Father’s Day was always a fun day for us kids. We enjoyed getting creative with handmade cards and feeling independent by cooking breakfast and bringing it to my dad while he waited patiently in bed for us. Just as fun though, as grown-ups, is to carefully pick out a gift for dads and husbands that they will find really useful. There are so many products out there, so it can be time consuming to figure out what gifts will show how much you appreciate the dads in your life. Here is a short list of 5 super cool and super useful products that might just be that perfect Father’s Day Gift for your dad.

Keychain Duct Tape1. Duct tape key chain – Are the dads in your life always fixing things? Or breaking things? Duct tape may be one of the most useful inventions when you need to solve a problem on the go. Key chains have also been very handy and most people have and use multiple keys chains daily. Put the two together and you have what you need, when you need it and where it is handy. This Duct tape key chain lets you roll up your favorite tape and take it on the go. Available in brass and stainless steel, with choice of 18 inches of Gorilla Tape or 24 inches of gaffers tape from Gearward for $20. the keychain is about the size of a tube of Chapstick.






Magpul Daka Waterproof pouch
2. Magpul Industries Daka Polymer Pouch – It’s not just mom that has to carry a lot of stuff these days. From cell phones and chargers to wallets and baby toys, dad needs a place for all his important supplies too. The Magpul pouches come in a variety of sizes and are waterproof, making them super handy for everyday use, (keep your electronics dry in the rain!) hiking or just storage. I think it would be perfect for a first aid kit, although it might be more fun for dad to stick more gifts inside. Put his card in there and then demonstrate how waterproof it really can be! Available in six colors from Magpul for $24.


Duffel Pack from Aer3. Duffel Pack from AER – Do the dads in your life travel between work and the gym? This versatile bag is both a duffel bag and a backpack designed to carry laptop and work gear, as well as sneakers and water bottle. This looks like a high quality duffel pack that could even carry enough for a short trip away, work or play. Give this duffel pack to dad to make his day and travel easy and convenient. Available only in black from Aer for $150.








Fossil Crewmaster Hybrid Watch4. Q Crewmaster Hybrid Smartwatch from Fossil – This watch is pretty impressive for the price. This affordable hybrid smartwatch has interchangeable wristbands for different occasions and has all the functions your dad will need for fitness, work notifications, and social events. With this watch, your dad can take a picture, control his music, track his fitness goals, set alarms, and get all kinds of important notifications and event reminders, all from his wrist. Available in four colors from Fossil for $155.






Camp Stove that Charges Phone5. Camp Stove 2 Bundle – Now this one I might have to get for my husband so the whole family can use it when we go camping. This camp stove duals as a phone charger. Fill the fuel tank with camp fire material, and as it burns the energy pack is filled and the heat is pushed up to the grill. Use the grill to cook breakfast or the stainless-steel container for brewing your morning coffee. This stove is small enough to haul on any backpacking trip. Grill, cook, boil and charge with this bundle from BioLite for $240.

It’s a pack I see a lot in airports across the country and for a good reason. The S.O.C Bugout Bag (ours is in the foliage green color) is a big backpack that can carry a lot of gear and take a beating. While it’s a popular option, there are some things to take into consideration before pulling out your wallet. We got this bag from Brownells, a company that has guns and ammunition along with gunsmithing tools and emergency and survival gear.

Construction: This bag is quite hefty, weighting in at 5 pounds 5 ounces. The construction is 600 denier polyester and canvas blend. Some of that weight also comes from the aluminum back-stays that give support while carrying heavy loads. The shoulder straps are connected by metal clips and can be stored for using the bag as a carry-on for air travel. While the pack is comfortable to carry and durable, there are some improvements that could be made to keep the pack in competition with more modern designs. That’s coming later.

Organization: The front pocket of the pack opens to reveal a light grey organizer panel, which helps identify smaller items. There are two mesh zippered pockets for storing small items as well as a pouch for a phone. There is also a document/map slot that is closed by a strap with loop Velcro. The second pocket has zippered organizer pockets that are ideal for storing cords or supplies that need dedicated storage. There is a hydration compartment that can store up to a two-liter bladder, but no laptop compartment. The main compartment can expand by opening a zipper that runs along the outside of the pack, increasing this pack’s capacity from 47 liters to 54 liters. While that gives you more room for your gear, it will change how the pack sits on your body, so pack wisely.

