Tactical or traditional?

marcoruhland

Full Member
Apr 23, 2020
33
16
Germany
You say that because you have tested all three...
yes and many other too - i have no youtube chanel and nothing to sell or a manufacture behind me
but i am a gear junkie (not a collector - perfect is the enemy of good - and so many good parts are gone by the time)
the predator 30 is truly a small daypack so if you have no exaptions and carry up to 10kg its ok same as the tt modular (but this is rather a medical pack) and in my opinion tt is general overpriced

its difficult to explain but if you take that three packs in your hand than there are not two opinions witch is the best build quality

look at there funny finish videos this is not a fake - put 300 lbs (for myself its good enough for 400lbs!) on the molle from tt or karimor - you don't need that it's ok but in an unexpected situation you have a buffer ( same as carabiner: i always use climbing carabiner it is not necessary for my gloves but if i need it for myself than better with a breaking load of 20 kilonewton) so if you wear a savotta its like a climbing harness (she is only a 120lbs girl but i'am a 6'3 heavyweight guy over 350lbs without all my equipment and the molle and the harness is never brocken - this is one of "my tests" for a new backpack and the most failed
hillpeoplegear is also an other manufacture with that build quality but not often available in europe


I had read reports that it was perhaps not as comfortable in terms of carrying heavy loads as other packs. Would anyone agree with this...

no - i carry up to 130 lbs with this small pack (i.a. haligantool, rotary hammer, truck snows chains, an anvil lot more ) the trick is to carry the pack in a lower position not up to your neck!

mr
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,971
724
Berlin
I own some equipment which is more than 100 years old, mainly Swiss and Swedish military stuff.
And it is still in very good conditions.

That stuff was simply build to last.

Now a days most stuff is made to break after a couple of years. Even things which lasted for several years before suddenly need to be replaced after a few month, like we see it for example at Fjälräven clothing.

Most makers now a days tend to produce short lasting equipment and to offer it for a middle expensive price, because most people with relatively good income generally tend to buy stuff at 2/3 of the possible expenses. 40 years ago one usually made the best deal with that strategy and so current buyers are educated like that.

But if we look at currently offered outdoor equipment usually now a days we find at 2/3 of the price range Asian made copies of European or US made quality products. If we look at the details we see the differences, but only if we are experienced users.

Fjälräven is the worst example but Jack Wolfskin is very similar in that case, where a well known label of high quality expedition equipment changed totaly the firm philosophy. The same with Karrimor (civil design) as I read in this Forum.
Trousers which lasted 5 or 10 years suddenly break after a few month. If you look at them in the shops they are perfect copies of the former model, of course called with the same name. But suddenly the stuff they offer us is factory new cheap rubbish.

YouTube unboxing videos and internetforums where every beginner can write his opinion about stuff he owns a couple of days usually echo the PR textes of the factories. "Fjälräven clothing is quality stuff" -- No, sorry it isn't! It was when it was made in Sweden, years ago, but now a days that stuff is over priced Asian made rubbish! This trousers last as long as 12 € Primark Jeans! That's over priced rubbish, one like the other.

In forums we usually get questions like this for example: "Which boots should I buy for 120 €?" The correct answer would be :
Good boots cost round about 200 €. There are a few Bargains for 150, usually original Army boots, but civil boots cost 200 to 350 €.
Answers like that usually are deleted by moderators or called by a few specialists "Off Thread". Even if the president of the Swiss mountain rescue association would write that there are no good boots for 120 € on the world market, 34 beginners would correct him immediatly, that the answer is Off Thread and they would write about their boots they own since 14 days.

Usually we don't find simple questions like that in internet forums:
What is a good mountain tent and what does it cost? Answer: Hilleberg Nallo 2 for round about 900 €, or for heavy duty use the Nammatj2 for example.

What is a good rucksack?
Savotta hunter series, round about 600 € or grade 1 Nato army surplus in 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon, beginning with 40 €.

Good sleeping bags? Carinthia, British made Snugpaks, Ajungilak /Mammuth for whet conditions, prices more or less identic.

Yes, that here is a Bushcraft forum. We can use in the woods behind our house a 40 € military surplus tent and we can have a lot of fun with it. We can cut our bread with a 10 € Mora Companion knife and we can buy our Jeans at Primark.

