Lii Gear is a Chinese manufacturer of bags and accessories. They take inspiration from tactical and urban worlds to produce EDC bags well suited to the task. Utilizing various fabrics and interesting hardware, their designs have been warming to bag nerds around the world.
The Heptapods is an 18L “daily living tactical backpack”, launched in 2021 and comes in around $180.
Quality & Comfort
As noted in prior reviews, Lii Gear seems to be turning out some solid bags. There are no stray stitches and everything looks tidy. This sample was produced in what they label “Cordura 500d,” but it seems to be lighter weight and smoother than the 500d I’ve seen on US-made bags. The bottle pockets are a stretch material that seems hearty and the webbing all seems appropriate.
One area in the build that caught my attention are certain seams that are not taped. Given the material suite, taping is not completely necessary, but it does add to the aesthetics and gives a bag a finishing touch.
As to comfort, I noticed no issues in my light trips around town and to a theme park. At 18l this is a small pack, so it will not be supporting huge loads, but I found the back panel sufficiently ventilated, padded and rigid thanks to its frame sheet and aluminum stay. The shoulder straps are wider rather than thicker and have a nice stretch material on the interior. They are also individually removable, allowing the pack to be converted into a single strap sling bag.
The front of the Heptapods features two zip pockets, various tabs and loops for accessories and a large loop field for bling. There is also a lower grab loop for quick handling of the bag.
On each side of the pack are stretch water bottle pockets capable of accepting a 1L bottle, webbing loops and the main zipper comes down about 2/3 of the way. Unique to this right side of the bag is a small zipper pass through for a hydration tube or cables.
The bottom of the Heptapods is basically slick, though there are 4 webbing loops for more add-ons.
Looking to the interior of the bag, the reader will note a removable framesheet at the rear-inside of a pocket that would also handle a hydration bladder. On the upper portion of the front wall is a pair of smaller open-top pockets that are made of a lightly stretchable material.
- The pocketing is just right on the Heptapods. The two exterior pockets are great for dropping stuff into, as are the two interior pockets. I don’t feel a pack this size is well suited to an over abundance of pockets, and I believe Lii Gear has hit the correct ratio of pockets to size on this design.
- While I typically prefer a panel zipper, the 2/3 thirds style access to the main compartment is more than adequate on a pack this size, allowing great access to the contents of the bag.
- Comfort levels are high. The straps are well done and the back panel sufficiently rigid to distribute the smaller loads this bag will contain. The user will not be hindered by the load carriage on this one.
- Looks good. I appreciate the expansion possibilities afforded by the webbing loops and PALS, but I also appreciate the judicious usage of those features.
- I like the lower grab handle. Seriously, how did we ever live with only one grab handle on top of a bag?
- While I don’t doubt a long lifespan with this product, I would prefer to see taped seams. It just looks better.
- The little bag is missing provision for laptop. This is a tough feature to build into a smaller bag properly, but I would have liked to at least see a modular laptop sleeve designed for the Heptapods. There just aren’t many well done bags for laptops in this size range.
Overall, I was very pleased with the simple and effective design of the Heptapods. A combination of the correct pockets in the correct locations and great carry-comfort kept me from wishing for a different design. This little pack is well suited to any lighter tasks around the city and would even perform well for quick day hikes. Beyond these considerations, the build quality means it should stand the test of time. What more can we ask of a bag?
Lii Gear continues to turn out interesting and worthwhile designs. Give them a look.
Disclaimer: The Heptapods backpack was provided by tacticalxmen.com for use in this review. The content of the review was not shared with tacticalxmen or Lii Gear prior to publication. Our reviews are impartial and never altered to keep a brand happy.