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Review: LA Police Gear Operator's Backpack

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I've used the LA police gear Atlas 24 backpack as my primary gym bag for the past three years so I decided to upgrade to the LA Police Gear Operators backpack to get a little more space. The Atlas 24 is 2400 cu in. The Operators is 2900 cu in. The biggest difference is that the main compartment of the Atlas bag only unzips halfway down. If you have something in the bottom of the bag, you have to unpack or dig around to find it. The Operators bag unzips all the way like a suitcase. I had thought this would be a big benefit, but the stuff at the top of the bag tends to fall out when you unzip it all the way. There are internal straps and if you strapped that stuff in, it wouldn't be a problem if I used them. This is more of a user issue than a design issue. Maybe I'll get the hang of packing it with more time. 

On outside pockets, the Operator wins hands down. The Atlas has two roughly equal sizes pockets on the back. The Operator has a large upper pocket and a smaller lower pocket. The upper pocket is similar to a computer bag with slots for pens and other small stuff. The Operator also has two small side pockets. I love the side pockets because they make it easier to find small items that get lost in a bigger pocket: stopwatch, shampoo, padlock, Chapstick, energy bars, coaches tape, weightlifting gloves, etc. I'd prefer that one side pocket be mesh to carry a water bottle, but they are still nice. 

As far as straps are concerned, the Operator has tie-down straps inside the main compartment and cinch straps on the outside to keep the bag tight when it's not full. I had to laugh when I put on the waist strap. It's huge. I'm guessing it would accommodate a 54" waist with a jacket on. I'll be cutting off the excess. 

The water protector flap over the zippers is still really stiff and makes the zippers hard to operate. I assume the material will soften up with use. It if doesn't, this would be major flaw. I'm guessing The Operators bag is $53 + shipping and tax. LA Police Gear routinely gives 5, 10, and 15% discounts. I got tired of waiting and bought it with a 10% discount. 



Edited by jgradyc
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I've been using this bag 3x/week for the past month. It's held up fine so far. I discovered that to access stuff in the bottom of the backpack without gear falling out, I had to lay it down and open it like a suitcase. Or if I knew where the item was, I could unzip the bag just in that spot. Now that I know how to do it, it's not a problem. It's way easier to access gear in the bottom of the backpack than my old LAPG Atlas 24 backpack.

The stiffness of the zipper has resolved with time so it's no longer a concern. It's comfortable to wear with 12 pounds. I have no need for more weight so I can't comment on how it would work with 50 pounds of gear. 

I still wish it had a mesh side pocket on one side to carry a water bottle. That said, I use both side pockets. Since they have zippers, I don't have to worry about stuff falling out. 

I like it far better than the LAPG Atlas 24, which was my previous gym bag and cost about the same.


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