Busted back-pack dude – you’ve seen him. He’s the guy on the trail who’s pack is half-patched with super-glue, duct tape and a chip-clip. Spec-Ops looks to solve such woes forever with their premium line backpack affectionately-titled: “Spec Ops T.H.E. Ultimate Assault Pack.” Sounds pretty good, right? But is it? We’re here to break it down for you. With a total internal capacity of 2550 cubic inches, this thing threatens to hold everything on Earth. Despite the amazing capacity from an internal frame pack, Spec-Ops keeps it stylish with five available colors: Black, Coyote Brown, MultiCam, ACU Universal Camo Pattern, and Digital Desert Camo. To be clear, for those last three choices, that means regular Beetle Bailey style green-army camo, blue-white-grey camo, and maroon-white-beige camo respectively.
The “T.H.E.” means “Tactical Holds Everything” and this bad boy is indeed a contender. Featuring a new 2013 design that boasts improved cargo access, ergonomics, comfort and durability – we wanted to see if any of that claim was actually true. Or if such improvements had an affect on the core qualities of its space-saving, modular design. After having it spend many days with our heaviest testers, we found it all held up. First off, it’s a beast in the fortitude department. We treated it like a pillow we were angry at and tossed it around, laid our weight on it, ran it against rock walls and more – and the result was an impression that the pack might outlive our children. We loved that its hydration pocket for bladders is in the mid-point of the pack so you get no sensation of having a “lump” on your back. Considerations like this make it very comfortable given its size at 19″ high and 13″ wide (also a 12″ bottom section tapers to 9″ at top). The entire pack is made from truly durable 1000D Cordura Nylon fabric along with long-lasting zippers and buckles that are specially reinforced to prevent strap failure or wear and tear. Spec-Ops calls them their exclusively-designed “battle buckles” and they worked like a charm in our tests. Finally, it’s good to know that every piece of the pack is guaranteed for life and 100% USA made. Feeling better already.
Pro and Con Checklist
+) Practically every aspect of it is over-built: very durable, very functional
+) Plenty of space
+) Visible in low-light
+) Hydration pocket is in the middle
+) Very modular, well-positioned MOLLE space
+) Made in USA with lifetime guarantee
+) Did we mention this thing is well-made and durable? May be a looong time before you need a replacement
-) The price is high at $220 list and we couldn’t find it for less than 200 online or with discounts
-) A little heavy, in case you weren’t expecting that
-) It’s hip belt piece doesn’t quite work as well as you’d imagine
-) No “strap holder” to place strap when not in use, pockets are just empty space (i.e. no “extra” organizational compartments within)
To wrap up, in our estimation, this is one of the first packs you should look at if you ever even mildly considered needing a “hardcore” backpack. Whether it’s a short trip or a long excursion you’re planning – this product is a problem-solver. Unless you need something lightweight for jogging or simple usage, Assault Pack delivers. It’s top-grade durability, flexibility, capacity, and attention-to-detail make it a stand-out. Pricey, yes – but you get what you pay for. This pack is worth it.