Needed Improvements: The hip belt was a big failure point for me. It loosened itself several times while walking on flat ground with a 25-pound load, and it became annoying quickly. Second, the metal clips on the straps should be replaced with quick release buckles for easier use with gloves. I also believe that the weight of the pack can be reduced while keeping the same level of durability. Using a light rip-stop nylon on the interior pockets will help lighten the load along with thinning out the aluminum stays. Using a plastic frame sheet with the aluminum stays can help maintain rigidity while cutting weight out. For me, the jury is still out on whether I think the pack needs the ability to store the straps for suitcase-style carry. I’ve never seen anyone traveling with this pack use it as a suitcase.

Ideal Uses: This bag is designed to fill several roles, but it is best suited as its namesake: a bugout bag. This bag would be best used as the bag you grab and toss into your car when you get an evacuation notice or when you need to leave home in the case of an emergency. It can easily hold and organize three days worth of supplies. But due to its heavy weight, I would not make this a long-range pack for those traveling on foot.

Check out the S.O.C. Bug Out Bag, and purchase it for $99.


If you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy having your phone around when you’re hiking or camping. I like mine for taking pictures and checking in with my family by text and checking my email if I happen to be in an area with cell service. I don’t want to have to worry about running out of battery or lugging around an extra device for charging. The solar panel chargers are great and they work, but sometimes I want to keep my packing light and simple.

This backpack does that by charging my devices right from the backpack. That’s right, a backpack that charges devices! It’s available in black, pink and gray, light blue and gray, tropical blue, gray, and white and black, it’s even fairly water proof. It’s a stylish and useful pack for a day bag and I really liked the fact that BirkSun gives you a money back refund if you’re not happy with the bag after 50 days.

The bags are TSA approved (nice for plane travel) and charge devices as fast as a wall outlet. The website says that every 3 minutes the solar panels are in sunlight they will generate 1% smartphone battery power. From wall outlets, the battery inside the back will be recharged 1% every minute. Too bad, but the bags can’t recharge laptops. however, if I just want to take a photo or check the time or whatever, my laptop being charged is not my biggest concern. Take this bag to the beach or to a festival, on a hike or just walking around campus, and never worry about whether there’s an outlet at hand or not. Wish I would have had this when I went to a big music festival and had to plan my day around what bands I didn’t mind missing so that I could hang out in the technology tent and get an outlet!

Check out the BirkSun bags and get one for your gear lover for $130, $170, or $200, depending on the style you get.

Image courtesy of Birksun.com

There are some pieces of gear that you stay impressed with even after having it for a while. It still surprises you, and still performs as advertised even after picking up a bit of range time and breaking in. When I first received the Vanquest FATPack 7×10 medical pouch, I was impressed with its organization features, but I wasn’t sure how well it would hold up since it was my first “tactical” pouch of any kind.

This pouch has held up well over the last year as part of my SAR kit (search and rescue). In my last review, I recommended securing the pouch shut with a carabiner to prevent the pull handle from snagging on anything if stored inside a pack. I’ve used an old quick draw to keep it closed and which also serves as a way to attach it to my harness if needed.

The Cordura construction has kept up nicely and hasn’t shown any signs of wearing or tearing after many months of being yanked in and out of my pack. The Velcro tabs on the exterior hold a pair of Milspec Monkey medical shears.

The pouch still can’t be beat when it comes to organization, even with new products coming to the market. The outside pouch holds several pairs of gloves so those are the first things I have access to when using the kit. The interior pockets hold a SAM splint, gauze, water for wound irrigation and other bulky items. The shock cord ladder on the opposite side carries a variety of bandages and smaller items. The small zippered pouch, which sets this pouch apart from many others on the market, is perfect for holding medications. The durability and organization of the FATPack alone make it an impressive piece of gear, but the form factor is also a plus. The thing looks great. My teammates, even senior members, think it’s a cool medical pouch.

