Like all tactical equipment, the medic/operator’s choice of equipment is mission specific. However, the M7 Med Pack with the 100 oz. HydraStorm system is a extremely well made bag that seems to fit very well as the general purpose bag of choice for the medic whose roles may change quickly. For the SWAT medic, this bag can carry every essential necessary to react in an advanced life support capacity and can be easily backpacked short distances to the entry point or dropped at the edge of the hot zone. It’s features are as follows:
-IVS molded back panel
-Contour padded backpack straps with free float design
-Sure grip top handle
-Two large, covered pockets on sides, contoured for holding oxygen cylinders, IV bags, etc.
-Full side zip access
-Large zipper pocket on flap on main compartment
-Three-sided zipper on flap for total access to interior compartment, zipper covered with rain flap
-Large interior open-top
-Three 16 x 7 clear view pockets for quick equipment ID
-One 8 x 16 clear view pocket attached to top flap
-Divided elastic strips on flap to secure small items
-Includes 100 oz HydraStorm Hydration System
-Large hook & loop attachment area on back panel for ID patches
-BTS modular webbing on back panel for extra pouch attachment as needed
-Made with Blackhawk’s exclusive Nytaneon 1000 d material
It’s empty weight is 4 lbs. 8 oz. It’s dimensions are 18 x 12 x19 inches overall and it’s main compartment measures 9.75 x 17.5 x 9.5 inches.
Let’s look at some of the most important individual features.
The bag’s construction is top flight. As an ex-parachute rigger, I look for seam and stitch quality with particular focus on the stress corners and zippers. My M7 is a minor field hospital when you look at the contents and closing it is always like trying to close an over-packed suitcase. I put a lot of stress on the zippers and do a bit of shoving things back in when trying to get it closed. The zippers always operate well and the seams are holding very well.
The design is better than most medical bags, especially with the see through rip-off velcro storage compartments. Because I do carry so much, it often happens that I can’t remember where I put something. In other bags I own I must use a layout diagram to find things. With the M7, it’s not necessary. There are four of these compartments; three large and one small. They hold a surprising amount of supplies.
There are more than sufficient numbers of divided elastic strips to hold iv catheters, intubation blades, oral airways, syringes and so-on.
This bag can be deceiving, however. For it’s size, which is small and compact, it’s design allows the user to fill it to the point that it can get very heavy. The Tactical Medic should plan on using it as I do, as a drop off bag. As entry equipment, if that is part of the plan, I would go in with a drop down leg bag or an equipment vest with just the basics such as gun shot wound kits, compression bandages and airways. (There are those that profess, and I think correctly, that a drop down leg bag widens your profile and they argue for the vest.)
The HydraStorm 100 oz. system is a nice touch but I would suggest you fill it before you pack the bag. If your bag stays packed all of the time like mine does, the HydraStorm will not hold much water.
This is not a bag that you will want to fill to the brim and plan on humping a long distance. The shoulder straps, and molded back panel do well for the short distance. But, if you fill this bag up as mine is, it will tend roll side to side, especially when you run. This is a bag that I grab out of the trunk of my car by it’s top handle and usually carry it to the point that it’s going to remain a while.
Lastly, there two open top, contoured pockets on this bag, left and right. They will hold small oxygen cylinders but are better suited to holding 250 cc or 1000 cc iv bags once the bag’s interior is packed full. But that is one of the nice features of the M7; you have loads of options as how you want to pack and what you want to pack in this bag.
For the advertised price of $ 189.95, this is good buy. It’s an excellent, general purpose, admirably thought out bag that will serve you well and hold up to years of rugged service.
Future Reviews & Articles:
- StatPacks Golden Hour Pack
- The Self-Aid Kit: The one piece of medical gear every Cop should carry
Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating.