Video Review: <Jumbo Review>
DIM: Main: 9” x 9” x 3” with front and back subdividers
Frontal: 7” x 6.5” x 1.5” with mesh divider and internal keyper
Side A: 6” x 3.5” x 2” with divider and double zippers to accommodate antenna
Side B: 7” x 3.5” diameter with cinch (can be compacted for low profile carry)
Top of lid pocket: 6.5” x 3” x 1"
The Jumbo, being larger than the Fatboy, is the largest in the Versipack line. The sizing and functionality of this pouch make it one of the best man-purse designs I have ever seen. Even the ladies I have shown it to are able to ignore the fact it doesn’t look like a designer bag due to its ease of use.
As an overview, core materials include 1000D Teflon coated ballistic nylon with heavy duty webbing and binding. The back has padded mesh to comfort the user on heavy loads and to help form a standoff distance to promote airflow. The stitching and construction quality is great as always with Maxpedition gear. With the adjustable main strap, the Jumbo is meant to be worn around the shoulder. When not connected to one’s belt, it is very easy to move the pouch on the body where and when desired. Thus allowing fluid pack access and stowage. For some applications you may even consider wearing 2 JUMBOs.
We’ll get things going here with standard exterior features. The main strap is a beefy 2” wide and comes with a nice pad that is easily placement adjustable and removable with Velcro. On one side of the strap is a side release buckle to easily take the pack on and off and then the other side has a metal snap hook for easy connection of items such as gloves. Thick webbing and PALS compatible webbing are on the strap connection points which allow for even further pouch additions such as the Rollypoly. On the snap hook side webbing is a sneaky lil sleeve that is useful for pens and such. At first I didn’t know what the D-ring on my main flap webbing was all about, but later found out it is for a quick solid grab to yank down and tighten the pouch. On the bottom of the pouch is some loose webbing which you can route the extra webbing slack through if you find it to be dangling.
Now for an overlook on all the pockets: Starting with the main flap exterior there is a flat zippered pocket great for small or slim items. Above is a narrow zippered pouch great for pens, chemlights, and small electronics. Due to the shape, this pocket can be hard to open quickly, so keep the smooth is fast motto in mind when opening.
Moving to one side there is a deep sleeve pocket which can accommodate longer tools and another zippered pouch. This pouch is similar to the upper one on the main flap and has an inner sleeve pocket for assistance in dividing. The exterior has PALS compatible webbing for additional modular pouches and general quick attachment opportunities.
On the other side is a nice big Nalgene pouch that is also a great place for miscellaneous water bottles and larger radios. Adjustment is easy with the cord /cordlock pouch opening in combination with the cord / Velcro flap. This flap can also be used to collapse the pouch which I'll talk about later. A grommet is included to drain any leaked fluids.
Back up to the top, is the slim, but large concealed weapons pouch. Normally the zipper comes with a standard cord pull, I have modified mine which I will also talk about later. Inside the weapons pouch is loop Velcro so modular accessories can be added such as the Maxpedition modular holster and 3 mag holster. The pouch and modular accessories are also great for other gear besides weaponry such as tools and electronics.
Finally opening up the flap, we see the square sleeve pouch which is attached to a square zippered pouch. Inside is a mesh sleeve pouch for dividing and a plastic hook buddy for your keys. This pocket area adds for more size variety with its more square shape.
Then for the big score, the main pouch. This area is for your larger items or if you are less interested in organization, it will hold a lot of small items. A mesh divider sleeve is in the back and a standard divider sleeve on the front. The main area has a cord / cordlock closure opening to fully secure all items when needed. Also inside is the cordlock to adjust the Nalgene pocket. This will allow you to adjust to the size of your item or collapse the pouch totally. If you find yourself never using the main opening cordlock closure, I recommend rolling it over the opening so it is not in the way.
