A while back, I did a review w/pics of the Eberlestock X3 LoDrag backpack. While it has now been on the market since 2011, I still get questions about layout, design, etc. I thought posting this review w/pics might help some of the crew here out, so here goes... Thanks for looking!
This is the first production Eberlestock X3 LoDrag model I've evaluated since the SHOT Show in January 2011. The demo displayed during the show turned a lot of heads & at the time was being referred to as the "Fastback" pack. Eberlestock initially forecasted a release date of early June but production delays pushed it to the 3rd week in July. On Tuesday of this week, Eberlestock started shipping the pack, listing the available color options as Coyote Brown ,Dry Earth, Military Green, Multicam, and Hide Open Rock Veil. Earlier today, the FedEx truck showed up & delivered one of my "demo" pack (full scale production model, just one that won't be sold). I picked it up & brought it home for some weekend t&e, finding a few minutes late this afternoon to get some pics of the pack.
My initial impressions are very positive. The fabric is made from 420d nylon, the same material being used for the V69 Destroyer & V90 Battleship pack. It is lightweight & very durable and carries similiar water repelling properties as the cordura fabric used with many of their other packs.
The layout isn't totally unique to the Eberlestock family takes design & layout features from both the "hunting" and "tactical" backpack lines & incorporates them into one pack. The quoted internal cargo capacity runs around 2,300 cubic inches, adding the scabbard will approach 2,900-3,000 c.i. There are two ways to access the interior of the pack, via zipper access at the top section and lower section at the front of the pack. The top flap, once unzipped, has a mesh organizer pocket, giving you a good place to keep a hunting license, map, wallet, etc. The internal cargo area of the top compartment features a laptop/tablet divider, giving the user to safely carry such a device or a notebook, dope book, etc. There are also two vertical hydration sleeves, giving you the ability to run either 2 or 3 liter bladders. Remove the divider at the bottom of the top section & you have access to the lower compartment of the pack (you can also access this area by the simply unzipping the lower front section of the front of the pack). The lower compartment is pretty much a "box" layout, with no unique characteristics other than giving you additional space to store your gear.
The exterior of the X3 LoDrag is generously proportioned with molle webbing. Both the Eberlestock 2 liter accessory pouch & saddle bag accessories would be at home mounted at the front of the pack, while the side molle webbing is probably better suited for the 2 liter pouch vs. the saddle bag. One great aspect of molle webbing is that allows the user to add mag pouches, cargo/ accessory pouches, etc., regardless of manufacturer. This is one area where going Multicam gives a lot of flexibility as that pattern is consistant regardless of vendor. You can have a Multicam Eberlestock pack, a Multicam Tactical Tailor mag pouch, a Condor/Voodoo Tactical Dump Pouch and a Multicam SpecOPS General Purpose pouch and ALL will match. There are hydration bottle pockets at the lower section of each side of the pack, which can also be used as a lower support for running a tripod, side scabbard, etc. The compression straps (2 per side, designed to compress diagonally) are installed in a ways that compresses the sides of the pack, not across the front. This is a nice feature as it allows for the load to be compressed in a way that centers the load over the user's center of gravity.
Finally, the harness & suspension system (ie--the hip belt & shoulder straps) are typical Eberlestock. There is a large lumbar pad on the X3 and the shoulder straps are vertically adjustable to accomodate different torso sizes. The hip belt is removable & can be swapped out for either a small or large girth version so both smaller & larger users can customize a correct fit. A plastic frame sheet gives support & form to the back area & helps support the user's cargo load. The scabbard is identical in capacity & dimensions to that used for the Gunslinger II and G4 Operator. It will accomodate a weapon up to 60 inches and is wide enough to house large rifle setups with tactical stocks & optics mounts. The bottom line is that, from a scabbard point of view, the X3 LoDrag offers the same rifle carrying capabilities as both the Gunslinger II and G4 Operator, two packs that are notably larger & heavier than the LoDrag backpack.
These are just my initial observations & I'm sure they will evolve as I have more time with the pack & feedback comes in from you guys. I have high hopes that this pack is the answer to the market demographic that wants the scabbard capacity of the Eberlestock Gunslinger II & G4 Operator without the added dimensions and weight. I also see dual purposes for the X3 LoDrag, the obvious being a great daypack for tactical matches but also as a hunting rig that will allow hunters using tactical rifle setups to hump their gear up & down hills comfortably in their quest for a trophy kill. Now that this pack has been on the market for a while & been thoroughtly evaluated by a wide variety of users (from hunters, weekend shooters, to brave men deploying in harm's way), the universal feedback I'm getting is that this is one heck of a great pack. It incorporates the popular integrated scabbard design with a simple, functional layout. I think Glenn Eberle hit a home run with the X3 LoDrag, and it has helped many a hunter & shooter pursue their shooting passions.
Thanks for reading!