Review: Tasmanian Tiger – TT Base Pack 52 IRR
Military toploader packs almost always look alike and only a few companies manage to push designs further. With the TT Base Pack 52, Tasmanian Tiger combined toploader with roll top packs, creating a backpack which can expand from 52l to 65l.
Personally I think this is reason enough to take a closer look at it. So let’s start with the overview and the specs for those in a hurry and then go into more detail.
The TT Base Pack 52 is a toploader with 52l volume, which can be expanded to 65l. It is made of 700den Cordura (in this case IRR safe) and features a detachable top lid, the option to use it as a roll top pack as well as various options to attach MOLLE accessories using extensive PALS webbing.
The V2 Plus-System (TT) provides a comfortable and adjustable carrying experience. Adding to that, the waist belt can be used separately as a warrior belt.
- HxWxD: 74 x 31 x 21 cm
- Weight: 2,67 kg
- Material: CORDURA® 700 den IRR, YKK Zippers, WJ buckles
- Volume: 52 l
The Tasmanian Tiger TT Base Pack 52 IRR
Build up of the TT Base Pack 52 IRR
The Tasmanian Tiger TT Base Pack 52 is a military, long range toploader backpack, which features extensive PALS/MOLLE webbing on the outside. While the sides feature 5 channels with 8 rows (plus an additional row with 2 channels on the lower section), the front does provide 6 channels and 10 rows. However there is one interruption of these rows by the velcro area for insignia on the upper portion of the front, as well as on the lower section, where the pack opens for the lower compartment.
Since we are already looking at the outside, let’s continue with other features there. On both sides you will find 2 compression straps each, as well as a hypalon reinforced port for hydration tubes or cables.
At the front there are two fixation points for ice axes or hiking poles. In tandem with them, you will find two gear loops at the bottom, which also work as drag handles if need be.
On the bottom you will find two additional compression straps, laced through glides, which serve as additional attachment points for sleeping mats, ponchos or tarps.
As the top lid is detachable – we will come to that in a second – the webbing with the buckles for the attachment of the lid is laced through the PALS/MOLLE webbing on the front. They are secured, using a glide buckle and can be easily removed if need be. What is worth noting: the MOLLE row which houses the webbing for the top lid is doubled.
There is also an additional buckle attached for securing the roll top with a small webbing.
The snow guard, or better said roll top in this case, is made of 700d Cordura, just like the rest of the pack. As we all know from roll tops, the opening is reinforced with webbing as well as with a plastic plate, to close it easily and consistently. The WJ buckles are new to me in this case, as they are open on one side and closed on the other. The positive side effect of this is that you immediately close the buckles the right way.
Coming to the top lid. As already mentioned, it is fully detachable, but also very adjustable in length. As a result, you can extend the pack in volume, as the snow guard, or roll top features plenty of length.
To attach the lid, you’ll find two smaller WJ buckles on the back, with adjustable webbing, and the two buckles on the front, which I already mentioned previously. through the middle runs an additional strap which is attached to both the main corpus of the pack as well as the lid, using a glide buckle.
This serves as compression of the roll top, as already mentioned, but also to close up the area between the buckles on the backside. As a result, there is no flapping around of the lid, or items which are packed underneath don’t fall out as easily. Another feature to prevent that is shock cord on the left and right, which can be adjusted using cordlocks.
The top lid itself provides already known design features. A zippered compartment below, marked with a cross for first aid, and a zippered compartment on top, which is easily accessible from the outside. Contrary to other packs of TT, the inside of this top lid does not feature any admin options (no slip pockets, mesh pockets, or loops).
On the top of the lid, there is plenty of PALS/MOLLE as well, plus four glide buckles in the corners to attach optional compression straps. The webbing consists of 6 channels with 4 rows of MOLLE (plus some channels on the side, which are not completely usable because of the round shape.
Last but not least, the main compartment. It is divided in a larger compartment on top, and a smaller compartment in the bottom, just like with most toploaders this size. The divider in between can be partially removed by a zipper, in order to gain a larger main compartment.
