Review: Agilite Modular Assault Pack (A.M.A.P.) II

A while ago, I was accepted for the T&E program of Agilite Gear and a few weeks ago, I received one of their new products: The Agilite Modular Assault Pack II.

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About Agilite Gear

From their website:

“Agilite is Israel’s leading Tactical, Rescue and Outdoor Gear Manufacturer.  
 
Agilite was founded by Israeli Special Forces and US Army veterans who wanted to create gear that was as clever as it was strong. Today, Agilite is a proud supplier of Special Operations, Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue units across five continents as well as civilians who need exceptional equipment that keeps them agile and light on their feet. It is used in some of the most remote, most non-permissive environments in the world. 
   
Tough Gear, From a Tough Part of The World
 
 To understand Agilite gear you must understand where it comes from. Israel is a place that has never been able to take its guard down and that has had to innovate to survive. Agilite products get battle-tested long before they are released to the public, under conditions where there’s little margin of error.
 
The Agilite Scorpion logo is the humble mark of the adventurous, the duty-bound and of those willing to step out into the unknown.

Made In The USA & Israel

Agilite Tactical Gear is designed in Israel and manufactured in both the United States and Israel for the ultimate combination of breakthrough design and the highest quality manufacturing on earth.

From the Single Fiber to a Finished Piece of Gear

In 2012, Agilite Systems Inc. acquired Shiltex, Israel’s National mil-spec narrow textiles company that has supplied the Israel Defense Forces with premium quality equipment and components since before the Six Day War in 1967. The acquisition of Shiltex adds a serious weapon to the Agilite arsenal and consolidated some of the best elements of Israel’s high-end textile industry.”

Personally, I had never owned something by Agilite, but knew them for their OpsCore helmet covers, their assault vests and looking at their new line of products on their Instagram. This all looked very positive and I was eager to try out some of their products.

K Series

The K series is the new line by Agilite Gear, with the main elements being their new K5 Plate Carrier and the new AMAP II Pack.

The K series is a line of compatible products that work with the K5 Plate Carrier. It consists of different attachments, like the NVG/binocular tether, different kinds of hydration packs and the AMAP II Pack.

Agilite Modular Assault Pack II

As the name suggests, the AMAP II is the second version of their assault pack.

If I had to describe the AMAP II in one sentence, it would be:

” A small innovative assault pack, that allows you to carry everything you need to fight (Comms, bullets and water) and nothing that you don’t need.”

Lets take a look at the specs:

  • Capacity: 14 liter (854.3 cu. in. ) capacity & additional helmet carrier volume.
  • Materials: Mil-Spec materials and polymer hardware.
  • Available colors: Multicam, Black, Coyote Brown.
  • Available shoulder straps: Padded shoulder straps, K Minimals shoulder straps.
  • Made in Israel

Overview

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Looking at the exterior of the pack, the first thing that you notice is the helmet compartment. This compartment is designed to hold your OpsCore helmet but will also hold older style helmets like my MICH helmet. Personally, I’ve used it to hold my rain jacket and/or my Arc’teryx Atom layer.

The helmet compartment has mesh sides that help with getting water and sand out of it, as well as reduce the weight of the pack.

Behind the helmet compartment, there is a patch of loop velcro to attach your IFF, flag and cool guy patches. Just underneath the velcro, there is a small loop to attach dummy cord.

On the sides, the pack has a section of MOLLE ( 3 X 5 rows) to attach extra pouches. I’ve used this space to attach an additional PRC-152, a pouch for a Nalgene bottle and more recently my IZLID. The sides also have a strap to reduce the profile of the pack and help secure the pouches that you might attach. All the straps have velcro loops to shorten them.

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On top of the pack is the really good stuff that I was looking for in a pack. First and foremost, there is an oversized “drag handle” that is stitched extremely well. This thing won’t come loose. Underneath that handle are two very large comm ports. One on each size.

A problem that I have with a lot of packs is that when using radios, the comm ports are always to small. With the AMAP II, I had no problem to even route the two antennas from the PRC-117G trough one of them, while running the coiled cord from my Liberator III trough the other one. This for me is one of the best features of the AMAP II.

