Gear box – Maxpedition Sabercat26 September 2008 | By admin in Hike, Hiking Products
About a month ago I picked up the Maxpedition Sabercat pack. I was looking to replace my shoulder pack with a hip pack and the Sabercat caught my eye. The main thing that drew me to this pack was how it was organized and it’s ability to run extra pieces via it’s molle system. I’m not going to dive into the logistics but I’ll tell you a bit about what I used it for and what I like and hate about it.
First lets talk about how I’m using the pack. At first I used it for hikes and the hikes ranged from 9-11 miles with terrain varying from desert like conditions to steep loose ascents and descents. I even did some dried river bed rock scrambling with the pack. I also ran the pack as my mountain biking pack. The rides were your typical SoCal conditions (lots of climbing, rocky descents). Both uses I ended up running a bladder system from the main compartment for water (1.5 liters). Maxpedition did not intend to make this a bladder system pack, I just found a system that fit and seems to work (Platypus). I’m all about tweaking gear. Speaking of tweaking, Mil-Spec monkey has a thorough review with some of their own tweaks done to the pack (it’s the second one down).
The first day I used the pack I went out for a 9 mile hike with a friend. The first thing that I noticed with the pack is that my hips were rubbed raw from the rubber grip on the hip belt. I had the pack filled with my typical bush-kit, 1.5 liters of water and a 27 oz Klean Kanteen filled with water. I also noticed that waist belt would loosen up over time causing the back to drop a bit. I figured these were things I could fix. On a second trip I managed to rig the belt so it didn’t loosen up. This helped great with preventing hip rub. I also had more gear in it this time and the extra weight was unnoticeable. I also ran it a bit more tight and used the compression straps more aggressively. I ended up cutting the handle and bigger compression straps off and made some homemade straps to carry things like a heavier jacket or sleeping pad (if the need arose). The pack was easy to get in and out of and made getting access to things way easier than taking a back pack off and digging through pockets. Like I said earlier this thing is great at organizing your gear.
On the bike it worked great but having it on my hips was a bit distracting at first but I got use to it after the 3rd ride. Having my shoulders and back free were great. Having the load on the hips made it seem like I wasn’t carrying a pack but when I bunny hoped or did any small drop I felt the weight of the pack pull down a bit. Probably not more than a regular shoulder pack.
Overall the pack exceeded my expectations and with a little customization it can become the ultimate day pack. For details and other reviews.