Reviewing the Camelbak Military Skirmish™

Reviewing the Camelbak Military Skirmish Featured Image

The Camelbak brand is typically synonymous with hydration. Whether your primary activity is running, hiking, mountain biking, or any other form of recreation, you’ve probably heard and/or already own a Camelbak hydration pack. But Camelbak also offers packs designed specifically for military use, and the Camelbak Military Skirmish™ is a great example.

Quick Overview

Pack Name: MilTac Skirmish™ Hydration Pack

Designed Purpose: Hydration Plus Cargo

User Type: Unisex

Best Use: 1-2 day field excursions.

Technical Specifications

camelbak military - skirmish open

When evaluating the Camelbak Military Skirmish™ against other military packs, a side-by-side comparison of technical specifications is the obvious place to start. That’s why I’ve compiled an easy-to-digest list of specifications here for you:

Pack Dimensions: 20.3×14.6×12.1 (in); 52x37x31 (cm)

Pack Base Weight: 4 lbs, 10 oz; 2.2 kg

Hydration Type: BPA/BPS/BPF-Free Mil Spec Antidote Lumbar

Hydration Capacity: 3-liters (100 fl oz)

Gear Capacity: 33-liters (2014 cu in)

Harness Type: 10-mm EVA foam shoulder harness

Pack Fabric: 100% Nylon

Camelbak Skirmish Features

This pack offers a sleek and low-profile design complete with a composite MOLLE panel to provide secure attachment for pouches and gear. This internal panel also allows for customized storage of all essential equipment and supplies and the pack has five total exterior pockets.

The pack’s full clamshell opening was included to give you quick and easy access to the main compartment and the additional lower access zipper allows you to quickly stash or retrieve items from the main compartment at a moment’s notice.

The Camelbak Military Skirmish™ features a fully adjustable waistbelt designed to move weight from the shoulders to the hips for a comfortable carry. This waistbelt also stows out of the way easily and efficiently when not needed and the pack boasts multiple drink exit ports that allow you to route the tube over the shoulder or under the arm for whatever method of access you prefer.

Skirmish User Reviews

So that’s the hard information on the Camelbak Military Skirmish™: technical specifications and features. But, to be honest with you, this stuff alone isn’t going to persuade you to purchase this pack.

Sure, it’s a nice baseline to have when comparing to other military-specific packs, but you want to know the nitty-gritty: what have others found helpful or lacking when it comes to the actual use of this pack?

So I’ve scoured the depths of the Internet to compile a list of Pros and Cons based on numerous user reviews of this Camelbak military pack. As usual, I like to start with the bad news first.

Cons

Because the space for the second hydration bladder is located inside the pack, carrying two bladders means you will have to sacrifice storage space that you may need for other gear.

It’s not actually made in the U.S., although Amazon advertises as such.

The waistbelt can be stowed away but is not removable.

The shoulder straps appear a bit thin for carrying heavier loads.

It could use an interior separation flap and PALS on exterior sides to attach more gear.

Pros

This pack is capable of accommodating a second 100-ounce hydration bladder. The included bladder snugs into the lumbar area on the outside of the pack, but there is a hang loop, webbing strap, and drinking tube port for a second bladder inside the pack.

The new bladder design provides a comfortably low center of gravity and bottom access to the main compartment is very handy.

It provides very easy “throw-and-go” storage with cinch straps to secure all items.

It offers great lumbar support and plenty of space.

Is It Right For You?

From the number of reviews I read, it seems that the price of this pack has actually come down since many reviewers initially purchased it.

But price alone shouldn’t have the final word. While someone looking for a new pack to carry a couple of books to class isn’t likely to spend big on this pack, that’s ultimately not who it’s designed for. It’s designed for rugged field use and to stand up to the rigors of the battlefield.

camelbak-military-skirmish-open

If you’re looking for a little more information about the Camelbak Military Skirmish™, check out this video!

Tactical Backpack Buyer’s Guide

When searching for a new tactical backpack, keep the following characteristics in mind:

Materials

Many familiar with tactical gear believe that nylon is the way to go. More specifically, you should be looking for 500-Denier CORDURA Nylon or higher (up to 1200-Denier is great!).

This means you should avoid 200-Denier Nylon, Kodra, and polyester. Some newer packs are made with exotic fabrics like X-Pac, which are weatherproof and heavy-duty, but also tend to be heavier than nylon.

