After having the pack in use for over a year, I think it is about time to give you my personal impressions of the Tasmanian Tiger Modular 30. I never had a full clamshell pack in this size and like this before (in fact I did receive it long before the Thor 40). So I was really curious about its usability.
With this pack, Tasmanian Tiger added a style of packs to their lineup that has become more and more popular in recent years, and can be found in nearly every company’s portfolio: a full clamshell design, that not opens to the front, but also the top.
As always, let’s start with the specs and a basic overview for those of you, who are in a hurry.
- HxWxD: 46cm x 30cm x 18cm
- Volume: 30L
- Weight: Multicam Version – 1,50kg (without accessories), 1,80kg (with acc.)
Solid colors – 1,65kg (without acc.), 1,95kg (with acc.)
- Materials: 500den Crye Multicam, Solid colors 700den Cordura
Ykk zippers, WJ buckles
The Tasmanian Tiger Modular 30 is designed as a multi-purpose military backpack. It is a full clamshell design, opening completely at the front. It features a top lid compartment with a minimal organizer panel in it, a zippered front compartment and an inner mesh pocket, which is also closed by a zipper. The pack features laser-cut MOLLE panels to the front and sides. It is compressible with hidden Paracord strings on the left and right side. Other features consist of an extensively padded load distribution system, various loops for shock cord attachments and a detachable waist belt.
The pack comes with several additional accessories like 3 mesh pockets that can be attached to the velcro lined interior, as well as 2 loop panels with 2 velcro loops each to mount/transports weapons.
The Backpack is set up as a full clamshell design, meaning that the zipper of the main compartment goes all around the pack from top to bottom and not only to the front, as you might be familiar with from older assault packs. This way you can use the pack as a top- and front loader and get easy access to the entire content of the pack.
Before I get into more detail though, let’s take a look at the outside features.
Looking at the pack from the outside, you will see plenty of laser-cut MOLLE on the exterior. To the front you will find 4 channels with with 3 effective rows. One additional row with two channels is on the bottom center. This is a consequence of the V-Shape of the front. As a result you will only have 4 rows in the middle to use if you are planning to put larger pouches or MOLLE accessories on here.
Underneath this MOLLE panel you will also find a flat zippered pocket, large enough for A5 size documents and other items with a flat profile that need you might need quick access to. This pocket also features a drain hole to get rid of water, in case you get your pack soaked.
On either side you will find 4 channels with 3 rows of MOLLE each. Above these panels there is a paracord string fitted into the side to act as a compression option. You can pull and fix it with a cord lock. This offers a low profile way to compress your pack without using webbing, but also comes some minor disadvantages during the use of the pack (more about that later).
On one side you will also find two Hypalon flaps with holes in it. One flap on top, the other at the bottom. Usually you lace a short shock cord with a cord lock through and use it to carry ice axes or similar items. I used it in combination with the laser cut Molle to create another carry option for my tripod.
On top of the pack you will find 6 loops (3 on each side) with shock cord laced through it. Obviously you can use that to easily transport a jacket or other items for quick access. There is the option to lace even more shock cord through 8 additional loops (4 on each side of the main opening zipper) at the front of the pack. Tasmanian Tiger did not include a shock cord here – I suppose they wanted the user to decide for themselves if they want to use either the MOLLE in front or the loops.
Last but not least: A velcro area to mount your insignia, morale patches or IR patches etc.
Top Lid Compartment
The compartment on top of the pack features some basic organisation options for the user. There are two D-Rings in the upper corners, two pockets for A6 sized items, one of the two being made of mesh material. On top of the nylon pocket you will find a smaller pocket, that is closed by a velcro flap. This is large enough for batteries, SD-Cards etc.
The compartment is quite roomy and offers enough space to just drop in other items or organizer pouches if need be.
The interior of the main compartment ist fully lined with velcro. While the velcro area on the lid is not modified, the one on the inner sides and back features laser cut MOLLE slits. Honoring its name the Modular 30 offers therefore plenty of options to either attach velcro or MOLLE based accessories.
On the sides you have 2 channels with 8 rows of MOLLE (16 slits) and on the backside of the interior compartment there are two panels with each 2 channels and 9 rows, although the upper row is hidden under a flap that opens the compartment for the framesheet.
I do not count these two panels as one with 4 channels, since these are interrupted in the middle by a velcro area without slits.
Speaking of the framesheet compartment: This is equipped with a decent framesheet that has an aluminum stay in the middle. You will also find a piece of foam in there for further protection. The frame sheet gives the backside of the pack a pronounced curve, therefore supporting the load distribution system. More on that later.
Above the framesheet compartment is a horizontal zipper that opens to the outside. If you do not want to use one of the two hypalon reinforced ports to route cables or hydration tubes outside, you can use the zipper to create an opening where you need it. Since it is a two-way zipper with two glides, you do not have to worry having to deal with a large opening in the back as well.
Right in the middle of the zipper you will find a velcro tab and a cord loop to hang a hydration bladder into the pack.
