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Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Flexxx, Dec 1, 2011.
if ya ever deciede to sell these. Please please remember me. Man those are AWESOME!
Got a FAST EDC pack, and honestly I'm not amused. Well, I am amused, but not in a way I originally expected.
I'd praise it for being excellently made and such, but nowadays most of tactical packs that are not of excellent make are doomed instantly. Being tough and well-made is one of defining properties of commercially made tactical packs, full stop.
Excellent internal organisation? -Umm, no. EDC admin pocket is laughable, everything else is just a pocket.
Excellent layout? -Nein again, every single external opening (apart from flaslight cave) is considerably harder and slower to acces than all of my other packs. Getting into pockets without taking the pack off is very, very much out of question. Once it's off the back, there's still no go since every single zippered opening is behind at least one compression strap. Compression straps are undone? Well, bad luck, since all openings apart from hydration one are very cramped. My favorite ones are side pockets, I'm still very puzzled at what's inside and what they can fit since I never really get them to open wide enough to take a peek.
Good price point? - Oh, you. You funny, stop that.
Elaborated internal frame? -All the elaboration of single sheet of HDPE.
Gun-bearing capability? - People who praise this feature haven't carried a gun with FAST EDC pack obviously, it's a worst possible way to pack a rifle.
Now, what mostly caused amusement is that I actually like the pack and will keep it. It's less impressive than any of my other tactical backpacks, but I actually don't mind that. I also like belt, shoulder straps, beaver tail. I like the design of the pack - there are no load-bearing zippers unless you REALLY overfill. I like a size of it, it's perfect for me.
But, the real question I have - why all the fanatism? Of all reviews, about 10% actually mention any problems or awkward things about the pack. At this price point, the pack is top-dollar product, yet of all it's siblings from kifary/mystery ranch it's the only one with non-adjustable suspension and no internal frame to speak of.
I'd blame limited availability on this, but FLYYE clone is just as well made (if not better, honestly) as original and is very, very affordable. Another possibility is that people attach value to the pack based on owning an exclusive product (however I do think that exclusivity is largely artificial), but I really prefer to think better of people.
I am puzzled, folks. I want to share the love, but I just can't find why.
I wish I had one of these, it's on the list.
You bring up some rather excellent points. TAD gear isn't for everybody and in fact they seem to make some decisions that have me scratching my head at times.
For me, I like their packs (obviously) . I like their clothes like the F10 pants and shorts especially. The slowly rising price point I'm not so in love with. In fact I think they ask for such a high price on much of their gear because they control the supply so rigidly. There are *some* forums where the fanboys would set on me like bloodthirsty, winged piranhas for speaking such apostasy but well, this is EDC forums thankfully.
The whole supply thing is so messed up it does create (IMHO) an artificially boosted demand and hype that should not be there, and I can only speculate might hurt the company in the long run as ,more and more people come to their senses such as.. wait-- more and more of your products are produced offshore but your raising the price of your products?? Not only that but since they insist on making small batches of their products or enigmatically deciding to discontinue items, you create a viable clone market to meet demand. It's getting hard to blame a cloner these days when you haven't produced certain products in 5 years or more.
The Stealth Hoodie LT was in the nosebleed section at around $300, then they change the configuration of the zippers somewhat, go with different materials and now that same jacket is $475!! Does it cure cancer??? A couple hundred more and I could go on an exotic cruise. It is starting to become (being diplomatic here) a bit ridiculous. BUT, if people wanna keep forking out their $$ it is up to them. But beware TAD Gear, when the public finally turns can you really blame anyone but yourselves?
Ambaal, I disagree with many details you mention, yet I mostly agree with what I see as the gist of your message.
I used a Tatonka back pack as EDC for more than ten years, but it fell apart and had to go. I couldn't find a replacement on the mass-market with all the features I learned to love with the Tatonka. I started to look around the tactical pack market, but couldn't find anything there either. Lots of webbing and other features, but most seem to have the wrong shape for me.
