VANQUEST IBEX-26L - MCB (Multicam Black)
It’s not often I receive packages from the future but that’s how it felt when the package from VANQUEST GEAR arrived.
In the package were all the goodies to make a MOLLE / GEAR hoe like me happy. Including a complete set of VANQUEST new StickCubes, x2 off MOHL-AIR (MOLLE onto Hook-&-Loop adapters), x2 pairs of ELASTO Gear Loops, a HYDRA Water Bottle Holder (black), x2 off STICKY PANELS 2”x3” and 2”x7” and last but by no means least, the star of the show, the mothership the VANQUEST IBEX-26 Multicam Black variant!!!!!
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WHY THE CARE PACKAGE?
Simply put VANQUEST liked the cut of the YOMP NOTES jib and wanted to see what could be done with their gear, good or bad. So in simple terms they sent me free gear to explore, test, scrutinise and optimise if possible. Then pass on my findings on to you good people.
THE PANIC, THE EXCITEMENT
I was very happy to get free gear but from what I had seen the VANQUEST IBEX-26 was the finished job, it seemed to have everything going for it, leaving me with nothing to do... or was it??? Maybe but for now lets discuss the standard issue rucksack as it jumps out the box.
|FOOD, WATER AND WET WEATHER GEAR RIGHT WHERE I NEED IT|
Not much standard issue about the Vanquest IBEX, she looks like she was designed by someone who enjoys their job and had time to indulge their passion. This is where my panic came from, there didn’t appear to be anything for me to fix, any problems for me to work out a solution for, so this was a pack where everything had been thought out, every solution discovered and implemented. You can buy this pack, adjust it a bit and just go spend a weekend getting adventurous straight out of the box. The IBEX has a full zip around open flat design but unlike the suit case, cabin style of bag we all love, once unzipped the IBEX falls flat to expose all your gear.
|A HOOK "N" LOOP PANEL WITH THE USE OF A VANQUEST MOHL ADAPTER, HELPS THAT PPM-HUSK ORGANISER TO DEFY GRAVITY|
|VANQUEST NEW STICKYCUBES WHIPPING MY DAY HIKE GEAR INTO SHAPE|
Can’t tell you how much I like this. It allows us plan out the interior layup of our gear so we can make a mental map of where everything is, making everything “bang” easy to find! This is further facilitated by hook-&-loop panels to the back, both sides and a smaller panel to the front so once organised gear is going to stay how we want it until it’s time to use. This system worked great with the new range of VANQUEST sticky-cubes (There’s a clue in the name) also using VANQUEST own MOHL-AIR adaptors to custom POUCHES for use with the interior hook-&-loop. I’m not up on my fabrics but the VANQUEST IBEX has a super nice, light grey interior to the main compartment and, I’m going to call it; blaze mango orange : ) to the zip around side pockets.
|HERE USING THE SIDE POCKET WATER BLADDER STRAPS TO SWING A CARABINER. WHAT A MESS, BUT IT DOES WORK|
In my world this is going to get stained and grubby but until then this interior makes finding gear in low light much easier.
|A FULL FEATURED BERGEN VERY READY TO HAUL SOME SERIOUS WEIGHT|
The VANQUEST IBEX-26
IBEX-26L is basically a fully featured Bergen that has been scaled down to 26L. This means it has a removable, padded and stiffened hip belt, a sternum strap with a (whistle), adjustable back length via adjustable shoulder straps, compression straps and adjustable shock-cord upfront for stuffing wet weather gear. Ice axe and walking pole mounting points.
|I REPLACED THE STANDARD WITH HIVIZ SHOCK CORD - BE SEEN BE SAFE!|
Then there’s the MOLLE! given I would not describe this bag as tacticool, very discretely it has 2 columns x 4 rows of Hypalon MOLLE on left and right side of the pack, 2 columns x 2 rows on both wings of the hipbelt and 2 columns x 2 rows on the base so we can really expanded the litres by adding more pouches etc and the carry system will be up to the extra weight.
|HIPBELT X2 ROWS X2 COLUMNS OF VERY HELPFUL MOLLE|
This is a small bag, very ready to haul some huge weight, for a very long time, leaving is with enough energy to get a beer at the end of the day and still be able to chat-up the barmaid / man : )
|'THIS WAY UP" - ATTENTION TO DETAIL - IF WE DON'T REMOVE THE HIPBELT WE WILL NEVER KNOW THIS IS HERE|
Materials for the build of this pack have also been thoughtful considered. In my case, genuine Crye Precision Multicam Black, 500D Cordura has been used for most of the construction with 1000d Cordura being used in zones with most stress and wear. I.E. the base of the pack and the hip belt. I appreciated the last a lot as it’s a point that’s often overlooked. The ground facing edge of the hip belt is in contact with the dirt and grit as much the pack but is rarely reinforced VANQUEST spotted this and fixed it.
I'm feeling myself being pulled into a quagmire of describing every barrack, stitch, strap and buckle the truth is there’s a lot of posts and videos online, indeed VANQUESTs’ very own website will better inform you about the technical nitty-gritty, features and benefits included in the design and build of this pack so I wont bang-on any more here. VANQUEST.COM
Yep I want to get to the mods, it’s early days for me and the relationship with this pack but I have found some small, usefully and easy mods that have made the IBEX zing.
- ITW GRIMLOCs - I’ve added one to the shoulder strap to keep my drinking tube in order. I’ve added another to the front of the IBEX to swing my Pelicase and any other quick clips from. Another is used inside the pack to stop the water bladder/laptop pocket from gaping.
- ITW WEB DOMINATORS The IBEX comes as standard with nice little hook-n-loop straps to tidy up lose ends but I like Web Dominators so I’ve replaced.
- UTILITY STRAPs I’ve added these to the front of the pack as don’t like gear handing off the bottom if I can help it. There held in place using Siamese Slick clips.
- CARABINERs The IBEX has x2 side pockets with hook-n-loop straps for carrying a water bladder, I’ve attached a Carabiner to this so I can swing field utilities such as knives, flashlights, whistles and lighters from it. I know where everything is, I can get hands on easily and they’re safe.
- MAXPEDITION CAP Using the hip-belt MOLLE field I’ve attached Maxpedition Compact Admin Pouch, I use this for my EDC.
- SHOCK-CORD To the front of the IBEX I’ve replace the standard issue shock-cord with a reflective type, I’ve been using the VANQUEST IBEX for running after work and during the evening, it helps keep traffic off my back.
- ORBILOC With regard to 6. and being seen in the dark, I’ve added a pair of Orobiloc Safety Lights. White to the front and the shoulder strap, red to the back.
|SHOULDER STRAP MOUNTED ORBILOC SAFETY LIGHT KEEP NIGHT TRAFFIC OF MY ASS|
There’s a lot of wonderful little touches so to keep it snappy here another list : )
|THE INTEGRAL SHOULDER STRAP RANGER BANDS STOP THE QUICK RELEASE BUCKLES FROM SLIPPING OUT OF ADJUSTMENT|
- Pockets to tuck away the top compression straps
- X3 swing points for bladders. 1 each in the side pockets, 1 more in the main compartment
- The bladder pocket in the main compartment is the right size for CamelBak Antidote short 3.0L reservoir and a 15.5 MacBook Pro (Although, not at the same time)
- Side pockets have ports for a drinking tube to pass though, Using a carabiner these can be used to attache items of gear in the main compartment.
- The top hood pocket can be accessed for inside and out
- The hip belt is removable and has the word “UP” embroidered on it, in big orange letters, this to make sure we re-attached the right way up : )
- The shoulder straps quick realise buckles have wide elastic, firmly holding them back to the shoulder strap, marking them less likely lift and slip out of adjustment.
- The main compartment zipper pulls are lockable!
|I SWAPPED OUT THE RIGHT-HAND ZIPPER PULL FOR ORANGE, SAVES A LOT OF CONFUSION IN A PANIC|
I’ve had the VANQUEST IBEX26L for a little over a month I’ve used it for running X country, road work and a couple of 15 mile hikes. I guess it’s still early days but I really like this pack. It’s design, it’s features the attention to detail the choice of fabric are in my view second to none and if this is indeed what the future is like, we need to face-up or get out the way.
|VANQUEST IBEX-26 YOMP NOTES CONFIG, DECOMPILED|
PARTS / GEAR / SERVICES LIST:
VANQUEST IBEX-26 Backpack
VANQUEST STICKY CUBES (Sml) (Med) (Lrg)
VANQUEST MOHL-AIR (Hook-&-Loop adapters)
VANQUEST ELASTO GEAR LOOPS
VANQUEST HYDRA WATER BOTTEL HOLDER
VANQUEST STICKY PANELS (2”x3”) (2”x7”
ITW WEB DOMINATORS
ORBILOC SAFTY LIGHTS
SIAMISE SLICK CLIPS - CONDOR
GRIMLOCS - MAXPEDITION
For more detail and information about the VANQUEST IBEX-26:
ABOUT THE LINKS WITH-IN THIS POST.
I've included links so you can find out more or even purchase. In some cases items have been upgraded or discontinued so I have linked to equivalents, I hope that's OK.
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