Modularity

What the heck does this mean? For all intents and purposes, a tactical pack isn’t a true “tactical pack” if it doesn’t boast MOLLE webbing. MOLLE stands for “Modular Lightweight Load-carrying equipment.”

The intent of the MOLLE system is to allow for customization through the attachment and organization of external gear and pouches. MOLLE is essential to a useful military pack because it allows you to build out for the specific needs of your next field assignment.

Comfort

The hardest part about searching for, and ultimately, buying a new pack online is that you can’t physically touch it, open and close compartments or pockets, and try it on for comfort. How a pack fits will be unique to every body type. So here’s what I recommend.

Find a brick-and-mortar near you that sells a variety of military or tactical packs. Go in and try a few on. Open and close pockets, check out the hydration configuration and explore the customization of the MOLLE system. Make sure you weight the pack down when you try it on. Most good backpack retailers will offer sandbags to stuff the pack so you can test how it fits when full to its capacity.

But Wait Before You Check Out!

But here’s the kicker: resist the urge to buy it there, in-store, after you’ve found the pack you like. Walk away. Tell the sales lady, “thank you for your time, but I’m going to do a bit more research.” Head home, open up your laptop and start searching the online marketplace.

It’s most likely that you’ll find a better price on the pack online, even after factoring in the costs of shipping. There are a number of online retailers, including sites like Moosejaw, Mountain Hardwear, and Newell Brands, that offer outdoor and tactical gear at significantly reduced prices. Make sure you do your research and find the best price possible.

Happy pack hunting!

Let’s Connect!

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At The Backpack Guide, I’m always looking for new trails and wildernesses to explore. And I’m always on the lookout for new products to test out! If you have feedback on this pack, or any other I’ve reviewed, I’d love to hear from you! Also, let me know if you’d like to write your own review!

Drop me a line here or find me on social media @thebackpackguide on Instagram and Facebook. Tag me in your photos with your newest pack or from your most recent adventure!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. I’ll be quick to reply to any questions, comments, or concerns you feel like sharing!

Love Your Pack!

The Backpack Guide

tucker@thebackpackguide.com

Camelbak Military Skirmish

$95.99
4.65

Customizability

4.8/5

Comfort

4.4/5

Durability

4.7/5

Pros

  • Great Lumbar Support
  • Plenty of Storage Space
  • Compatible with Two Hydration Bladders

Cons

  • Thin Shoulder Straps
  • Waist Belt is NOT Removable
  • Lacks Interior Separation Flap

Comments

  1. Vasilij

    Is the backpack used by the actual (I’d guess American?) army or is it just advertised like that? I mean it wouldn’s surprise me, considering they claim it was made in the US, when it clearly wasn’t.

    Is the backpack on the first picture the reviewed one, or is the reviewed one just really similar to it?

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  2. Rose

    Thanks for this great review on The Backpack Guide. My brother works for the military, so he bought the Camelbak military skirmish backpack. When he went to a war battlefield he lost the backpack so we have been looking for where to get the bag since then. We have tried a couple of stores but we can’t find it. Thanks for sharing the hint on how to get it! 

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      Tucker Ballister

      Hey Rose! You’re very welcome. Do you think your brother would be interested in sharing his experience with the pack?

  3. Gracie

    Thanks for this great post on the Camelbak military skirmish, this backpack has some great features which I would like to present as a gift for my son in the military, I wanna ask a question how spacious is this bag and how long does the delivery takes if ordered online as you have recommended? thanks 

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      Tucker Ballister

      Hi Gracie! The delivery time will depend on where you’re located. For folks in the U.S., two-day shipping is usually doable for Amazon. It shouldn’t take more than a week at best. But let me know where you’re located and I can do my best to provide a more realistic answer! 

  4. Josephine

    This looks like a great backpack.  I like the idea of two ports for hydration.   I personally need to stay very hydrated doing an outdoor activity.    Even though the two port leaves less room for other stuff I’d rather have the ports.   Light weight and comfort is also a great feature.   Lumbar support is important.    I think this backpack is worth checking out.  Great suggestion.

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      Tucker Ballister

      I’m glad you like it Josephine and I’d have to agree that the room for extra hydration bladders is one of the best features of this pack! 

  5. MrBiizy

    Hello Tucker. Thank you for sharing this review of Camelbak Military  Skirmish™. When I am in need of a backpack, what I look into is comfortability, ruggedity (long lasting), design and lastly price. For me, this backpack seems to tick all of the boxes except for the thin shoulder straps. Nevertheless, I still love this backpack.

    Compliment of the season.

    MrBiizy.

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