But if we speak about quality expedition equipment, it is necessary to declare that now a days the makers of trusty stuff became very rare and usually produce in European countries, Japan, Australia or the United States of America in the first view relatively expensive stuff that is very cheap in the end because it lasts for several decades.
The only other option is to use army surplus from NATO armies or similar equipped Countries, which is offered for very low prices often in very good conditions, because it is build to last for decades.
To find civil used high quality expedition equipment second hand is possible, but very very seldom, because people who buy such stuff usually keep it and gift it in the end to the next generation in their families.
 
Last edited:

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,927
3,111
Mid Wales
I agree with everything you said. BUT, most people don't buy for expeditions, most people do not go trekking in the desert or up into the arctic - most people need weekend kit for a few nights in the wood or in the hills. In my opinion, this is the last kind of place people will ask for help from if they are seriously into trekking the wild places of this earth; I certainly don't.

All purchases, for civil, amateur, professional or military use should be bought in the same way:

1) define your requirement specifically, where you will use it, how often, for how long, how etc. …..
2) define your budget (very few people have an unlimited budget)
3) invite quotations to meet your requirement - throw out any that do not and do not be tempted by people that want to over-satisfy (for a price) - OK, for amateur use that means we spend hours/days looking at specs and prices
4) choose a few that most closely match and, if at all possible, get your hands on them (not always possible because a lot of kit is mail order only and most retail outlets only stock one or two major manufacturers)
5) if you've found a satisfactory fit, commit to it, if not review your requirement.
6) Do not be tempted into 'purchase justification' - if it doesn't meet the standard quoted send it back and get a refund

I want a car to go the 15km to the shops, that I can get a month's worth of groceries in and has enough room to carry four adults, that cost £X or less - there are loads of options but I certainly don't buy a Rolls Royce. I want the same car but is the envy of my neighbours - I buy a different car but my spec has changed :)

When someone says they want a piece of gear for a jaunt, and a £50 solution perfectly satisfies all his needs, all I would be doing by telling him he needs a £200 solution is showing off IMO.
 

marcoruhland

Full Member
Apr 23, 2020
33
16
Germany
...When someone says they want a piece of gear for a jaunt, and a £50 solution perfectly satisfies all his needs, all I would be doing by telling him he needs a £200 solution is showing off IMO.

yes but you can buy new rucksacks or other stuff sometimes under 50% (and used parts in good conditions under 70/80/90%) from the original price - so could be useful to tell what is top of the range although the msrp is far away form the budget

mr
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Suffolkrafter

Tenderfoot
Dec 25, 2019
98
62
39
Suffolk
This all raises some interesting points. There is also a real risk of spending an awful lot of money just to look the part. But there's the simple enjoyment factor too. I've got a perfectly satisfactory rucksack for trips to the woods. But I don't enjoy using it. It's ok. But it's nothing special. That's not to say I want to be ripped off, but I do sometimes value a nice, great quality bit of kit that's a pleasure to use.
I'm into bushcraft at this stage of my life primarily to reconnect with nature. In the past I have done higher risk activities, some climbing, mountaineering etc., The criteria are a bit different for these activities. It is then simply a case of 'can i count on this when my safety will genuinely depend on it.' 'Bushcraft' on a Scottish summit in winter and bushcraft in the local woods are not the same thing.
Not sure where I'm going with this. Ultimately, it pays to do a lot of research when buying something you care about.
 

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,971
724
Berlin
A friend of mine owned for many years the best assorted military surplus shop in Berlin. I got the stuff incredibly cheap and loved to play around with it.
In this time I was a boy scout leader and could sell the stuff after a bit playing with it. As you know most military equipment of the cold war times was pretty similar, so it wasn't bad, that several different military mess kits for example existed in our groups. That was also an interesting kind of information and education because the boys could compare the stuff by using it all.
What I want to say is that I understand very well if people love to play with outdoor gear.

But what I see if I look at most beginners is, that they bought relatively much relatively expensive civil trekking equipment which absolutly doesn't convince me. All made in China, all containing construction faults, all made in a low quality. The shops are full with such stuff and people buy it of course.

