Saturday, January 24, 2009

Maxpedition Condor 2

When you first get the Condor 2 (or any Maxpedition products really) you can tell that it's made to withstand some abuse. Maxpedition has once again taken military designs, features and durable materials and put them into a good piece of gear for not just military, but civilian use as well. First off the material is extremely tough feeling, but not too abrasive. This pack is made of 1000 Denier water and abrasion resistant light weight ballistic nylon material. It's a nice sized pack for a day hike, overnighter, to carry a light load out, etc, etc. It's a little smaller than a 3-day pack. The condor 2 has a capacity of 1,950 cubic inches, and the typical 3 day pack has approximately 2,200 cubic inches.

One thing I noticed right away is that the thread isn't quite as contrasting as it appears on the website. The black pack has a slightly contrasting thread, but it's not so noticeable that it'd make the pack unserviceable for the military folks.

I've found that this pack is great for hiking, military/LE type operations, as well as every day carry. I've used this pack for all of these activities and really put this pack to the test. Durability and usability have been great.

Here are some of the main features along with my opinions on them...

  • All zippers have a paracord pull tab and are YKK brand.

  • Internal seams are taped and finished. This helps to prevent wear and also makes the inside of the pack a little neater than raw material.

  • Stress points bar tacked, double stitched and x-box stitched for extra strength.

  • High tensile strength composite nylon thread. This thread really is stronger than traditional thread. You can see it's thickness just by looking at the stitching.

  • Teflon fabric protection with a triple polyurethane coating. This helps against stains and gunk buildup. This pack, however, isn't waterproof. In fact there isn't a coating on the inside like some packs have to help in water resistance. In a light rain you're OK, but sustained rain may leak through.

  • Zippered pocket on the back that can hold a 100oz water bladder. There is a tab for hanging your bladder and a drinking tube hole in the top that is covered with a tough Velcro tab when not in use. This pouch also is good at holding a laptop due to it being the full size of the pack. This pocket also has loop portion Velcro on the inside to attach optional pouches that Maxpedition makes. This is good for concealed carry and for organizing your duty gear. The zipper on this pocket goes from about the middle of the top and zips down the side to the bottom of the pack.

  • All side release buckles are UTX-Duraflex nylon low noise buckles are quieter than other buckles.

  • Padded shoulder straps. These straps have a breathable underside which I've found, no matter how breathable a shoulder strap is supposed to be, you still sweat no matter what in hot conditions. This material is also a coyote color, which, being on a black pack kind of sticks out aesthetically. Not a big deal, but a black backing would be preferable. These straps also have webbing down the length of them which can attach things like a Grimloc to.

  • A unique feature on this pack that you'd normally find on a larger expedition size pack are the additional adjustments on the top of the shoulder straps. On a lot of smaller packs the shoulder straps can be removed and adjusted. On this pack the straps are sewn to the pack but can still be adjusted for length. This can also be done while wearing the pack by just reaching up to your shoulders and pulling on the adjustment straps. This better helps you to adjust the pack because you're wearing it while you adjust the bottom and top shoulder strap adjustments.

  • 1 inch sternum strap that can be moves up and down the shoulder straps and has a small amount of elastic "give" to it for comfort. This strap is also removable.

  • Removable and adjustable 1.5 inch waist strap with durable side release buckle.

  • Removable Y-shaped compression strap. This strap helps not only to compress the contents but it's main benefit is taking the stress off the zippers on the pack by bearing some of the weight that would normally be on the zipper. I've also found that you can roll up a sweat shirt, rain gear, etc, etc and place it under this strap to store it on the outside of the pack for quick access. Just don't put anything too large under this strap. I placed a thick winter jacket under this strap and because of the angle the strap comes out of the loop on the front of the pack (the one with the Maxpedition logo on it) while carrying the jacket in this manner, it ripped some of the stitching out of the loop. At first I was a little disappointed in this. But then I reminded myself that these straps weren't meant for this purpose, so I brought on the damage myself.