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To make things even better, between the two comm ports, there is a small opening to route your hydration tube trough. So you can keep your water separated from your radio equipment.

On the back of the AMAP II, it’s easy to see why this pack is different from others you might have encountered. The AMAP II is designed to work with the K5 Plate carrier and will attach to it using the hook velcro and the clips on the side of the pack.

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Currently I don’t own the K5 plate carrier, so I’m not able to comment on how this works, but Agilite posts a lot of videos on their IG page, showing the integration.

For me, a retro-fit kit to attach the AMAP II to non-Agilite plate carriers would be worth looking into. A lot of units have SOP’s and regulations concerning the use of personally bought plate carriers.

Luckily, you also have the ability to use the AMAP II without the K5 plate carrier. Agilite gives you the option to choose between two kinds of shoulder straps: the K Series Padded Shoulder Straps and the K-MINIMALS™ Lightweight Shoulder Straps. Agilite was so kind to send me both versions so I can do a comparison between the two.

The shoulder straps attach via a system that, to be honest, I was very sceptic about. On top and bottom, you just pull a piece of webbing that has been folded over several times and stitched trough a plastic loop. I understand what you’re thinking: “How the hell will that system hold any weight?” My thoughts exactly, but…

You have to understand that the AMAP II isn’t designed to hold 35Kg of radio’s, ammunition, tents, etc. Keeping that in mind, I loaded up the AMAP II with a PRC-117G, two batteries for it, two spare batteries for the PRC-152, my handset, the IZLID, 3L of water in a Camelbak bladder, my Arc’teryx Atom, TAD gear hard shell, 3 SMK GRENs, a stripped down MRE and a JFIRE in the admin compartment. Yep, the AMAP II can carry all of that. Loaded up, the pack was heavy, but still comfortable and the shoulder straps were able to hold all that weight. For comfort I wore the padded ones of course.

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The padded straps have a type of mesh padding that helps with comfort and moisture wicking. They also feature multiple straps, both elastic and non-elastic, for hydration tubes, communication cables, etc. There is also a strap for dummy cord on the top part and a D-ring on the bottom part.

The K-MINIMALS are the lightweight version. They are made primarily out of strong mesh, so they are very lightweight and breathable. They each include two straps for  hydration tubes and cables.

To access the interior of the AMAP II, you just unzip the curved heavy-duty zipper that runs down about 90% of the whole pack. Being that it’s curved on the top, allows you to open just the top and being able to reach down in it, yet prevents stuff falling out. I really like this design.

The coyote AMAP II that I received has a light green interior lining on the front and back. On the front panel there is a zipper with paracord attached that opens the “admin” compartment. This compartment runs down the entire height and allows you to fit a bunch of stuff in there like maps, notebooks, powerbanks, etc. Above the zipper there is a plastic clip that can be used to hold keys, dummy corded items and during my vacation I attached my GoPro to it, to keep it secure.

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On the back panel there is the same kind of plastic clip. Additionally there is a compartment to hold a Camelbak bladder that can be closed using the drawstring. On top of the compartment, there are two straps that are great to attach a radio.

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It’s necessary to note that when loaded with bulky items, the back panel tends to bulge. As of yet there isn’t a stiff panel available to reduce this, but this might be a good accessory for Agilite to release. When using the AMAP II with a radio, I’ve never had this problem.

On the bottom of the main compartment, there is a large drainage hole.

Usage

The AMAP II is designed to be an assault pack. It’s not designed for you to live and fight for 3 days but rather for shorter missions. And it excels in that purpose. I use it now to carry my PRC-117G with some extra batteries, water and an extra layer. This is now my goto pack for that use.

I’ve also used it as a day pack on hikes in Norway. I carried my Canon 60D in a LowePro Toploader Zoom 50, a gorillapod, a GoPro Hero 5, memory cards in a Pelicase 0915 SD, 3L of water in a Camelbak bladder, my Arc’teryx Atom in a stuff sack and my maps in the main compartment. In the helmet compartment, I carried an IFAK in the ReFactor Tactical Delta Trauma pouch, a survival kit and my Fjallraven EcoShell. I had absolutely no problem carrying this rather heavy load comfortably in this small pack.

