Falconer 27 Review

At Shot Show last year we had a sneak peek at the Project F backpack. It was love at first sight. We waited and waited and finally in July the product was released with several revisions prior to the final production.

Dimensions:

  • Net Weight: 3.4 pounds | 1542 grams
  • Capacity: 27 Liters
  • Overall Exterior Size (Fully Extended): 18.5″ (H) x 11″ (W) x 10″ (D)
  • Main Compartment (Exterior): 18.5″ (H) x 11″ (W) x 5″ (D)
  • Main Compartment (Interior): 18″ (H) x 10.5″ (W) x 4.75″ (D)
  • Middle Compartment (Exterior): 17.5″ (H) x 10″ (W) x 2.75″ (D)
  • Middle Compartment (Interior): 17″ (H) x 9.5″ (W) x 2.5″ (D)
  • Top Front Compartment (Interior): 4.5″ (H) x 8.75″ (W) x 2.25″ (D)
  • Bottom Front Compartment (Interior): 10.5″ (H) x 8.75″ (W) x 2.25″ (D)
  • Rear Hydration / CCW Compartment (Interior): 17.5” (H) x 10” (W) x 1” (D)

Materials

  • 1,000-D Mil-grade Cordura® fabric with water-repellent Teflon® fabric protector by DuPont® (500-D Cordura on Multicam-Black)
  • Genuine MADE-IN-USA MultiCam® & MultiCam-Black Cordura® by Crye Precision™
  • Lightweight & water-resistant 210-D Ripstop nylon interior.
  • Durable RC-Class YKK® zippers, reversed for protection.
  • MOLLE / PALS-compatible attachment system for expansion
  • Mil-grade ITW® and UTX-Duraflex® hardware from high strength Acetal polymer.
  • Main compartment zipper loop made by ITW (Zipline Orbit)
  • Circular user-friendly paracord zipper pulls
  • Neoprene rubber padded grab handle for extra comfort
  • High tensile strength nylon webbings and binding tapes
  • Finished with high tensile strength bonded nylon thread

Specs in context

Bags have gone from a simple large pocket device, down to very niche specific highly compartmentalized designs for singular purposes. One of the things I love about Vanquest is the fact that they design bags for many types of users instead of for specific niches. This is evident as we start to go through the compartments and the various way they can be used.

Hydration Storage

AR500 soft plates fit in the hydration pouch nicely
AR500 soft plates fit in the hydration pouch nicely

Hydration packs have become a go-to item for many backpack users. However, they are underutilized by EDC users in many cases. Leaving an empty or wasted pocket. Vanquest has created an EDC friendly deep concealment pouch that works as a hydration pack. The result is your urban EDC user has a deep concealment pack, and the wilderness hiker has access to hydration with no wasted space.

Main Compartment

775127_FALCONER27_13_wm__49452.1436225019.1280.1280Moving to the “Main Compartment” the transformer like ability continues. There is one 4” wide swatch of hook and loop, and two more 2” strips on the outer edges. In between the Velcro there’s a webbing ladder system to attach storage too. The result is a huge compartment when you need it, or just about any configuration imaginable involving smaller admin pouches of various attachment methods when you don’t. To compound the reconfigurability of this bag, the MOHL-WEB and MOHL-AIR product lines allow you to add MOLLE accessories or Shock Cord retention to just about any loop-side area of this bag.

There is a hidden pocket about 3/4ths the height and 100% of the width of the main compartment. It’s accessible via Velcro on either side. Accessing this hidden pocket easy when reaching into the bag when partially zipped.

Our Gen2 iPad is shown in the secret pocket.
Our Gen2 iPad is shown in the secret pocket.

 

Middle Compartment

775127_FALCONER27_14_wm__32671.1436225578.1280.1280While the middle compartment is significantly thinner than the main one, it offers almost the same height and width. Since it is protected from the main compartment by Nylon and Teflon coating, the water resistant pocket is perfect for storing electronics.

My iPad Gen 2 fits in the larger pocket while the Ipad Mini fits in the smaller. You can not Velcro shut the pockets with the iPads in them. If you did run the smaller iPad in the larger pocket, it would be completely compartmentalized.