Most of them could have bought for the same price a mixture of used army surplus stuff in good conditions and a few expensive civil expedition items, like a Hilleberg tent or a good sleeping bag, and they would have a fantastic long lasting high quality equipment.

Don't misunderstand me here, if I mention Hilleberg. In my opinion a beginner doesn't need a Hilleberg tent in the woods behind his house. He should burn his first spark holes in a cheap tarp or military poncho, and if he needs a tent for tours in more difficult areas and when he really learned something about open fires and different sorts of fire wood he could think about such a high quality tent, but surely not before.

But Hilleberg is in my opinion the best example, because here we have in my opinion the case where only one in the world produces a Porsche and there is absolutly no serious competition in this market segment.

I personally own such a tent, a Hilleberg Nallo2, since round about 30 years, but I often let it at home and just go out with bivvy bag and military poncho.

And bivvy bag and military poncho is the low budged version which I recommend to beginners. It is like learning to sail on an old wooden ship, the right way to learn everything about bushcraft, in my opinion.

I collected last year a beginners equipment list which starts with such really cheap high quality military surplus equipment and other long lasting relatively cheap civil equipment. A good choice without any doubt in every item:

 
Last edited:

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
600
358
Ceredigion
I'm in the market for a new rucksack, something around 30 to 40L. I've always gone down the route of standard mountaineering or hiking-style rucksacks but I'm a bit bored of these, and there are many interesting looking 'tactical' style packs out there, by manufacturers such as 5.11 tactical, helikon, mil-tec etc. These tend to feature more compartments than I have possessions and molle webbing. I do like a bit of compartmentalisation. Has anyone gone down this route, and if so, what did you think? Do they typically stand up to outdoors conditions? Is the whole molle thing worth it or more of a gimmick? Interested to hear about people's experiences.
Not sure if you mentioned this later on but how many pockets do you need/want and in what configuration? That might help people suggest something suitable.
 

Suffolkrafter

Tenderfoot
Dec 25, 2019
98
62
39
Suffolk
Hi folks. At risk of resurrecting an old thread - I received a lot of excellent advice on packs on this thread a few months back, which I greatly appreciated.

So I thought it only fair to come back with the results of my increadably convoluted decision making. I went for...... The wisport Zipperfox 25 L pack.

I've had the chance to take it out on several outings. I'm not going to go into specs etc as they can be found online, but here are a few brief thoughts:
1. Build quality is fantastic. Rock solid, no loose threads. It feels absolutely bomb proof. And that includes the zips.
2. Practicality: it is all highly functional. The zips work well, and with the side straps done up it works well as a toploader too. I have added two side pockets which effectively increase capacity to over 35L making it a highly versatile pack. It is also comfortable and suited to carrying heavy loads. It has a good waste belt.
3. Style: it looks good too. There's nothing too over the top or 'militaristic' about it and yet it's an enjoyable pack to use.
4. Molle. I like the molle. I'm not going to be swapping side pouches round every other day but I like having that flexibility. It satisfies some deep urge to... I don't know, just fiddle with things I suppose.

My only reservations would be that it is on the heavy side (which of course I knew on purchasing). When carrying a reasonable amount of gear, this doesn't matter in a way, and the load carrying capabilities and comfort of the pack make the pack weight worth while in my opinion. However for a little walk where you might only carry a bottle and a light jumper it feels like overkill.
If I was walking in mountains in winter conditions I would worry about the zip icing up, but this isn't something I have tested.
And finally, the shoulder strap padding is long. If you are small framed the padding might dig under the arms.

In short I highly, highly recommend this pack.

That's it, thanks everyone.
 

Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,895
185
Knowhere
I think Molle is a very useful innovation for attaching and detaching stuff to a pack to carry that little extra on the outside. FWIW you could go retro and make your own molle gear with leather which would work just as well, very easy to make a Molle panel out of leather, you just cut slots in it and sew it on. I made a leather Molle carrier for my swiss army canteen and cup, I can carry it with a strap, attach it to my belt, or rucksack or attach a small pouch on the outside to carry a folding stove and some tea bags.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Billy-o

Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
689
491
41
UK
Oooooh..... molle......... canvas...... leather...... but which to choose? Its always gonna be a tricky one......

