From Kelty’s Line of Tactical/Military Packs comes the Falcon 66 (also referred to as the Falcon 4000). It is designed for patrols that require high- or low-volume gear storage and organization, the Falcon features 4000 cubic inches (66L) of storage space that will compress down when carrying smaller loads. Designed for military mountaineering, the Falcon’s comfortable, adjustable suspension is designed to carry heavy loads over rough terrain.
Overall design and features –
Advertised internal capacity is 4000 cubic inches (66L) at a somewhat (IMHO) heavy 6 lb 14 oz / 3.1 kg (or 5 lb 15 oz / 2.7 kg without the lid). Molle webbing on the front and sides for attachment of additional MOLLE-compatible pockets. Four side compression straps. One large expandable front pocket for quick-access items. Overall construction is out of 1000D Cordura (shown here in Coyote Brown). Quick-release shoulder straps and removable waist belt a. HDPE frame sheet and aluminum stays.
The aside from the MOLLE that covers the top flap and the top cover, front of the body has six rows of Molle/PALS webbing and six columns. On the upper and lower third of each side are three more rows and four columns of PALS/MOLLE. Two-way YKK zippers with 550 cord pulls that runs 2/3 way down each side of the main cavity for easy access to the main compartment without having to remove the top. There is also a spacious front pouch with several compartments (including a soft fleece-lined pocket) for more frequently used items. There is a carry handle sewn into the top as well as the bottom of the pack for easy loading. The shoulder straps are well padded and are 3″ wide – just right for the intended load of this pack. An elastic hydration hose keeper is sewn at the front of each shoulder strap.
The Falcon has a removable waist belt. The belt itself is 5″ wide webbing, that has two rows of MOLLE for additional pouches. The back panel is very ergonomically padded with foam/webbing pads placed in such a way that allows maximum air flow between the back of the pack and the wearer’s back.
On the bottom of this pack is a zippered pouch that is almost unnoticeable that contains the double sided rain cover for the pack.
The main compartment has two large, cinch topped- hydration pockets on each side and two pass-through holes for the hydration hoses at the top of each side of the pack. The internal HDPE frame sheet and two vertical aluminum stays provides support and shape for the back panel and are stiff enough to distribute most of the load to the waist belt. The hydration bladder pockets should fit most sizes – (I fit a 3L Camelbak bladder comfortably into this pocket with lots of room left). The main compartment has a drainage grommet at the bottom.
The four side compression straps keep the contents stable and can also be used for lashing items like a tent, rifle, Therma-Rest or other long vertical items to the side of the pack. When I need the extra room, I attached two SAW ammo pouches to the side MOLLE and used the compression straps to hold down my hiking poles.
The pack is great for about 3-5 day trips possibly more if packed efficiently and is surprisingly roomy.
The pack has velcro keepers to secure excess straps for a neater look. The pack also has a small, about 3”x 2” Velcro loop patch perfect for IFF or morale patches and another one on the top back for a name tape. I do wish there was a bit more Velcro loop real-estate for more patches, but that’s probably just me.
Conclusion and Insights:
I recently used the Falcon pack as my only bag for a 3-night trip to a mountainous AO. The pack contained my gear; consisting of clothes, food, water, stove and cooking stuffs, sleeping bag and air mattress etc. For a total weight of about 50lbs. Day one consisted of a full pack constant uphill 5.5 hour hike to the campsite and though i found the pack to be quite heavy, once i adjusted the straps and waist belt properly it was actually quite comfortable. Day two, I removed the top cover; pack contents had a full 3L Hydration bladder, thick fleece and rainshell, food and first aid kit, – i found the pack to be a bit too heavy for use as a day pack and because the pack was less than half stuffed the lid did not fit quite as nicely. On the way back with a 1.5 hour down hill trek the pack weight remained mainly on the waist which was nice, and i did not experience too much strain on my back or shoulders. Overall a great pack for recreational activities and tactical applications, very comfortable and can be made to fit a lot when packed properly. The only downsides I personally found were; the base weight of the pack itself could be a bit lighter, and I also did not like the placement of the bladder pouches because when you have only one hydration bladder makes the weight unevenly distributed. I also felt that perhaps they could design the HDPE sheet and aluminium stays to be removable so that the pack could be compressed further for use as a day hikes or maybe have an integrated/removable small pack. Other than that, I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a pack of this capacity.
6235 Lookout Road
Boulder, CO 80301