Intent on providing direct support to individuals on the objective; the MOLLE Assault Backpack by T3 Gear allows the end-user to utilize the pack in either a carrier-compatible configuration, or as a stand-alone support backpack.
Introduced in 2015, the MOLLE Assault Backpack (MAB) is made from 500D solution-dyed Cordura nylon, and has an overall dimension of 18” (H) x 9” (W) x 7” (D). It is slightly tapered at the top, and uses minimal binding tape (to seal raw edges) where applicable. All genuine YKK zippers utilize paracord pull-tabs throughout the backpack.
At the front, the MAB has a 4” (H) x 6” (W) hook-and-loop (female) panel on the top for attaching identification or morale patches.
On the bottom half of the front is a 9” (H) x 9” (W) x 3” (D) accessory pouch with four nylon bands on the exterior that are MOLLE-compatible for attaching additional pouches or accessories. The interior of the accessory pouch is accessed by a dual-shuttle, YKK zipper (opening along the upper three sides) with over-molding fabric to prevent moisture penetration along the enclosure. The interior of accessory pouch is unremarkable, but has a single drainage grommet on the bottom.
The sides of the MAB have two, 1” wide nylon loops (one at the accessory pouch, and one at the main storage pouch) for attaching clips or other items. Additionally, each side has a 1” wide pass-through slot for comms cables or a hydration tube, with an elastic nylon band covering the opening.
At the top of the MAB is a 1” wide pass-through slot for comms cables or a hydration tube, with an elastic nylon band covering the opening.
The backpanel of the MAB has two, contoured, 2.5” wide removable shoulder straps, that are anchored at the top and bottom of the backpanel with either polymer slide-adjust buckles or D-rings. The shoulder straps also have an adjustable sternum strap, with multiple nylon webbing loops for attaching additional items.
The top of the backpanel also includes a hook-and-loop secured slot for attaching an additional hydration bladder or radio.
On the bottom of the MAB are six, 1” MOLLE-compatible nylon bands for attaching additional items. Furthermore, a drainage grommet is on the bottom to the primary storage space (and in conjunction to a second drainage grommet on the bottom of the accessory pocket).
The interior of the MAB has a three-sided, dual-shuttle YKK zipper line that allows the upper 1/3 of the pack to fold open and grant access to the interior.
The interior includes an 14” (H) x 8” (W) nylon mesh accessory pocket, and has a hook-and-loop retention band at the top for securing any appropriate-sized sized hydration bladder.
The MOLLE Assault Backpack is available in Ranger Green (featured), Coyote, Multicam, and Black.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): With its MSRP of $156.99 as a modest support pack, the MOLLE Assault Backpack (MAB) is made from Cordura nylon and genuine YKK zippers, with extensive attachment fields for running the backpack as a stand-alone unit, or attached to a plate carrier. Market alternatives to the MAB would be the Flatpack Plus ($180) from Haley Strategic, the Assault Pack – Type II ($148) from AWS Tactical, and the 12L Day Pack ($109) from LBX Tactical. While all market alternatives have an approximate same volume of storage, the quantity of materials and efforts in reinforcement stitching place the MOLLE Assault Backpack at an appropriate (or average) price range.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): From a comfort aspect, the MAB was an unstructured (meaning no internal/external frame) backpack with the adaptability to be carried as a stand-alone backpack or to be attached directly to the rear of a plate carrier with associated MOLLE webbing. The removable shoulder pads were similar to the HANS backpack and had thick closed-cell foam padding the entire length of the strap, which gave a good level of comfort along the upper torso. The YKK zippers functioned smoothly and without binding or cross-threading when taking the corner turns. When fully loaded, the weight of the MAB was carried exclusively in the upper torso (if worn with the shoulder pads), but was carried more comfortably when mounted to a carrier. Perhaps the only negative observation during use was the overall profile of the MAB when fully loaded, as it stood out a significant degree behind the individual and could become cumbersome with other individuals in tighter spaces or indoors.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): There was extensive use of bartack/reverse stitching throughout the backpack, as well as double and X-pattern reinforcement at all key stress points. That included added durability to the shoulder straps, the pack’s pockets, and all MOLLE/PALS webbing. The MAB was designed for field use and the durability of its 500D Cordura and stitching helped ensure it handled a variety of items with varying dimensions and hard corners, ammo, hydration bladder, and other gear.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): Functionally the MAB performed appropriately (or of average) for storing items like ammo or other accessories the end-user might need immediately on the range or professionally. The size of the primary storage compartment was perhaps somewhat too elongated with its 18” overall height, thus it left a significant portion of the MAB extended low over the battle belt. The main storage area does accomidate the 100oz hydration bladder approperately when full. However, if the end-user was running an IFAK or dump pouch at the 6 o’clock position behind them (such as in this review), then the lower portion of the MAB will continually conflict with belt-mounted items for space—particularly during dynamic movements. The MAB can be raised upward on the rear carrier’s MOLLE field, but then the height above the carrier becomes obstructive (though not restrictive) if wearing a helmet. This is an area of recommendation to T3 as something it may want to address in future designs for assault backpacks, whereby the backpack itself does not interfere with the Line 1 belt items or range of motion in the head.
- Weight – Average (3/5): Weighing in at 1.07 pounds, the MAB did well at keeping a minimal (empty) backpack weight for the end-user, while still accounting for the overall volume in Cordua material, reinforcement stitching, and padding. By keeping the design as such; with no excessive pockets or webbing to the exterior, the MAB design has helped to keep the weight appropriate (or average). In contrast, the Flatpack Plus (1.03 pounds) from Haley Strategic, the Assault Pack – Type II (1.8 pounds) from AWS Tactical, and the 12L Day Pack (0.75 pounds) from LBX Tactical illustrate that the MOLLE Assault Backpack is still within the approperate (or average) price range of similar products and the greater market.
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
Product Link: https://www.t3gear.com/t3-molle-assault-backpack/
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, 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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