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Reviews Categories | QRP Accessories | Expedition Pack Help

Reviews Summary for Expedition Pack
Expedition Pack Reviews: 9 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $$129.95
Description: Communications Equipment Backpack, fits Yaesu FT-817 and other mobile radios
Product is in production.
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KD0GDV Rating: 3/5 Feb 18, 2010 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Just Fair  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
As others have said, this is a nice little pack if you're just walking for an hour or two. The problem with this pack, however, is a huge one: if you want to carry more than radio, tuner, and antennas, then look elsewhere. Because that's all that you can cram into this little pack.

It's well made and durable. It's convenient and well designed. But it's just too darned small for anything but a short walk.
NC2F Rating: 2/5 Jun 3, 2004 12:39 Send this review to a friend
Didn't fit the 817, poor customer service follow-up  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A rating of "2 - Needs help" applies here in reagrd to both the pack and the customer service. I purchased this a few years ago to accomadate my FT-817. At first glance when it arrived I thought it was the perfect pack for the 817. However, it turned out t be a very frustrating bag to use.

The most troublesome area was the puoch where the 817 was suposed to go into. It was not adjustable and too tight to fit the radio into (I thought the radio was going to break I was pushing so hard to get in in the pouch. Once in, I need a rest to recover from the struggling. Then I discovered the hole for the mic plug did not line up at all. A complete dissappointment for me.

I had purchased the pack from and they were happy to put me in touch with the manufacturer. They even went as far to offer a refund if I could not resolve it with the manufacturer. Unfotrunatly the manufacturer was not as good at customer serive as Gigaparts was. I sent off an e-mail and was told that thaey had received some complaints about the fitment of the 817 and were about to do another run to "correct" the earlier desgign/manufacturing problem. I was told that I would be contacted when anew one was available.

Well, I never did hear back and was fed up trying to resolve their problem and sold the bag on my own, despite the offer from the reseller ( for a refund.

While it seems usless to discuss anything else about the bag since it didn't hold the radio properly, I will add that tha bag had some potential for portable use (it wasn't a good packpack design either), but the initial design flaws and poor follow-up customer service from the manufacturer would make me not reccomend this company or pack. Maybe others have had better experiences since and the nold problems have been fixed. If so great, but I'll never know.

In contrast, I recently bought the iCom LC-156 backpack for my 703. Now there is pack that is worthy of consideration and would likely accomadate other radios than just the 703 wince the radio pouch is adjustable. What's more is that the iCom brand pack is the same price I paid for the Expedition pack a few years ago.
KB2CPW Rating: 4/5 Jun 3, 2004 11:11 Send this review to a friend
Could use some attention  Time owned: 3 to 6 months


I bought mine about 4 months ago for rig protection as I like to move it from place to place. In the bag I have an 817/Z-11/MP1 setup with the optional side bracket. All items fit perfectly and I find there is enough room for needed accessories with minumal fumbling. Nothing is perfect but this comes pretty close.

If they wanted to make the case perfect, they would make holes on the top of the 817 "bay" for the top firing speaker. The bag muffles the speaker requiring the user to raise the volume and waste power (or stick something in the space to open it up while in use).
The Top row of buttons are blocked by the case making band and mode changes difficult as you have to poke your finger into the case to find them.

The radio should jut more forward so these buttons will be seen and some of the speaker will show. Preventing this is the mic jack. It hits the right side panel of the bag preventing it from moving forward.
OTOH, The bag is very durable and it works quite well. The MP-1 mounts perfect and the bag has a flap on the top allowing for the antenna to protrude. It can hold quite a few things in there with thoughtful placement.
FYI, I bought mine direct from C.O. on Ebay and saved a bundle. I dont mind the above comments too much but felt they had to be mentioned as the system works for my needs. It does takes some jumbling to set this package up, but it does work quite well. I use mine mobile and the bag makes removal from the vehicle a snap.
Nothing is perfect for sure.. But I do recommend this item for the protection it provides for your radio.. 73 N2ZD
WD4MPN Rating: 3/5 Oct 17, 2002 17:30 Send this review to a friend
Good idea - needs development  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I guess the pack kind of performs as advertised. Construction quality seems good. I don't have the problem of tight fit or misalignment of the mic plug hole. Clever semi-modular design with thought given to making it water resistant.

