Recently Grey Ghost Gear sent some of their packs out to personnel from a number of backgrounds. One of those packs went to a JTAC, who wrote the following initial review. The content of the review remains unchanged with the exception of two punctuation changes and one spelling correction. I also moved the background of the tester to the end of the article. All pictures are courtesy of the author except for two courtesy of The Botstik Collective (q.v.). DR
David, thanks for the opportunity to review this pack from GGG.
I conducted the initial review of the Lightweight Assault Pack (PennCott Sandstorm Pattern) in and around the Sacramento Mountains located in the south central part of New Mexico.During the review, I loaded the pack with approximately 20lbs. of miscellaneous items (MEDKIT/Notepad/Headlamp/1911/spare ammo/cold weather top/water/lunch) and conducted a sterile overland foot movement for about 60 min.
Construction of the pack is Cordura Nylon fabric printed in PenCott™ Sandstorm pattern. Fabric is of 500 denier Cordura nylon, treated with Near Infrared (NIR) Signature Management Technology and Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coated with waterproof back-coating. The pack features an open main compartment as well as a side entry front compartment; standard modular webbing is attached to the lower left and right panel and lower outside panel. The thin padded shoulder straps have webbing sewn topside on both straps allowing commo cables or water tube routing -The shoulder straps can be stowed, creating a slick version of the pack. The main compartment utilizes half clamshell opening and the outside secondary compartment utilizes a full-length north-south zipper configuration. A third compartment is located between the back panel and main compartment. The operator can store a water bladder or administrative items like maps. There is a standard pass-through buckle located top inside of the back compartment. I’m not sure what this could be used for besides securing a water bladder system.
Understanding these facts and after visually and physically inspecting the pack, the pack is properly labeled “Lightweight Assault Pack.” With this said, depending on the user’s mission responsibilities, this pack is applicable for out and back 24hr missions sets. If multi-day operations are the norm, consider using the Legacy Three Day Pack. One of the design features that sets this pack apart is the high visibility orange sewn in to the inside back liner. This would allow the user to apply quickly implement “friend or foe” SOPs, help ID persons in distress or allow quick marking of friendly forces for low flying aircraft during daytime operations. Another feature users might appreciate is the pockets located inside the main compartment at the base on each side. This allows secure storage of varied items such as water bottles or extra ammo magazines.
The website states this pack is designed to attach directly to a modular vests or larger packs. Unless I missed something, I don’t think this is capable considering the current design. GGG does offer the Lightweight Assault Pack “LiteLok”-This pack utilizes two female Fastex buckles located topside of each shoulder strap. This would allow the operator to attach the pack to an assault plate carrier of choice utilizing a SwiftClip style setup.
Overall, I believe this current design has a place in the operational world. The smaller size and streamline design keeps the over load down. This becomes advantages when entry into small structures or door openings is expected. These design features are also advantages on Air Assault operations when overall load becomes a factor…like always. If in fact this configuration is not SwiftClip capable, then having thinner shoulder straps is plus. Combined with the sternum strap, this design makes it more bearable when strapped over body armor or plate carrier. In future designs, I’d like to see a storable belly strap option. Also stow straps to take up excess strap length after cinch down is complete would be nice. One issue I did have was the fact that when the main compartment is zipped together, a small opening was left. This was not a manufacturing flaw, but is created by the zipper design. This would eventually allow moister to get in to the bag and possible soak items over time. Another option I’d like to see in future designs is a water proof/resistant zipper seam. I do like the bigger pull tap for the zippers, but I’d ad longer pull tabs for better use with gloves on.
The price point is spot on, the design is not over complicated and the patterns are unique in the current market. With this said, I think this bag fits in the current Every Day Carry (EDC) sector. I personally found all the PennCott patterns attractive and think they are ahead of the times. I think my favorite feature of the pack is the ability to stow the straps and making it slick. This builds on my main attraction to this pack-it’s simple! The pack is now firmly my favorite EDC pack for at least this winter and through next summer. During this time, it’ll see travel to and from work, range use, and will travel with me all over the country while TDY and participate in many training events.
I hope to provide a detailed long-term performance report this time next year.
A little bit of background about the tester:
6’5”/225lbs 19 years in an operational billet/TACP/JTAC/SOF and Conventional (current USAF AD) 7 combat deployments SOF/Conventional Multiple exercises SOF/Conventional Backcountry skier before military (California/Colorado) Mountain biker for 27 years All around gear head (RD/TE)/outdoor type