In my outdoor travels I’ve always used cavernous backpacks. Be it a canvas canoe pack, extended trip modern internal frame packs, or my well traveled large A.L.I.C.E. pack, the ability to transport large loads has always been a feature I’ve wanted in my packs. That is until I learned that bigger is not always better. Enter the Drago Gear Spec Combat Backpack.
I have been searching for an EDC pack that had a lot of features, is well built, and within in a reasonable budget for quite a while, and Woods Monkey generously allowed me the opportunity to review a pack that is doggone good, the Drago Spec Combat pack. With a unique style, well thought out features, and some hidden surprises it comes mighty close to my ideal pack.
The Spec Combat pack is a single strap, over the shoulder pack. It has a nice wide padded strap, with a large fastex type buckle for quick removal in an emergency. There is a stabilizer strap that wraps from the bottom of the pack on the left side up to the main strap that allows you to snug it up for a close to the body fit that doesn’t impede your movement in the least. I’m a larger guy, but Drago has allowed for a lot of adjustment, and while it might be a snug fit in heavy winter clothing, fall, winter and spring should be no problems for even us larger monkeys. The main strap on the right side of the pack, where it attaches at the bottom has some MOLLE style straps that are perfect for attaching a knife or an exterior pistol holster. I attached a Benchmade Combat Survival to the straps, and it placed it in a perfect position for easy access. There are also MOLLE straps on the front of the pack for those of us who like to add extra pouches.
The pack has an external water bottle pouch with a cord lock closure, a large main compartment with some neat zippered mesh pouches for organization, and some smaller zippered pouches and pockets on the outside. Since it is designed for EDC, it also has a zippered pouch to store a firearm and a couple of magazines that sits securely in the small of your back. A quick flip, and unzip and your handgun is at the ready. All that is needed is a holster designed to be carried in a pack with the reverse hook and loop on the sides. There is a removable pouch on the strap that’s perfect for a small pair of binoculars or a cell phone. My iPhone or my small Bushnell binoculars fit in it nicely.
I carried the Spec Combat pack daily for a month, with a decent load in it. 20 pounds appears to be the upper limit that can be carried comfortably but then again, 20 pounds is a lot of gear. I carried my Ruger SR9C with three spare magazines as my side arm, an extra one hundred rounds of .223 for my longarm, as well as three spare magazines for it as well. I loaded up some survival gear, spare clothes, and some high energy food bars, and rounded out with other odds and ends. The extra large Kleen Kanteen stainless steel water bottle was a little tall to be securely held by the cord lock closure, but a Gouyot Designs Standard bottle fit with a little extra room, so I added a GSI cup for a cooking vessel.
It was here that I experienced my only failure with the Spec Combat Pack. While carrying the pack between car and house, I leaned up against my truck and heard a small crack. I didn’t think much of it, but later that day I discovered the outside casing of the cordlock had cracked in half, and dropped the spring out. That wouldn’t be much of a problem, except the ends of the string are sewed into the seams of the pack, and a bead is run onto the string. This forces you to either cut the string, and remove the bead to put a new one on, or do without. I improvised and took one of my zip ties from my kit and snugged it up on the string. It’s a little difficult to use now, but that’s much better than losing a water container. EDITOR’S NOTE: Checking with Drago even something as simple as a cordlock issue is covered by warranty. They’ll be replacing Taylor’s review pack so, although Taylor was able to find a work around, it’s well worth keeping in mind that Drago stands behind their gear!
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the Drago Gear Spec Combat Pack. It’s the first pack I’ve used that was a sling style, but I found it comfortable and easy to use. With a little ingenuity a strike plate could be carried in the main compartment, and the pack used as some stealthy impromptu body armor. It’s got plenty of room to carry the essential gear you need to get out and get home. The Spec Combat Pack retails for around $65.00 but a quick search on the internet showed prices ranging from $15 to $20 dollars cheaper. You can find it in black and olive drab, both good looking in a tactical way. To top all this goodness of Drago Gear offers a limited lifetime warranty on their gear. Basically if you don’t abuse it and something breaks, Drago will make it right.
So if you are looking for an everyday carry pack with a lot of features, check out the Drago Gear Spec Combat Pack. You won’t be disappointed.
"Like" the Monkey on Facebook while you’re at it too!
Check out more discussions on the Woodsmonkey Forum: