Camping & Survival

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! — Blackhawk! STRIKE Predator Pack Review

When we consider bug out bags, there are the better known larger 3-day bags and then the smaller “get home bags.” Get home packs are designed to travel light and fast back home with no more than 24 hours of supplies plus an extra change of underwear like mom told you to. Ideally, a great Get Home Bag should be well under 10 lbs loaded. BLACKHAWK!‘s S.T.R.I.K.E. Predator Hydration pack is the perfect size for building up a high speed “Get Home Bag” to have with you all the time.

By Major Pandemic Blackhawk Strike Predator-2280

Fit & Feel

When I think of what I want in a high-speed low-drag, get out of Dodge, and home in a hurry bag, the 830-Cubic inch BLACKHAWK! S.T.R.I.K.E. Predator Hydration pack fits the bill perfectly. It is a rugged lightweight pack which was designed to be comfortable and secure for active sporting or high speed military situations. BLACKHAWK! is known as one of the most durable and comfortable pack makers on the market and this little pack is no exception. Empty the S.T.R.I.K.E. Predator manages loads effectively in a balanced and fast handling manner.

Slipping on the back and starting to sweat, the IVS molded back channel contour assures the pack provides plenty of ventilation to your sweaty back while adding stability and greatly improving comfort. The shoulder straps and chest /sternum strap are contoured for very comfortable and secure fit. This great fit assures if you are biking hard or running from “all hell breaking loose”, the Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E. Predator Hydration pack will not shift around. I tested the pack through its paces on my bike, during defensive drills, and on hiking training days my wife and I call “the hike” and it stayed put without shifting and provided plenty of adjustability regardless of whether I was wearing a jacket or t-shirt. A waist strap is not a requirement for a pack this size, however it would make the pack more manageable when loaded to its limits.

The Blackhawk’s Hydration system included with the pack is famous for flexibility and ease of maintenance. The Microban antimicrobial 100 oz bladder features a drip-free Bite Me bit value and a patent pending quick-disconnect system tube and bite valve. The Blackhawk quick-disconnect system greatly speeds cleaning and re-installation in the pack.

Blackhawk Strike Predator-3289 Use of the hydration pack was simple and easy, and the neoprene covered hose could be tucked back into the opposite tube exit hole which allows for positioning on the right or left. The main bladder stores in its own zippered compartment. However, if one bladder is not enough, the BLACKHAWK! S.T.R.I.K.E. Predator Hydration pack’s main compartment can be used for a second optional reservoir.

The pack itself has a heavy duty reinforced drag/carry handle, plenty of extra d-rings, and durable YKK zippers with silent sure-grip pulls. The exterior is covered with loads of MOLLE straps for complete flexibility and plenty of lashing points.

The large exterior admin pocket is 9”L x 9.5”W x 2.5”D. The pocket is double zippered and opens about half way so all your stuff does not fall out. The interior is covered with a field of Velcro for compatibility with any Velcro holster or accessory pockets, however it comes with a Velcro backed insert that is versatile enough to organize a variety of pens, pencils, sunglasses, cell phones, and even magazines.

Blackhawk Strike Predator-18-915-IMG1 The spacious 16”L x 9.5”W x 2.5”D main compartment is also double zippered and opens half way. I wish it would open all the way for loading. Interior MOLLE straps cover about 50 percent of the back interior for extra lashing, customization, and storage—Blackhawk has also integrated a zippered interior mesh bag. For a pack this size, there are plenty of areas to tuck items you want quick access to. Even as a daily pack, the main compartment would provide great day to day carry pack for a small laptop or tablet.

The hydration pack gets used constantly, and I can now see why the Blackhawk Hydration pack is considered the best in the business. It is comfortable, well designed, and ready for anything In my case, it is the perfect-sized Get Home Bag.

Features

  • 830 cubic inches of internal storage space
  • Includes 100 oz. BLACKHAWK! Hydration System
  • Drink system protected by Microban antimicrobial technology
  • Bite Me bite valve and quick-disconnect system
  • Additional compartment for a second optional reservoir
  • Padded, contour-fit shoulder harness with sternum strap
  • Reinforced drag/carry handle
  • Durable YKK zippers with silent sure-grip pulls
  • IVS molded back panel for comfort, stability, and airflow
  • Dimensions (main comp.): 16”L x 9.5”W x 2.5”D
  • Dimensions (front comp.): 9”L x 9.5”W x 2.5”D
  • Cubes: 750 cu. in. / 12 L Main Compartment
  • Capacity: 100 oz. / 3 L

What is your favorite pack for a “get home bag, and what do you put in it?” Share it in the comment section.

Gas maskMajor Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. www.MajorPandemic.com

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

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