER-FL-182

« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2015, 05:04:46 PM »

Sorry.  Meant to clarify.  Only large ones I have seen are the ones you mentioned.  The one I listed is to replace my 24 hour pack.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,253

« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2015, 05:05:29 PM »

I used to have an ALICE and had a camo cover for it - they are real handy because they keep things from snagging
on it, whether in the woods or in the pile of all the other gear.
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1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2015, 05:07:50 PM »

Yeah I had the camo tire cover for my ALICE too. Back then I wasn't smart and had all sorts of useless gear strapped to the outside of my pack, so the cover helped to hold onto the stuff that fell off! Only problem with it was that it wasn't really waterproof, and would weigh down the pack when it got soaked.
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
1st Lt Thompson
Seasoned Member

Posts: 355
Unit: GLR-MI-063

« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2015, 01:13:50 PM »

Just wanted to mention, I got in touch with GroundHawg and was able to order the Fox Tactical Duty Pack and a few Molle pouches in Orange.  Pack arrived over the weekend, and while I haven't had a chance to pack my gear into it yet, it looks like it will do nicely.

I'll post a few pics of my setup when I get it all done.

GroundHawg was awesome to work with, his prices were a lot lower than Amazon (cheapest online retailer) and he shipped very fast! After I get my gear set up I'll be showing it off at the Squadron to see if anyone else would like to order from him! It was also really nice that he let me know which packs he had personally field tested at CAP activities, so I know I got a piece of gear that will work out well for me!
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1st Lt Matt Thompson
Squadron Leadership Officer, Squadron Historian
UDF, GTM3, MSA, MS

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)
TexasBEAST
Member

Posts: 64
Unit: Alpha SAR

« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 04:03:09 PM »

Last year, the best orange tactical patrol pack that I could find was the <Fox Tactical: Tactical Duty Pack> (like GroundHawg's). FT had some smaller ones (like their Medium Transport Pack), but I've read a lot from combat troops griping that their issued tactical packs are never big enough for all the gear they have to carry, so I definitely wanted to stay away from FT's smaller packs. Therefore, Tactical Duty Pack it was, for me, at 19 x 12 x 12 inches, or 2700 ci.


I used it for a NASAR FUNSAR course in the spring and SARTECH II Evaluation in the late summer in Texas, with pleasant weather (no cold weather snivel gear), and it was just OK size-wise.

But if you operate in colder weather at all, then I would say to find something bigger.

I also used it for a NASAR ADSAR course and SARTECH I Evaluation in the fall, and it was straining at the seams. I managed to just barely fit everything into it and its pockets, but it would not be practical for regular use like that. It's no fun digging everything out to get one item, then having to repack everything back in, every single time you need something.

I have a short torso with long legs, and the hip belt rides way too high even for my hips. This means that, like all too many tactical packs, the hip belt doesn't do much good. It doesn't really transfer much of the weight down to your hips. Too much of the weight rides up on your shoulders. Not good. The 19-inch height might work for smaller-framed people, but it's probably too short for most folks.

I added some FT orange MOLLE SAW pouches to the sides, for my first aid and survival gear. FT screwed the pooch with the arrangement of the side PALS webbing on the TDP, as it is 90 degrees off from what it should be. So I had to buy some black 45-degree-rotation MOLLE panels, and mount the pouches to those. (45 degrees works better as an offset, because that helps keep the contents from spilling out of the pouches whether I have the pack vertical on my back or horizontal on a table.)

I added some orange straps and Fastex buckles on the outside bottom for an orange tarp and tripod stool. That was one glaring omission on FT's part. (But I don't think I did it right, because the straps are an awful pain to actually use. Back to the drawing board.)

I found that whenever I logically/intuitively had the zipper pulls at the top center, the main compartment dual zippers had a way of spontaneously opening while on the move. The only thing that kept the pack intact, then, was the combination of four buckled straps on either side. But when I moved both zipper pulls to either the left or right side, that solved the problem, and the zipper pulls stayed shut. (Apparently there is a lot of stress at the top of the zippers when the pack is fully loaded and mounted on your back, and that stress causes the zipper pulls to separate, but moving them to the side takes them away from the major stress area.)

I super-glued the plastic tabs together on the ends of all the zipper pulls, just to be safe. Didn't want them opening up on me and getting lost in the field. (It's hard as hell to see little stuff {even when it's orange} during the SARTECH I night nav test!)

FT claims the pack is made of "tactical polyester", but that is no substitute for Cordura nylon. I don't see this material lasting 20/30/50 years like GI web gear. Texas thorny bushes already cut a small snag in my TDP. Easily enough repaired with some orange thread, but still.

The ideal setup would be the way ground combat troops do it: with a tac vest containing all of your frequently-needed gear in pockets on the front and sides, and your bulky less-needed stuff in a good-sized tac pack on your back.

With a decent orange tac vest, the FT TDP might actually be a good size. I don't think it's big enough when it has to contain seldom-use AND frequent-use stuff, though. Not to mention, it's a pain to have to take it off to dig around for stuff on a regular basis.

FT's next step up appears to be their <Rio Grande (45 L)>, at 25 x 13 x 12 inches. But it has fewer pockets to organize stuff. It's one big compartment, with some side pouches (ALICE pack style).


