I’ve been carrying 5.11’s AMP12 as an everyday carry pack for the last six months or so. That means it’s been with me in the car, in coffee shops, at shooting ranges, on planes…virtually everywhere I’ve been since last September. In that time, it’s done everything I’ve needed it to do, and then some.
The AMP in AMP12 means “all mission pack.” It’s so modular and configurable that it’s hard to think of an application for which the AMP12 won’t work.
The pack’s straps are nicely adjustable and made with easy-on-your-shoulders foam padding. 5.11 was intelligent enough to put a softer material around the neck area to keep it from rubbing and chafing. There’s also plenty of MOLLE to attach gear and hold a hydration tube while keeping it accessible, but out of the way.
The pack is designed to be customizable so you can configure it the way you intend to use it. That’s done via the AMP12’s Velcro panels and the removable Hexgrid load bearing system that lets you use 5.11’s gear sets to configure the pack to be what you need it to be.
The AMP12 comes with the standard Velcro-backed honeycomb-style panel that’s also secured by two G-clips at the top.
That load-bearing panel can be removed so you can attach other Tool Set options like the Admin Gear Set (more on that below). As is, though, the AMP12 has a huge array of compartments to work in just about any application.
At the front, just above the load bearing panel is a Velcro flap that gives you quick access. 5.11 calls this the CCW pocket. It’s Velcro lined so you can place a Velcro-backed holster inside for off-body carry, if you’re someone who carries that way.
Just behind the CCW pocket is another narrow zipper-topped compartment that’s good for things like gloves, hats, cords, etc. For me, though, that’s the perfect place to carry my laptop.
The main interior compartment opens completely with plenty of side-access zippers for easy access if you just want to reach in a grab something quickly. The main compartment is also Velcro-backed with two attachment points at the top for the G-clips on Gear Set add-ons.
That lets you carry a Gear Set utility or admin pouch inside the pack for a lower profile look.
The back of the front panel of the main compartment has two roomy zip pockets that let you compartmentalize your gear any way you want or need to. There’s even a hidden zip pocket behind the smaller upper pocket where you can stow (hide) something like a passport, cash, or other gear you don’t need quick access to.
Behind the main compartment is a compartment that’s designed to carry either a laptop or hydration gear. This is where I like to keep my computer cords.
There’s access in there to a removable panel. You can choose to use it or not. In my experience, I prefer the rigidity the panel provides. YMMV.
The back of the pack has two vertical foam cushioned panels that are very easy on your back, but still keep you reasonably cool on hot days. The pack has conformed to my body over time and has gotten even more comfortable to carry than when it was when brand new.
I mentioned the modular Gear Sets you can buy and attach to customize the AMP12 the way you want. I bought the Admin Gear Set to hold pens, business cards, a light, a knife, a tourniquet, and lots more. It’s backed by Velcro with a peel-off cover to let you slap it on the pack’s front Velcro field and keep it even more secure with the top G-clips.
Here’s the Admin pack attached to the front of the pack. Again, if you choose, you can mount this same admin pack in the pack’s main compartment (as above) and keep the flat Hexgrid load bearing panel on the front for a slimmer, lower key look.
I like the Admin pack mounted on the front where I have easy access to pens, charger cords, AirPods, business cards and other gear I use on a daily basis.
You can get the AMP12 in four colors. If you want it to look a little less “tactical” you may want to go with the tungsten blue or black version rather than OD or tactical peanut butter like mine. Whatever works best for you.
The AMP12 is big enough to let you pack enough gear for a weekend trip (ask me how I know) or can be slimmed down to use as an easy-carry EDC bag with just your everyday basics like your computer, a hat, a light jacket and other miscellaneous gear.
At 20 inches in length the 25 liter AMP12 may be on the long side for a lot of users. It’s long enough that it sticks out from under an airline seat.
If that’s too big, 5.11 has a couple of options in the smaller AMP10 (20 liters) or the even smaller AMPC (16 liters), both of which may be better EDC choices for most people. The great thing about the AMP12, though, is it’s just small enough to use as a daily carry pack while being expandable and flexible enough to carry enough gear for a short trip. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The AMP12 retails for about $150 and is made in Vietnam.