A couple months back, Haley Strategic Partners (HSP) came out with a backpack dubbed the D3 FlatPack. Touted as an “expandable combat assault pack,” the distinctive feature of this specific backpack is the fact that it has a 200 cubic inch capacity in a flat state, and increases to 600 cubic inches when fully expanded.
The FlatPack is only 16 ounces (1lb) in weight and is made out of 500D Cordura and will fit an 8 x 12″ computer / tablet. The lightweight characteristic and the ease in which the FlatPack can compress and expand means that the padding is non-existent. There is essentially no padding in the bag itself, so it’s not really going to provide protection for fragile gear.
But what it does do is provide a nice ‘covert’ pack to carry items as streamlined as possible (while sacrificing protection), which can convert to an to an ‘overt’ pack for carrying larger gear (e.g. jackets, clothes, hydration bladder, etc).
The D3 FlatPack has three separate compartments:
- Main (200 cubic inches expandable to 600 cubic inches
- Admin (50 cubic inches expandable to 100 cubic inches)
- Flat, good for paperwork, small notebooks, etc.
The FlatPack utilizes two sets of zippers to compress the bag into the slim state. One zipper compresses the smaller admin compartment, and another zipper compresses the main compartment.
HSP designed the D3 FlatPack to work with their D3 Chest Rig (D3CR) via the quick-release clips. I personally run the D3CR with a Mayflower APC (plate carrier) rigged with Velocity Systems SwiftClips.
The D3CR does come with an H-harness for those that want the D3CR without a plate carrier / chest rig. But I never really liked running the D3CR standalone with an H-harness because I could never get it adjusted comfortably on my frame. It was too front heavy. But running the FlatPack with the D3CR would make more sense, because gear in the FlatPack would help balance the weight of the D3CR on the body. Not to mention the larger surface area of the D3 FlatPack provides more structure and support while wearing the D3CR with it.
The FlatPack is also designed to run without the straps and hook onto PALS webbing, like the back of a plate carrier.
Thus, the D3 FlatPack is quite versatile in terms of how it can be worn.
I decided to pick one up since I already use the D3CR, so the FlatPack seemed like a nice way to be able to use the D3CR without my Mayflower APC (or the dreaded – by me – H-harness). Plus, the FlatPack makes a nice accessory bag to carry the D3CR.
But I also bought the FlatPack since I have an 11.6″ MacBook Air, which will fit in the FlatPack (no, a 13″ MacBook Pro will not fit in the FlatPack). I have an 11.6″ MBA for portability when away from my desktop workstation (I need to have the ability to handle work issues while mobile), and having a very thin bag to carry the 11.6″ MBA is something I was looking for.
As I indicated earlier, the FlatPack doesn’t have any padding, so carrying a laptop in the FlatPack is going to be dicey if you’re going to throw the FlatPack around while it holds your laptop. Although, this lack of protection can be mitigated by also carrying the laptop in a padded sleeve, while it is in the D3 FlatPack.
The Haley Strategic Partners D3 FlatPack is definitely an interesting, versatile, lightweight, low profile pack. But it does come at a cost of $130 USD. Frankly, I feel the price is a bit high. The bag is definitely high quality, but I feel a $100 or a sub-$100 price point would make this pack more enticing.
There is no such thing as the perfect bag, since each bag excels in it’s own specific application. The Haley Strategic Partners D3 FlatPack is no exception. If you have a need for a high quality, low profile, lightweight pack that can be slimmed down or sized up, and can crossover between duty and casual use, then you should give the FlatPack a consideration.
The Haley Strategic Partners D3 FlatPack is available in black, coyote, ranger green, and Multicam, and can be purchased directly from HSP at http://www.haleystrategic.com/.