It's been a long time since I've banged up a review. A few weeks ago I got a message out of the blue asking me if I wanted to have a look at something from the Warrior Elite Ops range of goodies from UK Tactical, so obviously I jumped at the chance.
Being a sailor I have very little use these days for a decent set of webbing, chest rig etc. They do a variety of nice looking grab bags, bergens etc. but I thought I'd be able to get the best use (and therefore do the most effective review) on their smaller day sack, the Warrior Pegasus, so I chose that and a few days later it arrived.
First impressions on opening it were very good. It feels solid, I mean really strong - everywhere.
The bumf off the website:
Now I actually own a very similar but cheaper, legally different but the same as MTP, daysack that I got from Amazon. It's a little bigger at 40ish litres but essentially the same sort of thing, they do a smaller 28 litre version of this bag for about 25 quid which is quite similar to the Warrior Pegasus. Clearly my first thought was "How can these guys justify charging 5x as much for a very similar bag?"
It's true, looking at the two bags side by side you'd struggle to justify the Warrior Pegasus's extra cost, even at the reduced price of £104.95. They both feature all the same things you'd expect from a military rucksack, MOLLE straps everywhere, hydration pouch, holes for radio antennas and hydration tubes, a large main pocket plus two extra ones, velcro patch for badges etc. The cheap one even came with a free carabiner for attaching your helmet (or other stuff) and a Union Flag velcro patch.
I used the Warrior Pegasus for a day or two and in a knee jerk reaction I went out and did a fairly uncomplimentary video review which basically slated the bag saying I liked it, but that it was way too pricey.
Thankfully the video was shit quality and it never got published on here. This has given me a couple of weeks to put the bag properly through it's paces and rethink things a little bit.
As with all the kit I review, I try and take it out on the fells for a bit of a thrashing. I live about 20 mins drive from Blencathra, Hellvellyn and all the best fells in the eastern Lake District, so I have no excuse not to. At 23 litres it's got more than enough space for a day's worth of gear for the mountain. Warm kit, foulies, emergency shelter, Jetboil, water, scran, gloves, hat. You could probably squeeze a small doss bag in there too if you were going for an overnighter. It'll be tight, but it will fit. Trust me, I tried.
It's also got dedicated pockets inside it that fit SA80 / M16 type mags. Definitely a nice touch. There are various other internal pockets and pouches along with zip up mesh pockets for your smaller stuff.
As for physically wearing the bag, it takes a little while to get used to, it sits quite high on your back and because the shoulder straps are so thick and padded, they take a while to wear in and bend to the correct shape. No big deal though, within a few minutes it moulds nicely to your shape. While I'm on the subject of padding, this bag wins hands down in this respect. The back has really thick and solid pads with well ventilated 3D mesh all over it. It feels absolutely bomb proof (probably not actually ballistically tested) and you'd really struggle to damage or break any of this mesh, or anything else on the bag for that matter.
Suddenly the cost starts to make sense. It's expensive because it's very very well made. My cheap Amazon bag might do the job, but I'm not sure it'd be up to surviving the rigours of an operational deployment. With the Warrior Pegasus from UK Tactical I get a warm fuzzy feeling of security, it's an absolute tank. Every stitch on it is secure and thick, all the mesh on the inside pockets is about 5 times the thickness of normal mesh you find on these sort of things, the zips are massive etc. etc. I could go on all day about how well made it is. This is a bag for life, 100%.
Back to wearing it then.
The chest strap was fitted way too high, but it's easily moved further down. It's worth pointing out that there is no waist strap on this bag. Not really a requirement on a 23 litre bag, but if you want something with a waist strap, this isn't for you. The other thing I noticed is that all the other securing straps seem to be about 3 times longer than they need to be. The slack is taken up with elastic loops so you can tuck it in, however it does occasionally pop out. Get the lecky tape out (sniper tape if you're posh) and sort this out. I feel it's better to have too much slack for adjustment than too little.
Once the aforementioned issue with the shoulder straps was sorted and the chest strap was moved so it wasn't strangling me, I found the bag really comfortable. It's well ventilated on the back so sweat build up is minimal, the shoulder straps are a good width apart so no neck chaffing if you're a big lad. It's not waterproof but it deflected 3 or 4 hours of steady Cumbrian precipitation well enough, when it's really wet I always put a canoe sack inside my bag anyway.
What else to say?
I don't just use rucksacks for climbing mountains. This thing needs to be capable of lugging a laptop to the office, being slung in the back of the car, carrying my sarnies etc. I went for the black version of this bag for this very reason. There's obviously no hiding the fact that it's a military bag, but it's not as glaringly obvious as a camo one. As a day to day bag for normal civvy life, it's also very effective. I'm currently studying a day release degree which means I carry approximately 3.5 tons (yet to be officially weighed) of books and folders around in it all day. It's more than up to this task. It's comfy for heavy loads and certainly strong enough and well made enough to take it.
So to conclude. This bag is expensive when compared to the lowest stuff on the market, but you certainly get what you pay for. If you want a bag that will last and you can rely on then this is definitely it. If you want to look the part but aren't overly bothered about quality (you should be), there are much cheaper options out there. Ya pays ya money ya takes ya choice as they say.
Personally I'd rather buy once and have something that I know will last forever.
It gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. The only reason I didn't give it full whack is because it is still a bit pricey despite the quality. I think around the 80 quid mark would be fairer.
Massive thanks to UK Tactical for providing the bag for review and to Mr Bane for sorting everything out.
Phots to follow.
Warrior Pegasus Bag Coyote Tan