I’ve been using Camelbak products since before they actually had a military/tactical line of products and have always been more than satisfied with the quality of their products. So, when I had the chance to check out the Camelbak Linchpin pack, I had high expectations.

Let’s go through the basics to start out. It’s a small patrol/assault pack (1984 cu in) which I liked because it fell right in between my small hydration packs and the 3-day packs I have. It has a separated hydration pocket that holds a 102oz bladder (included) with ports on the top and the bottom. The main compartment has lashing points to secure gear and antennae ports on top. There’s a top outside pocket and a larger lower pocket with some gear organizers inside. Also, it has 2 side pockets that will hold up to 6 M4 mags in each (the Camelbak site says they hold 3, but I managed to comfortably fit 6 in each).  The pack is made of 500D Cordura and the quality is solid, to be expected from Camelbak.
Camelbak Linchpin | A Small Pack with Large Pack Features
Now, on to the parts of the pack that stood out for me. First off, it utilized the Mystery Ranch Futura Harness system.  Harness systems like this are common are larger rucks, but it’s not as common with a small pack like this. If you’re not familiar with this system, it allows you to adjust the pack for torso length. It also gives a solid, sturdy platform for heavier loads. I didn’t have any crazy loads in it yet, but did have it packed up with about 30 pounds. The pack rides perfectly and makes the load feel lighter than it is (as much as that’s possible).

Camelbak Linchpin | A Small Pack with Large Pack Features
Camelbak Linchpin

The next thing I liked was the overflow pocket on the outside of the pack. Once again, common on larger packs, but not on smaller packs except for the Linchpin. It holds a helmet, outerwear or anything else you need quick access to. There are 2 straps on each side to cinch down whatever you have in the pocket.
Another thing I like about the Linchpin is its lack of MOLLE webbing. The only pouches I’ve ever had attached to the outside of a small pack are mag pouches, which the Linchpin has integrated into the sides. So, it was nice to see a clehttps://amzn.to/2NGWo4zan pack without a bunch of extraneous webbing everywhere. Sometimes less is more. It does have lashing points on the bottom of the pack, which is always a good feature. It also has a strip of Velcro on the front for patches/nametapes.
Pricing wise, I think this small workhorse is well worth the $200 price tag. The quality of construction and the Futura Harness make the price justified, then add up all of the other features to include the hydration bladder and I think it’s a solid deal. I definitely recommend this pack. You get a lot of pack in a small package. It’s available in Multicam, Foliage and Coyote (also ACU if you really want it!). Check out Camelbak.com for more information and to find a dealer.

*Featured image courtesy of skdtac.com


Bill Janson is a former Recon Marine and founder of Eleven 10, a Kydex and nylon gear manufacturer specializing in self-aid/buddy-aid products for law enforcement and military. www.1110gear.com – facebook.com/1110gear

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