Most people think of SOG as full spectrum knife/tomahawk/multi tool company. But new for 2016 is a break from tradition and their introduction of “soft goods” including 6 backpacks ranging in volume from 12 liters to 35 liters. All constructed of high quality materials and features, just like SOG’s bladed tools. While wandering aimlessly through Shot Show this year, I bumped into Public Relations rockstar, Megan Holly at the SOG booth and she gave me the low down on these new packs, including the featured SOG Scout 24L.
I was fortunate enough after Shot Show to get my hands on the SOG Scout which falls in the middle of the line-up measuring 24 liters in volume which is versatile enough for a wide range of everyday activities. And with a couple of trips on my schedule in April, I was able to become more familiar with the SOG Scout Backpack as I left the lingering winter of Northern Michigan behind me. A couple of weeks in sunny Florida was just what the doctor ordered. I swapped out my trusty (and well worn) OGIO backpack that had been my loyal travel companion for years and packed the SOG Scout for its new role on my back. The SOG Scout assumes a little more “tactical” look than my previous backpack but suppresses its appearance cloaked in a subtle gray color. The interior measures 24L in volume which easily swallows my typical airline loadout. A jacket or sweatshirt, iPad Pro, Bose headphones, 18oz. HydroFlask, various charging cords, GPS watch, Oakleys, Streamlight, GoPro, and since I was headed to Florida, my Combat Flip Flops and Oceanic VTX dive computer. I never pack small expensive electronic devices in my check bag because I have serious trust issues with the TSA. I guess I can kiss those TSA Pre Check days away if they read this. And helloooo body cavity search!
While in Florida, the SOG Scout served daily duty hauling items back and fourth to the beach. The various internal organization pockets found within the impact resistant top shell is perfect for small items like your phone, knife, chapstick, watch, wallet and any other fragile items. Within that protected top shell is a separate velcro compartment for your sunglasses which prevents them from getting scratched by the other items. Inside the main compartment, which can be accessed by 4 zippers, lies several additional small storage pockets. These zippered mesh compartments can be used to store any remaining loose items that you don’t want floating around the main compartment. Access to the main compartment via the 4 generously sized zipper loops is drama free. The quad-zipper system allows traditional access through the top of the pack as well as side access to items that you buried and didn’t realize you needed to get to. The main compartment is spacious and has a full length hydration bladder sleeve as well as a laptop/tablet sleeve. You’ll also find a handy Molle webbing and velcro field for securing any compatible items.
I was also able to utilize the SOG Scout Backpack on a short trip to the Smokey Mountains with my wife. In a “day hike” environment, the SOG Scout Backpack was worn by my wife while I used the SOG Seraphim 35L to pack essential gear for these activities. More on the SOG Seraphim in an upcoming review. The padded shoulder straps and hip belt offered enough adjustment to accommodate her frame after I had it pretty well dialed in for myself. What I’m trying to say is that there is a lot of adjustment available. The hydration bladder came in handy while hiking up a few strenuous trails in the Tennessee sun. In the event that you encounter an emergency situation where you need to signal someone, you’ll be thankful that the folks at SOG incorporated a whistle into the sternum strap. There are 4 side compression straps to help secure your load and 2 braided steel tool retention loops. These loops can secure a SOG Tomahawk or any other handled tool along with the 2 shock cord tie downs. Additionally, if you’re the kind of person that likes to clip shit onto the outside of your packs like the Beverly Hillbillies, there are several webbing lash points running down the sides of the pack.
SOG Scout Features and Specs Courtesy of sogknives.com
- Padded shoulder straps, rigid suspension, and stowable, padded hip belt make it comfortable carry heavy loads for extended periods of time by taking the weight off your shoulders.
- Sternum strap with whistle stabilizes the pack and gives carrier an emergency audio alert.
- Quad-zip full access main compartment allows for quick access to any part of the voluminous interior, such as being able to quickly get at items at the bottom of the pack due to the panel-loading design.
- Built-in hydration sleeve with hose pass-through allows easy access to water (hydration bladder sold separately).
- Internal laptop sleeve keeps electronics safe.
- Internal MOLLE loop field for concealed carry lets you customize the position and angle of your concealed carry for quick access.
- Impact-resistant top pocket with internal organization to safely secure and stow valuables such as glasses, camera, binoculars, and phone.
- Internal organization pockets and key ring clip inside main compartment.
- External long item carry allows access to and ease to carry long objects like rifles, bows, fishing rods, and/or axes. Braided steel loop at the bottom offers extra strength and durability for carrying these items.
- Shock cord tie downs make it easy to strap extra gear or clip smaller accessories to.
- Laser-cut Hypalon MOLLE panels make attaching extra storage or quick access items fast, easy, and secure. Compared to traditional MOLLE webbing, Hypalon allows for a sleeker looking MOLLE panel that is stronger and easier to clean.
- Webbing lash points and Hypalon zinger tabs on shoulder strap for additional item carry.
- Large zipper pulls allows easy opening with or without gloves.
- Side compression straps to hold the load closer to the user for better weight distribution and balance.
- 2mm PE sheet w/ 15mm aluminum stave suspension to distribute weight for comfortability.
- Kodra 500D nylon material with a polyurethane coating for long-lasting durability, reliability, and water resistance.
- Purchase directly from SOG here MSRP $189.99
As you can see, the SOG Scout 24L Backpack is a versatile medium sized pack that can serve many functions, from daily commutes to airline travel and day hikes. The overall build quality is exactly what you’d expect from SOG, well thought out and engineered. Zippers operate smoothly, clip hardware is solid and I suspect they will stand the test of time. Durable PU Coated 500D Nylon will resist wear and stains while remaining lightweight and pliable. SOG offers six new backpacks for 2016: the Ranger 12, Evac Sling 18, TOC 20, Scout 24, Prophet 33 and finally, Seraphim 35. Most of you have been SOG customers for years or at least have handled SOG knives in the past. Now it’s time for you to embrace their foray into the soft goods market and take a look at their new line of backpacks. You won’t regret it.
– Erik Meisner for LoadoutRoom.com