Recon: Dunamis Gear Foray Pack
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The small EDC pack category never gets enough love. Tim Harper at Dunamis Gear must be paying attention…
The Foray pack from Dunamis Gear is a worthy EDC pack that is neither overbuilt or underwhelming. Its basic tactical look comes across simple, but that idea is debunked as soon as you pick it up and inspect it.
I remember a joke from my teenage years: “Never trust a girl with a tiny backpack”, a reference to those miniature backpack purses that women used to wear. It was just a joke about those goofy looking things which didn’t seem very functional. So the same should be true about men right? Can we trust a man with a tiny backpack?…Probably not. Well, this is in no way a tiny backpack, it just seems small, because it’s so light, and you can definitely trust this pack. It’s definitely not a man-purse.
“Overbuilt” is one of those buzz words I hear used in the pack world for methods to make a pack indestructible. We all know everything has a breaking point but over-building a pack sometimes leads to unnecessary weight in webbing and Cordura, straps buckles and the like. There is a point where too much fabric and webbing and cordage and “stuff” just gets ridiculous. The Foray is made with just the right amount of heft and durability but with your back and shoulders in mind. It’s surprisingly light when you put it on and can carry just enough of what you need.
Measuring in 17″ x 10″ x 7″, it puts the pack in a comfortable place, thanks in part to the 500D Cordura. The dimensions afford about 1700 cu. in. in space. It can stand alone as your EDC but it can also be piggy-backed to a plate carrier or used as one giant pouch on a larger expedition type pack withy optional CHAMPS system G-hooks. (CHAMPS is a G-hook system that tightens down and becomes more snug the more you carry in it)
It should be noted that Tim makes a host of pockets and pouches that can be added to any PALS webbing using the CHAMPS attachment system, then cinched down and are perfect to add a bit of extra real estate to your pack. The pouches can be customized as well to add a webbing grid on the back, to make it a MOLLE system.
It’s a perfect day pack size and it’s got just enough features so as not to overcomplicate things. It does what you need it to do. With a 6×6 grid, there’s PALS webbing-a-plenty on the exterior of the Foray so you can get as pouchy as you want to. You have lots of configuration options to choose from. I outfitted mine with some matching GPP2 pouches from Triple Aught Design and they play very well together. I also attached two of my black Dunamis Gear Top-Zip Cargo Hangers to try them out, but I couldn’t get past my OCD color matching. My Foray came in Foliage, but Dunamis Gear offers a wide variety of colors in addition to Foliage like Coyote, Black, Ranger Green, Woodland Marpat, Multicam, Highlander/Coyote. You can request color combinations to your liking. Drain grommets can be added to the bottom of the pack also.
The Foray is sort of a hybrid of those Dunamis Gear pouches in the form of a pack. It shares some the same design as Dunamis Gear’s Top Zip Cargo Hanger but has a vertical zip (similar to the regular Cargo Hanger) on the outside, right down the middle, allowing quick access to the interior. It’s also a Transformer or a Swiss-Army Knife of sorts. It vaguely resembles other packs with Tri-Zip configuration. The vertical zipper allows it to transform into a duffel bag rather than allowing the bag to peel open like a banana. The top zip and the vertical zip don’t connect, so you won’t lose anything from your pack unpeeling.
The shoulder straps can be disconnected at the bottom and stuffed behind the back panel to hide for use as a duffel. You can pay extra for the duffel-cross-shoulder-strap feature to converting to duffel as well as smaller grab handles. The back panel compartment is also big enough for a 3L water bladder and is secured closed by hook and loop. You could purchase an optional HDPE frame sheet from most tactical distributors to accommodate heavier loads. The back panel is lightly padded and covered in 1000D Cordura, as well as the bottom of the pack, for extra abrasion resistance. The bottom of the pack has elastic shock cord with cinch. It’s a great place for storing a light outer layer or something else.
There are two one-inch webbing straps that go across the face of the pack to compress the pack down to be as low profile as possible.
The shoulder straps are minimally padded but for the size of the pack and the weight of it, the straps are sufficient. There are D-Rings on the shoulder straps to route hydration tubes or to attach things to. It comes with a 1in. sternum strap. There are also tri-glide attachment points for a waist belt if you need to employ that feature.
There is a top lid zipper for smaller items. It has two deep interior dividing pockets on either side of the pack that make it easy to store water bladders or things that you want to keep out of the way. There are D-Rings at the top of each interior pocket for lashing necessary items in addition to attachment points for using up to three T-Harness pouches.
The Dunamis Gear T-Harness pouches (sold separately) are offered in 420d pack cloth, mesh/420d or 70d ultra-light Silnylon. You can add these for more internal organization using the T-Harness system or add an admin panel of your own.
As a side note: I added Foliage “One Wrap” to the excess straps to keep things nice and tidy.
After purchasing a few Top Zip Cargo Hanger pouches from Dunamis Gear I learned quickly that they are well designed and very clever. You can add extra space on your pack with these simple spacious pouches.
If a pack could be prescribed to you to make you feel good about yourself with no side effects, you’d try it wouldn’t you? Well the Dunamis Gear Foray is that pack. It’s made in the USA in Walla Walla, Washington by a great guy named Tim. It’s solid, clever, well designed, and well executed. The options you have with MOLLE pouches and the Dunamis Gear Cargo Hangers and Top Zip Pouches are numerous. The only side effect with this pack is weight loss to your wallet. The Foray costs about $220 USD for the base model. The exciting part is you can contact Tim if you have any special needs that you want to accommodate, chances are he has an idea for you and your next pack.
David Massey Senior Contributor & Recon Specialist
David Massey is from the USA and works full time as a MultiMedia Producer, Photojournalist and writer, creating imagery for an aeronautical university and shooting freelance assignments wherever they may be. He’s traveled to Africa, Asia, Europe and Central America in search of a good story. More…