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S.O.Tech Canine Mission System Panel Review

S.O.Tech K9 Mission PanelDesigned for working dogs but useful for any canine handler or dog enthusiast alike, we took the S.O.Tech Canine Mission System Panel (MSP-K9) through its paces.

The MSP-K9 is intended to cover all your K9 needs in a single pack. Use it as an on-site hanging organizer, stand-alone pack or mission module for S.O.Tech Mission packs. We used it as a stand-alone on a few single-day hikes in the mountains of Colorado this past fall to see if it could earn its mettle.

With five interior zippered compartments and stuff-sack compartments featuring exchangeable Velcro label patches, the pack allows for full customization so you can build out your pack as you wish.

Two of the zippered compartments are removable and one of those doubles as a convenient fanny pack, perfect for first aid use. On the exterior you’ll find a clear vinyl window and large pocket perfect for storing veterinary records, maps and other quick-access documents.

K9 Panel First Aid kit

Futhermore, you are supplied with a 32oz lexan bottle, collapsible food and water dish, belt mountable treats pouch, and reflective nylon webbing adjustable collar (16-24″), and dual-handle leash.

So how did it do?

Well we built it out exactly as S.O.Tech has it pictured on the product page in keeping with the intent of the manufacturer and we were more than pleased. One might expect it to be uncomfortable as a stand-alone pack with simple nylon webbing shoulder straps, but that was not the case at all.

S.O.Tech K9 Panel Worn

Sometimes wearing only a t-shirt, the straps were more than comfortable. The 2″ shoulder straps are plenty wide and somewhat flexible too, so you never feel the edge of a strap digging into your shoulder. Additionally, the oversized zippers and pulls were effortless even with gloved hands toward the summit.

The belt-mounted treat bag was perfect for occasional treats and rewards, and the food compartment is a convenient zippered bowl that we simply detached and unzipped next to the collapsible water bowl until our Doberman had her fill when we stopped for lunch. Luckily the training aids compartment had plenty of room to include some people food and water in there too.

Over the course of a several hour hike covering a few thousand vertical feet, the pack was never an encumbrance and proved to be a well-balanced and organized alternative to the standard top-loading single compartment pack for any dog handler or enthusiast.

What would we change about it?

The pack itself is quite nearly flawless for its simplicity. We would like to see the seemingly purposeless top and bottom buckles a little heavier duty to provide an impromptu litter in the case an injured dog needs to be packed out. Otherwise our only gripe stands with the five-foot leash.

Test K9

The leash seems too short for proper handling and training as compared to a standard six-footer. The 18-inch secondary grab handle is mighty convenient, but when not in use continually slapped our test case in the face leaving us no option but to tape it down with tape provided in the first-aid kit. We would love to see a Velcro or button-snap securing of this handle when not in use. Additionally, S.O. Tech may want to think about a scissor-style hook clasp providing a much faster and unencumbered release of a canine than the standard leash hook.

Editors Note: S.O.Tech now offers 6′ leashes and is considering the author’s feedback for future iterations of the system.

This report was prepared by Correspondent Dave Eyvazzadeh.

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