- Created: Saturday, 30 August 2008 06:54
While browsing the internets I saw the original version of this bag getting some good praise and the unique shape caught my eye. After looking it up to purchase I noticed an "Extended" variant that you can see that I ended up with.
The main changes are that it is 3" longer and there are only 2 external pockets instead of 3 since they are larger. It isn't a huge pack, so I thought the extended version would give me more item carrying capability. The original intent of the pack is as an oh-shit go bag out of vehicles or aircraft. The log-like shape makes it easier to store in these places and the single strap design makes it quick to get on you and get the hell out. I'm no where near big enough, but apparently you can wear the original size as a waist belt if you are a bacon eating SOF dude.
Despite I read the sales pitch, once I got this pack in hand I was still a little surprised you can't access the insides while on. The main reason for this is that the main compartment access is mounted internally towards the body incase of zipper blowout during vehicle impact. Not my preference, but I understand their design decision so you don't spill out goods while you are hauling ass away. While on this subject, the main opening uses a long flap design with 2 zippers for quick access. This is secured with a velcro connection at the end. The interior is minimal in which the only thing in there is a long sleeve pocket in the back. On the external sides are long sleeve pockets with double zippers. Each are sewn down in the middle to form 2 organizer pockets, but by design the user is encouraged to de-stitch this area if they find the area more useful as one long pocket. The back exterior has 2 medium sized pockets which make for the equivalent of general purpose pouches. They only have single zippers, but that is fine for their use. One can fit a good number of rifle mags in there just to give you one idea of storage possibilities.
The upper and lower sides have PALS webbing so one can expand the pack as needed. There may be a reason, but I feel a little jipped there is no PALS webbing in the middle. A full size drag handle is up on top and a smaller one is on the bottom with a velcro connection to keep it flat when not needed. The whole shoulder strap and luckily also the back area all have foam padding to increase comfort. To add some pouches that you might actually be able to access while wearing, there is even PALS webbing on the shoulder strap. I wasn't so sure what the small SRB and webbing connection is for at top, but I use it as a way to make the shoulder strap even tighter. To make the pack easier to get on and off there is a 2" SRB on the shoulder strap for quick-release capability. For further stabilization I plan to make a messenger bag style cross strap out of simple 1" webbing and ITW repair buckles. These will fortunately attach to the PALS webbing on the strap and sides so no real sewing will be required.
One of the reasons of the creation of this extended version is the capability to break down a carbine into upper and lower pieces and carry it discreetly. Especially if you get the Go Bag in a low key color, chump civies will never suspect. An optional padded insert can be purchased to keep your weapon from scratching itself, but everything fits in there fine as is. Other uses include a medic bag that can fit a roll up stretcher or an E&E bag. The width of the main compartment can be a carry capability restriction, but one can still fit a lot of gear types in there.
All in all I think the Go Bag Extended is a pretty cool pack offering something new. It should be noted since a single strap design, the stability during heavy movement isn't particularly great. I also wish the zippers were color matched rather than always being black, but I'll live. The Go Bag was made for some pretty specific uses, yet can be easily adapted to expand the possibilities. Organization works out pretty good with large stuff in the main compartment, medium items in the 2 exterior pockets, and then small stuff in the side slim pockets. Unless you need things more compact I recommend this extended version over the original. The dimension changes are minimal, but the holding capabilities significantly increase.
Recommended place of purchase: <www.skdtac.com>