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[review] Maxpedition Kodiak

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by tlr, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. tlr

    tlr Loaded Pockets

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    Ok after lurking for a while I became a member and figure this is as good of a first post as I can come up with. Hopefully I can contribute to someone elses choice as this site helped me a lot making the decision to buy my Kodiak.

    Because I have found few reviews on the Kodiak (fairly new bag) I figured that I would make an attempt (although it may be feeble) at a review to add to someone else's research. If you want a more in depth review check out the "kodiak vs. sitka" review on techiebags.com - I found it really helpful when making my choice.

    With a couple of days carrying my new Kodiak, and after just coming home from a couple mile hike (that included some scrambling up some cliffsides) to a new study spot, I can say I'm loving this bag.
    I've been looking for a multi-purpose bag to replace my 10 yr. old Jansport messenger bag for the last couple of years.

    There were several criteria that I was looking for-

    -Can carry documents, files and notebooks
    -Can fit my laptop with a protective sleeve (macbook pro 15")
    -Can fit several books and journals
    -Has several pockets for organization
    -Rugged yet would be acceptable in a relaxed professional atmosphere
    -Can be carried easily for short hikes and around cities and conferences
    -Work as my primary carry-on bag when also checking a bag (books, magazines, laptop & change of clothes toiletries
    -Not a traditional backpack
    -Suitable for CCW
    -Can accomodate a Nalgene
    -Last for the next 10 years

    Honestly I was worried that the Kodiak might be to big but it is exactly what I've been looking for. It fits everything that I need from office to wherever. It seems to be extremely well made and rugged. While I wouldn't want to carry a heavy load a long ways it did great on my hike this evening (including some scrambling up a 100' cliff side) with a full nalgene and several books, a skeletool and some other odds and ends. Using the stabilization strap kept it tight, in place and comfortable while scrambling. I'm confident that I could carry this load in it for many miles comfortably. Anything much heavier and I would use other bags better suited to hiking or backpacking.

    I'm a big guy and one of the issues that I've had with traditional backpacks is that I have 52" shoulders and an 18" neck. That has always translated into neck pain due to straps that were to narrow at the top of the pack for my wide shoulders. The "across body" carry strap system of the kodiak really seems to be working for me. A note that the guy on techiebags found the secondary strap to be snug on his physique. I'm 6'2" 265lbs and in so-so shape and it worked for me today with a light jacket on. It wasn't snug at all fully extended.

    It's somewhere between a briefcase - backpack - messenger bag.
    I love the fact that it opens much like a briefcase and provides several internal pockets to organize materials in the main compartment. I originally wanted a Jumbo for edc but decided that it would be impractical for me without room to carry files and 8.5 x 11 notebooks. The kodiak fits them well. The one nitpick that I have as a briefcase, is that it has no dedicated pen/marker/... organizer or pocket. I will likely either purchase a small dedicated pouch to add to the pack later or make a velcro strap similar to the one the guy on techiebags.com made.

    As a ccw (which I can't utilize anyway right now) the jury is still out. I went ahead and purchased the velcro holster to go with the bag. There are two different options for ccw with the kodiak. One is in the ccw/hydration bladder compartment and the second is in one of the dividers in the main compartment. As a ccw platform I like that the pack can quickly slide around in front of your body to allow you to access the pocket without removing the pack. With the other compartments full the back (hydration) compartment seems to be slightly difficult to draw from. It easily fits my full size Glock 22 however it's somewhat tough to get my had in and draw smoothly. Tinkering with different holster angles may help this. The velcro backing in the main compartment provides a stable platform and slightly easier draw however it does take up space in the main compartment and I am somewhat uneasy about having a weapon in a pocket that may inadvertantly be left open or seen into when removing contents in a public place. Again, I can't use it for this purpose currently and I'm not sure if I ever would but the option is nice.

    I spent a decent amount of time agonizing between the sitka and the kodiak. While I knew the sitka would barely hold files it would hold them. I might have lived without the laptop, however I finally decided that with the sitka being as big as it is, for the few inches in size difference between the two I might as well get one that could fit my laptop. I'm glad that I did. It fits my 15" macbook pro (newest version) with ease and even accomodates it in my axio hardsleeve. It's a little tight on the width but doesn't stretch the zippers at all.

    While I don't believe that this bag is for everyone (or every occasion) I can say that it seems to be exactly what I was looking for. It was expensive, (for me) however I'm looking forward to a having an EDC bag that I can depend on for many years to come. As always YMMV :cool:
     
    Redneck Bear likes this.
  2. rwdflynavy
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    rwdflynavy Loaded Pockets

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    Welcome aboard and thanks for the great first post. I bought a Sitka and ended up selling it in favor or a Kodiak. Really like the Kodiak!
     
  3. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Moved to the reviews section (with a bump). If you have a camera, everybody loves pics. ;)

    And welcome to EDCF!
     
  4. tlr

    tlr Loaded Pockets

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    Sorry about that! Nice noob move huh.

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I'll see what I can do about the pics.
     
  5. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Don't worry about it, happens all the time. Btw, if you have the time and feel like it, please introduce yourself here.
     
  6. WizardOfID

    WizardOfID Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for taking the time to post the review on your Maxpedition Kodiak. It's been five years since you typed this post and now I'm trying to make the decision between the Sitka and the Kodiak. Your first post has answered a few questions for another noobie.:)
     
  7. Blitzwing
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

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    I really like my Kodiak.. I switched to the haz 4 switchback but I still hate selling the Kodiak.. If I could dye it pink I'd give it to my daughter.
     
  8. Katjang1

    Katjang1 Loaded Pockets

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    Sweet pack indeed! I have one in black. Looks fantastic. Took it with me to Egypt and it worked great. But, when I visited Rome in may I used the Kodiak all day every day and I must be honest. After 2/ 3 days my neck started to feel a bit sore. It's great for day trips but dont make it weigh to much.