Kifaru E&E pack G2 – Size does not always matter
An American friend of mine once suggested that I should try Kifaru’s packs, which he claimed to be the top-notch outdoor and tactical rucks. Well, I went over to the Kifaru website and had look around and immediately noticed that the prices and the made-to-order system were quite out of my price range. But the packs really got my attention with their sturdy, no-hassle look.
I particularly liked the spunky and small E&E pack (partly because it was the one pack I might have considered ordering for myself, price-wise). I made a mental note of the brand and bided my time, hoping a second-hand pack would bob up my radar. And what do you know, I recently bought a used ranger green E&E G2 pack with fairly good price.
First a little bit about the brand and pack at hand. Kifaru International is an american producer, and as their website proudly states, their products are bred in the back country and proven in combat. Their product line consists not only of backpacks, but also accessory pockets, shelters and teepees, some clothing pieces and also camping stoves.
They really are an outdoor supplier, that makes so good and rugged stuff, that it has long been used by the toughest soldiers around the world in the most demanding theaters of operation as well.
The E&E is not really designed to be a backpack. It is rather meant to be an “very large” general purpose pocket, and to be used with larger rucks. The idea is that whenever you need to ditch the larger ruck for any reason and you need only your essentials with you, you just open the 25mm buckles, fish out the light shoulder straps and bam! you got yourself a lighter smaller pack. And as the name suggests it is really meant for “Escape and Evade” type of situations.
The pack consists of one main compartment that is 9.5″ wide, 14.5″ tall and 4″ deep. The front panel opens up with a zipper and inside you have four common 1″ loops for modularity. Each pack is supplied with a small Chamber pocket for small items, and meant to be attached to the common loops.
The pack attaches to any molle surface with, what the Kifaru calls a Dock and Lock system, which is basically a set of 4 female split lock buckles (included with the pack). You attach the male buckles from the compression straps of the pack to the female split lock ones, which you have attached to the wanted molle platform.
It is made of 1000D cordura and it weights around 1 lb. 5 oz. The hardware is ITW Nexus and the brand of the zipper is not specified, but it is plastic coil with large metal sliders and paracord pull-tabs. There is also a small loop velcro patch on the lid for patches and identification.
The pack carries only just over 785c.i. or 12.8 liters, but the outer side of it is covered with rows of molle loops for added modularity and capacity.
The price varies from $118 dollars to $170 dollars, depending on the colour or camo and whether you take the optional X-Ray shoulder straps, or the metal drainage holes.
Click here to see the pack and details in Kifaru’s own website.
So how it works for me? I just love the little bugger! Granted, it is a very very small pack, but still amazing in it’s capacity.
The E&E goes almost everywhere with me. I use it usually as a EDC pack and I carry my gym gear in it. I even once used it for a three-day seminar trip (managed to squeeze in a jumper, a pair of chinos, couple of socks and change of underwear, and both a book and my calendar, which is actually quite large!).
One of the most frequent of my uses for the E&E is as a daypack for short hikes. And I have used it as it is meant to be used too: as a large pocket on my bigger ruck. This is a very handy feature when you need smaller items easy at hand in your larger ruck setup. You can access the E&E easily and take it off if you need to manoeuvre the larger ruck around your camp or tent. The added bonus of using it as a day pack on longer hikes when you can stash your larger ruck is great.
And I do like the modularity of it. I have used a Blackhawk! Industries large general purpose pouch on it to store some smaller items I might need quickly at hand. The BHI pouch actually fits the dimensions of the E&E very nicely, making it look like a bloated MAP. But there are a lot of purpose-built EDC pouches out there, so it is well customisable for each application you use it for. But the plain pack with no attachments is nicely streamlined and almost covert for everyday carry. At least in less military colour ways.
I actually made a small DIY mod to the lid of the pack and I have a specific way to arrange the two chamber pockets inside the pack. You can read all about it in my separate article here.
I also tried it out with one and two Kifaru Long pockets to test its limits of carry. I have to say that with one pocket it worked just fine, it fit perfectly to the size of the E&E and nicely buffed up the carry capacity. But with the two pockets, well… while the pockets aligned surprisingly well to the pack, the load started to be a bit too heavy. The simple shoulder straps that I have on it were too uncomfortable, making the carrying of the pack a nuisance.
The shoulder straps are not the most comfortable anyway, but they are light and not really meant for everyday use. Kifaru offers the E&E with a set of X-Ray shoulder straps, that are padded for more comfortable EDC use. But I have been happy enough with the light ones, they have not really given me issues with small to medium loads.
Ruggedness of the pack is really discernible. The 1000D cordura is really reassuring. Although it seems a bit heavy choice, it really guarantees that this pack does not fail you in any situation. All the hardware is quality made and even the zipper is sturdy, even though it is plastic. Heavy duty stuff all around! The overall weight is a bit much for such a small pack, but with durability comes it draw backs.
Some other packs from other producers, or even Kifaru, might make better EDC packs. The cost seems a bit high to me for such a small pack, although I bought mine used with 80€ (85 dollars) which was great in my opinion! I think the E&E is a terrific pack. If you do not need anything fancy and just need get the job done, E&E is the pack for you.
Modularity allows the increase of capacity.
Ability to attach as a pouch to other rucks/plate carriers etc.
The simple shoulder straps are really uncomfortable with medium/large loads.
VERY compact (though as I pointed out, the modularity kind of cancels this con).
And finally the “Five points assessment”:
This review was first published in the Noble & Blue. Noble & Blue is a small Finnish outdoor and tactical gear reviewing blog, that also shares stories of learning and adventure. Click here to know more about Noble & Blue
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this product with my own funds. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.