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a Maxpedition first

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Let’s hear it for Maxpedition on a Monday. I’m doing my best not to give them all of the attention, but also don’t want to get too far behind on showing off their new stuff before even more new stuff is released.

Today we talk about a first for Maxpedition as they have released a couple of internal frame backpacks. We’ll be focusing on the smaller of the two called the Zafar. The bigger one is called the Xantha.

Maxpedition Zantha DimensionsBuilt around a polypropylene frame with a single aluminum stay, the Maxpedition Zafar pack is a lightweight alternative to the steel framed rucks of the past. The aluminium stay can be removed from the polypropylene panel and the panel itself can also be removed.

Despite being the smaller of the two you can see that the Zafar is a rather substantial pack. It’s nice and tall to allow stacking of your gear.

Maxpedition Zantha Main Compartment

Showing off Maxpeditions sample, “loaded” examples rather than shots of the empty pack to give you some idea of the spaces included. While you do have a front compartment with mesh dividers and a zippered mesh area in the main compartment for the most part your cubic inches are wide open.

You’ll have to decide if this sort of setup suits you or not. Having owned a similar backpack with more divided areas and mesh pockets I can tell you it adds time trying to figure out what thing is going to get crammed in which spot. Still, some may favor having things very segregated.

On the other hand, this allows you to take advantage of other organization tools like the huge array of Maxpedition pockets, pouches, cuboids and more. You’ll incur some additional cost initially but will have the ability to move gear from pack to pack more readily.

The bottom of the pack is reinforced with Hypalon, and has two nylon loops for bedrolls or compression. You can see a roll hanging out in the image above.

Maxpedition Zafar ComfortAnother “loaded” sample shot doing double duty here. First you can see the soft and breezy egg crate padding laid out to aid airflow and help wick moisture away from your body. You can also see the padded (removable) waist strap which has some nifty, zippered pockets built in. They’re a great spot to keep items you’ll access more frequently.

On the left side you’ll see a large radio in what typically acts as a water bottle holder. The same holder is mirrored on the other side. These will come in handy whether or not you decide to take advantage of the hydration bladder sleeve in the main compartment of the pack. There are tubing holes on both upper/sides of the pack.

Maxpedition Zafar Front CompartmentHere you get  a shot of that other bottle holder as well as the organization available in the front compartment of the Zafar. With your bulkier gear in the main compartment you can load the front compartment with smaller items that might be accessed more often.

Rather than have it dedicated to handle any one task you could aim for variety in order to handle a number of tasks by including a knife, multi tool, flashlight, some first aid/trauma gear, a lighter, compass and maybe even a map.

You may not have considered an internal frame backpack previously but if you’re doing some real deal hoofing it up the trail you should strongly consider one of these new Maxpedition internal frame backpacks.

If we’re lucky, these packs will help end the unfair user reviews calling the Maxpedition Versipacks uncomfortable when people decide to overload them and pretend they’re 3-Day packs made for all day hiking excursions. Choose the right tool for the job.