I got a Maxpedition Monsoon earlier this week. The Mosoon is fairly unique as far as single strap packs go and I had been wanting to give a messenger-style bag a try for a long time so I grabbed it.
I finally loaded it up today for a trip out with the family to the movies/mall. It pretty much served as my tactical diaper bag. Diapers, wipes, TP, snacks, Nalgene bottle (with my new cup jammed down into the pocket) and some other odds and ends.
As I said I've been wanting to try a single strap bag for a while... just thought it was interesting. The bag is still brand new for all intents and purposes so it's still a little stiff which made the strap kind of uncomfortable at times. I had to get it in just the right posiiton to where it wasn't annoying.
I really do like the main cargo compartment. It's not huge but the front loading makes it a lot nicer to retrive specific items versus my Camelbak MULE. I didn't have a hydration bladder in it so everything fit in there very nicely. The taper or teardrop shape is kind of nice because I loaded all of the bulky crap at the bottom and stacked everything up from there.
I used the cover to keep our coats loaded in the bag which was kinda cool. They weren't jammed into a completely closed compartment so it was easier to get them off the bag.
I'm kind of surprised they didn't build this thing to where you could switch the strap from left to right if you wanted to wear it on your opposite shoulder.
It makes a good short trip bag... mainly a mall pack. I wouldn't load it down with anything too terribly heavy and I wouldn't want to have to carry it for a long period of time, like in an amusement park... at least at this point since I'm not sure how much more comfortable it'll get once it's broken in.
I bought this bag more for "style" than overall utility and cargo capacity. I have enough bags that I could overload, but I'm not crazy about having a large bag that isn't being used as a large bag and having a lot of flop and sag in it... just bugs me. I'd rather have a bag sized for a certain role. In this case, the Monsoon more or less fits that role, but I'm still in a grey area as to whether I would ever recommend it to someone since I'm not convinced it's all that comfortable to carry.
Plenty of little pockets and storage areas for stuff. I'd probably lose things if I used them all as I'd forget what went where there are so many. Some moderately "hidden" which is cool.
So far I haven't made use of the webbing to add anything onto it... yet anyway. 'll probably try it out as a range bag one day, and if I do some ammo pouches might work well attached to it.
I can't imagine it was really designed for anything more than this. Certainly not something I'd hump out in the field or a deployment even though it's built well enough to stand up to those conditions.
Thanks for the quick review. I was looking for a small to mid sized pack a few months ago, and was really thinking about the Monsoon.
I wanted something that had one strap and just enough room for the a few critical items. After looking for a long time, I decided to go with the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipak. I really like the size of the Jumbo Versipack for day hikes as it has just enough room for a few things so it can't be loaded down with a ton of stuff.
After reading your review, I think I made the right decision for my needs. I look forward to a follow up to read if it breaks in after a while.
The Versipacks are more Murses (Man-Purses) than backpacks. I thought about picking up a Thermite a while back...
I don't like how the weight pretty much goes on one side of your body. I'd rather it be on my back, even though the weight is only distributed to one shoulder (althought you have the waist strap to help out if you've really loaded it up).