In the 90’s it was a bum-bag and more than likely a kaleidoscope of the brightest florescence, in the 00’s it was Fanny Pack and found its place as the tourists load carriage of choice.. Now it’s a waist pack and it’s the go to tactical accessory for carrying those little bits and pieces that are easily lost but needed close to hand.
They’ve been seen on various deployments expertly used by medics who need quick access to critical life-saving equipment and now Helikon put their trademark combination of solid build quality with affordable price point to make the Bandicoot Waist Pack available for all.
At first glance the Bandicoot looks like just another “pouch on a belt”, but the simplicity of design deceptively hides a number of very clever features in a pack so small. First of all, there are 3 external pockets: A Velcro looped cover front pocket, a main double zipped center pocket providing the majority of the storage and a rear slim-line zipped pocket ideal for documents or money you want kept out of sight. There are also external attachment points for items such as grimlocks or snap rings making attaching kit like gloves a breeze.
Opening the main compartment reveals yet more utilitarian design touches with a slim line netting pocket ideal for keeping small items from rattling around and, attached to the Velcro lining of the pack, is a rip-out section perfectly designed to hold medical equipment or indeed any other items you’ll need rapid access too outside of the pack. Of course the main compartment can be used without the Velcro rip-out panel giving access to a surprisingly roomy 2 liters of storage space.
The pack comes with a nylon webbing belt to be worn in the traditional manner, this has ample material for a full range of sizes due to the fully adjustable nylon hardware and is finished on either side with a fast-tex buckle and quick release g clip. This combination allows the belt to be easily removed and gives the option for the pack to be mounted direct to any load baring equipment.
Adding further to the flexibility of this feature laden micro pack is the tunnel sewn into the rear of the Cordura allowing for any belt, strap or tie-down method to be used. I found this particular feature most useful allowing me to sling the Bandicoot on the strap of my day sack as a quick access first aid pouch.
As mentioned above, the Helikon build quality is evident throughout with 500d Cordura used offering durability of wear and resistance to weather, tough well covered zippers fitted with cord zipper pulls making them both easy to operate with gloves whilst preventing any rattles.
The pack is available in all the popular colour combinations: Woodland, OD, Black, Multicam, Coyote (as pictured) and the oh so trendy Shadow Grey at Hwesta.eu and a lot other Onlineshops in the Internet.
All in all this was a surprisingly useful bit of kit to get hands on with, it’s found it’s place in my kit bag as the perfect place to have a task specific grab bag. Be it for first aid, tools or as a small scale bug out bag this multipurpose compact pack is certainly performing well beyond its size!