When looking for the best multipurpose backpack the military uses, one should consider the Eberlestock J79 Skycrane II. The pack is the biggest and offers the most utility among Eberlestock’s line of backpacks. The packs have been issued to soldiers in the Middle East for use in the Iraq war and have become a favorite for carrying military surplus.
The pack has three main components to it: the basic pack, the pull out G1 “Little Brother,” and the removable courier pack. The backpack also includes a backscabbard that can be converted to a drag bag.
There is another tactical advantage that the pack gives the wearer on the battlefield: if all members of a military unit are using Eberlestock backpacks, the enemy will not be able to distinguish snipers or other special personnel from everyone else since all the packs look very similar.
The pack also includes a shooting mat, which is part of the ESS Mobile Sniper Station the backpack can be turned into (pictured below).
The layout of the Sniper Station looks simple, but it makes for one less thing that needs to be carried across the desert. One soldier also mentioned the warmth the shooting mat gives its user, as the ground gets cold at night where he is stationed.
Although it may look big, this Eberlestock pack does not hinder its wearer’s ability to move. To prevent the pack from “bouncing” on the wearer’s back, the lower portion has a waist strap to ensure a secure fit around the wearer’s body. Since “bouncing” can slow down the wearer, the waist straps may be the difference from getting caught and escaping enemy pursuers.
The fully-assembled Eberlestock backpack is not needed on every occasion, and can be “slimmed down” to a more lean size for even greater mobility by the wearer. Easy modification to the pack allows a number of different layouts. But whatever layout is chosen, all compartments close completely, providing its contents full protection from the elements.
Choose the right Eberlestock backpack for you at Amazon.com.
Written by Craig Kent, part of the Best Military Surplus team