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Navy SEAL Bergans rucksack


Bob Hudson
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Someone called me the other day and said they wanted to get rid of some military stuff they'd taken in trade from a buddy a couple years ago. When I got there the main thing they had was a huge backpack that did not look military at all, even though size-wise it did remind me of the very large USMC ILBE main packs:

 

ilbe0205back.jpg

 

But this pack wasn't camo and had the name "Bergans of Norway" on it - an unlikely name for US military gear for sure:

 

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Well, after doing some online research, it turns out this particular model pack was indeed made for the US Navy Seals. Here's one at work:

 

bergansnow1.jpg

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The model made for the Seals is apparently called the Extreme Escape while the civilian model (which comes in green) is the Alpinist Escape. Both are Bergans 2095 packs and can carry a load of more than 100 pounds and have a carbon fiber and S-shaped aluminum internal frame with shock absorber. It also has removable side pouches and lid, upper and lower compartments and side access zippers.

 

Besides the photo and other text references to the Navy using these, I reference to one from a soldier:

 

"I've done quite a bit of training around Bragg, and no matter where you go, every once in awhile you'll be deep in the woods in the middle of nowhere, and you'll hear something. When you go and look, you'll see a muscular guy with long hair and a beard wearing civilian clothes with the largest Bergan rucksack you've ever seen that's hauling butt through the woods. You automatically know the guy is Delta."

 

These are big, bigger even I think than the Marine ILBE packs. And the construction is most impressive.

 

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It has a large zippered panel to access the lower compartment, which can also be accessed through the top compartment (a drawstring panel separates them). There are large removable pouches on each side.

 

5.jpg

 

6.jpg

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Wow, that's cool and indeed it is HUGE.

 

I have had the Marine ILBE packs before and they are daypacks compared to this :)

 

This has one heck of a frame what with the carbon fiber and aluminum. The frame can be adjusted for people of different heights. The padded hip belt is complex piece itself: I have yet to figure out how to remove it for shipping.

 

I found a Bergans catalog online with a cutaway view showing how serious this thing is:

 

berganscutaway.jpg

 

Here's the civilian version:

 

bergansescape.jpg

 

The complexity and construction of this thing is reflected in the retail price for the civilian version: $670 / €500! I have to say I'd never thought of a backpack as being high tech, but this one qualifies.

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That's pretty awesome. That would be an easy item to pass up if you didn't research. I need one of those! Bigger is always better for me. I'll load and carry a pack until my legs won't move.

 

-Matt.

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That's pretty awesome. That would be an easy item to pass up if you didn't research. I need one of those! Bigger is always better for me. I'll load and carry a pack until my legs won't move.

 

-Matt.

 

 

This has 7,930 cubic inches of space so that would do it.

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Ok...Oddly enough one of these was put out when I was at the surplus store today. Same manufacture and color. But it's only 50L. I couldn't find any markings on it to indicate it was used by the military except it was in a pile of dirty military packs.. Do you think it could be something special?

 

-Matt.

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Ok...Oddly enough one of these was put out when I was at the surplus store today. Same manufacture and color. But it's only 50L. I couldn't find any markings on it to indicate it was used by the military except it was in a pile of dirty military packs.. Do you think it could be something special?

 

-Matt.

 

You won't find any military markings on the Bergans as far as I can determine. In this largest size the difference between the military and civilian versions is the color.

 

I did read about a smaller patrol pack that could be clipped on to the large pack: maybe that's what you saw.

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I'll have to take some pictures of it next time I go. It was definitely not something to clip onto another pack. It was a full pack with the same basic setup as yours pictured. It had an internal frame, padded shoulder straps and waist belt. The color was that same greenish color and that's what caught my eye initially. When I saw it was a Bergans of Norway pack I was thinking how odd since I just read this post the night before. They want $100 so I didn't want to buy it unless I'm sure it's something special.

 

 

-Matt.

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