First Tactical – Specialist 1 Day

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First Tactical may not be a name you know yet, but you’re about to fall in love – their bags may look familiar and there’s a reason why.

Dan Costa founded 5.11 Tactical and eventually sold the company in 2007 – Dan’s back and better than ever with his latest venture First Tactical. Dan brought along the former 5.11 Director of Design and Innovation, Cory Nykoluk, and together they’ve quietly come out with a line of bags that have some heritage in Cory’s older designs but are serious improvements – today I’m checking out the Specialist 1-Day


At a glance this pack is not exactly low profile, it’s covered in webbing and has generous amounts of loop material ( closed loop ) to proudly display your patches or name tape.

The Specialist 1-Day is constructed from 1000D water resistant nylon, YKK zippers and Duraflex buckles. Capacity wise, it’s approximately 2200 cubic inches or 36 liters – the bag is pretty slim when you’re not packing it slim, but can puff out and carry a whole bunch of goodness when you need it to.


If you’re looking to have a highly organised daily carry, with options for mounting pouches externally and internally – this is a pack that should be on your radar.

The back of the main compartment is entirely lined with a closed loop material, so you can bring your own organisation, and stick it right on the pack.


The main compartment also has a zippered mesh pocket, and two slip pockets – ideal for small pouches or laptop chargers.


The admin compartment is brilliantly organised, I had no trouble fitting in my daily items and didn’t have to sacrifice anything because it didn’t fit.




If you’re looking for a laptop bag, this is probably not the bag for you. You can fit a monstrous laptop in the rear compartment, but the bag has no padding at the bottom of that compartment – so your laptop will hit the ground if your bag is on the ground. Putting foam in the “ rain cover “ pocket does not solve this problem.




Obviously you can grab a laptop sleeve and you’ll be sweet – just don’t expect the Specialist to protect your laptop for you.

This compartment is not designed for a laptop, by any means. It’s designed to open at the top and bottom, and have a First Tactical rifle case slide through and hook into some G hooks – turning your rifle case into a sweet backpack combo.


If you want a low profile, conservative office carry – this is probably not for you either.

The Specialist is definitely comfortable to carry, the shoulder straps will separate far enough for the widest of shoulders, and are nice and taught for those with a smaller frame.


Generous loop material on the front means you can rep the bag any way you want, spicing it up with your own unique morale patch flavour. Personally, I love adding reflective strips onto bags for no actual reason. The Specialist rocks it.

It’s well built, fairly priced and looks pretty damn slick.

The Specialist’s back compartment is basically only good for a couple of things, if you’ve got some files or a slim book that needs to go somewhere, it’s a good spot.

If you’ve got a laptop that you keep in a protective sleeve, it’s a good spot.

If you’ve got a rifle case you need to carry, it’s a fantastic spot.

Anything else, and it’s kind of redundant.

If you don’t have your own hook / loop compatible organisation, you may have a hard time organising your main compartment if you’re a highly organised carry kind of person.


In the same price range you’ve got the obvious 5.11 Tactical Rush 24, but this bag is dated and the Specialist is a serious upgrade. For similar organisation, check out the Recon Nine Evade.

The Specialist is super comfy, well organised and well priced. If you’re looking for an EDC or overnight pack, this could be your next bag.


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