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PROS

  • Small, yet highly capable assault pack
  • Large comm ports for antenna’s and cables
  • Helmet compartment is perfectly sized
  • Straps to secure your radio to the back panel
  • Curved zipper is a great design
  • Quality design and stitching

CONS

  • The back panel can form a bulge when loaded with bulky items
  • No retro-fit set available, yet

Conclusion

I really like this assault pack. It’s great for when you need to carry the essentials like comms, bullets, water and a warm layer. If you work with radios and are looking for a small pack, check out the AMAP II.

~ FMB

Links:

Agilite AMAP II

 

Disclaimer

I received this product from Agilite Gear to review and as part of the T&E Program. I am in no way bound or paid to write a positive review. All my views and observations are 100% honest.

 

 

 

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Equipment Series: 1st Line

1st lineTo start the 3-part series, it’s only logical to start with my 1st Line!

All lines are used to complete certain tasks.

Task

My first line is used to survive, escape & evade and fight. The “fight” part isn’t common for a 1st line but I have included it because I carry 2x 5.56 and 2x 5.7 magazines on my belt.

Location

Where do I put the items to survive, escape & evade and fight?

All the survive and escape & evasion items are in my clothing. The reason for this is that my pants and smock/combat shirt will be the last things I will drop.

although I really want to control naked one day…

My “fight” items are on my belt.

Contents

Survival, escape & evade

Survival tin/ E&E Kit
Waterproof Container
Signal mirror
Razor blades x2
Sewing kit (strong needles, cord)
Snare wire/string
Fishing kit (hooks,wire,weights)
Small candle
Waterproof matches
Condom
Magnesium & ferro rods (fire lighting)
Survival blanket
Cotton patches
 Medication (anti-diarrea, headache, …)
Pockets
Notebook and pencil
Lighter
Camo Cream
Small Air Marker Panel
Boonie hat
1:250 000 Map of Belgium
Sawyer Water Filter
Magnets (to hold up maps, air pictures)
Chalk
Extra Petzl headlight
Emergency Strobe Light
JFIRE

Fight

Belt (HSGI Suregrip)
5.7 Mag x2 (HSGI TACO)
SCAR Mag x2 (HSGI TACO)
FNH 5.7
Dump Pouch (WAS)
IFAK (HSGI) NAR Field Dressing
Chest Seal x2
NPA
ARS
Nitrile gloves
Shears
Permanent marker
TCCC Card
Flat Duct Tape
Compressed Gauze x2
Leatherman (WAS pouch)
GP Pouch (Spiritus Systems)
Chem lights (x2 IR, x2 Vis)
Krill Light IR (Not shown)
PRC-152 Batt (Not shown)
Petzl Headlight
MS2000
Spare Batt (AA, AAA, CR123) in container
Gloves (Mechanix)

The setup

Escape & evade

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Fight

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So that is my current first line. The dump pouch is a new addition to my belt and I will see if I like it. My first impression is good, so I’ll let you guys know.

If you guys have any questions, please let me know.

Update on FMB: I have some exiting news! After becoming a contributor to Spotter Up, an amazing community of writers from all backgrounds, I might start working together with a tactical gear company in their T&E program.

In due time I will keep you guys updated!

~FMB

Gadsden Dynamics – Commanders Case 

On the modern battlefield, soldiers rely more and more on tablets and smartphones for targetting and Blue Force tracking.

In the civilian and airsoft world, people can find navigation and “tactical” Apps that can help them. Some examples are TacticalNav, Geo Tracker and Personal Eye System.

With the increase in use of these tablets, there has been a growth in demand for dedicated pouches to accommodate these devices. Not only for the protection of the electronics, but also for the ease of use and access.

In comes the Gadsden Dynamically Commanders Case. It is a pouch developed with USMC JTACs for their Kilswitch tablets. But, being available in several sizes, the pouch is suitable for a multitude of devices.

Gadsden Dynamics

Who is Gadsden Dynamics? From their website:

“Gadsden Dynamics manufactures 100% MADE IN THE USA tactical and survival gear. We are a family owned and operated, cottage industry business focused on providing high-quality, handmade gear for the prepared civilian.

We also teach Concealed Handgun License courses in Northeast Ohio (Geauga and surrounding counties).”

