Don’t want to look like a you’ve been hydrodipped in multicam when you’re tooling around town? This may be for you. Mad Duo
Kicking it old School with Grey Ghost Gear’s Throwback Pack
Nathan “Mad Duo Nate” Murr
Long, long ago we lived in a world without high-tech materials, where stuff was made of things that grow from the earth, and men wore beards and carried arms at all times. If you wanted something durable for kit or clothes, you had to either hunt it down, kill it, tan its hide with its own brain or plant seeds and loom fabric.
Man, that shit must have sucked!
We now live in a world full of super fabrics, from Cordura nylon to Primaloft to Goretex. Back in the old days though, before the existence of synthetic materials (but after the time you had to set dye in wool with hot piss), your great grandpa probably hauled his ammo around in a hemp cartridge belt and sheltered from the elements under waxed canvas. That’s some nostalgic badassery right there. Maybe that’s why Grey Ghost Gear decided it was going to make a day-bag sized pack using that old school styling with modern design. It’s a unique mash-up of old and new, and a couple of us have had the chance to kick the Throwback pack around for the last few months.
GGG started out by taking one of their very popular sized packs as a base. At about 850 Cubic inches, they figured it would be the ideal size for a legitimate daily carry bag (note that it’s not a Book of Eli you-have-to-cross-the-country-and-fight-cannibals EDC bag). GGG used waxed canvas material for the bag’s body, which is highly wear and water resistant. Waxed canvas was and still is a favorite material used by outdoor companies such as Filson, and for good reason. It “weathers” with age, creating a unique appearance for each piece of kit, but retains its water repellent qualities by dint of the wax that impregnates the cloth’s fibers.
Grey Ghost tells us they wanted to stay away from most of the features found on “tactical” bags, to give the Throwback a more subtle, old-school look. It’s fairly low profile, and that’s one of aspects that make it so appealing.
The main compartment opens at the top to a full 550 cubic inches in volume. The heavy duty YKK zippers slide on beefy teeth, which is good to have if you over stuff the bag or drop it in the mud. Inside the compartment there are two water-bottle sized elastic-topped pockets on both sides of the bottom. These small pockets work great to stow small items such as a compass, energy bars or a flashlight. A modern touch in the form of female loop Velcro has been retained in the main compartment. The loop fabric is sewn onto the entire front wall, which it shares with the outer pocket. This loop can be used to organize more gear, add pouches or stow morale patches. The main compartment has plenty of room for most common items carried on a day excursion, and helps you rethink overloading your kit with gear you won’t even use.
Outside on the bag’s front you will find two smaller, vertical running zippers along each side of the pack’s face. You can unzip from either side of the bag to access a smaller compartment (300 cubic inches) which is ideal for additional small items. A small electronic tablet, camera or mid-sized notebook will fit in there well.This compartment is also backed with loop Velcro, for all of your hook- faced accessories.
Last, there is final, smaller “bucket” pocket secured with a horizontal zipper. This small, deep pocket is great for your most small and valuable items, like your car keys or cell phone. The face of the bag has a shock-cord bungee, which one can use to stuff a rain jacket or warming layer into on the run. The cord is secured at four points, and features a cord lock to cinch your gear down.
The Throwback has four fasted-buckle equipped compression straps, two to each side of the bag. The wide, lightly padded shoulder straps also have fasted buckles for quickly ditching the bag, and a sternum strap to help prevent sway. At the top of the Throwback you will find a top carry handle, and a small, modest leather maker’s tag. Below the carry strap is a sleeve commonly found on day bags and frequently used to hold a Camelbak-type bladder. This open topped sleeve is secured with Velcro, and can be used to carry a small, thin computer. While not ideal for rucking the Throwback about the countryside, this application works well for carrying your computer to the local coffee shop.
The Throw back is available in color combos of Black/Olive Drab, Black/Grey, Black with Wolf Grey buckles & zippers or (as was our test sample), Olive Drab/Field Tan. The two-tone waxed canvas looks sharp, and definitely gives the bag a more “outdoor” look. We found the bag to hold just the right amount of gear we commonly carry, and to not scream “this guy has a gun!” in urban environments.
The downsides? Waxed canvas ain’t cheap, and neither is this daybag. GGG does its best to keep its prices low and competitive, but they can’t do much about the complex process of making the special fabric. We’ve used other waxed canvas gear over the years, and love its look, feel and performance. If you’re looking for a quality bag that doesn’t make you look like you’re deploying to Dirka-Dirkastan, you might want to give the Grey Ghost Gear bag a look. It’s become one of our favorite bags, and it’s likely to become yours as well.
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.