Triple Aught Design (TAD) is a small, employee-owned, American company that takes great pride in producing quality-made gear and apparel in the USA. Everything they make is assembled in the USA from 97% USA-sourced materials. While only being manned by roughly 50 full-time employees, the company is responsible for another 100-200 American jobs through contract workers. TAD’s mission statement on their website you will come across this passage, “Whether on your toughest excursions or in your everyday adventures, we know that exceptional quality and engineered functionality will help you succeed. We make gear and apparel for capable people” I think this last sentence sums up TAD pretty well in my opinion.
The TAD FAST Pack Scout or Scout as I will be referring to it for the remainder of this review was tested over the course of 12 months while being used in applications such as everyday carry, day hikes, and military missions — some even with US Navy SEAL’s in Croatia on boats at night, but we will get into that more later.
Primary Materials: 1000D Cordura Nylon, ITW GhillieTex hardware, YKK zippers
Quality and Comfort
The Scout is designed to be a small, rugged pack for light and fast adventures in the mountains or on the streets; it is a very minimal pack, but don’t let that fool you about its capabilities.
TAD runs small production batches of many of its products, meaning that there are multiple material variations and special editions of almost all of its products. The Scout is no exception, and the variation we will be looking at for this review is the standard 1000D Cordura construction. As stated prior, the Scout is sourced with almost all American-made components and materials, and TAD certainly chose quality materials, including ITW GhillieTex hardware and YKK zippers.
The back panel use is the same soft and breathable padding found on the standard FAST Packs. Behind the padding there is a plastic frame sheet for helping the pack keep its shape and prevent anything from jabbing you into the back. While this is not a necessary feature on most lightweight packs, I really appreciate this feature of the Scout. While I did not get a chance to test it, the Scout does come with small waist straps for longer endeavors.
Overall, the quality of the Scout is very high, and while I am the second or third owner of this particular sample, I can tell this bag is built to last.
If I had to describe the Scout in one word I think it would have to be, expandable. TAD has done a wonderful job producing a pack that can be configured for whatever the day or the mission requires while providing an assortment of optional add-ons to meet those demands.
In my testing, I kept the exterior of the pack mostly slick, but there are two removable compression straps, a small number of PALS webbing on each side, and attachment points on the bottom that would allow the addition of TAD’s Transporter Tails to be mounted. Something of note is that the patch panel on this one was a personal modification, and does not come with the bag.
The face of the pack holds a flat zippered admin pocket, again very similar to the one found on the TAD Lightspeed. This pocket is much larder and cavernous than one would imagine. It can expand to hold a medium-sized jacket or even an 11” iPad Air. There is also some built in organization here to be utilized. There are several pockets sewn into this compartment that can fit everything from a small notebook to individual pens. This is one of my favorite aspects of the pack, as the micro organization of tools is very important to me. Above the pockets is a single plastic D-Ring for attaching keys. One downside to this compartment is that if the main compartment is overfilled, it can become difficult to access.
Moving on to the main compartment, there is a hanger for mounting a hydration bladder with a hole to run a drinking straw. The bladder would fit in a mesh pocket and there is another zippered mesh pocket on the opposite side of this compartment. The aforementioned mesh pocket is expandable and creates nice organization options for the end user. Above the bladder attachment, there are two attachment points for their control panels and other accessories that utilize ITW Silk Clips. While I did not get a chance to test these points, as I do not own any of TAD’s backpack accessories, they seem well thought out. This compartment is large enough to fit an older 15” Macbook Pro laptop and a warming layer or two. The main compartment also fully clamshells open when the front buckle are released aiding in easy access to your gear.
There is a hidden third pocket on the front bottom of the pack and is held closed via velcro. Another brilliant feature in my opinion as you can use this to stash more sensitive items or documents. There is also the option to place a small layer in here so that if you want to don it, you won’t need to open the entire pack. Another use of this pocket is that if you own the TAD’s Transporter Tail you can simply hide it in this pocket and flip it out when you require additional PALS webbing. The exterior of the pack comes with two removable buckles for sinching down the bag or holding additional items like shoes or chest rigs.
- Great organization for a bag of this size, there is a pocket for everything.
- Constructed of durable materials
- Well thought out for adding additional equipment and expanding the usability of the pack
- American-made and sourced materials
- Price, $190 MSRP is pretty steep for a small niche pack like this.
Like TAD mentions in their marketing material for this pack, the FPS is at home as your adventure backpack considering its size and weight. I enjoyed using this pack on several day hikes and as a summer EDC bag. It’s big enough for the essentials and a few more items. I extensively used it for a few missions in Croatia where I was following a team of Navy SEAL’s when they conducted VBSS (Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure) and OTB (Over The Beach) exercises with their Croatian counterparts. The size and durability of this pack proved to be its greatest assets while riding in small watercraft and moving through tight spaces in ships. The TAD FAST Pack Scout is available directly through TAD for $195 here.
The Fast Pack Scout was purchased by the reviewer, the content of this review was not shared with Triple Aught Desgin before publishing. Our reviews are unbiased and never modified to keep a brand happy.