- Created: Monday, 09 May 2011 16:52
If looking for something a little bigger than MOAB 6, mister MOAB 10 is the larger size of the 5.11 MOAB (Mobile Operation Attachment Bag) series. The overall layout is kinda like a backpack and a tactical log bag like the S.O. TECH Go Bag blended together. For those familiar with the Kodiak, the MOAB 10 size is overall similar, but with less depth offering a holding size between the Sitka and Kodiak. Being a single strap design, emphasis is put on ease for grab and go capability and being able to access while still worn. Attention to detail has been placed on the several parts of the pack including the main strap and inner front compartment dividers to offer enhanced ambidextrous usage.
Since some parts are obviously just scaled up derivatives of the MOAB 6, there will be a little copy paste from that review, however there are substantial changes to make the MOAB 10 unique. The front includes a generous amount of PALS webbing with a 2 Row x 4 Channels section in the upper area and a 6 Row x 4+ Channels on the lower. I note the "+" as there is a little extra there on the sides which can allow a tight fudging with a MALICE clip. This offers a great platform to add many different kinds of pouches as desired. The sides are also showered in PALS incorporating 7 Rows x 2 Channels each, solid for holding ammunition and hydration based pouches. As a bonus even the shoulder strap has 3 Rows x 2 Channels which is a great quick access zone. 4 Quick Attach MOLLE Buckles are included to work with the 5.11 tier strap system. (Buckle name side rant; they don't require sewing, but by no means are super quick to take on and off and MOLLE refers to a US Military gear series and not PALS webbing specifically) Since the MOAB 10 is larger there isn't as much concern on having to decide to have either the buckles on or a pouch and most of the time a user will be able to have both if desired. Not to be forgotten, even the small upper GP pouch has 3"x2" of webbing, again likely rare anyone will mount a pouch to it, but great for pens. Loop velcro covers this zone with an additional field on the lower front and a name tape strip on the upper front of the pack for all your patch and ID desires.
Both the shoulder strap and back of the MOAB 10 are nicely padded. There isn't any wacky 3D mesh which I think is fine in the name of durability. Interestingly rather than having 2 simple connection points, there are 2 lower flaps to allow left or right shoulder carry adaptation. The connection flaps even have PALS webbing if you want to squeeze one more small pouch on. The side not in use can be tucked into the lower tunnel for storage and actually helps increase the padding a little. It probably won't happen much, but this allows for quick shoulder setup changes for if the pack is handed off to someone else or perhaps you want to vary between shoulders if wearing for a long day. I'm still monkey sized so I crank the shoulder strap size adjustment down all the way to get tight to my body. This won't be an issue for most folk, but fellow small dudes and ladies in general should keep this in mind. A biggun grommet is on the bottom for drainage and a Y-strap has been incorporated for holding extra gear such as bedrolls or jackets. Upon research I've seen some complain about the Y-strap slack hanging down, but I find it easy to wrap around itself or store in nearby PALS with help from the snag tab on the slack. Since not a huge pack, being able to exterior mount something bulky when the time comes is a welcomed feature in my eyes. If deemed as a snag hazard you will never use, just cut that sona-bitch off. Up top is a nice drag handle with a velcro flap port hole under it for routing hydration tubes.
The MOAB 10 has the same integrated small shoulder pouch as seen on the MOAB 6. The GP pouch opens with a single zipper and the inside has 1.5" elastic inside to hold electronics such as music devices, slim phones, and cameras. A wire hole is integrated to use with headphones or maybe you can get crafty with comm gear. The hole appears to lead to no where when actually the whole GP pouch is only connected to the pack on the sides creating a tunnel behind it; not only good for the wire routing, but can get into knife storage as well. Between this pouch and the handle is a small zippered pocket that uses a soft material great for sunglasses, yet also good for small electronics. Larger glasses will be a dash more difficult to take in and out, however will still fit. In the back area is a hydration type pocket that also can work just fine as a pistol storage area since padded. The double zippers are in an alternate configuration so when closed there is a zipper pull on each side which I think is pretty cool. The inside is for the most part plain with 2 sneaky hanging tabs integrated up top and one more visible velcro loop for hanging hydration. This time a hole is integrated for hydration tube access which brings up a special note that due to the central location it can interfere with using the sunglasses pouch. It is possible to go around the interior sunglasses pocket to reach the top hydration port, however it causes the need for more tube length to be used. A cool addition is a stiffener plate is included and can be accessed in this back compartment if the user wanted to remove it to allow the pack to bulge more. None the less. I think most users will appreciate the added support of the stiffener. Not the end of the world, but it would of been nice to have some loop velcro in this back area for more CCW options. There is plenty of room for a pistol (hell you could probably fit a MP7 in there), but if just laid in there it will fall to the bottom being harder to retrieve.
