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View Full Version : X-Ray vs Molle Express



steveb
06-01-2009, 09:22 AM
I have determined I need (want) three packs. A dedicated day pack, an overnight/weekend pack, and a large/duplex pack. I have the Zulu, and it will serve well in the second role. Eventually, I'll look at a MMR/AG2/EMR for my 'heavy transport'. For now, my next niche to fill is one of a pure day pack...no overnight use, as the Zulu will get the nod for this. So it's X-ray vs MollEx. The X-Ray seems sized better for this and EDC. The MollEx, from what I've read on the boards, carries better due to longer stays/profile. Please chime in as to which pack you would rather carry on hikes up to 15 miles or so over difficult terrain, loads of less than 30 lbs. (In urban settings, I plan to use an E&E or my Maxpedition) Thanks, Steve.

jadias
06-01-2009, 09:46 AM
I only have one of the two, but I struggle to find fault with my MOLLE Express. I've used it for overnighters and weekenders a few times now (both 'urban', and carrying shelter and sleeping kit on hikes) and it'll fill that role, and it's perfectly useable as an EDC too. An Organiser on the front will probably help with that, and I'd recommend that with either pack I think - it's a brilliant little pouch.

Just this weekend I got clothing for 3 days, Woobie G2, first aid kit (take one everywhere), a bunch of paperwork (A4 papers), water, sunglasses, iPod...all the usual stuff for a weekender into the MOLLE Express alone, with an Organiser on the front for good measure. Equally it'll compress right down and take enough for one day, and still carry it very well. Granted, I haven't used mine in an EDC capacity yet, but I fail to see any reason why it wouldn't work.

Mel
06-01-2009, 10:07 AM
Hey Steve, I know we talked at length about this on the phone, but if you read back through your post, you really have answered your own question. For the needs and requirements you have listed, your Zulu will fill your first AND second role, as you posted that in urban settings you will be using your E&E or Maxpedition pack for EDC. Your Zulu will work perfect as a day pack for 15 mile hikes over difficult terrain. For that stated purpose, there would be no reason really to get an Express when you already have the Zulu. Now if you want to mix EDC/urban and day hikes, then an Xray would make a great addition to your Zulu, and eventually a larger pack.

Mel

Cameron
06-01-2009, 07:04 PM
Mel is right the Zulu is all you need. That said the Express trumps the Xray.

Cameron

steveb
06-01-2009, 08:13 PM
Some good insights. With those comments in mind, the only kind of pack I do not have now is a 'full-up' large pack. Although I don't see a need for one until fall, I've started looking. The $300+ I don't spend on another omni-pack would definitely help take the bite out of the MMR/AG2/EMR I'm looking at.

steveb
06-02-2009, 04:23 PM
Ok, I went ahead and ordered a G2 Molle Express. My G2 Zulu can inflate to about 4200 cubes, enough for a winter weekend where I live (Arkansas). I also ordered a small belt so my son can use one too. In the future, if it looks like I'll have the time to quest out longer, I'll go bigger.

poi dog
06-02-2009, 06:27 PM
Steve, I know you made have just purchased the MOLLEx but if I were you I'd see if I could change that order to an X-ray. Sorry I PMed you so late. Get the X-ray for your smaller pack and the MMR for the larger.

Bullfrog
06-02-2009, 06:50 PM
Steve, I know you made have just purchased the MOLLEx but if I were you I'd see if I could change that order to an X-ray. Sorry I PMed you so late. Get the X-ray for your smaller pack and the MMR for the larger.

Hi poi dog - I just went through the same decision process (mollex vs. xray) and same conclusion (mollex over xray) - was wondering your reasoning behind choosing the xray...?

Thanks!

steveb
06-02-2009, 07:20 PM
Couple of reasons I chose the MollEx. Pack will be used in wilderness settings, not town. I also wanted a pack my son could use on overnights, while I use the Zulu. Also, I have a TG1, for 'light and fast' hikes. I spoke with Mel about this, and he basically said that if I wanted to use the pack for 'EDC', go with X-Ray, but if I planned on using it in the bush, MollEx might be a better choice (but might be redundant with Zulu). Yes, they are closer in capacity, but a stuffed G2 Zulu has about 75% more room than the Express (the 3200 listed for Zulu is very conservative, I can get to 4000 plus easily, see my pics). I think I will get good use out of both. If not, I'll get the X-Ray and hit the trading post.

Prowannabe
06-03-2009, 03:17 PM
Steve,
I'm facing the same decision. I hiked the Buffalo River this past weekend with my Pointman cinched down and it just feels too big. My next purchase will be an Xray or Scout for day hikes. I will say I drug that Pointman up and down mtn's and into 3 caves and it held up like a champ.

steveb
06-03-2009, 03:35 PM
I also had the Pointman, great pack but too roomy for day hikes (but not enough for cool wx weekenders, because of my plump WM bag). The Mollex has a similar design, but is much 'leaner'...not as wide or deep but about same height. The Mollex has 14 columns of pals vs 20 for the Pointman. If your familiar with the TG1, it also has 14, soo the Mollex is like a tall TG1, width and depth wise at least.

poi dog
06-03-2009, 05:24 PM
Hi poi dog - I just went through the same decision process (mollex vs. xray) and same conclusion (mollex over xray) - was wondering your reasoning behind choosing the xray...?

Thanks!

Hi Bullfrog,
My reasoning was geared specifically toward steve as he has PM'ed me about already having a Zulu. My thinking, along with others, was that the Zulu would cover the range that the Express would. Steve also wanted something that would be useful for EDC, not to large/not to small (max 25 lbs. with belt). Given these parameters, the x-ray fills the role perfectly. If he didn't have the Zulu and wanted just one pack to fill the role, I'd have said Express, maybe even Zulu given how he wanted to do 3 day jaunts. I've never had a Zulu but from the Kifaru packs that I do/did own, I know that the Zulu will EASILY compress to fit a smaller role.:cool:

Akilae
06-04-2009, 01:15 AM
Just to pitch in... I went through the same debate and went with the X-Ray. After a month of carrying it around, I sometimes think if the Mollex would have been a better choice. The X-Ray sits a tad low on the back so when I occasionally overstuff the pack there's no lift. After I saw how *flat* the X-Ray could be compressed to I almost want to get a Mollex instead and throw the X-Ray onto the Trading Post :p Right now the main thing stopping me is the front zipper on the X-Ray that allows for easy access when I'm hauling camera equipment...