View Full Version : Pouch Modules vs. Slick

10-05-2009, 12:08 PM
I did a quail hunt over the weekend and basically packed everything I would need for an over nighter. I also chose to get used to packing to hunt with my load on my back. I first was going to pack everything on my scout. But after I added all the stuff I needed with pouches it was pretty ridiculous, especially when taking into account water. The scout was so heavy I decided to move everything over to my Mollex.

I packed up the mollex with two long pockets and E&E. The pack was manageable and I really did not have that much in it. What I find is that the more pouches you add to a pack all the cordura adds a significant amount of weight. Just holding my mini-longs (I did not use these this weekend) in my hand they seem very weighty for their size.

I supposed unless you are in a critical “operator” situation where very quick access is necessary, is the weight trade off for all the extra cordura in pouches worth it? Would it be better to select a big enough pack to house all your gear sans pouches to save on the weight? I like the accessory idea but the weight in cordura can seriously add up. I feel like I would have been better off with something the size of a pointman with the load I had.

I understand that in a “professional” situation the exterior access is necessary but I am talking form a civilian stand point. Maybe I need to examine my load I was packing but there really was not that much that would have added that much weight.

10-05-2009, 12:17 PM
Would it be better to select a big enough pack to house all your gear sans pouches to save on the weight?

Yes yes yes. I don't get the "buy a pack that's too small to begin with and then buy a bunch of expensive and heavy pockets to expand it" thing. Sure it's expandable that way, but a big pack is also compressible.

One caveat -- a certain number of pockets are going to be nice for access to commonly used trail items. Figure on these to begin with. My personal favorite is side pockets (or wand pockets) for water bottles and a top pocket for water filter, trail snacks and a couple of other small things. If your side pockets are big enough (like the long pockets), they can house the water bottles and other stuff.

10-05-2009, 12:18 PM
I feel ya...I loaded up my pointman with 2 long pockets, 2 mini longs, and a claymore pouch and empty it felt like it weighted 30 lbs, got to re-evaluate this pack and pouch deal. Durable enough for Iraq but too durable for the 3 day hunting trip.

10-05-2009, 01:03 PM
My favorite pouches for the omni packs are a pair of mini longs, organizer, and maybe grabit or dl claymore on the pack. I use a pair of stash it's on the belt and a gps on shoulder strap. This gives me great access to the items I need frequently without adding too much bulk and weight. I dont use the larger pouches when I need a lot more volume, I use a larger pack.

10-05-2009, 01:59 PM
Steve-- Speaking of pouches, I'm curious how you use your Organizer in conjuction with the two Stash-it's you mention. I really looked hard at the Organizer during my last Kifaru order, but I had a hard time envisioning how I'd use it in a civilian capacity since I'm able to get my Surefire, knife, compass, and digital camera in my Stash-it. A neat piece of kit, to be sure, though...

10-05-2009, 05:30 PM
I use my Organiser for maps, binos, small radios, and notebooks/field guides. I can even put a fleece beenie and light gloves in it (it might not fit all of that together). I like that it's not very thick for the back of the pack or in case of Pointman/ZXR, top lid.

10-05-2009, 05:43 PM
Steve-- Thanks! I really like the toplid idea if I pull the trigger on an ZXR.

10-05-2009, 06:02 PM
i also use a pack a bit larger than what is truly needed.
i like a small pouch or 2 for the organization of edc and frequent use items.
but i also like a few D&L pouches to either expand or add specific gear...
ie, overnighter, sm pot/cook gear and food and some hygiene/cleaning items packed into a D&L claymore or LP, clip her on to whatever daypack you likey and viola...overnighter.

also maybe an expanded first aid kit, fishing/hunting gear...whatever

but i agree 110%...need to keep an eye on how much cordura ya add, 'cause the weight DOES acrue!

10-05-2009, 10:59 PM
'It depends'

Generally, it's a better idea to have a too big pack and compress it, rather than to have a too small pack and strap things on it. But not always.

For example, assume that you have (like me) a Zulu and an EMR to choose from, and have to decide between an overloaded Zulu or an underloaded EMR. Generally, you'd choose the EMR. Or, if you often encounter this situation, you might like to get an ZXR (well, I'd want one...)

Now assume you'll be operating from a base camp, and only have to haul all your kit and supplies there. But that you need a substantial pack when operating from the base, and have to choose whether that will be the Zulu or a much underloaded EMR. Now the Zulu is the better choice, and overloading it for transit to base camp makes sense. Just leave the extra kit and D&L pods and pouches at base camp, and you'll have a pack well-suited for operating from base camp.

However, if you seldom need the modularity, and do fine with a slick pack, you might consider getting a pack without the PALs grid altogether. Like, say, a hunting pack.

10-06-2009, 06:24 AM
I bought an MMR so I could keep as much in the main pack as possible. I picked up a used organizer and it works great on the front for carrying the stuff I usually carry in my pants pockets. I also have two condor rip-away pouches on the sides at the bottom. These are for first aid supplies and my hygene kit. Everything else fits nicely in the pack.
I use my rig to support a scout troop so I felt a bigger pack would do the job better. Expand when needed, compress when traveling light. So far I am impressed with Kifaru.


10-06-2009, 07:54 AM
This is why I have a range of Kifarus to choose from. The Marauder is my combo aid bag/patrol pack. If I need to get something inside, just open it up. Very easy access. When I'm on a longer foot/vehicle patrol or weekend camping trip; this is where the Zulu with XTL comes into play. I pack all my sustainment items (tent/hammock, extra clothes, food, water, etc) inside. Items I need access to on a regular basis go into the XTL. I also have the bandoleer strap kit for my XTL so I can detach it and use it for day hikes (or what have you) away from my Zulu. When I'm going to be gone for a long time, or have to make an admin move, that's where the MMR comes into play. If the going gets really ugly, I'll dock-n-lock one of my smaller Kifarus to the MMR. Generally, I go with the bigger pack. There is always something extra that needs to get loaded when your getting ready to move-out.

So, Revelation, I would have to answer "no and yes" to your questions. I love the modular concept in everything from web gear to rucksacks to vehicles. Some people take it to the extreme though. If one is trying to "live" out of a 1000 cubic inch pack loaded with ten modular pockets on it, it is time to re-evaluate one's load plan. We used to say in the Army; "100 pounds of light weight gear, is still 100 pounds of gear". This is especially true with pack backs. Having spent some time in the Army, I got used to living out of a ruck sack. One thing that we had that most civilians don't is our load bearing equipment. This is generally where those in the fight store their critical gear. Generally we don't fight with our ruck sacks (third line) on, we fight with our first and second line gear.

Just some food for thought.

Take care,

Cpl Punishment
10-07-2009, 06:36 AM
It also depends on your environment.

In ym area, The Zulu was a great pick because in spring and fall, I can carry everything inside. Summer, I can compress it down, and winter I can add a few extra shelter and clothing items outside, instead of having to have a spearate pack that only sees use 2 months, I can have pockets that only see use for two months.