Grey Ghost Gear (GGG) of Idaho has been quietly producing some of the slickest gear available. Having recently taken a look at their range bag, I’ve seen the quality of their craftsmanship firsthand. Naturally, I had high expectations heading in the review of their Stealth Operator pack.
Designed as a “low visibility recce pack that can be used in a civilian or military environment”, the Stealth Operator certainly hits the mark there. Whether Multicam for most military considerations or one of the more muted colors for civilian ops, the Stealth Operator sports an efficient and low-key design that doesn’t scream “military”.
While there are six color choices available, the pack actually comes in three main varieties, sorted by the main fabric used in construction. From GGG’s website:
- 500D Cordura® Nylon is a strong abrasion resistant lightweight fabric that will not show up in low light environments. Features a water-resistant coating on the back side of the fabric and a water-repellent on the face. 100% Nylon. Colors are black, black and diamond, Brookwood transitional, Multicam and coyote brown.
- LiteLok® Material is about 30% lighter than 500D Cordura® Nylon while still maintaining outstanding abrasion resistance. Features a double layer design that is less visible in low light environments and water-resistant up to 127cm. 100% Nylon. Available in Multicam.
- Ripstop Material: a limited, proprietary diamond pattern, ripstop nylon is a light, low vis alternative when operating where military fabrics would not be preferred. About the same weight as LiteLok Material, 30% lighter than 500D Cordura Nylon. 100% Nylon. Available in smoke green.
The Stealth Operator comes in just shy of 888 cubic inch capacity. Within the main compartment on the backside of the front flap are a couple of mesh/velcro magazine pouches and a zippered utility pouch. On the outside, within the long vertical zipper you’ll find organizational space (i.e pen slots), a small utility zipper and a concealed carry pocket. While it’s not designed to be a quick-draw pocket, it is nonetheless a handy (and optional) place to keep a small handgun. Finally, in between the back-padding and the main pouch is a pocket for your 3 liter hydration pouch. All external zippers are heavy-duty. While a little stiff, they feel solid and have me feeling (for once) like my zippers aren’t going to snap or jump off the tracks.
I’ve had the Stealth Operator for a couple of weeks now and have definitely broken it in. When I loaded it up the first time, I was impressed by the way it’s laid out. Everything is designed with the operator in mind for sure. All the essentials are close at hand, while the overall storage is deceptively large. The last time I took it out was for a brutal day of deer hunting in the middle of a rainstorm. It was pouring the entire 8 hours of tromping around the woods. I expected the pack to be soaked through, considering it was not only raining cats and canines but the pack was also being rammed into trees, drug through the underbrush and generally abused in the wettest conditions the Pacific Northwest has to offer. While this isn’t billed as a waterproof pack-after all that-the inside was bone dry.
Comfort is paramount in a pack. This is an area where the Stealth Operator really shines. Despite a modest interior capacity, this recce pack has substantial back-padding. Said padding is also mesh covered, letting your sweat breathe off when you’re running at max temp like Van Damme in Universal Soldier. The shoulder straps are affixed via plastic d-rings, something that upon initial inspection looked like it would become a problem, possibly digging into my shoulder. 8 straight hours of wear with a loaded pack, no problems at all. Frankly, the Stealth Operator wears so well, it earns its own name. This is an incredibly comfortable pack, hugging tight to your back, feeling like an extension of your own body.
Grey Ghost Gear is continuing to produce top-quality equipment at reasonable prices. The level of craftsmanship in their products is second to none. MSRP on the Stealth Operator pack is $109. If you want a light, durable, mid-sized recce pack that feels like it’s half the size it really is, check this one out!