Review: Green Ant – Deployment Bag (PenCott Greenzone)

Die deutsche Version dieses Reviews kann im Tacticalforum nachgelesen werden.


Introduction:
Today I am able to show you something new again, namely the Deployment Bag by Green Ant.

I know J. for some time now, since he is writing reviews on a regular basis just like I do. Therefore – like me – he did have a lot of gear in his hands and was able to develop his own understanding on how it has to function. Contrary to me, his perspective is also influenced by his hobby as a DIY gear maker – a hobby that will develop into something more serious as you will learn in a minute.

The Green Ant Deployment Bag is planned to be a small and limited batch. The prototypes were made by J. and the serial production will be done by a partner of his. I had the pleasure of receiving one of the bags first hand to give you a closer look and present them in detail.

The Green Ant Deployment Bag

Obviously you will find bags like sand on the beach, insofar it was exciting to see how Green Ant implemented individual details to make the bag more user friendly than others.

First of all some hard facts:

  • Material: 500D Cordura – here in PenCott Greenzone
  • Hardware: ITW Buckles, Square Rings etc. as well as YKK zippers
  • Dimensions: 70cm x 32cm x 32cm
  • Volume: 70l
  • Miscellaneous: 550 Paracord, PVC base – removeable

Important: Some details might differ in the serial production (hardware, paracord etc.)

Overview:
The bag consists of a main compartment without further internal organisation, but with a hard PVC base, which can be removed without problems. Furthermore there are pouches on each end of the bag, which can be opened like a clamshell, each offering a slip panel made out of mesh.
Alongside the bag there is one zippered slip panel on each side, as well as large velcro areas for patches.
The bag can be carried with two removable straps and is also equipped with two grabbing handles at the front and end; both come in handy if you stow away the bag in vehicles etc.

Overview

Main compartment:
The main compartment is accessible through a 50 cm long opening, which can be closed by a zipper and has no further organisation possibilities inside. In there you will find plenty of room to transport clothes, vests, boots and other equipment. Due to the large volume of the bag there is really much room accordingly for your gear.

my spontaneous loadout

Just as a reference: for the pictures I hastily stored away one jacket, a pair of trousers two hats, my South African Pattern 83 battle jacket, a water bladder, a pistol bag and a knife in the main compartment. In doing so I used only ⅔ of the space and didn’t even pack it proper and compressed. Long story short: Even in the main compartment alone, you will find more space than you expect.

The bottom of the main compartment is lined with a fine nylon fabric that keeps a PVC frame in place. In doing so the bag keeps its shape and the frame stays in place since it isn’t just thrown in there like with so many other bags. The serial production bag will offer 500D Cordura instead of the fine nylon.

The nylon fabric covering the PVC frame

If the owner does not have a use for the frame because of individual reasons, (s)he can remove it without problems

Side Pouches:
Contrary to other bags in this size range, the side pouches of this one are clamshell designs. As a result the user does not have to “dig” through the pouches if several small items are carried along and are just thrown into the bag. At the same time you get better access to the inside, to store away or retrieve bigger gear.

The side pouches

Boots of smaller sizes can be stored in this pouches as well as fully loaded chest rigs, like you can see on my pictures.

Fully loaded P83 chestrig in the sidepouch

Each pouch features one mesh slip panel to give the user a simple form of organisation for admin pouches, documents and the like.

Mesh slip pocket in the side pouch

As you can see on the pictures, a thermos flask fits into the side pouches. Needless to say that one has easy access to items that you want to have fast at hand.

Plenty of room there

The slip pockets alongside the bag were already mentioned. These can be closed with a zipper and are offering enough room for documents and items that are flat and have to be easy accessable.

Zippered slip pockets alongside the bag

Carrying handles:
The carrying handles get their own dedicated chapter from me, because they can be used in various ways.

velcro attachment

First of all the primary carrying handles on top are attached with hook/loop flaps on square rings. Because of that they are removeable as well as diagonally attachable, if you want to use them as a sling for your shoulder (which makes sense at a full loadout using all the 70l of volume).

The webbing goes all around the bag and distributes the weight of it all. At the same time this gives relief to the Cordura, which is not really necessary, but reasonable nevertheless. To connect both carrying handles there is a hook and loop flap made of cordura that serves as comfortable handle at the same time. This piece could be a little bit bigger for my taste, but as far as I know it will be with the serial model.

The grabbing handle

Furthermore the removeable handles can be used as compression straps if you take out the PVC frame and roll the bag up.

Additional grabbing handles can be found at the front and back side of the bag, which comes in handy if you have to put the bag into the back of a car, on loading platforms or if you have to carry the fully loaded bag together with another person.

Grabbing handles at the front and back

Manufacture:
Let us take a look at the workmanship… As previously mentioned only high quality materials were used for the prototypes, be it 500D Cordura, Hardware by ITW or zippers by YKK. You will even find real 550 paracord at the glides of the zippers. The serial production model will be fitted with regular cord, since 550 paracord really is not necessary for zipper pulls.

Hardware, Paracord etc.

Since I have a prototype, I would have expected one or two flaws – wrong! No loose threads, only straight seams and absolutely nothing to bitch about. The stress points are reinforced, everything is neatly sewn and color matched accordingly. The seams are either hidden very good or enclosed with seamtape. I think at this point the pictures in this review speak for themselves.

Miscellaneous:
Some other details worth mentioning:

First of all there are two compression straps on top of the main compartment, which relieve the zipper from stress and keep the bag in shape. Of course you can also use these to strap on your jacket, if you want to put it away in a simple but easy to reach manner.

compression straps

On top you will also find a ca. 12cm by 8cm large identification panel made of a see through layer.

Identification pocket

On the sides you will find two 15cm by 10cm large velcro areas each, for patches.

Another feature is that you can remove the PVC frame and roll the bag easily up, using the removable carrying handles as compression straps. In doing so you can easily store the bag or transport it easily while empty.

Rolling the bag up

Conclusion:
I was able to use the bag accordingly on my trip home and learned to appreciate the large volume offered by the bag. With 70l volume you tend to pack as much as you can and use the space. Insofar I was glad you can rearrange the straps diagonally to use the handles as shoulder strap and not having to carry the bag strictly by hand.

In that regard it would make sense to make the straps for the carrying handles longer. Since they are being attached by velcro anyway, it would not produce trouble in regards of length. At the same time one would have more flexibility with regards to a diagonally attachment.

Of course you could attach both carrying handles with each other, using both velcro areas, but I am not sure if that configuration would be able to carry the 70l bag.

Coming to an end it is worth saying that a bag does not equal just another bag. During actual use, one quickly learns to appreciate the little details like the clamshell design of the side pouches or the removable carrying handles.

Insofar it is safe to say that the Deployment Bag of Green Ant can be seen as an interesting alternative to other bags out there. As mentioned before, the bag will be available as a small batch series and can be preordered by various shops like Camostore, GearManiacs, GSK Tactical, md Textil, or TACWRK.

As far as I know there will be a batch of Multicam for sure, other patterns and colors are quickly available if there are enough preorders being made.

I sincerely hope I was able to show you something of interest again! Thank you for reading and thanks to Green Ant for giving me the opportunity to present you the bag.

Until next time!

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