(Throws tuppence into the whirlpool.....)

Well.....

Over the years I've used many many different packs. Berghaus Vulcan (my absolute favorite for many, many years), PLCE (horrible for my hobbit build, even in 'Small Back'), Camelbak Motherlode (nice if you're not carrying too much weight, lacks lateral stability as it holds weight too far away from your back), Platatac Z Alice Pack (hands down THE best long range pack I've ever used, replaced the Vulcan), Karrimor SF Sabre 45 with side pouches (became my go-to 72hr pack for years, crossing over into the bushcraft world).

I've bashed and abused all of the above time and again. I no longer have any of them. Why? My use for them all changed. I eventually came to the conclusion that I need only two packs for everything I do, which can range from a few hours fishing all the way up to multi day solo wild camping in the mountains of Scotland. The Alice Pack design was the most practical, a large internal compartment with 3 smaller outer pockets, with an external frame which is awesome for comfort. In bushcrsft ive been loath to look like a military nut so I was looking for something like the medium Alice Pack. I eventually fell upon the Deuter Groden 35. Its awesome. Quite light, a good intermediate load size for up to 3 days. Used for fishing, day trips, over night camps and such.

My other pack is used for serious load carrying, +3 days solo or if I take the kids (I end up carrying everything and kids trips need comfort and lots of marsh mallows!). Its a Redcloud 110. Adjustable support system external frame, a myriad of external pockets, extendable lid that converts into an sling pack. Hips belt pockets for scooby snacks, compass, head torch.....

Well, there's my tuppence.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frightful

bigbear

Full Member
May 1, 2008
891
84
Yorkshire
My two pennorth......
I dont like tactical stuff because it makes me look like Joe SAS Wannabee, IMHO more likely to attract attention from Police, etc. I do nothing illegal, just dont want the hassle. No offence if thats your thing, just not me.
also if you are Going Molle you add weight, if you dont mind a heavy pack go all out for one that is bomb proof, Kifaru or a good grade ex Military Bergen, depending on your needs and price point.
Lets not forget the old tale about guys who start put with a ten pound sack and a two hundred pound knife, if wise they end up with a two hundred pound sack and a Mora. Pound per hour worn a good sack is like good boots, why skimp if you can possibly afford not to ? You will get value. Same applies to climbing ropes, waterproofs etc.
The single most important thing is to try a series of loaded sacks and see how they feel, walk around the shop a while, ask yourself if you really want to carry this all day. For days.
I recently sold a Karrimor Alpiniste I had owned for thirty plus years, made when Karrimor were the brand, lifetime guarantee, loved that sack, Alps, Scottish winter, cragging, backpacking, flying off to Spain for winter Sport climbing, bushcrafting. You name it. Cost me a significant chunk of my first grant cheque. Totally and magnificently worth every penny.
Equally I have an old green KIMM sack, repaired a couple of times, weighs nothing, packs down to nothing, brilliant piece of kit at ghe other end of the scale.
Think about what you NEED, not what you fancy, buy wisely and hammer the hell out of it !
 

marcoruhland

Full Member
Apr 23, 2020
33
16
Germany
may be for someone interesting waldkauz produce backpacks with new and traditional materials:

waxmann and bushmann

duluth pack bushcrafter made in usa with lifetime warranty is another great tratitional larger pack (57l) and

the bushcrafter from frostriver is also ver well produce but canvas and leather need care

for me hill people gear is the us manufacture for modern outdoor pack that is not for military only but some good features for hunting/ bushcrafting
nice brown color: elk and up to 100l e.g. the quiya

mr
 

cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
336
141
Wales
I used to go traditional using only Lowe Alpine backpacks but recently got rid of them and got a British Army PLCE Bergen with side pouches more for robustness than anything else.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: The Frightful

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,489
626
Canada
Not much of a fan of traditional packs past their looks. Usually too heavy, poor organization etc. But, I don't much like tactical as a look, and they tend to be over-organized and for rowdy purposes. So, usually I fall somewhere between and designed for moving. Most recently I picked up a klettersack, which I gave to my youngest almost immediately for school (it has alsways struck me as odd that a modern school bag needs to be about 30-35L, well organized, tough and easy to carry for long periods ... i.e a bag that get serious daily battering ... yet we only ever spend about thirty dollars and are surprised at having to get new ones each year).

