According to FirstSpear’s description, the Vertical Envelopment Pack is a top opening, rolled closure and Tubes secured Assault Pack that can be mounted to FS Modular Plate Carriers. Developed to “go forward from the Objective Rally Point (ORP)”, the VEP provides the Assaulter with a unique capability that augments the full spectrum of modern combat operations. The VEP can be carried with its own shoulder straps (included) for conventional use without a plate carrier.
Inspired by the Bag, Canvas, Field, M1936 (Musette Bag) so often associated with World War II-era paratroops, the Vertical Envelopment Pack is a simple design that can be worn is a couple of different ways and, like its mid-20th Century counterpart, allows rapid access to critical equipment. FS even had the parachutist in mind when they envisioned the VEP. When worn in front, it is compatible with a parachute harness. Clutter is also kept to a minimum around the biceps due to uniform pockets and there are no straps under the arms. Additionally, it was critical that the pack be removable without taking off any body armor.
Jon Laplume took the 117 Raid Bag FS had been making for a government customer as the basic size and worked from there. That 117 Raid bag itself is a shrunken FS Exigent Circumstances Pack and about two-thirds the size of what they eventually ended up with for the current VEP. That final size was derived from the kidney bean shape and simple carriability; any more and it just didn’t ride well as intended, although the bag is pleated and gusseted at the bottom to help stabilize the load.
He then began to experiment with ways to attach the VEP to an armor carrier and looked to some earlier work FS had done to attach the Draeger rebreather to carriers using Tubes. One trick Laplume told me was to attach the VEP further to the front on the lower part of the Vest’s shoulder straps. It rides better this way and makes sure it clears the head when flipping it to the front.
In addition to back mounted wear, attached directly to a vest, the VEP is easily flipped over the head for quick access or to get it out of the way while riding on vehicles.
You may notice that the main closure does not use zippers. Instead, they incorporated a stiffened roll top closure with Tubes. The height when the top is rolled down is roughly 17”, with top open it’s 21”. Additionally, it’s 4” deep and 12.5” wide.
Despite its small size, the sample VEP that Laplume showed me contained everything seen on the table above.
You can still mount a hydration on the back of your vest and the VEP will ride just fine and if you remove the VEP altogether, you will still have the water.
Naturally, after all of that, you’re going to look at this and wonder how you get it over your head. You use a Rat strap (above) that attaches to the pack via the daisy chain and is kept up front where you can get at it for a pull.
The VEP has 1″ webbing spanning both sides of the pack, about halfway down. This serves as daisy chain and allows adjustment of the removable compression net (which will accommodate a helmet). The bottom of the net secures via a bar.
Although everything is reversible, there are zippered pockets on either side. One side has a horizontal zipper and the other features a slanted zipper. This will help with figuring out what is in either pocket in the dark or under stress. Additionally, one side has a pile field for attachment of ID panels and the opposite a simple 1″ webbing handle which ends up on top once you roll it closed.
This video gives you a quick run through the paces.
Laplume showed me an early version of the VEP months ago and I immediately got it. There’s really nothing like this out on the market right now. In addition to the ability to fight from the contents of your buddy’s pack, the VEP offers so much to the individual wearing it. The ability to flip it up front for access or to free the back for sitting down in a seat is awesome. It’s also narrow and low profile enough that you can maneuver unencumbered through most any obstacle. In fact, it’s not wider than an armor plate. The size parameters of the VEP make it an edge to edge fit on carriers cut for the Swimmer/Shooter M – XL, SPEAR/SAPI M to XL or the MBAV S/M, L/XL & XXL. Plus, it’s lightweight.
Two more tidbits before I let you go. The VEP will fit into the open space of the frame on the new Marauder Pack and, Laplume says they are working on concepts for larger and waterproof versions of the VEP for down the road. Can’t wait to see if those materialize.
Available in Black, Ranger Green, Coyote and MultiCam. Optional VEP M4 Double Accessory Pouch sold separately.