For quite some time now I’ve had my eye on the packs from the infamous Crye Precision. Crye is known throughout the industry as the benchmark in tactical clothing and equipment. So when something as accessible as a backpack hits their shelves, people take notice. No longer do you have to find employment as a super high-speed airsofter or an actual operator to own Crye. But what caught my eye about the new packs are the incredibly neutral, yet aesthetically pleasing look of the bags. I’m so fed up with molle panels, Velcro and anything else that is meant to make your bag look like you’re ready for the impending apocalypse. If a pack company makes a bag with the option for you to carry more shit, then why didn’t they just add that function to the pack in the first place? I’ve spent enough time in textile design to know that shitty attempts to get a product to market usually just end up as shitty attempts. Believe it or not, you can make a bag that doesn’t need the ability to carry more shit you don’t need.
When the bag first arrived at my doorstep, I fell in love. The construction, color, feel and look are out of the box impressive. I had a work trip to Kiev, Ukraine in two days so I decided that I would put this bag up against my travel favorite to see how it handled and what the pro’s and con’s would be. Long story short, this turned out to be a bad idea due to the minimal size of this model and the fact that the airline lost my luggage. So what I packed in this small bag was all that I had for two weeks. The saving grace of the Crye EXP 1500 is its ability to expand in order to carry an SBR rifle. While I didn’t need an SBR in Ukraine this time, I did need to fit all of my normal travel equipment, as well as a set of clothes.
Travel Trip- Always pack one set of clothes and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste. I’ve lost enough luggage to know that sometimes, what you carry on is all you will have.
Arriving with my pack was their rigid molle panel insert (sold separate). Although it wasn’t something I thought was needed outside of carrying a rifle, I quickly realized that I could attach it and put on my molle admin pouches to make up for the lack of an admin pocket for the bag. Adding additional storage to the inside of the bag turns out to be something I’m a huge fan of, especially with such a minimalist pack. A few weeks later I did pack up the bag with my rifle for a range trip and found it incredibly comfortable and not too conspicuous. It’s far better than the GRS boy’s carrying around some MK18’s in a tennis bag from the Embassy to their cars. I think the ultimate pack out would be the MK18 with the LAW adapter, creating a smaller profile rifle and negating the need to unzip the bag to extend it. But my 14.5” Arsenal Democracy with the LAW adapter could still be packed securely, even with the magazine inserted. H: 18.75” (27.75” Extended) W: 12.5” D: 7.25” (11” Expanded)
Now let’s be honest, this bag is perfect for a mercenary, or those guys that work for three letter agencies doing good work to bad people on our behalf. But it begs the question; where does this bag find itself for the average Joe? I tried carrying the bag with both inserts for some time and just found the bag to be too rigid. But once I took out the 3D molded insert, I kept the molle panel and have been incredibly pleased ever since. It’s the perfect daypack, or even a three-day, to take to around the city or for a quick weekend trip. Sleek, slim and let’s just admit it, sexy. Crye remains the industry leader to continue to drool over, and they’re not going anywhere.