In the late 1990s, an alternative to sewn-on pouches and ALICE gear was developed to create a more modular pouch attachment system for military assault vests, packs and armor carriers called MOLLE, short for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. Compatible with the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) webbing, end users could configure their gear any way that they please based on their mission.
An issue with these earth-toned packs is if they are used in a civilian-based atmosphere, especially by law enforcement personnel, they tend standout like a sore thumb, skylining the individual wearing them. Recognizing this issue, 5.11 Tactical recently debuted its new line of All Missions Packs (AMP), which are part of its new All Missions System.
All Missions Packs
5.11 Tactical’s new AMP packs feature an incredible amount of thoughtful pocket placement and feature sets. While the packs are not designed to be hippieflauge, they are much lower profile thanks to a mostly slick exterior free from traditional MOLLE/PALS webbing and large expanding pockets.
The packs are pretty streamlined and available in three sizes – 25, 32 and 40 liters – of internal capacity, with corresponding names to imply the number of hours of sustainment each is designed to carry: 12 hours, 24 hours and 72 hours. Available colors include tungsten, ranger green, kangaroo and black.
Each pack is constructed with a custom nylon 500D, dobby fabric. The textile has the appearance of a mini ripstop and has both a high and low weave. This translates into a pack that is lighter in weight than 5.11's popular RUSH series of packs while maintaining the durability and strength you come to expect from 5.11.
More companies are realizing the utility of large U-shaped main-compartment openings and 5.11 Tactical is on-board with this trend with a new 270-degree zippered main compartment. 5.11 is onboard with a twist, as they have added a total of four zipper elements, allowing the pack to be opened at different points, instead of at one end or the other like a more traditional pack. Smart thinking. The large U-shaped zipper allows the main compartment to open up almost like a clam shell, with the zipper running slightly more than three-fourths of the way down each side of the pack. This allows the main compartment to completely open up, without spilling the contents in the very bottom of the bag. The base of each pack is fully reinforced with 1050 denier nylon for additional durability on this high wear point.
Each AMP features three mesh pockets positioned on the front panel. One is located on the top that is designed for easy and quick access to sundries, your wallet or cell phone.
Directly beneath this pocket is a hidden pocket with its access point positioned below a flap of material. This pocket would go unnoticed to even the most in-tune eye for concealed compartments.
Further down the front panel is a large mesh pocket that has a pair of long cascading zippers that will allow access without fully opening the bag’s main compartment. A key fob leash and two strips of bar-tacked elastic webbing sit flush and run the length of the pocket. This can accommodate extra magazines, similar-sized tubular items or more MOLLE pouches.
Included on the AMP24™ and AMP72™, a pair of long, open-topped pockets are positioned along the side panels of the interior of the pack that are designed to fit a standard 32-ounce Nalgene-style water bottle but will also fit a rolled-up rain shell or low-loft insulated jacket. Externally, there are also two covered side zippered pockets made with a stretch material that allow the contents to expand inward. There is no pleat to allow outward expansion, so keep this in mind when loading them up.
Included in the AMP72™, a lightly padded dedicated zippered chamber designed for discrete gun carriage is located behind the main compartment and runs the length of the pack. Which means an AR pistol, short-barreled rifle or pistol-caliber carbine up to 24 inches in length will fit within this sleeve.
A slightly longer object will fit if angled correctly. There’s also an adjustable stock and brace holder that is adjustable for height and fore and aft placement, as well as a small compartment that will accept the front end of the firearm, protecting the muzzle end of the platform and foreend mounted accessories such as white lights or aiming lasers.
An additional compartment within the back panel is sized to accept a 100-ounce hydration bladder or even a 15-inch laptop computer. The computer would be well protected from all impacts including the bottom. A simple yet effective means of suspending the computer off of the bottom of the pouch was effectively executed.
Starting at the top center of the pack is a zippered fleece-lined sunglass/electronic pocket. Just beneath that is a large flat padded and reinforced pocket with a flapped Velcro closure designed for a CCW. Complete with a webbing strap and loop panel for a holster, this pocket will fit a full-size handgun. This pocket is also ideal for wide thin items such as documents or even a tablet. The exterior flap closure is a nice touch and helps soften the exterior aesthetics.
Just beneath the front of the Gear Set™ compatible loop panel is a zippered stash pocket that is sized to fit a set of rain gear or similarly sized items.
The thermoformed, ergonomic back panel keeps you comfortable and the rigid aluminum frame maintains the pack’s shape and adds stability when the payload increases. The AMP72™ offers an ergonomic, thermoformed waist belt complete with a pair of small zippered compartments to fit sundries. Load lifters help relieve weight from your shoulders when your excursion goes a little longer than anticipated. The AMP12™ and AMP24™ inched triglides for an optional waist belt attachment.
