Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oakley Icon Pack (Standard Issue Model)

This is one of 2 current backpacks that Oakley has on their U.S. Standard Issue web page. The standard issue gear is gear that is only sold to military, fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, and other qualifying professionals at a greatly reduced price. This pack has a civilian version as well which is sold on Oakley's normal web page. I will cover the differences below. One thing I will start off by saying is that this is an excellent pack, however, if you plan on spending time outside in Iraq it might not be for you. The reason I say this is because it has a lot of double layered mesh that leads to the inside. I have personal experience in Iraq and know that even ziplock bags will get some sand in them during a sand storm, but the more protection you can have for your gear the better. This would make a great pack for waterborne ops where your gear is waterproofed and then put in the bag because there are several grommets on the bottom and the mesh also helps to drain water. Here are some of the other features:
1 - Large main compartment with a padded built in laptop pocket (for 15" laptop). The laptop pocket can be accessed through a side zipper when the main compartment is not open. I have found this a great place for magazines and books as well. This is also a good place to put a backplate in to make the back a little more stiff so that the backpack keeps it's shape.
2 - On organizer compartment on the front which has pockets for pens, and other small items as well as an attachment point for a key ring. This compartment is covered by a flap that velcroes closed.
3 - The main compartment and organizer compartment are covered by a rain flap which can also be used to lash bulky items like a coat to the outside of the pack by putting the item under the flap and tightening the 3 straps that hold the flap closed.
4 - The front also has a mesh area where you can small more items like a bottle or anything else that will fit there. It goes the whole length of the front of the pack. It has straps to cinch this area down.
5 - A mesh pocket on the front which works perfect for sunglasses. I carry my Oakley Fives there.
6 - Two side zippered pockets.
7 - Plastic zipper pulls which are more silent than metal.
8 - Large rubber top handle
9 - Adjustable sternum and waist straps.
10 - Attachment points on the padded shoulder straps for carabiners...Grimloks work well here too.
11- 17" x 21" x 9" size (3,213 cu. in.)
12 - Available in tan and black.

Some differences between civilian and standard issue pack are:
1 - Standard issue only available in tan and black, civilian in many other colors and camouflages.
2 - Civilian version has a cell phone pocket on the shoulder strap.
3 - Civilian version has a CD player pocket on the main flap with hole for earphones.
4 - Different materials between the two...the Standard Issue seems to hold up better.
5 - Price...Civilian version $135... US standard issue $47.50
6 - Civilian version has cloth zipper pulls, standard issue has plastic.
7 - Buckles on the flap on the standard issue are more sturdy.

Overall a great all around pack. But for tactical circumstances I'd want one that is a little simpler without all the straps, buckles, zippers, and velcro.

Colors: Black, new khaki, tan

Current price: $75


DG said...

Great review.



r. l. harrell said...

I used to own the civilian version of this pack and LOVED it tons, so much so that I still talk about it today when a gear discussion arises and we get to packs. One such discussion came up today and I was glad to find your review and the associated pics (which is what led me here from a Google Image search, if you're curious). Anyhow, before my pack met its destruction (a sad day, but that's another story for another time), my pack went everywhere with me - on many road trips, work, school, fishing/hiking/hunting/camping expeditions, and several years of attendance/participation at Burning Man. It had a long life. Now I'm thinking that I might even go and order another one, even, because while I have a "get out of dodge" pack always ready to go, you can NEVER be too prepared. ;)

Thank you for the great review! I look forward to checking out more of your blog!