Gear Review: Maxpedition Vulture-II Backpack

Looking for a good quality 2 – 3 day pack?  The Maxpedition Vulture-II be just what you’re looking for. Maxpedition has a reputation for quality, and the Maxpedition Vulture-II is no exception.

However, the pack is not without its issues, which we will talk about later.

Maxpedition Vulture-II review

One of the things Maxpedition does well is blend military standards with civilian products.  In essence, take lessons learned from military applications and apply those lessons to a consumer grade product.

For example, Maxpedition uses 1,000 denier water ballistic nylon fabric, YKK zippers and then add military grade MOLLE webbing to the packs.

The Maxpedition Vulture-II is divided into three pouches:

Main compartment

Two outer pouches

Maxpedition Vulture-II

This medium sized pack is where I’am trying to fit the Maxpedition Vulture-II.  Something for warm / hot weather camping, and just big enough to carry:

  • Food
  • One man tent
  • Rain poncho
  • Hammock
  • Water filter
  • Poncho liner… etc.

If your like me, and if there is spare room in your pack, your going to find a way to fill it up. A half full pack just does not look right.

Before a pack is taken out on a hiking or camping trip, it needs to be loaded, tested and checked out. So before my Maxpedition Vulture-II was taken on a real hiking / camping trip, it was loaded up and taken on a trip to the deer camp. Inside the pack I was able to fit – hammock, one man tent, 3 legged stool, couple of MREs, compass, map, and topo map compass.

Specifications From The Maxpedition Website

  • Main Compartment: 20.5″(H) x 16″(W) x 7.5″(D)
  • Front Pouch: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W) x 2.75″(D)
  • Slip Pocket: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W)
  • Capacity: 2810 cu. in. / 46 liters
  • Weight: 3 lbs , 8 oz
  • Hydration: Up to 100+ oz Bladder
  • 1″ Sternum Strap, 2″ Integrated Belt (min 19″ strap alone / max 52″ strap alone; min 34″ loop / max 67″ loop)
  • Optional accessories: Hook & Loop Modular Accessories and Grimloc Carabiner
  • Hydration reservoir
  • 1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
  • Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
  • High strength YKK zippers and zipper tracks
  • Triple polyurethane coated for water resistance
  • High tensile strength nylon webbing
  • High tensile strength composite nylon thread (stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread)
  • AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material for superior shock protection
  • Internal seams taped and finished
  • Paracord zipper pulls
  • Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or “Box-and-X” stitched for added strength

Maxpedition Vulture-II Issues

One of the major complaints I have about the Vulture-II is the pack length does not seem to match an average 5 foot 9 inch body frame.  While on a hiking trip, the Maxpedition Vulture-II had to be worn low on the back to be able to use the waist belt.

Maxpedition Vulture-II Review

If you need more room, just add a few extra Maxpedition pouches on the outside of the pack.  Even though the pack has a place for a water bladder,  I added a mini-rolly polly dump pouch and a Maxpedition water bottle holder.  The water bottle holder has an extra pouch built onto it that large enough for a GPS or map compass.

In pack design you have 2 basic types – the panel loader and the top loader.

Panel loader – this is when the pack fully unzips and makes it easy to organize the contents.  This type of pack is good for people who like to organize stuff.

Top loader – just as the name describes, you load the pack from the top.  This design is good people people who like to cram stuff into the pack, and when its full stomp on the contents, and pack some more.

Strength – by design top loaders are usually stronger then the panel loaders.  Panel loaders are limited by the strength of their zippers, top loaders are limited by the strength of the fabric material and stitching.

Maxpedition Vulture-II Final Thoughts

Maxpedition Vulture-II next to a creek.

The Maxpedition Vulture-II seems to be a combination of a top loader and panel loader.  The pack unzips down both sides, but not all the way. The zippers stop around 4 inches from the bottom of the pack.

Since the pack opens so wide, it is easy to organize the gear going inside the pack.

To help hold everything together there are 2 compression straps on each side, and the classic Y strap at the top of the pack.

Overall, the Maxpedition Vulture-II is one of the favorite Maxpedition backpacks. However, it fades in comparison to something like the military surplus three day assault pack.


Full Disclosure: The Maxpedition Vulture II used in this article was supplied free of charge.

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