The Blackhawk® Lightweight Phoenix pack is a tactical bag with STRIKE® webbing on all of the sides. The adjustable, padded shoulder straps have D-rings for adding more gear and are attached directly to the top of the rear of the bag. There is not a center section that connects the straps and curves around the upper shoulder area. We experienced an intense pressure at two points on our shoulders because the straps looped directly over our shoulders. The weight of the load is concentrated at the two side connection points that are on the top of the rear of the backpack. Without a centered, curved section to connect the shoulder straps, there was no better way for us to more evenly distribute the weight of the loads across our backs.
The heavy-duty chest straps helped to steady the loads while we were reading maps or using a compass. Our hands were free to carry a weapon or use tools. The chest straps are adjustable, removable and hold the shoulder straps together over the chest area. A removable waist strap has webbing for attaching gear at multiple points. The waist straps held the backpacks firmly against our backs and reduced any abrasion that would have been caused by the rocking of the backpacks, while we hiked across rough terrain.The bag is available in three colors: black, coyote tan and multi cam. The fabric is lightweight, high tenacity 210/330 nylon and 210 rip-stop nylon. The high tenacity nylon is capable of withstanding a higher than normal amount of strength before the fibers in the fabric will rupture. The rip-stop nylon has a crosshatch pattern that is produced by weaving reinforcement threads at regular intervals in the fabric, which is highly resistant to ripping and tearing. The fabric is durable, tough and lightweight.The backpack weighs 2.65 pounds and has a capacity for 2175 cubic inches or 46 liters of storage. There is a map compartment, front pocket and main compartment. We packed our gear inside and had to be careful about the weight distribution. The large main compartment would have permitted our gear to roll around inside the bag if we had not secured the load. The backpack can be compressed with four exterior compression straps that will firmly secure the bag into a tight bundle.
With the main compartment and the front pocket, the bag is similar to a small accordion style bag that will easily accommodate multiple sizes of loads, which can be securely compressed. The main compartment has inner dimensions of 20.5 inches long, 12 inches wide and 6.75 inches deep. The front pocket has inner dimensions of 15.75 inches long, 12.8 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep. The main compartment is large enough to store supplies that will be sufficient for more than a two day mission. The front pocket provides adequate storage space for notepads and a small laptop computer.
The backpack is compatible with the Blackhawk® Hydration Reservoir System. There is a convenient handle on the top of bag. The handle is attached near the rear of the top of the bag, which permitted us to lift the bag while also gaining access to the main compartment. The front pocket can also be accessed while holding up the backpack with the top handle.