For starters, let me share a bit about me. My name is Anthony and I run an outdoor adventure/gear review site on the side. I've worked with Jake for a couple of years now. I came aboard as his web guy and eventually began blogging for him.
The reason I mention this is because I want you to know this is not a bias review. I always tell people - I work with specific companies because I genuinely love their gear. Not because they're a paycheck or a way of getting "free stuff". If I don't love a company's gear, I don't use it or promote it....As simple as that.
When Jake and I began working together I tested some of the earlier prototype bags and knew he would find success with them. And now, with the Battalion series of bags - I believe he's found a recipe for perfection. Let me share a bit about my latest outing where I packed everything into the little 12 Hour Battalion Bag, for a full day of fun & adventure.
Recycled Firefighter 12 Hour Pack Review
I recently set my mind to see how far I could push our Battalion 12 Hour Backpack. I wanted to load this thing up with all of the gear I would need for a full day of adventuring. So, late Tuesday Night I sat down with a pile of gear and found the perfect loadout. Comprised of a double hammock, a simple cook set, some trail essentials, and emergency equipment.
I ended up leaving the house early Wednesday Morning to set out for a local trail section. The morning was already steamy, at around 90°. However, it was set to reach over 100° on the heat index. So I knew I was in for a hot one, but I couldn't wait to get out and set forth on this adventure.
The first part of my venture went straight up 1,700 feet elevation (according to the maps I have read). I trekked for around 2 miles or so to the top before settling down to take the photos above.
The importance of Balancing Your Backpack:
I had already pre-balanced the pack so it would ride comfortably. I placed my heavier items up top and the lighter ones down below. I also made sure no heavy items were in the exterior pocket, as this would pull the pack away from me.
Even though this backpack does not have a hip belt and I was not using the optional sternum strap, I was really amazed at its comfort. I have obviously used this pack many, many times before. But I'm always taken back at its level of comfort since it does not have a hiking style frame or hip belt. In fact, i've found this pack is honestly more comfortable than some "hiking packs" out there.
I could've stayed at the lookout points a lot longer, but I knew I needed to make the best use of my time if I was going to get anything else done during the day. So I moved on. I ended up hiking back down in elevation a bit to find a shaded area, as the morning sun was scorching. This is where I decided to make my day camp & chill out for a bit.
My Loadout for the Day:
The goal for this day trip was to show that you don't have to pack excessively on a day hike, or even an overnighter. And also, to show you that even with quite a bit of gear - The 12 Hour Backpack is plenty capable of handling it.
The load out I put together is pretty simple. I really only brought items that I knew I would use. Some were luxuries, while others are what I see as essentials if you're going to venture outdoors. (You could also pair a tarp + extra food and make this an overnight kit)
Once I found the perfect spot, surrounded and covered by tree canopy - It was time to throw up the hammock and lay my ground blanket down. I also strung up my backpack, water bottle and other gear with the paracord & caribiners I brought along.
By this point in the morning, it was high-time for some breakfast. So, I set up my Optimus Crux canister stove, tore open my steak and began cooking.
Within a matter of minutes, my steak was done and it was time to retreat back to my hammock for some relaxation.
As I laid back in my hammock, I was amazed at how quickly I was able to unzip the Battalion pack and assemble a nice, comfortable base camp. It proved my theory that this backpack can certainly hold everything you need for a full day of adventuring. And, as I mentioned above - An overnighter if you paired a couple of extra items.
Though this adventure was simple and nothing elaborate, it was a really fun one. And it put the 12 Hour Bag to a test that I personally hadn't completed before. I typically bring this bag along when I'm running errands, going to the zoo with the family or something along those lines. So, it was a lot of fun to get out and really push this backpack.
I found that the Battalion 12 Hour backpack was plenty capable of swallowing up a lot of gear. It was more than comfortable for miles of use. I attribute that to its size, the shoulder straps, and their padding, as well as how it rides on your body. It's almost like the pack is a part of you as you're wearing it.
How are you using your Battalion Bag?
We wanna hear it from you! How are you using your Battalion Bag? Drop us a comment below and tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #RecycledFirefighter.