Sam Fisher’s Backpack – The Maxpedition Monsoon Gearslinger

After having played Splinter Cell: Conviction, I decided to scour the internet to find a real life version of Sam Fisher’s backpack. It looked to be both stylish and rugged, and practical for things like training Parkour, or just hauling beers to a party. I spent a few weeks researching potential sling packs and eventually stumbled on the Monsoon Gearslinger by Maxpedition. It looked to be exactly what I was looking for. I went and found a coupon code, placed my order, and patiently waited for it’s arrival. After having used the pack for a few weeks I can safely say that Sam Fisher would probably disapprove.

(I’ve found some interesting options on The Gear Hunt, and I’m always open to suggestions.)

Maxpedition Monsoon Gearslinger Sling Pack

Before I explain why I wasn’t satisfied with the pack, I want to say that it does have a lot going for it. For one thing, the construction is of the highest quality. I have a feeling that I could throw it through a wood chipper and have it come out still resembling a backpack. The stitching seems to be strong, the aesthetics are pleasing, and whoever designed it really had the right idea in terms of pocket layout and webbing placement. Having said that…

The Gearslinger is simply too big to be a practical sling pack, and that’s really my biggest complaint. Because of the weight distribution of sling packs, they are inherently poor for heavy loads, even with the Gearslingers extra wide shoulder strap. I found that after about an hour of hauling around a moderate load including the best ice augur I own that my shoulder would become rather sore, and based on some of the comments I’ve read on various forums, I’m not alone. The pack is sized to carry a large heavy load, but only seems practical for light loads. I can’t imagine a person simply filling a military/hunting inspired pack with clothing, but hey, who knows?

So what could Maxpedition do to improve the pack? I think simply shrinking it down but maintaining the design would be a step in the right direction. The teardrop shape means that the pack would never be well suited for carrying something square like a notebook computer, but with a little work, it could be perfect for a hunter on a day trip, or someone looking to to travel lightly.

That concludes my (admittedly) brief review. Sadly, my quest for the perfect sling pack (or backpack) continues. Do you know of a great lightweight aesthetically pleasing backpack?

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Chad

I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

32 comments on “Sam Fisher’s Backpack – The Maxpedition Monsoon Gearslinger”

  1. Sam Fisher’s backpack looks really cool, too bad the size is not right. I might buy it in the future if I can’t find something that’s as cool as this backpack.

    Thanks for your honest review.

    Reply
  2. Sam Fisher’s backpack looks really cool, too bad the size is not right. I might buy it in the future if I can’t find something that’s as cool as this backpack.

    Thanks for your honest review.

    Reply
  3. Sam fisher’s backpack is actually from 511.Tactical or a typical day bag known as a big pod. the maxpedition monsoon is way off.

    -Richard

    Reply
    • I’ve seen the 511 Tactical as well, and Sam’s bag looked almost like a hybrid of the two bags to me. I’ve seen other people echo that thought as well. I don’t think it’s an exact model of either the 511 or the Monsoon.

      Reply
  4. Sam fisher’s backpack is actually from 511.Tactical or a typical day bag known as a big pod. the maxpedition monsoon is way off.

    -Richard

    Reply
    • I’ve seen the 511 Tactical as well, and Sam’s bag looked almost like a hybrid of the two bags to me. I’ve seen other people echo that thought as well. I don’t think it’s an exact model of either the 511 or the Monsoon.

      Reply
  5. I think that this is probably the closest we’ll ever get to having Sam Fisher’s backpack. Yeah, I think it’s to big to carry an EMP around like he does, and thanks for the review, but I just looked at the 511 Tactical, and I think it could be a backpack for him. But if you want to custom make one, feel free to market said product.

    Reply
  6. I think that this is probably the closest we’ll ever get to having Sam Fisher’s backpack. Yeah, I think it’s to big to carry an EMP around like he does, and thanks for the review, but I just looked at the 511 Tactical, and I think it could be a backpack for him. But if you want to custom make one, feel free to market said product.

    Reply
  7. I’d like to say thank you for this great finding, i might still get it even with the issues you mentioned cuz it does resemble Sam’s pack a lot! lol. I would more likely be using it for my camera and probably a couple of lenses so the weight shouldn’t be an issue and once again thanks for the post πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. Maxpedition does similar backpacks, but if you like the one strap design they have quite a range, the sitka and noatak (esp the latter) may be suited to your needs.

    Reply
    • I’ve seen their other packs as well, and they do look great, but personally, I’m just not a fan of the single strap design. I find it makes my shoulder sore if the load is anything more than a few items.

      Reply
  9. The front of the 5.11 resembles it more with the second diagonal strap, but as far as the back goes, it more closely resembles the monsoon gearslinger. Both are great bags and both resemble his bag he uses in Conviction, and as far as the Osprey thing goes, that IS the one he used when he was a Splinter Cell agent, but his bad A one was given to him in Conviction, after his career ended as a SC. If you want a larger or tactical version go with the monsoon. Smaller more slick bag? Go with the 5.11 tactical.
    All your preference

    Reply
    • Thanks for the great information, Ian. Somewhat unrelated – I’m trying some new gear from Hazard4. I plan to write a review in a few weeks time.

      Reply
    • I would say yes, all though it might be a bit awkward with the teardrop shape. I would instead recommend checking out the bags that TAD (Triple Aught Design) carries, as they’re a lot more laptop friendly.

      Reply
  10. Arcteryx Quiver makes more sense, admitedly it lacks PALs but as mentioned, how much junk do you want to hang off a sling pack? Waiting for mine in an appropriate color.

    Reply
    • Thanks for posting this up, it looks pretty neat. This pack reminds me of the one that Desmond Miles has in Assassins Creed. Also, the lack of PALs really isn’t that big of a deal. I almost never make use of it on my other packs.

      Reply
  11. Old article, but here’s my take. I have buyer’s remorse after paying 100+ for my Monsoon. I just found another sling bag by Condor that looks better suited for my organizing needs. The oddball front flap on the Monsoon just seems to get in the way and the Molle straps on it could only serve to worsen the situation if you decide to attach anything to it. It looks like I still have a return option available through Amazon, so I will probably take advantage since I still have have all the tags and it’s still mint. If you’re looking at the Monsoon, I suggest you check out the Condor sling bag.

    Reply
    • Hey Zen,

      I essentially felt the exact same way, and ended up selling mine after only a few weeks. If you have a moment, would you mind replying with a link to this new pack you’re talking about? I did a quick search and have a feeling I found it, but I would rather be sure. Perhaps I can pick one up and write a review. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Think your wallet may hate me, but if you check out the GORUCK GR echo, it may suit your needs more. It recently was redesigned and made larger, but for fast and active it’s the way to go. I own the older model and it’s pretty good aside from a few niggles.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the suggestion. I’m looking at this now, and it does look pretty solid. It’s nice and simple, but solid looking. Lately I’ve been rocking a TADGear Litespeed pack, which is great, though inherently a bit heavy.

      Reply

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