Editor’s Note: I made a video demonstrating the layout and some features of my new backpack, the Tactical Tailor Urban Operator Pack. I also show what I carry in my bag to school. I’ll share my thoughts on the bag in the rest of this post…
The Urban Operator Pack is an entry level “tactical” daypack that adds some tactical features and utility to an otherwise standard urban backpack. These include MOLLE attachment straps on the wearer’s right hand side, velcro patches for morale badges and nametags, military grade Cordura construction, high visibility orange lining, and different ways of doing standard backpack features.
Aside from its large capacity and generally minimal styling (for a tactical bag, that is), the main thing that sold me on this bag was better organization and accessibility than my old bag. Pictured above, I have right-hand side access to my camera, multitool, knife/glassbreaker and extra flashlight. One thing I would change, however, would be to add a standard pocket behind the attachment system. I was actually surprised to see a normal seam instead of some sort of slot or pocket there.
The main admin panel has three layers of organization, which is nice. I was actually able to fit everything I wanted inside it neatly and efficiently, except for a few pens/pencils that ended up in the zippered compartment. I don’t know if this is a weakness of the bag, or just a sign that I have too many pens. While I feel the external compartments could use more organization, I realize the bag wasn’t designed for predominantly students to use. I would have added elastic loops, similar to those in pocket organizers for more places to store pens/pencils/tools.
Regardless, the layout is pretty well thoughtout and allows for an almost gear-slinger type accessibility of the MOLLE attachments points and the laptop compartment as well. The laptop sleeve fits up to 17” (I’m using a 13” MacBook but I still need to insert horizontally into the sleeve before rotating once it’s inside).
While it is convenient to access, I feel the padding is inadequate, at least, once the laptop is inside — you can feel it press against your back, which could get uncomfortable, quickly. Another huge complaint about this bag is the straps. They’re thinly padded and for some reason do not start flush with the top of the bag, which makes them put an awkward pressure on my shoulders. This could be because I am not built like an off-duty LEO or someone in the military, and that the bag wasn’t designed for 5’7” asian nerds to lug ochem texts around.
In summary, the bag remedies a lot of problems that my old bag had — mainly organization and accessibility. However, it brought new problems that I wasn’t expecting after switching from my old bag. The fit and comfort are adequate, but do not compare to my DQM straps and back panel padding. The relative: military styling, velcro patches, etc. and size might not be for everyone.
I paid about $100 shipped for the bag from TacticalTailor.com
EDIT: After writing this review I am strongly considering returning the bag for something more comfortable and just getting over the whole minimalist aesthetic thing for my back/shoulder’s sake.