When Triple Aught Design (TAD) comes out with new equipment or apparel, I know that I just have to get it and run it through some testing. The TAD Spectre line takes the “grey man” gear needs and balances the lines between tactical necessities and provides a civilian appearance. The Spectre systems adapt to the demands of your mission, allowing you to comfortably carry the tools you need to thrive. Their smallest backpack in the Spectre program, the 22L is ideal for a single-day mission or an overnight surveillance job. With just enough capacity for scouting missions, or used as a go-bag, the Spectre 22L can be adapted to your needs and features an integrated stability belt and stay-less HDPE frame sheet for easy load management. It is built using advanced materials to create a lightweight yet resilient carry system. The material was originally developed as a high-performance, long-life sailcloth. The LS-07 shell is a hard-wearing, weather-resistant random array of non-woven filaments that provides increased abrasion resistance.
This pack definitely goes the distance for load management not only with the material it was designed with, but the numerous mounting points inside and outside the pack. From surveillance equipment, to mountain summit attacks, to direct action missions, being able to quickly exchange these per objective is paramount to having a versatile bag that can meet a wide range of activities. Internal mounting points allow you to exchange out TAD’s control panels within the main compartment for custom configurations for meeting mission requirements. On the outside three-row PALS grid, supports the Spectre compression system and accessory pouches, such as TAD’s OP1, GPP1 and GPP2 allowing you to place gear anywhere to support your mission. I like the low-profile daisy chain along the periphery of the bag as it provides attachment points for TAD’s S1/S2 pouches, radios and other accessories. TAD’s Spectre system also has the option of using one of TAD’s Transporter Tails to connect to integrated attachment points at the crown or to the daisy chain for externally configurable concealed storage.
Another cool configuration on the pack is the side pockets which contain attachment points inside allowing for management of equipment like ice picks, snow shoes, collapsing ladders and host of other gearing options via the zippered port on the bottom for through and through access. At the top of the main compartment or externally via a quick access zipper across the top of the back panel, the Transverse Pocket is ideal for keeping small items protected and available. Additionally, there is a dedicated hydration compartment with a hanging loop that can easily handle a two-liter bladder. Dual zipper closures for hose routing through either side are externally accessible above the harness. What I like is that the hydration compartment is separated from the main compartment by a stretch woven panel that expands as needed. An integrated stability belt secures the backpack during dynamic activities and gusseted stretch woven side pockets lay flat when not in use, but expand to securely keep water bottles or other items close at hand. For the size of the pack and all the connection points, this pack can do just about anything you may want to do for short periods of activity and keeps the tacti-cool vibe to a minimum.
I have used this pack for some overnight hiking and a few surveillance activities. It is smooth and the feel of the weight is virtually non-existent thanks to the load management, comfortable shoulder straps and waist belt. I have also built it as a go-bag this past month since we were expecting the hurricane last week, and wanted to subsidize my bug-out-bag in the event I was separated from it. If you are truly looking for the pack that blends with the urban environment, has a ton of load bearing options and can go the distance, this is your pack!
Loadout gear for surveillance:
- Spectre 22 Liter
- Black Poncho Liner – useful at night to keep warm, or as a veil for covering front to back seat visibility
- Sony Cyber Shot 5.0 with night shot – great for day, evening, and night with 5MP is just enough to capture every detail.
- Bi-Pod for camera management
- Sony Handy Cam – High Definition video camera and x560 zoom for live up close and personal surveillance feeds with night shot visibility.
- Hydro Flask – for keeping coffee seriously warm for hours
- Canteen Cup – Heros Vodka for me, this can be used on a tommy cooker, or a USB powered hot plate for warming up water for a new batch of coffee
- Black Rifle Coffee Company – Murdered Out blend (serious caffeine) I don’t take the whole bag, but a plastic zip lock full for minimum 2 days-worth of coffee.
- Ultralight Javadrip – for making my BRCC MO.
- Gatorz – Blackout see my posts here
- Massive Wetwipe – You know what for, (Obviously not shown – doggie poo bags for #2, and extra water jug for #1) when you cannot leave the vehicle or location.
- MYCHARGE Ultra Adventure – for powering all electronics, laptops, and other items when you have to leave the vehicle off for extended periods of time. See my write up post here
- Colt 3” Defender – for true concealed carry, a must when sitting in not so nice locations
- Rain Coat – I chose the Triple Aught Design Sentinel jacket – it can blend in with any surroundings and keeps to chill and the wet off. Doesn’t look tactical at all, but can hold everything you need. See my TAD Sentinel write-up post here
- 2 Shirt change outs – You will want to change both your hats and shirts during surveillance to appear as another person. I chose Triple Aught Design Tradecraft Ventile shirt, first the black is perfect for the “sneak and peak” and the collared shirt doesn’t make you look like a hoodlum if stopped. The second is the Vertex Speed Carry long sleeve, the pattern is neutral to keep it less conspicuous and is a different pattern from the single black color; see my write-up here
- Adventure Medical – Medical Kit 7 for those boo-boo times. It’s a good addition to your blow out kit.
Featured image courtesy of Triple Aught Design
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