Introduced in 2016 as a slim, modular backpack, the Plan C is part of the Hazard 4 line of dual-strap backpacks. Similar to the Patrol, the Plan C offers a functional pack that is ideal for range, field, or daily life and can be expanded through the attachment of additional pouches (sold separately).
Made from 1000D Cordura and treated for water repellence, the Plan C is a continuation of the Plan B, a single strap variant that allows for cross-shoulder carry. However, in the Plan C the 20” (H) x 8” (L) x 7” (D) pack has a dual strap design that allows for a more traditional carry.
Starting at the front, the top of the Plan C features the same 6.7″ (H) x 3.1″ (W) x 2.4″ (D) type of thermoformed shell storage pocket as the Patrol, which is secured via dual zippers.
Below the thermoformed pocket is a 11.8″ (H) x 6.7″ (W) x 1.8″ (D) accessory pocket with several sleeve pockets for smaller, immediate need items. The exterior of the lower accessory pocket has laser-cut MOLLE and (female) hook-and-loop fields.
Both sides of the Plan C feature an extensive, top-to-bottom field of MOLLE webbing with a pocket on either side for a water bottle. Dual compression straps with slide release buckles help ensure the weight remains secure.
On the top, the Plan C includes dual access ports into the main storage compartment for hydration bladders or communication wiring. A reinforced carry handle is on both the top and bottom for a variety of stowage configurations.
The backpanel has the same thermoformed material to create five padded panels configured to create airflow and improve breathability. The dual shoulder straps are anchored at the top of the backpanel using X-pattern reinforcement stitching. The shoulder straps include hook-and-loop retention tabs for hydration tubes, and webbing segments to either hang a variety of accessories or reposition the sternum strap. Behind the thermoformed backpanel is a 19.7″ (H) x 6.7″ (W) x 0.6″ (D) zipper-secured storage compartment for either a 3L hydration bladder, tablets or documents.
The main storage compartment is accessed via dual zippers, and includes mesh pockets on both the interior and support side of the pack. The interior sides are also lined with a velour material that allows the internal divider (with (male) hook-and-loop panels) to be adjusted based on the user’s needs at the time.
- 1000D Cordura
- YKK zippers with paracord pull tabs
- Thermoformed storage pocket
The Plan C is available in either Coyote (featured) or Black.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): At $176.65 the Plan C is intended to be a moderate-sized, modular backpack that allows the user to have either a slim day pack, or plenty of fields by which to add MOLLE-based pouches for added functionality. Being made from 1000D Cordura, for its size and YKK zippers the Plan C is at a good price point for its materials. Alternative market comparisons could be made to Eberlestock’s Switchblade ($199), 5.11’s Covert M4 Backpack ($129.95), or the Noveske Discreet Backpack ($236) by First Spear. While other backpacks, often at a higher price, maintain a more urban profile, they often do so at a sacrifice to the opportunity to expand the pack. Additionally, source of manufacturing and hardware also play into overall market prices, and as such the Plan C is well priced among its competitors.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): With a moderate level of closed cell foam padding in the shoulders, and the thermoformed back panels, the Plan C was comfortable to wear. The narrow design helped ensure it stayed between the shoulders regardless of weight distribution. It was unlikely the user could overload the pack beyond the point of comfort since the main storage area is of moderate size. Carrying an AR pistol, broken down, was easy and the storage compartment allotted for the pistol’s components as well as some extra space. All the YKK zippers opened/closed smoothly, although it would have been preferred for the paracord pull tabs to be either rubberized or anchored in a plastic cap for tactile control.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): The 1000D Cordura had a significant level abrasion resistance as needed for life on the range or in the field. Throughout the Plan C, bartack and X-type stitching was noted reinforcing the shoulder strap connection points, drag handles, as well as zippers and MOLLE webbing. All zippers functioned easily and smoothly, and the coils did not cross thread (though it would be an improvement to use a thicker zipper coil in the future). The velour interior made for easy adjustment of the interior divider, though over time that (male) hook-and-loop material may begin to wear the velour down to where it is less secure. Throughout evaluations, no lose threads or popped stitching were noticed.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): As a modular, light backpack the Plan C provided a plethora of opportunity. It had sufficient size to serve as an EDC pack, or held balanced MOLLE fields on the sides and front to expand the Plan C into a more robust backpack. The thermoformed storage pocket provided sufficient protection to sensitive items that still needed immediate access, such as electronics or a GPS. All zippers had an excess strip of material to cover the zipper from moisture and limit the risk of potential saturation along those lines. A recommendation for Hazard 4 would be the inclusion of a compression/retention strap in the interior of the main storage compartment. While the use of the internal divider was helpful, it did not give that solid retention to secure the contents and was more intended to divide the interior for smaller items.
- Weight – Average (3/5): Coming in at 2.2 pounds (empty) the Plan C was a very lightweight and balanced light/moderate backpack, that gave the wearer the option to expand…provided it was done evenly. If weight or pouches were added to the front exterior laser-cut MOLLE, this addition in weight was more or less unnoticeable. However, if you added the pouch to only one side of MOLLE panels, and not both for equal balance of overall weight, then the disparity was readily apparent. This should be in mind when the user opts to expand the Plan C. In comparison the Eberlestock’s Switchblade (3.10 pounds), and 5.11’s Covert M4 Backpack (2.2 pounds) are both of a more of a traditional design and material for low-profile backpacks, whereas the Noveske Discreet Backpack (0.44 pounds) utilizes more lightweight and commercial materials to maintain that discrete appearance. This would place the Plan C at an appropriate (or average) weight for its materials and design within the current market.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
Product Link: https://www.hazard4.com/packs/day-packs/plan-c.html
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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