Since its inception in 1997, Triple Aught Design has built its name on producing high-quality bags, apparel, and gear with an unmistakable tactical influence. And while these items are incredibly conducive to use in the backwoods or on the battlefield, we were unsure of how well the company’s brand of over-engineered goods would translate to regular everyday carry use. Wanting to find out for ourselves, we’ve tracked down one of TAD’s EDC-aimed FAST Pack Litespeed backpacks, putting the pack through its paces to deliver this hands-on review.
Video Review: Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Litespeed
Prefer video breakdowns to the written word? Then be sure to check out our 4K review of the TAD FAST Pack Litespeed for a more in-depth look at our hands-on experience with the backpack.
Right out of the box, TAD’s FAST Pack Litespeed feels incredibly rugged and well-built. At just under 4lbs, this 22-liter bag isn’t necessarily what we would call lightweight, however, its noticeable amount of heft unquestionably speaks to its robust construction and unparalleled level of durability. At first glance, the pack appears to boast a fairly elaborate design, with an enormous bevy of external hardware and attachment points. However, once you begin to scratch beneath the surface, it quickly becomes abundantly clear just how spartan this bag truly is, with a single main cavity containing a pair of zippered mesh pockets supplemented by just one external pocket.
Materials & Construction
Military-Inspired Everyday Carry
TAD’s signature brand of military-inspired aesthetics and mil-spec durability are by no means lost in the FAST Pack Litespeed. Made in America in small batches to ensure exacting quality control standards, the bag features a 1,000-denier CORDURA shell set over a high-density poly ethylene frame sheet. This ballistic-grade shell is supplemented via Hypalon synthetic rubber reinforcements and strategically-placed Evazote closed cell cross-linked ethylene copolymer foam. While on the subject, it’s also worth noting that TAD produces an even more hardwearing X-Pac VX-21 construction version of the bag — as well as a 500-denier CORDURA-spec.
Attachment Points Galore
External Design & Equipment
Unlike most packs we’ve tested, the vast majority of the FAST Pack Litespeed’s features are found on the outside of the bag, with a top-shelf selection of hardware that maintains the spare-no-expense approach that was used when selecting the backpack’s materials. Equipped with a front 3” x 9” Velco panel for chevrons and morale patches, the Fast Pack Litespeed’s exterior boasts a DRI-LEX Aerospacer moisture management mesh back panel and multiple elastic retainer straps. Impervious to even the most intense of downpours, the zippers on the shell all consist of #8 and #10 nylon coil reverse YKK AquaGuard zippers with paracord pulls.
ITW GhillieTEX was also tapped for some high-end hardware, lending its Cordlocs, Ladderlocs, and Tri-Glides hardware, plus Looploc anchor points, SR Ladderloc buckles, and web-securing “Web Dominators.” Allowing for even more modularity and gear attachment are several rows of MOLLE-compatible PALS webbing. What’s more, the bag features a Hypalon grab handle and a cleverly-designed paracord compression system along the handle that can be used to attach more gear to the bag — or in the event of an emergency can provide 8’ of removable paracord, something we thankfully didn’t need to test during our time with the pack.
Internal Storage & Organization
Affording 22 liters of incredibly versatile storage space, the FAST Pack Litespeed opens to reveal a main cavity that features a pair of internal gusseted, mesh zippered pockets. This primary compartment is supplemented via a single front admin pocket with multiple accessory slots, as well. And, while it may look incredibly minimalistic, the bag’s interior actually sports an incredibly calculated design that makes for one of the most modular bags we’ve ever tested. The use of internal perimeter, top, and bottom anchor points allows the bag to be supplemented with an array of optional Control Panel accessories, as well as transport sleeves for laptops and tablets, a tail extension, and a variety of packing cubes — making an already extremely versatile bag all the more adaptable depending on how you plan on using it.
Further upping the FAST Pack Litespeed’s modularity are front and bottom compression straps and a transport tail conversion that can be used internally or externally. There’s also a hanger that allows the bag to accommodate a hydration bladder. The internal dimensions of the backpack — 12″W x 20″H x 6.75″D — were selected by TAD in order to be compatible with standard sizing for laptops and tablets for the bag’s optional Transport Sleeves, making it perfectly functional as a (very overbuilt) work backpack, too.
Tactical Influence Done Right
Final Thoughts On A Brilliantly-Designed Pack
When you strip a pack down to its bare essentials like this, the elements that do remain in play become all the more important. And in this regard, TAD has knocked it out of the park, equipping the backpack with some of the finest materials and hardware that money can buy. We wouldn’t mind seeing a permanent, dedicated laptop compartment, however, with the ability to add a compatible laptop sleeve add-on, this is far from a major issue. At the end of the day, the slew of available add-ons and attachments allow this single bag to lend itself to a wide variety of uses and activities by simply swapping out, adding, or removing additional control panels, tails, or transport sleeves. All in all, it’s about as versatile as EDC bags get.
The 25 Best Everyday Carry Backpacks
Want to see how TAD’s FAST Pack Litespeed bag stacks up against some of the other leading EDC bags on the market? Then be sure to head over to our guide to the best everyday carry backpacks for a hand-selected list of more than two-dozen of the finest options from some of today’s most respected brands.
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