A must have for infantrymen in Afghanistan
I bought this back in 2010 when I was in Afghanistan, we did daily dismounted patrols and the assault back I had wasn't cutting it. My back was sore after every patrol. I saw this and bought because I thought it would make a good day pack. When it arrived I tested it immediately on my first patrol. It was amazing! It held the built in camelbak, 12 bottles of water, 2 MREs, 8 more loaded mags, and 24 40mm grenades easily. I easily put 40 lbs into it. Most of all, the way it conforms to your body is pretty sweet. After patrols, my back wasnt tired. I could climb mountains all day with it on. It definitely increased my performance. It's pretty durable too, I would plop my butt down on mountains and lean against it on sharp rocks all the time. It held up pretty good. There's only a little tear about a 1/4 of an inch in the side pocket, and that's because I crammed too many 40mm into it. Other than that, it still looks brand new. An amazing product! Now, I'm about out and have been going to school, and it holds books nicely too.
Great Camelbak/Mystery Ranch Collaboration
I just received the Linchpin because after years of faithful service, it was time to upgrade from my HAWG and the Linchpin looked like it fit the bill. No longer on active duty, I was looking for a pack to use on day hikes/short trips as well as for drill weekends and as a B.O.B. essentials kit. I wanted something with a little more capacity and in coyote brown, but the real draw was the Mystery Ranch Futura Harness, which is absolutely awesome on this pack. If you dont know about this system, go to the mystery ranch website and check it out, because it takes the HAWG platform and transforms it into another class. The overflow pouch is great for a goretex jacket, and the side pouches hold M4 mags nicely, and can be cinched down for usage as additional as-needed storage. The front accessory pouch is upgraded with a key-keeper strap and loses the 3 small pen pockets. The sunglass holder is a great addition as well as the velcro strap keepers. One last note, the coyote on this pack is a good deep brown, a little lighter than the Source Hydration coyote and more in-line with the olive-mojave color of my Bates Lites and Polartec fleece watchcap, an excellent color.
The reason I didnt give it 5 stars is due to the lack of a waistbelt. I am going to rig one up using a pair of coyote grimlocks, webbing and an SRB kit. Dont know how I feel about the 500d yet because from using 1000d in most of my gear I cant yet determine if the weight saving/durability trade-off will be truly worth it. All in all, a great pack from camelbak, and IMHO the best they have to offer (not a huge fan of the Trizip). And as always, great service from USCAV.