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March 23, 2015 Comments (0) Gear & Equipment, Reviews, Wearable

Drago Atlus Sling Backpack Review

By Bob Vishneski   

Having traveled quite a few miles domestically and internationally and gotten involved in more hobbies than I care to admit, I have come to appreciate well-designed, well-built bags that I can trust to protect my gear in the field and in transit. I recently became acquainted with Drago’s line of backpacks and tactical gear, and took advantage of the opportunity to test its recently-announced Atlus Sling Backpack.

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Initial Thoughts

The Drago Atlus Sling backpack is extremely rugged and well-made. Over the years, I have owned a variety of bags from Tumi, Delsey, Dakota, LowePro, Think Tank, Tenba, Swiss Gear, Osprey, Ogio, Sun Mountain, and others.  As such, I have been exposed to some of the best made bags used for business, sports, and hobbies. The Atlus is as good as any I have seen.

Although I am partial to black bags, I immediately warmed up to this seal gray bag.  While the color of this bag is listed as gray, this bag skews more toward a light olive green to my eyes.

The Atlus is a good size bag for just about any outing, whether it is a special operations mission, police duty, hazardous materials assignment, day at the range, or a casual hike in the woods.  While it is listed as 2.6 pounds, it feels lighter. 

Size & Dimensions

Exterior:

19 Height X 11 Wide X 10 Depth (inches)

Capacity:

1,728 cubic inches

Weight

2.6 pounds

Features

The Atlus provides a robust list of features:

  • Full sized sling pack that excels in both urban and field applications
  • Sling strap configuration with breathable padding and a quick release buckle
  • Comfortably fits up to 17” laptop computer
  • Internal 4-channel elastic organizer
  • ID card window
  • Water bladder compatible (not included)
  • Y-compression strap
  • Concealed-carry compartment
  • Made of 600D Polyester
  • Holster pouch available (not included)

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The sling provides a comfortable way to carry the Atlus. The bag features a hefty polymer buckle that easily and quickly detaches the backpack.  The rear of the bag which rests against your back sports a well-padded foam backing, ensuring that nothing from the inside of the backpack can produce discomfort.  I loaded approximately 20 lbs. into the Atlus and thought it was very comfortable.  I probably wouldn’t go much over 25 lbs., however.  Sling backs are generally designed for lighter loads and situations where the speed of detachment is important.  If you anticipate carrying heavier loads, the Drago Assault backpack may be a better fit.

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You can carry a pistol in the bag’s concealed-carry compartment, which features a generous Velcro backing. I slid my Sig 226 into the concealed-carry compartment and it just about disappeared from view. A Velcro pistol holder would have kept the pistol higher up in the compartment and made it much easier to extract the gun. While the Atlus does not come with a Velcro pistol holder, they are available from a variety of different sources, for as little as $5. 

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The Atlus features a variety of compartments, elastic nylon bands (for spare pistol magazines), hooks, and sleeves to ensure that you can store just about anything you could conceive to bring with you safely and comfortably.  The 30+ MOLLE loops on the outside of the bag provide plenty of opportunities for you to attach additional gear on the surface of the bag.

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Quality

Whenever I receive a new piece of gear, I always take some time to look it over, get a general sense of the fit, finish, polish, stitching, zippers, etc. and ensure there are no defects. I also attempt determine if and where the manufacturer might have implemented some cheaper components or manufacturing methods in order to reduce the cost of the bag.

I am pleased to say that Drago put only the highest quality items and material into the Atlus.  It is also apparent from my looking over the stitching that Drago spared no expense in this area either.  The stitching will probably last longer some of the gear that might be packed in this bag. 

I have used a variety of bags featuring 600D polyester.  It is a very rugged material that holds up extremely well to use and abuse, while also providing great value for the money.  The Atlus features heavy-duty buckles, which have a very solid feel. 

Zippers are the number one concern with any bag.  If you are ever going to send a bag back to the manufacturer, it is likely going to be in regards to a zipper failure. The Altus’s nylon zippers are very thick and operate smoothly.

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One of the nice features of this bag is that the main zipper compartment only comes down approximately 60% of the way from the top of the bag. I appreciate bags that only stop short of opening to the bottom of the bag, since this prevents the top part of the bag (which may have some heavy items) from falling backward, putting undue stress on and perhaps breaking the main zipper. 

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Value

Given its feature set, materials, and quality, at the current price of $67, the Atlus represents a good investment, particularly considering that it may be carrying some expensive gear safely in demanding environments.  You can certainly pay much more for such a similarly-styled bag, but you will be hard-pressed to get more bang for your buck.

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Suggested Improvements

At the incremental cost of $5, Drago might wish to consider adding an adjustable Velcro pistol holster with the bag. For anyone considering the Atlus for special operations use, range use, or carrying their gear to the police academy each day, the inclusion of a Velcro pistol holster would save them from having to purchase one.

Conclusion

The Drago Atlus Sling Backpack is a rugged backpack that can safely and comfortably carry your gear, be detached quickly, and provides a good deal of configuration flexibility. It is a solid choice for anyone involved in special operations and police duty, as well as for the outdoor enthusiasts looking for a quality backpack that will last them for many years and deliver solid value for the money.

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For more information check out Drago at: www.dragogear.com

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