General- The “Big Monkey” tactical backpack made by Monkey Paks is an military style Molle webbing frameless backpack with a large capacity in the main compartment (20″H x 12″W x 8.5″D). Without a backboard or frame, this Big Monkey is like a Big School Backpack. However, there are many people who are happy with this style of Military backpack.
The Big Monkey is made of 600D nylon. 600D nylon is strong but the best military style backpacks are made with 1050D nylon. Packs with 1050D nylon will cost more. This backpack has double stitched seams to help prevent rips and tears and heavy duty big teeth zippers with paracord. Although MonkeyPaks is located in California, all their backpacks are made in China.
Currently, you can buy the Big Monkey tactical backpack on Amazon. This rucksack comes with 3 free Molle bags and a free removable 2.5L Hydration Water Bladder. With the 3 free Molle bags attached, this Monkey Pak will give you room for 3 days of stuff.
Water Resistant- Although the Big Monkey Backpack is not water proof, it is water resistant being made of 600D strong nylon and the inside lined with water repelling material. If you are going to be using this Backpack mainly outdoors in the rainy season, then invest in a rain cover or you can buy an aftermarket waterproof spray. If you are going boating with your backpack, then think about getting a Dry Bag. Dry Bags seal tightly at the top and keep everything watertight. Check out this Dry Bag on Amazon.
3 Free Molle Bags- This backpack comes with three free detachable Molle bags. There are 2 zippered side bags (pouches) and 1 removable waist bag with belt. The size of the zippered side bags are 5.5 inches wide by 2.5 inches deep by 8 inches tall. These side bags attached to the the main backpack with Velcro rip-away Molle straps on the side bags. The straps and Velcro are very strong and the side bags should not fall off the main backpack while you are doing normal activity. However, there are two Molle strips on the outside front of each side bag. You could turn the side bag around and attach them to the backpack with the Molle. In the main compartment of the side bag is another compartment. Thus you have two compartments in the side bag.
The free waist bag measures 5 inches by 3 inches by 12.5 inches. The waist bag can also be used by itself as a shoulder bag with the included belt used as a shoulder sling. The waist bag has a main compartment, a front compartment and side compartments on each side. The main compartment has other compartments inside. There is Molle on the front and side compartments of this waist bag.
Hydration- This backpack also comes with a free 2.5 Litter Hydration Water Bladder System. The water bladder is not of the high quality of a Camelbak brand, but it is free. The bladder has a wide mouth for easy filling and for putting ice into the bladder, BPA-free case, a drinking tube insulated with nylon, easy release mouthpiece, and a dust cover on the mouthpiece. In the backpack there is a compartment for the bladder (hydration compartment) and in that hydration compartment are two snap hooks to hook the bladder to the backpack. There is a hole on the top center of the backpack for the drinking tube to exit out of the backpack. Then you can go left or right with the drinking tube and attach it to one of the front straps of the backpack. However, the front straps do not have a built in attachment for the drinking tube. You will need to find a way to attach the drinking tube to the front straps with paracord or a carabiner.
You need to test the water bladder as soon as possible to make sure that it has no leaks. If you find a leak, contact MonkeyPaks excellent customer service and they may send you a new water bladder. One other problem with the water bladder and this backpack: when the backpack is full, it is not easy to get the water bladder out of the backpack.
Molle- Pronounced “Molly”, There is Molle on the main Backpack. It is really PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing. PALS webbing is a horizontal grid of repeating fabric webbing strips spaced 1 inch apart, and sewn to the backing at 1.5-inch intervals. So in Military Style Backpacks it is really PALS webbing that is MOLLE-compatible. But everyone in the industry calls it Molle webbing. Molle is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. Molle is the stuff you attach to the PALS webbing. Molle is usually various size and type of pouches. Pouches for ammo, pouches for first aid, pouches for knives, pouches for water bottles, and pouches made for your type of smartphone.
On this “Big Monkey” Backpack there are Molle on the front and sides. On the sides there are 4 rows of 3 loops per row. On the front of the backpack are 5 rows of 3 loops per row. There is also a Velcro flag patch on the center front of the backpack.
Front Compartment – The height of the front compartment is just about 14.5 inches. The zippers on the front compartment only open the front compartment halfway. There are two compartments in the front compartment. The main part and a mesh see-through compartment. Thus, the front compartment is divided into two with the mesh see-through. The front compartment is lined inside with a water resistant material.
Main Compartment- The zippers on the main compartment open about three quarters down. You do need to unbuckle the top compression straps to unzip the main compartment. The main compartment is lined inside with a water resistant material.
Front Straps- Quick release snaps on the front straps. A plastic D-ring attached near the top of each front strap. On top of the front straps are another strap that goes across the top of the backpack and attaches to the top of the front compartment with quick release snaps. The purpose of these straps is too pull some of the weight of the backpack up. Thus, helping to support the weight of the backpack. There is no horizontal Molle on the front straps. This can be a negative for some people. There are vertical type Molle webbing on the front straps that can be use to attach small items. The padding in the front straps is a little thin, but comfortable. The bottom portion of the front straps are mostly flat at the end so they may come out of the bottom portion of the quick release buckles fairly easily.
There is an adjustable Sternum Strap that attaches to both Shoulder Straps. It has a quick release buckle. You can adjust the Sternum Strap up or down. The Sternum Strap also has a little elasticity for better comfort.
Compression straps- one set of compression straps on top and one set on the bottom of the Backpack. Compressions straps are used to squeeze the Backpack smaller so that you can fit the Backpack in tight spaces. The compression straps also have quick release buckles but if you want to fully get into the main compartment you need to unbuckle the top compression straps.
Waist Belt- a detachable waist belt. If you are a long torso person, this waist belt will probably sit too high on your body due to the height of this backpack (20 inches high).
Top of the Backpack- There is a Grab and Go handle on top of the backpack. The handle is a little narrow but very strong and stitched well into the top of the backpack.
Two plastic D-rings attached to the top of the backpack. Because they are plastic, only attach something light to these D-rings.
Bottom of the Backpack- On the bottom of the “Big Monkey” Monkeypaks are bottom lashing loops. You can attach a bed roll to these loops.
Colors- There are 4 colors choices for this Backpack: ACU, Black, OD Green and Tan. One or more of these colors may not be available due to out of stock reasons.
Cons- I tried to mention most of the cons during the detail description of the Backpack. Here are some additional cons. The back padding is a little thin and it does not allow much air flow between your back and the back padding. There is no back plate or internal frame.
Final Word- This may not be the Backpack for extreme everyday hardcore use. However, this big size Backpack has price value along with excellent customer service from Monkey Paks. If you have any problems with this Backpack after you receive it, then call or email customer service and they will work with you to correct the situation. You can use this Backpack for many different situations. For more information on the “Big Monkey” Tactical Backpack from Monkey Paks go to Amazon here.