There is also an ingenious pocket system on the outer flap that would allow you to secure a larger item so that it will not fall out when the bag is clamshelled open. This is perfect for an MP5, Vector, subgun style, concealed carry weapon, axe, folding saw, tomahawk or trenching tool.

You never know when a Dakota Tactical D54K-N might be needed.
You never know when a Dakota Tactical D54K-N might be needed.

 

Outside pockets

775127_FALCONER27_11_wm__44579.1436224125.1280.1280Designed around the success of the FATPack and other organizational admin or medical pouches the Falconer 27 has integrated those refined touches right into the bag. Vanquest has traditionally left bags “open” but the Falconer has taken a new direction by offering a combination of ladder webbing, shock cord elastic retention and pockets to store all your smaller goods.

This pocket fulfills a dual purpose, one for those who needed to store medical gear for units. The second is for the civilian who carries multiple cords, adapters, plugs, and other daily items. It works wonders for the bug out user as well for batteries, flashlights, tools, food and other items you want easy visual access to.

Usage

Cleer Medical blowout kit and Milspec Monkey Kabar knife fit on the straps for easy access
Cleer Medical blowout kit and Milspec Monkey Kabar knife fit on the straps for easy access

I have used this bag in its “open” configuration with no additional internal storage, at events like the Rochester Arts Fair, Arts, Beats, and Eats as well as a camping trip. With the MOHL-AIR solution, I have taken this bag to multiple handgun classes fitting ammo, medkit, magazines, clothes, and electronics needed to cover the event. The last 2 Sentinel Concepts classes I have taken I have used this bag in-lieu of luggage. This weekend as I head to Wisconsin for another class this bag will be riding shotgun. It will be loaded out with my camera equipment, tablet, electrical gear and my clothing for the 3 days.

The bag does offer a belt support for long trips or heavy loadouts, though in most configurations I found the bag to be very comfortable without it.

Vanquest has traditionally shined in our reviews in regards to the material they use for their shoulder straps and handles. The extra wide padding they use has consistently been one of the most comfortable solutions. The Falconer-27 is no exception. It even offers a full MOLLE style ladder system with hook and loop straps so you can mount various MOLLE/PALS devices to the shoulder straps. I found it worked perfectly for adding my tourniquet from cleer medical to the bag.

Who is this For?

775127_FALCONER27_31_wm__59970.1436387524.1280.1280This is not an EDC style bag though it works awesome as a special purpose bag for day trips and other one-time events.

That said the bag is so configurable that it will fit a wide range of uses. While it works well for electronics if that is your sole purpose I would suggest the Envoy if that is all you need.

As a bug out, emergency or roll out bag it offers a ton of advantages. The size is enough to carry immediate needs, without being so large it slows you down. The configurable nature of the bag allows for a wide range of supplies to be carried with minimal to no shifting.

With a focus on accessible weapons pockets, it works very well when you may require a sub gun or large pistol. Additionally the external pockets inside the clamshell design will provide fast identifiable access to multiple magazines and even body armor.

The modular attachment points make this one of the most configurable bags we have tested.
The modular attachment points make this one of the most configurable bags we have tested.

As a unit medical bag or camping trauma kit, few bags can touch it. Not to mention at this price it stands in its own league. The clamshell design with easily visible storage lends perfectly to gaining fast access to life-saving tools.

For the ultimate it can be all of the above wrapped up into one solution. AR500 low profile Armor in the main compartment, Ipad and Mp5 in the middle pouch with medical gear and food supplies in the external pouch, and 100-ounce hydration pack.

Conclusion

Unlike other reviews I had a hard time finding comparable bags, likely since this is a new release and focuses so heavily on what Vanquest has excelled at other companies have just not caught up yet. At $196 for premium colors and $186 for standard colors, this is not a cheap bag. When I look for a bag that I will be willing to carry cheap is less important than well built.

As a bug out or roll out bag, it will fill the need exceptionally well. That goes extra if your kits are geared for medical emergencies in mind. If you’re not running a RACKIT-36 in your trunk, then this is the next best thing.

As a camping or daypack, it also fills the niche perfectly. Anything you could need for 24-48 hours will fit in this kit nicely and stay organized.

If nothing else this is a bag that you should certainly consider if any or all of the above criteria is a factor for you.

For more information on the bag check out Vanquest.com or your local Vanquest retailer.

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