Keep it discrete, Stay under the radar.
A few months back, I was looking for a small day pack to keep in my car, take to work, go on a short hike, etc. Something somewhat low key, but capable of carrying the essentials. Going through my packs, I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Some were too large being overkill. Some too small. Most were way too tactical and screamed, “Hey, look at me! I’m one of those guys!” No, I was in need of something a bit more subtle.
I recalled seeing a small pack on the Blue Force Gear website a while back. I checked again and sure enough it was still there.
Blue Force Gear (BFG) has been making innovative gear for the warfighter since 2004. They are famously known for their slings and have teamed with former Delta legend, Larry Vickers, to create a very successful sling that is now in use with our fighting men and women overseas. BFG also makes a wide variety of other unique soft wear items that range from chest rigs, plate carriers, pouches, med kits etc. They have a category of product called Every Day Gear. This gear, while not totally sterile of that outdoor, tactical feel, provides a more low-key aesthetic. Product ranges from hats, bottles, wallets, shirts and packs. It was the latter I was interested in.
The Jedburgh Pack would be considered a small to mid-sized pack. Blue Force says it was designed for “discreet” carry on the street or as a good range pack. While I wouldn’t say it’s uber discreet, it is more so than other bags I have used.
The pack is minimalist and simple, which I like. It lacks MOLLE webbing encrusted on every inch of the pack which is common with most of my other rigs. It has one small strip of BFG’s MOLLEminus available for attaching other items. The MOLLEminus is MOLLE compatible, however the field has been laser cut giving it a different look than the traditional MOLLE that is more common.
Pack construction is solid. It is made using INVISTA CORDURA fabric and ULTRAcomp Laminate and features matching zippers and has strategically placed loop lining for attaching/mounting compatible items.
The pack only has two storage compartments: a large and a small. The smaller compartment sits low on the outside of the larger and features the MOLLEminus field on the outside and a solid loop field on the inside. The larger compartment has a small loop patch field on the outside and two vast loop fields on the inside. There is also a small access port at the top to accommodate a hydration tube or headphones.
The pack straps are somewhat narrow, but not too narrow that they cut into the shoulders after prolong use. They have a simple tension adjustment as one would expect and that’s it. There is also a drag handle at the top of the pack. Other than that, nothing else. No sternum strap. No load bearing hip belt. No external water bottle holder. Plain. Simple.
The versatility of the pack lies inside with the loop fields. BFG has an organization system they call Dapper. The Dapper Organizational System consists of a selection of mission specific items that range from pouches, mag carriers, admin bags and accessory loops. It allows the user to configure the inside of their bag as they see fit. Of course you can use any hook and loop system from other manufactures to mount your gear.
I opted to go with a pack in Wolf Grey as it seemed less tactical than Multicam, OD green or other usual suspects. I added an admin pouch to hold smaller items like a phone, spare mag, pens and other loose odds and ends. Also included in my order was a couple Accessory Loop Adapters to hold larger, more unwieldy items upright and in place as well as single pistol mag pouch.
I configured the pack in such a way that the admin pouch was mounted in the smaller cargo compartment for easy access. Within the pouch, I have everything from lights, batteries, matches, pens and a waterproof note pad. Above the admin pouch, I mounted the pistol mag pouch. The pouch is flexible and securely holds anything from a single stack 1911 mag to my Glock 19 mags without issue. I also managed to get a small solar panel charging kit in there.
Within the larger compartment, the accessory loop adapter was installed at the top end of the pack. This allowed a medium sized SOG Voodoo Hawk tool to sit upside down with the handle secured. I then filled the pack with a light weight pair of Gore-tex rain pants and coat, spare socks, a few other articles of clothing, water filter system, spare diapers and wipes (for my kids, not me), a soft ballistic plate and lastly the BFG Trauma Kit NOW! med kit.
The pack was mostly stuffed full and probably weighed a good 25 to 30 lbs. For the past three months, it has stayed packed full to capacity and has gone everywhere with me. I throw it in the truck and it bangs around on the floorboard during my commute. I will also take it out on hiking excursions with the family. It has been dropped, drug and banged around. Other than the random smudge of dirt or stain, it has shown no other considerable signs of wear. Even with the bag packed tightly, the zippers have held and not busted loose like some celebrity wardrobe malfunction. Nope, all the bits and pieces are still in place holding everything together.
Because it is so simple, there isn’t much to critique. It was designed to be sparse while giving the end user the ability to configure the interior as they wish. I probably would do away with the exterior loop field. I personally don’t need it and slapping a patch or two on their kind of goes against the whole “discreet” carry concept. I might also include a slender laptop slot between the large compartment patch field and bag exterior. That way one could store a small laptop, hydration pouch and in my case a ballistic plate without covering up the patch field. Just a thought.
Thus far the pack has filled the gap between a larger 3-day pack and a smaller hydration pack. It is extremely minimal and would look just fine in the office or in a squad car (if that is your office). It carries just the essentials and not much more. It can be had from Blue Force Gear for $140.00. Dapper accessories or med kit not included. As always, BFG is made in the USA, which is important to mention and comes with their Limited Lifetime Warranty.
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