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echoback Friday, May 16th, 2008
Period of
Product Use:
3 months
3 years
Products Used:
Plano large rolling toolbox, Ogio Street backpack, Jansport Odyssey backpack.
Marker Setup: (Also current contents of bag)
Invert Mini, 68ci tank (with cover), E-Vents (in mask carrier), Torque loader, Deadlywind Fibur barrel, misc. tools.
Strengths: Large main pocket.
Multiple side pockets.
Very nice styling.
Weaknesses: Few external attachment points.
Main pocket is insecure.
Not rigid enough.
No bottom padding.
Review: This bag is excellent for a person that wants to tote a lot of gear, but doesn't want the hassle of a full-size gearbag. Basically, it's great if you carry too much for a little bag, but not enough for a huge bag. There are some critical features that prevent it from easily getting a much higher score, but it's a good choice in the "large backpack" category.

(Strength) Large main pocket.
The bag opens from the top, like a military duffel bag, and has ample room for your gear: It easily fits my 68ci tank, loader, marker, mask, barrel kit, and toolbox. I like being able to fit everything without hanging half the stuff off the side, and this is the first bag that has been able to hold my mask in its carrier without crushing it or looking too "puffed-out".

(Strength) Multiple side pockets.
Five pockets on the front, one on each side, a laptop sleeve accessible from the side and the main pocket, three sleeves inside the bag, and an mp3 player pocket on the top flap. I bring a lot of extra bits and baubles with me, like drinks, snacks, and extra batteries, and there are more than enough side pockets.

(Strength) Very nice styling.
Dye did an excellent job making this bag look like its military counterpart. Good enough that I don't even get questioned carrying it in uniform. This bag has shoulder and waist straps, a sternum strap, and very solid grab handles. By the way, the gray Dye logo on the top flap is only buttoned on... Don't try and use it as a handle...

(Weakness) Few external attachment points.
The top flap has two rows of straps on it, but to hook anything else onto the bag requires a bit of skill and some jury-rigging. I hook my harness onto the bag by looping the cinch cord through the belt and using a carabiner to hook the cord onto the cinch straps.

(Weakness) Main pocket is insecure.
My biggest gripe about this bag is that the top flap is far too loose. Even if you were to lock the bag closed, anyone could push the top flap to the side, reach in and steal all your stuff. If it had been a little more like a military bag, you could lock it closed.

(Weakness) Not rigid enough.
The body of the bag is completely flexible, and there is no frame to help keep its shape. This makes filling the bag more difficult than it should be, especially near the top, and a little uncomfortable to wear when your stuff starts shifting around.

(Weakness) No bottom padding.
Don't drop it too hard (like off your shoulders), because the bottom is certainly *not* padded. The back is padded, as are the straps, but your tank is still going to smack the ground if you aren't careful.
Conclusion: I would suggest this bag for anyone that wants a backpack-style bag, but wants something big enough to avoid hooking a lot onto the sides. The strengths greatly outweigh the weaknesses, and most of them can be fixed with small modifications.
7 out of 10

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