I ordered a Madpack in UCP in the hopes that it would fulfill my need for something slightly bigger when we go on our weekend games. After three weeks Simpen off the wannabe forums told me he just finished this Madpack version two, with a list of slight improvements for better ease of use. From a first impression the pack is built to take a lot of abuse, the stitching has an industrial feel to it and the materials used are all to military specifications. From touching the Cordura used I could instantly tell it is one thousand denier cordura, which is stiffer and would keep the shape of the pack better. The price I paid was about one hundred and fifty US dollars plus shipping, for custom work and attention to detail I think it is well worth it. Simpen kept me up to date on the progress of the pack and overall it was very fast from ordering to shipping it to me.
A short list of improvements are a modification of the compression straps; no longer do they cover the entire front of the pack, only the side of the pack. The Zipper opening of the pack is much wider so it is easier to put things inside and take them out when you need to. Grab Handle have been greatly improved with the webbing material having being widen from 2.54cm to 4.3cm, which has made it easier for user to grab onto.
The Madpack is a large modular direct action pack compared to the standard direct action packs on the market. Aimed at users who need something a bit bigger than an Eagle industries MAP and something a bit smaller than a Tactical tailor one day pack, the Madpack is for users who need to store just a few more items for longer missions. I can imagine this can be used as a medical pack for direct action teams, where they need a pack that can hold more medical supplies than what a normal Map can hold. The separate compartments can hold different vital items if requested Simpen can add dividers to hold bandages to one arm tourniquet packs.
I find the pack is slightly smaller than a day pack, it has two smaller front pouches the bottom one is larger than the top. The front top pouch has a large velcro panel four inches tall by six.five inches wide, which allows you to place patches or reflective material onto. While the lower pouch has six horizontal pals by four vertical pals for users to attach additional pouches onto the pack; depending on the mission you attach flashbang pouches, magazine pouches or another horizontal GP pouch for addition usage. Although I believe the pack itself is big enough there are plenty of pals space to attach addition pouches for the Madpack to better suit your needs.
To give you a better idea how big are the pouches, in the lower pouch I can stuff eight M16 magazines across it and there is still plenty of space to stuff more into the pouch, the top front pouch allows you to store a full sized medic pack, chemsticks, 123 batteries, signal strobe and still have a lot of space to spare. The main compartment has a specially fitted mesh layer to hold your camelbak bladder in place. Even with a full three litre bladder, I am still able to fill the pack up with 4 MRE's, a boonie, 4 more M16 magazines and a few bags of BBs to spare. You can easily over stuff the Madpack and give your back some serious strain, which means you can put a lot into the Madpack.
On each side of the Madpack there are pals three wide by four long webbing for you to attach additional pouches; I recommend using this space to attach a radio pouch or pop flare pouches. Right above the side pals is one opening, which is covered by a velcro closed flap where you can slide your camelbak water tube through. The Velcro holding the flap down is quite strong, but I think after long term use the velcro might not be the best method to secure the camelbak flap.
The Base of the Madpack is covered in pals; four wide and four long. With all this Pals space you can attach a horizontal GP pouch or a claymore pouch for added space to store even more things. The only thing I would improve is add a drain grommet to the bottom of the pack in case water ever leaks from the bladder, there is a place for it to drain out of.
The closure system of Simpen's gear is quite interesting, it is a press stud less molle attachment system. It reminds me of what Paraclete does, but doesn't do well. Simpen's attachment system is made up of a long paracord loop so when you have finished threading it you can easily pull out the bottom of it so it is easy to take off.
You have just read my review of the Madpack version two. If I could change a few minor things I would improve the colour of the molle webbing and Velcro used. It really lets the Madpack down when the construction is so tough and the minor colour difference ruins it a bit. I would add a quick release buckle to replace the lower compression strap so it is easier to attach pouches onto the side of the madpack. Apart from the minor niggles I love the pack it is big, but not too big. Seriously tough construction and made of top quality materials is used for this pack and I am very impressed by it.
People might say why is the price so high, it really is a big day pack and the amount of detail put into making this pack is well worth it. Photos don't give it justice, it is a lot bigger in person, at first I thought this was just another Map, but it wasn't. The size is great for a weekender when you need added space to store sundries, water and other small bits you need to have a good weekend.
I will attach photos in a wee bit...
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