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Pantac Hydration Backpack for RRV Vest (Official Multicam, ORDURA)
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||Pantac Hydration Backpack for RRV Vest (Official Multicam, ORDURA)
Let me first say that this backpack as its own unit is great, and I would DEFINATELY recommend it FOR THAT PURPOSE ALONE!
It even has 3 rows of MOLLE on each side for the attachment of a radio pouch/mag/utility pouch. It is well made, using 1000D Official Crye Multicam Cordura.
It was meant to be an exact replica of Eagle's RRV backpack, however there are major reasons this goal failed miserably.
To sum things up, you CANNOT use this backpack with Eagle's Rhodesian Recon Vest OR MBSS Plate Carrier systems. This is unforgivable in my eyes. Pantac has made it that you can only use this backpack platform with THEIR gear and THEIR GEAR ONLY! If this was intentional or not is unknown to me, but this is the major reason this product has been rated so abysmal by your's truly.
The reasons it doesn't work:
One, stupidity or ignorance on behalf of Pantac's part, majority so in regards to the belt straps for the backpack. Eagle Industries uses 1.5 inch side-release buckles for BOTH the RRV and their plate carrier systems. Pantac in their infinite wisdom decided to use 2 inch buckles.
I'm reminded of the old phrase:
"Measure twice; cut once"
Reason number two. Pantac decided use ITW Nexus side-release buckles, but not the one's used on either the Eagle RRV or PC. So basically even if you replace the buckles on the belt of the backpack you still won't be able to attach this pack to your RRV or plate carrier.
Personally I love Pantac, I think their gear is great quality, but to make replicas of stuff like this and fail to replicate the most important pieces that make the gear works, then you fail miserably in that respect, it becomes "just another" knock off.
I removed all the old UTX buckles from the pack (dremeling off the shoulder buckles!!!) and I replaced all the incompatible buckles with the proper Eagle Industries compatible ITW Nexus buckles (Thank you Brigade QM for your "ITW MOLLE FIELD REPAIR BUCKLE KIT"!)
So now, the pack is attached to my Eagle plate carrier to replace the back piece. It is comfortable and it carries my BBs and medkit as well as of course my 3 liter hydration bladder. The MOLLE on the side of the pack has my radio pouch attached.
After finally having this attached I can honestly say I don't miss the back piece and cumberbund from my plate carrier. My body breaths better and I can carry everything I need without the need of pouches or a cumberbund.
So, would I recommend buying this pouch? I don't know. Honestly, I would have rather paid the extra 50$ to get the real Eagle Industries plate carrier backpack then to go through the aggravation of trying to get the buckles and webbing to get this to fit properly.
With the release of Pantac's RRV (in official multicam- finally!) I have now swapped my Eagle PC for said vest, and while I love the fact that I didn't have to get new webbing and modify the vest (like I would have if I had bought the Eagle RRV) the vest with the backpack is just way too big for a slender person like myself. The only way to get the vest to fit comfortably around the chest was to cut out SAPI plate size inserts from a foam sleeping bag mat that I had lying around. I also had to make long strips the width of the vest to insert inside the vest to fit comfortably around the waist area. And finally, I had insert foam in the back "pocket" of the hydration backpack (not where the bladder is stored).
Unless you are a BIG guy, I cannot recomend the RRV+RRV backpack combo.
So overall, having known what I know now, I would have easily gone with Pantac's Multicam Weesatch and just purchased a Multicam MAP pack to go with it.