Category Archives: Packs

My take on the TAD Fast Pack LiteSpeed

My take on the TAD Fast Pack Lite Speed
My take on the TAD Fast Pack Lite Speed

Here is my take on the TAD Fast Pack LiteSpeed. TAD brand is well known and I have read resounding praise of it on forums, blogs, videos etc. TAD website looks undoubtedly badass. It is a brand name that makes you want to be part of the ‘pack’…to be one of the ‘esteemed’ owners. I have seen some of their products been carried by people at my old workplace but I just could not get around forking out money for them new. That is until recently when someone posted one on a local buy/sell site for cheaps.

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Mil-spec goodies at TwinNeedle (NZ)

A piece of kit being built at TwinNeedle using Kryptek material
A piece of kit being built at TwinNeedle using Kryptek material

 

New Zealand outdoor gear maker and repair specialist TwinNeedle  is holding nothing back when it comes to stoking up on components for their products and services. Matt Hobbs took me on a personal tour recently to show me all the mil-spec goodies in his store. All military grade plastic & metal buckles, tri-glides, fabrics, zippers and webbing of various colors, sizes and patterns dominates the storage area. I can only see quality stuff in store.

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A visit to New Zealand custom backpack maker TwinNeedle in Christchurch

Custom made tactical & hunting gear TwinNeedle of New Zealand
Custom made tactical & hunting gear TwinNeedle of New Zealand

After several exchanges of emails with Matthew Hobbs of New Zealand’s custom backpack maker TwinNeedle in Christchurch, I finally made it to their new factory located at 402 Tuam Street (not too far off Fitzgerald Ave). I wanted to visit them weeks earlier but a bout of unfortunate events held our meeting off. Matt suggested that I visit them when they are more settled down at their new location as it would have more space for products and their workshop. Oh boy…was I in for a big surprise. Continue reading A visit to New Zealand custom backpack maker TwinNeedle in Christchurch

Custom EDC pack design sewn by Garrison Packs

My own EDC pack design based on Kifaru & HPG. Refined from some sketches I made years ago
My own EDC pack design based on Kifaru & HPG. Refined from some sketches I made years ago

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.

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Custom sling pouch by Garrison Packs

My first custom sling EDC pouch made in Malaysia by Garrison Packs
My first custom sling EDC pouch made in Malaysia by Garrison Packs

I finally had the chance to field test the custom sling pouch done up by Malaysian custom bag maker Garrison Packs. As usual, Ben was superbly accommodating, knowing well by now that each of my orders needed to be completed yesterday! I have tried many products as my every day carry. I have tried brands like Mountainsmith (models Day & Tour), LBT14868A and even an old Eagle Industries waist pouch. They are all great but somewhat each and everyone of them falls either in the category or too small or too big. So, I decided to make a sketch of what I wanted and the size for Ben to make for me.

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Kifaru Marauder field test in New Zealand

The Kifaru Marauder Gen 1 with an external Tatonka brand pouch docked on the front molle system
The Kifaru Marauder Gen 1 with an external Tatonka brand pouch docked on the front molle system

Here’s a brief summary of my Kifaru Marauder field test in New Zealand. There are many things I like and don’t like about the Marauder and this field test really got me thinking about some areas of pack design I want custom made. The more packs I buy and try, the more I am convinced that a custom made pack is the only way to achive my kind of ‘perfect pack’.

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Kifaru Marauder in need of side pouches

My Kifaru Marauder needs some extra space.
My Kifaru Marauder needs some extra space.

I needed some extra side pockets on my Kifaru Marauder for a last minute trip to New Zealand. I hate it when work does this to you. I have already sold my much hated Camelbak Trizip and the Marauder is the only pack available for use at the moment. I contacted Ben of Garrison Packs and ask him if he would help me do the pouches asap. I can sense the hesitation initially but his tone of voice changed as soon as he heard the pouches are for a Kifaru. Kinda says a lot about the brand name you carry though. Ben…being the nice guy he is agreed to do the pouches for me with the condition I would try out the new material he just bought. It is lighter version of a pack cloth. Why not?

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Customized bags at Garrison Packs

One of the several machines at Garrison Packs in near Puchong
One of the several machines at Garrison Packs in near Puchong

Malaysians can now draw up their own designs and have customized bags, pouches etc made up at Garrison Packs. Garrison Packs is based in Selangor but their products and services have reached shores as far as Europe, New Zealand and neighboring Singapore. Using mostly mil-spec materials on their wares, Garrison Pack consists of people who are really passionate about their nylon carries. They carry in stock plenty of genuine Cordura fabrics, ITW components for military use (they even have Austrialpins) and gosh….the largest collection of Kifaru packs in Malaysia I have ever seen.

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Custom pack maker in Malaysia?

Garrison Packs is based in Puchong. They seems to be the only people in Malaysia that offers custom made nylon products
Garrison Packs is based in Puchong. They seems to be the only people in Malaysia that offers custom made nylon products- Screen grab of their page on Facebook.

A pack hoarder friend recently reminded me of a custom pack maker in Malaysia called Garrison Packs. I was bitching to him about getting a new pack after being made out as a prepper some weeks back (read here) and now…the idea of getting a custom pack made just for me is kinda seductive. Think about it. A pack that is built just the way you want it using the material you want. It will be a unique pack that no one else would have. I have a few design ideas in mind and I am really wanting this Garrison Packs to built it for me.

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Problem using military pack for EDC

My EDC pack for over a month
My EDC pack for over a month

I recently discovered a problem with using a military pack for EDC. I have always liked military packs as they are generally tougher than the usual civilian packs. I have tried brands like LBT, Eagle Industries, Mystery Ranch and the most recently acquired Camelbak Trizip. Its been over a month that I am using the TriZip as an EDC, carrying my usual work stuff plus some bug out kit. The pack was beginning to grow on me until I went for a doctor’s appointment.

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