For three years I’ve used and loved Elite Survival Systems gear, so when they rolled out the PULSE 24 Hour Backpack I wanted to get my hands on one. In doing this review, I discovered that I’m a bit of a backpack aficionado. I didn’t even realize it, but it seems I have acquired more backpacks than I would have imaged. The PULSE 24 Hour Backpack is set to replace several, and that means more room in the closet!
Some things are easier shown than simply said. There are details here not covered in the video, and the video does a much better job at showing you the pack and how I use it. Taken together, I think you’ll have a pretty good idea whether this pack is for you.
I don’t know if “versatile” was one of the key design criteria that Elite Survival Systems wrote down when they started work on the PULSE 24 Hour Backpack. Maybe I just picked up on that based on my usage. This pack as literally travelled thousands of miles with me. I’ve sat for untold hours in a Florida turkey blind working out of it. It’s been on Texas hog hunts with me. Coffee shops, airports, vacations – you get the idea.
At 3.75 pounds, the pack isn’t lightweight. It is, however, tough. Really tough. It’s made from 1000 denier nylon which is virtually indestructible. I think it also helps the pack keep its shape. It’s not water proof, per se, but very water resistant. Covered heavy duty YKK zippers compliment the PULSE 24 Hour backpack’s rugged build.
One point of failure I’ve seen on a couple of packs I’ve owned is where the straps attach to the top of the backpack. These PULSE 24 Hour straps don’t show any signs of weakness. The shoulder straps connect to wide, flexible nylon webbing sewn into the pack’s main compartment.
Top side grab handles can have their stitching tear out. Elite Survival seriously reinforced the PULSE 24 Hour backpack’s anchor points for the grab handle. The clips are sewn to anchor panels and both are sewn to the backpack. The handle itself is woven from about fifty feet of super heavy duty paracord. It’s a nice touch and you never know when it might come in handy.
On the front of the pack you’ll find an admin panel covered in low profile laser cut molle. It’s reinforced for strength, but is thankfully a much cleaner and lighter weight answer to old school molle attachments. You could add supplemental pouches here, but I just use it for a tactical pen and pen light.
The Admin, Front and Main compartments all have mesh pockets on the outside facing panels. In the larger Front and Main compartments the mesh pocket isn’t deep enough to go all the way to the bottom. This is actually a great design, keeping things easily visible instead of allowing them to drop to the bottom of the compartment hidden from view.
The Main compartment has a hanger and tube routing for a hydration bladder. You could add a second hydration bladder to the back compartment, which rests on massive foam supports against your back. It also has a padded computer pocket there. Granted, you might not want to run water and a laptop in there, but options are nice. The way the back compartment is build into the PULSE 24 Hour backpack, you might never even know it was there, a nice security perk.
All this rugged versatility doesn’t mean much if the pack isn’t comfortable. Happily, no matter how much weight I’ve added my PULSE 24 Hour pack, it has remained comfortable. This is in no small part due to the construction of the back of the pack. For support, Elite Survival Systems uses custom molded closed cell foam that is ribbed and then mesh covered for breathability. The pads are about .75 inches thick allowing for a cavernous ventilation channel between them. Hidden inside the back panel is an airweight aluminum spine giving even more stiffness to the back. The payoff includes stability, support and protection.
Other things that I value in this pack include an adjustable sternum strap, large side pockets for water bottles or other essentials, a lined sunglasses/cell phone external pocket, robust compression straps and of course a little real estate reserved for moral patches.
The Elite Survival Systems PULSE 24 Hour backpack is a great daypack. It lives up to what I’ve come to expect from Elite. At $159.95 it won’t break the bank yet still comes with a lifetime guarantee. So if you see me around, there’s a good chance I’ll have this pack with me. Or maybe I’ll order something smaller to carry my cameras around the NRA show this year. Stay tuned…