Gear Set™ System
The All Missions System is unique in that it allows the user to quickly configure the interior and exterior of the pack for different uses with the introduction of the Gear Set™, a removable gear system that allows for unprecedented options for mounting or attaching gear. The sky is the limit. The front panel of each pack offers a large swatch of loop fabric in addition to a pair of hangers positioned at the top of each corner of the Velcro and squeeze buckles at the corner of each base. These hangers are concealed by a flap that conceals the opening of a large flat pocket.
The male portion of the color-matched squeeze buckles appear as part of typical compression straps found on every other pack on the market, so they do not appear tactical in nature. The hangers, buckles and loop fabric together produce a redundant platform that accepts your choice of Gear Set™ for everyday use or mission specific needs.
In addition to the Gear Set™ mounting location on the front of the AMP packs, the main compartment includes the same webbing hangers and is lined in a soft-touch material called Tricot, a liner material often used in waterproof/breathable, hard-shell jackets. This allows for the option to mount up to two Gear Sets internally or alternate Velcro accessories for low-vis situations.
The HEXGRID® System & AMP Suite
Users are no longer restricted to arranging their equipment pouches in simple vertical patterns. 5.11's patented HEXGRID® multi-angle load bearing platform allows pouches to be placed in virtually any orientation the user desires thanks to the hexagonal shaped slots laser cut into a laminated combination of Cordura® 1000 and 420 denier nylon. It’s tough stuff. This system is a big step forward and away from traditionally horizontal PALS webbing.
I hope other manufacturers take notice and adopt this method of pouch mounting. Simply put, the HEXGRID®-equipped packs can be customized for everyday use or mission-specific needs just like MOLLE/PALS compatible packs, but in a much lower profile attachment.
HEXGRID® 9x9 Gear Set™
The HEXGRID® 9x9 Gear Set™ comes with each AMP and is affixed to the front of the pack, placed over the large swatch of loop fabric. This panel is compatible with any traditional MOLLE pouches. What I really like about this panel is that it can be equipped for certain tasks and left in that condition. If the pouches are unneeded in that configuration I can simply remove the entire panel and replace it with another HEXGRID® Gear Set™, a completely different Gear Set™ or remove it all together and have a loop field for my patches.
Double Deploy Gear Set™
The Double Deploy Gear Set™ pouches are a pair of cocoon type pouches constructed of a heavy-duty, stretch woven material that provides a four-way mechanical stretch and are color matched to your pack. Each pouch has a low-profile zipper that runs the length of the pouch, allowing full access to its contents. Each cocoon will accept a surprising amount of gear thanks to the materials stretch properties, yet it lays flat when empty. These pouches are ideal as an IFAK or for hats, gloves, rifle magazines or other like-sized items that need to be accessed quickly and frequently.
Admin Gear Set™
Just as its name implies, the Admin Gear Set™ offers a variety of internal organization solutions that include slot pockets, a large zippered pocket as well as compartments for pens and business cards. The front of the pouch is completely slick, with no telltale tactical signs, with the exception of the color pack you choose. The lines of the pouch compliment the contours of the pack and when properly affixed, appears as though it is a sewn-on compartment. A large U-shaped zipper allows the pouch to open up for full access.
2 Banger Gear Set™
The 2 Banger might be my favorite of the Gear Sets available, certainly the one I would pick if I could choose just a single accessory pouch. The reason is simple: versatility. The 2 Banger Gear Set™ has the outward appearance of the admin pouch with a twist. Two zippered compartments are stacked upon one another, while a secret lurks behind the center pocket.
The outer-most pocket is ideal for flatter items such as documents, flashlights or other electronics, fitting most items you could cram into a typically sized cargo pocket. The center zippered pocket has elastic webbing sewn into the front facing side that are sized to fit flashlights, extended service pistol magazines and other like size items. The pocket is large enough to stow a set of binocular night-devices with some room on either side to spare. The backside of the center pocket is reinforced and lined with loop fabric for additional modularity.
Behind the center pocket is a pair of low-profile, covered slot pockets sized to fit standard-capacity AR-15 magazines, which will go unnoticed until needed. Color matched pull tabs protrude only slightly to help the user access the stowed magazines.
Med Pouch Gear Set™
A clamshell, individual, first-aid pouch has various compartments and dividers to contain a fully stocked blowout kit. Items such as a pair of chest seals, CAT tourniquet, combat gauze, QuikClot, gloves, a sharpie and other essential items all have a place within this pouch.
5.11 Tactical’s new All Missions Packs are truly a work of functional sweetness. If you choose the right colored pack for your environment, they won’t give you away, all while holding everything you need to survive in the urban or literal jungle.
While we focused our review on the AMP72™ pack, the AMP12™ is an ideal daypack for everyday use, while the AMP24™ would be my go-to for an overnight, or during winter months when inclement weather gear is more of a necessity than an option. Ranger green colored packs have been tougher to find these last few years and I, for one, am excited 5.11 Tactical added it as an option for the AMP series.