Camelbak Quantico Backpack Review

Who it suits - The tactical style bag lover who wants a great way to carry all of their EDC items plus tech in a way that stands out from the normal backpack. 

Who it doesn't - Anyone who needs a large EDC backpack or anyone who plans on using this back on long hikes. 

Camelbak recently released a new urban EDC line with a tactical look. The larger of the two being the Quantico (23L) which I purchased and the smaller being the Coronado. The Olive and Stone colors are both made with T30D X T600D polyester while the Black multicam option is made with 500D Cordura. 

I originally found these packs on Carryology's coverage post of the Outdoor retailer Summer 2015 and ever since I have been checking in with Camelbak to keep up with their release. I purchased my Quantico from Amazon sold by Camelbak. After opening the package and inspecting the pack, I could feel the quality that I have come to expect from Camelbak. I have had many hydration packs throughout the years from Camelbak but never a dedicated backpack until now. I feel that I am partially drawn toward this pack because it resembles a Goruck GR1, which is not a bad pack to share looks with. When purchasing this product I was under the impression that all of the color options were made of 500D Cordura however, that is not the case. The stone color is made from T30D and T600D Polyester. Upon learning this, I was very disappointed as all of the bags in my lineup are either made of 500D Cordura or 1000D Cordura. Seeing that Amazon has a great return policy I may be exchanging for the Multicam version of the pack. 

“Mollee webbing for external attachments”

Other then the lack of the Cordura this backpack is a serious new contender in the quick growing military style EDC backpack market. As mentioned above the Quantico takes queue’s from Goruck’s GR1 lineup. On the front of the backpack, there is a full panel of Mollee webbing for attaching compatible pouches and accessories. Behind this Mollee panel, there is a front stash pocket that has no way of closing. However, I found this pocket to be extremely useful for grabbing items quickly while on the go. 

Above the open stash ocket, there is a fleece line tech or sunglass pocket that is large enough to fit my iPhone, keys, and wallet. 

" A pocket for every piece of your kit"

On the bottom of the backpack, there is a smaller pocket that holds my Esee 4 and a rain cover. Upon carrying this bag over the past few weeks, I have noticed that there is a dedicated pocket for everything you could think of, which is a nice feature compared to Gorucks line of products or other similar style bags. 

If you open the next zippered pocket before the main cargo space you will be greeted with a highly organized panel. This pocket has room for all of your pens/pencils along with slots for business cards and a large zippered pocket that runs across the bag. This pocket is great for chargers, external hard drives, and other tech. There is also room at the bottom to store any other items. 

Next is the main compartment of the Quantico. This room is where I keep my DSLR in a GR2 field pocket, a journal, and other large items like a jacket, or gloves and a hat. This pocket can easily fit everything needed for a full day at school or the office. There is one smaller zippered mesh pocket that can house smaller items you don't want getting lost inside. On the back panel of the ag, there is a sleeve for documents or binders.  

 “One of the best laptop sleeves in a tactical style backpack”

The Quantico has a fully padded laptop sleeve that will allow storage of a 15-inch laptop and an Ipad. I recently bought a Tom Bihn Synapse 25 that I have been using for about a month now and absolutely love. It has turned into my EDC bag in every aspect. However, it does lack a fully padded laptop sleeve and therefore when I do carry my Macbook pro in it I can't help but think twice. The laptop sleeve is really where the Quantico shines and separates itself from the tactical bag norm. I can confidently say you will have no worries when carrying a laptop and an iPad in this sleeve. 

The shoulder straps are nothing short of perfect. They have just the right amount of padding and form to make carrying the bag a breeze. The back panel is also padded and made with mesh to help with breathability. The shoulder straps come with a sternum strap to help with heavier loads. 

On the right side of the pack, there is a deployable water bottle sleeve that can hold a Nalgene. The sleeve does a great job at staying low profile when not in use. On the opposite side of the Quantico, there is a smaller water bottle slot that can store smaller items as well.  

