Maxpedition Malaga Gear Slinger
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
I tuned into Maxpedition last year when I looked at two of their Versipacks the Fatboy and Jumbo. Essentially these are tactical shoulder bags that offer a lot of multi-pocket storage in a tough and practical build. I have been using the Jumbo since and for a small pack it does the job, though after a few months I realised I could do with something a bit bigger.
Getting on the website I saw they do a good range of backpacks, so I got on to UK importer Heinnie Haynes and asked if I could borrow a few and they sent me the Malaga Gear Slinger, Condor II and Falcon II. My original intention had been to do a round up, but due to the usefulness of the designs I decided to test them individually. So it’s the Malaga this month with the other two to follow.
The Malaga Gear Slinger caught my eye, not only for its size but the fact it’s a shoulder bag, as opposed to a full harness back pack. I have never liked this style as I considered it insecure, but it also occurred to me that this build could offer some advantages to the rifleman on the go.
With a full (both shoulders) harness when you mount the rifle to shoot the butt sits on the shoulder pad, which can increase length of pull and affect gun mount. The Malaga offers a thick and solid single strap that sits in the middle/top of the pack, which by means of its QD clip and twin D-rings can be positioned either left or right. This then leaves the shoulder uncluttered for a normal shooting stance. Stability of the load is enhanced by a smaller, cross strap that clips in both directions and a belt loop too.
On the back the Malaga sits off to one side slightly, which is not a problem. Due to the strap set up it’s easy to swing it down and forward if you want to get at any gear quickly. With a full shoulder harness you would have to take it off to do the same thing. The main strap incorporates a large, QD, UTX-Duraflex nylon buckle, making it fast to remove without having to shrug out of it as you would with a conventional set up.
As a hunter I do like multi-pocket stowage, as I can put knives etc. in one place, food/water in another and so on, and know where everything is when I need it; the Malaga does not disappoint. It measures 13 x 9.5 x 4” and has a volume of 660 cubic inches. Inside the main, zip-open, clam shell compartment are a number of storage flaps and zipped pouches one of which is larger enough to hold all my shooting docs – FAC, EFP, permission for land, maps etc.
On the back is a small, 9 x 4 x 1” zip pouch, with dividers and elasticated loops inside. Out side is a rubber shock cord and slot for extra stowage. Below this is a larger 9 x 9 x 1.5” version with more dividers, elastic organizer loops, key retention etc. There is another integral zip compartment on the back of this. The whole of the exterior is covered in loops and Velcro panels to accept Molle pouches and accessories. On either side are compression straps with Duraflex nylon buckles and a QD Y-harness gives a secondary closure, plus there’s a grab handle at the top.
There are more loops, D-rings and open pockets on the main padded strap, which I use to carry my compact, SureFire E1L Outdoorsman torch on a lanyard. Where the pack meets the body is a ventilated/padded section with a Velcro belt loop for further security. This section forms a deep pouch into which a 50oz hydration bag can be inserted.
I found build quality to be very good, just check out the spec:
1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
High strength zippers and zipper tracks
UTX-Duraflex nylon buckles for low sound closures
Triple polyurethane coated for water resistance
High tensile strength nylon webbing
High tensile strength composite nylon thread (stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread)
#AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material for superior shock protection
Internal seams taped and finished
Paracord zipper pulls
Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or “Box-and-X” stitched for added strength
Colour-wise the Malaga is available in the following options: black, OD green, khaki, foliage green and ACU-Compatible Digital Foliage Camo (US Army ARPAT). Depending on what you choose, cost will vary slightly, with the camo being most expensive.
In use the Malaga proved its promise and as well as my normal hunting gear, binos, knives, lens cleaning gear, water, medical pack, ammo and torch/batteries it also swallowed up my camera and a fleece. Overall this is one practical design that and unlike a conventional back pack can be worn when shooting and offers no impediment to performance.
The price is as you might expect but I reckon if you are serious about your hunting then the Malaga Gear Slinger is well worth the outlay.
Practical & versatile design
Lots of stowage
Cross strap aids gun mount
Solid Colours: £112.95