I've wanted a small, lightweight backpack for some time and after looking around my choice fell on the First Spear ECP
pack in Ranger Green.
It's very light weight, sewn in 500D Cordura, sparsely covered with PALS, just enough to accommodate a few pockets. All zippers are lightweight, low profile and have 550 zipper-pulls with plastic tabs.
The pack comes with attachments so that you can attach the pack to your armorcarrier when desired, removing the shoulder-straps completely or keeping one to use as a shoulder bag.
I been using this pack on an everyday basis since I got it. Both on assignments and during various physical training.
One reason for me to choose this pack over it's competitors was the possibility to remove the beavertail completely to have a slim pack as possible when running.
I've found this to be a great thing whenever your mission lack the need of the extra space of the beawertail, keeping you lean and hi-speed.
I been altering the pack a bit to suit my needs, but no permanent changes have been made.
I added a DIY sternum strap and I tried out a mod where I replaced the bungie-cord for the beaver tail with misc plastic buckles to make it faster to remove the beaver tail.This was a great help when I recently needed to transport a bulky and relatively heavy jump starter. see this post.
The plastic buckles then gave plenty support even when only using 3pc at the bottom part.
Lately I have skipped this though and gone back to using the bungie. I'll re-tread the bungie in less than 90sec so it's a quick setup.Shoulder-straps
The straps are made from 1" webbing and a very soft, mesh fabric, reinforced with non-slip rubber like material (the coyote colored parts) over the shoulders.
Elastic loops around the bottom parts of the straps serve as a retainer of the excess webbing. A metal D-ring on the top and a wide piece of elastics on top to route the drinking tube trough.
ITT buckles allows you to quickly drop the pack if needed.
The pack wears very comfortably even on bare shoulders or wearing just a thin T-shirt even with quite a weight in the pack.
They adjust both on top and bottom with plenty of excess webbing to wear over armor or heavy clothing.
You can detach the straps completely if needed and attachments to attach it to an armorcarrier if desired are supplied as standard.Beavertail
On the front of the Beavertail there is an Zippered pocket and a 2"x4" velcro loop: I've have a SOLAS reflective patch attached but it's there for your callsign or other ID of the bearer/owner.
The beavertail has zippers on both sides of the larger, main compartment. A great feature so to easily get access to whatever you have stuffed in there.
Inside there are one row with 5 loops of 2" elastic band attached to the top part to keep things handy and accessible (I believe these would hold smoke grenades but I haven't tried yet so i'm not sure).Main pack
The main pack/main compartment has PALS attached to its sides; One row on the upper part and two from about half way and down towards the bottom.
There is a wide zippered pouch on the front perfect for maps etc.
The caring handle is made of tubular webbing filled with a lightweight material which makes it very comfortable to grab (I guess they use more or less the same plastic granula they use in sniper rear bags),
On the lower back there is a small patch of the same anti skid material you find on the shoulder straps to prevent the pack moving laterally.
The back can be opened a full two sides, top and left side continuously to allow easy access to a water reservoir of your choice. You secure the reservoir in a piece of two-sided velcro that rolls up to attach
You easily route the drinking tube out on top through two pieces of elastics.
As a support there is a thin foam pad that I find more than adequate There is an hard plastic/aluminum replacement available an extra accessory.
This is my first experience with First Spears products and I must say that I'm impressed with the quality and workmanship done with this pack.
It's a very well thought trough product and I love the fact that they have put down so much effort in the details.
If I would ask for any improvements there would be to attach a patch of velcro on the main pack for when I go without the beaver tail.
And I would love to see a light sternum strap in the same webbing and buckles as used to attach the beavertail.
I'm very happy with my purchase and I'm looking forward to see their future products!