KATARA-16 New Features: (1) Larger capacity (now 16-Liters); (2) Dual backpack straps that can be converted to a single shoulder carry slingbag; (3) Hidden compartment for compact/subcompact CCW carry; (4) Hydration or Tablet/12” Ultrabook support; (5) 1000-D bottom and 500-D body CORDURA construction for the best weight to strength balance.
The 2018 KATARA-16 backpack is perfect for the urban traveler, CCW user, or the dedicated EDC (everyday-carry) enthusiast. With removable straps, you can quickly convert the KATARA-16 into a single-shoulder VSlinger whenever you desire the quick accessibility of a slingpack.
The outer top pocket has a zippered compartment, elastic webbing organization, a slip pocket, and a hook-and-loop field for ID patches. Two Hypalon MOLLE-Air side panels lets you attach our HYDRA Water Bottle Holder or single channel MOLLE accessories.
The bottom pocket is lined with 210-D high-viz orange ripstop nylon, and has room for an iPad Mini, wallets, phones etc. Behind this pocket is a hidden CCW compartment for a compact / subcompact. The outside of the pocket has a low-profile laser-cut CORDURA MOLLE-Air panel for additional attachments.
Inside of the KATARA, there’s a padded sleeve for tablets/Ultrabooks (up to 12") that can be accessed from the left or right side of the pack. This sleeve also doubles as a hydration bladder pocket. The front of the sleeve is lined with loop fabric for your hook-and-loop accessories.
Opposite to the padded sleeve, you’ll find zippered pocket on top, and a “3-Mode” convertible pocket on the bottom. The “3-Mode” convertible pocket can be opened from its left or right zipper, and has a flap top closure. The “3-Mode” pocket can also be rolled-down and stored, revealing a large loop field for more hook-and-loop accessory attachments. There are two side internal pockets with elastic retention for medical gear, knives, or flashlights.
The newly designed back panel lets you remove and switch shoulder straps to setup your KATARA as a right- or left-shoulder VSlinger slingpack for quick access. Shoulder straps are secured with hook-and-loop fasteners, durable Duraflex buckles and G-hooks. It’s like having multiple bags in one package!
For the best balance of weight and strength, we use ultra-durable 1000-D Cordura® nylon at high-wear areas (bottom, sides), and 500-D Cordura® for the rest of the bag. Our Cordura® is treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) for all-weather performance, and will be ready every time you need it.
- Total Pack Capacity: 16 Liters
- Net Weight: 2.65 pounds | 1202 grams
- Overall Exterior Size (Fully Extended with Handles): 18" (H) x 10.5" (W) x 7" (D)
- Main Compartment (Interior): 17" (H) x 9" (W) x 4" (D)
- Top Front Pocket (Interior): 7" (H) x 8.5" (W) x 1.75" (D)
- Bottom Front Pocket (Interior): 9.75" (H) x 8.5" (W) x 1" (D)
- Hidden CCW Compartment (Interior): 9" (H) x 8" (W)
- Padded Tablet sleeve (Interior): 16" (H) x 8.5" (W) x 0.6" (D)
- Convertible from Backpack to a left or right sided VSlinger sling pack
- Adjustable and removeable shoulder straps with sternum strap that doubles as your stabilizer strap
- Low profile Hypalon MOLLE-Air side panels plus Cordura® MOLLE-Air front panel for modular expansion
- Hook-and-loop lined main compartment for user configuration
- Padded grab handle for comfortable carry
- Tablet / Laptop (up to 12" Ultrabook) / 2L Hydration bladder sleeve
- Three way convertible pocket offer top or either side access
- Front loop panel for Moral / Flag patches
- Materials: 1,000-D Mil-grade Cordura® fabric on the bottom and 500-D Cordura® for the body treated with Durable WateRepellant
- High-visibility, lightweight & moisture resistant 210-D Ripstop nylon interior.
- Durable RC-Class YKK® lockable zippers, reversed for protection.
- Mil-grade ITW® and UTX-Duraflex® hardware made from high tensile strength Acetal polymer.
- Spartan Zipper pulls
- MOLLE-compatible attachment system with PALS webbing
- Lightweight MOLLE-Air structure for MOLLE accessory attachment
- Hypalon durable rubber laminate MOLLE panels
- High tensile strength nylon webbings and binding tapes
- Finished with high tensile strength bonded nylon thread
9 Reviews Show Reviews
I have been using my Katara 16 for two months now as a travel pack, day hiking, and hunting bag. I'm 5'10" and about 155lbs, and the fit is great, no pain points or rubbing/chafing anywhere. I only used once in the sling configuration when taking as a personal item on a flight so I could sling this and carry a duffle on my back. And while the sling function was fine, for me I would rather have this as a backpack only, but I see that there's plenty of other people who would rather have it as a sling bag only. The extra weight added for the versatility really isn't bad and comes in handy.
