This Preview post was written when we had first received this pack. Since then we’ve written a full review of it so check that out for some great pictures while you’re here. You won’t regret it.
Triple Aught Design recently re-released their Litespeed backpack. This second version made some substantial changes that I think are a huge improvement. This is a preview post which means it’s not a review. I received the pack about a week ago so I have not had time to put it through its paces yet but I wanted to touch on some of the things that I like and take some pictures of it.
The TAD Litespeed Version 2 has a 22 liter capacity which makes it slightly larger than the GORUCK GR0. It’s made in the USA and the quality of the pack is superb, which is what you’d expect from something that costs $245. The back of the pack features a nice 3″ tall patch area that runs the width of it. There’s plenty of room here for your favorite patches… and is an addition I’d like to see on GORUCK rucks. The “transporter tail” is attached via four buckles and acts as a secondary storage area. You can slide something between it and the Litespeed for storage or remove it completely if it’s not your style.
Behind the transporter tail there are six rows of MOLLE so that you can attach your favorite pouches. The transporter tail can also be dropped (disconnect the four buckles but leave the bottom attachment points) to fit a rifle for carry. If you don’t like it just undo those two attachment points at the bottom and it’s gone.
The top of the pack features a handle covered in Hypalon synthetic rubber. It has a great feel and is something I’ve definitely come to appreciate… it’s really unlike any handle I’ve held before.
The zippered pocket opens to reveal an admin pocket for storing small gear. I’ve been keeping some spare patches and stickers in there in the event that I run into people who know about the site. It’s also great for a couple pens and a Field Notes or two.
The other side of the top features the water bladder exit point right under the Hypalon rubber. One major improvement on this pack (compared to version 1) is that there are no longer straps covering the main zipper pocket. Version 1 of this pack required the user to unbuckle two buckles in order to get in to the main compartment… that has been fixed here.
You can see the shock cord that goes from each side over the top here. The idea behind this is that, if you’d like, you can put a sweatshirt or something else on top of the pack and strap it down. The shock cord, like the transporter tail, can be removed so you’re not stuck with them. This view also shows the MOLLE that runs down the sides of the pack which is great for a pouch or two.
All of the cords are wrapped up using ITW Web Dominators. There’s eight in total and they do a great job of making the pack look clean even with all of the straps on it. I usually keep one or three on my GORUCK pack so seeing them included here is a definite bonus.
The shoulder straps are well padded and there’s enough attachment points that you’ll be able to use probably any shoulder pocket you can find. The straps also allow you to cinch of the pack above and below so that it will ride high on the back which is awesome for weight distribution.
Although the Litespeed does not come with a waist belt it does have a spot for one. You can either utilize the waist belt from a TAD EDC pack (if you have one) or wait until TAD releases a separate one. TAD has mentioned on numerous occasions that they plan to release a lot of accessories for this pack so I’d expect a waist belt, and lots of pockets, soon.
The inside of the pack features an attachment point system that TAD has described as anchors. You can actually use these to move the external transporter tail to the inside and re-purpose it as a water bladder or laptop sleeve. Again, TAD has mentioned that they will be releasing more accessories (and extra transporter tails) to utilize this new anchor point system. There’s a solid frame sheet in the pack which makes it nice and rigid so it won’t collapse in on itself.
The back of the pack interior features two large mesh pockets for small to medium gear. The mesh is folded in on itself twice so that, if there are larger items in the pocket, there will be plenty of room. It’s the little things that this that are really nice.
The Triple Aught Design Litespeed V2 can be purchased directly from their website for $245 (free US shipping). Expect a more comprehensive review in the future which will include any customizations that I may, or may not, have already made to it.