Kit Up!

Extended Range Operator Pack: Initial Contact Review (Pt 1 of 2)


A little over a week ago I found a box on my doorstep from Tactical Tailor. It contained their Extended Range Operator Pack in the always attractive Ranger Green.  This being my first Tactical Tailor product, I was very excited to look it over and start testing it as soon as possible. However, being a family man and a responsible adult, well, most of the time anyway, I couldn’t just load the pack up and head up to the mountains like Jeremiah Johnson  no matter how much I wanted to.  Using my military training I adapted and overcame the situation. Loading the large main compartment – 3,142 cubic inches–with everyday household items like a 24-pack of water bottles, a bag of flour, and a very large box of garbage bags, I now had a respectable 35 pounds to hump around …while I cooked dinner.

Cooking on hard mode.

This gave me a good idea of how the pack rode and felt while performing actives other than long movements.  I was impressed at how comfortable it was with that amount of weight. Cinching the built in waist belt immediately took the weight off my shoulders, transferring it to my hips, while the contoured  shoulder straps kept the pack snug against my back and close to my center of gravity. I never once felt off balance even when twisting or turning rapidly in the confines of my kitchen.  I wish I could say as much for the dinner.

Tactical Tailor Extended Range Operator Pack

Tactical Tailor Extended Range Operator Pack, front/strap side.




















The next day found me on a 6 road march with the same load… and pushing my daughter in her stroller.  Here is where the combination of the shoulder, sternum, and waist belt all coming together to make wearing this pack not exactly pleasurable, but certainly a less painful experience than it would have been with a large ALICE pack. The shoulder straps and waist belt are lined with an Air Mesh material that provides good padding and a surprising amount of airflow. As the miles progressed I did have to make some minor adjustments, but nothing that couldn’t be done on the move. The packs internal HDPE sheet–that’s High-density polyethylene for you Grunts like me–with aluminum stays for rigidity makes the load bearing ability of this pack really shine through.  The weight is there but it doesn’t beat your back to death the way an ALICE pack would when moving fast.  However, with the body of the pack snug against you, heat does build up despite the Air Mesh padding on the main compartment.  Still, I’ll take that over the bouncing of a traditional ruck...

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