Review of the Maxpedition Noatak Gearslinger


Staff member
The Maxpedition Noatak is one of my favorite go-to packs for a day in the woods, or a day on the water.The Maxpedition Noatak fits a wide range of needs. It is big enough to take on a day hike, go fishing, and go the 4-wheeler riding. The Noatak Gearsling design makes it easy to put on and take off while wearing heavy clothing, which makes it one of my favorite backpacks for deer hunting.

A Gearslinger design means there is just one shoulder strap, so when your wearing cold weather gear, you just have one strap to put on and take off.

Specs from the Maxpedition site:

* Main: 11” x 7” x 4” with numerous internal pockets
* Front: 7” x 7” x 2” with internal keyper and sleeve pockets
* Front sleeve: 6.5” x 6.5” with anti-theft device on zipper
* Rear compartment: 8” x 12”
* Water bottle pocket: 7” x 2.5”; fits 32oz/1L bottle
* 1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
* Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
* High strength zippers and zipper tracks
* UTX-Duraflex nylon buckles for low sound closures
* Triple polyurethane coated for water resistance
* High tensile strength nylon webbing
* High tensile strength composite nylon thread (stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread)
* #AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material for superior shock protection
* Internal seams taped and finished
* Paracord zipper pulls
* Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or “Box-and-X” stitched for added strength

Maxpedition Noatak Main Compartment
Sure-Pak MRE
Rain poncho
Katadyn Vario Water Filter
Maxpedition Noatak Outside Compartment
TOPO map
Garmin Etrex GPS
Suunto A-10 compass
Gerber Multi-tool
AA LED flashlight
Toilet tissue
With some room left over
32 ounce water bottle in the Noatak water bottle pouch.

This list of contents would be just about everything that I would take on a dayhike – except maybe add some matches, camera, signal mirror and cord. The cord and poncho could be used to build a temporary rain shelter or overnight shelter if a hiker became lost.

If a water bladder was used instead of a water bottle, then the water bottle could be filled with more gear – instead of water.

Things I Did Not Like About The Maxpedition Noatak

If I had to list something, maybe a little more room in the main compartment for gloves, or cold weather head gear.

Besides having just a “little” more room in the main compartment, I did not see anything wrong in the overall design of the pack. With its compact design, the Noatak is designed to fill a targeted niche, and I think it does the job very well.

Final Thoughts
Over the years, the Noatak has turned into one of my favorite all around daypacks. Whether it is heading out to the deer stand, or going on a day hike with the dogs, this pack is at the top of my list.

Full disclosure: The Noatak was sent to me free of charge for testing and evaluation.

Check out the Maxpedition Noatak at Amazon -