Maxpedition Falcon II
Maxpedition designs some of the best military backpacks on the market today, and the Maxpedition Falcon II is one of those backpacks. This backpack is GSA compliant and is designed as a tactical bag. It is constructed with MOLLE webbing on the left and right sides, along with the front of the backpack. The pack is compatible with ALICE gear and is also an accordion style backpack. If you are not looking for a tactical bag, this backpack is also a great bag for day and weekend hiking trips.
- Stable and sturdy
- An array of interior and external pockets which make organizing gear easy
- PALS webbing for attaching on additional pouches
- Quality stitching provides strength and durability
- YKK designed zippers which have string pulls
- Strong handles for handling or hanging a fully loaded pack from a hook when not use it
- Smaller backpack
- May not have enough space for all the gear needed for a long hike
- Water bladder takes up a lot of space and the placement of the bladder pushes out into the main compartment
- PALS webbing on the pockets on the outermost part of the pack is not the easy to place items due to the yoke through the middle
- No frame and the pack sits on your spine when the water bladder is full
-Features PALS attachment points for expansion of the backpack
-The backpack holds two 3 liter water bladders, making it a good option for when you need a bag that you need to bring water along
-Ergonomic design with padded shoulder straps making the backpack easy to carry on a multi-day trip or for on a short day hike
-You will not have to worry about making fixes in the field with this backpack with its self-repairing zippers
The pack is adjustable on the sides and top by using a Y yoke and straps. If the pack is going to be used for smaller loads it is recommended to clinch down the yoke to help reduce the bulk of the pack. This is easy to do using the pulls and it can be clinched down even when there are additional pouches installed on it. The Y yoke is adjusted it pulls the top and bottom at the same time to help reduce the bag size. There are also D rings on different points of the Y yoke so small items can be attached to the pack.
The pack has strong and nice size handles which do not cut into your hands when carrying the pack. The handles are conveniently located outside of the way of the Y yoke and hose outlet of the water bladder. It has a snap closure on the top where two zippers come together from the secondary and main compartments and you could easily place a small lock on the zipper pulls if needed. If you do not feel the need to place a lock in this area it is also designed for an additional attachment to be added if one desires.
The pack provides five main pouches, main and secondary compartment, water bladder, and a top and bottom pocket. This provides enough space and organization area for a variety of gear. Inside the main and secondary compartment are interior non-zip and zippered compartments for an additional organization through the compartments.
On the side and back of the pack is PALS webbing, with five rows on the on the rear and two rows on the sides. The five rows on the rear of the pack provide attachment points on three of the five rows. The side PALS are a convenient area to attach a side by side PALS system.
When adding attachments to this pack it is recommended to attach prior to filling the pack to help reduce the frustration of getting the attachment on correctly. When looking at the design and placement of the yoke and clinch area of the pack it is best not to add additional pouches on the top row of the top exterior pack because it may cause problems with trying clinch down the yoke. Also, this might prevent the easy accessibility into pockets on the pack.
The pack has two straps located on the bottom for strapping on bulky or oversized items like a tent or mat. The first few times you use these straps it might be difficult due to the webbing being stiff but over time the webbing will loosen up and it will become easier to use. Another way, to strap items on to the backpack is under the yoke. Small items like a sweater or rain jacket could easily be strapped in this area.
Ease of Use
If the backpack is load correctly by keeping the heavier objects out of the outermost pockets and correctly balancing the load the pack will be stable and comfort throughout long hikes. Some additional attachments that great to add are, water bottle pouches on the sides, magazine pouch for carrying a flashlight and general purpose pouch for carrying a stove and fuel tank.
On the straps, there are attachment points where you could easily attach a handheld GPS. These attachment points also are big enough to run the water bladder tubing to make sure it is in a convenient place.
The pack is designed for one to carry for a long time and to continue to feel comfortable. With the pack strapped securely to your back and with the weight evenly distributed throughout you will not have to worry about the pack shifting if you experience slipping on the trail.
The Maxpedition Falcon II is designed with the Pouch Attachment Ladder System also known as PALS. This system provides the distribution of weight of gear when attaching additional attachments to the pack.
The pack is used by overnight minimalist campers because it provides enough space for essential gear. Some items that could easily be packed for in this for the minimalist camper is a rain jacket, light sleeping bag, water, food, stove, and fuel tank.
If you are looking for a small backpack for a youth hiker this might be a good choice because the pack is not bulky or heavy. The pack can easily be adjusted to fit the frame of an 8-year-old and up and it will be a quality pack that can be used for years after.
If you are looking for a backpack that is longer than a weekend this pack might not be the best choice because it does not provide enough space and you should not have to choose to leave behind essential survival items.