The Rucksack Review – 5.11, Direct Action and Pentagon
Rucksacks, nearly everyone has at least one. They are all different, but all have the same function. That got us wondering. What differences are there in some of the rucksacks we sell here at Heinnie Haynes? The bags we have chosen to feature are the 5.11 Rush 12, Direct Action (DA) Dust Backpack and Pentagon Re-Storm Bug Out Bag.
This review is broken into several parts. Firstly we will look at first impressions, then moving onto the looks of the bag. Once those have been established, we will then look at the different types of space and pockets that each bag offers, which ultimately leads to the usability of the rucksacks. At the end of this blog, we hope to have given you a good idea of what these different bags can offer you and what our opinions are of them.
On with the show . . .
Upon opening I am mostly impressed with the display of the Direct Action Dust backpack, not necessarily because of the bag, just simple it’s presentation. It comes sealed inside another bag which is a bit like a supermarket bag for life. I find it’s often the small things that can make a difference, especially in terms of presentation.
Of the three rucksacks the Direct Action Dust is the smallest, followed by the 5.11 Rush 12 then the largest being the Pentagon Re-storm. Initially looking at the bags you can see that the Pentagon and 5.11 bags look very similar. I happened to pick just two black ones, but even if they were different colours, it’s still pretty obvious they aren’t a million miles apart (in terms of looks anyway). The Direct Action bag also doesn’t quite look as aesthetically pleasing as the other two, whether it be because I’m partial to the black kit, or maybe because there is something about it that isn’t as striking as the other two. All three of the bags look versatile and able to be used in a range of environments both indoor and outdoor. Each bag also has hook and loop sections for you to customise your bag with your own morale patches and molle straps for attaching additional sections.
Starting with the Pentagon Re-Storm, which as I said is the biggest of the rucksacks in this blog. This bag has a wide range of pockets, starting with a good size laptop space at the back (the side which rests against your back), which is padded for protection and comfort. There is a good size front pocket with added zipped mesh section. Above that there is a smaller pocket with the same style zipped mesh section. The main compartment is of a very good size, again with mesh section to divide contents as needed. To finish there is also a small fabric pocket just above the bag straps which is good for odds and sods such a loose change etc. Overall my feeling on this bag is good, good pocket types, good pocket size. However, my one reservation is there is a slight lack of different style pockets. For me, I like each pocket to be a little different for different uses. Instead with this bag you get very good size sized pockets with simple design.
Moving onto the 5.11 Rush 12. Much like the Pentagon, it has a good sized laptop section with good padding and good space and full zip. Moving onto the front of the bag it has a large lower front pocket with lots of space, but includes lots of little pockets for things like pens, money and phone. In addition it also has a zipped up section at the back for added security, however as not meshed, you can’t see straight away what is in it. Staying on the front of the bag but moving up we have a small zip pocket big enough for small bits and pieces or sunglasses, this is similar size to another zip pocket just above the bag straps. These pockets are very similar, but still very useful. Moving into the main pocket now, which is a great size (feels almost Tardis like). It has big open space with two zipped mesh sections and a small fabric pocket. A really versatile bag with a very good range of pockets.
Finally onto the DA Dust Backpack. Like the other two bags this again has a good size laptop section, with slightly more padding than the others, however, this isn’t a zip pocket, so potentially not as secure. On the front of this bag there is a small sideways opening pouch, not very big, but good enough size for odds and sods like loose change. Moving into the main front pouch, there isn’t a big storage space, but what it does offer is a fantastic range of pocket of all different shapes and sizes. There is a zip pocket with clear plastic panel so you can store and use things like maps on the go. There’s a phone holder, pen holders a mesh pocket and two fabric pockets, all of which are sealable too. All in all very good in my opinion! The main compartment is of a decent size, slightly smaller than the other two, but decent all the same. There is a good size mesh pocket and a section at the back again big enough for a laptop or tablet. What this bag also offers as standard are two bottle pockets on the side. Very useful for those long days outdoors or navigating the urban jungle.
Starting with the 5.11 Rush 12 this time. I love this bag’s usability. Its strong, versatile, has all the space and pockets I need for the average day. The straps are very comfortable, and easily adjustable. Lots of buckles and molle straps to really customise the bag to your needs. Very comfortable to use with good padded straps and back section. Highly recommended!
Onto the Direct Action Dust Rucksack, which I didn’t quite find as comfortable as the 5.11 Rush 12, simply because the straps aren’t as padded. However, that being said due to the pad positioning on my back, it allowed my back to breathe and not get stiflingly hot when used for a prolonged period. I also found the main front pocket with all its little pockets very useful for all my EDC (everyday carry) items. The water bottle holders were also a fine addition. The only problem I really found with it, was that its main compartment wasn’t as big as I personally needed it for, also I found the colour of the bag, wasn’t very urban, so felt a little out of place wearing it outside the countryside.
Last but not least back to the Pentagon Re-storm, this was a comfortable bag to wear. Easy on the shoulders and allowed my back to breathe. Good padding on the straps really makes this a bag a genuine pleasure to use. Lots of molle straps for customisation should you need, however for what I use the bag for these are ultimately unnecessary. Loved all the separate mesh pockets in each compartment; they made it really easy to keep things separate, but still allowed me to see what I had put in each section. My only negative with this as I mention before is that I love a diverse range of pockets, this bag doesn’t offer that, but everything else I think is pretty darn good!
You could probably tell from what I was saying that overall I was really impressed with all of the rucksacks. In all honesty I wasn’t expecting a huge amount from the Direct Action bag, but it was a really surprise package, which was great to see. The Pentagon too was a great bag and will be fantastic for most people; however it just wasn’t for me. I have to say my personal favourite was the 5.11 Rush 12. It offered everything I needed in a rucksack for everyday use, with the ability to be adapted to a whole range of environments with its array of molle straps. I don’t think I could really find a big fault for what I needed it for.
Thank you for reading this rucksack review. If you have any products from Heinnie that you wish to review, then please do and send us a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will then put it across all our networks credited to you! Thanks, Heinnie Haynes.