Alpha One Niner Evade Pack Review
The Alpha One Niner Evade Pack is a product of not one designer but a whole cult of EDC fanatics. The Evade Pack was built with input from members of the EDC Forum, and executed by Helm Ashiblie, the founder of Alpha OneNiner.
“Pick your Color or Camo”
Like most gear on the top of the forums, the Evade is made with 1000D Cordura and for a good reason. Cordura is a must have on any EDC or adventure pack due to its insane abrasion/tear resistance and it’s background in the military. The Evade can also come in many different color patterns varying from 1000D Cordura in Coyote, Black, Grey, Navy. Nylon Ripstop in Two tone, Black, and Grey. And finally 500D Cordura Nylon Camo in Kryptek Highlander, Kryptek Mandrake, and Kryptek Typhoon. Not many bags can be purchased in this many color schemes which is a huge plus for the Evade.
"Bomb proof laptop compartment"
Right away one can see that the Evade was built from the ground up to give someone seeking the perfect EDC pack everything they've wanted. A huge component of EDC bags right now is the ability to store a laptop or tablet safely. The Evade’s laptop compartment makes sure to check this box. Inside the pocket, there is one padded sleeve that can house almost any size laptop. Mine in this picture is a 13inch Macbook Pro which is on the thin side however, there is plenty of room to fit those bigger laptops as well. Across from this sleeve, there are two less padded sleeves that can either hold a tablet or papers. When I carried this pack with both my Macbook and Ipad I did find that they were fairly snug however, they fit and were secure. The bottom of the laptop compartment is also very well padded and leaves no doubt when setting the pack down on hard surfaces. On the very top of the Evade there is a well-padded grab handle that will not let you down.
"Hidden Concealed Pocket"
Between the laptop and main compartments of the Evade, there is a hidden pocket that is backed with velcro. I was able to comfortably fit my Glock 19 and an extra mag with room to spare. The velcro backing can support a matching holster to make sure nothing moves around while on the go. I did notice however when I had the Evade packed full with my laptop and the Glock that it was very tight, but useable.
"A place for everything"
On the very front of the pack, there is an admin pocket that has plenty of organization. I was able to carry my Esee 4, a smaller folding knife, business cards, pens, and still have plenty of room towards the bottom of the pocket for anything that could overflow from the top stash pocket.
Above the admin pocket there is a “stash” pocket as I call it, that is just the right size. It can easily hold my wallet, keys, headphones, chapstick and whatever other small items you don't want getting lost inside the pack. This pocket also does a great job at having enough room to store these items while not invading into the main compartment of the bag.
Moving on to the main compartment, you have another key component of a perfect EDC bag which is the ability for the pack to open completely into a “clam-shell” like style. This makes packing the bag a breeze and allows you to take advantage of the whole pocket. On the front flap there are two zippered mesh pockets like that of the TAD Litespeed or the Goruck GR1. These pockets are great for giving some much needed internal organization to make sure there is a spot for smaller items you want to keep safe inside. On the top zippered pocket I kept my external hard drive, phone/ipad charger, and my computer charger. On the top of the main compartment there are rings that allow compartmental sleeve to be attached that Alpha One Niner also has available. I was sent a few of these as well however, I did not feel the need to throw any on as there was already plenty of pockets for all of my gear.
Sitting on the front of the Evade there are seven loops that can be used to thread cord, that comes with the bag, to hold down any bulkier items you don't want inside the pack such as a jacket or sleeping bag.
"Finally a place to put your water"
The last critical piece of the right EDC bag that the Evade features is the dual water bottle pockets on either side of the bag. I normally try to drink around a gallon of water a day and having the ability to quickly grab and fill up or drink my water without digging into the bottom of the pack is great. These water bottle pockets are able to stretch to fit a full size 32oz Nalgene and will lay flat against the pack when not in use.
On either side above the water bottle pockets, there are buckled compression straps. These straps are not only used to compress the pack when it is less then full but also can be used to keep the front flap from zipping all the way down when trying to get into it. The only downside of a clam-shell opening can be the zippers accidentally moving all the way down the pack and having your gear spill out. These compression straps keep this from happening on the Evade.
The back panel of the Evade is built from the same 1000D Cordura as the rest of the bag. This is good and bad. The Cordura back will without a doubt stand the test of time no matter your adventures. A lot can get worn down on packs that have a suspension system type back panel, as well as get in the way of your laptop compartment. On the other side, the Cordura backing ona hot day will not be the most comfortable and could get sweaty fast. This may bother some people however, I would rather have a flexible and built to last back panel when I am carrying all of my EDC gear.
If I had to pick out one thing on the Evade that I felt could be tweaked it would have to be the shoulder straps. The straps of the Evade are very padded, which is a must on a bag I will be carrying all day long. The addition of a sternum strap is always welcomed. The straps even have buckles on the bottom that can be used to one strap or remove when not needed. However, it is the shape of the straps that I felt needed changed. The straps have an S shape to them which is great and I love seeing that on packs, the problem is that this S is almost too much like the letter. On the inside of the shoulder straps towards the neck is where I noticed some rubbing when I had the pack synched up tight. This did not happen all the time, only when I would lean over or sit down. For me this detail does not make or break the bag. I have a somewhat larger then normal neck and shoulders so I could just be me.
- Top-tier laptop compartment
- YKK zippers
- Clam-shell opening
- Cordura Fabric
- Water bottle pockets
- Hidden Concealed Pocket
- Shoulder straps can be somewhat uncomfortable
Overall, the Evade pack by Alpha One Niner is a complete package when it comes to having all the features of a great EDC pack. Coming in at $185 the Evade is very responsibly priced for having such great features while being made with top of the line materials. So far, the Evade pack is the most well rounded EDC bag that I have reviewed here at RMK when it comes to carrying all the daily essentials plus tech.