Raging River Trading Bushcraft Haversack

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by junglas, Jul 13, 2018.

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  1. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    [​IMG]

    A few weeks ago I had the unfortunate displeasure of having my car broken into. The thief stole a couple of knives, a fire kit, and my Helikon Tex Bushcraft Satchel... just before my recent trip to Alberta Canada to visit Banff National Park.

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    Dan Edwards from Raging River Trading was kind enough to send me one of his Bushcraft Haversack to use on my trip and to evaluate and review for the community if I wanted to. I'm not being paid to review this, nor were there any conditions or requirements. Dan just wanted my honest opinion and critique to see if there were any areas to improve on his design.

    A lot of companies say their products are "military grade", I've never been in the military so I can't verify whether this haversack truly is "military grade" but I do know it's built with 1000D nylon Cordura, heavy duty components, made in America, made by Dan Edwards who served in the US Coast Guard where he made his own gear for himself and his squad to use. In my assessment, it's as tough and as durable as anything from Maxpedition, Vanquest, 5.11, etc...

    Some people really love haversacks and some don't care for them. I personally love haversacks. When you need quick access to your gear, haversacks are hard to beat. I usually toss in camera equipment and will pull it out as needed. This haversack has molle webbing all over- the front, sides, bottom and even on the shoulder strap- ideal for a cellphone holster or GPS.

    The Raging River Bushcraft Haversack was probably inspired by old military shoulder bags like this Polish military "bread bag" or some other similar type bag.

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    photo credit- http://oblio13.blogspot.com/2012/12/gear-that-works-military-bread-bags.html

    DETAILS
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    -Dimensions: 12" x 12" x 3"

    -Materials: The RR haversack is made out of heavy duty 1000d nylon Cordura- water resistant, rot proof, and extremely durable.

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    -Hatchet Loop:
    The RR haversack's hatchet loop is in the front, which I prefer over having it in the back and against my hip. I had no problems inserting my Eastwing No. 1 Hatchet, Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel (I used the shovel as reference for size, the flap won't close if you leave the shovel in. I'll figure out a way to mount it) , and CRKT Chogan... but my Fiskar's hatchet didn't fit, due to it's over exaggerated swell at the bottom of the handle. I believe most wood handled hatchets will work fine.

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    -Molle Webbing: The RR haversack has 2 panels of webbing in the front both 3 rows and 3 columns. The sides both have 4 rows and 2 columns. It also has webbing on the bottom to accommodate bedroll straps and even webbing on the shoulder strap for your smart phone or GPS.

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    -Side Sleeves: I really like the side sleeves on the RR haversack. Perfect for a folding saw and a Mora.

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    -Shoulder Strap: The shoulder straps are 2" wide, adjustable, and has a detachable buckle to help you take it off after a long hike. There's an included thick shoulder pad. There's a velcro keeper to bundle up extra shoulder strap length, to keep things nice and neat.

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    -Pockets: The RR haversack has 2 internal zippered pockets, one 12" x 12" and the other 12" x 10". I would put maps, paperwork, and valuables in them.

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    -Extra Pouches: The RR haversack comes with two included pouches at no extra charge- a 5" x 7" mesh pouch and a tinder pouch.

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    -Craftsmanship: Excellent stitching. I have a little pet peeve when it comes to stitching. I like it straight without loose ends and Raging River does an excellent job. I'm the guy who pulls out the lighter and burns up all the loose threads. Do you do that too or is it just me?

    Conclusion
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    I would recommend this haversack if you're looking for something bombproof and something really versatile, due to all the molle webbing. It has added extras like the shoulder pad, extra pouches, and lifetime warranty. I also like that fact that the 1000d nylon cordura is stiff and doesn't wrinkle, it'll stand where you place it. Raging River will do custom colorways and options. There's a model with a water bottle holder.

    Critiques: I would like a drag handle on the bag so it'll be easier to grab and go, to and from the car. I'd like to see the hatchet loop enlarged enough accommodate the Fiskars x7 hatchet, since it's very common. I personally like the heavy duty fabric, but some might think it's extra weight. I like Raging Rivers Patch, but would also like to see a vecro patch for additional patches. Maybe even a zippered pocket in the back for CCW as an option.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  2. Lassmanac

    Lassmanac Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Nice write-up. I wonder how this would hold up at a week long trip to an amusement park? I recently took another known brand's haversack to Disney World for 6 days, and it certainly suffered. Unrelenting heat and humidity, g-forces (roller coasters), rain, sweat, soda spills, condiments, on, off, open, close, catches, snags, 16 hour days... Brutal.
     
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  3. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    That would be an excellent test for a bag! That sounds like a better test than my trip to Banff lol. I actually just got a HW's haversack that I got from a forum member and I'll be comparing the two bags sometime soon. Thanks brother for the input!
     
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  4. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

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    That looks like a really nice pack. Thanks for the review.

    It looks like the shovel will fit but the flap won’t close. Is this the case? What if you invert the shovel? Ie poont down? You would need to clip it in place but that can be worked out fairly easily.

    Thanks!
     
