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Falcon II Thread

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by pa240, May 1, 2012.

  1. pa240

    pa240 Empty Pockets

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    I have been thinking about picking up a Falcon II for a long time now. My main reason is to use the bag as an 1/2/3 night woods bag. I would also use it for school/work and as a carry on. The modular ability is what draws me to the falcon. I would really like to see some pics of your falcons in different configurations. Mainly loaded for the woods. How comfortable is the bag when you start strapping things like a bed role and tent to the outside? I know many of you love/hate the falcon so lets have a pic/opinion thread just for it

    thanks, PA240
     
  2. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    I used to have one, bought it because I thought it looked cool and, like you said, the modularity seemed good. Well, it isn't. After the initial rush of getting a new toy and experimenting with it, I realized it how awful it was and sold it. The F-II itself has a few odd-shaped compartments that are ill-suited for many things, you pretty much have to put stuff where it happens to fit. Usually you have to stack stuff into the larger compartments and try to remember which one. So much for the organization. The compartments are also pretty small, so you can't carry large items.

    As for modularity, well ok, it has PALS all over. But you must realize that PALS is one of those things that "works but ain't pretty". It does work for attaching stuff, but it's clumsy, heavy, ugly and somewhat awkward. When you put an external pouch on PALS webbing, it doesn't look like a built-in pocket at all. It looks like an add-on pocket that bulges out and doesn't quite fit. Did I mention bulky yet? One of the attractions of the F-II for me was that it's a smallish, streamlined pack. After you add pouches to it, it's no longer a small, streamlined pack. Just putting water bottle holders on the sides turns it into a wide, bulky thing. And it will easily weigh over 2 kg empty.

    If you keep it light, it's comfortable to carry for short periods. But it has no structure or load support at all, so carrying it longer or heavyish will be uncomfortable. Don't be fooled by the belt, it's only there for stability, it will not carry any weight at all. Everything you put in it, you'll bear on your shoulders.

    There are packs that are actually designed for the woods or school. There are bags out there designed for organization. And there are packs out there that are designed for carrying a load on your hips, not your shoulders. The Falcon is none of those things. Sure, you can still use it as a woods bag and a school bag, and maybe it will even be ok, if you are young and fit. But it's far from an optimal solution for either use.
     
  3. dave90

    dave90 Loaded Pockets

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    I like mine but then I haven't used it to lug heavy loads and to be fair I don't think it's designed for that. I use it as a day pack and don't load it up too much but at least I know if I do need to fit a load of stuff in it will take it. All I've had to add are a gps holder on a shoulder strap and some bottle carriers. I don't think I've hiked more than 10-12 miles with it and if I was doing that or more regularly I'd get a pack designed for that type of use I think. I'm planning a big 4 day hike later in the year carrying tent and food so I'll see how it gets on then.

    I recently went on holiday for a week and took just that bag. It was pretty full but at least it fitted in as hand luggage on the plane. I do travel light though.

    It's certainly not perfect. The organisation could be better, a lot better if I'm honest. The middle pocket often seems more in the way than anything, it would be a lot better with just a larger rear compartment with better subdivision, at least for my use. and mine has had to go back to Maxped for repair. Although I will say they were really good about that and at least it was repaired for free.
     
  4. blacmud8

    blacmud8 Loaded Pockets

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    I use mine daily for school stuff, I carry a laptop/folders/warms/lunch/water/etc up a great big nasty hill every day. I've also used it on mountain hikes, and use it for short trips where not much luggage is needed. I get along with it fine, but know (or am told) that there are better options out there. Then again, I fall into the aforementioned 'young and fit' category.
     
  5. FuzzyLumpkins

    FuzzyLumpkins Loaded Pockets

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    I don't see how having to put things where they fit and having to remember where you put them is a valid complaint. My Civic doesn't fit in mine, and I lose my keys on occasion but I reserve those complaints for the Honda forums. You claim above that the compartments are small and can't carry large items, but below acknowledge the fact that this was designed as a "small, streamlined pack." You can't have it both ways.


    PALs isn't clumsy. In fact if you look at reviews regarding Maxpedition TacTies online you'll find most complaints about this product are that it's too rigid. My admin pouch fits on the back of my Falcon II using 5" TacTies and it looks cherry. (http://i.imgur.com/aA3vD.jpg). You can add pouches to this pack and keep the impact of bulk with in reason so long as you use foresight with what you intend to attach. I have yet to find a back pack that can take a water bottle holder molle'd to its side without feeling bulky or off balanced. See below:

    [​IMG]

    This is a small back pack, not a ruck sack. Putting a frame in this thing would be a joke. When carried high on the back, and not low riding on my butt crack like it was cool to do in high school, this thing is comfortable even when loaded to the teeth.

    I take mine to training for paperwork and lunch, to work with supplementary medical supplies and on-the-job necessities, as a hiking pack, and as a long distance running hydration pack. Perhaps it isn't the single best pack for any one of those tasks. I am simply not fortunate enough to be ordained with enough money to afford a pack for all those occasions, so I will have to settle for the more then adequate versatility of the falcon II for all of those things.

