Review: Helikon-Tex – Claymore Bag
When Helikon-Tex introduced the Claymore Bag during IWA 2022 I was pleasantly surprised that the company would revisit such an old school design. While 1-2 other US based companies had their own runs at this classic military bag, it is much welcomed that Helikon-Tex made a version that is widely available and features more options and colors. Let’s dive into some specs before looking at the Claymore Bag in more detail.
- Dimensions: 31 x 22 x 15 cm
- Volume: 4,5l
- Material: 500D Cordura, Nylon, WooJin Buckles
- Weight: 263g
The Helikon-Tex Claymore Bag
Even though the Helikon-Tex Claymore Bag looks small, it provides a total of 14 pockets and as a result plenty of options to carry your essentials the way you need. The large flap covers two big pockets, which used to store the actual mines back in the day. Nowadays you will have two large compartments for ear protection, bottles and the like. These two pockets feature two slip pockets each, which are large enough to store tourniquets, multitools and the like. You can cinch the openings using a shock cord plus cord lock.
The flap itself closes with two large velcro areas that are supported by push buttons – more on that later. On the corners you will find Hypalon type loops to get a better grip for opening – in case you want to run some additional cord through there, the channel is wide enough. And of course the obligatory velcro area for your morale patches and insignia is there as well.
The main compartment is about 5cm/2” wide. Both inner sides feature slip pockets, which are large enough to hold A6 sized notebooks. Adding to that a large zippered compartment runs along the whole length of the inner backside. In case you want to secure something with a lanyard, you can choose between three paracord loops that are situated in the upper corners of the main compartment.
Looking at the outer backside of the Helikon-Tex Claymore Bag, one will find three large slip pockets with drain holes that can carry everything from a sheathed knife to a rifle magazine. One row of webbing with differently sized channels provides additional attachment options for your gear – let’s say you want to secure a knife sheath, you can fixate it there by using Malice clips or similar solutions.
To the sides and the bottom you will find PALS Webbing that can be used to attach additional accessories by using carbines or cord. Last but not least, the sling is a basic 1,5″ webbing that is fully detachable by using WooJin buckles on each side. It can be easily adjusted in length by a glide buckle. And if you want to carry the bag in your hand, a large grabbing handle provides a secure grip.
Quality of Manufacture
The Claymore Bag is made of high quality materials like 500D Cordura, YKK Zippers and WooJin plastic hardware. You can feel this literally by touching it, as these raw materials have their characteristic feel.
Adding to that the level of manufacture is very high. There are no loose threads, crooked seams or areas on the bag which might raise criticism. So everything is decently made and we can move on to the next point.
The Claymore Bag in use
So far I have used the Helikon-Tex Claymore bag as an EDC bag as well as a small Range Bag, when carrying only some essentials like ear protection, cleaning kit, documents and some ammo.
The total of 14 pockets gives you plenty of options to stow away essentials – it also lures you into overpacking the bag. It is fair to say that the Claymore Bag can hold way more than one might suspect, but as soon as you overdo it, the bag becomes a ball like structure. So less is definitely more.
That being said, the Claymore Bag provides enough space to bring a 500ml bottle with you, your EDC kit, IFAK and still leaves enough room for other smaller items. The two pockets to the front are big enough for ear protections or magazines. When fully packed, one will appreciate the push buttons that support the velcro closure to the front. Because the velcro itself will feel a bit overwhelmed when the bag is full.
Looking at the sling, one can say that it is enough for this size of bag. The option to fully detach it is very practical, in case you want to carry it only by the grabbing handle.
Taking on another classic, Helikon-Tex managed to bring the well known Claymore Bag to the 21th century. Personally I was always a sucker for this kind of bag design, so for me this is a clear win.
Looking at it more objectively, the bag does what it is supposed to do, or better said, what you can expect from a bag this size. The various options and upgrades to organize your kit are well thought through and the quality of manufacture leaves no room for complaints.
So those that are looking for a small EDC or minimal range bag should consider taking a closer look at the Helikon-Tex Claymore Bag. Especially if you are into the heritage of old school military designs, this one might be something for you.
With that being said, I want to thank Helikon-Tex for giving me the opportunity to take a closer look at the bag! Many thanks for reading!