Sunday, 7 October 2012

Review: Osprey AddOns GrabBag

I'm not a pockets person when I'm out walking. I find that when the requirement to do a bit of scrambling comes in that stuff in my pockets gets in the way or gets damaged. I also find that there are a few items I like to get to without having to take my rucksack off. That being my compass, phone, a snack or maybe my wallet. I've tried a couple of belt pouches, a generic compact camera type pouch and a military type pouch and found both to be okay, but the need attaching to a belt, a strap or Mollie in the case of the army pouches if not on a belt. I happened to be looking on the Osprey site prior to purchasing my Talon 44 and noticed the Osprey AddOns, in particular, the GrabBag.

The GrabBag has a capacity of 1.4litres and is extremely light, 80g to be exact. In real world terms, I can fit a wallet, smart-phone, compass and car keys with room for maybe some other very small items. The main compartment has a small mesh pocket inside which is large enough for a compass or smart- phone. The zipper for the main compartment is a double zipper with pull loops on the zipper same as those on the Osprey packs. So no problems opening the zip with gloves on.

The zipper, double zipper loops, mesh inner pocket and outer pocket.

There is a small elasticated pocket on the outside of the GrabBag, that to be honest, I don't use as it doesn't seem secure enough for anything valuable. An energy bar may be okay, but I wouldn't risk anything else.

The body of the GrabBag is made from a very tough nylon material in a Titanium colour. There are no other colours as far as I am aware. On the back of the pouch is a sort of mesh backing that I can only think is intended to reduce sweating where ever the GrabBag may lie on your body.

GrabBag mesh backing.

The GrabBag itself, up till now, has not leaked during rain. To be honest, I don't attach it to my Talon 44 using the 'Addons' attachments. Instead I use it as a waste pack. That way, it stays on when I take my rucksack off, allowing me to still have my phone and wallet etc to hand. Because of this, it tends to be underneath a waterproof if it rains, resulting in rain not getting to it. It has been subjected to the occasional shower and has been perfectly fine. So in a light shower it should be okay. In a downpour I would cover it up.

And that leads into attaching the GrabBag. There are a few different ways this can be done. On my Talon 44 there are four small loops, two on each side of the pack located one top and one bottom. These loops are for the GrabBag plastic clips to hook into. On the Aether 70 there is a plastic clip on the left side of the pack and more loops. Because of the design of the webbing end clips, using the GrabBag with other makes of rucksack should be possible as long as the webbing on the rucksack is narrow enough. These loops and the layout of the straps on the GrabBag result in a right hand carry when attached to the rucksack, something to think about. This is no good to me as access on the right side is particularly difficult due to restricted movement in my right arm. I have tried to swap the webbing round, but I think this would involve unpicking the stitching at the webbing ends. Therefore, the easy answer, and the best way in my mind, is to use the GrabBag as a waist pack and so make carry options a little more flexible.

AddOns attachment options.

I find the GrabBag incredibly useful, keeps my pockets empty, nothing gets crushed or sweaty, and it is very convenient. The right hand carry for a rucksack, without going to the trouble of trying to swap the webbing round, is a let down for my own particular circumstance. But as a minus it is of little consequence as I prefer the waist carry option.

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