Bottom Line Up Front
Tough outer construction with a sleek look, some of the inner pouch stitching is a bit weak, but overall a solid backpack with a ton of attachment options.
Wraith Backpack Construction, ‘Frame’, and Straps
The Shellback Wraith Laser Cut MOLLE Backpack features four separate internal compartments with a comfortable and ventilated back, a feature I was appreciative as summer starts approaching here in Florida. The water-resistant fabric and zippers did let a bit of moisture through in heavy rain, so keep sensitive electronics bagged up in a waterproof container or ziplock bag to be safe.
Although skeptical at first, I really liked the frameless back support. It felt sturdy on my back while carrying a decent load without the hazards that come with having a full-metal frame. The mesh does a good job at keeping your back cooler while hiking longer distances. Everything on the outside, from the straps to the zippers, survived my initial assault of looking for failure points.
Wear & Comfort
I already touched on the pseudo-frame, but as far as wear and comfort are concerned, there’s not a whole lot that can be improved without adding a true plastic or metal frame, something that you really don’t need on a daypack like this. It’s a comfortable pack that I was able to wear for most of the day without feeling any extra strain on my back.
There was one hiccup with the comfort: the shoulder straps seem to be very close together and, if worn properly high on the back, might rub up against your neck and traps. If you’re a gym junkie and have a massive set of shoulders and neck, I’d recommend you try the backpack out before you buy or at least be ready to return it if the shoulder straps are too close together for you.
Shellback Wraith Carrying Capacity and MOLLE Attachments
The dimensions of the bag are 19.09″ tall x 11.22″ wide x 11.22″ deep, which roughly translates into a 40L pack if you go by traditional hiking standards. This was more than enough room as a day pack, and the sturdy back helps redistribute the weight so it’s not all sitting on your shoulders.
The best feature on the outside of the backpack is the MOLLE straps for connecting accompanying gear, such as a medical kit, hydration pouch, or anything else fitted with attachments. I tried hard to find some sort of failure with these, either trying to rip or unthread them from the pack. The rubber/nylon MOLLE threads stand up to the abuse and work really well for attachments. Also, the loop placard is a great touch for identification or adding a bit of flair to the otherwise black backpack.
Interior Features of the Wraith Pack
This is the only part of the pack a bit of negative feedback. The first is shown in the picture: while messing around with the pack, the nylon pouch in the main compartment ripped. This wasn’t even one of the parts being tested for strength; it just got caught on something and tore in the corner. It’s not a huge deal, but the stitching feels inferior to what the rest of the pack is made of and I might wind up cutting the whole pouch out so I don’t have to deal with the fraying fabric.
The other part that doesn’t seem to make much sense is the hydration bladder pouch. It does fit a Camelbak or similar system and works great if you don’t mind the back being a little bit lumpy, but with all the MOLLE attachments on the outside, why not just attach it on the back or side for a long hike? Maybe repurpose the hydration-spout slot to thread your headphones through. It’s not a bad feature, but it’s also not that useful – while also exposing the interior of the bag to extra moisture.
Conclusion – 4 out of 5 Stars
The solid MOLLE webbing, frameless back support, and myriad of storage options were all positives, but the $90 price tag and the questionable interior stitching got it a four star rating. Daypack options start really opening up at that price point. That said, it’s a comfortable, good-sized backpack with great durability everywhere else. If you need a solid color backpack with MOLLE attachments, I’d highly recommend this option.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.