- Created: Thursday, 08 November 2012 01:46
Keeping the pack party going with Warrior Assault Systems is the Predator pack. It may seem familiar as it was the original big boy pack that inspired the smaller Pegasus. Being almost double in size, it holds approx 2500 cu-in / 42 liters which is a slim 3-day pack size class. I sneak "slim" in there as 2800 cu-in appears to be the common 3-day size so the Predator dropped a little mass with the balance of offering more modularity. Since made to hold substantial weight, fortunately a nicely padded hip belt is included by default which is a must for heavy long hauls. There is quite a bit of Pegasus functionality sharing so I'm going to rock some copy/paste action, however you will also see the larger size of the Predator offers new features as well.
As seen on all their gear, Warrior Assault Systems doesn't pull any stops on using the best in materials as expected in a military class pack. The foundation is 1000D Cordura with Mil-Spec webbing and even ITW hardware, all good stuff. The 3D mesh used has a mil-spec mesh main exterior, but then has this deep and porous foam inside to offer great body standoff and airflow. It truly is a great balance of getting the durable mesh on the exterior with not just padding, but padding that can breathe. The whole back panel itself has padding along with the shoulder straps to give more comfort with heavier loads. The nice 3D padding is even on the hip belt, but if for some reason the belt does not fit your needs it can be removed as it is secured via velcro behind the lower back pad. All the usual tactical features are on the straps as usual such as D-rings and a sternum strap. Upper strap adjustment hardware exists as well to help really customize the pack fit. As another nice attention to detail, the webbing used to make the drag handle up top, goes down the sides all the way to the bottom to maximize overall pack strength. Making good use of the large exterior space, it is a PALS webbing party in general. There is PALS on the sides, the 2 frontal pockets, and even the bottom so one can get pretty rowdy with pouch addition options. Staying with the PALS everywhere theme I think the shoulder pad exterior could use some extra rows as that tends to be good for small comms pouches.
Getn' on to the details starting with the frontal upper compartment, there is a small loop velcro zone of about 3.5" x 2" and a single zipper sleeve pocket. Moving to the inside, the double zippers move nice and smooth which can be said about the zippers on the whole pack. Not to be missed are even the zipper end pull tabs to get pull strength leverage. The interior back is an admin party with many sleeve pockets for papers, writing tools, and small gadgetry. One sleeve even has a shock cord closure kinda thing, I'm not sure why it has hook velcro on both sides of the connection tab, but I suppose lets the user get creative with positioning. On the other side is a mesh sleeve opening with a single zipper for further organization options. 2 grommets are at the bottom for drainage which applies to all the major compartments of the Predator.
Moving down is the frontal lower compartment which also opens with double zippers. Overall simple, the shape is more rectangular to accommodate similar shaped items. The interior front is slick while the back has some sleeve pockets with elastic openings providing good small item stash zones.
Onto the big show main compartment, it opens up with double zippers in a clam-shell style to offer full access. The exterior compression straps can be used to limit this effect if desired. With the larger size, 3 mesh zipper pockets are on the front interior with the top one being overall slim while the lower two have some baggyness to them. These are great for general organization for gear such as medical items. Over to the back side is hydration pocket zone that has an SRB closure now with the whole sleeve covered in PALS webbing. The PALS offers the same great modularity that is on the outside to interior needs. Since the back area is padded, one could alternatively store a small laptop / tablet back there. Additionally up top is the center hole covered by elastic and then 2 more ports with velcro flaps on the sides to offer access to any sort of hydration tube or antenna needs.
They are not stock features, however the large insert and stiffener panel are worthwhile accessories for the Predator that I show off in my pics. The mission insert panel is semi stiff in its own-right and is not stingy having PALS on BOTH sides. With a handle incorporated up top it makes for great mission specific organization or tear outs. Some quick examples would be medical, breaching, ammo mule, but of course is up to whatever creative needs you have. The stiffener panel I suppose is more straight forward, actually made of similar stiffener material reinforced with 2 aluminum strips. Placed in the hydration pocket the stiffener panel can be quite the back saver if you have to haul some heavy gear such as large radios. It even secures with a velcro area so it won't shift around during heavy movement. As a small note the hydration pocket is fairly slim, likely so things aren't flapping around if you use the PALS, but keep this in mind since the stiffener panel will take up some space in there when there isn't a lot to begin with.
The attention to detail in general is appreciated, the smaller things like getting elastic loops for all the adjustment straps slack and when in camo the webbing is camo matched on all the PALS webbing. Overall the Predator is a solid all business military pack by default with the accessories adding even further mission modularity. I think the starting size is about as big as possible without great hindrance to user movement and then all the PALS webbing allows for serious enhanced holding capacity. With all the padding and durable construction the Predator is certainly up to the task of not only bulking up, but doing so in relative comfort.
Main compartment - 21.5″ x 13″ x 7″
Frontal Upper - 11.5″ x 9″ x 2″
Frontal Lower - 7″ x 9.5″ x 3″
Capacity - 2500 cu-in / 42 liters