Even though it’s a great and dare I say impressive medical pouch, Vanquest has found ways to update the design. The second generation of the FATPack 7×10 carries a redesigned shock cord ladder on the front flap, internal elastic loops for holding smaller items such as pens and chemlights and a low profile MOLLE panel on the front for added real estate for patches or a small pouch. The second generation of pouches comes with a red tab for identification as a first-aid kit. The main thing that intrigues me about the second generation is the redesigned shock cord ladder. It appears that it will still be able to hold small items, but also accommodate larger bandages when being used as a larger trauma or blowout kit. I still would like to see an option for all-red construction for the non-tactical market, but the addition of the identification tab does improve visibility in low-light situations.

In short, the FATPack 7×10 is still my top pick when it comes to a pouch that can fit both tactical and wilderness medical gear needs. I have yet to see a pouch that can match its capabilities. Purchase the FATPack from Vanquest for $43.


The Maxpedition Falcon III is an update to the company’s popular Falcon II backpack. While the main upgrade is the pack’s expanded size of 28 liters, some modern touches make the Falcon III a versatile outdoor and tactical pack. This bag is at home in a variety of environments and fits into a multitude of roles.


The exterior of the Falcon III is 1050 denier nylon. The fabric provides a high degree of abrasion resistance. I was impressed with how it performed on concrete drag tests while only showing slight wear on the outside webbing. The fabric is also treated with a Teflon coating, which gives the pack more water resistance.

I was impressed with the pack’s ability to shed water. For testing, I dragged the front of the pack across the surface of a river near the Shadow Fox HQ. The water beaded and rolled off the outside of the pack. However, the pack is not impervious. After opening the pockets, I saw that some water was able to get in through the stitching that held the webbing to the pack. While the pack isn’t entirely waterproof, it will keep things safe in a short drizzle or while trekking on a snowy day.

Webbing on the front and sides allow for attaching pouches to fit whatever your mission. Four side and a top compression strap keep the pack neat. For the top, I would like to see a longer strap to allow for carrying rope or a jacket when the pack is fully loaded.


The Falcon III comes with a mesh back panel and shoulder straps. The Falcon II had mesh shoulder straps, but a nylon back panel. The Falcon III uses a more open mesh that is well padded. Another item is the quick release buckle on each strap. This allows for easier and quicker removal when wearing thick layers.

Unlike the Falcon II, the Falcon III does not have a dedicated hydration pocket. A pouch in the main compartment will hold up to a three liter bladder. The hose can be routed through a port on either side of the pack. The bladder will bulge out into the back a little, but not enough to make it uncomfortable. The hydration pouch can also fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro with sleeve.

Overall, the pack is comfortable to wear. There is no frame, so loads over 30 pounds may be uncomfortable over long distances. The straps are well cut and a sternum strap helps keep the weight from bearing into the shoulders. Load lifter straps on the shoulders also help pull the weight towards the back. A webbing hip belt also secures the pack to the body.


The Falcon III carries a basic administrative pocket that can carry pens, a multi tool or folding knife, along with a phone and light. A key fob is also sewn into the pocket. While it does carry the essentials, I prefer a dedicated pouch for my phone to keep it from moving around and easily accessible. A few more organizational features would help the pack fit better into the EDC role.

The pack’s secondary compartment is lined with loop Velcro. This compartment can carry your hook-backed holsters and pouches. The Falcon II had loop Velcro on the hydration compartment for this purpose.

Ideal Use

The Falcon III functions well in the outdoors, but can also be used as a travel and daily carry pack. I was able to compress the pack down to keep the profile low when carrying a light hiking load, but the pack was also large enough to carry what I needed for an overnight snowboarding trip. The 28-liter size also allows for carrying more equipment for winter hikes or gear for the tactical professional on a callout.

The Bolt Bag from 215 Gear is a solid, USA made bag that works as an E&E pouch on a MOLLE pack or bag. It can also stand alone as a get home bag for your vehicle.

The Bolt Bag is made of 500 Denier Cordura Nylon and is manufactured at 215 Gear’s location in Virginia Beach, VA. The material resists abrasion and also has a water resistant coating. The material did not show any signs of tearing when dragged on course concrete with two three-pound weights secured inside.

