Review: TAD Axiom X25
The Axiom, by Triple Aught Design, is the sleeker, more streamlined cousin to the well know FAST Pack series, but with an extra twist.
axiom [ak-see-uh m] noun
1. a self-evident truth that requires no proof.
2. a universally accepted principle or rule.
3.Logic, Mathematics. a proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from it.
Triple Aught Design has taken a new path on their journey of adventure and tactically inspired outfitting. The brand continues to traverse the rugged outdoors but has been barreling down new roads into the urban realm, with additions of the Caliber Polo, Rogue and Talisman Jackets and an entire line of urban friendly carry systems.
It’s difficult to know where to start when reviewing or explaining a pack that has so many features. There are packs with pockets and then there is the Axiom. TAD’s design team made efficient use of space with pocket placement. This must have been a challenge when they tried to keep the pack slick on the outside with no overt signs that this pack can carry anything from cameras to computers and firearms to first aid kits. There are no external pocket pouches on the Axiom.
Fans and critics have been praying for a slick pack that doesn’t scream tactical but maintains TAD’s utilitarian philosophy of creating gear that will help you be prepared for everything. They may have found salvation because TAD has answered the call, loudly, with the creation of the Axiom and the other non-tactical offerings.
FIT: The shoulder straps are padded but not overly so. The previous gen of packs like Litespeed and EDC are robustly padded and the the gen before those are a bit flatter and not as padded, so perhaps this is a hybrid of those. The back padding is generous and very comfortable. There is no waist strap and I don’t think it needs any.
FINISH: The materials used were new to their usual lineup of 1000D and 500D Cordura material swath. The VX sail cloth by Dimension Polyant is used all over and on the inside of the pack and the weight savings is remarkable. It weighs in at a lean 3.2 lbs or 1.45 kg. That’s close to a pound lighter and 3L larger than the Litespeed. Currently the Axiom only comes in black.
X: What is the X for? It expands. The pack expands to close to 2x it’s size from 25L to 40L. This can be very helpful for people that live out of a pack all day in the city and might find themselves at the grocery store with a full pack. You simply doff the pack, unzip the expansion compartment, adjust the load lifter straps and “viola”, you’ve got more space for rations!
When deployed the expansion area adds a wedge shape to the pack which appears a bit awkward but didn’t feel weird in testing. It’s not meant to be used expanded all the time, but for those urban dwellers that might spend their entire day living out of their pack will find this feature quite useful.
The expansion area is concealed behind another zipper that goes around the entire pack and is quite inconspicuous when not deployed.
You’ve been out all day and you’re on your way home and want to stop for a few extra things, groceries etc. But your pack is somewhat full…just expand your pack and you have added and extra 15L for a six-pack, microwave pizza and a few other important items. Expanding the pack reveals a top access pocket so you don’t have to unzip the entire pack to get to the contents of the expanded portion.
Pocketing: It’s literally headache inducing trying to wrap your mind around how many pockets are contained in this pack. The pack looks slick on the outside with no MOLLE or loop panels we are otherwise used to.
On the front of the pack is a very well organized admin pocket with your typical divided portion and a larger mesh pocket about as large as the entire admin area. Opposite that, are the mesh pockets which are stacked and are quite large. On the outside of the pack is an inverted pocket that works well for a rolled-up article of clothing like a Raptor rain shell or a baselayer like a Huntsman Henley.
There are two concealed pockets with tether points that are shallow but provide some secret spots for things. Not quite large enough for a larger fixed knife like a Winkler Belt Knife, but possibly a smaller one.
My favorite pocket out of them all is the simple zip pocket on the top of the pack. Too shallow for anything more than some keys and your glasses case, or perhaps a small pouch, but it’s so convenient and accessible.
INSIDE: On the back padding panel are two ambidextrous pockets that are wide enough to fit a small laptop through. This is designated as the laptop space and is spec-ed to fit a 13” laptop, but with some careful maneuvering I was able to fit a 15” Macbook Pro. It’s fully padded and works well for transporting your computer.
If you can’t handle the fidgeting with laptop space and your 15” computer, you can add a Transport Sleeve to the inside of the pack and store your computer there. Using the Helix attachment points you can add other pouches too on the opposing side of the laptop sleeve. On the sides of this area are 3 rows of PALS webbing where you can add a pouch like a RDDP1 to use as a water bottle pouch.
Inside the main compartment is a false panel that zips out, revealing an area that can be used to hang a CP1 or hang a few shallow pouches using the Helix Clips. This is one of my favorite features in the pack because it adds just another layer of potential organization and customization. The customization that was lost with the lack of PALS webbing or pockets is reincarnated on the inside. Grab your choice of packing cubes or pouches and Siamese Slik Clips, and let the modding begin.
The Axiom is a universally accepted principal… it’s different, it’s a departure and whether you like it or not, it’s the new Triple Aught Design.