That's when I found the TAD Fast Pack EDC, and after some deliberation, I went for it. The price was an obstacle of course, but I was more concerned about the colour (or lack thereof). I don't plan to participate in any wars, and I would much rather have one in civilian colours.
I own the TAD EDC for seven months now, and I have it with me almost Eny Day, Currently. It's excellently made (though nor perfect), seems to be very tough, and has some ingenious features. I'm very glad I have it.
I agree, the admin pocket is hard to use, the large internal pocket gets in the way as soon as you put something of substance in it. (I think I would prefer the Litespeed's two smaller internal pockets.) I didn't like the external pockets at first, but that changed.
I don't see that, and I'm not on a clock.
(Except for the flashlight cave I assume.)
Is that different with other backpacks?
Maxpedition EDC Pocket Organizers are a perfect match.
Yeah, the price. Even considering the quality, the nice details, the thought that went into that, it's overpriced. I consider Deuter to be at the top of the mass-market, and a comparable model costs less than a third of the TAD. If a normal person (ie. not a bag geek like myself) would ask me for recommendations, TAD would be off the list on price alone.
I still don't regret the money I spent. It's kind of a hobby, and those are always expensive. Also, you will get diminishing returns at the upper end with anything. That said, today I would take a very close look at the Tasmanian Tiger Observer Pack released recently, which looks nice overall, seems to share some features with my old Tatonka (same manufacturer), and is less than half the price of the TAD.
Load-bearing was actually one of the characteristics I worried about, because it is easy to lie to oneself about it. ("It's new, you will get used to it!") The TAD is noticeably more comfortable than my old pack right from the start, carries a huge bunch of stuff if pushed and is still comfortable. The belt sits just right and is comfortable with a litre of water in a pouch, the straps are perfect.
Whatever. I use the flap to carry blankets or jackets sometimes, but it's in the pocket mostly.
Agreed. It looks large on most photos, and that almost killed it for me, but it can be compressed really well.
Confirmation bias, probably. If you spend such a silly amount of money on something, it just got to be the most perfectest thing you can imagine.
Some more comments on the pack. Note that Maxpedition is the only competitor in the same price region I can compare it to.
TAD uses softer nylon than Maxped, particularly with the webbing. That changes the handling a bit, and you might not like that. It sometimes happens that webbing side-slips in a buckle, ie. is reversed. I don't see that happening with Maxped's stronger webbing. On the whole, I prefer TAD's webbing.
The opening for the water tube is not as I would do it, but seems to work fine so far. (It does have the strange effect that it "breathes" in your neck.)
Every pack should have molle at the bottom.
Good front buckle straps.
Very useful strap tamer.
That Hypalon seems to work fine.
Flash light cave
I don't get the "Elastic hydration tube guides" on shoulder straps. I could squeeze the tube in there, but only if I remove the mouth piece.
The straps are not sewn to the body, they are connected by webbing, that makes the handling different. (I trust that it does not affect toughness.) That bothered me at first, until I changed the way I pick up my pack.
Zippers and buckles are just a wee bit louder than Maxped's. Not really a bother, but somehow less smart.
The colour. Any colour.
Still trying to figure how these bags are the hot set-up.....
I drank the Kool Aid and the bought a Litespeed. It's a well made pack but nothing special, and not worth the $200+ in my opinion.
That's what I want to see. People who drank the Kool Aid, but spit it out. How bout some well thought out evaluations instead of all praise for your big $$$ nylon bag???
Maybe overpriced. Definitely overbuilt. Absolutely NOT overrated. It is just a bag, and I never thought it would come with any special powers other than to carry what I wanted it to carry securely and comfortably. I like my TAD Gear EDC a lot, just as I would have liked a Kifaru X-ray had I chosen that, or a Mystery Ranch pack if I had chosen one of those. One cannot discount the pride of ownership factor. People get what they desire and there isn't always an explanation for the logic behind the choice. I don't think there needs to be any logic for a personal choice that only affects the purchaser.
Now, that being said, I am not one of those owners who is going start any sentence with "You should get ..."
