You may remember Alpha One Niner from when they launched their first product, the RECON ONE, via Kickstarter. Since that time, the Alpha One Niner portfolio of tactical gear inspired travel and EDC goods has grown considerably.
Alpha One Niner is the brainchild of Helm Ashiblie of SERT, Sneaky Bags, and other ventures. His work literally takes him around the world on a weekly basis which gives him a great perspective on what people really need in a travel bag. Helm previously designed the SERT Penumbra to serve as his ultimate travel backpack (I reviewed that bag on these pages and still use it daily) but this time he enlisted the help of the EDC Forums readership to help design a new bag called the EVADE Backpack.
If you like the Penumbra, you’ll like the EVADE. Helm’s design influence can be seen throughout the bag. In some ways, it looks like a scaled down version of the Penumbra but to assume that would sell short the several new features that the EVADE tucks away in its nylon shell.
Starting from the front of the EVADE and moving back, you first find a large loop Velcro field for patches and ID. That loop field is sewn to the outside of the large admin pocket which boasts several organization features included a padded slip pocket for electronics, pen slots, a lanyard, and tons more slip pockets of various sizes. This compartment also has an attachment point for the new Matroskya Pouches which are essentially removable internal pouches that are sold separately.
The next compartment moving toward the back is the main compartment. It represents most of the pack’s 1650 cubic inches of volume. The compartment is designed to open very wide and is secured with a zipper and two side mounted compression straps. It features two internal mesh pockets which is a common element of Helm’s designs and another mounting point that will accept a large Matroskya Pouch. The Matroskya Pouch mounts at the top of the compartment allowing you to essentially segment the main compartment and simply flip the Matroskya Pouch out of the way to access your other gear.
Moving back from the main compartment you find an elastic slip pocket on each side and a generous laptop compartment. The slip pockets are perfect for water bottles or similar gear. The laptop compartment is padded and will accept up to a 17″ laptop or tablet.
Hidden behind the EVADE’s padded back panel is a loop Velcro lined, zipper closed concealment pocket. This can be used for carrying a handgun in a Velcro backed holster or as a place to store documents or a tablet.
The EVADE also has nicely padded shoulder straps and a padded grab handle. There are webbing loops that can be strung with shock-cord to create a bungee storage matrix on the front of the pack.
The EVADE Backpack is available in a number of color and fabric options. You can check out the EVADE Backpack at Alpha One Niner. If you “Like” Alpha One Niner on Facebook, they will provide you with a 20% coupon code that will save you some cash on your own EVADE Backpack.