There are few backpacks out there that check all the main boxes. Quality, functionality, and comfortability.... The Spare Camel by BOGear is one of these packs.
"Military Spec Materials"
If you don't know BOGear I suggest you get familiar. They are based in Australia and make bomb-proof custom built packs ready for any adventure. They use YKK zippers, 1000D Cordura fabric, best of the best materials and hand make everything to their unbelievably high standards. I have done a review of the the BullPup backpack I was sent a couple months back, however, this Spare Camel is the Bullpup on steroids and much, much more custom. When I ordered my BullPup I filled out the custom sheet exactly how I wanted, this time around I decided to let the guys over at BO surprise me... and boy did they.
"Make The Pack Of Your Dreams"
I gave them a few outlines to follow like, Dark "WTF" outer Cordura with Camo and same goes for mollee webbing. I was also lucky enough to be one of the first people to be able to get the optional bottle pockets on the pack, which is an amazing feature. I also upgraded to red paracord zipper pulls, a more padded wrapped handle, and had them even sewn two more rows of mollee webbing on the bottom of the Camel. The last upgrade I threw on the Camel was the beautifully laser etched RMK logo on the front panel of the backpack. The wizards over at BOGear really know how to make a pack and will go out of their way to make sure yours is perfect.
And now the review. Starting off as I said before the pack is built from all 1000D Cordura with a 500D Cordura back panel and with the "WTF" option many different colors are all sewn together to make the custom Camel. 1000D is an amazing fabric, however, it is heavy. I find that the weight is easily justified by the quality and abrasion resistance the Cordura has. The pack is also accompanied by large YKK zippers which make opening and closing the pack a breeze and ensures you will never have a blowout.
"Mollee Webbing For Attachments"
On the very front of the Camel, you have a four rows of mollee webbing that allow you to attach a number of pouches and pockets, or like I have on mine, a carabineer and a Steel Flame mollee clip for some added badassness. Below the four rows of mollee webbing there is a reflective strip to aid in nighttime visibilty.
"Large External Pockets"
Right above the mollee webbing, there is the larger zippered front pocket. This pocket is large enough to fit a full-size tablet, however, I normally use this pocket to store my headphones, wallet, charger, phone, and whatever other items I don't want on the inside of the pack that I need quick access to. Above this pocket, there is the laser-etched panel and then the smaller front zippered pocket which is much smaller than the lower pocket. I use this slot to house my glasses.
"Upgradeable Bottle Pockets"
On either side of my custom Spare Camel, there are matching water bottle pockets. This upgrade is going to be a new one to BOgears packs. The pockets are a great feature and will hold up to a 40oz Hydroflask with ease. If only carrying one water bottle you can stuff many other items in the pocket like anything wet you don't want in the main compartment. This feature does take away from the normal "Clam-shell" opening that the pack will have without the pockets however, I find the pockets a much more useful feature 90% of the time.
"One Of A Kind Inside"
Upon opening my Camel you are greeted with a beautiful royal blue inside liner. This is another option to be picked if you choose to get the custom Camel. On the back of the main compartment, there is a large sleeve that can house a laptop/tablet, books, documents, or whatever else. This sleeve is not padded and if you are going to carry a laptop or tablet I highly suggest putting it into a protective sleeve or case before. I would love to see a dedicated laptop sleeve which I feel is one of the only things missing from the Spare Camel.
On the opposite side of the sleeve, there are two large zippered mesh pockets. The first pocket zipper runs vertical while the second larger pocket runs horizontal. On a normally EDC I like to keep my laptop charger, external hard drive, and any other chargers/tech options I don't want in the large main compartment. The second zippered pocket is somewhat larger and can hold spare clothes, gloves, knives or whatever else you need.
"Plenty Of Room For A Full Days Load-out"
The main compartment is plenty large for a full day load-out or even a well packed overnight backpack. You can easily keep a few field pockets, a BOgear EDC pouch, laptop, books or magazines, an outer layer and a DSLR, which is what I normally carry.
"Padded Back Panel And Frame Sheet"
A huge difference between the Spare Camel and Bullpup is that the Camel has a full frame sheet in the back of the pack with a matching sheet of foam padding. This will make a huge difference when carrying the pack for long distances and helps the pack "stand" on its own and not slouch. The frame sheet and padding can be accessed under the shoulder straps by a velcro slot if adjuments need to be made.
Because the Camel is made entirely out of 500D Cordura this means the back panel is not going to be the most breathable on hot days. I have taken this pack on many hikes, a camping trip, and up the CO Springs Incline two times. You will sweat and leave a print when using this backpack for outdoor activities. This is not a big deal for me as I love the durability the full solid back panel gives and normally when I am using this bag outside it is because I am wanting a workout and don't mind sweating like a man should.
Next, the shoulder straps of the pack. The straps on both the Camel and the Bullpup are very unique. They are attached in such a way and a cut, that they can really move side to side with ease. The straps are plenty padded and do a good job keeping the load high on your back when synched up tight. One additional thing I had changed on my Camel after learning from the Bullpup was the distance between the shoulder straps. When wearing the Bullpup the shoulder straps would end up rubbing on the back of my neck and it did not feel great. When putting in the order for the Camel I spoke with captain Dave and asked if they could spread that distance another 20mm, which of course they did and it made a world of difference. In between the straps there is a small hydration bladder port that lets the user run a hose through and down the straps, there are loops down the straps which can hold the hose. I also decided to get the optional sternum strap to help carry the pack.
(Be sure to click on the side to see all of the strap pictures)
Finally, on the very bottom of the pack, I added two rows of mollee webbing so that I could attach any other items I needed like a sleeping bag, etc.
Below I will have all of my adventure pictures with the Spare Camel so you can see it in use. (Again click right to see all of the pictures)
The Spare Camel by BOgear is an ultimate EDC, School, Office, Adventure pack that can be fully customized to your exact specs. No other company in the industry comes close to the personalization BOgear gives you over your pack. The pack is built with the best materials available and hand made by people who truly care. Their customer service is second to none and will make sure you get the pack of your dreams. A custom Camel will not be a small investment at around $250-$300 US depending on the upgrades. Every Bogear backpack comes with a Dirtifcation guarantee (lifetime guarantee).
- Fully Customizable
- 1000D Cordura
- Large YKK zippers
- Mollee Webbing For Attachments
- Velcro Patch Panel
- Frame Sheet and Padded Back Panel
- Hydration Port
- Great Customer Service
- No Dedicated Padded Laptop Pocket
- Should Straps Can Be Narrow If Not Upgraded