Like so many others, putting together my first BOB became an obsession. I chewed through forum threads, books and articles, consuming people’s load-out lists. What I found was that they range from down and dirty to Armageddon ready.
One of the items I ended up focusing on the most was the bag itself. I agonized over my decision for what seemed like months (I think it actually was) as I looked at ruck sacks and backpacks. When my search came to an end, I had decided on the Maxpedition Vulture-II 3-Day Backpack ($130) – great for bugging out and storming the castle.
Maxpedition’s Vulture-II is constructed of 1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon with a Teflon coating to keep it clean, and high-strength YKK Zippers to keep it closed. Internal seams have been taped and finished to aid in water resistance. Double stitching, bartacking, and box-and-X stitching add strength to stress points.
The Vulture-II is a well thought out bag, with a compartment for carrying a 100 ounce water bladder, three additional sections for your gear, and straps to keep the bag affixed firmly to your body. This includes a hip strap for taking some of the weight off your shoulders. When they’re not being used, the hip strap ends can be tucked back into the bag, getting them out of your way. Layout of compartments and pockets makes organizing and getting to gear quick and easy. The Vulture-11 has four compartments:
- Hydration compartment.
- Large main compartment (19″x15″x7.5″) with a mesh zipped pocket inside.
- Medium sized compartment (15″x12″x2.75″) with open-topped internal organizer and a hook for keys.
- Slip pocket (15″x12″x0.25″) off the front of the medium sized pocket good for documents and small items.
Highly abrasion resistant and non-slip nylon keeps the bottom of the Vulture-II from developing holes in it. In addition, the bottom has strap points for more attachments.
Webbing I could do without, but there is plenty of it on the bag to attach additional survival gear and bags without being over-done.
In general, BOBs are loaded out for 72 hours of survival. The size of the bag a person chooses for their BOB has three basic considerations: how much can the bag hold, what comfort level is expected, and how much can the individual carry. The issue I often find is that bags are either too small or way too big for a 72 hour kit.
The Vulture-II is larger than the typical JanSport one might find at a sporting goods store, yet smaller than most Alice Packs, putting it firmly in the Goldilocks zone of bags. At 2810 cubic inches (46 liters) it may seem like you could carry a lot of gear, but once you stuff it with three days’ worth of clothing, you are left with the perfect amount of room for the essentials and a few extras. It seemed like the perfect balance of size.
The Vulture-II is about as tacticalicious as it gets. Nothing screams I am a LEO, private contractor, tactical enthusiast, or survivalist like Maxpedition gear. If being Grey is a concern, this bag is probably not right for you. On the flip side, the shame is that no one has made (in my opinion) a bag that is tactical ready on the inside while remaining Grey on the outside. Even the bags claiming to be Grey, still look tactical.
This poses an interesting question though. When it comes to BOBs and EDC bags, do you like tactical looking bags, or would you prefer a bag that was stylish on the outside but built like a tank, with a tactical-inspired inside?