Review: KarrimorSF X-Lite 15

Die deutsche Version dieses Review kann im Tacticalforum gelesen werden.

KarrimorSF should be known by most of you as well established British backpack and equipment company, which is highly regarded in British and international military circles. For this reason you can find their products over and over again on pictures from Iraq or Afghanistan – just to name a few countries.

So they were able to convince professional users as a producer of high quality equipment, even though KarrimorSF is often being mistakenly connected to the sport outlet Karrimor. The only thing that connects the two though is the name. So my hope is that I can not only show you the pack itself in this review, but also give you an idea about the high quality of the company.

KarrimorSF X-Lite 15

Material: KS210e (210 Denier Nylon), WooJin Buckles, YKK Zippers (Aquaguard)
Volume: 15 Litres
Weight: 320gr
Color: OD Green – depending on the light also grass green

From the side

Concept wise this is an absolute lightweight pack, which can be taken with you if you might need additional carrying options. Insofar the pack can be reduced to a ridiculously small size to be carried along the regular luggage. During my talks at IWA I was also told that the pack was designed with the police in mind as an “evidence bag”. But this is only the beginning.

The setup of the pack is quite spartan, but offers some interesting details at the same time.

The pack with the main compartment closed

The main compartment openend

The main compartment is accessible through a single zipper which runs vertically over the middle of the back. This way the X-Lite 15 is to be opened like a bag that is lying on the floor. There is no organisation or partition on the inside but you will find a short strap and a loop to hang a water bladder in there.

A loop and a strap for hydration bladders

The openings for the water tube

The openings for the tube of the bladder can be found on the shoulder straps. Another thing worth mentioning is that the main compartment also runs tube like into the waist belt under the accessory pouches. Besides the main compartment there is also a small utility pocket on the right side of the main body (on your right hand side, wearing the pack).

Utility pocket on the right side

The waist belt features small pockets on each side which are accessible via zippers and hold enough room to put in small items you want to have close at hand like wallets or keys.

Hipbelt pockets

On top and at the bottom of the pack there are small compression straps to tighten the pack and bring it closer to the body. Also you will find small carrying handles between the shoulder straps and on the bottom of the pack. These were made very minimalistic and fit the overall concept of the X-Lite. The main handle can be used with four fingers (without gloves) and the secondary handle at the bottom leaves only room for two fingers.

Compression strap and handle

The shoulder straps have a very flat profile and are lightly padded with mesh material. This way weight and bulk are being avoided while distributing sweat and offering minimal padding at the same time. The straps are a direct part of the main body of the pack and are not sewn on separately. Both feature openings for the hydration tubes.

Shoulder straps with mesh material

Through an elastic webbing on each shoulder strap you can put the hydration tube out of your way. The sternum strap is attached in a very interesting way. Since the shoulder straps do not feature any kind of webbing or are thick enough for being wrapped with a standard strap the solution is simple and genius at the same time. A 5 inch long wire was sewn into the shoulder strap and the sternum strap is being clipped on this wire from the outside.

Attachment for sternum strap

This way the shoulder strap is not only supported in its form, but also not crimped by the sternum strap.

Waistbelt and sternum strap engaged

Materials and Workmanship
The zippers are special water resistant Aquaguard zippers by YKK. The zipper glides have standard cord in them for better handling. All the straps also feature elastic bands to keep hanging ends organized. The heavy duty buckles are made by Woojin and are branded with the KarrimorSF logo. The pack itself is made out of a 210 denier strong Nylon material named KS210e. It is DWR finished and therefore water repellent.

workmanship is exquisite on this one

The folded/compressed pack is ridiculously small as you can see on the picture. It would be possible to fold it even more than that.

The pack compressed to a packable size

The workmanship on this pack is superb and leaves no room for complaint. All the seams are tight and clean. All the stress points are reinforced with bartack stitches.

Bartack stiches on stress points


It doesn’t have to be 1000den Cordura all the time or a clever pocket- and organizing system. Sometimes you only need a small backpack which is comfortable to carry and easy to store away. If you are carrying a hydration bladder with you it also functions as a back padding. Without a bladder you need to pack smart because there is no back padding built in because of the lightweight concept of the pack.

Because of its ability to be compressed to a small package the X-Lite 15 is a comfortable backup pack, which can be taken with you if you might need optional carrying possibilities. It basically invites you to throw some stuff in it quickly and to be on the way.

All the stuff that fits inside

Soon I will also try how it is working as a running pack, carrying the water bladder. So stay tuned. Either way it served me quite well in the last few weeks and you know there must be something right if you also get positive comments about it from women.

At this point I would like to thank you for checking in and reading the review. Also my sincere Thanks to KarrimorSF for the pack! Until next time.