Everyday Carry

Is the Maxpedition Falcon-II Worth It In 2019?

Authored by:
Ed Jelley
Is the Maxpedition Falcon-II Worth It In 2019?

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Well over a decade ago, there weren't very many options for a good EDC bag. Back in those days, Maxpedition made a name for themselves as a go-to choice for a sturdy, tactical bag. Gear enthusiasts often recommended the 18L Pygmy Falcon, 23L Falcon-II, and the larger 35L Falcon-III for their solid construction, top-notch materials at the time, and ample organizational features. Since their debut in 2003, Maxpedition’s goal was to create bags for law enforcement and military professionals that would stand up to the rigorous conditions in the field. But since then, the landscape and market for bags has drastically changed. Today, we're taking a look back at the Maxpedition Falcon line to see if it has what it takes to be a worthwhile pick in 2019.

What Is It? Why Was It Popular?


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Maxpedition refers to the Falcon as their quintessential product: it’s “durable, ergonomic, and intelligently designed.” This tactical pack is crafted from 1050D Ballistic nylon as the base material. It’s then coated with Teflon to deflect water and dirt. You’ll find high tensile strength nylon webbing and thread throughout, with additional stitches reinforcing stress points. All of the internal seams are taped and finished for a refined, clean look that allows you to access your gear quickly and easily. Each of the zipper pulls are finished with paracord, so opening the beefy YKK zippers is a breeze. You’ll notice that the pack is covered in MOLLE-compatible webbing to attach extra gear and pouches. Inside the bag, there’s ample room for all of your gear. An admin pocket on the front of the bag provides even more organization. One of the standout features is that the bag is compressible when not loaded to capacity. If you’re carrying less gear (or even no gear at all), the straps on the side of the bag can cinch everything down to a manageable size.

The bag was (and still is) popular thanks to the construction, and tried-and-true reliability in the field. EDCers know Maxpedition for producing a bag that can take a beating without breaking the bank. The layout, size, and organization features in the Falcon appeal to a wide range of people and suit several different lifestyles and activities. Maxpedition’s Falcon is a tactical backpack done right.

Is It Worth Buying One Today?


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While the Falcon line of bags had impressive specs at the time, there are many more options for EDC bags on the market right now, tactical or otherwise. Chances are, you can find a newer bag that can better serve your needs at around the ~$100 price point. While we can’t argue with the construction and quality of the bag, there are some things that sorely need an update. Some complain about the comfort level of the straps, while others don’t find the need for a waist strap on an everyday bag. There’s no dedicated place for a laptop either. You might also prefer a bag with similar functionality but less obviously tactical styling.

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Other Options to Consider

Instead of resting on their laurels forever, Maxpedition constantly designs new bags with unique materials, new ways of construction, and more futuristic aesthetics. Besides Maxpedition, other brands have come to market with solid bag offerings as well. Below are a few more modern releases worth checking out if you're on the market for an EDC bag:

  • Maxpedition AGR Riftcore 23LThe Falcon-II's arguably dated design could be classified as a legacy product. A more modern Maxpedition alternative comes in the Riftcore, part of the brand's futuristic Advanced Gear Research collection. It's roughly the same size as the Falcon-II, but with improved design features. A new yoke design makes the pack more ergonomic than ever, while a proprietary laser-cut gear attachment system replaces the clunky MOLLE straps found on the Falcon. (~$145)

  • 5.11 Tactical Rapid Origin5.11’s Rapid Origin pack comes as a lighter-weight, more affordable option. It's modular inside and out thanks to MOLLE-compatible webbing on the outside, with hook-and-loop lining the interior. It also features an internal water bottle pocket and a dedicated laptop compartment. Last but not least, its quad-zip design makes getting to your gear, no matter where they're stashed in the pack, quick and easy. (~$68)

  • DSPTCH Day Pack 22LI personally picked this pack to replace my own Pygmy Falcon-II. DSPTCH uses military grade components and construction methods to make quality bags right here in the USA. The bag looks a bit more urban and less tactical, despite the blacked out material. It’s my bag of choice because of the relatively large capacity, dedicated padded laptop compartment, and comfortable shoulder straps and internal organization throughout. (~$198)

Have you carried the Maxpedition Falcon-II? Let us know how it’s worked our for you in the comments. We know that there are tons of choices for a tactical style bag, and we’d love to hear your favorites that aren’t the Falcon below too!

Header image courtesy of Watson in Austria.

Discussion (11 total)

Batou ·
Most definitely is still worth the price,very functional pack have 2 as of now neither have let me down still hold up well on looks can be organised efficiently with practice.
As for some other comment's further down go with official dealer's don't take the risk as this bag is popular enough to be coppied and sold to the unsuspecting
White Knight ·
I have a number of smaller Maxpedition Pocket Organisers. I did try out a few of their packs too, but ended up buying from Hazard 4 (Kato and gunbag, now called Ditch). Kato even beat Maxpedition AGR series Wolfspur. Kato is a symmetrical bag, Wolfspur isn't, which minimises carry options. For a larger back pack for EDC, Peak Design's Everyday Bag fits my needs perfectly. Quality of Max. was very good, but unfortunately, as Brandon Hall points out, Max. is copied so well that only the AGR series stand out. I also feel that their designs throw everything at a bag, rather than seeking out exactly what customers' needs are.
Watson ·
I still have my falcon ii but meanwhile i switched to a TAD gear Litespeed and changed a lot of things. Maybe i'll make another post with the actual gear.
Brandon Hall ·
I've been looking at Maxpedition bags, in particular the Remora. The thing that makes me apprehensive about ordering one of the selection of identical options on sites like AliExpress. Is Maxpedition just rebranding cheap Chinese packs at a 1000% mark-up? These aren't just similar bags but IDENTICAL designs with the same measurements, straps, colors and weights. Would I be better off just ordering directly from Asia?
Greg ·
If you order direct from Asia, you may not get the same lifetime warranty that Maxpedition offers. Think of it as a one-time insurance expense.
Brandon Hall ·
Do you think AliExpress would be the best place to get one (or at least the best priced) or is there another vendor I should check out?
Greg ·
I would recommend direct from Maxpedition or their Amazon store. I would also consider researching other brands too. 5.11 or Vanquest come to mind. The best thing to do if possible is to hold the bag first if you can. Lastly, ask yourself why you are buying the bag? Will the bag hold all of the items that you expect it to? Never buy the bag first, always buy the bag once you know exactly what you want to put it in.
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