VANQUEST ADDAX-18 Backpack MCB (REVIEW)


The Vanquest ADDAX-18 is a small neat, perfectly formed backpack that has everything going for it. It’s a tear it from its packaging, load with your days favourite EDC and have at it. It’s super ready to go as soon as it hits your mail order doorstep. No need to modify, set-up or otherwise configure, which leaves us with the question... “What the hell am I going to do with it"? Going from mostly using a rucksack that has next to no organisation other than what a mans ingenuity can create for it, to this fantastically eager 18L puppy that has all you need straight out of the factory. OR so I thought : ) But before I get into that, let’s look at the standard issue VANQUEST ADDAX-18.

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OUTSIDE

The ADDAX-18 Is built from; 500D, made-in-the-USA, mil-spec, Cordura in genuine Crye-Presition MultiCam-Black, you can confirm this for yourself, it’s printed into the fabric!!!
 

The carry system for this little dude is slick simple and comfortable, the padded straps are long enough to wear the bag quite casually and still have plenty of comfort. There’s plenty of adjustability with AnchorWraps to tidy up lose ends.!
 

 
 
ERGONOMICALLY SHAPED, WELL PADDED AND COMFORTABLE EVEN WITH A DECENT LOAD

 
ANCHORWRAP SHOULDER STRAP MANAGEMENT

STERNUM STRAP WITH EMERGENCY SIGNAL WHISTLE

There’s a very welcome sternum strap for heavyweight loads, honestly I don’t use mine much, it’s removed and stashed so I can refix if ever needs-be. The shoulder straps also have a 1” wide Hypalon band which could be very useful for attaching gear or to run hydration hose. So, is the ADDAX-18 hydration comparable??? Quick answer is yes if we think outside-the-box a tiny bit but, I’ll get to that later.

STRAP ON READY
 
SHOCKCORD READY FOR EXSTRA GEAR

Given the VANQUEST ADDAX-18 is a small neat package, being able to strap on is super useful. On the base of the backpack there are two rows of three 0.5” mini webbing, this is MOLLE compatible so a pouch, for instance, could be strapped here ( Why, what did you think I meant) Anyway... 
 

I’ve found this useful for carrying wet-weather gear, cinched up with some shockcord. This mini MOLLE is another very nice detail that backpacks quit often don’t include.

CARRY HANDLES
 
CARRY-ON BRIFE CASE STYLE

There’s three! Now I know the two side handles are technically for swinging the ADDAX-18 from your airport roller luggage but they seem to be strong enough to use as carry handles so I do, carrying the bag briefcase style.
 
TECH COMPARTMENT, BIG ENOUGH FOR TWO LAPTOPS AND A TABLET

The main carry handle at the top of the bag is light, simple, feels nice in the hand and seems plenty strong enough. I like the positioning of this handle, it’s strategically placed between the backpacks front two compartment and the rear tech / laptop compartment. This means you can grab the backpack and go even if pockets are open, unlike the clamshell config that I’ve had fall completely open on me before.

COMPARTMENTS / POCKETS

There are four! The Main Compartment, Top Front, Lower Front pockets and rear Tech / Laptop compartment.


COMPARTMENTS / MAIN COMPARTMENT
 
STICKY ADMIN 5X7" LOOKS VERY COOL

The main compartment has a full hook and loop interior, two pockets to the sides that can be used for bottles. Each pocket has a shockcord with cord lock, that’s going to keep gear in place.
 
MAIN COMPARTMENT, INTERIOR BOTTLE POCKET STOWED AWAY

For me VANQUEST is all about detail so these side pockets have a small snap so they can be stowed out of the way, this is very nice indeed. There is a zipper pocket to the front of this compartment that is at least large enough to fit a decent sized organiser if that your thing.
 
INSIDE MAIN COMPARTMENT POCKET IS FOR MY IFAK WITH COLOUR CODED (RED) ZIPPER PULL

COMPARTMENTS / TOP FRONT

READY FOR KEYCHAINS AND ANYTHING THAT NEEDS TO BE SECURE

This has a zipper close that can be confused with the main compartment, especially in low light so I swapped out the zipper pulls, for OR orange Spartan zipper pulls, this makes it much easier to spot which pocket is which : ) Inside the pocket is blaze orange and in-tern has two internal pockets. One with a zipper closure the other is a hard to notice slip pocket with hook and loop closer and has two ParaCord loops for attaching your keychain. There’s organisation in the pocket; to the back are two rows of four shock loops, which look like they’re for magazines, CCW style but they work great for keeping knifes, multitool and pens etc in their place too.

COMPARTMENTS / LOWER FRONT

LOWER FRONT POCKET

THIS POCKET HAS CAPACITY AND IS BIG ENOUGH FOR A GOOD SIZED ORGANISER

Again this pocket has a blaze orange interior, which is nice cos the pocket is big, has capacity so this colour-way makes it much easer to find stuff down deep.
 
