Soviet Veshmeshok rucksack, black, surplus
Pretty as a hatful of kittens, the Soviet "Veshmeshok" rucksack is quite likely the best carrying sack in recent history. This is the hallowed and feared black navy model!
The same kind of sacks were probably used during the Napoleonic wars. However, at some point during or after WW2, these were modernized with four side straps for blankets/shelter halves/greatcoats. Even today it sees action in the modern Russian army. These were still made in the 90's, and if you're lucky, you'll get one of these recently manufactured pieces of ancient history. The dates on the sacks we get range mostly from 50's to the 80's. No, we will not rummage through the wares for the date of your choice.
The Veshmeshok is a very simple, very rough and very durable potato-sack type carrying solution. The material is treated to resist water and quite often actually does. The sack is closed with a tie-string and its own shoulder straps. This system prevents pick-pockets going through the contents when you're wearing it. Amazing!
These rucksacks have one external pouch, straps for attaching a greatcoat or blanket roll, and a name tag holder. Most WWII models were made without these, so remove all excess stuff for that extra special "fighting the fascists"-feeling. Do note that you'll leave holes where the stitching was any stronger.
Old military surplus
These are mostly in used condition, but nevertheless fit for purpose for a long time to come.
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Tomas A. 26.08.2017
Aaron F. 18.01.2018
Jack M. 27.02.2018
Jason C. 12.07.2018
tat w. 08.11.2018
i have a black one.
i imagine it is easier to find things in the green one, the inside of mine is very dark, but i have a ton of green bags already.
super tough and fun to use.
Andreas S. 27.11.2018 (Edited 04.12.2018)
Farasha E. 12.03.2019
Lila p. 23.06.2019 (Edited 25.06.2019)
Pros: Looks cool, item of note, water resistance, simplicity, durability, pickpocket-resistant.
Cons: No frame, tying system can mean weight is not evenly distributed to both shoulders, don't know how much space you have left in pack due to closing system, not many pockets.
I really love my veshmeshok but it does have it's downsides. Twice now I have unwittingly grabbed the un-tied strap and dumped all the contents of my bag on the floor. But I've also been the only one in my group with my hands free with my extra equipment tied to the other straps on the sides of the bag. I may replace this with a dutch day pack.
Military equipment is traditionally excellent stuff; it combines durability with very affordable prices. Army surplus finds its way to the civilian market in the following way: the armed forces of one country or other decides to get rid of big batches of perfectly serviceable gear due to cuts in military budgets, said gear becoming obsolete or redundant or some other similar reason. Some of this stuff then finds its way to our storehouse, sometimes directly, sometimes through a third party. Every once in a while we even get random batches of collectibles and rarities from obscure corners of the world.