  5. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    Nice write-up! Seems a fair and accurate assessment from what I can see. I wonder if for the tool sleeve on the front, if they used a strong elastic instead of a solid cloth panel... would hold tight, but be able to stretch to accomodate larger or weird handles.

    I agree on the grab handle, that seems like an oversight. I'd add one if I were you (assuming you get to keep the sample bag). I can't think of much/anything else to change about this haversack that you haven't mentioned.

    EDIT* Came back to add, looked up the price for this bag, $99.95. Seems fair, not sure what modern haversack prices are like, so this may be totally in line with other options, maybe not. More than I'd pay for a haversack, as I'm more likely to either make my own or find an old milsurp bag to use/modify. But for the quality and being USA made, it seems reasonable.

    Although if priced closer to the $59.95 range, I think it'd be a no-brainer and an obvious buy more in line with what anyone other than serious haversackers (that's a thing now, I made it up)would pay.
     
  6. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Nice write up.
    Nice looking bag. The sleeve for a hatchet has been long overdue on small bags, let alone haversack size. And the loops on the bottom would be perfect for a ground cloth while still keeping it a small package.
    It seems they packed a lot of big bag features into it.

    And while the price seems high, when compared to their $85 haversack this one has so many more features. And of course it's right in line with HC pricing, so it's probably priced fairly for upper end gear.

    I think I need one.
     
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  7. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nice haversack.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.
     
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  8. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    You're right, I forgot to mention that I wanted to give a sense of what that hatchet sleeve can accomidate. So it you have a CS shovel at home and a hatchet some similar size, then it would fit. You're right, you could invert it and somehow clip it in place! Good idea!

    Hi Jason thank you for our response! That's a good idea about making the hatchet sleeve adjustable. You read my mind about the grab handle.

    I have another modern haversack, similarly styled and it's slightly cheaper than the Raging River but is made out of 500d and 400d cordura vs the 1000d nylon cordura on the Raging River. Also the RR has the shoulder pad, possibles pouch, and tinder pouch. I'll be making a video comparing the two sometime soon. I'm impressed with the stitching, it's a pet peeve of mine.


    Thanks @PAcanis! I agree with ya about hatchet sleeves being long over due and the pricing on this haversack. The 1000d nylon cordura is an upgrade in my opinion, but some may prefer something lighter and less stiff. Thank you for your input!

    Thank you @MrFixIt! It's fun interacting here, this is my fav forum online
     
  9. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Bushclass I

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    Nice review.

    I'm wondering about the shoulder strap. These haversack-type bags always pique my interest, but I haven'y yet found a single-strap bag that is comfortable to me. I've owned and used a Maxpedition Versapack twice, and ended up selling them both because with any kind of load, the shoulder strap would become very uncomfortable.

    So, how heavily have you loaded this one?
     
  10. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    If they do something about their shipping prices I'd have ordered one :confused:
     
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  11. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    Thank you @beacon! I had a Maxpedition Fatboy pack too and sold it! lol

    I usually keep my should bags relatively light, I have a posture problem- issue with my spine. I'm going to guessimate, 10 lbs maybe? The Maxpedition shoulder pad isn't really padded all that well, the Raging River's shoulder pad is really thick. I would say the RR's pad is a 1/3 thicker, maybe twice as thick. I just measured it's 5/8" thick and actually cushions, its soft.

    I can test it out for ya, I'll be going on a hike this weekend. How heavy of a load do you usually carry?
     
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  12. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    That's a good point. I've ran a small eBay business a few years ago but I had to give it up due to fees and expenses, main problem was shipping cost. Raging River should explore different shipping options. Paypal and eBay offer some shipping discounts, very small.
     
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  13. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Yeah, I can get 20lbs of bullets from Missouri cheaper than that haversack from Carolina :eek:
    Seventeen bucks is a bit much for something that can be put in one of those large envelopes. Maybe they'll have a Labor Day sale.
     
  14. beacon

    beacon Simul justus et peccator Bushclass I

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    I don't go real heavy with this kind of setup. Light day-hike kind of kit: FAK, extra layer, water, snack, MEST...the hatchet option is what caught my attention on this bag.
     
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  15. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    Good review thanks. I use a haversack all the time although I keep it very light. Mine is from Asbell and made of wool. It has worn well over the last 4 years or so of use. I haven't found one that seems worth the extra weight so far but this one may be a good candidate. Especially like the hatchet holder.
     
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  16. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    Asbell Wool :dblthumb: very nice stuff :dblthumb: Thanks for reading such a long review lol
     
  17. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    I had something similar in my sack in Canada but I carried behind me, I find that pretty comfy when loads get heavier. I had no problems, the pad has a lot of cushion. Sometime my girlfriend carried it and she complained a bit, but she complains about everything lol even her own purse.
     
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  18. batosai117

    batosai117 Supporter Supporter

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    Hey partner! Good to see ya on this side of the forums. My Helikon Tex Bushcraft Satchel came in today. I’ll have to do a write up on it later. Thanks for posting this review, it got me searching for that new pack :D
     
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  19. junglas

    junglas Scout

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    :dblthumb: Thanks @batosai117 :4: I’d love to hear what you think of the Helikon Tex :dblthumb:
     
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