Other than that the inside of the main compartment only leaves a zippered mesh pocket to the front on the lid. This opens on the lower side so that you have the opening on the upside, if you open the pack like a toploader.
Load Distribution System
The backside of the Modular 30 is a very specific and heavily padded construction. While the framesheet on the inside of the pack keeps it in shape and rigid, there is a thickly padded element of mesh put on the backside as well. This construction resulted in a space between the pack and the backpadding, that you theoretically could use to transport flat items, like an additional mat.
However because of the way the opening on top of this space is closed by an inverted velcro tab through a glider, you can really tell, that this is not really made to be used for anything. It is just a result of the design. (confirmed to me by TT)
Coming to the padding: The backside of the pack is padded by two thick elements that go parallel from top to bottom and are constructed with fine brown mesh. These are placed in a way that they will lie on your shoulder blades and lower back. In between is an air channel with wider woven, grey mesh.
As an additional support you will find a waist belt made of the same heavy padded mesh. It consists of two wings that can be detached if not needed. They are firmly fixated between the pack and the backside padding with velcro.
Both wings feature zippered compartments for smaller items on the outside. The waistbelt can be closed by a large, heavy duty WJ buckle.
The shoulder straps are ergonomically shaped and fairly padded as well. They are not sewn on as you normally see it on Tasmanian Tiger packs, but are attached by webbing, which is laced through a glider buckle. This is also a result of the backside construction and gives you the option to really adjust the pack to the height of the user. An elastic loop makes it easy to tuck away the excess webbing.
Another strap with buckles is also attached to the top of the pack and the shoulder straps to pull the pack close to the body and optimize the carrying experience.
The shoulder straps feature a D-Ring on each side and can be easily thrown off via quick release buckles. In order to ensure noise reduction, these buckles are covered with elastic loop which is secured by a webbing strap (so it won’t get lost).
Of course the pack also features a sternum strap. What struck me a bit curious was the fact, that the buckle is attached in the opposite way as usual: On my pack the female part of the buckle is on the right side with the elastic webbing, while the male buckle is on the left side. Usually it is the other way around. It really doesn’t matter, but I have to think everytime about it when using it.
The Modular 30 comes with several accessories that give the pack its name. The scope of delivery encompasses 3 velcro backed pouches (2 with a mesh top, 1 closed) and 2 pieces of loop panels with 2 webbing loops each:
The velcro pouches are zippered and have identification tabs on them, which you can use to write on the content of the pouches for quicker locating. These feature no internal organisation, but are very useful to store and transport individual items of your kit, ranging from IFAKs to cables, tools or magazines.
The loop panels have laser-cut slits to configure the velcro webbing the way you want or need it. These are designed to hold and transport weapons in your pack. Of course you can also use it for everything that is long and needs to be fixated, like a tripod etc.
The quality of manufacture leaves no room for criticism. The pack is well made: stress points are reinforced by bartack stitches, the materials used are high quality and I did not even find a single thread hanging loose when I got the pack.
Up until now it also held up greatly and I do not see any wear or tear. In that sense Tasmanian Tiger was always able to deliver a decent level of quality.
The Modular 30 is extremely comfortable to carry thanks to the extensive padding on the pack as well as the ergonomic shoulder straps that you can adjust to your height. The waistbelt is strong enough to assist in the load distribution and is not just a pretty gadget that keeps the pack from moving too much.
So far I have used the pack on several trips and journeys and was always satisfied with its performance. Because of its shape it feels like the center of gravity travels higher than with other packs, but I adjusted this with the way I pack.
What I do miss are proper compressions straps. I am not really happy with the paracord solution for several reasons, even if it gives the pack a slicker look.
- When tightened the excess Paracord needs to be tucked away just like webbing.
- The cord locks are not so firm against pull as buckles, so it gets loose more quickly.
- Also, well placed compression straps could act as a stop for the zipper of the main compartment, therefore making it easier in using it as a top loader (without having the problem of opening the zipper too far). With the paracord this option vanishes.
That being said, the pack always performed well and I could see at this year’s IWA in Nuremberg that it has found plenty of fans. You could find it in all colors riding on the backs of people attending the fair.
With the Modular 30 Tasmanian Tiger proofed that not only other companies are able to manufacture a decent full clamshell backpack. Being full of options to modify it to the personal needs of the user, it is true to its name.
At the same time it is quite low profile given the hidden laser cut MOLLE. The solid color versions blend in wonderful in the crowd, given the non military look of the pack. At the same time it is fully usable as a tactical pack, given its versatility, the various MOLLE options and other features you would expect from a dedicated professional pack.
It is interesting to see how various companies come up with different approaches to this kind of design. Tasmanian Tiger managed to combine comfort with practicability and also modularity.
With that being said, I hope I was able to give you a decent insight about the pack. Thank you for reading and as always big Thanks to Tasmanian Tiger who made it possible for me to give you this review!