Products Reviews

We Put the Vanquest Falconer-27 Pack To the Test

This is a well-built 27-liter backpack that offers the user near limitless options for organization with a plethora of webbing, cord, and hook and loop options. It thrives in a variety of environments and is well suited for day hikes and daily commutes. Need to get out of town quick? Travel and bailing out are easy with this pack suited for performance under pressure.

Construction

The Falconer-27 is constructed with 1000 denier Cordura fabric with 210 denier nylon lining the pockets. The Cordura body is also Teflon coated which will resist intrusion from splashes and short drizzles. The fabric is durable and holds up well to abrasion from rough surfaces. The straps and grab handle are box stitched and hold up well to being handled and mishandled on trail.

In one test, I found that the fabric resisted tearing from a short drag on rough asphalt while loaded. On another run of that test I saw that the zipper and compression strap had been torn. I looked back at the surface of the asphalt and found that several sharp, jagged protrusions had hit the pack against where I was storing a pelican case and steel camp stove against the pack. That’s more my fault and I don’t hold that against the pack’s construction as that kind of weight and edge would probably tear any fabric. I believe this pack will stand up well to long outdoor use and abuse, provided you don’t force it on a cutting surface.

Comfort

Despite only having a thin plastic sheet between the mesh back panel and hydration compartment, the Falconer is quite comfortable with loads in the 20 pound range. The shoulder straps are ergonomic and carry the load well, especially with the load lifters on top. I did have to play around with the sternum strap a bit before finding a setting that brought the straps away from my shoulder socket and more towards my chest. The two-inch webbing hip belt is not padded, but it helps engage the lumbar pad on the pack.

Organization

If you lose something in the Falconer-27, you’re probably doing it wrong. The front admin pocket opens up to reveal two shock cord ladders, two stacked rows of webbing, a secondary pocket secured by hook and loop and four small slots. This pocket can organize anything from first aid supplies to survival gear to electronics equipment. I was able to load a flashlight, notebook, pencil, different firestarters, water purification, chem lights and other things here.

The top pocket has a divider with four webbing slots. This allows organization of smaller items and is also large enough to store a pair of ski goggles. There are four rows of MOLLE webbing on each side with two columns each to attach more pouches or in my case a survival knife. The secondary compartment has three pockets and a small panel of loop Velcro for attaching pouches.

The main compartment has a full panel of loop Velcro on each side as well as loop panels on both sidewalls. There are also a Velcro secured pocket on the side opposing the backpanel. On the edge of the back panel is a row of molle going from top to bottom. The hydration compartment is also lined with loop Velcro. I found the compartment to be too tight for a 100 oz. Camelbak Omega Water beast reservoir. The lower profile 100 oz reservoirs on the market may work out better but I recommend using something in the 70 oz. range to keep the back panel from ballooning on you with a full main compartment.

Ideal Uses

This pack can thrive in a variety of environments. The appearance isn’t totally tactical and it doesn’t have MOLLE webbing all over it. The pack can bike to work with you and carry your electronic essentials in the organizer pockets. A 15-inch laptop can be secured in the main compartment and the hydration compartment will easily fit smaller laptops and most tablets. It’s large enough to carry a spare clothing and travel essentials but compact enough to fit in an airliner’s overhead compartment. The size and durability also make it ideal to hold survival essentials inside for the time when you’re driving and forced to leave your vehicle in order to make it home.

Find out More about Vanquest Gear

You can find more by visiting the Vanquest Tough Built Gear website at www.vanquest.com or get right to the backpack right here.

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Rick Lindfors

Rick Lindfors

Rick Lindfors joined the Shadow Fox team in June 2015. He is a member of Eugene Mountain Rescue, a specialized team in the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Program. Rick also spent several years as a professional snowboard instructor and was a captain of the University of Oregon Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Team.

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