KarrimorSF Sabre 45 Rucksack Review

Pack's are usually an often overlooked piece of gear, yet one of the most crucial. It's not a very "sexy" subject, often overshadowed by knives and tools in the survival/bushcraft realm. Like knife sheaths, packs are a critical component. They carry your gear. Usually expensive and essential equipment when in your chosen wilderness path. While serving 8 very long years in the Marines followed by years of backpacking/survival/bushcrafting, I have used about every form of pack out there. During my experience I haven't ran across too many rucksack's that really meets every desire that I would like from a pack. The things I look for in ruck's are a large main compartment, some rigging options on the exterior of the pack, and a good frame for support. I would like to clarify, I'm not referring to Bug Out Bag's (I do like compartments for BOB's). I'm referring to pack's used for wilderness excursions.

I was lucky to get my hands on a KarrimorSF Sabre 45 Rucksack. Karrimor is a rucksack manufacturer based out of England. KarrimorSF is the military supplier of the company, with "SF" meaning Special Forces. The Sabre 45 is a 45 liter pack (kind of self explanatory) and comes in Olive, Black, Tan, and Multi-Cam. The 45 liter capacity can be upgraded with a PLCE side pockets or hydration system (sold separately). A 45 liter pack will work well for a 2-3 day wilderness excursion and even longer with ultralight gear and forgoing some comfort items.

I'll list out the features and go further in depth on some of them:

  • Coolmesh Back System
  • F-format internal frame (removable)
  • S-shaped shoulder harness
  • Sternum strap
  • One main compartment
  • Compatible with PLCE side compartments (as I mentioned previously)
  • Compression Straps
  • Shock cord carry system (this is located on the top of the pack)
  • Zipped lid compartment
  • Crampon Loops (for arctic environments)
  • Twin ice axe holders (also for arctic environments)
  • Rotproof thread (very important for jungle conditions)
  • Reinforced with bartacks
  • Durable water repellent (DWR)
  • YKK zippers (I wouldn't use anything unless it has the YKK zippers)

I've used the pack on several excursion with varying load sizes and I find it extremely comfortable. It rides high and the belt sits right at my waste (I'm 6'1''). The internal frame is firm and holds the pack in place. The frame is more or less a dense foam pad, so it does absorb some of the shock. The Coolmash back system does what it's designed to do.

The shoulder straps fit well around the shoulders and has dual adjustment points. This makes it easy to situate the straps where you want them. Sternum straps should come standard with all packs, and is an included feature of the Sabre 45.

The exterior of the Sabre 45 is not modular, other than the PLCE side pockets (purchased separately). So that may be a problem for some. I however don't like attaching pouches to the outside of my rucksack. The pack does have a two daisy chain type webbing for rigging options on the exterior, included are some bungee cord system with some pretty cool tension-type clips.

Stuff sack main pouch closure
As I stated above there is one main compartment with a stuff sack closure. Inside the main compartment is one elastic panel pouch to separate items.

Even though the Sabre 45 has been treated for waterproof-ness; I would still recommend using a dry bag since the seams usually lead way to leaks in packs in my experience. Their is also a fastex buckle for double security of the main pouch.

The hood of the pack has one mesh accessory pocket that keeps small items at hand and not lost in the pack. There is another exterior zippered pocket on the hood, good for stashing rain gear or waterproof pack cover's.

Overall the KarrimorSF Sabre 45 is a comfortable pack (which is extremely important). The lack of modular options on the exterior may turn some off. However I think it's a great pack for a 2-3 day trip into the wilderness. The pack fits well to the body and doesn't give off a large profile (which would be good for a patrol pack in tactical conditions).

Grey Ghost Gear is the official supplier of the KarrimorSF product line here in the U.S. The pack retails for $166.53 (£105.00 ).


  1. Hi guys,

    Many thanks for the review, we have only just spotted it.

    You mention "The lack of modular options on the exterior may turn some off." Our Sabre range are simple solid packs, however the Predator range is fully modular and can adapted for every use.

    Thanks again for the mention.

    Regards the Karrimor SF Team.

  2. I'd argue the Sabre packs (45 liter and 60-100 liter that I'm aware of personally), with their PLCE pocket compatibility, absolutely have 'modular options'. Yes, the zippers fit a limited about of proprietary components, but I've lashed lots of gear with the side compression straps, and there is modularity if you know how to use it.