Tasmanian Tiger Field Pack
I was given the opportunity by Tasmanian Tiger to test one of their backpacks during two, four day mountain training tours or (expedition) in the Austrian Alps. The so called Field Pack, which is in their program since season 2012/13, is a 80l + 20l universal mission-backpack and I tried to find out how this guy perform in the mountains. As follows below in different chapters, I will go in detail over this pack to show you all the features you should know incl. the different materials used. I hope you get the information you need below. If there´s something not written in here that you want to know, please feel free to drop us a comment in the comment section at the end of this article.
The TT Field Pack is a standard “top loader” pack as you know it from many other TT models. So lets start from top to bottom: Straight on top the flap which closes the big main compartment, we have an additional pouch which is removable via MOLLE straps. On each side of the pack is one big external side-bag lockable with a zipper. Those side-bags are removable via a zipper-system and you can combine those two if you want to (more on this later in detail). Last but not least, we have the ground compartment which closes the pack at the bottom.
Seven lines of MOLLE webbing straight on the front part of the pack (as well on the side-bags), give the user the possibility to add-on even more pouches or MOLLE compatible equipment you may need to have with you.
LOAD BEARING SYSTEM
Let’s start this review with the key part of every backpack: The Load Bearing System. Now if this system is designed terribly, you will have a bad day or even worse, a very bad trip that´s a fact! If the L.B.S is made without thinking about body shape, weight distribution and area of application (just to name a couple key features) – the end user have a very hard time!
The Field Packs load bearing system totally satisfied me during my two trips. The so called V-2 SYSTEM is one of six load bearing systems (designed from Tasmanian Tiger itself, they hold the copyrights) which is current available from the company for their packs. The V-2 is a size-adjustable carrying system for medium to heavy loads. “Depending on the pack you buy from TT, it comes with a specific load bearing system to fulfil the need of the pack itself” which is a very nice way of thinking.
The whole padding from the V-2 SYSTEM incl. your back, shoulder and hip is made out of PU Foam and 3D distance knitted fabrics. The arrangement of the back padding consists of a number of chambers and is conically shaped to ensure the optimum position and contact between the user and the backpack. It also provides air circulation to regulate overheating. The small chest-strap which is adjustable in height to fit any user, connect the two ergonomically shaped shoulder straps so they stay in place and provide a good wearing comfort. The system is well-thought-out and there´re lots of features you have to know about it! Below is a screen shot of the detailed technical product description Tasmanian Tiger has at their website for each of their systems. I decided to put it inside this review (because we can´t say or describe it better then TT) and you can read it straight in here. Just click the picture to enlarge it.
During our intense testing trips in the Alps, the pack was always comfortable to wear and my back never started to hurt. Once you know how to adjust it right, you´re good to go to any place whatever time it takes.
The only part were I felt the heavy load of 30kg after nearly a day of carry is the part at the shoulder were the straps goes over (marked red in the picture above). If those are adjusted very tight cause of the heavy load – it kind of hurts a bit after a couple of hours… but to be honest, that´s a normal thing when you carry medium to heavy loads for a long time while you´re climbing.
Another area you have to take care of is the area were the hip belt from the pack goes over your belt from the pants. Not because of the weight, it´s more because of the fitting. Why? Normally, you carry several pouches on your belt like a knife, tools, pistol, mags, and more, because that´s the normal combat set-up you run. This may get in conflict with the hip belt from the pack because it´s designed to sit right there (or a little bit above) to provide you the best ergonomic fit and weight distribution on your hip. If the pouches are too big or to high, it becomes really uncomfortable. You definitely wouldn´t be happy to use it for a long time. So think about what´s really necessary to carry on your belt!
EXTERNAL TOP POUCH
Lets have a closer look now at all bags/pouches of the pack. As I mentioned before, the top pouch sits straight on top the flap which closes the main compartment and it´s fully removable via MOLLE straps.