On the back you will find a slip compartment for hydration bladders – this one only goes down to the inner divider of the two compartments. And to hang in bladders you will find both a small cord loop and a velcro loop.
There is no inner or outer access to the frame sheet of the pack, which leads us to the next point.
Carrying system of the TT Base Pack 52 IRR
I actually covered the V2-Plus System already in a previous review on the TT Tac Pack 45. With that being said: This particular load distribution was designed for medium to heavy loads. In case the user is wearing fully equipped chest rigs or assault vests, the pack can also be carried without the waist belt.
The padding on the back is very thick and creates air channels for circulation as well as comfortable contact points for your shoulders and the lumbar area. Additionally, the backside is shaped concavely to increase air flow and comfortability.
Inside the backside there is a frame sheet as well as two slightly V-shaped aluminum bars (the reason for the name of the load distribution system). These two bars transfer the weight directly to the waist belt. As a result, the comfort increases immensely when carrying the pack. The belt also features a Hypalon reinforcement to keep your shirts in place and/or protect the padding from chafing.
The waist belt can be detached and functions as a Warrior Belt. However, the webbing on it is not entirely PALS/MOLLE like – it does feature channels, but the rows are closer together. Adding to that – Removing the belt takes time, as it is fixed by velcro and glide buckles.
The aluminum bars can be either fixated with velcro underneath the lumbar padding or be removed entirely.
Looking at the shoulder straps: these are thickly padded and ergonomically shaped to provide maximum comfort. They feature the obligatory sternum strap and D-rings on each side to fixate or attach gear. The attachment of the shoulder straps to the backside of the pack can be modified to adjust the pack to the user’s height.
Quality of Manufacture
When talking about the quality of manufacture of Tasmanian Tiger, I often feel like a broken record. High quality materials, straight seams, no loose threads, reinforcements where needed… all of that you can also find with the TT Base Pack 52 IRR.
The 700den Cordura is an excellent in-between 500den and 1000den, the WJ buckles are sturdy and reliable and don’t rattle. Short story even shorter: The pack does not only feature a high level of manufacture quality, it also shows how excellent the quality control of Tasmanian Tiger really is.
The TT Base Pack 52 IRR in use
So far the TT Base Pack 52 accompanied me during travels, my various camouflage field tests as well as longer hikes. It has basically replaced my TT Tac Pack 45, which served me well until now in such cases.
Especially the feature to detach the top lid and use the pack as roll top, or (the other way around) expand the pack to 65l is a much welcomed aspect. This versatility came in handy several times now and saved me lots of time, when thinking about which pack to use. This is also the reason why the TT Base Pack 52 replaced my Tac Pack 45. The option to expand the pack provides so much versatility, not only outdoors, in service but also (or especially) when traveling.
Additionally, the strong cordura roll top is a much better option than most lightweight snow guards, which at one point just rip because of the constant strain of the cord. It is also an excellent option, when you don’t want or need a top lid, which might be in the way when lying down with the pack during an operation.
I have not used the extensive MOLLE area on the outside so far, as I do not need it, but it is clear how much option this provides to further expand carrying options with this pack. I can just repeat myself and stress the resulting versatility of this pack. Come to think about it – maybe I will dive in further and see how far one can “pimp” this pack.
Coming to an end I have to admit that the Tasmanian Tiger TT Base Pack 52 not only fulfilled my expectations, but also exceeded them. Besides the multitude of options provided by the PALS/MOLLE webbing, the expandable main compartment is really what sets this pack apart from other TT packs.
The V2 Plus System really makes this a comfortable pack to carry and the option to have an IRR version, will gain interest from the military community for sure.
Quality of manufacture and the quality control can be trusted and looking at the whole package, this is a pack I can full heartedly recommend. Either for military personnel who need a reliable toploader for short to medium excursions, or for the outdoor enthusiasts who prefer their packs to be more military oriented.
As this pack can be configured in various ways, it will be of good use for a wide spectrum of users.
With that being said, I want to thank Tasmanian Tiger for making this review possible!
Thank you for reading!
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