Maxpedition keeps em coming with further development in the popular gearslinger series. The Sitka first comes off to me as an evolution of mixing Typhoon and Lunada concepts. The result is a single strap smaller sized backpack that can be easily accessed when shifted from back to frontal position. Features are certainly abundant so I'll try not to bore you out going overkill with detail.
Maxpedition uses their standard Y-strap for compression, since not a large pack I'm glad to see there are no extra side compression straps. Personally I'll take the Y-strap off, but I can still see many others will find it useful. The upper front pocket needs a name as it is used on many designs these days. I'll wing it and call it the Sandwich pouch due to the many layers, and I bet that shit can hold a sandwich too! So anyway, just in case you are confused, the Sandwich pocket has a loop velcro sleeve and a shock cord rig on the outside. The idea appears to be able to lash on items externally or hold longer items like beat sticks. The zipper opening has been adjusted to be optimized for usage while the Sitka is chest mounted. Inside is the usual sleeve pocket with elastic webbing. The height is a little stubby, but the overall size of the interior of the sandwich pocket is pretty good. Moving down the exterior is a rectangle pocket. A slim zippered pocket gives quick access and has a security snap. The snap piece can be additionally used as a quick lash point. Although offset for the zipper, PALS is on the exterior for mounting options. Mounted to the exterior side is a handle which assists in both this pocket and whole pack manipulation. The double zippers to inside this pocket are also placed with chest mounted access in mind. Inside, sleeve pocket design keeps up with this concept and a key lanyard is included. For a new idea Maxpedition added a webbing and cordlock system as an anti-theft deterrent. It won't save your backpack from being stolen or anything, but it is used to lock down all of the cord pulls so gremlins will have a much harder time trying to get into any pockets. This would apply to a pick-pocket situation were the pack is still worn by the user. Back to the exterior, the left side has a generous sized water bottle pocket with cord-lock closure. The right side is more minimal with PALS to allow customization with additional pouches. Since not quite 3" wide, the PALS channels are longer than usual to allow fudging of pouches that may need 1 or 2 channels. Up top is a pretty serious pull handle making grab and go easier. The main shoulder strap is well padded like the whole back of the pack. They are pretty off-spec, but a variety of PALS-like webbing is on the shoulder strap exterior to all general mounting. A HK hook is mounted as an attachment bonus. If one needs to get into heavier movement, a cross strap is available and I like how a tuck-hole was integrated into the bottom back for storage when not in use. Incorporated into the back is a large pocket good for holding hydration bladders or concealed weapons thanks to the loop velcro panel inside. Older pack designs required one to take off their pack to access this pocket, but when chest mounted, opening the zipper is not bad at all on the Sitka.
Keeping with the chest access theme, the zipper placement to the main interior is done appropriately. It isn't quite clamshell as that would be floppy, but still a good sized opening. The interior back has simple sleeve pockets divided into one fairly large and one small pocket. The tension of the fabric here makes the pocket useful for both slim and medium thickness items. On the other side, the interior front, a lot is going on starting with a zippered mesh sleeve pocket. It is divided similar to the other side creating large and small pocket areas. Behind this is a large sleeve pocket with a good sized loop velcro panel. This has good potential for CCW or other velcro add-ons. An SRB strap is incorporated to assist in compressing the whole interior front if desired.
As for general thoughts on the Sitka, I say the main consideration is size. It is big enough to hold legal sized paper, a crap load of gadgets, or smaller laptops, but in the end it is still a small backpack. If that is what you are looking for, the balance of size and ease accessibility is really great. The Sitka is medium haul distance capable, but it truly shines if constantly accessed throughout a day.
<Maxpedition VIDEO 3> A new Patrol Bag design and the views of the Sitka / Kodiak
DIMS: Main compartment: 16.5” high x 8.5” wide x 3” thick with internal organization
Top front: 7.5” wide x 4” high x 2” thick with internal organization
Bottom front: 8” high x 7” high x 2” thick with internal organization
Approximate Capacity: 618 cu. in.