Gear Review: SOG Prophet 33 Pack

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The SOG Prophet pack quickly becomes a duffle back. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

In a tactical market flooded with all sizes, styles, and colors of packs, SOG is quickly rising to the top with quality and innovation.  While the company long known for high-end knives, tomahawks, and tools is relatively new to the pack world, they’re making a splash.  What makes SOG’s Prophet the last pack you’ll ever need to buy?  Read on.

The SOG Pack lineup

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SOG prophet pack holds plenty of gear but balances the weight well with its light frame. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

We had the pleasure of toting many pounds of gear in our new-for-2016 SOG Prophet 33 pack, though there are many siblings in the lineup.  The largest is the Seraphim 35, followed by the Prophet, then Scout 24, TOC 20, a sleek Ranger 12, and finally the EvacSling 18 cross-body bag.  The numbers, naturally, refer to Liters of storage area.  All are available in both black and grey with the same attention to detail, branding, and workhorse attitude.  Retail prices range from $139-$259, and while real-world prices will certainly be lower, these are packs you will only have to buy once.

The SOG Prophet 33

The Prophet pack is large enough to handle the heaviest loads but adaptable to most any purpose.  The whole thing is built of 2mm PE sheet with a 15mm aluminum stave suspension to distribute weight, and then dressed in Kodra 500D nylon material with a polyurethane coating for durability and water resistance.  The most interesting thing about the Prophet is that it’s a transformer.  The tough-looking backpack quickly morphs into a duffle bag by stowing the quick-release shoulder straps and hip belt behind the rear flap.

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Wearing the SOG Prophet. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Both sides of the pack have lashing points for carrying longer and larger items, while compression flaps help keep the weight of the pack closer to the wearer.  Hypalon MOLLE panels add to the ultra-modern look of the pack, as well as providing plenty of gear attachment points. There’s even an interior webbing panel.  A built-in hydration storage compartment, routing system, and tube clips are guaranteed to fit any standard hydration up to two liter capacity. In a move toward usability, accessing the bottom of the Prophet doesn’t require unpacking everything from the top; rather, there’s easy access through the Quad-Zip.  The innovative Quad-Zip allows the pack to be opened just a little, or can completely reveal the interior.

The only knock on the pack is its Made in Vietnam hang tag, as we all prefer USA-made. Like all the SOG products, the Prophet is backed by their full lifetime warranty, and should you need anything, the company is easy to reach and very responsive.

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Shoulder straps unhook and stow in rear of the pack so it can be used as a clean duffle bag. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Features on the Prophet

The Prophet’s stowable shoulder straps and hip belt conversion into a duffle is uber-sweet.  A sternum strap—complete with an emergency whistle built into the buckle—provides extra stabilization and is a nice touch.  An internal laptop sleeve is ready for electronics, because well, let’s face it, we’re not all full-on tactical.  The bag’s rigid suspension and load stabilizers make it easy to tote heavy loads by taking the weight off your shoulders, yet the pack doesn’t feel stiff and uncomfortable the way some frame packs do.  Aside from the obligatory internal organization pockets and key ring clip are unseen internal MOLLE loops for concealed carry or other more covert gear attachment.

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Toting bag as duffle. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

A smaller front access “mission pouch” is best for storing quick-access items.  The impact resistant, semi-hard shell top section is the best place on the bag to store breakables and valuables like spare glasses, camera, phone, and binos.  The external long item carry lashing makes it more comfortable to carry things like rifles, bows, or even fishing rods.  The Hypalon MOLLE panels are much sleeker looking than traditional webbing, and are purported to be stronger and easier to clean as well.  Time will tell.  The one thing that’s sure: there are plenty of attachment and lashing points on this pack.

Oversized looped zipper pulls allow easy use with gloves or under duress.  The printed SOG logo on the back of the pack adds a touch of badassery, and we liked both the hook & loop patch as well as the gray color option in addition to pure black.  Though the pack has a tactical pedigree, with the sleek MOLLE panels and lack of webbing, the Prophet does not scream tactical.

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Classy SOG branding on the shoulder strap. Upper chest strap and padded lower strap make carrying heavy loads easy. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

We used the pack for tactical shooting work, loaded it up for a late winter hunting trip, and stuffed it with gear and ammo for the range.  This bag is a workhorse, making easy effort out of the heaviest jobs.  Even sitting in the snow for several hours, our gear stayed completely dry.  Sleeping bag?  Gun?  Axe?  No problem.  In fact, we found that the pack was even acceptable as an airline carry-on, and the dual purpose design allowed it be backpacked for walking around and then carried as a duffle to negotiate tighter areas.

The only thing we found missing is an integral rain cover, otherwise SOG thought of everything—and then some.  Anybody who has owned an SOG product in the past can attest to their quality and customer service.  When they do something, they do it right.

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Pack hard-top detail with hook loop area. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Conclusion

Though there certainly is an SOG pack for every need, the Prophet is likely the most versatile.  With a light aluminum suspension, this backpack that doubles as a duffle wears innovation and features inside and out.  The company is easy to contact and eager to please, and if you spend the money for the pack that best suits your needs, this will be the last one you have to buy.