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Helikon-Tex RAIDER 20l Backpack

By Nik Maxwell

New to the New Zealand hunting scene is the Helikon-Tex range of gear. Up until recently, I was unaware of the brand until Kelvin Dixon from BushLife NZ contacted me a while back to discuss some review options.

 

BushLife NZ is a kiwi owned, husband and wife team who are endeavouring to provide quality hunting and shooting gear at affordable prices.

 

OVERVIEW

The Helikon-Tex RAIDER is a 20l day back ideal for day long and even overnight excursions, provided you go with minimal gear. It’d be perfect for summertime overnighters.

 

The pack is constructed from a heavy nylon and is available in a variety of colours; Adaptive Green, Pencott Greenzone®, Coyote and A-Tacs FG. It’d be easier to search online for these patterns than describe here in writing!

 

The main internal compartment has two smaller pockets on the front and rear. There is another large pocket that is accessed via a zip on the top of the pack. It is located in between the main compartment and the pack harness.

 

On the front of the pack is an open style Beaver tail panel ideal for your raincoat. It has two long straps that fasten to the top of the pack.

 

There is also a small zipped front pocket for items like your GPS, phone etc. Complimenting all of this are two small open top pockets located on the lower sides of the pack.

 

Fastening or tying anything to and in the pack has been well covered. Above the side pockets are two small rows of Molle and there is a large velcro panel inside the pack as well as a small panel above the outside front pocket. The more you look through the pack the more clips and fasteners you find giving the RAIDER a tactical feel.

 

"...the Helikon-Tex RAIDER is versatile, lightweight and looks pretty slick also. The wide and shaped to fit shoulder straps help to absorb the weight and the thick mesh backing works to reduces perspiration build-up. With pockets compartments and attachments galore, you’ll be able to load it up at will."

 

The shoulder straps are of a decent width and fairly typical in their design. You have a chest strap and waist belt. There is no extra padding on the waist belt. There are small removable Velcro tabs that allow you to roll up any excess length on the straps, I ended up removing those.

 

Between you and the pack are two soft mesh covered panels for a bit of added comfort. There is a wide channel in between the two mesh panels to help with airflow. Keeping things upright is a removable, narrow aluminium bar that is sewn into the middle of the pack between the main compartment and the pack exterior.

 

But wait, there is more! Tucked away underneath the pack is another zippered compartment that house a thin nylon rain cover to reduce moisture from getting into the main pack space, mint!

 

IN THE FIELD

Due to the smaller capacity of the pack, I only spent time with it during local day hunts. I used it several times while chasing fallow and small game up behind Te Puke (I’m always up there!).

 

I did however take it away for a weekend hunt with my mate Scotty in the Whirinaki Forest for a pre-rut hunt after some red deer. Scotty has hunted this a few times before and showed me some mint bush stalking spots. Sign was prevalent but no deer seen unfortunately.

 

So, how did the RAIDER perform during my time on the hill? Great! It is comfortable and there is ample room to store all your useful day hunting gear and equipment.

 

CONCLUSION

A great little day pack, the Helikon-Tex RAIDER is versatile, lightweight and looks pretty slick also. The wide and shaped to fit shoulder straps help to absorb the weight and the thick mesh backing works to reduces perspiration build-up. With pockets compartments and attachments galore, you’ll be able to load it up at will.

 

It is a sweet little pack ideal for day hunts etc. It isn’t designed to carry an exorbitant weight and so should enjoy an extended life in that regard.

 

Check out BushLife NZ at www.bushlifenz.com for their complete range of Helikon-Tex backpacks, as well as a host of other useful hunting and outdoor equipment.

 

Nik

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