In Prepper circles there are a myriad of opinions on gear selection. From the best survival knife to the best caliber of handgun to purchase all the way down to paracord differences. The good thing for preppers is that there are so many suppliers of quality gear out there and we get the benefit of competition.
We also get the job of making decisions and in some cases; with the large number of choices you have, finding that one “perfect” thing can be elusive. I myself have purchased more than one of several items in my prepping supplies trying out new options or searching for a better solution. Bug Out Bags are another item in which preppers have options. Some might say too many options to make a good determination, right or wrong about the bag they are going to count on when you need to go mobile and survive.
I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the good folks at 3V Gear. 3V Gear came into being based on the owner, Daniel Beck, trying to find a bug out bag. In Daniels experience, most of the packs out there were very expensive or ill-equipped for the general 72-hour time frame. As with most entrepreneurs he decided to create his own bag. What came from that inspiration was the Paratus (based on Semper Paratus) meaning Always Ready. 3V Gear asked me if I wanted to review one of their Paratus bags for the readers of the Prepper Journal.
Any long-time readers of this blog know that Final Prepper is not a “review” website typically but I do on occasion review products that I feel would be of significant value to preppers out there. Bug Out Bags fit into a category of gear that isn’t usually cheap either so the less purchases one can make trying to find the perfect bag, the better.
The Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack
The Paratus 3 Day Operators pack is designed to be a bug out bag. It has double stitched seams, self-healing zippers, 600D PVC backed nylon and almost 3000 cubic inches of internal capacity. It is covered in just enough Military spec MOLLE to give you a wide array of options for attachments and arrangements. The two outer pouches give you extra capacity and are the perfect size for an IFAK. They wobble slightly but it isn’t anything that bothers me. I removed one of them.
From everything I can tell on this bag it is constructed very well. I took this with me on a trip out-of-town and it served as my luggage for a week-long trip perfectly. I even threw my laptop in there in the main compartment and it fit perfectly. The compartment I put it in was likely made for a water bladder as there is a flap in the top of the Paratus that would allow a drinking tube to come out.
The front compartment has a mesh divider about half-way up the back for throwing loose items in there. You don’t have mini-pockets and internal places for pens and paper, but I never use those things anyway. Actually, I feel like I need to search around for items to put in those mini pockets and dividers…
All of the stitching seems to be quality and the zippers operate with ease. I received the black model so it looks more tactical that some of the other colors, but they all look suited to some form of combat.
According to 3V Gear, the Paratus is designed to be fully adjustable to the users needs. It comes with an accessory pouch, the removable pack and all of the MOLLE you need to customize the pack to suit your needs.
The Paratus also comes with a Deployment Pack that is fully MOLLE compatible and will attach to any MOLLE pack, vest or other gear. This compact pack has a convenient grab handle or it can be carried with the concealable waist belt. Perfect for when you need to grab your kit and go or for 100 other possible uses, i.e. first aid kits, ammo bags, for climbing harnesses, survival kits, even video camera bags.
The Paratus’ dimensions are the maximum allowable for airline carry-on requirements. I had this in the back of my car, but it would make a perfect bag for a three-day trip, or bugging out on short notice.
- Main compartment: 20” H x 12″W x 5.5″D (1320 cubic inches) with internal organization
- Top front: 13″ H x 12″ W x 3″ D (468 cubic inches) pleated w/ internal organization
- Two large MOLLE pouches attached to each side, (5″x 2.5″x 8″, 100 cubic inches)
- Overall Size: 2890 cubic inches
- Body contoured shoulder straps with D-Ring for equipment attachment
- Adjustable padded waist belt
- Waist belt measures 52″
- External side compression straps
- Heavy-duty carry and drag handle
- Molded EVA back panel
- Two double zipper pulls on the main compartment for easy access
- All zipper pulls threaded with para-cord for durability and noise reduction
- MOLLE and PALs attachment points throughout
- Includes 3V Gear Rapid Deployment pack
- 3″ x 5″ Velcro ID panel with 3V Gear 3D PVC Logo patch
- Hydration compatible
- Sternum strap
- Available in: Olive Drab, Black, and Coyote Tan
Comparing the Paratus the 5.11 Rush 24
One of the things I wanted to look into were how the Paratus from 3V Gear compared to my trusty Rush 24 from 5.11 Tactical. For starters the price, when I bought the Rush 24 was about $175. Rush is also made out of 1050D nylon as opposed to 600D for the Paratus. What does that mean? The 1050D Nylon has a higher tear strength but to my untrained eyes and fingers it was basically the same fabric. For sitting in the back of my car waiting on an emergency, the fabric of the Paratus seemed more than adequate.
You can see below how the profile of the two packs is different with the Paratus appearing slightly thinner, but they both have almost the same capacity with all added features.
- Rush 24 – 2070 cubic inch capacity
- Paratus – Main compartment + Top Front = 1788 cubic inches. Add the Deployment pack (not shown below) and you get another 432 for a total of 2220. The side pouches add another 100 cubic inches.
Overall Impressions of the Paratus 3 Day Pack
The Paratus pack is priced competitively at $80 on Amazon.com and to be perfectly honest, the price is what made me take notice. At the time, the Rush Bags, well anything from Maxpedition or 5.11 to be sure were well in excess of that price so I had discounted the Paratus as being inferior. Surely, they could not offer comparable quality with that much of a price difference could they?
I am happy say that while it isn’t the exact same thing, I think the Paratus makes for a perfectly acceptable alternative to the Rush 24 series bags. We can quibble around the details – does the Rush 24 have more features? Maybe, but at the end of the day, it is a pack you throw on your back that holds stuff. The Paratus, at well under $100 is a great value and I am sure you will agree if you purchase one for yourself.
I just checked and even the Rush 24 price has come down to about $110. Perhaps Paratus is giving 5.11 a run for their money?