After a lot of research, I bought the Javelin 2.0 from Vanquest as my first “tactical” bag. Chances are you will not see me using this sling bag in the woods. Instead, I am using it daily to and from the office, and running around with the kids on weekend. There are a lot of great features on the Javelin. It is a mid size sling bag that carries a good amount of stuff, great for daily EDC for work, or as a camera bag. It has amongst many things:
- a front small zip pocket, perfect for a wallet, that can be optionally “locked down” with a snap closure
- the front admin pocket and the main compartment is designed to be accessed primarily when the bag is swung to the front of the body while the bag is on your shoulder, or from the top if the bag is standing up like a bag pack
- a CCW back pocket that fits my iPad, or can be used with a hydration pouch, with all the routing necessary for the feeding tube
- lots of hook and loop and molle attachment points on the outside of the bag
- removable dividers for the main compartment — I use them when I use the bag as a camera bag
Some of the especially nice things about this bag are:
- quality — the build quality of this bag is top notch. Threads are straight and well sewed. Zippers are smooth — in fact getting smoother with usage. Plastics on buckles are strong and well molded. We are in contacts with the bags we carry all the time, and the quality feel adds to the enjoyment of the bag.
- design — There are a lot of nice details in the design of the bag that make it very functional. One particular — the C shape zipper opening of the main compartment — makes getting items in and out of the bag while on body or off body very easy. I love this design. Placement and padding of the top carry handle, the bottom grab handle for pulling the sling forward while on body, are all very well designed and executed.
- The orange interior color — I like bright color interior. It helps locate items in the bag.
- Carry comfort — the sling strap is wide and padded. The strap geometry is just right. This is one of the most comfortable bags I have.
While there are no real problems with the bag. Here are a few items that could be improved, at least from my usage pattern:
- The bag is not wide enough for carrying a 13 inch macbookPro and a lot of other items. The MBP will fit, but stretches the main compartment enough to make carrying a lot of other items difficult. The bag is also not wide enough to carry letter size paper portfolio (which tends to be slightly wider than letter sized).
- Too much velcro — while I understand that for a sling bag, internal compartments have to be useful in two directions. Therefore a velcro closure on the large internal pockets make sense. However, for use in an office environment, the velcro is loud. Also it is hard to open, particularly the big pocket inside the main compartment one handed or in one go. I often have to “tear” the velcro with two or three pulls. For my use I would love to see a zipper closure instead — while understand that a zipper makes the opening and ease of putting things in and out a bit harder.
- Minor personal usage issue: because I use this as my office EDC, I would like to have a little less molle on the front of the bag
- There is no water bottle pocket — I understand for a sling bag it is hard to design in a water bottle holder that works in two different orientation though.
This is a great bag that became my main EDC bag weekdays and weekends. I can’t wait to get my hands on the 3.0 version — and hoping that it is expanded in width as Vanquest has said so that it can more easily carry a laptop and paper.