Maxpedition Condor II
Maxpedition puts a lot of effort into gear that will…
Price Paid: $120
Maxpedition puts a lot of effort into gear that will withstand the roughest use. The benefit of their gear is that it is also comfortable. Their Condor II is no different. The pack has about 1900 cu inches of storage space between the main pocket and two exterior pockets.
Starting with the exterior, the material is 1000 denier nylon. It's fairly light but extremely tough. Here's the interesting part... I've used my backpack for 6 years and it looks like it's brand new...because it's coated in Teflon. No kidding, there is a reason why dirt and debris is shed so easily!
The bottom of the pack has some sort of super tough material to make it extra abrasion resistant. I don't know what it is but I haven't had any issues with it. The back has two sets of horizontal compression straps (4 total). It also has two horizontal compression straps that go underneat the pack. In addition, it has some yolk design that runs over the top and pulls the back up, essentially just compressing the outer pockets.
The inside (main) pocket is roomy and has a small zippered sleeve for odds/ends. The top outer pocket easily is plain and very handy. The bottom outer pocket is pretty big and has plenty of thin dividers/holders for pens, flashlights, etc. It's really handy as well.
Interestingly enough, directly behind the wearers back is the "extra" pocket. It zips from the bottom to the top of the pack on the right side. You can put a drink bladder in there and the tube can run through a purposeful port that is closed w/ Velcro when not in use. BUT...I don't use it for a drink bladder. Maxpedition mades a holster for many of their packs so I have my concealed carry directly behind me.
The shoulder straps are contoured and comfortable. There is a functional and comfortable sternum strap and waist belt. The Condor II is really made for soldiers and those who operate in the field. It is very tough and their methods of sewing are impressive and shouldn't be described by me except to say they use many bar tacks to "seal the deal". The comfort level of this pack may not be up the level of an Osprey Talon 33 but it is WAY better prepared to survive long, rough stays in the field. There are so many attachment points for additional pockets.
Recommendation: For soldiers, operators (like Border Patrol), and those who simply want an unbreakable product, I HIGHLY recommend the Maxpedition Condor II. It makes a great single to three day pack. I use mine every day and love it. I don't think there is a real limit to frame size. I have a small frame and, while it appears large, feels great. I imagine 6-footer-plus frames would do even better than me. 5'6" and less should second guess this pack (maybe go for the Pygmy Falcon) if you have problems with large packs.
Bottom Line: Maxpedition makes products that will survive nearly anything you will throw at it. The Condor II is that quality in a daily to three-day use pack.