Backpacks are a significant purchase for many people. However, with so much to consider, you need an informed opinion to buy the right backpack. This is why I have prepared this detailed review of The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack that will give you all the information necessary before making your decision.

If “minimalist” is your middle name, the Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12Hr Backpack is likely to appeal to you. This 12L daypack is as straightforward as they come—and we mean it in a good way.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Northern MichiganWe’ve had some time to understand how the Battalion works after testing it for a little over a month in Detroit and Northern Michigan. So let’s get started with the review.

Aesthetics & Materials

The Battalion 12Hr Backpack seems to be the long-lost sibling of the GORUCK Bullet Ruck. It maintains the same tactic-cool look that you’ll either love or despise. Overall, we like the appearance of this little daypack. In particular, the sleek black hue we’ve been trying.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Velcro PatchHowever, at the time of this review, eleven additional colors were available, so you should be able to pick one that speaks to your soul. In addition, you can give the exterior a little more individuality by putting on a patch. The velcro area on this pack is more significant than on other containers with a similar design (cough, cough, The GORUCK Bullet). At the time of this review, Recycled Firefighter offers a handful of different patches, but you may also make your own. We tried it with the Pack Hacker patch for no other reason than its clean, gorgeous look (believe us, we’re not prejudiced).

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack MaterialMost colors use 1000D CORDURA® fabric with a 400D packcloth lining. X-Pac, a gleaming, water-resistant, and lightweight material, is also used in some colors. In any case, you should be OK in terms of long-term durability.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack ZippersThe YKK zippers on the pack’s outside and inside are equally challenging. They’re rather excessive for a group of this size. Interior pockets don’t need hefty zippers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy them. Over-specced materials are usually preferred over weak ones that would break apart after a few months.

The zipper pulls are made of paracord and are of the right thickness. They’re thick enough that you can quickly get a solid hold on them, but not so much that they’re uncomfortable.

Finally, we’d like to point you that the Battalion is handcrafted in small quantities in the United States.

Components from Outside

The Battalion’s backpack straps are sturdy, particularly considering it’s a 12L bag. They’re thick (12 inches of cushioning), broad, and somewhat contoured. You could fill this pack with bricks and carry it comfortably all day.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Shoulder StrapsThe straps, however, are spaced widely apart. The straps on the pack tend to slide away while you’re wearing it, especially if you’re wearing a slick jacket (like a down jacket). The additional space may be helpful if you have broader shoulders, but it wasn’t perfect during our testing. It’s hardly the end of the world, but we notice it every time we put on the pack. And it was something we had to tweak occasionally when out and about. A sternum strap might help combat this issue.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack PALS On Shoulder StrapIf you’re like that, the front of the straps is equipped with a single row of PALS so that you can connect stuff outside. There are also two D-rings, one on each strap, for attaching additional gear and keeping a water bottle hose neat (the pack has been designed to hold a hydration bladder).

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Back PanelOn the rear panel of the Battalion, there is no mesh or significant ventilation channels to avoid the infamous Swamp Back (dun, dun, dunnn). A diamond pattern will assist your back to breathe a little, but it won’t be constructive. Again, you’ll notice this on your back if you’re traveling in hot regions.

The pack also lacks rigidity due to the lack of a framing sheet. For a collection of this size, it’s not a big issue, but it’s something to keep in mind. There is, however, considerable cushioning, which is much welcomed.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Top HandleThe grab handle helps retrieve this item from under the seat in front of you on an aircraft or hang it up in toilet stalls (or anywhere else with filthy flooring). The reinforced cloth on the top of the handle has been folded over for further durability. Some people have expressed dissatisfaction with the handle’s design, claiming it isn’t the most visually appealing. It’s because you can get a better, smoother hold on it while you’re carrying it. And any day of the week, we’ll choose utility above fashion.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Hydration Pass ThroughA Recycled Firefighter logo tag serves as a velcro flap under the handle. When you pull it up, you’ll discover a passthrough for your water bladder hose. (A hydration bladder may be stowed in a loop inside the pack.) Let’s talk about the inside of the bag zip. Let’s it up.

Inside the Bundle

The bright orange lining is the first thing you’ll notice when you open this purse (which is inside both compartments). And we don’t mean smoldering. Because this color is exceptionally brilliant, use sunscreen and avoid gazing at it directly. It’s fantastic—you can readily identify your stuff even in low-light conditions.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Material InsideThe front vertical pocket doesn’t have much liter capacity, therefore it’s best for things that are flatter or smaller. Three simple divider compartments of different sizes are included to help you keep your belongings tidy. These compartments are now horizontally aligned. We don’t generally have good things to say about horizontal backpack pockets like these, particularly ones that aren’t elasticated or zipped. Almost often, this approach results in a tangled mess.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Front OrganizationSo far, though, we haven’t encountered any problems with them. So far, though, we haven’t encountered any problems with them. Because the apertures are near to the compartment’s edge, there isn’t much space for your belongings. But, of course, it’s always conceivable that your belongings may find a way out, particularly if you’re carrying this bag a lot or have tiny items.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Front AccessHorizontal pockets have the advantage of being simple to reach. You can swiftly get what you need by swinging the pack from one shoulder to the front of your body. We’ve mainly kept food and a pair of glasses in these pockets (but there’s no cushioning or protection, so it’s dangerous without a case). We’ve even used them to store our wallets and keys in a few instances.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack OpenThe Battalion’s main compartment opens completely clamshell-style for maximum access. Two zippered mesh pockets are located on the front flap. The mesh is coarse and sturdy, like fishing nets. It’s not something you’ll want to pet, but it should last a long time. The mesh is also excellent for visibility.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Inside OrganizationWe’ve kept electronic equipment inside, including a MacBook charger in the bigger one on the bottom and various dongles and other items in the smaller one on top. They’re also excellent for keeping your phone, wallet, keys, and other valuables safe on day excursions.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack With Packing CubesYou essentially have a big bucket for the remainder of the main compartment. There is 14-inch foam cushioning at the bottom of the bag, which helps to give it some rigidity. You may utilize this area any way you like since it is open. We always recommend packing cubes and accessory packs to avoid commotion.

On-day excursions include an additional sweater or jacket, a water bottle, sunscreen, a trail map, a small umbrella, and other items. You’ll need a tech bag, a laptop stand, a water bottle, and a laptop for the daily grind.

Because the Battalion lacks a designated laptop pocket or sleeve, you’ll need to secure your laptop with a cushioned cover/case unless you want to take chances. Although Recycled Firefighter claims that this bag can only accommodate a 13-inch laptop, we were able to put a 15-inch laptop within a case with no issues.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack With LaptopWe put the Battalion to the test with the Tom Bihn Cache. The zipper on the Cache opens all the way around, enabling us to leave the top open and slide our laptop out without having to take the case out of the pack. It’s an improvised laptop pocket (just a little Pack Hacker hack for you).

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack Hydration LoopFinally, you’ll find a loop to attach a hydration bladder. However, you may utilize it to customize your backpack in various ways, such as adding hanging pouches or a MOLLE panel. And if you don’t use it, it won’t get in your way.

Testing & Durability

We’ve been using the Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12Hr Backpack as a daily driver in Detroit, Michigan, for approximately a month at this review. We’ve also taken it on a weekend vacation to Northern Michigan, where the pack faced blizzard conditions, which the Battalion handled with ease.

Recycled Firefighter The Battalion 12 Hr Backpack SoloAside from a few stray threads, the Battalion seems brand new. However, we don’t anticipate that to alter very soon, thanks to its long-lasting materials and expert craft.

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