Prior to this review I have been using Triple Aught Design’s FAST Pack EDC (every-day carry) which has served me well, however I always felt that as an urban environment, everyday carry pack it was just a bit too big.
I picked up a GoRuck Radio Ruck which served as my EDC bag for about a year before acquiring the second version of the FAST Pack Litespeed (v2.0) by Triple Aught Design.
At 1350 cubic inches, the FAST Pack Litespeed is nearly 700 cubic inches smaller than its big brother the FAST Pack EDC and is built for minimalist daily carry but is more than well- equipped enough to adapt to multi-mission profiles. The latest version of the Litespeed (v2.0)has been reduced by about 2” from the length of its predecessor to enable the pack to fit a wider range of torso lengths more comfortably.
Like all of the products made by San Francisco-based company, Triple Aught Design (TAD), the Litespeed has been strategically engineered for optimal comfort, utility, and modularity.
- 1000 Denier and 500 Denier Invista™ Cordura® Fabric
- Evazote® Closed Cell Cross-Linked Ethylene Copolymer Foam
- DRI-LEX® Aerospacer Moisture Management Mesh
- Hypalon Synthetic Rubber Reinforcements
- HDPE Frame Sheet
- Velcro® Front Panel for Morale Patches
- Elastic Retainer Straps
- Volume: 1350.00 cu in (22.00 liters)
- 10.00″ (25.40 cm) W x 20.00″ (50.80 cm) H x 6.75″ (17.15 cm) D
- 60.80 oz (1.72 kg)
- Top Front Zippered Admin Pocket with Accessory Slots
- Two Internal Zippered Mesh Pockets
Zippers & Hardware
- YKK® #8 and #10 Nylon Coil Reverse Zippers with Paracord Zipper Pulls
- ITW GhillieTEX™ Web Dominators to Secure Webbing
- ITW GhillieTEX™ Looploc anchor points
- ITW GhillieTEX™ SR Ladderloc buckles
- ITW GhillieTEX™ Cordlocs, Ladderlocs, Tri-Glides, and other hardware.
- Made in the USA
Materials & Construction:
The Litespeed is constructed out of MIL-SPEC 1000 Denier Invista™ Cordura® fabric, a high tensile strength composite nylon thread and webbing that is highly resistant to rips or tears. Hypalon, the same material found on Zodiac boats, was used to reinforce critical stress points on the pack, such as the handle, shoulder strap connection points, as well as the top exit port for the hydration tube.
Padded Shoulder straps – The back panel and shoulder straps on the v2.0 are made of a highly technical, aerated closed cell foam padding covered in a polyester, nylon mesh which aids in airflow, moisture wicking and also diminishes friction wear to the user’s garments. Thoughtfully designed suspension geometry coupled with an internal HDPE frame sheet enables the pack to ride higher on your back so that the load is distributed across the wearer’s shoulders and upper back rather than the lower back. However, In keeping with its minimalist design and intended use, the v2.0 has seen the omission of the Load Lifters which now allow faster access to the main zip without having to unbuckle any straps.
There has been much debate with regard to the design of the Litespeed v1.0 and v2.0 shoulder straps. Many seem to prefer the v1.0 straps because of their lower profile, lighter weight, and overall shape which generally provided a more comfortable fit for those with wider shoulders. Because of the added padding the v2.0 straps are significantly thicker in size, however I personally prefer them over the previous design in terms of comfort and fit. Just as with all TAD FAST packs, the Litespeed’s straps are equipped with MOLLE webbing for attaching pouches, lights, GPS or a CAT.
(NOTE: those familiar with the previous version of the Litspeed will notice that the built-in hydration tube routing option has been omitted on the v2.0, however one could just as easily use an elastic band, paracord or ITW Web Dominators to keep the drinking tubes under control.)
MOLLE compatible- Nearly every surface of the Litespeed is covered in PALS webbing, and is compatible with any MOLLE attachments which allow nearly limitless configurations and mission driven adaptability. Underneath the PALS are two-inch webbing which allows the attachment of some wider items like knife sheaths and holsters.
The Transport Tail (aka Beaver Tail)- This is one of my favorite features of the FAST pack line as it allows you can carry and/or hold a lot of different items and equipment for quick and easy access. From helmets, to jackets, to pouches, ski poles and even a full size rifle, this attachment can easily carry any of those long, vertical items you’d like to carry but might not be able fit inside the pack itself.
The HDPE Frame Sheet- The HDPE (high-density polyethylene) internal frame sheet was originally added to TAD’s FAST Pack EDCs and they did not come installed in initial version of the Litespeed. I really liked the rigidity that the frame sheet provided on the EDC so when I had switched to the GoRuck and Litespeed v1.0, I found myself really missing this feature. Thankfully TAD began incorporating these into the Litespeed v2.0s no doubt at least partially due the feedback they received from their customers. (NOTE while the HDPE frame sheet is removable on the EDC it is not on the Litespeed v2.0)
There is definitely no shortage of MOLLE real estate on this or any other TAD packs which are all designed for maximum modularity allowing for various attachments and pouches to be added.
Below are some of pouches and accessories that are kept in my Litespeed as a part of my every day carry and are just a small example of the many attachments and accessories that are available through TAD.
Conclusion and Insights:
The Litespeed is the perfect pack for when you need an ideal every day carry bag (almost more so than the EDC in my opinion).
Students and urban dwellers alike will appreciate the Litespeed which can easily accommodate a 14” laptop, books, extra clothes groceries in the main compartment. Items like camera tripods and bike pumps can be easily attached to the sides of the pack using the side compression straps, and for your rain shell or bike helmet the beaver tail has you covered. For that day hike into the woods, this pack will help you make sure you are ready for anything without the unnecessary bulk of some of the larger packs out there.
At 21L the Litespeed was not designed to be a patrol pack and would not leave you with much room for your patrol gear but is more than capable as a kit bag for a day at the range and can be used to carry ammo, pistols, extra mags, cleaning supplies, helmets, retention systems and most of your gear, though larger things like plate carriers will likely have to be carried separately. It is of value to note that because of the v2.0’s shorter length, unwanted interaction with your kit when wearing a gear belt or other waist borne equipment is greatly reduced especially for those 5.7′ and under.
Personally, I think it would have been great if the frame sheet was removable so that I could have the option to uninstall it and be able to roll up the Litespeed and pack it into my larger 70L pack on mountaineering trips for use as a daypack. Mind you, at just under 4lbs it is not the lightest option for foot expeditions where every bit of weight counts against you.
With the Loadlifters (which doubled as attachment straps) gone, TAD has placed a light weight attachment system which consists of 96” of paracord in its stead. While I can see the value of being able to attach ropes or a jacket to the top of the pack on extended treks, I do not really see any reason to do this on anything that I would take the Litespeed on but the option is there for those who find the use for it. As a side note, this new light weight attachment system is removable and could be used if you find yourself in desperate need of 8 feet of parachord.
The removable compression straps at the base of the pack are nice to have and can be used to secure odd-sized items, but again considering the AO’s I would practically use the Litespeed in, I am not sure how much use I would actually get out of these.
The Litespeed excels at everything it was built for, providing the user with nearly all features and modularity of a full size military patrol pack without the extra bulk. Despite only being a 21L pack, you will find the Litespeed can tackle nearly any size of adventure you decide to throw at it. I highly recommend the TAD FAST Pack Litespeed v2.0 to be on your radar when you’re in the market for a new EDC pack and when you feel the need to feed that inner gear junkie in you.