Blackhawk!® Cyane Dynamic Backpack | Review
The assault pack has become widely popular in the last years because of its versatility in very dynamic applications such as direct action. The main function of this platform is to provide an augmentation of carriage to the user without compromising speed and efficiency. Because the environments in which the current asymmetrical wars are fought are usually very confined and hostile it is mandatory for the operator on the field to be as agile and unrestricted as possible, we are therefore experiencing an evolution in equipment in which compact, slick and efficient designs are prominent.
The category of direct action assault pack has morphed into a carrying system that varies in volume from the size of a Camelbak® to a maximum of 30 liter (usually and in theory). The main function of an assault pack is to allow the user to carry either supplemental combat essential equipment or lower-priority items without compromising mobility.
This type of equipment has gained a lot of traction also in the non-operative world due to the mythicization of “high speed” special operation forces in popular culture. Nevertheless the function of such a system is to allow the user to carry extra essential equipment into theater and to be utilized as a site exploitation bag if need arises.
Because of its essential nature the Blackhawk! Cyane Dynamic Pack is not provided with an internal rigid structure but it features a sheet of flexible polymer, of which the main purpose is to hold shape when the pack is empty.
The design of the pack focuses on the efficiency of movement and operation of the user; the narrow design and the ability to attach it directly to a plate carrier render this pack even more compact and volumetrically low profile.
Despite the very compact size, the pack is comprised of 5 separate pockets, which define the high level of usability of the pack. Because it is extremely vital, in dynamic environments, to be able to quickly and efficiently access essential gear, this feature is highly valuable.
In the upper area is locate the routing port for hydration and comms, which makes it convenient for ambidextrous use.
The numerous attachment points on the outer portion of the pack allow for external attachment. It could be said that is even possible to securely attach more equipment on the outside that it is possible to stow it inside.
The Cyane Dynamic Pack is provided with various sections of PALS webbing. Four main areas are spread throughout the outer surface of the pack: two lateral sections (7 rows x 3 columns each side) and two frontal sections (on the top 3 rows x 3 columns | on the bottom 3 x 4 columns). The size and position of the PALS panels allow to capitalize the area available with, for example, two or more ammo pouches.
During night MTB rides, and for signaling in general, we have secured on this surface red and green Chemlights or Nitizes on the respective side. The loop panel on the 3 x 3 PALS section is extremely useful for attaching S&S Precision V-Lites or Manta Strobes. It could also fit the CORE Survival HELSTAR 6 but because of its larger size and weight we don’t recommend it.
The shoulder straps are provided with copious attachment points, both vertically and horizontally, allowing the user to attach items like Princeton Tec light, strobes and of course hydration tubes.
The sternum strap can be moved vertically in order to accommodate most body types. The padding of the shoulder straps is extremely comfortable while maintaining a very low profile. Usually comfort comes at the expense of size, in this case Blackhawk! was able to manage a good balance between the two.
The inner portions of the pack are very minimal in design and material, the only internal organization available it the mesh pocket for hydration which is voluminous enough to accommodate up to a 3L reservoir.
The beavertail design allows the user to expand the size for storing items like rain gear, helmets or even tripods. With a very secure 6 points attachment the beavertail section can be tighten and released via QD buckles and webbing. When not expanded the beavertails “pocket” collapses and can be really reduced in footprint via adjustment points. The beavertail design effectively secures the equipment carried, this portion could be utilized as a secondary site exploitation carriage if need arises.
The inner portion of the backpack can accommodate more sensible material, like night vision and thermal; while the more exposed and more accessible pockets can be utilized for IFAK or medical kits in general.
The size and nature of this pack could be very suitable for transporting extra equipment during quick night hunting sorties.
The layout above displays the equipment that we utilize for night mountain biking in very rural areas. Everything shown is either worn or carried in the Cyane Dynamic Pack.
We have been using this pack since last spring and the quality of construction is on point where it needs to be. We would define “efficient” the quality of material and craftsmanship because it provides very good durability while maintaining a relatively light weight and a very competitive price point. The material used for the pack are Multicam® certified CORDURA® fabric and 500 rip stop fabric.
For a pack with this kind of design and volumetric capacity we have found some interesting applications that go beyond the operative theater, from hiking and mountain biking to climbing.
Overall, this backpack has a great potential for this industry. The average “tactical” user lives his daily life with a mindset that is tightly connected to efficiency and practicality; with this pack, because of its size and design it is possible to apply that same mentality and mindset of preparedness also to sports and outdoor activities in general. The Cyane Dynamic Pack is also available in solid colors for a more settle presence (Black, Coyote Tan, OD, Ranger Green and Urban Grey).
Blackhawk also produces a slicker version that does not have PALS webbing panels on the front and on the sides: the Cyane™ Stealth Pack. It also comes without the direct attachment to the plate carrier.
We appreciate the opportunity given by Blackhawk! to review this product.