Blackwater Becker Patrol Pack

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The Blackwater Camo Pattern Becker Patrol Pack Mark II (Mk II) was developed in coordination with the original designer, Mr. Ethan Becker, and it is an approved and authorized version being produced under license.

The Becker Patrol Pack is a very robust and functional top-loading pack. It was originally designed by Mr. Becker in the early 1980s (after being bugged about it by some of his Vietnam War veteran friends) and it was intended for rugged off-trail use while comfortably carrying loads of up to about fifty (50) pounds. Purpose-built pockets and pouches were incorporated inside and out for organization, and its profile was kept slim and compact for going off the trail and doing real "bush busting"...which is quite different than normal hiking, as anyone who has done it knows. The goal was to carry enough stuff - "beans, bullets, and water" - for three days out in the boonies. The outside pouches and interior pockets were designed for quick access and compartmentalization and to aid finding things in the dark without the use of artificial light, which can be quite important in certain circumstances. The pack also needed to be "comfortable enough to live in" (sleep with it on should the circumstances dictate). The lid had a "cat eye" reflective strip with cover in the lower center for use during night ops, small buckle-closed pouches on each side of this reflective strip for quick access to navigation and first aid items, and a lid "map pocket". Some of the outside pouches incorporated pass-through tunnels for carrying longer items such as machetes, skis, antenna segments, poles, etc. The pack had a built-in carrying handle at the center top - now standard on almost every pack, but not so back then - and the waist belt was removable. LCE-type webbing was attached at various places on the pack, and also on the belt for attaching gear with "ALICE clips" and other methods. The outside front pouches were designed to carry several (empty) M16 magazines and the side pouches for carrying canteens. The pack was quite innovative when originally introduced and it quickly found acceptance by, and praise from, those who used it.  It saw considerable use with certain Special Forces and other military personnel as well as outdoorsmen and people from other walks of life who had a need for a rugged, practical pack.

That’s the basic background of the design and it laid the foundation for a pack that quickly became a legend. However, as the years passed, some of its features became outdated and the pack found itself in need of revision. The good news is the basic design is such that, with a bit of upgrading and modernization, it would be (and now is!) as relevant and useful today as it was back then. With this in mind, Bongo Gear approached Mr. Becker and worked out an agreement to modernize, upgrade, and market the pack.

Here's what they did: 

Took the foundation of the original design and upgraded, improved, and revised it with the following:
-Added a bit of size to the outside pouches.
-Incorporated pass-through tunnels on all outside pouches.
-Replaced the old-style LCE-style webbing with PALS webbing.
-Added cinch straps to the two front pouches.
-Added an internal frame sheet pocket and an internal frame sheet with aluminum stay.
-Added a zippered admin pouch ("Claymore pouch") on the lid
-Main compartment drawstring or roll-down "storm collar.".
-Added compression straps above and below the two side pouches for cinching down items and partial loads.
-Added integral padded back panels.

Upgraded the suspension system:

  • The original Becker Patrol Pack had sewn-in shoulder straps. The Mk II now comes with the popular and very comfortable shoulder harness.. The Harness and straps designs allow them to be interchangeable and the user can easily replace the harness and straps. The shoulder straps are ALICE compatible and can be use on ALICE packs. Conversely, the MK II will accept most all ALICE type shoulder straps as well as the excellent Hill People Gear shoulder harness.
  • We also developed a very comfortable, removable lumbar pad and removable padded waist belt.

-Incorporated multiple rows of PALS webbing on the pack bottom
-Added an internal hydration bladder pocket with bladder hanger loop.
-Incorporated a hydration tube pass-through port at the center on the back to allow feeding the tube to either side.
-Incorporated laser-cut drain holes
-Added elastic strap keepers and, also, type velcro to the longer strap ends so the excess can be secured.
-Added "Daisy Chain" vertically along each of the side pouches.
-Added a strip of Velcro loop in-between the two lid pouches for morale patches, reflective strips, etc.
-Utilized high visibility orange fabric on the inside pockets to help with seeing things on the inside.
-Moved the bag-to-lid web straps attach points from the bottom front to the bottom rear.

So, where are the packs made? Well, over the course of the past several years we investigated multiple companies in the U.S.A. as well as several companies in other countries as candidates to manufacture our packs. In the end, we determined the best value for us and our customers - while still retaining all the features and meeting our demanding quality and ethics standards - was to have our packs made in Colombia, South America by a company that, for at least three decades, has been making high-quality packs and other gear for the military and police there. We have personally been using their packs and some of their other gear since 2003 and it has held up extremely well under use and abuse in the Amazon jungle and other places even though the gear spent a lot of time outdoors in the sun, heat, and rain.

What hardware is used? The side-release buckles, loops and ladderlocks, etc. are made in Colombia by Jordao, a Colombian company that has been manufacturing high-quality plastic hardware for over two decades. The zipper is a product of EKA Zippers, also made in Colombia.

What's the fabric? The pack utilizes the excellent Lafayette Reebag* polyester fabric. High-quality polyester has proven to hold up better than nylon, and, unlike nylon, it doesn't absorb water or stretch when wet and it has a higher heat tolerance when used in wet climates.

What do they weigh? The average weight of the packs is about 6 lbs (2.7 Kg). This includes the waist belt and internal frame sheet with an aluminum stave.

What are the pack's dimensions? The approximate dimensions of the pack are: (W x H x D) Main Compartment: 11.0" x 19.5" x 7.5" = 1,535 cu in (28.0 cm x 49.5 cm x 19.0 cm = 26.3 L), Buckle Close Lid Pouches: 3" x 8" x 2" = 48 cu in (7.62 cm x 20.32 cm x 5.08 cm = 0.79 L x 2 = 1.58 L), Zipper Close Lid Pouch: 8.0" x 6.0" x 1.5" (20.32 cm x 15.24 cm x 3.81 =  1.18 L), Front Pouches: 5" x 9" x 4" = 180 cu in (12.7 cm x 22.86 cm x 10.16 cm= 2.95 L x 2 = 5.9 L), Side Pouches: 6" x 10.5" x 3" = 189 cu in (15.24 cm x 26.67 cm x 7.62 cm = 3.1 L x 2 = 6.2 L). The pack measurements differ slightly from the original with the Mk II being 1.0" wider, 1.5" deeper front-to-back, and 1.0" taller.  Not much difference, really. Total Capacity is right at 41.2L


Other straps and accessories to firther increase the capability of this pack can be purchased by our friends over at BONGO GEAR!