A super minimal Black Diamond 20L climbing haul pack I picked up is very good, but looks a bit climby ... but then again it is very good for climbing. No outside attachments or anything external in fact - so it doesn't snag. Defines bombproof though, and a top loader that stands up on its own. Another is a very light Mystery Ranch In and Out - again at 20L - totally convincing and, I think, based on it, there is going at be at least one other Mystery Ranch pack in my life in the future.

Did you ever take a look at GoRuck? They take a bit of thinking but are good. Have a bit of molle, not a load. clamshells in 1000denier Cordura .. very flexible for use, chest straps and belts are add ons, but straps are very well padded. The Rucker is a bit unforgiving formwise, and the back stiffener is a permanent feature. The GR1 is easier to wear, but the laptop compartment makes it feel weird being outdoors with for some reson. The larger sizes (GR2+) really are very good travel bags, not for camping so much. But, properly set up, good for photography and other kit intensive things

Even though I say I don't much like the military vibe, the packs I use most are Kifarus ... too comfortable to sneer at .... the XRay, Express and Pointman, especially. Very friendly to walk in. I tend to use the molle with paracord or bungee for the things that don't mind being outside - jackets etc. Kifarus pouches add too much weight on their own, let alone with things in them.

One I have been looking at a lot is an Eberlestock Halftrack

Lots of people speak well of the Savotta packs for their design, fabrication and affordability :)
 
Last edited:

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
600
358
Ceredigion
I find the shape of the main compartment really important. Smaller daysacks that are to narrow is a bit annoying, but larger daysacks/smaller multiday sacks, for which I want a good hipbelt, seem to all be curved into a packing-unfriendly shape. 50L can seem insufficient or cavernous depending on the shape!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Billy-o

cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
336
141
Wales
I find the shape of the main compartment really important. Smaller daysacks that are to narrow is a bit annoying, but larger daysacks/smaller multiday sacks, for which I want a good hipbelt, seem to all be curved into a packing-unfriendly shape. 50L can seem insufficient or cavernous depending on the shape!

I totally am on the same page with you on that! Can be a total pain the behind getting everything to fit just right.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: SaraR

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,971
724
Berlin
I recently thought about buying a new middle sized pack.
In my opinion the Savotta Jääkäri L, 40 to 60 lites plus Särmä TST general purpose side pouches XL (and M at the belt), is currently really the best all round construction.

But as a day pack "Heim 35 litres German Army BW Jägerrucksack Cordura" and "Essl RU 5026 Kaderrucksack 40 litres" are great constructions too.

The Savotta is made in Estonia, the Heim is made in Germany, the Essl is made in Czechia and all this is made to military specifications, available brand new and if you think about it a moment long you understand that they are pretty cheap.

And they all are classical constructions, even if modern materials are used and the current evolutionary development is integrated into the design.
 

Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
213
104
Nottinghamshire
I'm considering buying a british army bergan with side pockets and yoke, grade 1 condition for £50 to replace (or at least rotate with) my lk35 rucksack.

Mainly because i could stuff my sleeping bag and bivy inside with plenty of room to spare.
The outer pockets being handy for quick access items, brewkit, waterproofs, etc.
Daypack versatility.
Loads more streamlined (without side pouches, at least).
Has its own belt.

The lk35 is great, it fits me really well and it's super comfortable, but it is heavy, i never really use the frame by itself, the bucket style is fine at camp i know where everything is and can easily pack and unpack, but its a pain in the bum for quick stops like water breaks (i prefer bottles to bladders). I bought the swedish webbing to add as side pouches but really dont fancy the effort of stitching them by hand and the alternatives such as using the pistol belt and clips to strap around the bag really sucks.


I've about sold my self on the bergan but, what do you guys reckon?
What's your experience?
Pros
Cons
Alternatives

Seems like a lot of quality bag for a decent price, could probably find it cheaper if i shopped around. In fact i'm sure a friend of mine offered to swap with me.
Edit: but dont want to take the plunge just yet. Ill ask if i can borrow his in the meantime

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk