One of the stand-out pieces of kit from the trip with the Riverines a couple weeks ago was a backpack one of the gear nuts (a senior NCO) raved about as his go to load carrier.
First and foremost, the Yote is one of those not-too-big-not-too-small packs that fits right in the lower end of tactical load carriers. It's got enough room to fit an MRE, some snivel gear and extra ammo. But what this Sailor liked about it was the expandable beavertail outer flap that was big enough to hold his helmet with NODs.
He also liked the fact that the shoulder straps could be stowed and the MOLLE webbing on the back panel could be used to attach the Yote to his body armor as an assault pack (it has a pretty narrow profile). The Sailor also liked the removable plastic support sheet that stiffens the Yote and keeps edgy objects from stabbing him in the back.
But what he liked by far the most was the hydration system that comes with the Yote.
Unlike the CamelBak or Blackhawk (take your pick) hydration bladders, the Source Reservoir System uses a harder plastic that while less flexible than the competitors, is reportedly more durable, easier to clean and more resistant to odors. Kit Up! likes the look of the Source system and we recently received a T&E sample of one for our own evaluation.
Overall the Yote seemed like a darn good solution for the trooper who needs a "day and a half" worth of kit on a patrol but doesn't want to be loaded down with a bigger bag. And at $180, it's still approachable for the NCO's budget.