In this Maxpedition Falcon II vs Falcon III article, we’ll review these two tactical backpacks that have plenty in common and a few major differences.
Maxpedition is known for its highly durable backpacks that are water resistant and abrasion proof. Many of its backpacks are on the slimmer side in style, which is compensated for by the fact that the pockets form a sort of a cool accordion style. The pockets extend outward to allow for more volume capacity. This leaves you more room for moving your arms around, as the backpack does not extend beyond the waist. Despite the slim profile, both of these backpacks have a large volume capacity; enough for several days of hiking!
Before we go over what makes the Falcon II and Falcon III different, we would like to point out what some of the similarities are.
The similarities of the Maxpedition Falcon II and Falcon III
As mentioned previously, both of these backpacks are similar in style. In fact, they look almost identical. The biggest difference that you will see between them is the fact that the Falcon III is larger than the Falcon II. Later, we will go over the other differences.
As you can see from the image above, these backpacks have three main compartments. One of them resides closest to the back panel, while the other two are at the top and bottom of the front of the backpack. Each of these main compartments hold plenty of gear, but they also have internal pockets for your smaller items.
Fit and comfort
These backpacks are one-size-fits-all. A shorter person will enjoy the fact that the backpacks are rather stout. However, they can also fit a taller person of over 6 feet. Unlike some other backpacks, these ones have a waist belt that are not padded.
Depending on how you look at it, this could be an advantage or a disadvantage. It is an advantage if you do not like a lot of bulk around the waist and would like to be able to remove the waist belt. But if you are going to be carrying a much heavier load than normal, a padded waist belt does feel more comfortable.
Granted, the most that the larger backpack (Falcon III) can hold is 35 liters of gear. This puts it up the level of a medium sized hiking backpack. It is doubtful that you will be filling the backpack so much that you will need a padded waist belt.
One of the great things about Maxpedition backpacks is the fact that they have 2.5 inch wide shoulder straps. This makes it far more comfortable than regular backpacks. What makes it even better is that they are double padded for comfort. Keep in mind that the Falcon II and the Falcon III do not have a frame, but they do have plenty of padding on the back panel.
PALS attachments for more room
One of the great things about tactical backpacks is the fact that some of them have PALS webbing. Both the Falcon II and Falcon III have PALS attachments all over the body. This allows for plenty of MOLLE compatible pouches to be attached to them.
This can increase the volume capacity by at least 10 liters. MOLLE pouches can serve various functions depending on the pouch. If you would like to see examples of the types of MOLLE patches available, you can see them here on Amazon.
Maxpedition backpacks come with a nylon material thickness 1000D and up. This is twice as thick as regular hiking backpacks. The Falcon II and Falcon III have 1050D material that is coated with polyurethane 3 times over. This is what makes them very water resistant.
A final layer of Teflon is applied over these coatings in order to increase protection against abrasion. The Teflon is also great in order to prevent dust accumulation. The backpack will remain looking new for longer. Both of these backpacks will not wear and tear over several years of use. Their thickness is unparalleled by most manufacturers, so there’s no need to worry about degradation.
Differences of the Falcon II vs Falcon III
Now that we have covered how similar these backpacks are in design, we can go over the major differences between them. Although there are not many major differences, they are pretty significant. As previously mentioned, the Falcon III is larger than the Falcon II. In fact, it holds 10 liters more gear.
- Falcon II: Volume capacity – 25 liters
- Falcon III: Volume capacity – 35 liters
The other major difference is the fact that the Falcon II can hold two 3-liter hydration bladders. This seems interesting considering that it holds less volume. But this is a slight difference in design that must be considered. This is also significant due to the fact that neither of these backpacks have a side pocket in which you can put a water bottle.
If you want to carry around a hydration bladder in a special sleeve, the Falcon II will do the trick. However, if you really want the benefit of the larger volume capacity, the Falcon III can hold a hydration bladder and side of its main compartment. It’s just that it is not a specially designed for this purpose. Finally, what makes these backpacks different is also the fact that the Falcon III has a CCW with lockable zippers. This allows you to carry large pistols.
At the time of this writing, the Falcon III costs $50 more than the Falcon II on Amazon:
Maxpedition Falcon II vs Falcon III: The Verdict
When it comes to the Falcon II vs the Falcon III, we do not have a preference. Both are designed similarly, with the Falcon III holding 10 liters more gear. While the Falcon II is more appropriate for 1-2 days of hiking, the Falcon III is appropriate for 2-3 days of hiking.
If size is not an issue, then perhaps the fact that the Falcon II can hold two hydration bladders will be a deciding factor for you. But if you also carry around pistols, the Falcon III has a special zippered pocket for this. Which you choose depends on the purpose that you’re going to be using a backpack for.
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