That said, there's not a lot of real room for gear considering the size of the pack. I can get more stuff in a map case-size over-the-shoulder bag than the Expedition Pack. Carrying this pack on your back for a while is painful due to the skinny shoulder straps, lack of a hip belt and limited adjustment. Plus, you'll need to leave half your gear behind if you throw in a water bottle, not to mention a sandwich.

The Expedition Pack is not exactly inexpensive, and, although I rarely complain about price (really), I did expect a little more for the money; however, I would be willing to pay more for a truly wonderful pack.

Good idea, but needs to be more space efficient and comfortable.

Tom, KC5UN
W2BRI Rating: 4/5 Oct 17, 2002 15:15 Send this review to a friend
Decent Product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have one of these for my FT-100D. Quality is decent to good. I used it in the field and it worked the way it was supposed to. No, not perfect in every way. I like it a lot though. And it is pretty cool looking.

There is one thing that is for sure -- you can never make everyone totally happy all the time.


KM0U Rating: 2/5 Oct 17, 2002 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Shop Around  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought an Expedition Pack from AES, ordered on Monday - on my door step Tuesday - great service delivery. The pack though is a different story. It is ruggedly made but the space for the FT-817 is way too tight, after removing some rubber feet from the rig, I still had to JAM it into its slot while the Z-11 dropped loosely into its space. Then I discovered that the microphone/headphone opening is badly out of alignment making it a real chore to plug them into the rig.
This has the potential to be a great product - in fact it is really close but they do need to do a better job of quality control.
If I had the opportunity to see, handle, and try this pack at a store, I would not have purchased this particular one - others of the same model may line-up perfectly - mine does not. I sent an e-mail to the folks at Expedition Pack but they chose not to respond.
Shop Around
KB3HFZ Rating: 2/5 Aug 11, 2002 12:12 Send this review to a friend
Good Idea, but...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I purchased the expedition pack my first thought was that this was a great idea. When the pack arrived I found the construction to be very sturdy, but unfortunately does not account for any user comfort. If you were to use this for more than an hour, or on any type of difficult terrain you would be very uncomfortable. The pack straps are small, and poorly placed with no adjustment for body size. The internal design allows for very MINIMAL gear. The FT-817 itself was next to impossible to insert into the holder and once inserted the mic. hole did not even line up with the radio. I have found that I can do more with a normal back pack from any of the local camping outfitters. Even found one with its own rain cover.
KK5PY Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2002 08:49 Send this review to a friend
The Expedition Pack is the most useful accessory you can buy!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After seeing the Expedition Pack in February issue of CQ magazine I placed an order. When the pack arrived I could not believe the quality an attention to detail in its construction. If you sat down to design your own pack for such use you could never equal the design of this pack! It is by far the most useful accessory I have ever bought for ham radio use. Everything you need in one package. No extra bags to tote around with antennas, batteries etc. If you are looking for something to use with your FT-817 then stop here and look no further! You won't find a better deal!

Dennis Foster
K9WWV Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2001 23:02 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Product  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased the Expedition Pack from Communication Outfitters in July 2001. The pack was on my doorstep 2 days after I placed the order on their web site--incredibly fast service.

This product is very well built. I has room for two radio's or one 817 and an antenna tuner. I have my pack equipped with a Yaesu FT-5100 and FT-1500. There is plenty of room for both radios, two fold-up antenna's I built, a 7.2ah 12v battery, a 1.2a switching power supply and various other cables & connectors I carry with me.

The expedition pack is extremely rouged & durable. It is water-resistant and provided excellent protection for my equipment. I work a lot of public service events and am also an active RACES/ARES member so my pack is always in my car and ready for action. In a couple minutes I can set-up my station (for voice and packet work) and be on the air. One September 11, 2001, my RACES/ARES group was dispatched to various locations. I ended up being stationed at a local military base to provide back-up communications. My radio's and pack were at the ready & I was on-scene and operating within 30 minutes of being dispatched.

I would recommend this pack to anyone who would like a convenient & multi-purpose way to store or carry portable/mobile/QRP radio equipment. The pack is light (18 oz empty) and has numerous options for equipment. My arrangement weighs 16 pounds. I can get it down to 8 if I remove my FT-5100 & replace the 7.2a/h battery with my 3 a/h battery (which will still run my FT-1500 for 14-20 hours, depending on use).

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