Truthfully, I always tend to stick to backpacks by The North Face for every day and operational use, but I was given the T3 Gear 3-Day Hydration Pack
to try out and now I don’t know if I’ll ever move away from T3’s backpacks. Through 3 maritime operations, it has held its in a league like no other out on the open ocean which is mainly where my operations are. It isn’t waterproof, but going 45-55kn in a “fast attack” open console boat doing operations it has held its own in a league of its own.
I’ve had many of times where I would reach into my pack and my food is soaked and or my gear is. My food and my gear inside remained dry every time I was out on ops even if I came back drenched head to toe in the salt water. This is a huge factor to me. During downtime, all I want to do is get some food in me and possibly some dry socks or so on and so on. The fact that all my gear was dry every time I reached into my pack really shocked me. I was expecting at least my socks to be wet, but I was wrong.
With the ocean comes salt, with salt, comes corrosion. Often times I have to apply wax to any of my zippers on my north face packs but with the T3 the zippers have remained smooth and I haven’t had a problem with opening and closing it rapidly even if there is salt all over it. After each of my ops I would dip my pack into the salt water and let it air dry really putting it to the test and I still never had an issue with the zipper getting caught up. The T3 3-day hydration backpack is extremely rugged and probably in my top 2 of most durable packs out there.
The T3 3-Day hydration backpack features one large main compartment and 1 medium compartment. I personally put 3 large frozen smart waters (it was 82F that day) and one 40oz hydro flask in the medium compartment. I put the Rite in the Rain notebook in one of the smaller slips and even with frozen waters, the pocket that my rite in the rain notebook was in was still dry. In the large compartment, I put my Type III Gore-tex pants, my food, a Northface windbreaker, goggles, a shemagh, an extra pair of sunglasses and my helmet and I still had plenty of room to fit maybe 3-4 days worth of clothes in there. The comfortability of the T3 Gear 3-Day Hydration Pack is truly remarkable. It sits really well on the shoulders and I would feel very comfortable having a medium-long range land based load out on my back with it. It has a waist strap which adds to the comfort of being able to distribute weight. To test out the comfort, I added 3 of the heaviest front and back plates I had and I started running. With the ability to cinch it down to be tight with your body gave me the comfort I needed. Usually, with weight in packs, your weight slides around with the momentum of your weight. With the T3 Gear 3-Day Hydration Pack , this just doesn’t happen. It feels like you’re just carrying weight. No shoulder rub, no shifting of weight. I usually get rubbing on my shoulders with some weight in my north face packs at about 5-6 hour mark into a trip. With the T3 Gear 3-Day Hydration Pack , I had no shoulder rub.
Another plus is that It fits really well on top of a plate carrier, and its slim enough to almost use as an assaulter pack if you really wanted to. The ability to cinch everything down to make it super slim is very attractive to me which is why I would consider using it as an assaulter pack. With the ability to compress it, it makes moving on a boat easy. Being in a 26ft boat, moving from side to side around the center console to either tie up mooring lines, set up your weapons platforms, or just help out your coxswain in general, you can get snagged, lot especially with molle. I did get snagged when we pulled up to the dock the first time but I ended up tightening everything down a little more and that took that problem away. When I did get snagged though I got snagged good and still the molle did not rip. The quality in this pack is another outstanding feature.
The versatility is what I like most about the T3 3-day hydration backpack. It’s not too big to carry every day, but it can still be used for medium-long range ops. It is very easy to route a drinking tube due to the ports in the key areas of the pack. The D ring hooks make for a good way to air out a backpack. Most of the time my gear gets salt all over it and ruins it, so I always rinse out my gore-tex and gear after ops. The D-rings make it easy to drain. There are a number of drain holes in the pack (I mean its made by a former SEAL, so of course it’s somewhat built to operate in water) but take care of your gear and it’ll take care of you. The accessibility is another strong feature T3 brought to this pack. If we’re in between ops, floating in the ocean and so on and so forth, it is very easy to be able to have your buddy grab something out. The compartments are easy to access and grab something right away (Another reason why it would be a good assault pack or medium range op pack).
Summary – The best gear in the world can cost you a whole paycheck, but the durability, the price, the comfort – none of those can be beaten with the T3 3-Day hydration backpack . It is a step above the rest and it comes with a lifetime warranty which means that the guys over at T3 stand by their word and genuinely love their own gear. Now remember, I don’t get paid to write these reviews. I write these reviews because I genuinely want people to have the best gear out That’s. That’s why the writers and I at the Loadout Room do what we do, so if you don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself – but from what I’ll tell you, I probably won’t ever use a north face or any other brand of pack again. T3 Gear is the way to go!
Author – AJ P. Is a former US Navy Sailor who made the transition to private military contracting. He currently is working as a DoD contractor on the east coast. In his free time he enjoys training, shooting and hunting.