This is another piece of gear any Airsofter should have, not only for load-bearing, but also for hydration purposes. I like the idea of having a backpack that’s able to carry my regular training gear and then being able to convert it to a very lightweight and compact hydration system.
So, as you might have guessed, I use the Flyye HAWG for two purposes: when going out to the field I will fill it with all my Airsoft gear and accessories; and once I get there, I will use it as a hydration system so when I’m playing I can sip some water or some other energy drink and still be able to carry some food and additional tactical gear and accessories.
STORAGE, HYDRATION AND OTHER FEATURES
The HAWG comes with three compartments: a smaller one on the outside just for storage; a larger one which is the main compartment for storage and also for the bladder system; and a third one reserved just for the bladder at the back.
One of the nice things about the HAWG is that you can store the hydration bladder on two of the mentioned compartments. However, in longer games in which I want to take some extra magazines and other metal stuff in the main compartment, I don’t feel comfortable having the hydration bladder near those metallic accessories with pointy edges that might damage or even perforate the bladder.
So I use the third compartment that’s located at the back beneath the padding and is accessed by a zipper. This compartment was specifically designed for this, so you can have more space in the main compartment, where I store some food like a sandwich, energy bars, mags, extra gloves, more bbs, goggles, and my MICH 2000 helmet.
On the smaller outside compartment there are a number of pouches that allow you to store documents, pens and other material. What I mainly use it for is to store extra magazines, extra batteries, optics, and bb loaders.
Depending on the type of game and duration you will need to pack more or less stuff. So if you want to pack light, the backpack can achieve a low profile not protruding out much of your body and helping you remain concealed, and at the same time you can still move around in narrow areas such as corridors, doors or between trees thanks to the external compression straps.
The front of the backpack has MOLLE webbing allowing you to attach additional MOLLE pouches, which greatly increases the potential of this backpack as for load-bearing duties.
In order to fix the hydration tube there are two horizontal guides on each shoulder strap that keep the tube always at hand.
The number of possibilities for which you can setup the hydration system is one of the great features of this backpack — you can either choose to run the bladder on the main compartment or on the back compartment; and you can choose to run the tubing through the left or to the right shoulder strap, depending on what you prefer. This is possible thanks to the two holes on both sides where you can snake through a drinking tube or even comms wiring from the inside of the backpack. These holes can be conveniently sealed by a piece of Velcro attached to the backpack.
I found two more passages right beneath the shoulder straps that can be used to pass the drinking tube out directly from the back compartment however this might get uncomfortable, so I only recommend using these for smaller communications wiring.
From the back compartment there is another hole that allows you to route the drinking tube to the main compartment and out through one of the previously mentioned side holes.
On the main compartment there are internal nylon loops for securing your hydration bladder thus avoiding the bladder from moving around inside the backpack and spilling or rupturing inside.
The recommended bladder size is 2.5 liters, and I would say that the backpack is much similar in size and capacity to be a 12-hour backpack.
The one missing feature I would like seen in this backpack is a Velcro panel for you to put an IFF Patch or any other patch you would want. This, however, can be solved easily by buying a small Velcro panel and either stitching it or attaching it using the MOLLE webbing.
One of the things I most liked about this backpack, apart from the hydration bladder compartment, is the comfort it provides to the operator. This is achieved thanks to the very comfortable and wide shoulder straps that have generous padding and offer great support even on heavier loads.
The YKK zipper pullers are very well thought-out, since they are big and make opening the compartments a lot easier when using gloves, which I often do during a game.
Another much appreciated feature is the two quick release buckles on each shoulder strap that allow you to easily drop the whole backpack without the awkwardness of having to remove each of the straps and thus having to put your weapon aside.
When hiking or running you might want to minimize the wobble that the backpack might do so you can use the sternum and waist straps included that provide increased support and comfort and prevent the backpack from sliding away from the shoulders. When I tried both straps on, I noticed the backpack adapts perfectly to my body and helps me running and bearing its weight, for example, when climbing a rocky slope.
Another thing I noticed is how my back feels great after using the backpack for one day even with some hard objects inside. Thanks to the padding, it creates a protective barrier that cushions and absorbs the impact from the objects inside the backpack, and it also eliminates the irregularities that those objects can cause to the shape of the backpack that is in contact with my back.
Another thing worth mentioning is how light and small the backpack can be especially when you want to run it only has hydration system. It compares quite well with especially dedicated hydration carriers and offers much greater options.
So comfort-wise I must say I am very satisfied with the HAWG.
The HAWG has everything to be tough and wear resistant: the whole backpack is made according to military specifications and Flyye used Invista 1000D Cordura Nylon, which can be 300% times more resistant to the usual wear and tear than normal Nylon.
The Duraflex plastics ensure buckle quality and durability and are also Mil-Spec. The Velcro along with Military specification nylon sewing put together a backpack that will last for years.
This backpack is water resistant so you can use it in snowy or rainy conditions and all the material and food stored on the inside will be protected from the elements. However, in case a bladder might burst or any liquid should spill, the backpack will drain the liquid thanks to a couple of drainage holes at the bottom.
This is what you should look for in a backpack for Airsoft, and from my incursions in the field with the HAWG I can say it lives up to the specs and quality that Flyye wanted this backpack to have.
This is a very complete solution that allows for many options and will fit most Airsofters, and that you can also use on a daily basis or even for hiking and adventure holidays.
It’s a great choice whether you are looking for ways to keep yourself hydrated during those hot summer games or if you already own a hydration carrier but don’t have a decent backpack that can take your gear and withstand some abuse.
For me it has become an inseparable piece of equipment every time I go to the field!
- Quality of the materials
- Very comfortable
- Numerous hydration and load bearing options
- No Velcro for Patches
I would like to thank Bob from Flyye that made this review possible through their dealer Military1st. For more information on this backpack or if you are interested in purchasing it visit Flyye’s official dealer Military1st.co.uk.