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Review: 5.11 AMP 24 with pictures!

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by OregonEMT, May 17, 2019 at 5:39 PM.

  1. OregonEMT

    OregonEMT Loaded Pockets

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    I am quite frankly surprised at the amount of complaints this bad has received from the internets. Everything from complaints to how back to back is too rigid and stiff (I have spoken to my local 5.11 rep about this, it is designed that way as a part of its modular capability) to how the organization is non existent. And that is just two bullet points. However I feel that this bags purpose has been lost on people who are accustomed to their current “everyday pick” of bags that we have become… complacent with? Does that make sense? Let me go further…This bag is a jack of all trades bag. It was designed to be a base shell where the user can further expand on its usefulness. You can tailor this for an EDC bag, a range bag, a hiking bag, a duty bag and the list goes on. But it's going to cost you.


    I had been eyeballing this bag for almost an entire year but kept finding a reason why I really didn't need one. I have more bags than my girlfriend which she gives me continual :censored: for, but I strongly believe in the EDC lifestyle and having a gear set for various activities. Where I once had 4 different bags with loadouts for the different activities I participated in, I now have 2 and I that's because of the AMP 24. I am lucky (fortunate?) and live next to a 5.11 store in my hometown. I had walked by the AMP backpacks countless times while shopping and never gave it anything more than a quick glance, usually eyeballing the neat Hexgrid system which it comes with and is attached to the front facing part of the bag. But last weekend was time to strike. I didn't find myself going to 5.11 to buy this bag, but happened to be in the area and stopped in since it was the last day of 5.11’s annual “5.11 days” 20 percent off sale. And that day they had a rep whose sole job was to talk about the AMP series. They had a display setup with a representative present to show off all the modularity options and attachments as well as answer any questions one may have. And boy did I have a ton. I won’t waste time talking about my time with the store employee but what I will say is that about 30 minutes later, I was leaving the store with a new AMP 24 and additional Hexgrid panel.


    For the last 3 years I have used a RiftCore and RiftBlade AGR backpack by Maxpedition. They have, up until last week been the best backpack for organization for me. A place for everything and everything in its place is how I approach my backpacks and what can be found inside them. And every so often I will see a backpack that I think could lure me away from Max and I end up finding something about it that ends up with me sending it back. I am looking at you Hazard 4 Pillbox! Once I got home, it was time to start building this bag…It's one thing to look at a product in store but it's another to have it in your personal space, and sprawling out the contents (there’s really nothing extra unless you buy accessories, which I did), figuring out how you, the user, is going to build it to your exact preferences. And with this bag, you are going to find that the options are almost limitless.


    First off this bag is very well built. It’s made of high quality materials, 500D and 1050D nylon and is not awkwardly stiff right out of the gate. With every one of my Max bags, it takes weeks for the nylon to break in, ESPECIALLY with the AGR line. You’ve got a solid, thermoformed back panel which is soft, albeit rigid at the same time and feels sort of like a more stronger to press memory foam. When I asked about this and how people seem to dislike it, I was in fact told that it designed to be removable (it's held in place strongly with a velcro opening) and because its sold as a multi purpose bag, for some applications, the rigidity is NEEDED. And I couldn't agree more. I work in EMS and have used a TON of bags during my career and having a supported rear structure when having a heavy load makes the day all the more comfortable, say, when you are working a medical standby event and on your feet all day long with the bag on your shoulders. That is one example of why having that rigid support is beneficial. YES, it can be removed and even with it removed, some people still complain that the thermformed back is still too stiff but I don't really know many people in my EDC circle that like a “spaghetti’d” limp backpack with zero structure. Your mileage will obviously vary.


    The AMP has a entire 9x9 field of loop Velcro that has 5.11’s Hexgrid panel attached to it. When purchasing the bag, you get one. Any additional panels can be purchased for 29.99. There is no rule that says you HAVE to use the HG panel and the user can remove it and attach it to the inside via the included G rings. However for my application and the fact that it looks pretty cool, especially with a field of moral patches attached underneath, I left it on for future attachment options and purchased an extra HG panel for the inside. I could have saved myself 30 bucks and moved the included panel inside and attached the morale patches to the large field but the hex grid gives it a bit of a unique look. I really dig it.


