Gay for Backpacks: 5.11’s “Rush 72”
A ways back I got a 5.11 “Rush 72” backpack for review. The Rush 72 is smaller than a ruck, larger than a patrol pack, and as the name suggests is intended to give the user the capability to carry 72 hours worth of gear. 5.11 did a pretty good job with this mid-sized pack, and I wish I’d had one in Afghanistan.
The Rush 72 has more compartments than my old ALICE. Its main compartment is open for general storage plus has a mesh zippered compartment and bungee compartment on the back wall, plus two zippered mesh compartments and a solid nylon compartment on the front wall. The mesh compartments would be perfect for IFAKs or other gear you need to be able to identify at a glance instead of having to dig for.
Behind the main compartment is storage for a hydration pouch, plus a slot for a removable rigid frame. On top is a fleece-lined sunglasses pocket. Each side of the Rush 72 has a long GP zippered compartment, two internal slash pockets each. At the front top is a small GP compartment with an internal zippered mesh pouch and slash pocket. The outermost portion of the pack is a large secondary compartment subdivided into multiple radio pouches, zippered mesh and nylon compartments, and a small admin (pen/pencil/marker) organizer.
Right behind that secondary compartment is a large, handy “shove it” area, open on top with mesh sides. This area can be used to stow items like rain jackets that you wouldn’t want to wear all the time but might need right now. It would also be useful for snatching up and stuffing woobies, mags or other items laying around if you have to unexpectedly boogie to another position.
And if all those pouches and compartments aren’t enough, molle covers most of the pack’s exterior. There are also four attachment points on the bottom of the pack.
Here are the specs, from 5.11’s web site:
- Built from high strength, water-repellant 1050D nylon
- 23” H x 13.5” L x 8.5” D main compartment
- 5” x 11.5” x 2” front pocket
- 5” x 6” x 1.75” left and right side pockets
- 21” x 13.5” hydration pocket
- 3342 cubic inch / 55 liter total capacity
- Contour yoke system with grab and go handle
- Rugged, self-healing YKK® zipper hardware
- Integrated drainage grommet
Comfort and Practicality
The Rush 72 rides well. Its shoulder straps are wide and well padded, as is the non-detachable waist belt. The waist belt has stowage compartments, but when it’s stowed the compartments protrude quite a bit and would probably get on my nerves during a long patrol. Compression straps on both sides allow you to cinch down the entire pack’s load, so you can reduce your overall profile for entering/exiting vehicles and aircraft.
And the only bad point is…
The only point not in its favor, and this is a totally personal opinion, is that it looks tactical. My pack is grey, but in any color it screams “soldier/cop” because of all the molle attachment points. In my post-military life I go out of my way to not look armed, trained and capable; for that reason, I’m a big fan of tactical packs designed to blend in with a civilian crowd. The Rush 72 probably isn’t what I would carry around for any typical civilian activity, but it would be awesome for short missions.
[You can find the Rush 72 Online here]
Breach-Bang & CLEAR!
This Post is part of our Trails Found Series. What is Trails Found? Members of BreachBangClear and some other badass media outlets assembled together this last September to train with one of the last of what has been called the “old Border Breed”, in the desert of Arizona. That man they were training with was no other than the legendary Jim Grasky. In 1965 Jim Grasky was a young Special Forces soldier in Vietnam, then in 1970 he was a the squadleader for a team of smoke-jumpers parachuting in to fight remote wildfires. For about a quarter century after that he was a Border Patrolman, and literally named BORTAC. Though Grasky is a man of many talents, one of his specialties is man tracking–which is why he developed programs specifically for USSOCOM and has taught the world over. Through your various social media outlets you can track other articles and photos related to Trails Found by searching for #TrailsFound16 and #GoodGearMatters.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.