And then there's their <Advanced 3-Day Combat Pack>, at 22 x 16 x 12 inches. (Never mind the "3-day" verbage; it's still just a tactical patrol pack for going out on sorties.) Sadly, it doesn't come in orange.


Vest-wise, I am more impressed by the ANSI Class II-compliant Duty Apparel orange gear. I would rather go with Cordura Nylon, true safety orange and reflective than FT's standard orange and no reflective.

But I still haven't found an ANSI Class II patrol pack. For now, FT's bigger packs mentioned above (maybe with some reflective tape added) appear to still be the best bet.

--TB
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--TB
NIN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,985
Unit: of issue

« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 04:21:18 PM »

Now wait just one second.. You can't go all dropping off the planet for years and then come back like this.

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2018 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
TexasBEAST
Member

Posts: 64
Unit: Alpha SAR

« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2015, 05:10:58 PM »

Oh, hey NIN.

Hi, everybody. My name is BEAST. And I'm an orange-aholic.

Where's the best place to reintroduce mahself?
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--TB
NIN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,985
Unit: of issue

« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2015, 05:12:45 PM »

Where's the best place to reintroduce mahself?

http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=135.0
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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2018 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
GroundHawg
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 603

« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2015, 08:38:38 AM »

Just wanted to mention, I got in touch with GroundHawg and was able to order the Fox Tactical Duty Pack and a few Molle pouches in Orange.  Pack arrived over the weekend, and while I haven't had a chance to pack my gear into it yet, it looks like it will do nicely.

I'll post a few pics of my setup when I get it all done.

GroundHawg was awesome to work with, his prices were a lot lower than Amazon (cheapest online retailer) and he shipped very fast! After I get my gear set up I'll be showing it off at the Squadron to see if anyone else would like to order from him! It was also really nice that he let me know which packs he had personally field tested at CAP activities, so I know I got a piece of gear that will work out well for me!

I like posts that tell people of my awesomeness, Im ever so humble as well  :D Im glad you are happy with your gear and I will continue to badger people to make more gear options in orange. One day there will be a blaze orange battle/molle belt, suspenders, and butt pack in mass production.
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Storm Chaser
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,680

« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2015, 10:06:29 AM »

Do you have a website?
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GroundHawg
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 603

« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2015, 09:59:25 PM »

Do you have a website?

I do, but do not have my gear selection available on the site yet (still only firearms). I can give you a listing of my wholesalers websites and you can pick the gear you need then I can quote you a price. Its slow, but buying at wholesale cost with zero markup makes up for it.
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resq1192
Recruit

Posts: 22
Unit: NER-RI-001

« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2015, 01:27:30 PM »

I have 2 pack makers I can recommend whose products I use for SAR:

1)  www.thepackshack.com - they have great line packs to include modular setups and orange is one of their most requested colors.  Their packs are also used by wildland fire crews, so they'll take a beating.  I've used their modular web gear (v1, they're on v2 now) with a top-load main body and hydration sleeve for @17 years.

2) www.gear911.com/product.php?productid=16141&cat=250&page=1 I acquired this pack (in red) last year and have enjoyed it as well.  Holds about the same cu in of weight as my othr pack but displaces the weight mainly on my hips, for those days when the old back is feeling cranky.  >:D  The manufacturer will make it in orange if requested.  Only bummer ..... no hydration sleeve .... :-(
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"LOAD UP!"
AirJim
Newbie

Posts: 1

« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2016, 06:45:46 AM »

I'm thinking about getting a pack from the packshack now. Their site looks pretty old though. Do they ship fast?
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I recommend you take a look at this before you buy Phen375.
LTC Don
Seasoned Member

Posts: 354
Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2016, 12:28:09 PM »

I have 2 pack makers I can recommend whose products I use for SAR:

1)  www.thepackshack.com - they have great line packs to include modular setups and orange is one of their most requested colors.  Their packs are also used by wildland fire crews, so they'll take a beating.  I've used their modular web gear (v1, they're on v2 now) with a top-load main body and hydration sleeve for @17 years.

2) www.gear911.com/product.php?productid=16141&cat=250&page=1 I acquired this pack (in red) last year and have enjoyed it as well.  Holds about the same cu in of weight as my othr pack but displaces the weight mainly on my hips, for those days when the old back is feeling cranky.  >:D  The manufacturer will make it in orange if requested.  Only bummer ..... no hydration sleeve .... :-(

From Gear911, I have this kit:
http://www.gear911.com/product.php?productid=16137&cat=249&page=1  Which is available in Orange.  I then added this, the day pack: http://www.gear911.com/product.php?productid=16138&cat=249&page=1  also available in Orange.

It's a nice setup, perfect for a 24-hour kit, and I've had it for quite a number of years.  The only nitpick is, once fully loaded out, the shoulder straps start to feel thin through the shoulders.

Gear911 hasn't kept up with the trends and upgraded to MOLLE style so other accessories can be easily added. And, they haven't gotten on the Camelbak bandwagon and have stayed with canteens.

Otherwise, it's high-quality stuff and works well for our needs.  Price is nice too.
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Donald A. Beckett, Lt Col, CAP
Commander
MER-NC-143
Gill Rob Wilson #1891
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Orange Tactical Pack?
 


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