    5.11 says that this bag has a “full clamshell opening” and for the most part, that is true but the zipper stops about 6 inches from the bottom of the bag and I found that a bit annoying when wanting to sprawl out your bag for quick, un-obscured access. When you zip it all the way down and fold out the top, there's space below that one needs to reach in and look vs having a complete and full spread. See pictures if what I mean. It’s not a HUGE deal but my MAX laid out totally flat which I grew to appreciate when needed. Inside there is an entire field of loop which one can attach morale patches too but is also, and primarily in place for the add on AMP system attachments. And that is where I attached my extra HG panel. BTW, the HG panel comes with a “cover” which prevents the panel from sticking to the loop if the user wants to only use the G rings and enables for quick detachment. That is how I have mine setup and I have the rear covered in almost all moral patches. They are technically hidden from view but look cool when I have the bag opened up. And I can easily change the patches from the front exterior if I see fit and the mood strikes. You will also find an elastic (Nike dryfit-style) material on both interior sides of the bag which can hold a water bottle or something of similar size… or really anything for that matter. I found them perfect for a 21oz Hydro Flask. On the other side, is a large netted double side zipper accessible storage compartment with elastic MOLLE style attachment points. There is also a key ring attachment present. As of now, I have nothing loaded in there at the time of this review other than a couple of Thyrm Cellvaults and pens. I have a few ideas for continued or expanded use though. Above that panel is another zippered (horizontal) netted pouch which i use for quick grab and go snacks and under THAT is a hidden zippered access point. I found when traveling (I have flown with the bag once already, that this made for a great place to store emergency cash, spare key and my TSA PreCheck card. That about covers the inside of the bag.


    Touching a bit on the outside again, backtracking if you will, there is a horizontal zippered compartment under the HG panel. Its large enough to fit a pair of gloves and few other small items. Some have said that it could store a small jacket but I just don't see that as a feasible option. Perhaps one of those small, emergency rain jackets that pack into a small nylon bag but that's about as far as you will get with that. On each of the shoulders straps, there is an elastic band which I am sure is meant to easily store or route a hydration bladder tube and a few additional MOLLE sized web straps. I have attached some plastic D-ring Grimlocks which are awesome, but I don't have to tell this group that. Remember that “rigid” back panel that people seem to dislike? Behind that is a zippered access which is felt lined (loop lined too I suppose) and can hold a water bladder or up to a 15 inch laptop. For my purposes, I have a Safelife Defense Level 3A+ backpack armor panel in there which fits PERFECTLY and gives the bag an additional structure support which I like. Again YMMV.


    Pockets and pockets, oh my! On each side of the bag there are two vertical zippered compartments as well. Oh and before I forget, for those that CC, right above the HG panel is a compartment (Velcro secured) for a gun. That compartment has a small Velcro field so an applicable holster can be secured. I have seen that before in other bags and have not really seen that useful as I just toss in my gun but for some, if you like that option, it's there. There is plenty of room to fit a CC weapon (my G43X fits perfectly in there with easy draw access. One could also throw in a variety of other things in there for easy reach. It’s deep but not too deep. And finally there is a fleece lined sunglasses storage compartment at the very time. Fits a pair of sunglasses nicely and also a sunglasses cleaning pouch. For those wondering about how water resistant this bag is, I tested it out by walking through a lawn with sprinkler heads going on full blast. I gave the bag a good “soaking” to simulate being caught out in the rain and I was very happy to find there was no water that got through the bag and into the internals. It’s obviously not waterproof but feel confident in knowing that for rain downpours, you should be good to go. And that just about covers the bag! Initially, when buying this bag as a bare bones kit, other than it looking cool, it's quite plain and organization is nonexistent, so know that going in. 5.11 knows this, and now you know this (or maybe you did and still don’t like it). For me though, this bag is excellent.


