My previous medical bag had seen better days. After a few deployments, numerous training evolutions, and more than enough forced marches, it was time to start looking for something new. I decided to head over to the War-Store (my local tactical, firearms, and then some store) to talk to the guys about a replacement bag.
After looking at the different options they had in their store, I decided to go with the Eagle Industries A-III Medical Pack. Out of the various color options available, I selected MultiCam. When I first inspected the bag, I went right for the straps. To each their own, but when it comes to bags I always look at the straps first regardless of their intended use. To me, if the straps are thin, not padded nicely or have an odd shape, then I am usually put off and will select something else.
Too many times I’ve been issued a bag with straps so thin that the stitching either didn’t last, it cut into my shoulders, or it as just plain uncomfortable. The straps on the Eagle Industries A-III Medical Pack are nicely stitched, sufficiently padded, and include both a sternum strap and padded waist belt. The straps are easily adjustable and feature smaller fastening loops for routing of hydration tubes or other accessories.
The bag also has plenty of storage. The front side of the pack features a zippered sleeve that when opened features 2 large open areas. These areas are perfect for burn blankets and other large, thin medical accessories.
The main compartment opens up and is fully separated by a padded sleeve that acts as a divider. The divider panel features sewn in straps. This allows placement of various smaller pouches and items such as tourniquets, bandages, catheters, trauma sheers and so on.
On one side of the divider are six removable 6″ x 4-1/2″ mesh pouches with hook and loop closures. These are perfect for all the small medical accessories you may need along with keeping them organized. Of course, modularity is an option here so if you have other hook backed pouches you’d like to use instead you can simply remove these and arrange the other ones to meet your specific needs.
On the opposite side of the divider panel are two 5″ x 5-1/2″ x 11″ mesh top zippered pouches. These pouches are perfect for IV setups. Each pouch was able to fit multiple 1000 cc bags, line kits, and the accompanying accessories required for running an IV line. These two pouches are also removable as they simply snap into the bottom of the bag.
The exterior of the bag features two large open top pouches on each side. I found these pouches perfect for the various splints I carry in my medical kit. However, these can also be used for IV bags and other essential items you may carry and want easy access to. Both the top and bottom of the Eagle Industries A-III Medical Pack feature accessory straps for adding extra gear. These straps are easily adjustable and seem quite secure.
I loaded the A-III Medical Pack up and went on a short 10 mile hike over some medium terrain to test it out. The straps were very comfortable and the padding didn’t show any signs of shifting or thinning out. The waist belt is not padded all the way around but it is where you need it. The waist belt stayed in place after I tightened it down and I didn’t feel the load shift or move during the hike.
After carrying many variants of medical bags since the early 1990’s, I would have to say this is a quality bag that delivers. Of course, everyone’s mission is different whether you’re dismounted, mounted, or conducting aerial operations. However, if you are looking for a new bag for a larger medical load out, the Eagle Industries A-III Medical Pack is the one you should look at.