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First Look: Tasmanian Tiger Basepack 52

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Thehunt, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. Thehunt

    Thehunt Loaded Pockets

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    Or: The (better) Raid Pack MK IV?

    It doesn't always have to be the heavy-duty monster, even I've realized that. Even if I find the Mil OPS 80 pack insanely well done, over 4 kilos empty weight is a statement.
    If you can get by with less volume, then the Basepack 52 can be a very modular, convenient and lighter alternative.
    For a good six weeks I have had the pack with me on my hikes in Brandenburg, Germany, my impressions I may present to you below.

    First, the roll-top backpack is sexy. There is nothing worse for me than an "ugly" backpack. Pilots say "if a plane looks good, it flies well". Form follows function, or something like that.

    Since there's no arguing about taste, as we all know, make up your own minds:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Where the Mil OPS 80+24 can hardly run on features, the Basepack comes across as rather plain. A classic military backpack, original molle, no laser cut.

    The technical frame data reads like this:

    Dimensions: 74 x 31 x 23 cm
    Volume: 52 l, expandable to 65 l
    Weight: 2,67 kg
    Back system: V2 Plus system
    Material: CORDURA® 700 den, T-Square Rip FD

    V2 Plus back system
    Subdivision into main compartment and bottom compartment
    Hiking pole/ice axe holder
    Height adjustable chest strap
    Removable, padded hip belt
    Side compression straps
    Circumferential bottom compression
    Lid with gear loops
    Height adjustable, removable lid
    Hydration system preparation
     
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  2. Thehunt

    Thehunt Loaded Pockets

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    Let's take a closer look at the sum of all parts. The front features two Fasttex buckles for the sleeping bag compartment, in addition to the two lower ones that secure the lid. Both pairs are attached to the body with more than enough webbing, and the same goes for the side compression straps.
    [​IMG]

    In addition to a patch panel on the front, another is found on the lid itself.
    Also coming in a pair are the new multifunctional stick/tripod mounts.

    [​IMG]

    Very cleverly thought out, just unhook and insert tripod or ice axe, close, done. Pull tight when needed. Top.
    [​IMG]

    Here's another side view of the compression straps.
    [​IMG]

    It is noticeable that we do not find any side pockets.
    My assessment:
    With the RaidPack, this was always very fiddly due to the size and the side pockets above, and often the bottles did not fit in. Better to omid then from the get go and add Molle pouches as needed. Works well for me.

    Not to forget, the side outlet for drinking hoses or cables. All straps can be neatly rolled up with elastic band.

    The careful observer will have noticed two ladder buckles on the front:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We'll get to that a little later!

    New this year on some backpacks, lid compression via shockcord:
    [​IMG]

    I am a fan, so you can fix the lid again separately on the main compartment.

    The height adjustable load control straps already known from the Mil OPS 80 also make a return, I'm all for this becoming standard on backpacks above 50 liters.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Thehunt

    Thehunt Loaded Pockets

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    Speaking of which, the carrying system: It is the already known V2 Plus system. Almost boring, so good it is. However, everyone check whether it fits him/her. My old comparison to the fit in shoes still applies, each foot (or back) is different.

    The shoulder straps are well padded and of course have an adjustable chest strap:
    [​IMG]

    I (183 cm, 85 kilos, reasonably fit) find the Basepack very comfortable. My test load was always around 17.5 kilos, but the pack itself can easily handle more.

    The hip belt is stiff enough to bring load cleanly on the hips, but is removable unlike with the Mil OPS:
    [​IMG]

    I don't use Warrior Belts myself, however there are enough colleagues who do. Good to have choices.

    Sufficient webbing to fit even in winter with thick clothes:
    [​IMG]

    The aluminum stays are removable at the bottom and can be adjusted to your own back shape if necessary.
    Once the hip belt is removed, the stays fit into Velcro pockets.
    [​IMG]

    You just have to remember the side load control straps when removing the hip belt, you have to unloop them.
    [​IMG]

    Also good to see the new angle where the sleeping bag compartment zipper is routed.
    I often had trouble with my RaidPack MKIII, this is not the case with the Basepack, good job!

    Let's stay with the sleeping bag compartment. In addition to the zipper, two 25mm straps secure the bottom compartment:
    [​IMG]

    Excess strap is taken care of by using Velcro. Also good to see the loops for tripod, ice axe or shooting stick. Plenty of Molle as well.

    Well solved, the webbing also runs under the bottom compartment along, so that one can stow sleeping pads if necessary or tents / tarps without taking space inside. I like to stuff my wet rain gear / tent in a mesh bag on or under the backpack, so you do not have the wet stuff together with the other stuff and it can dry better.
     