    Versatility with this bag is through the roof. In the included photos, you are looking at my EDC work loadout. I migrated over my Max pouches, attached my Leatherman MUT and LEDLenser light to the HG panel and have a couple of attachment points for my Anker power pack on order which should arrive over the weekend. At home (sorry, I don't have pics at the moment), I have a G ring attachable standard MOLLE panel with AR15 mag pouch attachments and 2 standard Glock magazine pouch attachments. When I am going to the range, I easily swap out the work EDC setup for the range day attachment and it literally takes seconds. One thing I was surprised about with this bag was the lack of an admin pouch. Of course 5.11 has that covered by selling (yes, its extra!), an admin attachment pouch which attaches to the outside G ring attachment point. You just swap out the HG panel and slap on whatever you like. I played with removing my outside HG panel and placing my range day panel there but I like having my morale patches show and I also like keeping my bag “streamlined” and clean looking. Again, you can make this bag however you like.


    Some cons… Well, I don't have many. I suppose the first one that comes to mind is the fact that the bag doesn't really sit upright easily because the bottom is tapered. I have found myself laying it flat or propped up against something. It’s not that big of a problem but coming from my Max bags, they are flat bottomed and I didn't have to think of propping them. Pretty minor though. I touch a bit on the clamshell and how I find it a bit misleading that that 5.11 calls it “full clamshell” when in fact it's not really full. Again, minor annoyance. I will also add on that I dislike the crappy paracord zipper pulls on all 5.11 bags. They’re cheap. Maxpedition makes amazing zipper pulls with a plastic grab mold and thank goodness they sell them seperately. I have them on order and will swap out the stock ones once they arrive. Other than that, I really don't have any other issues with this bag. Overall I am VERY happy with this bag and I am working on selling my RiftBlade Max bag as its finally been dethroned as my go-to, EDC bag.


    Don’t get me wrong, this bag IS expensive for just the bare bones, out-of-the-store base model. If you really want to take advantage of what this bag has to offer, expect to pay to get it the way you want. For me, the price was totally worth it and I got everything for 20 percent off at the time. I would have gladly paid (knowing this now) full price after spending a week with it.


    I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions, please let me know.

    Add on: I would like to mention also, that this bag really still looks tactical IMO. For me, I don’t have a problem with that. For many others, they don’t like that kind of look. I mention this because I have read other reviews that mention this looks less tactical but other than the lack of exterior MOLLE webbing like 5.11’s other stuff, I still believe this has that subtle tactical look to it. Check out the pics to form your opinion!

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    Last edited by OregonEMT, Friday at 6:21 PM
    #1 OregonEMT, May 17, 2019 at 5:39 PM
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 7:20 PM
  2. Jjb5730

    Jjb5730 Loaded Pockets

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    Great review..looking forward to pics. I have been eyeing this bag for a while but have been hesitant due to the reviews I've seen. I ended up ordering a Vertx EDC Ready Pack 2.0, but because it's in backorder and since Vertx apparently doesn't respond very well (tried contacting them 4 times in last 2 weeks to get a status) I'm considering canceling that and getting something else. I travel in 2 weeks and need a bag asap. I just sold my Max Riftcore. It was a tough call because I truly loved the bag, but I found the ccw compartment a waste of space and could have used a dedicated laptop compartment instead. I was using the middle loop lined compartment for my laptop when traveling, which defeated the purpose of the loop and molle in that area because I had to clear my things out to fit the computer. How would you pit the Amp vs the Riftcore?

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  3. OregonEMT

    OregonEMT Loaded Pockets

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    The RiftCore and RiftBlade (pretty much the same bag) were/are excellent bags. I moved to the Blade for the larger size. With that said, out of the box the Max Rift bags are excellent for immediate organization. My Max bags were, for me, just for EDC work travel and daily trips out and about. I never found them suitable for a day at the range or taking out for a camping trip. Some may disagree. And I totally agree with you on the CCW compartment. I too felt it was a lot of wasted space, and also space I didn't even use. When I did put stuff in there, It bowed out and into my back which I didn't like and I blame that on the excess padding which I always found as a con. When loaded up, the MAX bags were awkwardly large and "poochy".
     
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