Extended Range Operator Pack: Initial Contact Review (Pt 1 of 2)

A little over a week ago I found a box on my doorstep from Tactical Tailor. It contained their Extended Range Operator Pack in the always attractive Ranger Green.  This being my first Tactical Tailor product, I was very excited to look it over and start testing it as soon as possible. However, being a family man and a responsible adult, well, most of the time anyway, I couldn’t just load the pack up and head up to the mountains like Jeremiah Johnson  no matter how much I wanted to.  Using my military training I adapted and overcame the situation. Loading the large main compartment – 3,142 cubic inches–with everyday household items like a 24-pack of water bottles, a bag of flour, and a very large box of garbage bags, I now had a respectable 35 pounds to hump around …while I cooked dinner.

Cooking on hard mode.

This gave me a good idea of how the pack rode and felt while performing actives other than long movements.  I was impressed at how comfortable it was with that amount of weight. Cinching the built in waist belt immediately took the weight off my shoulders, transferring it to my hips, while the contoured  shoulder straps kept the pack snug against my back and close to my center of gravity. I never once felt off balance even when twisting or turning rapidly in the confines of my kitchen.  I wish I could say as much for the dinner.

Tactical Tailor Extended Range Operator Pack

Tactical Tailor Extended Range Operator Pack, front/strap side.




















The next day found me on a 6 road march with the same load… and pushing my daughter in her stroller.  Here is where the combination of the shoulder, sternum, and waist belt all coming together to make wearing this pack not exactly pleasurable, but certainly a less painful experience than it would have been with a large ALICE pack. The shoulder straps and waist belt are lined with an Air Mesh material that provides good padding and a surprising amount of airflow. As the miles progressed I did have to make some minor adjustments, but nothing that couldn’t be done on the move. The packs internal HDPE sheet–that’s High-density polyethylene for you Grunts like me–with aluminum stays for rigidity makes the load bearing ability of this pack really shine through.  The weight is there but it doesn’t beat your back to death the way an ALICE pack would when moving fast.  However, with the body of the pack snug against you, heat does build up despite the Air Mesh padding on the main compartment.  Still, I’ll take that over the bouncing of a traditional ruck…

More to follow…



  • defensor fortissimo

    at 300+ dollars the Extended Operator pack is to rich for my blood, but i have it’s little brother and it’s a pretty cool bag. It can clip right onto anything with molle, vests included and so it makes a good day pack.

    • Ledanek

      Get the ACU version and get 50% off….actually, anything ACU in their inventory is 50% off

  • defensor fortissimo

    by little brother i meant the removable operator pack

  • MacvAbn

    When I wear my backpack with weight around town or for hikes in the park to perpare for the boondocks I use plastic bags of cat litter. They come in 8 lbs bags so you can figure out how much you want on any given hike, the stuff lasts years witout leakingand it’s cheap.

    • red2alpha73

      That is a really good idea! I should have thought of that myself considering there are four cats in my family.

  • Patrocles in OD

    How’s access besides from the top? Or is that in part 2.

    • red2alpha73

      That will be in Part II.

  • A.Lentz

    But can you sew with it…ultimate test.. hand sew 4 buttons sitting on the ground. if you can pass this test with it, without having to get up and stretch, you know you have a set up that will be comfortable for extended periods.

  • Kurt

    Nice looking pack. I have medium ALICE ruck. It works well for what I ask it to do. Always looking to see what’s new though. What’s your mission? The answer will define your gear. Overnighter, weekend drill,7 day trip? I’m continually downsizing. This pack looks like it could carry a couple of kids! Looks like one half of it will fit a non compressed sleeping bag. Might need that MOLLE to help carry it all. Typical pack weight now is 30lbs or less for me. I don’t do 75lb packs any more. Every non-mil internal frame pack I’ve bought in the past, with a heavy load in it, has always forced me to bend forward which is not good for situational awareness, or comfort. After 50 lbs no pack is comfortable even with the weight shared between hips and shoulders in my experience. Putting a better belt on the ALICE ruck helps a lot if you pack heavy. Can this pack hold 75-100 lbs? Even at 58 y.o. I prefer an external frame. If you had to quickly go prone, can you raise your helmeted head to fire your weapon, with this pack? Looking forward to part 2. Cold War Vet.

  • Downrange360

    They need to develop removable waist straps (maybe 4″X6″ hook & loop) but at that size it increases noise upon removal. I eventually cut mine off all my packs, but left the lumbar padding intact. It might ‘bounce’ during flat quick march so tuck in your elbows but everywhere else you’ll find it a plus, especially up steep terrain it gives you additional maneuverability .-HOOAH.

    • Downrange360

      I might add that having no waist straps eases quick drop….just don’t get them caught in any door frames or on handles.

  • Aikidoman82