Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Maxpedition Rolly Polly Extreme Review

This is the Maxpedition Rolly Polly Extreme, a pack I tested for almost a year. During that time I  had a love/hate relationship with it, leading to a long test phase. Initially I used this as an EDC pack and didn't really like it in that capacity. Once I found a good application for it; the pack made sense. I'll go over what I did and didn't like about the Rolly Polly Extreme below.

I had no problems with material or durability of the Rolly Polly Extreme. Made of 1000D water and abrasion resistant nylon. It handled use very well. It has a capacity of 500 cubic inches and weighs 1lbs 8oz's. It's available in Tan, Olive, and Black.



 The premise behind the Rolly Polly Extreme is like its name, it roll's up into a small package. This has some advantages and poses some problems as well. As you can see in the picture above; it's like a sack with straps. Since it has to roll up, it has no frame and doesn't maintain it's shape very well. It sat on my back in a strange way unless I packed it full of gear. Being without shape also led gear inside to collect at the bottom of the pack.
The straps of the pack were constructed of thin nylon webbing. Being a smaller pack, I didn't think it was necessary that the straps had padding (since the load-out generally wouldn't be that heavy). I did find that the straps being straight without any type of curvature led to having to continually readjust them. Using the sternum strap remedied that issue. I did appreciate the elastic webbing for hydration bladder hose retention.
As I stated above, the sternum strap was necessary to keep shoulder straps in place. The sternum strap's buckle included an integrated rescue whistle. A feature I'd like to see come standard on all field packs.
The Rolly Polly Extreme has two front pockets (1 small and 1 larger w/ admin panel). The front two small pockets are secured by a zipper with paracord lanyards. The main pocket has a small zippered pouch and a divider for a hydration bladder. The hydration sleeve will fit up to a 3L bladder. The main problem with the main pouch is it's secured by a velcro flap and the tension from the shoulder straps. Basically if you turned your pack upside down and shook it- you would lose your gear (mainly smaller items). I really wasn't thrilled about this design, since packs are designed to carry and secure your gear. In use you will have to remain cognitive about this.
When folded the PALS webbing allows for connection to other gear. 
Lets now discuss some benefits of the pack. As I said above the Rolly Polly Extreme is designed to fold up. This is great for when you need to drop your main pack at a location and just pack a few essentials to carry with you. In the military we call this a "patrol pack". Its hard to carry your ruck containing all your gear (shelter, water, food, ammo, rain gear, and so on) on patrols. Most ground troops "live" out of their main ruck, making it very heavy. This would make an excellent addition to your B.O.B. as a "patrol pack". Allowing you to move on foot without carrying everything with you. This is something I think a lot of people may not have considered when developing their bug out systems. Making this pack something to look at. Or at the very least develop a method to carry essentials when the main pack is dropped.

If this looks like something your interested in, check out the Amazon link below.



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