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  4. Thehunt

    Thehunt Loaded Pockets

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    The compartment itself is large enough to accommodate a Defence 1 sleeping bag plus pillow, sleeping bag liner and GoreTex Bivy. With a little squeezing would probably also go a Defence 4 (winter bag), I've actually not tried it yet for lack of cold.

    Speaking of sleeping bag, at the other end of the basepack we find four Square Rings on the lid in addition to Molle, here you can also mount the sleeping bag on top (or whatever else comes to mind) according to old German Bundeswehr custom.

    The lid has two compartments, an outer one which is plain but spacious:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Mora Kansbol, Army gloves, granola bars and the digging bag - all fit in loosely.

    On the inside you'll find the compartment marked (as usual for TT) with the medical cross. Guess what's inside?
    That's right, Firt Aid Kit. What else...?
    [​IMG]

    Let's stick to the top. The Basepack is a so-called RollTop, meaning the backpack can be adjusted in volume by rolling up the top. You know the principle of drybags.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One side has a reinforced lip so the edge can be neatly rolled up.
    [​IMG]

    This is then closed with new clasps:
    [​IMG]

    The two clasps are identical, just rotated 180 degrees, very clever, you only need one spare part if filed repair is needed.

    In addition, the RollTop snow guard can be secured by a webbing:
    [​IMG]

    This is fixed at the back of the lid by means of a removable buckle.
    Here in the center of the picture:
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Thehunt

    Thehunt Loaded Pockets

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    The buckle party:
    Waaay outside the cord stoppers for the shockcord, then the buckles for the height-adjustable lid, followed by the likewise height-adjustable buckles of the load control straps, and finally the upper compression strap of the RollTop/snowcatcher.

    About the RollTop:
    Up until now, I wasn't really a fan of this type of backpack.
    To me, it was always like looking into a dark hole and trying to find your stuff in a cave.

    Turns out, there's a different and better way:
    [​IMG]

    Tasmanian Tiger has tailored the RollTop part to be quasi-trapezoidal. Read "wider at the top than at the bottom."

    This allows you to slip the top part over the main body in a relaxed manner, pack it at your leisure and eazy search for stuff later. It can be that simple.

    Here is my "testing load":
    [​IMG]

    The Defence 1 is still in the bottom compartment along with accessories, the 3 liter Source bladder is also still in the back compartment. Fits everything loosely without overpacking.

    Here is the back compartment:
    [​IMG]


    Overpacking is, after all, a divisive issue. One says who overpacks has a backpack that is too small. The other says, who knows if I do not need the storage space by chance (take stuff from a fatigued comrade or the wife, for example).
    I'm clearly for it, and here's how it may look with the basepack:
    [​IMG]

    This is how it looks suited and booted:
    [​IMG]

    For comparison:
    [​IMG]

    However, packing too airy can cause imbalances, so always tighten well!
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Thehunt

    Thehunt Loaded Pockets

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    The Basepack clearly has the genes of the ever-popular Raid Pack. It is also closely related to the Mil OPS 30.
    [​IMG]

    Here for your convenience, it's heavily overpacked so you can see the size difference better:
    [​IMG]


    I think it's very well done that you can remove the lid completely when you don't need it:
    [​IMG]

    Thanks to roll-top snow guard, the pack is absolutely securely closed even without it.

    Here even tidier, without lid straps:
    [​IMG]

    If you want to play it completely safe, use the included straps and lash the lid closures to the side:
    [​IMG]

    One minor thing though, the rear closures including straps are not removable, here is room for improvement in the possibly upcoming MKII. :)


    We come to my personal conclusion.
    Super to wear, adaptable to personal preferences, modular and in my opinion no real weaknesses. Clear recommendation, if the Mil OPS 80+24 is just "too much" and the Mil OPS 30 (or the Modular Pack, or, or, or) is too little.

    A big thank you goes out to my wife, who puts up with my quirks with stoic calm and composure and sends me out to play.

    As always, if you have any questions, just ask.
     
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  7. twin63

    twin63 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the comprehensive review. I don’t own any Tasmanian Tiger gear, but it’s always impressed me as being well-designed and good quality.

    This is definitely a pack I would consider if I didn’t already have a similar pack.
     
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  8. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    :censored:! That's a big pack. You could comfortably fit a couple of toddlers in there. Nice write-up.
     
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  9. Thehunt

    Thehunt Loaded Pockets

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    @MatBlack
    ...and their whole Kindergarten... :)

    I like this one a lot, honestly.
    More adaptive and if you could call it that, slim line. At least in direct comparision to the Mil OPS 80+.
     
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