Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Bravo Tactical Military Assault Backpack for free from Exos, in consideration for a gear review.
The Exos Bravo Tactical Military Assault Backpack
About 6 months ago I got my hands on a new little assault pack that I’ve been using a lot. It’s the Exos Bravo Tactical Military Assault Backpack. I have had it out on 5 trips, in different scenarios:
- Camping in Bryce Canyon National Park (Southern Utah)
- Car camping trip to Bear Lake (Utah/Idaho border)
- Cabin trip to Yellowstone National Park
- Bachelor party and wedding for my little brother in Sacramento
- A weekend getaway to visit my parents
I thought I would put down some thoughts in a quick review for you, in case you happen to be in the market for another pack right now (or have perhaps heard of the Bravo).
Things I like:
Solid construction – The quality of the Bravo feels extremely sturdy. It is made out of polyester. I actually had the pack at max capacity on a camping trip, and none of the stitching or zippers failed or bound up on me. It is very much a pack that you don’t need to baby. Throw it in the dirt, stow it in tight spaces, or roll it down a mountain, and it will keep cranking. As I mentioned above, the zippers feel high quality, and all have pulls attached. The compression straps are all fitted with convenient quick-release buckles.
Substantial padding – The inside of the pack that rests against your back is finished with very comfortable and breathable padding. The shoulder straps as well. It might not be the fanciest patented padding system out there, but it’s a nice touch. I had the pack out on the trail (at about half capacity), and it was very comfortable.
(Here’s a quick look at what I stashed in the Bravo for my weekend camping at Bear Lake)
Getting ready for some lakeside camping in northern Utah… pic.twitter.com/aOmEJlCFMm
— Dan Carpenter (@DailyPrepDan) July 17, 2016
Convenient size for trail, bug out bag, or weekend trip – The Exos Bravo is conveniently sized for tactical missions. And for everybody else in the world, its assault pack size makes it perfect for a weekend trip, a bug out bag, or a mid-sized trail pack.
Good organization options – Just a few solid pockets, without being overboard. I really like the middle pocket. It’s the perfect size for a laptop and charger. The main pocket is large enough for some clothing and larger items. I had my boots (size 10.5), jacket, and all the other clothing I needed for my weekend in Bryce Canyon loaded in there. The lower pouch on the outside has some nice organizational dividers–good for small medical supplies, gun cleaning kit, pens and paper, etc.
Things I don’t like:
All the cinch straps – As I said in the video that I made, the cinch straps are really no fault of the pack itself, I just personally happen to be using it in conditions that it wasn’t designed for (i.e. more “everyday joe”, and less “mission critical”). Nevertheless, the top cinch strap in particular (that connects to the “Y” buckle), goes right over the “medical” pouch I mentioned above, and makes access to it really cumbersome.
I will say however, that the cinch straps do get the load compact (shocker, right? ;-). When I’ve had the pack completely full, I was able to get everything really well balanced and tightened down.
In conclusion, I think this is an affordable, solid little pack for your preps or a weekend adventure. I don’t like to check bags at the airport, so I always appreciate a bag that has a designated spot for my laptop, room for clothes, toiletries, gear, and reading material, and is still small enough to carry on. I also think this is a great option for a bug out bag. I will likely convert this into a bug out bag for one of my kids. It has plenty of room to fit a couple changes of clothes, food, water & filter, flashlight, medical, and the other things they need.
For complete details and specifications, check out the Exos Bravo here.