I’ve owned the Arc’teryx Khard 30 for about a month now. I took advantage of a sale and grabbed one of the Black Limited Edition packs for a really good price (thanks Tactical Distributors). The Khard 30 made it’s debut at the 2013 Shot Show. I don’t know why I waited so long now that I’ve had a chance to carry it.
Arc’teryx says it “wanted to design a pack that appealed to the widest variety of users”. Making a pack to be truly mission adaptable is difficult. It has to be durable without adding a lot of weight. It has to be configurable with just enough built-in organization to be practical. It must have load bearing capabilities but be streamlined and low-vis so that it can be carried in urban settings. My initial impression is that Arc’teryx nailed it. The Khard 30 isn’t perfect and it isn’t cheap. But, with the right setup, it can serve you well in a variety of roles.
“With the right setup”. Yes, making a pack this configurable comes with a price. To get the most out of it, you must invest in accessory pouches. I call this pack a “project” because I’ve experimented with different setups to figure out what works best. For instance, after LBX Tactical put them on sale, I purchased their Khard inserts to add some internal organization.
This will be my initial Everyday Carry setup. To start, I added LBX’s 13″ Laptop Insert.
It fits my HP Elite X2 and has another slip pocket for a tablet or small notebook. It attaches to the Khard’s internal daisy chain system via gutted paracord with a barrel lock. Not exactly easy to get on or off so I leave it attached 100% of the time.
I wish the mesh was a finer gauge. I’ve already snagged them a couple of times sliding other gear in and out of the pack. But, they are cost-effective and whatever you store in them can be quickly accessed from either side of the Arc’teryx’s u-shaped main zipper.
The only non-LBX pouch I used was a Blue Force Gear Admin Dapper Pouch. Mine is an older model but it’s close to the current design and attaches securely to the interior vertical loop area of the Khard’s outer panel.
I also needed something to conceal a firearm for the times that I need to off-body carry. The LBX Grab and Go Pack is designed for “quick extraction w/ hideaway capability”.
It features two interior full loop panels that can be used to attach accessories. In my case, I mounted my S&W Shield in a kydex holster and a Blue Force Gear 10-Speed Triple Pistol Dapper Pouch.
When not carrying, I can attach other hook and loop pouches to the inside of the Grab and Go Pack for more organization or use it as a packing cube for clothing. It’s a very versatile piece of kit.
For hiking, I haven’t quite nailed my ideal setup. Right now, I’m carrying my hydration bladder in the main compartment and using the side mesh panels to organize small items like my fire starter kit, etc.
The hose routes from the top and the Khard has attachment points to secure it.
Arc’teryx says a bladder can be carried in the Khard 30’s side zippered compartments so I’m going to try that also. For a quick access FAK, I’m using a velcro-backed Mystery Ranch pouch.
Overall, it’s been fun trying different setups. I don’t feel like I have it completely dialed-in yet and I haven’t tried it in other roles (e.g range duty, vehicle bug-out, etc.) but overall the Arc’teryx Khard 30 has really impressed me with its versatility.
Stayed tuned for a full review – coming soon.