    I am also one of these "young and fit" types. But it's the latter that carries more weight then the former. Being fit is on you, not the pack.
     
  6. herosemblem

    herosemblem Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]. [​IMG]
    Falcon II in Khaki Foliage with Foliage Mini RollyPolys. Each carries a 32oz Nalgene bottle.
    I intend to also use my 100oz water bladder (filled to only 70oz though, since water bladders eat up a lot of space when they're full), and the drinking tube will run along the non-knifed shoulder strap. The Grimloc carabiner holds the tube in place.
    Have not used the bag yet. I purchased it as a replacement for my Camelbak HAWG bag, which was an excellent day pack.
    This should make a great day pack, and possibly an overnight pack.

    It is filled with all the usual small EDC items, and the bag is pretty heavy. Likely due to cordura construction and lots of MOLLE. Seems insignificant, but it does add up. However, bag should not pose an issue for a fit man.
    Just like cars I like, the item has to be a combination of utility and style that appeals to my eyes. Hence, Maxped.
     
  7. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    It has two "large" compartments, so the largest available space is divided in two. Yes, I know that is an obvious design feature and shouldn't surprise anyone, but it has a bigger impact on packing it than someone who hasn't handled a F-II might think. It could swallow much larger objects if it just had one bigger compartment. If a pack has one main compartment and you put something there, you'll know it's in the main compartment. You put something in one or the other of Falcon's "main" compartments and a few hours later you have 50% chance of opening the right one on the first try.

    TAD Gear is fond of saying "our designs are not for everyone", and the same goes for Maxpedition. Obviously, it certainly wasn't for me. If it works for you and you are happy with it, that's great. I'm just playing a devil's advocate here to make the OP think about it carefully before buying, so maybe he won't have to find out that it isn't for him the hard way, like I did.

    And yet some companies like Kifaru put load-bearing frames even in much smaller lumbar packs. It's not about the size alone, but the weight it's supposed to handle and how it's meant to handle it.

    It's not actually Cordura, you know.
     
  8. herosemblem

    herosemblem Loaded Pockets

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    Ah, thanks Valolammas. I think I meant to say 1000D Nylon or something else to that effect.
    What is the proper name for the material?
     
  9. JonSidneyB
    • Administrator

    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    I have seen this and experienced this too many times. Being fit enough for the trip is important but I have seen the wrong back break really fit people. I have also seen 5000 and 7000 ci packs carry better than some small packs under certain conditions. Often changing the equipment makes all the difference in the world. I have seen over an over again where a person could not make it with one pack but make it with a better designed larger and heavier pack.
     
  10. secondechomatt

    secondechomatt Loaded Pockets

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    I would LOVE to see them release the super falcon that their overseas magforce line carries. All of the design objectives that I like about the FII, but with more space!

    Also, it would need and actual hip belt rather than just the web strap.

    I got rid of my FII, simply because it was hard to live with. I was expecting a much larger bag than what I got. When I go to get another daypack, I'll probably get an xray.
     
  11. Kontractor

    Kontractor Loaded Pockets

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    I'm still diggin my Falcon II. I'm going to put the Maxped 12x5 water bottle holder on it and see what happens. With two straps it might not be that bad. I did notice that the water bottle holder, loaded up, is MISERABLE on the MOAB 10. Also, the Condor EMT tear away pouch is horrible on the MOAB 10. On the Falcon II I bet it will be usable. Gonna do some swappage tonight and see how it works out.
     
  12. Urban Hermit

    Urban Hermit EDC Junkie!!!

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    I still consider the Falcon 2 one of Maxpeditions best and most useful packs. When using it though, you have to definitely plan your load. If you're going to add side pouches like a water bottle holder etc, you have to balance the load by putting something of similar weight on the other side. I have my 10X4 bottle holder on one side and my F1 FAK and an M1 Waist pouch on the other. I mostly use the Hydration Pocket as a transport pocket for pistols or I stash my poncho in it. I've never used a water bladder. The middle pocket that people either hate or love, I mostly use when I'm transporting my Kel Tec Sub 2000 and extra magazines. The Sub 2K fits in the pocket perfectly and even leaves some room for a folded tarp or similar item. Like most packs though, the Falcon has limits. If you overload it it's not going to be comfortable on long hikes. It's just too narrow and the straps are inadequate for heavy loads. But I don't do many long hikes anymore. Mine goes mostly from house to vehicle to campsite or range.
     
  13. FuzzyLumpkins

    FuzzyLumpkins Loaded Pockets

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    Rather than using a waterbottle, I cut out the middle man and use a 100 oz camel back bladder so I don't shift the load and I don't have to reach back and get the :censored: thing when the hose is run right to me.
     
  14. Speedyfish

    Speedyfish Loaded Pockets

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    pa240,

    From another thread: http://thinblueflorida.com/?p=839

    I like my Falcon II. It may be small for your purposes though, but it may have what you need...

    Randall