Product Review: Spec-Ops Assault pack ready for heavy field use

A short mission pack with great weight distribution that doubles as a perfect rifle rest

Product Review: Spec-Ops Assault pack ready for heavy field use

It keeps the hard stuff off the back and does a great job marrying the pack with the contours of the body. (Photo courtesy Tacprogear)

I recently tested the Gen 2 Spec-Ops Assault Pack from Tacprogear (TPG) – a short mission pack with internal stays and a proprietary MOLLE Spine, designed to allow the user to customize the pack or hang climbing equipment. It’s NTOA-tested and approved

The Spec-Ops Pack, which can also be used as a bug-out bag, has two notable features which will not be lost on most users. For users who think like I do (or users who pack in to their range), this pack screams “rifle rest.”  Anyone who has used the old ALICE packs as a rifle rest for precision shooting will know what I mean.

The other feature was intended in the design, and they have executed it perfectly. This pack has absolutely superior load bearing characteristics and excels in weight distribution. It keeps the hard stuff off the back and does a great job marrying the pack with the contours of the body.

It only takes a few minutes of shopping around to see that similar packs with this utility and capacity run almost twice this price.

I tested the medium pack, which has a main compartment, a secondary compartment and two water bottle pockets.  This was a bit larger than most 3-day packs, but smaller than an extended deployment pack.

Each water bottle pocket can hold a full-sized water bottle, with room to spare. I stuffed one with a wide mouth 1l Nalgene and a filter and had room left over. The closure has two zipper pulls and they go halfway down the side of the pockets. On these pockets and the secondary compartment, there is an internal taped lip and self-healing style zipper with lips that meet when completely zipped. I found that even a full downpour would be hard pressed to find its way inside these compartments. The best quality of these zippers is the fact that they are very dust-  and debris-resistant, and they are hard to clog.

All of the TPG zippers can clip together, which guarantees they won’t open accidentally. 

The main compartment has a heavier external zipper with a sealing inner lip. The zippers have heavy-duty backing and are double sewn. There is a compartment and routing for hydration, along with straps designed to accommodate the popular brands of bladders.

The Spec-Ops Pack has two internal compression straps and a zippered internal pouch in the main compartment. These features serve to stabilize loads and keep them close to the back. The internal stays are right over the foam back padding. The padding in the shoulder straps is a bit firmer and they have a good feel for longer marches. I was surprised, however, that there didn’t seem to be an external (or internal) webbing that ran the length of the strap, a quick release, or a chest strap. However, the hip strap really adds to the comfort of the package.

The bottom of the Spec-Ops Assault Pack uses a different approach. The base is a heavy tarpaulin material that has a slight padding to it. This is for users who have to drop their pack quickly because of a pressing need like finding cover.

This pack sits well on the back and the bulk of the load can be cinched closely to the center of gravity. Tacprogear has designed a comfortable platform against the back and the breathability of the padding and attention to small details like the reinforced, padded handle made it clear that it was designed by end users.

The Gen 2 Spec-Ops Assault Pack is a durable platform that allows for customization and heavy field use.

It flexes a bit under load, which allows the user a bit of maneuverability under load. The Spec-Ops has an MSRP starting at $146 (for the Gen 2 Small) and $184 for the medium. It only takes a few minutes of shopping around to see that similar packs with this utility and capacity run almost twice this price.

This pack comes in three colors: coyote, black and OD green.

For more information, visit tacprogear.com.