Let me start by saying, awesome bag! Now that you know where I stand let’s get started.
This bag is an improvement on the already great Velox I, in my opinion, starting with the size and design of the bag. The interior compartments seem roomier and I love the double compression straps on each side bag that allow you to expand the carrying capacity with ease.
I mainly use this bag for hiking and technical canyoneering, translation: I beat the crap out of my gear. An average day is 10+ hours of rappelling or climbing with 20+ lbs of gear. All of my bags typically have large holes due to "stemming" (wedging oneself through canyons) or sustain other damage from being dropped from 30'+ into large pools or on to rocks.
The fabric used in the Velox II is incredibly strong and durable! I can testify to this as my previous Velox I withstood over a dozen canyon descents where other bags would have been destroyed well before that, and my Velox II has now been down six canyons to date and shows zero signs of wear and tear. Again, impressive considering what I put them through.
As someone who has the original Velox, which I love, I was also excited to see some upgrades included on the Velox II. The main compartment increased in size slightly and the zipper pouch was removed to make way for a laptop/iPad sleeve which I like for day-to-day use. The middle compartment is still good size with some built in compartments attached to the back portion for small storage. The outermost portion of the bag has two small compartments, with the bottom compartment having more accessibility than my Velox I. Both outer compartments have MOLLE which allows for a number of accessory pouches to be added to suit my needs. There are also two straps on each side of the bag that allow you to cinch down your load for a more comfortable carry. Last, but not least, there is another, removable, compression strap that runs from the top to the bottom of the bag which allows you to cinch down items like a jacket, helmet, or sleeping bag to the back of the pack instead of taking up valuable space inside.
Are you sold yet? Seriously, the bag is amazing and comes in variety colors including: black, coyote tan, olive drab, and a foliage grey. My favorite is the coyote tan which blends in well with surroundings and still has all the bells and whistles. The bag also has a separate storage pocket behind the back panel that fits a 3L hydration bladder, and the shoulder straps have added padding over the Velox I. so even the longest days on the move are comfortable.
I only have two "wish list" requests for the bag. A grommet at the bottom for easier drainage while in and out of water, and maybe another organization panel in one of the two larger pockets.
My take away: more space, better shoulder pads, upgraded grab handle, and larger hydration capacity than its predecessor makes this an amazing bag that can withstand nearly any abuse.
About: Scott is a passionate outdoor enthusiast who spends the majority of his free time exploring the canyons of central and southern Utah. When he's not descending canyons you can find him splitboarding the mountains of the Wasatch Front. Be sure to give Scott a follow on Instagram at @shansen__