As you can read here on the blog in our IWA 2014 report Helikon Tex steps into a new premium area with the products of the Direct Action brand which is designed in cooperation with former US Navy SEALs and polish special forces (GROM) members. The first product of this productline we show you today is the Direct Action Messenger Bag in the variants small and large. We take a closer look at the material, workmanship, functionality and compare both sizes.
For any questions about these products, please use our comment system at the end of this review. Thanks!
SMALL – Direct Action Messenger Bag
The small type of the Messenger Bags weights only 789 g and has the dimensions 33 x 24 x 10 cm. There are 4 compartments for several uses which we will show you in detail. But first we take a look at the…
Material & Workmanship
Helikon made the Messenger Bags from 500D Cordura®. This give this bags perfect resistance during hard use and also the flexibility I really prefer by this type of gear. The seams are overall well made and no single yarn is sticking out. The workmanship is excellent we think.
The two-way zipper closures are quality made by YKK. Attached to the zipper is a plastic covered paracord. This gives the paracord stability and makes it easy to catch at the end. It´s comfortable to use and even good looking.
At the flap and the adjustable shoulder strap, Helikon uses quality made buckles from Duraflex. They are durable and working well. The flap is decorated with the stitched DIRECT ACTION logo what underlines that this is a premium gear product.
The whole front and both (left&right) sides of the bag are equipped with the laser cutted MOLLE / PALS System which allows you to attach pouches to extend the space of this bag. For example: You can attach a pouch for a grenade, radio or a water bottle. Its up to you!
This laser cutted system has two advantages opposite the regular MOLLE. We have a weight reduction of the gear which is small but noticeable and we dont have bigger interruptions in the camouflage.
In the middle of the flap you find a big velcro area for patches. It also ownes the laser cutted MOLLE / PALS System and can be used for it. I`ve tried to attach a pouch to it but its no fun at all. But let’s be honest, nobody will use it for pouches!
The bottom of the bag is a water-resistant and slide-blocking flexible rubber material which you can find also at the shoulder strap pad we will have a look on later.
On the backside we find a flat compartement where we can perfectly storage our small stuff like keys, wallet or tools. To carry the bag without the shoulder strap, Helikon added a drag handle with velcro to fix it by non-usage. Its really nice because it looks like you know it from the tactical vests.
The D-Ring Attachment points on both sides of the backside can be used to attach the included hip belt. This helps to keep the bag in busy situations on place. For regular use at the office or out at the range, you didn´t need it because the shoulder strap pad is very usefull as we will see now.
The shoulder strap pad also uses the slide-blocking flexible rubber material at the exterior we have seen at the bottom of the bag. This is perfect in use because the pad never slides from the shoulder and keeps the bag in place.
The pad can opened and is adjustable. Inside the pad we also can find a non slip rubber surface which helps to regulate how strong or easy the shoulder strap can slide through it.
When we open the flap we can see that the inner frontside is also overall equipped with the laser cutted MOLLE / PALS system where we can add for example our Adminpouch or pistol mag pouch. At the bottom we see a big velcro area for attaching the flap. Inside the flap you can storage savely from water and dirt your documents or map.
To adjust the strength and the loudness of opening your bag, Helikon attached a extra velcro counterpart to it.
The top of the bag shows a 2-way zipper which gives us a directly access to the main compartments without a extra opening the flap.
Inside the small version we can find 3 main-compartments. The first one in front is small and is closable with a line of 20mm velcro. Perfect to storage small and flat items.
The second and largest compartment in the middle is overall equipped with velcro loops. So you can add pouches with a a velcro back, patches or movable internal divider (not included). As you can see on the next photos the worksmanship is also inside the bag on highest level.
The last compartment for tablets like the iPad is small and padded with fleece. So your device is save inside this bag from any scratches. To fix the device in the bag Helikon added a small flap which will be added to the velcro of the large compartment.
GALLERY MESSENGER BAG SMALL
BIG – Direct Action Messenger Bag
Lets compare now the small and the big Messenger Bag. The big Bro has the dimensions of 35 x 26 x 13cm. That means this bag isn´t so much bigger than the small one. The main difference of the bags are the features we will see now.
On the the left side the big Messenger Bag can carry a bottle. To fix also smaller bottles, a flap with velcro is available. At the right side we can find a pocket. This is also equipped with the lasercutted MOLLE to extend your storage space.
On top of the Bag we see a carry handle with two D-rings. On both sides (left&right) the flap completly covers the main compartment for optimal protection of your stuff.
The frontside carries two external admin pockets which are rich equipped with compartments for your mobile phone, pens and other stuff. Also a velcro area and a key chain can be found inside.
The right pocket can be opened completly and is adjustable with a paracord. The left pocket can be opened only up to 2/3 of the size.
The main compartments are basicly the same as at the small one. The difference between them is, that the big one can carry a 13” notebook insteed of just a tablet. Also here Helikon uses Velcro loops for individual customization of the main compartment.
Also a plus feature of the big Messenger Bag is the Shockcord at the bottom. With this you can attach for example your softshell jacket onto it. The shockcord is extermly flexible and long enough to attach also bigger things.
The Helikon Direct Action Messenger Bag is availble in following colors/camos:
The innovative use of newest technology like the laser cutted MOLLE together with the overall well made workmanship finished with considered features for a good price (big: EUR 99,00 small: 79,00) makes this bag to a companion I would miss really hard. A well made product!