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.
Pack Name: MilTac Skirmish™ Hydration Pack
Designed Purpose: Hydration Plus Cargo
User Type: Unisex
Best Use: 1-2 day field excursions.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Many familiar with tactical gear
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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