Upon first inspection of the Triple Aught Design’s Fast EDC (Pack Every Day Carry) I was struck by its high level of craftsmanship. The color, design, and function are truly artistic. TAD strikes me as a boutique military and adventure gear company and the Fast Pack EDC is a great representation of their dedication to producing quality gear “…with a signature focus on combining rigorous functionality with sophisticated design.” After spending nearly a decade in the US Marine Corps I have developed an affinity for military-style gear. By definition, military gear means lots of velcro, pockets, PALS webbing rows (sewn webbing loops – for attaching additional pouches), bombproof (literally) construction, hidden pockets (for conceal-carry purposes, among other things), and tactical color-waves. In other words, gear of this caliber can withstand almost unlimited amounts of abuse and has seemingly limitless configuration options. However, these features also make it a harder sell for your average civilian looking for a pack to take on a normal day hike.

The good, the bad, and the not so good

The back support that keeps the pack’s shape and helps support a load is removable, which gives you the freedom to tweak the pack to suit your needs. There is a heavy-duty plastic sheet that provides extra support for heavier loads. It is removable which gives you the ability to stuff the pack into tight spaces (a very real bonus for those in the military who are packing everything into one or two seabags in preparation for a deployment or operation).

The side-release buckles have an ingenious cam-lock built into them that keeps the strap from inadvertently loosening itself. There is a bit of a learning curve with these buckles verses a normal side-release buckle but after a few seconds of toying around with them I am sure you will come to appreciate this little feature as much as I have.

The pack weighs quite a bit, coming in at 73.6 ounces or just over four and a half pounds empty! For an 1,800 cubic inch pack this is pretty heavy. Of course, the extra weight gives you seemingly limitless options for customizing/increasing carry capacity because of all the PALS webbing rows (which add up quickly) and durability due to the Denier nylon fabric.

However, the feature that sold me on this pack was the two compression straps on each side that double as the attachment point for the Transporter Tail. The Transporter Tail is a fully removable and adjustable flap that allows the user to attach bulky items to the pack. I was able to attach my skis and ski helmet to the pack. Utilizing this feature freed up a lot of room in my pack for other gear.

Another “Why didn’t I think of that?” feature is Flashlight Cave, an aptly-named pocket only found on TAD gear that has the zipper on the bottom of the pocket so that when you unzip it, whatever is inside (flashlight, knife, keys, etc…) comes right out into your hand for quick and easy access even with your pack on! They even added a D loop sewn in the top of the pocket so your item(s) are secure and will not fall out on the trail if the pouches inadvertently open.

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Lots of pockets
  • Modular pack with seemingly unlimited configuration options
  • High quality craftsmanship
  • Cam-lock side-release buckles

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Too many buckles, straps, & zippers
  • Cam-lock side-release buckle can be hard to operate with heavy winter gloves on
  • Pricey

TAD’s boutique military grade gear evokes some deep emotions for a gear nerd like myself. However, there are two things that make it hard to recommend this pack for an average weekend warrior hiker, and that is the price and the weight (though neither are overly excessive when compared to some other brands). On the other hand, the pack is made in the United States rather than some overseas sweat shop, and for me that is a huge bonus. Triple Aught Design’s Fast Pack EDC may just be your next daypack if your main focus is durability and modularity at any cost versus flashy color waves and light weight.

Manufacturer: Triple Aught Design

Date available: Currently available

Manufacturer’s Website: TAD Fast Pack EDC

MSRP: $319.20-$325

Listed Weight: 72 oz

Actual Weight: 73.6 oz

Materials: 1000 Denier Invista Cordura fabric & Hypalon

Warranty info: Limited lifetime against defects in material and/or workmanship to the original owner

Colors Available: Black, Coyote Khaki, Foliage Green, and Multicam

 

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