It also provides four lines of MOLLE webbing on top which allows you to add-on another pouch or something if you want to. Two straps with buckles at the end, both are fully adjustable give you the possibility to mount your sleeping bag or sleeping pad (other accessories also possible) on top.
During our testing, I stored a medic kit (TT Base Medic Pouch) in it and it fits just perfectly. There was still space left to put some more small items into it if needed. I decided to put this pouch in because I was the team medic and the top pouch provides quick access and that´s needed when you have to get your medic equipment fast.
Pouch dimensions: 10 x 29,5 x 19 cm // 4 x 12 x 7 inch
EXTERNAL SIDE BAGS
The side bags on the Field Pack are really big and they´re full of MOLLE webbing (seven lines) on the outside. Standard top-loader with a zipper system and you can store lots for stuff in there. But that´s not the unique part about them.
Those bags are fully removable using a zipper system which allows you a really quick use of the bag without the whole backpack it self, which can be a nice feature for you.
Each bag has a strap installed on the backside which is nice so you can swing them over and use it like a shoulder bag for example. Also possible, you can combine both bags to create a small lets call it “assaulter pack” out of em if you have to go for a short mission or something. Everything really needed can be packed inside already so you don´t lose much time and you´re good to go in seconds.
Also think about this: If you have to lay down for a while to observe an area, you can use them for your rifle like a “shooter bag” to give it a little bit more stability if needed. This is of course nice for you if you have to look through the scope for a long time.
Pouch dimensions: 37 x 22 x 13 cm // 15 x 9 x 5 inch
Hidden under the side bags is more MOLLE webbing (seven lines) to add your personal preferred pouches onto it if you don´t want to go with the original side bags. “Sometimes, the pack needs to be adapted to the mission!”
Another feature here are those two straps (on each side) where you can add your sleeping bag or pad onto if you don´t run the pack with the side bags.
Those straps are also helpful to hold your rifle with whilst you’re climbing up a mountain in tough terrain. I used a SCAR-H long barrel version with an M1 scope on it. As you can see, this rifle fits perfect. Of course the folding stock the SCAR brings with her is helpful but you can add any kind of assault rifle or DMR/Sniper Rifle onto it. You just have to adjust it right. “maybe a 50.cal would be too heavy, but therefore TT has other packs available!”
MAIN & BOTTOM COMPARTMENT
The big main compartment includes a pre-installed pocket for a hydration system on one side (if the pack is on your back, it´s on the right side).
A small hole for the hydration tube is also available. Except of this pocket, the other three internal walls are just flat all the way down. No other pockets or MOLLE webbing is available to add-on pouches at specific places or something else you maybe wanna have stored in place.
SIDE NOTE: From my point of view, it would be good to have the same hydration pocket at the other side and maybe another bigger pocket straight at the back to put a radio or something similar inside if the user/operator need it. At least, if no pocket is available some MOLLE webbing would be helpful to have so you´re able to put for example: the pouch your radio (PRC 117G) comes with straight on the pack. This provides you a strong fit, it stays in place and does not shake while you´re moving – as well more comfort during use. But those are just my 2 cents about the internal of a pack which is called universal.
At the bottom we have the last compartment of this pack. It is accessible from the inside (main compartment) as well with a zipper from the outside. You can open the secession between the main and the bottom compartment as you can see by using a cord to connect them as one or tight it up to separate them again. The bottom of this compartment is made out of waterproof material to keep water, snow, and mud out. Your clothes/gear inside will stay dry while it stands on wet ground.
CARRY HANDLE & VELCRO
Not much to say about them. There´s one at the front and one on the back in the upper part of the pack. These are big enough and easy to grab while wearing gloves as well. To lift up the pack when it´s loaded (30kg during our testing “but you can add more”) was not a problem. Those are strongly stitched into the pack.
They´re also very helpful for a team mate if he has to hold your back or worse – to drag you away if you got hit! Sometimes you don´t have time to put down the pack first.
Velcro on the outside allows you to add some patches for your personal identification. Those are right on top and underneath the front carry handle and big enough to hold a flag or name patch.
STRAPS & LOOPS
All the way up from the bottom to the top at the front of the pack, we have two straps with buckles which are made to connect with the top flap. These straps secure the flap in place and you can tight it up very strong to close the main compartment completely and give some extra pressure to compress the whole pack a bit if needed.
Because they´re only stitched into the pack at the bottom, you can use their length to store some of your equipment outside the pack as well if you don´t use the MOLLE webbing for pouches. I decided to put my sleeping pad underneath. I folded to half and as you can see, it fits nicely.
These two loops provide you even more prospects to add gear outside the pack. I didn´t use them during the trips because I had everything stored as I wanted to have it but hey, that´s just me. They´re located at the front part of the pack – bottom area.
MATERIALS USED // WORKMANSHIP
So how about the material? Is it strong enough? What do they use? Lets have a look through. The pack itself as well made. The Jaquard Webbing is made out of 500D CORDURA® real Crye Precision MultiCam fabric. Tasmanian Tiger decided to use NIR (Near Infra Red) fabric from Crye to provide the end-user a pack which is able to open during the night with his operator. It just keep the IR reflection low!
The 500D CORDURA® is splash-proof, not fully waterproof so you always should carry a raincover with you if you want to have everything dry inside during a rainy trip. Those are also available from TT in two sizes: L and XL in olive color for military use.
The used zipper are not from YKK as maybe some of you thought they are because lots of other big brands use them. Why doesn´t TT use them? It was a question I asked myself as well and so I forwarded this question to them. Their answer was short and simple: Due to some quality & delivery capacity problems they had in the past with YKK, they decided to switch to a Korean manufacturer called Kang Jin. The company produce the zippers according to German standards DIN 3419 which guarantee high quality.
INFO: The load bearing system which you can see a bit in the picture above – I already explained the material used in detail so they are not listed again in this section.
Every zipper on the Field Pack is covered with a small flap to provide protection against the elements, sun-reflection and to hold the NIR reflection low during night operations.
The used buckles are from WOO JIN which is a Korean based company as well. If you hadn´t heard about them before,
They´re one of the three leading manufactures from buckles like ITW Nexus, DURAFLEX/UNITEX and KIFCO (Nifco) are. They use high quality POM (Polyoxymethylen) for their buckles.
The Polyester material which closes the main and bottom compartment is waterproof (1000mm hydrostatic head).
As you saw from all the pictures above, the workmanship is overall really great, I want to say it´s nearly perfect! They know what they’re doing and they produce with one thing in mind: perfectionism! All the stitching is done very well and the different parts (as well materials) from the pack are put together 100% accurate. There´re no small flaps or other material pieces left who could scratch your skin etc…
To be honest: There´s really no part on the pack where I could say it´s not professional processed! Maybe I got the best one they had ever made for testing… just kidding!
INFO: Tasmanian Tiger produces their products in a factory in Ho-Chi-Minh-City/Vietnam for more then 20 Years now. It´s like a open factory for everyone who´s interested and you can visit them there to have a look inside the manufacturing process. So if you´re ever around, stop by, say hi and have a look inside.
The TT Field Pack is designed to carry medium to heavy loads for the modern warrior on the battlefield. With a total capacity of 100l designed as a universal pack system, you can store nearly everything inside this pack you need to have with you for a long time > 30kg. The big main compartment provides you a perfect access to all your gear inside from the top as well from the bottom. Removable side and top pockets are a great feature who turn this pack into a modular system which allows you to customize it as you want to have it for your mission needs. The load bearing system totally fulfil the requirements and is absolutely comfortable to use. High quality MilSpec (NIR) materials provide a long lifetime for hard professional use.
So if you´re looking for an all-rounder, the TT Field Pack is worth an investment!
WHERE TO BUY?
The Tasmanian Tiger Field Pack is available from their authorized dealers which you can find here: www.en.tasmaniantiger.info/buy-online in Multicam, 343 Khaki and 331 Olive.