Review: Exos Bravo backpack
As I reflect on the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I’m stunned by how blessed I am to have almost everything I want and need. This item fills both of those categories, as it’s been a companion of sorts for over a year now.
The Exos Bravo pack, officially the Exos Bravo Tactical Military Assault Backpack (phew!), has earned a place on my list of useful and cherished possessions. It has all the right details to accompany me to the range or on hikes in any season.
Against the wearer’s back is a mesh-encased, insulated compartment, padded on both sides. It’s made for a hydration pack, with a hole for the drinking tube on top. It can also double as a laptop case for units up to 15 inches.
Mesh makes the pack a little more breathable on the skin but in hot weather, anything on your back is going to make sweat. This is no exception.
In front of that is the cavernous main compartment. Inside is a water-resistant zippered compartment, which is home to a spare pair of boot socks—I know they’ll stay nice and dry there. The main area is big enough to lose stuff in, but Exos tamed it somewhat by inserting a mesh divider.
The divider doesn’t take up needed space if you want to pack something bulky in there, but it does allow a body to organize supplies if you want. The mesh keeps everything more visible and gives damp clothes and gear a bit of stench-preventing airspace.
This main compartment is enhanced by having zippers that encircle nearly the whole thing, so it will open like a clamshell if you like. On each side, adjustable webbing attached with plastic buckles ensures the pack will keep its shape and not lose things if stuffed so full that the zippers won’t close all the way.
On the face are two more roomy zippered compartments, easy to access and perfect for small items.
Outside, a generous helping of MOLLE webbing makes it easy to attach auxiliary packs. A rectangle of loop material allows personalization with your favorite patch. Small pockets make a great place to stow a knife or other flat tools. And a rounded loop of webbing, fashioned into a carry handle on top, makes it easy to toss.
The folks at Exos call this a 34-liter capacity bag. I keep it packed with hiking and range essentials that make it around 25 pounds, and it’s not even half full. It’s been a comfortable companion on day hikes and a very useful asset on the range. Lately, it’s been doubling as a shooting support, too.
Zipper fobs include a bit of paracord, making their use easy, especially in bad weather or when fatigued. The cords can also be bound together with zip ties or what have you, to deter pickpockets.
It’s not the time that I get to keep an item and really put it through its paces to see if it’s going to hold up to real-world use. The Exos Bravo Military Assault Tactical backpack has never had a zipper break or loosen, nor have stitches come loose with a year of moderate use. And I confess adoration for the dragonfly logo on the front. It’s unique and attractive without being at all gaudy.
This pack sells for $59.95 and comes in black, OD green, coyote tan, and gray. It might make the perfect gift for the tactical shooter or outdoors-loving person in your life—maybe including you.
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on November 30, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.