This review is not written by me but by one of my old army buddies, who transitioned back into civilian life around the same time as I did.
Since I’ve turned my back onto the military and became a civilian again, I haven’t stopped living by that good old military mind-set of the love of good gear. Whether it’s a jacket, boots or a pocketknife, it has to function flawlessly under any condition. My trusty old high school Eastpak rucksack that I carried in a dozen countries all over the globe was finally finished after more then a decade of wear and tear. May you rest in peace! So, I picked up studying again and I was in for a new rucksack to fulfil my needs.
I was looking for:
- Minimum of 40 litres, same amount as the Eastpak
- Tactical look and feel
- 2 main compartments, no top loading pack as I have to get to my books or laptop fast
- Waterproof as much as can be
- A rucksack filling the gap between my 30-litre Karrimor Sabre and my 55-litre Nomad top-loading rucksack.
When looking at tactical and 2-main compartment packs, there aren’t a lot out there on the market unfortunately. To cut a long story short, the choice came down to the Warrior Assault Systems brand, a brand I hear a lot of positive stories about, or the Tasmanian Tiger Mission Pack. With a difference in price of over 100 euros, the choice was easy for me, being a poor student again. I picked up the Mission Pack for around 130 euros.
About the rucksack and its specs
Rumour has it this bag packs a decent 40 litres, and I have to admit the main compartments are big. With big double zippers running almost all the way to the bottom of the pack it’s easy to cramp your rucksack full of stuff going out for the weekend and easily get to the bottom of the pack in no time without having to throw all your stuff out first. Just lay the pack on its back, undo the zippers and fold the bag open, and reach in.
The pack is made of 700D Cordura, so it’s quite waterproof but doesn’t pack a lot of weight with 2 KG. Using it as my day-to-day pack commuting to and from university by bicycle I sometimes encounter Dutch showers of rain but my stuff never gets wet. You’re not convinced about water tightness? This pack has a feature quite unique in the tactical world: in the bottom there is a small compartment packing a detachable rain cover in the same colour as your pack, so no need to worry about water. It comes standard with this feature.
Packing heavy stuff? Or hiking? This pack has a detachable waist belt that holds a small compartment, ideal for using a GPS device during hiking that you want to stow away quickly. The waist belt is attached by sturdy double Velcro to a small area inside the back panel of the bag, so even if you take the waste belt out, no one will notice.
The rucksack comes with a lot of MOLLE to enlarge capacity if you think you are running short. It also offers enough space for storing my 15-inch laptop safely. Also, it as a bendable back plate so you can form the back plate to your own preferences.
I won’t go into details of all the different smaller compartments but I can assure you, you have plenty of space to fit your needs!
I’ve been carrying this pack now since January 2016 and I’ll admit it: I love it. I went out for a weekend with it, used it every day to get groceries or to go to university… No problem at all. Although I can imagine that some of you would wonder: why is he carrying a 40-litre rucksack to university? I surely need it with the laptop, adapter kit, books, big lunchbox et cetera.
I use it every day and after almost 5 months it doesn’t show any signs of wear. The zippers are sturdy as hell so you won’t demolish them easily. It’s also a comfortable rucksack to wear. The shoulder straps are fully adjustable and not too far apart so even for not-so-broad-chested guys like me it doesn’t tend to come off your shoulder while walking or running. Also, it offers me plenty of room to stow away my stuff and still have space left to buy some groceries.
Having mentioned the 700D Cordura, I haven’t felt the need for using the rain cover just yet while only commuting, but while hiking for hours in the rain I would advise using the rain cover. It’s a free extra and better safe than sorry, or, better dry than having your cloths wet.
Any downsides to this Tasmanian Tiger? Well… No. Or, looking at aesthetics, it looks a bit bulky. Having said that, I DON’T CARE. Period. It’s a great rucksack and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a bag that fits the list as mentioned above.