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Maxpedition Gets Serious about Its Backpacks

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I like Maxpedition gear, but I've never been overly impressed with the company's backpack designs. I'm having second thoughts looking at their latest internal frame packs.

The XANTHA and the, slightly smaller, ZAFAR are medium-size, assault-style packs built around a polypropylene frame with a single aluminum stay and are packed with a lot of practical features.

On top, you will find a soft-lined sunglasses pouch and a sturdy button lock that secures zipper pulls. Inside you will find a pouch for 100 oz hydration bladder, ports for drinking tubes on both side, and a variety of mesh pockets to organize your gear.

On the back, soft and breezy egg crate padding wicks moisture. A padded removable waist belt distributes the load, and handy pouches keep small items close at hand. The bottom of the pack is reinforced with Hypalon, and has two nylon loops for bedrolls or compression.

Both packs come in black, olive green, khaki, foliage green and khaki-foliage blend.

The XANTHA features 1,800 cubic inches of space. It's 13.5 inches long, 12 inches wide and 23 inches high. When empty, it weighs 3.7 pounds. It retails for $257.

The ZAFAR holds 1,7oo cubic inches .  It's 13.5 inches long, 12 inches wide and 21 inches high. It weighs 3.6 pounds empty. It retails for $240. 9857k12_detail

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