Seriously, if you suddenly need to get home safely or get the Hell out of your home quickly and all you have is a contractor's black trash bag to haul your stuff in, then THAT is the best available hauler there is.
I live and work in the City and the single most popular bag is made by the North Face, followed by Swiss Army branded packs.
They are all just bags ... mine is better though. It just is to me, and I made it better still by adding a Kifaru organizer to the panel.
Really not trying to be a dick and I honestly think the points raised about the value of the product and about TAD Gear's general sales strategy are quite valid. There are several items in their catalog that I think are horrifically overpriced and totally unnecessary. I won't purchase those items. I don't want or need any of those items. I don't even like the word 'best'. What's best is what each individual wants enough to spend for or save for or wait for. JMHO
MadManBro, well written and thanks for your comments.
I second and third that.
Took a trip out to San Francisco last week. It was for vacation. Hiked the redwoods near Ukiah, Ca. Still loving the pack. I think it's the fact that I don't have to worry about tossing it around. I guess that's a trade off for the extra weight.
Also got a chance to visit both the Dogpatch and Hayes stores. Both had really nice sales people working. I took the opportunity to ask about bag stock. Their responses were that the order that they were expecting this past fall didn't come in until January and only half of them came in. They also said the next batch is supposed to be in around May but to not expect it until July at the rate their SoCal supplier is running at.
Nice pic! I know those Redwoods. Too bad you weren't here this week - we're really getting the nice daytime weather here in the Bay.
My friend, a closet EDC'r, was looking at Condor bags until I talked to him about various higher end suppliers. He's now really wanting a TAD pack ... we're heading down to the SF stores next week to take a peek around.
Wish I could disagree with this, but I can't. I've got a good amount of TAD stuff, I love it, but their prices on some stuff are outrageous. $400-500 for a jacket, while that's a bargain compared to some *ahem Arcteryx*, its still high...and I've got 2 Ranger hoodies. I like my Litespeed for what it is, something to carry EDC stuff in, that I don't need to access all the time. Accessing the main compartment can be tiresome at times, well most of the time. I'd have to say my biggest annoyance is the artificial demand they create by having limited production runs of the items they stock. When stuff sells out in a few minutes, its more than demand...you need to up production.
Yeah you and me both bud. What happens to a fanboy when they run out of the kool aid?
It's a real shame because some if their stuff like the F10 shorts and pants I totally 'get'. I appreciate the layout, the ruggedness of their gear, and the setup is complimentary to my EDC stuff.
But after a certain point it is obvious the company places its needs and wants above the consumer. While all companies have the right to do that to a certain extent, the supply issue is completely ridiculous. The $15 dollar admin panel? Sells now in the low 30's to 50's on the secondary market. The $10 Alphonse patch? Saw it selling for $80. And why not, if TAD decides to make it for 3 months in... 2007 and never went back since? It irks me I'll never get their F10 shorts in multicam because I missed the boat by a month.
But who cares about the odd customer who falls through the cracks when celebrities are wearing your gear and demand has never been higher?
Like I mentioned before, I used to be anti-cloner. Anti-flyye gear, or ill-gear, or a myriad of air soft clones out there. But if they make a knock-off of something TAD has no plans of making again, or demand is so high I need to enter a drawing just for the privilege of buying something. It just feels whack.
My predicament is that I don't really have an alternative to TAD that I like...... Yet.
Yep. Their pants and shorts are totally worth it, even their hoodies are priced ok. I liked their Spectre jacket, wanted one to layer as a hardshell over my Ranger, but not for $400. I bought a REI hardshell for less that $150 on sale and works great. No its not "TAD" and it might not have all the nice features, but its a waterproof hardshell. And it appears they are no longer making the Spectre, just the Stealth. I too have yet to find anything that compares quality and style wise, but I'll keep looking. And their knife system, RIDICULOUS. Not that I'd pay that much for any of those knives, $700 for a folder because its a "TAD edition"...., but really, a lottery drawing? I don't know if that's any better than the first come first serve, when you have 2 knives. Me, I'll just wait for my Dalibor, which would cut those knives into pieces.
