Triple Aught Designs [TAD]
Triple Aught Designs is a small manufacturer of top-tier military focused equipment based out of San Francisco, California. All of their gear is produced on American soil, and so sought after that it can often be hard to get. If you do find the opportunity to acquire a piece of kit from TAD, you’ll soon realize what all the fuss is about. Their stuff is some of the most durable, well-designed, over-engineered equipment on the market. According to their website, TAD developed their name from the following principle:
“Engineers and machinists use 000 (triple aught) as shorthand for a thousandth of an inch, which has been the high standard of precision tolerance for over a century. Inspired by that ideal, we apply thorough design, high attention to detail, and strict tolerances to ensure our products meet your most rigorous needs.”
It’s the perfect concept to showcase the quality of their products. Their attention to detail in every aspect of product design and engineering is truly unmatched. Read on to find out more.
TAD FAST Pack EDC Review
Philosophy of Use
Triple Aught Design has developed the Fast Pack to be an extremely versatile, highly modular pack. While optimized as a 1-3 day pack, its attachment and customization potential allow it to reach much further in the right hands.
That being said, it measures in at 32.77 liters in volume. For this reason extended backpacking trips may not be its best application, for which I recommend the Kelty Redwing 50. It may be however the very best tactical EDC or bug-out bag, and is very difficult to beat in the 1-3 day range. It is literally covered in PALS webbing and attachment points.
While this may be ideal for some, this pack does not fit in the ultralight category. It’s more suited towards those seeking ultimate customization and versatility potential. This aligns with TAD’s primary focus and target customers; serious operators involved in military or outdoor pursuits.
“Ruggedized construction and modular adaptability are the foundation of our FAST platform, helping you conquer the routine, the unexpected and everything in between. Combining the best of military design and mountaineering ergonomics, the FAST Pack EDC is built to be your trusted companion for adventures close to home or missions far away.”
Materials and Construction
The Fast Pack EDC is has been put together almost entirely with name brand, cutting edge materials and accessories. This inspires a sense of true quality and craftsmanship that is hard to find elsewhere, and totally believable once you use it.
1000 and 500 Denier MIL-SPEC Invista™ Cordura® fabric is a high tensile strength composite nylon thread and webbing that’s resistant to abrasion, puncture and tears. It’s used throughout the body of the the pack for bomb-proof durability.
Hypalon synthetic rubber reinforces critical stress points on the pack. The same material is used to manufacture Zodiac boats for it’s notable resistances to chemical interaction, temperature extremes, UV exposure, abrasion, and puncture.
All padding is composed of Evazote® Closed Cell Cross-Linked Ethylene Copolymer Foam and enclosed in DRI-LEX® Aerospacer Moisture Management Mesh for superior cushion, durability, ventilation, and moisture wicking.
Zippers and Hardware:
- YKK® #8 and #10 Nylon Coil Reverse Zippers with Paracord Zipper Pulls
- ITW GhillieTEX™ Web Dominators to Secure Webbing
- ITW GhillieTEX™ Looploc anchor points
- ITW GhillieTEX™ SR Ladderloc buckles
- ITW GhillieTEX™ Cordlocs, Ladderlocs, Tri-Glides, and other hardware.
The large main compartment of the Fast Pack EDC is accessible through a full-zip clamshell opening for easy loading, unloading, and organization.
Previous iterations of the Fast Pack EDC were only equipped with a partial clamshell. Updating to a full length opening allows for maximum access to items buried within the pack. Also, it’s become much easier to load, unload, and organize your kit. If desired one can partially unzip the compartment to access the upper portion, using the compression straps as zipper stops to avoid dumping the packs contents all over the dirt.
Using the attached inner anchor points, large, heavy, or awkwardly shaped items may be strapped against the frame of the pack. Hefty items like hydration bladders and ammunition secured against the frame help to ensure their stability, preventing unwanted movement during complex maneuvers.
In addition to straps, the transporter tail can be removed from the outer of the pack and used as both an admin panel and for securing difficult pieces of gear. TAD also sells an attachment known as the Control Panel to serve the same purpose.
Also, the interior of the front panel comes equipped with zippered mesh pockets for further storage of small important items. The exterior of the panel also comes with a few important features. First, a velcro panel for patches and emblems. Second, a front zippered admin pocket for convenient access and organization of things like knives, pens, and cutlery. Third, almost the entire panel is covered in PALS webbing.
A separate, roll-top compartment has been included to store weather sensitive gadgets or gear, and is plenty large enough for most laptops. It’s basically a built in dry bag for critical components of your kit. It also allows for important items to be separated from the rest of the pack and easily accessed should the need arise. The buckles of the roll-top closure secure along the sides of the pack, ensuring the compartment remains tightly closed.
There are zippered external pockets on each sidewall that can expand to accommodate bottles, optics, or other accessories. These pockets are easily large enough to fit a standard Nalgene Botle. Beneath them are hidden compartments or “flashlight caves” for quick and easy access to items attached with dummy cord or gear retractors. Finally, the side pockets are also covered with, you guessed it, PALS webbing.
As previously stated, the Fast Pack is designed to be highly modular, and accept the attachment of limitless pouches and accessories. It’s literally covered in Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) webbing, for use with compatible with Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) accessories.
This enables you to customize the configuration of your pack for any possible circumstances. All of the webbing is compatible with Tek-Lok style hardware for affixing sheaths, holsters and other equipment. The removable compression straps enable one to store additional gear to the top, bottom, and sides of the pack. Along the top, 8 feet of paracord can be used to tighten down irregular shaped items or removed for use in an emergency.
Furthermore, the removable transporter tail can allow one to easily transport bulky or awkwardly shaped objects. Items like helmets may be secured with the tail raised, while longer things like rifles or fishing poles can be attached with the tail lowered. Also, as stated above the transporter tail can be removed and transferred to the interior of the pack for securing items against the frame.
The Fast Pack is build with efficient suspension geometry through padded padded reinforced shoulder straps equipped with adjustable load lifters, and a rigid HDPE frame panel. These components position the pack high and centered on the back, keeping the load above the pelvis for balance and maneuverability.
The padded, reinforced shoulder straps ease strain on the shoulders and transfer away moisture. Also, the soft yet durable material reduces friction and therefore wear on contact material. A fully adjustable sternum strap further increases comfort and stablity without sacrificing range of motion through the use of elastic retainer straps.
TAD FAST Pack EDC – Final Thoughts
All in all the Fast Pack is an excellent piece of kit. Triple Aught Designs has created only two backpacks in their entire lineup, and both have been revised over and over. The amount of configurations and possibilities for this pack are endless. Matched with the fact that it’s one of the most well made backpacks on the market, it’s pretty hard to beat.
While not ultralight, or suited toward those who may have little need for so much modularity; For a tactical mid-range backpack the TAD Fast Pack EDC very well may be the best product available.