I don't personally see much of an issue with using civilian packs. It's only been in the last few years that the tactical industry has closed in on the same technology and designs used by the civilian side.
If you are really worried about it, you can always find / get made a cover made in your favorite camo. I did this with my packs before I splurged for an Ark'teryx Khard and the advantage of having one made with water repellent / proof material is very nice. Milsim West down in the States recommends to do this if you don't want to shell out for a "military" coloured one.
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
I don't want to steer this thread too off-topic, but I'm interested in what people's opinions are on using civilian packs in airsoft, and in the role outlined by this thread?
I've found a lot of the advice in this thread helpful, but most of the "military" packs I've been drawn towards have been way beyond my budget. I've generally been hunting for a pack in the 50-60L range, which I realize is a bit larger than some of the recommendations here; however I also intend to use it for backpacking/camping and maybe some travel within the next year.
I really like the idea of front-loading bags like the Kifaru Xing and Tactical Tailor Extended Range Pack. Both of these bags run north of $500 US. I also considered the Eberlestock Destroyer which is pretty much the type of pack I was looking for. At 60L it is styled more like a contemporary civilian pack (positive for me), but it is unnecessarily heavy from what I've read, and still beyond my budget at $400 US.
I recently bumped into Tasmanian Tiger Packs, which seem to be a bit more affordable; particularity the Ranger 60L (which is a lot like the Destroyer) and Raider 45L, but most reviews are in German. If I was to go with the raider, I'd probably supplement it with more pouches or my MSM adapt pack to bring up the capacity, at least for camping and travel.
The decision of what pack to buy has been made harder by the fact that most of the packs I'm interested in are not available locally for me to try on. I've resorted to trying on civilian packs at MEC/Sail to give myself an idea of capacity and what feels right, which is partly how I landed on 50-60L as an ideal capacity for myself. Obviously civilian packs don't use cordura, so there's a weight and durability difference there, but trying on packs from Osprey and Deuter at less than half the price and weight of some of the milspec ones I've been interested in has made me think twice. Obviously civy packs don't come in multicam, but there's always black and half-decent subdued, earth-tone colours.