I found out about them trough Instagram and had my eyes on one of their cases for a while. When they were searching for reviewers, I saw my chance to test it out.

Commanders Case

The case is designed to hold a tablet and comes in several versions.

The first two versions are the Commanders Case and the Commanders Case – Lite.

The first having the following features:

• Clear, flip-down map case for notes and coordinates. This case is fixed inside of the pouch.

• Pen holder. Four elastic loops to hold pens or pencils.

• Flip-down “table” like functionality. The pouch is held open with a piece of paracord on both sides.

• Zippered for protection against sand, dust, etc.

• Industrial grade, high-strength velcro for securing tablet inside the pouch. The back “plate” has a full velcro lining, aiding in keeping the tablet secured in the pouch.

• Hard case for tablet protection.

The Lite version

• Does NOT include the clear map case.

• Does NOT include pen holder.
After choosing one version or the other, you can choose one of the six sizes:

Picture courtesy of Gadsden Dynamics

5″X7″ or 12.7 cm x 17.78 cm

6″X8″ or 15.24 cm x 20.32 cm

6.5″X8.5″ or 16.51 cm x 21.59 cm

7″X10″ or 17.78 cm x 25.4 cm

7.5″X9.5″ or 19.05 cm x 24.13 cm

8″X10″ or 20.32 cm x 25.4 cm

So for every tablet or smartphone you will find a pouch.
I received the Commanders Case 6”x8” for a 7” tablet.  It included all the options and the malice clips to attach it to my plate carrier, as well as a patch.

Overview of the pouch

Front

On the front there is a  5 x 5 Molle segment with Velcro on top. So you can attach IFF/Flag patches and/or Molle pouches.

The case is closed using a heavy duty zipper, with the standard metal zipper pulls. This is something I will change for paracord zipper pulls. I have never liked the metal ones because they are noisy, can’t be grabbed quickly and they are slippery. Hopefully this can be changed in an update for future pouches.

A second way of closing the case is via a strap on the top with velcro. This is a quick way to close it under stress and keeps the pouch secured with a tablet inside.

Back

On the back there are two Molle columns of three high. These might be enough for the USMC issued carriers, but on my Warrior Assault Systems DCS carrier they made the pouch sit either too high or too low. Using zip ties I was able to attach the pouch the way I wanted on my PC. Maybe in the future they will add more options or you could just ask, because they are really open for custom work.

Interior

Inside of the pouch there are several “levels”. Starting from the front:

The first “level” is for the tablet. On a rigid surface they attached a full velcro panel. If you attach hook velcro on your tablet you can secure it inside the pouch without fearing it will fall out.

The next “level” is a clear map case. It is however too small for a map, but be honest, nobody has ever carrier a map inside a command pouch. It might be used for a GRG, but I use it to hold Freq tables, codewords and general notes. This panel can also be secured using the velcro tab, making you able to use the tablet, without the map case falling on it all the time.

The last “level” is the back panel and includes some “admin stuff”. More specific, a larger pocket for a notebook, a smaller pocket for a compass or römer and four elastic loops to hold pens, pencils or permanent markers.

The pockets are a bit tight making it sometimes difficult to quicly get your notebook out or trying to pit a bigger item in them.

To be honest the whole pouch is a tight fit if I want to fit everything inside together with the tablet in a rugged case. But it was developed to hold a tablet WITHOUT a rugged case. So this explains the fit.

A small addition I suggest is an anchor point for dummy cord. As you can see on the pictures I attached my compass on the paracord at the sides.

Positive points

Dedicated tablet pouch

Heavy duty rigid construction

Fully adjustable when ordering

Keeps you in the fight, while being able to use your tablet for targetting/ troop tracking

Great customer service

Negative points

Tight fit for a tablet with rugged case – in all fairness it was designed for a tablet without case

Metal zipper pulls

Mounting options are somewhat  limited

Conclusion

I really like this pouch and it is one to look at when you use a tablet.

It does have some limitations but they are customizable when ordering.

I found that I regularly use it as a stand alone pouch for the tablet, without it mounted on my plate carrier. But I will be using it more, mounted on there.
Go check out this case and other great products by Gadsden Dynamics on their IG and their website.
FMB