Maxpedition Falcon II Backpack–Concealed Carry Review

While vacationing, my wife and I regularly take long day hikes.  You may know I am a stalwart supporter of LEO’s carrying a firearm at all times, so the backpack I wear has to have good concealment and easy access for a handgun.  The Maxpedition Falcon II satisfies both attributes and more.

Many backpacks and slingbags have adequate cargo space and useful features, but I went looking for a carry-all that could give me good ingress into a handgun compartment while the pack was worn on my back with both straps shouldered.  In other words, a quick draw without having to doff the bag.

Years ago, I purchased a Maxpedition Condor backpack.  In those days, the Condor did not have a rear hydration/concealed carry pouch.  However, I did like the Condor’s construction and sturdy materials.  Based on this, I started to look at other Maxpedition products.  The Falcon II had a zippered pocket that is accessible from the right rear side–Bingo!  This looked promising.

Somewhere in Big Sur, CA

I received the Falcon II from an online retailer for a little over $100.  I tore open the box and put it on straightaway.  I could grab the right side rear pocket zipper at the base of the right strap and open the pocket.  Without much effort, I could insert my hand into where the gun would go.  Nice.  As shown below, take extreme care and practice safe firearms handling when drawing a gun from this location.  My finger is off the trigger and the gun is canted away from my back.  The draw is similar to a small of the back holster presentation.  (thanks, QK).

There is loop Velcro in two large strips on the left side of the pocket’s interior and a loop field on the right side, against the wearer’s back.  This is perfect for mounting either Maxpedition’s handgun holder or another similar hook and loop product.

Though I bought a Maxpedition slip holder, I also have a 5.11 handgun holster, which has a thumb break for better retention.  Because the thumb break the 5.11 is a little difficult to operate behind the back and in a loaded backpack, I normally use the Maxpedition holster.  Fitted properly, it holds the gun securely muzzle down .

When I wear this pack hiking, I usually have it loaded down with a 72 ounce hydration bladder in the large middle pocket, emergency medical supplies, two compasses, 550 cord, cellphone, small flashlight, multi-tool, firestarter, and other sundries in all the other pockets.  I know, the pack is a bit heavy for a dayhike.  Screw it, I may need these things for me and the missus, or anyone else who needs a little help.

As a function of the load-out weight, the Falcon II rides heavily on my back.  Even with a Glock 23 and spare mag in the rear pocket, the gun does not dig into my spine because of the backpack’s generous padding.  The G23 is the largest handgun I will carry on a hike, and usually, it will be my Glock 27 or Kahr PM9.

I used to carry a Smith & Wesson J-frame on hikes until one time that we were several miles down a remote wooded trail and heard angry voices ahead.  Apparently, we were about a hundred yards from a drunken gathering of Southern less-than-Gentlemen.  I did not feel very good about having my wife with me and only a Snubbie and a Speedstrip.  I suggested we backtrack and avoid a confrontation.  It sounded that bad.

Zion Canyon, Utah

My hiking gun is for personal protection from two-legged critters, but one could easily carry a camp gun or bear-dissuader in the Falcon II’s big rear pocket.  When I am traveling, I am usually constrained to a single handgun, since I do not want to go through too many hassles at airports here and afar, despite LEOSA.

There are many other reviews of the “normal” features of the Falcon II, so I will just say that mine has been a good concealed carry companion in my walking travels from Florida to California.


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25 Responses to Maxpedition Falcon II Backpack–Concealed Carry Review

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