LOWER FRONT POCKET, INTERNAL DIVIDERS

KEEPING IT ALL IN ITS PLACE

There are three pockets or dividers at the bottom with six shock loops, I think the pockets are intended for larger magazines but work just as well for keeping your Survival Playing Cards, Wallet and Auxiliary Battery Pack nice and handy.

COMPARTMENTS / TECH LAPTOP
 
TECH / LAPTOP COMPARTMENT

I love this compartment, it’s one of the best I’ve seen, it has a water resistant YKK zipper, it opens quite wide but is gusseted so gear is less likely to fall out but in-turn, this makes access to tech gear very satisfying. Inside there are three dividers: The main has a hook and loop inning and 1.5” wide shock strap to secure down this section. Again I think this might be CCW compatible?
 
BIG ENOUGH FOR TWO LAPTOPS AND A TABLET. NICE!

For me this is the primary place for my laptop, the hook and loop gives it a plush feel making it seem like a really safe, scratch free nest for the laptop to kip.

Next there’s a smaller pocket, good for a tablet, then the third and final is big enough for another 15.5 laptop!!! I’ve tried it and yep! You can get two laptops in here and quite easily too.

MODS

These are small mods, you can follow or not but for me it makes the ADDAX-18 personal, it makes it MINE.
 
ANTI CASUAL PICK-POCKET (CPP)

1 - Carry handle D ring with carabiner - Used for hanging the ADDAX-18 from bar hooks, swinging other gear and pouches and for securing all the zippers for casual pick-pocket-prevention.

ZIPPER PULLS COLOUR CODED. ORANGE, MAIN COMPARTMENT, BLACK EVERYWHERE ELSE. INSIDE, RED FOR IFAK!

2 - Colour coded zipper pulls. VANQUEST Spartan OR Orange, main compartment, BK Black everywhere else and RD Red for the IFAK pocket. (Inside main compartment)
 
TOP STICKY ADMIN 5X7" LOWER STICKY PANEL 2X7"

 
THE HOOK AND LOOP LINED MAIN COMPARTMENT GIVES US A LOT OF SCOPE TO CUSTOMISE FOR EDC OR CCW

3 - Organisation detail - VANQUEST 5x7 Sticky Admin Pouch for phone, note books, pens etc. - VANQUEST 2x7 Sticky Panel for cigar gear, lighter, torch, multitool.

4 - Shockcord laced to the base mini MOLLE for extra carry options.

That’s it! Honestly this is a great bag, buy one and just get on with your life.

IS IT HYDRATION COMPATIBLE?

HYDRASION HOSE MOUNTED UP TO THE SHOULDER STRAPS

Technically “NO” it is not! but can we throw in a bladder and do it anyway? “Hell yea we can” and there’s still room for all my gear and the laptop. This is possible using 3L CamelBak Antidote Short Reservoir. I also tried a standard 2L CamelBak.
 
BEST USE OF A TWO WAY ZIPPER I'VE SEEN IN A LONG WHILE

There’s no dedicated port for the drinking hose so it can just protrude from the top of the Tech compartment. This where double zippers really become useful. Next the hose can be simply passed through the Hypalon strap on the shoulder strap. For extra security use WebDominator as well.
 
A LITTLE BIT MORE HOSE MANAGMENT WAS NEEDED

WOULD I CHANGE ANYTHING?

I’d like drainage holes but to be honest it doesn’t really need them. I’d like the leather VANQUEST badge to be black and placed in the middle but it looks OK where it is. I’d like it to be bigger but you know? it’s big enough.

IN CONCLUSION - A GREAT LITTLE BACKPACK

NOTHING TO SEE HERE VERY GREYMAN

The VANQUEST ADDAX-18 is a very cool little backpack with plenty of room for the daily grind. It’s part of the VANQUEST Urban Series so has a stocky, crisp metropolitan bang about it and could’nt be more greyman if it aged 50 years and retired overnight.
 
IT'S A SMALLER BACKPACK THAN I'M USED TOO BUT IT STILL FITS ALL MY EDC GEAR, HOW THE HELL DOES THAT WORK?


THE COMPLETE EDC LOAD-OUT. I DON'T CARRY ALL OF THIS GEAR ALL OF THE TIME BUT TRUST ME, IT ALL FITS QUITE COMFORTABLY.

This universal, go anywhere backpack will fit-in just great everywhere it goes. So if you’re a Silicon Valley techie start-up entrepreneur or special forces security professional on a super covert mission to the grocery store, in my opinion, this backpack does it. And if you want it bigger? Get the ADDAX-26, Its the same, only BIGGER.

For more detail and tech spec, visit the VANQUEST website, tap link below.

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