View Full Version : Top loaders vs. panel loaders

Mark Anderson
02-02-2003, 04:44 PM
Patrick, Mel, and anyone else with a perspective:

Would you be so kind as to summarize the upsides and downsides to each of these types of ruck?

I am trying to make the decision between an MMR and Navigator, but all of my experience is with top loading rucks.

Also, what is the functional difference between the Military Omni Waistbelt on the Navigator, and the EMR waistbelt on the MMR?

Thanks for your personal and collective dedication to excellence and service to the American soldier and outdoorsman.


02-04-2003, 07:41 AM

The practical differences between panel and top loaders is access. The panel loaders have a lot more of it--you can open the buggers up wide and look around in there. A top loader is easier to stuff 'til you can't get any more in and then just cinch the drawstring top and you're done, while a similarly stuffed panel loader is harder to close--you'll need two hands in other words. The age-old argument that a panel loader is more suseptible to blowing zippers out just doesn't hold up with our Navigator, as the thing has an abundance of compression straps to make the zipper secure.

The waistbelt on the Navigator is not quite as robust as that of the EMR/MMR. It is, however, extraordinarily anotomical and quite comfortable. I assess it's comfort level as 85 percent that of the EMR/MMR belt. Since the EMR/MMR belt will carry as much as you can tote in comfort, the Navigator will carry very heavy loads indeed before you start to notice any little hot spots. Well over a hundred pounds, in other words. The version of the Military Omni Waistbelt used on the Navigator is intended to be a bit less bulky, stealthier, than the belt on the EMR/MMR.

So. The choice is up to you. And thank you very much for the kind words about our gear. We are dead serious about what we're doing.