The bottom of the backpack is very padded and pairs well with the thick grab handle at the top of the bag. The Quantico does a good job at holdings its form even when not loaded out and even more so when fully packed up. I have had 25lbs in the pack and the shoulder straps and back panel did a great job. 

 

  • Very reasonable price tag 
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Molle webbing for attachments
  • Great organization
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • Plenty of pockets for all your gear
  • Camelbak Got your back Guarantee 

 

  •  Stone and Olive should be made with 500D Cordura 
  • Hard time standing up alone due to slanted bottom
  • Zippers are on the smaller side

Verdict 

The Camelbak Quantico is great EDC or school bag that excels in carrying your laptop or Ipad in a Military/Tactical form. It comes in at a very reasonable price of $160 with a lifetime guarantee.  

Madden Equipment Dan's Pack Review

The Madden Dan’s pack is made by Madden Equipment in Boulder Colorado. The pack comes in at 20L with one main storage pocket and one front slash zippered pocket. The bag is made out of 1000D Cordura and a 420D Nylon inner. It is also accompanied by all YKK zippers. Madden Equipment is a smaller company that makes high-quality handmade gear right in Boulder. All Madden Equipment gear comes with a lifetime guarantee. Madden was the first US outdoor company to introduce Cordura to the European marketplace back in the late ‘70s.  It’s been part of the Madden brand identity the past 40 years.  

This is the first pack by Madden that I have had. The Dan’s pack is their smallest and cheapest backpack coming in at $100 even. The backpack has excelled at a quick day trip bag or a small EDC bag with how streamlined yet functional it is. 

The bag has one main storage compartment like most bags with two slots for documents or a laptop against the back. There is minimal padding on this bag and especially in and around the main pocket so if you are going to be carrying a laptop I suggest a separate laptop sleeve. 

On the front, there is a horizontal slash pocket that is gusseted and can really hold more than one would think. This pocket is expected on a bag like this or any backpack really, however, the addition of the gusset completely transforms the pocket and makes it more functional. Most other bags with a front slash pocket are very hard to access when the core of the bag is stuffed full. Even when I had this pack full this pocket allowed me to pull out my easy access items effortlessly.

With carrying this bag there was one thing I noticed time and time again. Without the addition of any harness or suspension the bag really hugged my back. If I were using this bag for hiking, rucking, biking etc. I would have hated this as my back would get extremely sweaty fast. Since I was using this pack as intended for my EDC this feature was great. There is nothing more awkward then a pack that is stiff and will not bend with you, especially on a crowed bus or through the town. Most of my EDC or school bags do not have any kind of suspension just for this reason alone, my Tom Bihn Synapse 25 being a great example. 

The shoulder straps on this bag are fairly normal. There is enough padding to help out if you decide to carry a heavier load for the day but not to the point that when you only have a few items in the bag they will look out of place. 

The back of the bag is also slightly padded and made with the same 1000D cordura, so no mesh or anything to help breathe. I would have liked to see some kind of mesh backing here just to help a bit with the breathability although, at $100 I didn’t except this pack to be full of features. 

The bag is simple and I love that about it. There are a couple very neat pieces sewn on throughout the bag like the 100% Bison leather patch on the front upper corner or the bag. The small and subtle Madden Equipment logo on the bottom right. If you take a look at the back of the bag there is even a small Colorado state flag attached. Lastly, on the inside there is a tag showing who hand made your bag along with a U.S.A flag. I love seeing these type of tags on bags validate their authenticity and heritage. 

+

- Very affordable 

- Military grade materials

- Handmade Colorado features

- Streamlined, simple

- Front gusseted pocket

-

- Not very breathable

- Not much padding

 

Who this pack suits  

- Someone looking for a daypack built in the USA with a lifetime guarantee 

- Someone who wants a small streamlined day pack

- Someone who wants high-grade materials and features at a great price

 

Who it doesn't

- Someone looking for a backpack that excels at carrying a laptop

- Someone who will be in very hot weather and needs a pack that can breathe

- Anyone looking for a hiking or overnight backpack