Photo credit: 5.11 Tactical
Photo credit: 5.11 Tactical
When we attended the 5.11 Tactical "breakfast" press meeting at SHOT Show, one of the things we were provided was a black RUSH 12 Backpack, new from 5.11. Part of their RUSH Backpack line, the RUSH12 is the smallest (RUSH24 and RUSH72 are the other two in this product line). Given that 5.11 describes the RUSH24 as a one-day pack and the RUSH72 as a three-day pack, it's safe to assume that the RUSH12 is a ½ day pack; a pack good for day hikes, etc.
Since I received it the first day the SHOT Show floor was open, I decided it would be good to use, here and there, to test it out that week. Truth be told, I used mine to carry everything around throughout the rest of SHOT Show. Each pack was delivered with an embroidered name tape and a 5.11 Tactical logo patch, both of which attached to the Velcro patch panels affixed to the outside of the pack. I hadn't really paid much attention to the "patch-panel" craze that seems to be sweeping the industry - although I was aware of it. In this case the two Velcro patch panels on the outside of the pack are well thought out: one for name tape and one for business / unit organization patch. As the week passed I picked up another five patches that were specifically designed to go on the unit patch panel.
Measuring 18"x11"x6", the RUSH12 provides approximately 1330 cubic inches of carry space. It has 14 compartments to organize and store your gear. Directly against your back is a pad pocket, and next is the hydration pocket. It will hold up to a 100-ounce / 3L bladder and has the proper ports to run the drinking tube out and around for your access. On top of the pack, directly in front of the shoulder strap attachment point is a smaller zippered pocket with a soft felt lining perfectly sized to put your eyewear or other small necessities.
The main compartment is a full-clam-shell double zipped opening with two zippered mesh pockets on the inside of the cover. It also has a shock-corded computer pocket suitable to carrying other materials you may want to keep separated from the rest of the cargo. On the outside face of the main compartment cover are two other compartments / pockets. The smaller top pocket has a single zip opening and is perfect for carrying things like pocket cameras, cell phones, business cards, etc. I mostly used it to carry around hard candy to help sooth my throat throughout the week (contrary to popular belief, I'm not used to talking so much).
The other pocket on the outside face of the main compartment cover is larger and is also a full-clam-shell opening double zippered pocket. It's lined with organizational pockets and pouches for pens and other office type stuff, and has two key-ring hooks (one on either side).
As I used it there was more than enough room for my laptop, camera, business cards, extra pens, notepad, SHOT Show floor map, and all of the CDs, media kits and other miscellaneous items I received. The topmost outer pocket was the drop pouch for the hard candy - which was a lifesaver (no pun intended) for my voice when Thursday rolled around.
The outside surface of the pack is covered with MOLLE webbing so you can add-on pouches as you deem necessary for your specific use / mission. I'll be field testing that feature in the near future but I don't anticipate any issues. Everything looks to be double-stitched and pretty sturdy. Certainly I didn't have any problems with it (except that I had to carry it and no one else would for me) during SHOT Show and since then.
Currently available only in black the RUSH12 has an MSRP of $79.99 and is well worth it. Look around and I'm sure you'll find it a tad cheaper in the near future. For more info on any of their product lines, check out 5.11 Tactical online (linked below).