Friday, August 19, 2011

Miscellany: Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II review

When airlines began to charge fees for checking in bags, it didn't take an economics professor to predict what would happen: passengers started to carry on all their luggage, turning already-claustrophobic airplane cabins into toe-stubbing, limb-cramping human warrens. If you don't want to contribute to the problem, I suggest looking into a carry-on that you can stow under your seat, like the Maxpedition Pygmy Falcon-II backpack:

The Pygmy Falcon isn't a large backpack (1400 cubic inches), but it's sized perfectly to fit underneath an airline seat. On its own, it'll hold enough clothes and supplies for a weekend trip or dayhike; combine it with a rollerbag, and you can pack enough supplies for a week's worth of travel.

The front compartment has a zippered pocket on the outside, along with PALS webbing. It opens up to reveal some basic organizational features - some slots for pens, a slash pocket that goes about halfway down the bag, and a built-in snap keeper for a key ring:

For times when you just need to grab the bag, there's a carry handle sewn into the top. It's not the world's most comfortable handle (I would have preferred a rubberized material), but it's functional. It's attached to the main body of the pack via generous box-and-X style stitching:

When your pack isn't fully loaded, a nice adjustable Y-shaped compression strap helps to keep the pack flat against your back.

The sides of the bag have shock-corded pockets for Nalgene 32 ounce water bottles, along with even more PALS webbing. You could also jimmy a water bottle into the shock-corded area underneath the front compartment and the area underneath the Y-strap. There's no place for a water bladder, though.

The Pygmy Falcon's main compartment is enormous (18"x9"x5"). Thanks to dual zippers that go all the way to the bottom of the bag, you can open the pack up clamshell style to get full access to the interior, making it easy to pack and unpack stacks of folded up clothes. There's also a couple of additional pockets here, for small items that you don't want falling to the bottom of the pack:

The Pygmy Falcon has a mesh rear for breathability. There's a fully adjustable sternum strap, but no waist strap.

The Pygmy Falcon, like most Maxpedition products, is very well-built, with self-healing paracord-pull zippers, sturdy heavyweight nylon, double stitching on almost every seam, and a rubberized bottom. Maxpedition charges a ridiculous amount for their Taiwanese-stitched nylon, but dadgummit, it's put together right:


At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice pictures, thanks


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