Again like the MOAB 6, the front compartment is of substantial size and filled with many sleeve pockets for organization assistance. The opening uses 2 zippers and goes down to just short of the bottom to keep the flap from falling all the way out while open. The back interior is a sleeve fest appearing to be mostly for admin items including 2 key keepers and due to the added height, an additional zippered sleeve pocket. The front stays the same with 2 rifle magazine based sleeves. There is still a big seam down the middle, which as my best guess helps separate these rifle sleeves. The main compartment also opens up with 2 zippers, as a tangent the pack seems to vary between having the cord ends be a knot or a plastic piece. I'm a fan of knots as they don't really ever break, however each user will have their preference. Back on subject, the main compartment opens up to a very near clam-shell opening to allow quick full access. Side compression straps are available on the exterior which has its own pluses and minuses. These straps are nice to make the bag as slim as possible for storage which makes sense for a go bag and can assist in making sure not too much of the bag opens when accessing the main compartment while worn. However when using the pack for more of an EDC type usage they just get in the way being 2 more damn buckles you have to open to get to the main interior. When used in this mode I recommend keeping them unconnected and then stored by shoving into the upper PALS. On the interior back you'll see the sunglasses pouch, ignore that for now as the opening is on the exterior, but under it is a large sleeve pocket with depth and integrated shock cord to tighten. This works out nice for sectioning off medium sized gear while still having it be easy to access. Since otherwise this side is fairly blank, I'd like to see a loop velcro field here to add more holding options without much additional manufacture cost. On the other interior side is an organization pocket extravaganza consisting of one big sleeve pocket with a single zipper access on each side then 4 velcro closure mesh based pockets. The mesh pockets are actually separated rather than being a single pocket with 2 openings, yet still offer the great ambidextrous functionality. Many different items will fit, but medical and small electronics type gear are first to come to mind.
Between the Front and Main compartments is the very easy to overlook CCW compartment. Sealed with velcro up top, there is a gap in the middle and a small pull tab to assist with opening. The pull tab comes off as being a bit dainty, but I understand the decision likely to make it hard to see to help hide the compartment. If you don't care about visibility I recommend adding a pull cord to the pull tab to make it extra easy to rip open. Inside is a good sized piece of loop velcro to allow you to add holsters and pouches like those seen in the 5.11 BBS series. Since larger than the MOAB 6 version of this pocket, there is plenty of room for a full sized pistol. How stuffed the bag is will change how much friction is placed on your pistol so keep this mind and test if your draw speed is acceptable on any pack load.
Like the Kodiak, the MOAB 10 shares similar usage points. In general it can be easy to over stuff the pack where compartments don't work as well because one next to it was filled to the brim. Also on that note is the single strap design will never be more comfortable than a 2 strap design and this should be highly considered for how much weight to carry and expectations on how long to carry. Packing up a go-bag type loadout that is a little heavy is no big deal, but doing it everyday for more casual usage is just torturing yourself with the lil MOAB reminding you a bigger pack would be in your best interest. Curiously out of all the extras there was no cross strap which is always appreciated during heavy movement. Fortunately one can be easily made without sewing using repair buckles and webbing thanks to all the PALS webbing. All in all I think the MOAB 10 is a great addition to tactical single strap bag design.