This week, in the gear review department, I got my hands on the new Blackhawk! Stingray 2-Day Pack. If there is one thing Soldiers love more than boots, it is backpacks for certain. We talk about them the way hipsters talk about craft beers, with slightly less pretentiousness. Anyway, I saw this at SHOT Show and my sample finally came in for review. Off to the races!
The Stingray comes in three sizes, EDC, 2-Day, and 3-Day. The relative sizes are 1,400, 1,800, and 2,200 cubic inches. I selected the 2-Day model, feeling a bit like Goldilocks in that it was not too big and not too small but just right. When we buy a large backpack, the tendency is to fill it up all the way whether we needed to or not. The 2-Day Pack is a nice mix of large enough to hold stuff, not so big as to potentially weigh a ton. Color options are Black, Coyote Tan, and black with grey.
The Stingray gets its name from the fact that it looks like the cartilaginous fish when opened all the way. And, maybe the name also comes from an old 2nd Force Recon hand at Blackhawk who wanted to pay tribute to the Vietnam-era Force Recon Stingray Teams. Either way, the pack has a unique zipper configuration that allows the bag to lay flat when open all the way.
• STRONG – EVA-molded side wings protect gear from jostles, bumps and drops.
• SECURE – Large, fleece-lined valuables pocket is deep enough to hold the largest smart phones.
• VERSATILE – Loop-lined MOLLE in main compartment for easy attachment of pouches and other accessories.
• DURABLE – YKK zippers with wide tabs for reliable opening and closing.
The pack is riddled with nice features. Inside, the back panel is set up for either Velcro- or MOLLE-compatible pouches. The side and rear panels have a foam insert to help it keeps its shape and protect your gear. Between the main compartment and the back panel is a sleeve pocket, perfect for either a hydration bladder or a laptop, depending on your needs. The outside features laser cut MOLLE, ideal for adding gear.
I was initially concerned about the size of the shoulder straps, which proved unfounded. They are on the thinner side for a tactical pack, but they worked out fine. With a load of about 30 pounds, comfort was not an issue. I dug the included waist strap and chest strap, necessities for a long expedition into the desert.
For a med bag or an EDC pack, this one is a winner. And the price is right. The 2-Day Pack has an MSRP of $149.95, with a street price closer to $115. If it is time to upgrade your backpack, look no further. This one is a winner.
For more information visit Blackhawk! website.