After the joys of putting up with the issue Rocket Packs, and the nausea of zipping the blasted things back to my Bergan in the dark every time we went into a patrol harbour or FOB I felt the need to replenish my day sack. Trying to force a fully loaded day sack into zipping up with the yoke still attached with cold fingers in the dark isnt on a par with fighting Cancer. But its still a pain in the Jacobs. Nowadays theres a lot more on the market than the grotty old highlander Olive Drab day sack we were encouraged to buy at the RMAS shop in Old College (the one above the Barbers). And my local Army shiny kit provider had the lovely new Templar Assault systems assault pack in the window, wagging its tail at me.
Templar Assault systems seem to be going for the mid range price bracket. Not the Gold Plated Bolivian National Debt prices of Arc'teryx LEAF, a company set up to guarantee Hereford can always spend its annual budget. Nor are they at the Webtex cheap and cheerful end of the equipment supply chain; but seem to have plumped for a good middle ground. Obviously the build quality (in terms of squaddie proof equipment) jury is still out as I dont think they have been going for that long - although long enough to get a web site sorted, if anybody at the company is reading this they should PM Me as I know somebody who could sort you out a good web site in a fraction of the time its taken the admin vortex responsible for setting yours up. Nevertheless Ive spoken to a guy who took one out and he said it stood up well on Herrick, and the bloke who sold it to me said hes happy and he doesnt palm Squaddies off with crap.
I was very impressed generally with the set up of this day sack. Its covered in MOLLE in all the right places. I especially like the MOLLE in the waist strap which should be good for strapping a canteen pouch to for TABs. It doesnt seem to have side pouches designed for it, but its big enough. If you need more carrying capacity than this ruck with a couple of MOLLE Pouches I suggest you need something larger than a day sack one of the US 3 Day assault packs seems the way forward.
The Pack is divided into 3 parts. There is a large main compartment and two exterior compartments so you can keep copies of Shaven Babes, Over 40s and Razzle Separate. Its total holding capacity is 33 litres. Theres also a degree of sub compartmenting, but this is fairly minor and wont stop you stuffing your kit into the compartments. It has a Velcro panel for attaching those TRFs, Zap Info and Please look after this Bear. Thank you badges.
But what really impressed me was the 3 top Velcro openings so Antennas and Camelbak sucky tubes could be fed out of it. Especially when one remembers all the crappy zips that came with the god awful Clansman PRC 350/351/352 Radio Rucksack that thankfully seems to have had a Webley pressed to its ear and a mercy shot carried out. Its also pretty switched on in terms of straps in the right places and strap retainers to stop the straps flapping about. A really minor irritation is that the Velcro straps that hold the other straps in place arent covered all the way round, so this thing will stick to issue fleeces etc.
I took the Day sack for a short Jogette and didnt end up with a back like Lee Evans gigging in a Sauna. But it hasnt been angry camping with me yet so I cant yet comment on its long term comfort. It doesnt have one of those mesh backs that you find on Civpop rucksacks (that break or rip fairly easily) but coped with a run partially loaded. The only other problems I encountered with it was with the top sternum strap. Its way too high up, and became annoying to wear after the first 5 minutes of my run. Its about as useless as Pope Pauls Balls being that high up, it feels like Im doing a Northwest Frontier tour and have a Thuggee trying to garrotte me. Ill probably end up cutting it off to stop it bugging me. Ive also not heard good things about the printed webbing straps that form the MOLLE component of the day sack. I heard the pattern wore off. I dont suppose this matters too much as your Molle straps will probably be covered with more Molle Pouches anyway.
Templar Assault Systems Multicam Assault Pack available from RVOps for £91.91