IWA 2019: Piotr’s Top Tactical Inspired PicksPiotr Ma breaks down a list of all the tactical items that turned his head at IWA this year…
IWA Outdoor Classics could be described in a nutshell as European equivalent of SHOT SHOW. So there’s a lot of firearms of any imaginable kinds, from historical replicas, through tactical weapons incl. 50 cal. sniper rifles, up to exquisite custom hunting shotguns costing small fortune.
But there’s also all sorts of outdoor equipment and tactical gear like packs, bags, tools, etc. And some of that stuff really turned my head… so let’s have a quick look at what it was! All listed in no particular order. And remember, it’s just a short Top Picks list and not full listing, kind of a ‘tactical crème de la crème’ of the Tac-pack world, displayed at IWA 2019.
KEVYT RAJAPARTIO pack
This is a daypack originally designed for the Finnish Border Guard (known as Kevyt Rajapartio, hence the pack’s name). Best described as a 25 litres of toughness! Made in EU (50/50 Finland and Estonia) with 1000D Cordura and an aluminium internal frame. Capable of hauling more weight than you could think of… imagine 25 litres filled with mil-spec stuff (including ammo) and a service rifle on the outside.
The harness is well prepared for that with a wide, bold, nicely padded hip belt and broad shoulder straps. It’s one of the Finnish Key flag line of products, which is a top tier segment in the Finn Savotta range. A very nice daypack… made to last a lifetime. By the way, the stand of Finn Savotta was one of the coolest stands at the show, and they had great beef jerky for visitors… yeah, Finnish made too!
TT Modular Pack 30
A classic tactical pack for all-round use. It comes fully equipped with removable pouches inside and a removable hip belt. Cordura, YKK rugged zippers, hypalon details, MOLLE compliant (laser cut)… high tech at its best!
Apart from the tactical applications it could also be an awesome medical support pack or mobile office. It’s really a very versatile pack if you need to carry around heavy equipment in a well-organized way. And the suspension system is surprisingly comfortable too – take it as a fact as I had one on my back (limited MultiCam variant… what else!) during three days of the show for about 9 hrs a day.
Magnus line of packs (30, 40, 50 litres)
Now THAT was one of the biggest surprises of the show… another take on the tactical modular pack, but with build quality and materials, which were absolutely stunning! With a lot of clever solutions, side pockets (rare on modular packs, but very convenient), very comfy suspension system, best laminated Cordura variant available today, laser cut MOLLE, etc. etc. Top tier, no doubt.
Not available yet for sale as far as I can see but should be available very soon. Of course a non-compromised approach is never cheap – depending on size the price will start at 300 EUR and go up. It was a nice surprise from Slovakia.
Yeah, Mystery Ranch was there as well, with the pack industry legend Dana Gleason himself on the stand! It was such a pleasure to have a short discussion with the MR founder about pack and gear. Anyway, the Scree 32 blends the tactical features of the 3DAP classic pack with the outdoor features of the Mountain Series.
As a result the pack is lighter, slightly taller, slimmer and fully outdoor featured. Just perfect for a couple of days long bushcraft hike or mountaineering adventure, especially if a slight semi-tactical styling is your thing (exactly my case). I’ve tried couple of TriZip packs in my outdoor life and I think it’s one of the most convenient pack openings ever designed. Try it once and you’ll understand why. Super wide hip belt and adjustable Futura yoke make carry a joy…
Something new for a company, that in the last couple of years has turned from ‘me too’ to market innovators, especially in outdoor and bushcraft product lines.
But they have tactical stuff too, like this urban looking pack for undercover law enforcement and protection service groups, presented by ex-military survival expert Pawel ‘Super’ Supernat. Something new for the company but they really nailed it. It looks like a grayman’s pack, no MOLLE, no tactical name on it, no velcro… but it’s gray only until it turns black and Police ID is exposed to the bad guys. The latest addition to their Urban Line.
And some honorable mentions of other stuff that grabbed my attention… not just tactical, but more general outdoor:
This Is Freedom and Speed Demon knives
Both knives would be a very welcome addition for any outdoor expedition. Made to absolutely highest standards and out of top materials (M390 steel) by a Lithuanian company. It’s a non-compromised edged stuff, another nice surprise of East European company, who takes manufacturing quality to top notch world-class level.
Classic line of outdoor axes and hatchets
Yeah, I’ve known Hultafors for years and I’m currently using three of their axes in different size and for different purposes. Hand forged in Sweden, with that old school classic look (they forge axes in the Hults Bruk region, with axe-making traditions dating back to the XVII Century) and best cutting performance in the industry. You can’t even compare it to the $25 hatchet from your big hardware store.
And it was another stand with the most friendly people, who were not just passionate about the products, but they also had a really deep technical and practical knowledge of what the company produce.
Designed by legendary ex-special-forces combat expert Tu Lam (now in Ronin Tactics Inc.) and made fully in the USA by Spartan Blades. Modern materials, top quality and practical design… it’s just like an object of functional modern art.
It’s a very good looking knife, and the performance of Spartan made knives is in the top tier of the knife industry. I know, as I own a few. Not this one though, as it’s almost always sold out due to high demand of active military personnel. So maybe one day… man, that is a handsome edged tool!
John Rigby of London
In my humble opinion the most awesome looking (and probably shooting) classic rifles of the show, bar none! Rigby… nuff said!
Lelya 2.0 and Matador R5M
That must be the coolest looking pair of airguns I’m aware of. Coming in different lengths and calibers, suitable for backyard fun and long range sniping. Top stuff, no doubt… and priced as such. But anyway, just take a look at that… and that exhibition-grade wood on the Matador R5M stock… yeah. And such friendly people, who can discuss not just airguns, but also life, kids, outdoors, etc. It was a pleasure to finally meet you in person.
And that’s my Top-10 tactical & outdoor picks of IWA… see you next year in Nurnberg!