Spec Ops Brand THE Pack Review
When people are talking about 3 day packs, I generally do not see this one mentioned. I suppose it is probably because it is not a new design. However, it is still a great pack that can be had at a great price if you know where to look. I have been using several of these packs for about 4 years. I recently purchased two more for friends and thought I would take this opportunity to do a review with 2 basically new packs.
The THE Pack by Spec Ops Brand is a fairly straight forward “3 Day” type pack. It is extremely well made and covered by an excellent warranty. It is made in the USA.
Here are the dimensions for the pack and some key features (taken from the Spec Ops Brand website).
- PACK DIMENSIONS: 19″ high, 13″ wide, 12″ thick at bottom tapering to 9″ at top.
- MAIN COMPARTMENT: 19″high x 13″ wide x 7″ thick @ 1730 cubic inches.
- TOP POCKET: 8″ high x 10″ wide x 2.5″ thick @ 250 cubic inches.
- BOTTOM POCKET: 10″ high x 12″ wide x 3.5″ thick @ 570 cubic inches.
- TOTAL CAPACITY: 2550 cubic inches.
- 1000D Cordura® nylon construction
- YKK #10 zippers on main compartment and large outer pockets.
NOTE: I am not sure if many manufacturers are over stating their capacity or if Spec Ops understates, but the THE Pack, with it’s 2550 cubic inch capacity seems larger than many similar packs with larger stated capacity.
The THE pack has a lot of subtle features that have sold me on this pack even when I have tried newer designs from other manufacturers. One thing that is rarely considered when selecting a bag is the actual shape. The THE Pack is basically a large rectangle with a domed top. This is a very efficient shape for a pack; allowing it to be stuffed efficiently and to stand upright when full.
The THE has a simple and efficient shape.
It also has simple but very effective compression straps. The straps work to compress not only the main compartment, but also both front compartments. They are also mostly out of the way so that you might not even need to release them to access the pockets.
Note the two out of the way compression straps on the side of the pack.
This pack has a lot of MOLLE webbing as you can see in the pictures. It has several areas that have enough rows and columns to be very versatile. Each of the two front pockets are faced with webbing, the sides are covered, and the bottom has a large area as well.
The bottom of the THE is flat so the bag can sit upright and has plenty of MOLLE webbing.
The straps on the THE Pack are extremely comfortable, well padded, and very ruggedly constructed. There is a foam pad that sits in the hydration compartment to pad your back while you are wearing the THE pack. There is also an unpadded, and fairly ineffective waist belt as is the case with most 3 day packs. The pack is not tall enough to put the waist belt on your hips anyway. This pack is very comfortable to wear with moderate loads as is.
Note the well padded straps with quick release buckles, sternum strap, waist belt, and stitched reinforcments where the straps are attached to the pack.
If you need to load the THE Pack a little heavier or just want to make it even more rigid then consider purchasing the frame sheet. It is made from a flexible plastic and has two nylon pockets for bendable aluminum stays. This can be installed in the hydration compartment and works very well to handle heavy loads.
The THE Pack is hydration compatible. You simply direct the hose of your hydration bladder through the one of the ports which are located on either side of the heavy duty grab handle.
Routing your hydration hose is simple with these hook and loop hydration ports.
The interior of the two front pockets is very straight forward. They are simply wide open pockets. The main compartment however, has much more going on. One of my favorite things about the THE Pack is that it is lined with bright yellow nylon. This high visibility lining not only makes finding items easy but also reinforces the exterior 1000D Cordura®. There is also a mesh pocket located at the top front of interior of the bag. The hydration and/or frame sheet compartment is located at the back of the main compartment.
The main compartment is cavernous and features a high viz lining.
This wouldn’t be much of a review if I didn’t show you what you can do with all that MOLLE webbing. I keep mine covered with Diamondback Tactical (DBT) utility pouches (tall on the sides and short on the bottom front), a Maxpedition flashlight sheath on the clever horizontal webbing between the front pockets, and a DBT abmin pouch on the top front pocket. These pockets easily add around 650 cubic inches of storage. The compression straps are designed in such a way that they can easily reach around side mounted pouches to compress them as well.
Plenty of pouches and room for more!
This is a very straight forward and simple pack but it allows you to add as much complexity as you want with its ample MOLLE webbing. It is certainly big enough for its intended purpose and can easily be expanded. This is an efficient, functional, and well made bag that will work well for the camper, casual shooter, or soldier.
This is more of a true 3 day pack made for wearing with armor and possibly a load bearing belt. For a different style of 3 day pack stay tuned for the Kifaru Molle Express review.