There was no sign of water penetration when sprayed with 16 oz of water across the front. The material seems like it would keep items dry in a short drizzle, but could leak through if outdoor excursions call for long periods in the rain.

The bag also comes with a detachable nylon strap with metal g-hooks. 215 Gear also provides a pair of MOLLE Stix for attaching the Bolt Bag to a larger pack or bag.

bolt bag
Packed with the necessities
Small enough to stash for a quick getaway
Small enough to stash for a quick getaway

The bag does not have any padding either in the main body or on the strap, which limits the weight the user can carry comfortably. With this in mind, I found that the bag best carries loads around five pounds. The nylon strap is two inches wide, which keeps it from digging into your shoulder. The placement of the tabs where the strap hooks in keeps the bag at the eight o’clock and four o’clock positions on my hip. The strap’s orientation keeps it from swinging around while walking.

The bag is 450 cubic inches (a little more than seven liters) and has three internal mesh pockets. Two are billowed pockets secured by shock cord and one is a zippered pocket that takes up one side of the pack. With a lightweight load a user could organize food and water in one billowed pouch and first aid and survival gear in another.

The mesh panel pocket can secure hold warmer items such as a hat and gloves and can also be used for a map, compass and other admin equipment. Gear can also be secured to the bottom of the interior by two webbing loops. The pack is also large enough to hold a light layer as well such as a fleece or windbreaker.

Ideal Uses
215 Gear designed this bag carry essential items while out and about and the bag is well equipped to do so. Its size and shape allow it to sit securely under a car seat, provided the user does not over pack. 215 Gear lists the dimensions as 10 inches long, 12 inches wide and 3.75 inches thick.

The shape can get warped if bulky items are stuffed inside. The bag fit snugly under the seat of my car with food, water, first aid and hat and gloves inside. I also tucked the strap between the driver’s seat and side console. This allowed me to pull the bag out while seated.

The bag also works well for adding capacity to another pack for keeping essential items handy. For military or law enforcement personnel, the bag can keep essentials for situations where rapid movement is a priority or for escape and evasion.

If you’re looking for a versatile bag that’s perfect for quick getaways, the Bolt Bag from 215 Gear is the perfect choice. Want to learn more about 215 Gear and put their gear to work for yourself? Click here!

The expert team at Vanquest has done it again. They’ve given us a lightweight way to attach existing MOLLE gear and other items to a hook and loop surface that doesn’t require any new purchases. We put it in the hands of our gear tester to see how it works in the wild.

Tactical nylon companies have recently been expanding their selection of packs and bags that carry internal hook and loop panels for attaching pockets and pouches for organization. Some will offer items that scrap traditional admin pockets for hook and loop.

An Economical Solution to a Tactical Problem

The advantage to this is that the end user can completely configure the bag or pack to meet mission requirements down to the finest detail. The disadvantage is that the end user needs a separate set of hook and loop backed pouches to effectively use the product since MOLLE pouches will be incompatible.

Quality nylon gear isn’t cheap and many users are not willing or can’t afford to purchase a new set of pouches to create an effective system around a new product.

Another option is to use a hook and loop adapter, which is where the Vanquest MOHL system comes in. The MOHL (MOLLE onto Hook and Loop) system is a lightweight set of panels that allows the end user to attach MOLLE pouches and other items to a hook and loop surface for a fraction of the cost of purchasing new pouches. (Continued below photos)

Two Options to Tackle Anything the Wild Can Throw at You

Vanquest offers two items in the MOHL system. The first is the MOHL-Air, which allows the user to attach a MOLLE pouch to hook and loop surfaces. The panel comes with six tabs that wrap around the MOLLE webbing on the back of the pouch and secure it to the panel. The user can then attach the pouch to a hook and loop.

Users can also weave pouches with MOLLE straps through the panel. The MOHL-Air panel worked well in securing the FAT-Pack 7×10 pack to the back of the Falconer-27 pack. The hook and loop on the MOHL-Air is quite tacky and the pouch easily stayed put on the pack.

The second panel in the system is the MOHL-Web. This is a panel with a web of shock cord woven through. This panel is particularly useful for keeping bulky items such as water bottles or hard cases from moving around inside a pack.

