While looking for an ideal day pack, I have tested various models by different producers. Without any doubt, Sabra Gear SOLO 21 Backpack is one of the best so far, hitting almost everything you could ask for.
Sabra Gear is a small company from Israel, who gives priority to durability, effectiveness and comfort in their design. All their products are manufactured in Israel from top-quality materials.
My backpack, courtesy of Gecko Superior is in coyote brown.
CONSTRUCTION AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
This 21-liter backpack is entirely sewn from the original 500D Cordura® Nylon, which makes it more durable and partially water-resistant. We will not find the remotest trace of polyester, susceptible to tearing and ripping, which is sometimes used in similar products. However, what strikes from the outset is the attention to details, including seams. Nothing gets unstitched and no threads stick out.
The Solo is quite simple and uncomplicated in its form, and at the same time – very well thought out.
The front panel features a five-centimeter wide and twenty-five-centimeter long Velcro for attaching all sorts of badges, insignia, morale patches, etc.
There is also a label with the producer’s logo.
Three rows of nylon Molle webbing located in the lower part of the front panel have been reinforced with bar-tacking stitches.
At the bottom, there are two tape handles intended for attaching e.g. an ice axe, but they also make it easier to lift or carry the backpack in horizontal position.
They are accompanied by two straps finished with solid buckles (made in the USA) to fasten additional gear, such as tarp, foam pad, tent or some extra outwear.
Velcro closure at straps’ endings provides us with the possibility to prevent the straps from unfolding and hanging loosely.
Deep, spacious pockets on both sides of the backpack will easily hold a one-liter Nalgene bottle.
An elastic band sewn in the pocket rim provides perfect security for its contents.
Above the pockets there are two rows of Molle webbing for attaching extra pouches or strapping a knife or a hatchet.
Cleverly designed compression straps with fast-release buckles may also serve to stabilize longer / higher objects placed in the side pockets.
The use of a loop buckle makes objects stay in place (at least to some extent) even after releasing the compression strap
Hidden under a piece of cordura, openings for the hydration system have been placed on both sides of the pack, in its upper part.
The back of the Solo 21 is also quite simple.
On the top of it there is a nylon strap which serves as a handle.
Eight-centimeter wide and one-centimeter thick, shoulder straps have been shaped very well. Their fastening point have been additionally reinforced with a strong strap.
The pack fits very well and its position on the back can be easily adjusted with straps.
As for the chest strap, it is accompanied by loop buckles, which also allow us to adjust it accordingly.
A part of the rucksack that rests directly against our back is flat and lacks any system keeping us from getting sweaty. It has been stiffened with a plastic insert and an aluminum rod. Additionally, a lower part of the back features a foam padding sewn in in such a way that it forms a loop that can hold a removable waist belt (there is Velcro inside).
The waist belt is to be purchased separately, but you can also use the one from Sabra Gear Mono 48 Pack. However, without any problem we can use any other belt instead. In my case it was either a wide trouser belt (see below) or a large padded belt.
The Solo 21 features only high quality YKK® zippers, including the zipper to the main compartment protected by a flap.
It is a clam shell backpack, which basically means that the front panel can be opened along its entire length, guaranteeing full and easy access to the transported contents. There is one large compartment, also made from Cordura®.
The internal back wall of the pack features a zipper which provides access to the stiff back system. Furthermore, two D-rings have been placed here to attach specially designed combat or Molle pouches, or a hydration system.
The hydration system fits into a sewn-in pocket from Cordura. It is spacious enough to easily hold a three-liter water bladder, a tarp or other flat objects.
The front panel has also been equipped with two flat internal pockets for smaller items. They both feature reliable YKK® zippers with cords woven through their openings for easier access.
I’ve been using the presented Solo 21 intensely for over six months. I’ve taken it for longer trips to the mountains, some outings to the woods, when going camping or for airsoft skirmishes. I’ve also kept taking it to the city, to carry my photographic equipment. In fact, I rarely leave it at home. You can even say that I’ve fallen in love with it 😉
This backpack is perfect for one-day escapades. Full opening of the main compartment contributes to an excellent organization. The only thing I could reluctantly pick at is the lack of an elastic band (similar to the one used in side pockets) in the internal pocket for the hydration system. In my opinion it would considerably improve stability of its contents.
Side pockets easily hold a large thermos flask (my Stanley has a capacity of 1.3l) or a medium-size tripod.
In terms of its looks, the Solo 21 isn’t too ‘aggressive’, which makes it more stealthy in comparison with its tactical brothers.
Not only is the backpack from Sabra Gear light and extremely comfortable, but it also rests very well against its user’s back. Taking into consideration the size of the Solo 21, the fact that a waist belt improving stability / transferring weight to hips isn’t included, is not, in my opinion, a disadvantage. Still, the manufacturer took care of it and provided its customers with an option to purchase a removable belt separately. It can be useful in the case of a heavy load. Furthermore, the lack of a ventilation system didn’t bother me either, but it may be an individual preference as not only do I like simple designs but also, after wandering for some time, I sweated just as hard as in the case of any other rucksack providing seemingly excellent back ventilation I had tested. Additionally, an advantage of the lack of the system that creates some distance between your back and the backpack is the fact that the material dries up very fast in the sun, and the entire construction is closer to the body, which means that its profile is lower.
If need be, the Solo 21 can be easily upgraded with external pouches and that’s because of the Molle webbing and compression straps.
After a relatively long time I’ve been using the backpack, I haven’t noticed any abrasions or unravelling stitches.
I highly recommend the SOLO 21 to everyone who’s looking for a reliable and high-quality backpack for carrying their equipment. I’m convinced that the product from Sabra Gear will be my faithful companion for many more years 🙂
+ Top quality materials, great attention to details,
+ durability and efficiency,
+ spacious side pockets,
+ possibility to upgrade the pack with additional elements.
– lack of elastic band in an internal pocket.
Translated by /Coral/