Designed in California as an intermediate backpack, the Patrol backpack by Hazard 4 provides the functionality of a day pack and the storage capacity of a 72-hour bag. With its unique features and padded reinforcement, carrying the Patrol will be comfortable regardless if its to the range or on the trail.
The exterior of the Patrol involves a number of unique elements that Hazard 4 has developed to extend the role of its product. Starting at the front, the Patrol prominently features an 8.3″ (L) x 4.3″ (W) x 1.2″ (D) pill-shaped pocked with thermoformed shell, and secured via zipper.
Below pill-pocket is a 10.6″ (L) x 8.9″ (W) x 1″ (D) administrative pocket secured via zipper. On the exterior of the admin pocket are four strips of folded material (on non-Scorpion variants it is nylon) that are stitched to create MOLLE-compatible spacing. Between these strips are two (female) hook-and-loop strips for identification tabs. On the bottom of the admin pocket are two drainage grommets.
Inside the admin pouch are two document sleeves, two pen sleeves, two accessory sleeves, a card pocket, and two MOLLE straps to clip items on to. These sleeves are all made out of a smooth, logoized nylon material.
On both sides of the Patrol are multiple nylon MOLLE straps, two compression straps with plastic slide-release buckles, and a slide pocket. At the top is a durable plastic carry handle, hook-and-loop access tab for a hydration tube, a small access zipper into the main compartment, and two plastic slide-release buckles that anchor the shoulder straps. Under the slide-release buckles is a zipper-secured pocket for a hydration bladder or laptop.
On the back panel are multiple thermoformed pads to provide comfort and rigidity to the overall frame, but also insulate/pad the hydration bladder pocket.
Included with the Patrol is a mesh padded, removable waist strap to help mitigate the weight of the pack during long-term use. It can be removed to be worn as a stand-alone belt to hang accessories from while walking. The waist strap features Hazard 4’s patented locking buckle that prevents accidental uncoupling. Along the waist strap are two bands of the same folded material as on the exterior of the admin pouch, stitched into MOLLE-compatible spacing.
The shoulder straps are padded and contoured to maximize comfort of the user with an adjustable sternum strap. They have a strip of MOLLE-compatible folded material down its length, with plastic slide-release buckles on either end for rapid removal of the pack if needed.
On the bottom of the Patrol is a nylon grab-handle over which are two additional compression straps. The bottom of the Patrol also is coated in a PVC/rubberized material to prevent saturation of the pack if placed down on a wet surface.
On the interior of the Patrol backpack, and behind the admin pocket, is a 17.4″ (L) x 10.5″ (W) x 0.8″ (D) zipper-secured laptop pocket with a smooth, logoized nylon liner.
The main storage compartment is fleece and nylon-lined and measures 17.7″ (L) x 12.6″ (W) x 8.7″ (D). It also includes an internal sleeve for documents or other flat items, with a single drainage grommet on the bottom.
The overall Patrol backpack measures 20.9″ L x 12.6″ W x 10″ D and has a storage capacity of 31.8 liters of space. Its overall materials vary depending on color. The Black and Coyote variants are 1000D Cordura and treated in a PUx2 water repellent coating. The Scorpion (featured) and Grayman are made from polyester. The Grayman variant of the Patrol also features less MOLLE straps on the sides, zippered opening at the top, and no rubberized bottom so as to maintain its low visibility profile and thus it costs less.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): At an MSRP of $209.99 on Hazard 4’s website, but marked at $167.99 at the time of this review, the Patrol backpack is found online for as low as $107.79 depending on color. For a 72-hour backpack, the Patrol is moderately priced under other manufacturers like Tactical Tailor, 5.11, and Blackhawk who make comparable products. But the offset in price is likely due to opting for alternatives in design, such as MOLLE nylon webbing or hardware (discussed in Durability and Functionality).
- Comfort – Excellent (5/5): The Patrol’s soft polyester frame design and thermoformed back panel help give it a high degree of comfort when worn, even fully loaded. The contoured shoulder straps helped distribute the weight across the upper torso evenly and are a far improvement over competitors. Using the removable waist belt (either as part of the backpack or as a standalone belt) also aids in taking some of that load off the shoulders and distributes it to the waist as well thanks to its large padding.
- Durability – Fair (2/5): The packs polyester gives the Patrol a high degree of durability in terms of abrasion resistance from general wear. But the zippers (specifically the hardware) felt thin which was disconcerting for a pack that is expected to sustain a heavy amount of use. Hazard states these are YKK zippers but in comparison to other 72-hour packs using the same brand, there is a clear difference in feel and function. I also question the option to use folded material on the exterior of the admin pouch to form MOLLE straps. Traditionally these are made from nylon for their strength in hanging more pouches and accessories from, same as those found on the sides of the Patrol pack. But Hazard attempts to offset the difference in material on the front by extensive bartack stitching. It should be noted this choice of material webbing is only on the Scorpion variant of the Patrol, whereas the Black has nylon webbing and the Grayman has a completely discrete exterior design.
- Functionality – Excellent (5/5): As a 72-hour backpack, the Patrol has a fair amount of functionality incorporated into its design. This was highlighted in the pill-shaped hard case on the exterior to protect essential electronics, such as GPS, range finders, or optics and the rubberized bottom to prevent moisture penetration. Even when detached, the waist belt doubled as an impromptu gun belt with plenty of MOLLE webbing to hang holsters or pouches from. With over 30 liters of storage space there was more than enough room to serve as a Bug Out Bag or recon pack. The only negative from a functionality aspect would be that only several zippers feature a hard-plastic lining over the pull cord, whereas most did not. I would have liked to have seen all pull tabs with that protective lining as it aids in drawing the zipper shuttle, and strength of the pull cord.
- Weight – Good (4/5): Weighing 4 pounds (empty), the Patrol is on the average weight of most 72-hour packs on the current market thanks in part to its lightweight polyester design and thermoformed padding. By keeping the design to the essentials and keeping the lining material to light nylon, the overall weight of the Patrol while empty was negligible. Once you begin to add items into the pack however, the weight can easily rest on the shoulders and hips thanks to the included straps.
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
Product Link: https://www.hazard4.com/patrol.html
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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