I've got a HYDRA water bottle holder attached to the side webbing, and it works well. I also have used a hydration bladder with the pack, and the tube routes through with no complaints like it should. The CCW hook and loop opening is very secure and I never felt like my compact pistol in a hook and loop holster would ever come loose.
What I love most about the Katara 16 is its compact size and plenty of pockets. The pack is good at carry small items, but larger gear like a fleece jacket starts to reach the capacity limit. I like the idea of the main pouch's zippers being limited from fully opening by the 2 snaps on the Hypalon side webbing, but they're just a bit too limiting to pull loose items out at time (had trouble getting a mirrorless DSLR with a small lens in and out). Fully unzipping gives you tons of access if you're able to lay it flat though.
The material is very sturdy, this is not a lightweight back for its size. Stitching is solid throughout. The zippers are great too, no snags, easy to pull, and I love the zippers with security lock holes. I clipped a small nite-ize carabiner to the zipper so I could hang my hat or gloves from it.
Overall, great attention to detail, a lot of function, great day pack if you're not taking anything bulky.
Love the size, versatility, and organization. Keep it up!
Great little edc bag. The ccw compartment needs a zipper, not Velcro.
When I first saw it, I loved its form factor and organization. However, after purchasing and using it, a few issues come to mind as follows.
I never use sling mode. However I am paying the price in terms of weight and extra hardware that allows this bag to be converted to sling mode.
The loop velcro on the inside is not as good as the one on Vertx bags.
The external side snaps can be a little difficult/annoying to unsnap I would have preferred either a fastex/g hook or an option to hide the snap without using it.
I wish Vanquest would create a backpack only version of this bag.
Katara-16 should be a slingpack only and have wider shoulder strap. Curved zipper (known from Javelin, Trident or previous Katara) is like Vanquest's killer feature and should also be in this pack. Designing the zipper like this was a great job and everyone backpack user I know says "What an amazing feature" when he looks at my Katara-12.
Everything else is really nice update of the first generation Katara.
Bought the Katara 16 on pre order and received it really quick. Have to say it is a great every day pack. Use it for my EDC and for work. I do like the ability to switch from a back pack to sling pack. My only reservations are the straps. They could be a bit wider, especially when using it in sling pack mode. Also a pull handle for the bottom when using it in sling mode. Other wise a good pack. Small yet has the ability to carry what you need to get around.
I think the bag is built very well. I like that you can lock the zippers but not the little handles on the zippers I just prefer shock cord. the little zipper pulls stick out too much. Might be good on a larger bag but do not like it here. I wish the bright orange pad maybe for a tablet or a lap top was removable with Velcro because I do not need it and would prefer the space. I think the material and webbing used on the sides of the pack are not wide nough. I do not think they will fit most bottle holders well. I got mine to work but they are not flat and the top slot seems off or not as wide as the rest of the slots on the webbing so maybe the bag needs to be a tad deeper. I do not get the curves of the zipper I wish it was just straight. I see no benefit to you doing this at all.
It seems like a good bag from the short time that I've owned it so far. I love the ability to convert it between a sling-pack and a backpack, and the size is just about perfect for my needs.
For positive criticism, I think the shoulder strap should be wider when used in sling-pack configuration, but I understand that keeping the straps narrow works better for the backpack design. Also I think grab handles on the sides would help with the sling pack design. Also, as another user points out, there is a button right where the bag rests on your neck that could become very uncomfortable.
There could be some improvements for sure, but I still really like the design.
All things considered, it might be best used as a backpack, but I like the ability to covert it between the 2 styles. Time will tell how I decide to use it.
I travel for a living and use this bag while traveling. Fits easily under the seat of an airplane. Holds my work tablet and essential travel equipment.
I’m not able to give a 5 star rating because of 2 things.
The front panel hook and loop is very light and will not secure a moral patch. I tried several patches and each patch was easily removed. Moral patches will need to be pinned on or a few stitches added to secure the patch.
The second item is on the back. The button that assist with securing the shoulder adjustment flaps closed rubs on my lower neck when the bag is secured tight on my back. I had to loosen the back in order to prevent this rubbing. Maybe on the next version the button can be placed on the back side of the flap or integrated within the material.
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