Its been a little over two years since I snapped the following photo of my primary gear for one-bag travelling, the BLACKHAWK! 3-Day Assault Pack.
And after having been through a near-death experience in Nepal, travels through Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) and road trips across Bangladesh; I can safely say the decision was RIGHT!!!
The 1000 denier Cordura (which I only got to understand about during the purchase of this bag and have only bought Cordura stuff ever since) actually turned out to be a cheaper look-alike called Kodra (Made in America vs. Made in Korea); the zippers were all ORIGINAL burly YKK #10s and the buckles were made by Woojin plastics (think, poor man’s ITW Nexus buckles). After over two years of travel use (I do travel quite a bit though), everything is exactly like the way I opened its packaging except zips have gotten smoother and the nylon feels softer.
Ever since I bought the 3DAP, there has been a lot of hue and cry over the venerable Goruck GR2, the innovative Mystery Ranch 3DAP or Camelbak Trizip and the TAD Fast Pack, where all have claimed the throne of being the best tactical carry on compatible backpack in the world. However in a price vs. feature chart or even a look vs. functionality chart; I doubt there is any comparison of the BLACKHAWK!
Costing less than $100 in most seasons, the BLACKHAWK! is one-fourth the price of a Goruck GR2 (acknowledged to be one of the best carry on compatible backpacks that is also tacticool) and also international travel compatible 9Goruck recently releases a 34L version to make that cut). At 37-liters, not only the Blackhawk happens to be a better sized bag, its teardrop shape also looks sexier!
Since the BLACKHAWK! I’ve become a bigger carrygeek than before having purchased bags from famous carry brands like Eastpak, Greenroom136, Gregory, Osprey, North Face, Maxpedition, Defy and lastly Goruck (yes, those $200+ backpacks of Goruck) but the one that started it all was this one.
I haven’t done bag reviews before. Actually no written reviews ever. But the darth of good reviews for such a wonderful bag got to me to write a few words. If you are in the market for a good carry on compatible, laptop-friendly (the front pouch is perfect fit for a 14″ pc/15″ macbook) and sturdy backpack; look no further!!!
Who is it for? People looking for one bag to rule them all. Who understands how a durable travel bag matters and doesn’t want to look too tacticool in a shopping mall.
Who it is not for? Wants a cushioned soft carry experience (1000d is not for them) or just carrying around too much cash in hand.