Jumping back to the exterior features of the Jumbo, I thought I’d note the variation in versions. The first gen versions all have extra webbing on the upper narrow zippered pouch and have a lock on the main 2” side release buckle. The current Jumbo versions on the market have loop Velcro on the upper narrow zippered pouch and the main side release buckle has no locking feature. Offhand I am a fan of the webbing on the old one and the non-locking buckle on the new one. The webbing was good for external pens and there already is loop Velcro space. I’ve never accidentally released a side release buckle in my life so I’m not interested in a locking one slowing me down. Luckily the lock hasn’t engaged from running movement yet, but I am a lot more worried about it becoming locked when I don’t want it to than I am of accidentally releasing. The new version also appears to have varied the zipper opening directions of the upper pouches so it is easier to grab the zipper pull you want. I'm not sure if it is a gen variation or just a production tolerance, but noticed the upper exterior pocket was closer to the weapons pouch zipper than on the current gen in comparison to the older gen Jumbo.
While talking about variations I'll note regularJumbo pouches are made for right handed users and S-type versions are made for left handed users. They are basically a mirror image of themselves, but don’t get overly concerned which is made for which hand. Sometimes you may prefer to use the opposite version on your strong hand side. The main things that change when doing so are: zipper opening direction, pouch placement, and strap placement. Things to consider are if you’d like the main strap SRB to be in front or behind you along with the metal snap hook on the opposite side. Also consider if you want the general zippered pouch or big Nalgene pouch closer to your front or behind. Although a slighter change, the back side Velcro belt attachment position will also move depending on your version.
Although the JUMBO is never going to be as fast as a holster, with some slight modifications the pouch can be used for a fairly quick draw concealed weapons pouch. The modular holster is not required, but definitely recommended for weapon placement consistency. I size it to a generally loose fit on my pistol for ease of draw and when zipped up in the pouch it is plenty secure. The next step is to make a pull tab that is easy to grab without looking. I ended up with this fatty cord wrap pull which allows for a solid grab despite placement drift. Now tighten up the main strap so the JUMBO meets up nicely with your belt and then use the belt attachment Velcro. From here I have had the most consistent results using my weak hand to pull the pouch as I use my strong arm to unzip and draw. I average around 2 seconds from draw start to weapon aimed.
Alternatively the fastest theoretical draw is to use the opposite sided pouch you should be using. So in this case I am now demo-ing a S-type despite I am right handed. This allows the user to pull the zipper open with the weak hand while at near the same time drawing the gun with the strong hand. Draw backs to this setup include the need to have the zipper pouch opened slightly since the curve was intended in a different direction and needing consistent pull cord placement solution. If serious about this setup I recommend you buy the newer JUMBOs with extra pouch loop Velcro and add hook Velcro to your pull cord. This way you can consistently setup a good pull cord placement. Otherwise you are just asking for the pullcord to be in the wrong place when an urgent time comes. It is not my favorite, but a cross-draw is another posibility when using a weak side JUMBO. Doing this in any semi-fast manner has a high chance of getting the draw hung up in the pouch. After playing around with which draw is comfortable to you, practice and stick with it. A quick warning: you will likely scratch your gun with repeated practice and you will want to wear gloves to protect your hands.
As for improvement recommendations I’d certainly want a double zipper on the weapons pouch. This would give the user more draw options. I’d also like to see the Maxpedition logo placed somewhere besides right in the middle of my patch Velcro area. There is space available nearby that could have been used instead. Having the main flap be closeable with Velcro would be preferred, but perhaps I’m just biased since I like Velcro closures. If done, the main SRB could be tucked away in the existing webbing. For the weapons pouch there should be more loop Velcro in the upper area for the modular attachments. As you can see, the end of the modular holster is curling since it has no Velcro to secure to. Getting to more nit-picky things, the black zippers and hardware is acceptable on OD, but less so on the Desert Tan. Costs shouldn’t be too much more to color match. Finally as more of a comment than a suggested improvement, hook Velcro is highly unfriendly to the back mesh padding. If you are wearing some and don’t watch out, you will rip up the mesh in no time.
In conclusion I obviously give the Maxpedition versipack JUMBO the milspecmonkey thumbs up. The unique shape and pouch layout is the key to its functionality and really sets it apart from everything else out there. I personally use it as a small go-bag and DSLR camera bag. I enjoy the large size, however if you feel it is a bit much for you, be sure and check out all the other great Maxpedition versipacks.
The Jumbo Versipack is currently availble in Black, OD, Khaki, and ACU/UCP compatible Digital Foliage Camo. Although I show pictures of the modular holster, it is sold separately.