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Monday, March 1, 2010

Voodoo Tactical’s Level III Assault Pack

Voodoo Tactical Level III MOLLE Assault Pack - versatility in a small package

This is a review of Voodoo Tactical’s Level III Assault Pack, which, at just a shade over $50 from from the Barre Army Navy, offers a great deal of value and versatility in a small package.

Voodoo Tactical is a line of tactical gear and apparel developed by Captain Dave Inc. in collaboration with former Army Ranger, SWAT team member and Sniper Champion, Todd “Swank” Svenkesen. This pack is one of a dozen styles of packs offered by the company, ranging from simple hydration carriers through to full size, three-day assault packs. As with almost all of their offerings it comes in black, OD, coyote and Multicam. Interestingly, if ordering this pack directly from Voodoo Tactical they are applying a significant “Multicam tax”, but our good friends at Barre A&N are holding prices down and offering Multicam at the same price as the other colors.

The pack itself is relatively small, and would be hard to classify as anything more than a day pack, with official dimensions being 18” tall, 10” wide and 10” deep. First impressions are that the pack isn’t going to hold much at all, but looks can be deceiving. Part of the deception comes from the major compression straps that are in full effect when you first receive the pack. Not only does it have two side compression straps, but an additional strap that runs vertically along the outside front of the pack and connects via plastic buckle to a sturdy v-shaped strap arrangement on the top. Since this strap runs underneath the MOLLE webbing on the outside of the pack it’s kept neatly out of harms way, avoiding risks of snagging on branches etc. Combined, these straps allow users to always keep the pack synched down tight, whatever the load.

Once loosened the straps allow the pack to open up, offering two full-length compartments, as well as two outer pockets. The main compartment includes two inner pockets, one zippered and one mesh, which help keep smaller items organized. Surprisingly the main compartment doesn’t have any drainage holes in the bottom, so if it was fully immersed presumably it would take a while for water to escape. Another surprise is that the outside of the compartment is padded, like a laptop case, although certainly it doesn’t pretend to be one. I’m not sure of the reason for this, other than to offer some additional protection to your contents, and to provide structural integrity when empty.

The other full-length compartment is inset slightly, and features several organizer compartments, again to keep small items under control. Rounding out the storage options are two outer pockets, A small 8” x 4” compartment at the top, and a large 8” x 14” compartment at the bottom. The bottom pocket includes more organizer pockets on the inside, and is covered on the outside entirely with MOLLE webbing. The upper pocket has a single hook-and-loop strip across, with a single MOLLE strap across that. This second strap somewhat limits what you can stick to the hook-and-loop, but larger patches still hold on.

All in all the pack offers a surprising number of storage options and capacity. Definitely enough room for a days rations, some extra layers of clothing and plenty of other smaller gear. Check out the video for a look at what fits.

The back of the pack has been well padded with foam that has been contoured to allow airflow between the pack and the wearer. It also features an additional pocket for a hydration bladder that closes at the top with hook-and-loop. When you receive the pack the shoulder straps aren’t attached, and there aren’t really any directions as to how they should be added. Fortunately with the application of a little common sense and some trial and error they can be securely attached, and they’re constructed in the same sturdy and thoughtful manner as the rest of the pack. I’m not sure of the purpose for removable shoulder straps. Perhaps this allows the pack to be attached to a plate carrier or other MOLLE platform, but the method for doing this isn’t immediately apparent.

The waist belt (also removable) is a little underwhelming, just a single 2” strap with a plastic buckle, but for a pack of this size it’s really not a necessity and can be easily left off. Finally, there are many additional loops, D-rings and MOLLE straps all over the pack that offer countless options for attaching other gear. Clearly this pack has been put together in a thoughtful way, reflecting the influence of its designer.

The overall construction of the pack is very good, utilizing heavy duty zippers, and thick heavyweight nylon. The sewing quality is high with all threads and seams tidied up neatly. The label says “Made In China”, but in my opinion the quality of construction and materials used is a step up over comparable China-made brands such as Condor, even though (with a little shopping around) the pricing is very similar.

Overall I was impressed by my first piece of Voodoo Tactical gear. Versatile design, quality construction, and competitive pricing. Even if this particular pack doesn’t meet your size requirements, there are plenty of other packs in the Voodoo line that would.

Please note this review was written for us by T. Lovering (one of our customers from the great state of Maine) it is his view of the product and we have requested he be as critical or as complimentary as the item really reflects. His compensation is more stuff it's a vicious cycle. Any one who want to participate email me at steve@vtarmynavy.com

Questions email info@vtarmynavy.com or call 800-448-7965

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