Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Maxpedition Baby Condor Pack

Last week on Arfcom someone posted a link to a closeout on Maxpedition Baby Condor packs at LA Police Gear. The price was $49.99 plus shipping. This is a discontinued model but normally went for about twice as much. Since I've been casually looking for a replacement for my Outdoor Products Power Pack for everyday carry, I decided to order one in brown. I figured that if it didn't work for EDC, it would certainly work as a replacement for the old book bag I keep in my truck as a get home bag.

The Power Pack is well made and holds all my stuff, but it's a little too big for everyday carry. Capacity is about 3000 cubic inches. It has straps on the sides to snug down the main compartment when it isn't full, but the buckles would be better placed if they were out one layer, to snug down all three main pockets. As a result, it tends to be floppy when it isn't full.

Per LA Police Gear's site, the official description of the Baby Condor is:

  • Capacity: 2010 cu. in. / 33 liters
  • Hydration: Side pouches for 1L Nalgene
  • Support: 1in Adjustable Sternum Strap
  • Dimensions : 17.5"(H) x 14"(W) x 7"(D) Main Compartment
  • 13"(H) x 10.5"(W) x 2.5"(D) Front Pouch
  • 13"(H) x 10.5"(W) Slip Pocket

The Baby Condor has three compartments: a large main compartment, which includes a mesh pocket near the top and a water bladder holder. The bladder holder is just large enough to hold my 15.4" Apple MacBook Pro laptop.

Next is a smaller compartment with pockets for pens and a PDA or an MP3 player. The third pocket is a zippered slash compartment. All compartments are closed with heavy duty YKK zippers. On the top is Maxpedition's signature Y-strap, which fastens over all three compartments with a Fastex buckle. The zipper pulls each are fitted with a paracord loop (except on one side pocket).

The bottom of the pack is rubberized. On the right side is a mesh pocket with a drawstring, sized to hold a 32 oz. (1L) Nalgene bottle. One the left is another mesh pocket, this one with a zipper (sans paracord).

There is one row of PALS webbing on the front for adding other pouches. I may do this to gain a bit more organized space. The straps are padded but not what I'd call "cushy." Each strap has a D-ring to guide the tube from a hydration bladder, and they can be connected with a sternum strap. The back is padded. There is no waist belt, which is fine on a pack this size.

The new pack arrived today. This is the second piece of Maxpedition gear I've bought (the first being a Mini Roly-Poly pouch), and this is as well made as the first. The overall construction including the nylon material and stitching are of high quality. The nylon is quite stiff but I expect it to break in.

After I transferred my laptop and assorted stuph into the new pack I tried it on. It seemed to carry well but of course I won't be able to tell for sure in my living room. I'll get a better idea when I go to work tomorrow. But this is definitely a very good pack and at $50, a very good deal. Assuming it works out, I'll retask the Power Pack as the get home bag in my truck.

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