The panel we received was part of a first-run batch and only allowed attachment of a four-inch diameter water bottle. Vanquest reported that the panels on the market now have six inches more of shock cord and can accommodate larger items.

The MOHL system of panels offers a big advantage in modern pack organization. They’re quite useful for a variety of loadouts and offer a significant cost benefit over purchasing a new set of pouches to accommodate new bags with hook and loop panels inside. For the cost of a new hook and loop pouch, a user could purchase two or three MOHL panels and customize a bag or pack to fit their needs.

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.


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.


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.


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.

Don’t trust your first-aid and rescue supplies to anything less than the best. We test out the latest from the gear professionals at Vanquest, the sturdy and versatile FATPack 7×10.

Rick is a member of Eugene Mountain Rescue, a specialized team in the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Program. He frequently uses outdoor gear in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. We asked him to put some gear to work and test it’s performance. 

I carry a considerable amount of first aid equipment when on SAR missions. My kit will contain essentials for treating common back country injuries such as sprains, fractures and bleeding along with dozens of band aids and other small items for treating the small wears and tears that happen in the outdoors. On top of that, I will also carry patient packaging materials and survival equipment such as space blankets, hand warmers and small packs of emergency water.

As I expanded my supplies to fit my mission, my pouch started stretching and becoming more inconvenient to use. At the time I was using a Red Cross pouch that had so far proven to be a trusty companion. However, pulling it out of my pack in rainy or wet conditions started feeling more and more like trying to palm a basketball.

I saw the need for a new pouch and started looking around online. I was interested in a MOLLE system because I could attach it to the outside of my pack for security while using or to my climbing harness when moving in confined areas. Almost all the MOLLE Pouches I found were either small and designed to fit the essentials for treating a gunshot wound or other trauma or too large and lacking the organization that I needed.

Enter the FATPack 7×10.


Organized Essentials for Quick Access

I was curious about Vanquest’s latest first aid pouch offering because of its size and unique manner of organizing kit. The pouch has four pockets, elastic bands, a shock cord ladder and small zippered pouch for holding first aid essentials. The design of the pouch is essentially an expanded version of Vanquest’s FATPack pouches. Those and similar pouches had caught my eye earlier but appeared to be too small for my needs.

I was able to fit larger dressings and patent packaging material in the larger internal pockets and a small poncho inside a hidden external pouch in the front of the pouch. Smaller items such as alcohol wipes and band aids fit into the shock cord ladder. The small zippered pouch fits a set of gloves along with aspirin and small packets of antibiotics and hand sanitizer.

Another striking feature of the pouch is how it’s opened. When attached to a MOLLE surface, all you have to do is pull the top handle and it will open up to display all of your equipment. If you’re using the pouch as a stand-alone item, I recommend putting a non-locking carabiner on the tab on top of the back of the pouch to make a secure spot to grab the pouch and open it with two hands.

Durability to Endure Tough Climates and High-Pressure Rescue Operations

To top it off, the pouch is made of 1,000 denier Cordura fabric with a 210 denier orange rip-stop nylon interior. The Cordura is treated for water resistance, although I personally prefer to keep my first aid items inside at the top of my pack away from the elements.

This pouch is a game changer for me. My gear is more accessible and secure at the same time. It’s a far easier item to grab out of my pack even when wearing wet gloves.

Even though it’s a solid pouch, there are still some modifications to be made on my end. I’ll be adding the aforementioned carabiner at the top for easier two handed use when not carried on a MOLLE pack. While the pouch comes with two hook and loop tabs for securing shears, I find that these are difficult to use while wearing gloves and could cause issues in colder environments. I recommend buying a separate dedicated pouch for shears. This pouch can be attached to the FATPack via webbing on both sides on the pouch. An optimal setup would be shears on one side and a tourniquet on the other if those are necessary parts of your kit. I would also love to see the pouch in red or orange for first responders.

Overall, I’m impressed with this product. Expect a follow-up review sometime down the line after this pouch has logged some mission time.

You can find out more about Vanquest Tough Built Gear at their website here. Want to see more modular pouches and pockets from Vanquest? Click here.