I have to agree the limited stock can be extremely frustrating. However, at least they're trying to up the production. If they still want to maintain good quality, it will be very difficult to increase their production.
I also disagree with the pricing. I think the jackets are priced pretty good. However, I think the pants and shorts could be a littler cheaper. I don't think any ripstop/cotton pant should be over $100. Though, their DC pant is just freaking bomb proof and definitely worth the $119. I have never ever seen a heavier cotton canvas. Even Carhartts and Duluth stop at around 12oz or 11.5oz (EDIT: whoops, I lied. Duluth has pair of jeans that uses 13oz). I'm not sure 1oz will make that much of a difference, but the material is luxurious. I want to get a few more of those. I hear the next batch will be soon.
The discontinued items that sell for much higher is somewhat of a nuisance. However, TAD isn't benefiting at all from those sales. Granted, I'm definitely not going to pay over MSRP for their stuff. No matter how much I would like to own it. It's just not worth it. Somewhere down the line, TAD will always come up with something better.
Also, the knife lottery system that they have is actually rather nice. It'll allow those that can't order one at the exact time they go on for sale. As for the price, they're all MSRP from the maker. TAD doesn't make the knife more expensive because it's TAD. It's that expensive because that's how much the original maker charged them for it. I talked to one of the folks at the store and they told me that they, TAD, really don't make much on the knives because the makers charge them almost the price that they list. $475 is the exact price for an SMF CC in any configuration and it's $475 for an SMF CC TAD edition. Rassenti charges exactly $825 for his Integral Alpha and TAD lists the Integral Alpha TAD Edition at $825 (plus it has a little extra, the inserts, and stonewashed blade). As a one who's been lusting after a Crusader Forge TAD Edition (I had it in my cart and all...), I think this system is much better than the first come first serve.
It's just when s buy the TAD edition knife simply to flip them for 2-4x what they paid for the very day they get the knife. At least with this system, it'll allow for more of those that really want to own and use the knife to actually own and use the knife.
I'm still patiently waiting for my custom AD-10. This one's probably gonna be the end of all of knives (for me at least, still haven't decided what steel...thinking Elmax or M390)
I have a few TAD clothing pieces and am impressed with all of them. Granted I don't like the current way TAD does things with very very limited supply runs. Seems they are almost playing a game with it's customers and drum up hype. A lot of their kit I'm sad to say doesn't see a trail, combat zone, but usually stays in a closet or is used for commuting to and from the office. I'm actually going to be using my TAD FP EDC for my GoRuck Challenge so we'll see how it holds up.
End of the day TAD can do what they want and I can spend my money where I want.
No-one really complains about people spending their money or companies doing their things. Which gets me personally is a herd of fanatical followers praising TAD stuff as an end-all solution. Interestingly enough, most notorious are the ones that really never tried any alternatives.
It's not an end-all solution. It's a company who does very questionable practice of adding perceived value by limiting supply and jacking price.
The question that popped in my head when I got my first TAD bag about 4 years ago was: "Would TAD have such fanatical following if it was readily accessible both price- and availability wise?".
Thanks to clone-makers, I do know the answer now, and the answer is no. Flyye packs are just as well (I actually thinks they are tougher) made as TAD originals, and no one runs circles around how good they are. Clones of TAD softshells are, well, just another softshells, no hype here either.
But, as I've sad, my problem is not what companies do with their business and what people do with their money. My problem is with skewing the information and perception: question is, would TAD get such stellar reviews (and would most people bother reviewing in the first place) if it was readily available, reasonable widespread and monetary accessible? I'm yet to see TAD pack review that barely mentions anything negative. All that creates interesting perception among neophytes that TAD packs are the ultimate ones, which is perpetuated after an acquisition of such pack by said neophyte. This also doesn't help with incentive for TAD Gear to improve their products, why bother if every single person who is patient enough to buy one or loyal enough to receive one for a review is going to praise it?
C'mon people, they are good packs, a bit overpriced, but the hype is ridiculous.