Courtesy of ITS Tactical

By Doc Rader

If you’re like me, there’s something inherently compelling about packs and storage solutions. I definitely fancy myself a pack connoisseur, although my wife uses a slightly different term.

So when ITS approached me about reviewing the Urban Assault from CamelBak, there was no way I could turn it down. I was coming up on my heavy teaching season (I primarily teach wilderness/austere medicine in the spring), which this year had a significantly higher tempo than in previous years. My plan was to run this pack throughout the season, but I also had a couple of “personal improvement” events that I wanted to use the pack during.

Having used dozens of packs throughout my life and in all manner of environments from urban college campuses to more “austere” environments, I’ve developed a fine grasp of what works for me and my packing systems. I say “systems” because there’s no killer solution that works in all situations. My high alpine system is markedly different than my Sonoran desert system, which is different than my patrol bag.

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While I’d like to say that I’ve found one bag to rule them all, that’s simply not the case. The closest I’ve come is a GORUCK GR2 and even that’s not perfect. One of the biggest features I now look for beyond overall durability is internal organization. Being a little OCD, I want a place for everything and everything in its place (though I still love you, kit bag).

Enter the CamelBak Urban Assault. I’ll admit, when I first got it I was a bit skeptical of its durability because it was pretty lightweight compared to my general EDC packs. I can’t tell you exactly why I formed that initial impression, especially given the fact that I ran a CamelBak BFM down range.


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Photos courtesy of ITS Tactical