  • 2 compression straps on each side of the pack for compressing contents and taking stress off the zippers. These are good, again, for rolling up a light weight piece of clothing and placing on the side of your pack. These straps also have side release buckles.

  • YKK #10 zippers. They have proved durable and dependable.

  • Main pouch dimensions - 17.5 in (h) X 14 IN (w) X 6.5 in (d).

  • Upper pouch (5.5" x 9" x 2") is great for smaller items. I've found that it's perfect for a couple smaller items and a pair of safety or sun glasses. The straight bottom with curved top makes it great for my Ballistic M-Frame Oakley glasses.

  • Lower Pouch (8" x 9" x 2.5") is also great for organizing smaller items. This pouch has an organizer in it along with a key lanyard. The organizer consists of a large back sleeve, 4 pen pockets, and a smaller pocket just a little larger than a credit card. The organizer material is light but durable.

  • 6 rows of PALS (pouch attachment ladder system) on each side of the bag, 2 rows of PALS on the top pocket, 2 rows of PALS on the bottom pocket. This allows you to add any PALS/MOLLE compatible pouches to the pack to expand it's load carrying capabilities. They are sewn on well and are of high tensile strength nylon webbing.

  • Bottom of the pack is made with a highly abrasion resistant material.

  • Straps on the bottom for compression and for attaching a light piece of clothing. These straps aren't long enough for adding a sleeping bag. I wish that they had side release buckles on them and I may add them since it shouldn't be too difficult. The reason I'd do this is because the strap has the tendency to come out of the adjustment buckle that is currently uses when you're trying to add something to the bottom of the pack.

  • Rubberized, high-abrasion resistant bottom.

  • Padded back.

One thing I like on this pack is the lack of drainage grommets. The reason I like this is that this pack, although not waterproof, has water resistant properties. I've had packs that claim they're water resistant, only to put holes in the bottom of the pack and pouches. I can understand having these in case the pack gets water-logged, however, it's also a easy way for water to get in when you set the pack down. You will see grommets on the back of the pack, but these only gointo the hydration pocket and allow for drainage of condensation or leaking of the bladder.

The only wear I've noticed on this pack is on the shoulder straps where they adjust. The webbing has some wear on it where it passes through the tri-glide adjustment buckle. It doesn't seem like it will wear to the point of failure too soon, but I think a less abrasive material for the webbing might not create as much friction between the webbing and the buckle.

I highly recommend this pack for small loads. I say small and not light because in my experience so far, this pack can really handle some weight.

Maxpedition has again engineered this pack with extreme military durability in mind, but the look that can fit in with a civilian and law enforcement environment as well.

Available colors: Black, OD, Khaki, Foliage, ACU Digital Camouflage

MSRP: $128.99


thelung187 (youtube) said...

Thanks for the review on this, I'd been debating on which Maxpedition to go with (nearly bought the Monsoon Gearslinger at a recent gunshow), but ultimately went for the Condor 2 (found it for $89!). I like the MOLLE strap options, the hydration slot (though I'm using it to store my CCW holster), and the size will allow me to store a laptop to make this bag good for EDC. Thanks again!

81Nemo (youtube) said...

In your opinion; it can be used for a 7 - 10 days vacation (i mean, in hotel, not camping) bringing a laptop also, without using a suitcase?

Jake said...

I wouldn't say it's good for 7-10 days unless you plan on packing really light. I'd say good for an overnighter, possibly 2 days, but definitely not enough for 7-10 days if you plan on a change of clothes every day.

grimmdar said...

I know this is a old video, but i was wondering if on that inside pocket could you just sew a couple of pieces of elastic to pull it tight?

Jake said...

I imagine you could tighten it up with some elastic. A good suggestion...thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great info, about to pick up a used one on USN because of thise vid. Thanks bro!

Anonymous said...

The Maxpedition Condor II is one of my favorite tactical packs.

Anonymous said...
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