Introducing the new 26.5 liter, top load Ignitor tactical backpack from 5.11. As expected, my first order of business was to understand how it would perform with the weight from my normal outdoor gear. At just under 27 liters this is my go-to pack for full day excursions. Equipped with a fully adjustable belt, internal frame suspension, air mesh back paneling, a ridiculous amount of pockets, and plethora of storage options, I didn’t have any issues loading up for weekend desert trips or Army bootcamp.
The Ignitor Backpack is a lightweight, structurally enhanced backpack engineered for the long haul and tough working conditions. Adjustable and removable load-bearing belt panels are compatible with the ThumbDrive Holster, SlickStick System, and the Zephyr suspension system features padded aerospace mesh for comfortable carry of heavy loads. The bag also offers built-in RUSH Tier scabbard capability, for superior rifle carry. The durable 840D nylon bottom and rugged 300D ripstop polyester body ensures lasting performance, while the stuff-it pocket, zippered side pockets, top-loading main compartment, and the MOLLE-compatible exterior provide ample storage. Lashing, load-suspension, and compression straps keep things secure, and a standard-sized hydration compartment keeps you ready. Whew, I’m exhausted simple from attempting to highlight all of the features from the 5.11 Ignitor pack.
Pack Features Overview
- Lightweight, structurally enhanced backpack
- Zephyr suspension system and customizable belt panels
- Ideal for tactical duty, hunting and camping, and travel
- Overall Dimension: 21”H x 11”L x 9.5”W
- Volume: ~ 1617 cubic inches and 26.5 litres
- 300D ripstop polyester body
- 840D nylon base
- Zephyr suspension system
- Compression straps
- Dual side storage compartments
- Stuff-it pocket
- Hydration compartment
- Adjustable belt panels
- Wrap-around MOLLE- and SlickStick-compatible web platform
If you’re at all like me, you tend to stretch your gear beyond its limits time and time again. This is especially true with day packs. Backpacking adventures and serving in the military for many years has taught me to always be prepared. Whether that entails carrying extra food, water, clothing, or first aid; I tend to bring far more than I probably need. Fortunately, this means I’m rarely caught without something I truly need. This year alone, I’ve gone through two day packs — both have been worn out as a result of ripped seams zippers. Now I know you’re probably thinking I should just carry less stuff, but that’s not really an option for me as active duty military. On a weekly basis, I am required to change missions on a moment’s notice, or as 5.11 would put it: always be ready.
5.11 Ignitor In Use
While in the field I have become quite comfortable with the 5.11 Ignitor backpack. The top load feature is a bit different from what you might be used to. Traditionally you only get a small opening that is often only as wide as the pack skeleton; that’s not the case here. Conveniently, the Ignitor unzips from the top and partially filets the front portion of the bag as you open it, making it much easier to find items buried deep within your pack, especially when it’s on the ground. I’ve been using this bag for desert training exercises, and patrols, day excursions, and to haul all my camera gear around on our photo shoots. This is by far one of the most versatile bags in my arsenal.
Through my weeks of testing I’ve come to love this bag. The Ignitor pack has some of the best organization and storage options that I have seen in years. The combination of MOLLE platform and varied size compartments means I can stash my gear in the exact spot I need it. I’ve overloaded, dropped, dragged, and beaten this bag and so far it’s been able to roll with the punches. The hip straps took a little bit to get used to, although those with larger waists probably won’t have as much of an issue with it. I did find the torso strap to be a little higher than I’d personally like, and I’d love to see canted water bottle holders instead of the straight cut that comes with most packs in this size. But with those minor gripes aside, you’re going to be really stretched to find a more capable bag in this size. Does this replace every bag in my collection? No, I strongly believe in having multiple bags so you have the right one for the task at hand. But don’t get me wrong, this is going to be my go-to bag for most adventures in the near future.