Long time readers of this blog know that one feature I always look for in a pack is a beavertail. Most of my favorite EDC packs have them including the Camelback Urban Assault, Vertx EDC Gamut, and Triple Aught Design Litespeed. If a pack doesn’t have one, then I look for options to add one. The best one available was the Mystery Ranch Stick-It. But, for reasons passing understanding, Mystery Ranch decided to discontinue it. Prices on the secondary market went through the roof. I saw some going for upwards of $200 on eBay. That’s when OV Innovations stepped in (stepped up?) and decided to offer their own interpretation of that classic design. This week they sent me a prototype of their new OV Innovations Cache. If you’ve searched for a Stick-It in vain, trust me… you’re going to want one of these. Or maybe one in every color.
The OV Innovations Cache is designed to fit any pack that has attachment points on the side or bottom. Ideally, that’s MOLLE webbing. But, it doesn’t have to be. To reinforce that point, I attached the Cache to my Hill People Gear Tarahumara.
As I wrote in my review of the Tara, it’s surprising how much gear you can fit in a pack this small. However, it does have limits and you can push them very easily. My Triple Aught Design Raptor is made from Neoshell. You’ll be hard pressed to find a breathable waterproof shell that’s lighter or more pack friendly. I place it in the main compartment of the Tara and it chews up most of the usable space. If you’re a muggle, you can’t fight physics.
This is where the OVI Cache comes in. Beavertails turn small packs into usable EDC options. Here’s how I carry my shell now.
The OV Innovations Cache mounted to the Tara’s side loops with Duraflex Snap-on Repair Buckles. The side straps are long; perhaps too long. But they wisely included keepers to tidy up the extra webbing.
The bottom of the Cache has four nylon loops with snaps.
Even without MOLLE, I was able to attach the Cache to the bottom using the Tara’s bungee cord.
It ended up being very secure and I can loosen the cord if I need to attach something larger like a helmet. Like the MR Stick-It, the Cache is baffled, so it can expand to fit larger items if needed.
Build quality is excellent. OVI, as always, uses quality hardware. The snaps are very secure. And they use reinforced stitching on both the bottom straps…
… as well as the side attachment points.
I’ve gone to the recommended Nalgene canteen setup using the Tara’s side pockets so I also carry my MSR Guardian Water Filter. And there’s still room to spare. Using the Cache has made the Tara even better.
As you can tell, I’m very impressed by this product. If there was one thing to improve, I’d say incorporating the inserts that make the MR Stick-It semi-rigid would be an awesome addition. The Cache doesn’t completely hug the pack, leaving a small gap at the top, which is something that I didn’t experience with the Stick-It. But, it’s a minor annoyance; certainly purely aesthetic and nothing that compromises the functional use of the beavertail.
The OV Innovations Cache is made from 500D Cordura and will come in Coyote, Multicam, Foliage, and Black. Click here to get your name on the notification list. OVI expects to open pre-orders within the next couple of months. Pricing is TBD but expect it to fall between $40-50 USD.