A few years ago, I came up with my own custom EDC pack design inspired by brands like Kifaru, HPG, Mystery Ranch and S.O.Tech. Each of these brands have particular models with characteristics and features I like a lot. Since I didn’t know anyone back then who could turn my design into reality, I shelved the ideas and sketches. Packs after packs I tried and I still long for a fully custom built pack. Now that I have come to know Malaysian custom pack maker Garrison Packs, I started re-sketching my designs again. I tested Ben’s capability with the custom sling pouch and decided to commission him to make my EDC pack design a reality.
Ben started to work on this ‘custom EDC pack’ of mine shortly after I left for New Zealand. There were several components on the pack, namely the buckles that I wanted on the pack but he did not have. Having had a rather disappointing go at the Kifaru Marauder in NZ, I called Ben and asked him to quickly finish the pack and make do with whatever components he had. A friend was heading to NZ and he could hand carry it to me. The pack arrived in NZ 2 days later.
I have been carrying this fully custom EDC pack for two weeks now and could not be happier. Here are some pictures of the pack.
I am calling this pack the MSR1. It is made of 500D Cordura with milspec webbing and threads all around. I want the tough military grade material, but definitely not the ‘total’ military look of full camo colors and molle panels.
There were some immediate changes that Garrison Packs made to the MSR1 that I really like. During initial discussion, I reiterated to Ben that I wanted a custom EDC pack that suits my needs. One of his suggestions was to try out his version of contoured shoulder straps. They exceeded my expectations and were most comfortable after a few adjustments. I can’t seem to get it right with the straps on the Marauder but even without the chest straps the MSR1 felt so much more comfortable.
I love the light weight MSR1 (compared to the Marauder) . There are no aluminium stays, just a hard plastic sheet. The lack of molle webbing all over the pack and the lighter 500D cordura material probably made a world of difference as well. It feels so much better when you know you are carrying a lighter weight on you back.
I will be putting the pack through a few more weeks of daily use before coming up with a conclusion on the MSR1. How I wish I have given Ben the design a few months ahead of my departure to NZ. That could have given Ben more time to incorporate the additional slots, pockets and admin pouches I wanted on the MSR1.
The good news is that Garrison Packs is already working on another MSR1. Ben indicated that he liked the design and is planning to construct another unit with all the bells and whistles I initially had on my sketches. I guess my custom EDC pack design has captured Ben’s liking. Glad it did and who knows, maybe there will be a Garrison Packs – My Store Room collaboration in the future. That I think would be an awesome pursuit in finding that perfect pack.