S.O.Tech MACTAC Pack (Prototype)

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S.O.Tech MACTAC Pack (Prototype)

Post  Gear Whores Anonymous on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:29 am

I've recently entered the market for an E.D.C. pack. I had a few requirements and it was these requirements that virtually eliminated a lot of the more popular choices. I wanted something that held a laptop, tablet, compact, without obnoxious straps, and in black. Enter the MACTAC by S.O.Tech.

If you're not familiar with S.O.Tech it's probably because you seldom hear about them. I find that fascinating to hear since a lot of their gear are issued to all kinds of SOF units. Their SOF-IFAK, Mission Go Bag, and countless others. There are some gear companies out there that definitely deserve more attention and S.O.Tech is one of them. With that being said, I recently visited their factory and got a tour of their operation. The owner whom himself is still serving as a Major in the U.S. Army is one hell of a character. If you're in the area I strongly recommend you stop by and have a chat with him. He's been making custom gear since the late 90's and he's damn good at it.

The MACTAC by the way will be a part of their new SOT-BLK line of urban gear.

Notable features:
-Full MOLLE panel on the exterior of the pack
-Front zip compartment
-Reinforced stitching
-Mesh back panel
-Velcro panel for identifier patches
-3 carry handles
-ITW buckles
-Interior velcro panel for additional pouches
-Internal hydration carry strap
-Mesh internal pocket
-3-n-1 design. Backpack, sling-pack, and briefcase carry via convertible straps

Product page:
http://tinyurl.com/kv5y59y

Exterior shot of the MACTAC. Notice how it's somewhat round. This is because the original pack (still in production) was designed to house the entire VIPER plate carrier system


Closeup of their SOT-BLK patch. This pack is part of their new "urban" E.D.C. line (a version of this pack is also being produced for LAPD use)


Front velcro panel holds a few patches. I will point out though that I'm not a huge fan of the curved velcro panels. The curves generally prevents mounting of additional larger patches



The pack is very well made, you can see the craftsmanship throughout the pack. Definitely has that "premium" feel to it


Somewhat rounded edges give the pack a different look to it. I think it's a nice change to the standard "box" shapes most packs have. Also notice the molle bottom


The front pocket zipper (and rear storage) have the S.O.Tech branded large zip pulls. On all my S.O.Tech gear I've noticed these larger zippers and pulls which I like. When you're using gloves you'll understand why. If you know my reviews, you'll know that I'm a sucker for small details. The fact that they got their own logo branded on the zippers shows that they really take pride in their product.


The front zip pocket was designed with carrying some loose paperwork or a tablet in mind. With that being said, the more you stuff the main pack you take away from the front storage. I noticed that once I completely stuffed the hell out of the pack that I didn't have much "stuffing" space left in the front. This will all vary on the operator. Also keep in mind that if you're carrying that much crap for an E.D.C. then you may need a bigger pack. Shown here with an iPad Mini



Side view of the pack, notice the carry handle. There are carry handle on the top and both sides (more on why later), also notice the stitching




Top shot of the pack, notice the reinforced carry handle and the side buckles



One thing I find absolutely obnoxious are "EDC" packs that have a ridiculous amount of straps and buckles that just flap everywhere. If I have to constantly unbuckle and unsnap hardware to get to my gear I get agitated. This pack has 2 top buckles which don't feature too much "strapage"


The 2 top buckles also come pre-installed with bungee cinches. Also notice that they put a loop for the female buckle. This keeps everything nice and tucked in and most importantly hidden



The back is lined with breathable mesh, very comfortable to the touch


Closeup of the mesh, complete with S.O.Tech tag




The MACTAC completely opens up, making it easy on the user to pack his junk. Notice the velcro lining


Top pocket is made of soft mesh, hold plenty of goods. The lower part is velcro lined. S.O.Tech incorporates a lot of tearaway pouches in a lot of their Mission and Medical packs. Giving the user dozens of modular options




The back of the internal compartment has a long strip of velcro as well. I personally didn't use this option but it's one of those things I prefer to have "just in case." The internal storage space easily accommodated a 15" laptop, tablet with soft case, soft shell compacted jacket, and an additional electronics pouch with misc. cables. Don't see an issue with anyone not being able to carry their E.D.C. essentials



The rear and almost hidden compartment is ideal for a smaller laptop, netbook, or tablet. It will NOT hold a 15" laptop. It was actually designed for LAPD use as part of a rapid deployment system. When the bag is swung over and opened it would reveal a concealed weapon or extra ammunition. An extra detail not overlooked was a small strap to cover and hide the zipper pull



Like mentioned earlier this is a 3-n-1 pack. This means that you can use it 3 ways, as a backpack, as a sling-pack, and a briefcase carry. This is why the pack has 3 carry handles, the 3 handles make the pack ambidextrous, a neat feature that a lot of other manufacturers have ignored





Buckled on the straps are ITW, damn fine buckles


It's pretty easy converting the pack into it's different carry options. First thing you want to do is unbutton the top 2 straps



Then you unsnap both of the backpack straps




Then you'll remove the hidden female buckle from the bottom of the bag (which remains in place with a small strip of velcro)



After taking the straps apart you'll end up with with 2 loose straps and 3 buckles. Seems confusing but it's quite simple


Next you grab both backpack straps, align them together and on the right backpack strap there is a hidden velcro strap that you use to hold both straps down. Notice how the top straps are angled for single sling-pack use. A lot of planning went into this design



After you adjust the length you'll end up with something like this. Having the straps buckled this way makes the pack a sling-go-pack


For briefcase use you slide the pack down and under your shoulder and place it beside your hip. If you so wish you can unbuckle the center and use a different buckle. Whatever you see fit


The MACTAC I believe is a true contender in the E.D.C. category. I think it deserves that title well over many other companies who advertise giant packs who call it that. I think they forget what that term means. I can't speak for everyone but everyday essentials that come in to my mind are laptop, tablet, charging cables, compact-able jacket, some paperwork, possibly a camera, external drive, and maybe some other misc. items but nothing more. If you're looking for a great everyday use pack look no further and give the MACTAC a shot.

Pros:
-Compact
-Light and not "stiff"
-Mesh backing is comfortable and moisture whicking
-Convertible to a sling-pack or briefcase
-No annoying straps or excessive buckles
-Made in the USA
-Large zippers with big zip pulls
-ITW hardware

Cons:
-Rear pocket doesn't hold a 15" laptop
-Front pocket loses capacity once larger compartment gets filled up
-Strap system could be slightly more refined
-Extra female buckles don't have a stash port once they're not being used
-Could use slightly more velcro

This item isn't currently on the market and we had the honor to get a first peak at it, rest assured pricing and availability will be announced so keep an eye peeled on their site and or Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/SOTECHTACTICAL


Gear Whores Anonymous
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Join date: 2011-06-02

http://gearwhoresanonymous.forumotion.com

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