Ding! Ding! New Email
From: Rave Alert
Subject: SWAT Callout group
Content: All SWAT members respond to the PD for manhunt of a suspect who shot at PD Officer.
Response: Hell yeah!
I was sitting at home waiting for this email to come. You see, one of our Officers made a routine traffic stop and as he made contact with the driver, he (the driver) pulled a gun on the Police Officer and fired. The bullet traveled through the Officers flashlight and nearly his head. Luckily he escaped with a few frag souvenirs, but the suspect was still at large. As I’m running out the door I’m going through my checklist to make sure I have what I need. Helmet-check, Vest-check, rifle-check, pistol-check, battle belt-check, 5.11 Rapid Origin Pack-check.
I recently acquired the 5.11 Rapid Origin Pack as an Every Day Carry (EDC) pack for rapid deployments as well as something I can use off-duty. I wanted something that was light, yet capable of carrying my everyday loadout. This particular pack has performed well thus far and handled every mission I’ve thrown at it. The event mentioned above lasted about 72 hours and consisted of multiple deployments, all rapid in nature, ending with many people in custody, lots of gun pointing, building clearing, tactical movement, manly men in manly gear, and finally, a suspect in custody. My 5.11 Rapid Origin Pack was with me the whole way. The padded shoulder straps and back lining provide a comfortable wear, which is especially appreciated after long hours, and its durability held true when being thrown from car to car and scene to scene.
The hydration/TacTec compatible compartment is a big feature for me while off duty. Personal opinion-I can bring water bottles, give me the soft armor for that unexpected shootout while on my way to the grocery store. The compartment will accept various brands of backpack armor with ease. Plus, it is a sexy feature. The padded laptop compartment (which can also be used for your concealed carry weapon) has proven useful during downtime or training recruits. Having quick access to my laptop with the inverted U zipper is a nice touch while the admin panel provides field notepads and pens in seconds.
Quality stitched web MOLLE lines the front, left and right sides giving ample room for all your MOLLE gear. While not used, the extra individual first aid kit (IFAK) and magazines I have on my pack would have been at my fingertips while hunting our fugitive. As one can imagine, during a 72-hour manhunt you see the sun rise and fall several times, making a fleece lined sunglasses case invaluable while on the go. Staying hydrated is easy with the interior vertical mesh sleeve which was large enough to hold my 32-ounce sport top. Lastly, the zippered internal pockets provided organization for various charging cords, flash drives, and a laptop mouse.
Since I’m not always on a manhunt and intended to use this pack outside of SWAT activities, I took my 5.11 Rapid Origin Pack out to the range to see how it fairs while moving; no issues here. The straps stay tight and the pack is slim enough that it won’t interfere with your draw, even if you carry at the 3 o’clock position like myself. This is also a key feature for me. I am not an appendix carrier and I need a pack that isn’t so bulky it gets in the way of my weapon. Having the ability to operate while wearing my EDC backpack is as important as it gets for me. The transition from back to front carry is as smooth as you can expect from a backpack, placing your armor center mass, and as with everything, the more you train, the smoother you operate.
The only feature I would like to see is a place to carry extra magazines internally. Unless you want to strap some mag pouches on the outer MOLLE webbing, like myself, you are limited to the magazines you can carry on your person. Of course, you can throw some in the zippered pockets, but good luck fumbling with that in a high-stress situation.
I have mostly used this pack for duty but enjoy carrying it while out with my family. I just remove the exterior mag pouches, which is a small inconvenience, and go on my way. For a light, comfortable, and economically priced, everyday carry pack, I was pleased. I think 5.11 Tactical executed well on this one. Not without some improvement in my opinion, but well executed.
Author – Matt Walker is a Texas Law Enforcement Officer of 10 years and serves as a SWAT Operator for his department. He is also the head defensive tactics instructor and holds various instructor certificates such as Krav Maga Force Division Instructor, FBI Defensive Tactics Instructor, Tactical Breaching Instructor and various others. Mr. Walker holds and undefeated Mixed Martial Arts record and is a practitioner of Muay Thai Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Olympic weightlifting.