rc'teryx describes the Khard like so: "A weatherproof Assault Pack that is carried when conducting Direct Action tasks that is also combat enabler capable. The main internal compartment is configured with Velcro® for the insertion of aftermarket modular pouches."
The main features of the pack are...
Pack Pocket Configuration
- Internal Velcro® loop panels (x3) allow for versatile pouch configurations
- Top zip pocket (with retention lanyard) stores mission essential personal items
- Side zip pockets holds 3L water bladder; hydration port for external routing
Pack Design & Construction
- Main compartment communications porting allows for the external routing of communications cables
- Side grab handles for ease of transfer to ground mobility vehicle or non–standard tactical vehicle
- c.30l capacity allows the pack to be employed as an Assault Pack
- PPE compatible allowing the pack to be worn with body armour & helmet
Pack Suspension Configuration
- 15mm removable aluminum stays can be custom shaped to curvature of the spine or wearing with PPE
- Dual density shoulder straps distributes weight over broad surface for sustainable long term carry
- Removable/scalable hip belt (with hip pods) allows for equal weight distribution
Pack Loading & Closure Configuration
- Clamshell zipper opening provides easy access to main compartment
And it's made of INVISTA 500d Cordura.
I've been using my Khard 30 on short trips with the car, as a carry-on on the plane and on day-hikes and in airsoft games to carry my equipment. First of all, it's definitely the most comfortable back pack to carry that I've owned. I really like the pocket configuration which makes everything easy get-to but I haven't used any aftermarket pouches inside the pack. I still need to experiment with that.
I'm definitely a fan of the clamshell opening, which makes the Khard easy to pack and unpack. Due to the shape of the curved aluminum stays and back sheet you'll sometimes find that you need to think how you'll arrange your equipment inside the pack for it to fit nicely but usually it's not a problem.
The pocket zippers have very cool Arc'teryx styled pull-tabs, but unfortunately these aren't very long lasting. I've had a couple pull-tabs fall off, and have just tied up the remaining cord to use as pull-tabs. I hope Arc'teryx improves the install process for the original tabs as they really are a nice detail and provide a nice grip.
Note that if you intend to utilise the side pocket for hydration bladders they fit Camelbak style "longer" 3L bladders rather than Source's wider bladders which can be a little difficult to fit in the pockets.
The side grab handles on both sides are definitely useful to pull the pack out of the trunk, overhead locker or similar spaces when transferring between vehicles.
Another good thing are the shoulder straps which are nicely shaped to fit all kinds of bodies and thin so that they don't interfere with any other equipment or clothing. One gripe I have about the strap setup is the sternum strap, which seems awfully short for use with protective equipment or even for larger framed users. Even though I'm a quite medium fellow I also sometimes have the sternum strap at max setting when wearing more layers.
In general the pack is designed very well and it will comfortably carry pretty much anything you can image putting in a 30L Assault Pack. The solid back frame and aluminum stays really make a difference, especially when utilising the hip belt, you'll barely notice the weight even if you're fully packed with several litres of water plus equipment.
Other "normal" 3 day packs just don't hold the contents of your pack so close and firmly to your body as the Khard does, which makes it a joy to carry.
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