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|Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon 2
Company Website: http://www.maxpedition.com
From Maxpedition's website:
" Maxpedition was established in 1988 as a small workshop fabricating hard-use military specification nylon gear. Today, we have grown into a company with 190 employees, in-house R&D and production facilities, and offices in North American(sic) and Europe. The main corporate facility is based in Gardena, CA."
- 18"(H) x 9.5"(W) x 5.5"(D) Main Compartment
- 12"(H) x 7.5"(W) x 2.75"(D) Front Pouch
- 12"(H) x 7.5"(W) Slip Pocket
- (2) Nalgene Bottle Side Pouches
- 1400 cu. in. Capacity
- Weight: 36.9 oz.
- Colors: Black / Green / Khaki / Digital Foliage Cam
- MSRP: $78.29 Street Price: $59.99
I purchased my Pygmy-Falcon on Closeout from LA Police Gear. The transaction was flawless. I got what I ordered as fast as could be expected.
Like most nylon gear, it came in a plastic bag. LA Police Gear then stuffed that into a box with a catalog and some flyers.
I am a sucker for heavy duty web gear. It may be because I lived by it for so long. When my second (and last) Son was born I was determined to make the most out of being a Dad for the last time. At that point i had been carrying a "man-purse" for awhile. I was using a cheap Israeli Paratrooper Bag for all the day-to-day stuff that makes life easier (more on this in another article). The addition of a new baby meant adding diapers, spare outfit, wet-wipes, bottles, blanket, etc. to my daily load-out. This would have maxed out the poor paratrooper bag and left no additional room. I did the "diaper bag" route with my first son. It never really worked for me. It was not comfortable to carry and was not really built well. The search began for a better option. I began looking at small "tactical" backpacks. I didn't need anything as large as the 3-day assault packs, and Pals webbing was not really that big of a deal. I also did not want to mortgage the house to be able to carry all the baby paraphernalia. An online contact suggested I look at LA Police Gear's closeout packs. To my surprise they had the Pygmy-Falcon on closeout. This looked like exactly what I wanted. It was on the smaller end of the day-packs, but had enough pockets to divvy up the gear. I liked the bottle pockets on the side (since hydration bladders were not needed). I also liked the fact that I could get an unobtrusive "urban" color like Khaki without camo patterns.
I was impressed the minute I took the bag out of the wrapper. The webbing and material are all heavy duty. The hardware is well built and the layout is well designed. The zipper pulls are all 550-cord. The side pockets are perfect for 1L Nalgene style bottles (my Eddie Bauer bottles fit fine). They have a drawstring top so that you can snug then down to hold the bottles, close the top to hold loose items, or almost totally collapse the pockets. The pockets are made of black mesh material (regardless of pack color). I feel that this is a great touch since you can store damp items and allow them to dry as you go. The heavy duty nylon material is not something that you would want riding against your body. To protect you against some nasty abrasions the back of the pack and the straps are lined with a black mesh and foam type material. This is very comfy and seems to handle perspiration well. The straps are well designed with a nice compound curve to follow the contours of your body. They are wide enough to manage any load you could cram in this pack (using common sense). The straps also come equipped with a sternum strap to help stabilize things. I am a great fan of sternum straps because they seem to keep the straps on most packs from digging into my pecs. The Pygmy does not come with a waist belt. If you need one, you are probably stuffing too much in this bag and would be better served by upgrading to the Falcon 2.
This bag not only became my Diaper Bag, but replaced my daily man-purse. When it's not on my back it rides on the passenger seat or floorboard of my vehicle or in the trunk of my squad car when I am working. I carry a combination of family support items and off-duty police items. Here is a short list of the daily contents:
- Wet Wipes (hardpack)
- Baby Outfit
- Baby Blanket
- Coloring book
- Hand sanitizer 2.5oz. bottle
- Gloves/Hat (during winter)
- Medical Tape
- Superglue pen
- Camelbak .75L Water Bottle
- Spare Magazine (for Glock 26)
- Surefire Lumamax L2
- ASP Handcuffs
- Surefire EarPro
- Chem Light
- Micro Roll of Riggers Tape
- 50' paracord
- Oakley Glasses in Hardcase
- Leatherman Micra
- Zip Ties
- Headset for cell phone
As you can see, I don't exactly travel light. However, this bag makes it easy. The handle on the top makes it easy to grab out of the back seat. It also makes a great attachment point for my carabiner when I want to hang the bag from a shopping cart (I need all the room I can get). The bag also has a shock-cord cargo tiedown on the bottom-front. I found this to be very useful for securing a rolled up jacket or small blanket. The Y-Strap on top is equally useful. On a recent family outing it was cold outside, but once we got inside it was way too hot for jackets. Good luck getting your six year old to carry his own jacket without trailing it on the ground. The Pygmy-Falcon solved this problem by allowing me to attach my Son's jacket to the shock-cord tiedown and my jacket was secured by the Y-Strap. The Y-Strap is also a nice feature if for some reason the main zipper should ever fail (but it's always good to carry some paracord).
One complaint that I had read about the Pygmy-Falcon is that the Y-Strap can make gaining access to the compartments difficult. It can make the front pocket a little tricky to get to, but since the main pocket has double zippers I just keep the pulls to one side. When I need to quickly access the pack I just open the side instead of the top. If the Y-Strap becomes frustrating, it can be quickly removed completely including the male fastex buckle and adjustment strap. This can all be stowed inside the pack for later use if you wish. This was a really well thought out feature. The main compartment of the pack was well designed. When it comes time for diaper duty I can unzip and lay the pack flat giving me instant "one handed" access to the contents.
The minimal amount of PALS webbing on the front and sides will allow me to add pouches if I feel the need without overdoing it. The ONLY criticism I have about this pack is that the webbing at the top of the straps likes to back out of it's buckles. This in NO WAY effects the use of the pack. It's just annoying since I like to have my gear squared away. The addition of two "M-Buckles" to thread the extra tails through would solve the problem. I will probably call Maxpedition to see if I can purchase a couple to match the other hardware. If not, some riggers tape will solve it.
I have been using this pack daily since December '07. It still looks new. I have not been able to see any wear on any of the fabric. If you need a heavy-duty "Hard-Use" day pack, this is it. It's a great value even if you have to purchase it at MSRP from Maxpedition's website.
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