- Category: Bags Packs and Pouches
- Published on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:26
- Written by Administrator
The Titan is the largest of BLACKHAWK hydration pack line; it’s designed to be a three day assault pack combined with a hydration pack all in one. This model comes in the standard Coyote Tan, Black, and Olive Drab, but it also comes in two other colors, ARPAT and the new Multicam.
The version in this review is the Coyote Tan, which I really like as an everyday carry – it’s simple, clean and works well in both urban environments as well as the woods. Of course if I had my pick, and because I use this pack mostly as a day pack (in the woods) I would go with the Multicam hands down, but for this review we will be using the Coyote Tan.
I have to say I expect a lot from BLACKHAWK simply because I own two of their packs now and love them! I’ve never had any problems with them and they hold up very well to rugged use which I can’t say for all packs!
I was looking to try out one of their large packs because I had the feeling that if it was as good as what I’ve use so far I would not be disappointed and I haven’t been.
The Titan is a remarkably good pack, well-made and very comfortable when carrying. But one thing I noticed is that I had to adjust the shoulder straps a number of times, not sure if it was me but they seemed to slip a little and you need to give the straps a tug to keep them tight.
Something I really like about BLACKHAWK packs is the padding along the back side of the pack (the part that sits against your back) is continued through the padded waist belt as well. They don’t use cheap close cell foam like most pack designers do, they have a special padding that looks kind of like fishing line has been woven into a thick pad. This gives you a great amount of venting which helps to allow sweat to evaporate and you don’t get that large sweat spot on your back from the pack.
Just behind this compartment you will find your water bladder slot, but in this slot you will also find something that I’ve not seen in a day pack and that is a removable stay, or frame. This is a large heavy duty plastic panel that is removable and it has a metal rod that allows the wearer to mold it to your back for added comfort. Not to mention it keeps anything heavy from digging into your back as well!
Another feature I really liked was that the main compartment opening is very large. You can pretty much fillet the pack in half to get very large items in and out of the pack. This made it simple for me to get my large camera bag insert out of the pack, and also simple to get to my camera without anything being in the way like it was with my old Pantac bag, which made it very hard to get the camera insert in and out.
On the inside of the main compartment you will find 4 straps, two vertical and two horizontal, which from what I can tell are made to strap down things like a military pack radio or other large items to keep them from moving around. This pack also has openings on each side for antennae if you should need to carry a radio in the pack.
Also on the pack compartment there’s a large opening so you can carry extra water bladders as well as two very large mesh pockets on the inside of the door for keeping items organized. This is one of the things I like about this pack - the detail put in for organization! This is very important when you’re carrying a lot of small items, you don’t want them dumping out at night and getting lost. At the bottom you will also find two large grommet drainage holes, which you kind of have to watch out for, as yes they are great for drainage but because they are not meshed and are around the size of a pen in diameter, you can get stuff lost out the bottom if it’s very small.
On the other large pocket you will find the same deal, a very large opening which makes it ideal for getting items in and out, a large grommet hole, but what makes this pocket so special is it’s an organizer.
BLACKHAWK has pulled out all the stops in this part of the pack and as a result the organizer is one of the best I’ve seen. In the back you get one large sleeve (around the size of a magazine periodical not pistol haha) and can hold things as large as books or many magazines. In the front you get a large zipper sleeve then another sleeve around the size of the zipper sleeve but no zipper.
Now in front of all the sleeves you get a nice little organizer that has two slots which will fit FRS or CB (handheld) radios perfectly. The radios are held in by a tab which holds your radios in place with bungee and Velcro retainers. You will also find three pen slots in the middle of these two radio pouches.
This compartment is large enough to hold a number of text book sized books and on the outside of the pocket you have an added side pocket with a vertical zipper, which is ideal for quick-to-get items like my wallet. But something I noticed was if you overload these outer compartments the weight tends to feel like its pulling you backwards. I think this is due to the lack of retaining straps. They have placed two retaining straps on each side but they only drawback the main compartment and not the outer one.
I feel this could easily be corrected by making the retaining straps go right across the whole pack and even to add two more to the bottom and two to the top, which would all converge in the middle to draw the whole pack in. This would greatly improve the pack’s stability when carrying large heaver items in the outer pockets. But that is just about the only grievance I have with this pack, as it’s awesome.
Just under the large outer compartment, you have a small 12 inch by 6 inch pocket that is 3 inches deep, which gives you a little organizer on the inside. You get one large zipper mesh compartment and three small mesh elastic pockets that are about the size of a blackberry each. This pocket also fillets open like a clamshell design so it would make an ideal medic pouch allowing you to get at all the gear easily.
On the outer parts of the pack you will find not one but three carrying handles, one (at the top) is molded rubber which is great. You will also find some MOLLE down the front and across the lower organizer pocket. There are some strap loops on the bottom of the pack so you can strap a sleeping bag to it for over nighters. There is also MOLLE or Pal webbing on each side of the pack and this brings me to the added feature of this pack, the two free pouches.
With the Titan you get two of BLACKHAWK’s most popular pouches, the 2 liter pocket and Canteen pouch. These pouches can be removed and or changed out for others and can even be used with other compatible MOLLE gear. This makes a good way to start your module kit, you get the pack but you also get the canteen and 2 liter pouches that can be taken off and added to a belt for day hikes giving you added options over other packs.
Now I have one real issue with this pack - even though in my book it gets an awesome rating, the water bladder that comes with the pack does not! In fact it gets a fail! I was using the pack and it happened on more than one occasion, if you should give the hose a tug too hard it will separate from the bladder and all the water that is under pressure (from the loaded pack being on your back) it will come spraying out until the bladder is empty! This is not only a huge pain and gets you and your pack all wet, but it could put your life at risk if you should find yourself far from water, like in the desert! If this happens there it will dump all your water out. I feel either you (the end user) or Blackhawk
have to find a way to glue down this hose so this doesn’t happen, because it makes the bladder useless, very undependable and I personally will not use this bladder, I’ve replaced it for one of my others that are more reliable!