SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"
SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"
SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"
SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"
SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"
SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"
SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"
SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"

Over the last 4 years, KommandoStore has grown to become the preeminent US importer of South African pattern 83 equipment. Thanks to excellent on-the-ground connections and several long standing business relationships, we have consistently pulled off the impossible---importing large quantities of rare and desirable Pattern 83 equipment.


All of that said, the one thing we did not expect was the Pattern 83 Field Pack. In all of our poking around the nooks and crannies of South Africa, we have never found the largest part of the Pattern 83 system in any significant quantity. Over the last several years, we have even gone as far as contacting original manufacturers of the Grootsak and begging for reproductions...

So it is with great pleasure that I introduce our inaugural shipment of the Pattern 83 Field Packs. The only ones of their kind in the US, rescued from a dusty shipping container, long forgotten by the SADF... 

The P83 Rucksack, colloquially known as the grootsak (“big bag” in Afrikaans), certainly lives up to its name. It is technically a Bergen Rucksack, an alpine-style bag popularized by the British SAS. If a mountain bag seems far from home in desert warfare, well you'd be right. During the Border Wars the SADF had a habit of judging equipment by usefulness. Not by how pretty it looked, not where it came from, or who used it. If it was effective the SADF would take it---from Chicom rigs, which inspired the P83 chest rig, to all kinds of Mad Max style technicals and mine resistant vehicles.

The
Grootsak fits neatly into this practical mindset, a large comfortable bag suitable for long range patrols---but equally fast into action. Notably, it is the first bag of it's kind designed specifically to be worn with a chest rig. 

While the Pattern 83 Battlejacket was intended for those brief, high-speed, hide and seek operations, the Pattern 83 Rucksack/Chest Rig combo specializes in long-term patrols, sometimes lasting multiple weeks. The spacious bag allows the soldier to carry 8 Liters of water along with a full complement of food, ammunition and equipment. In practical use, the SADF often hiked in their own mortars... 

Despite it's large size the Grootsak was highly innovative. Equally at home with foot soldiers and motorized troops, the bag features a unique quick detach buckle far ahead of it's time. In the close contact, ambush warfare so characteristic of the Border War---this allowed the SADF soldier to transition from ruck march to firefight far faster than a similarly equipped opponent. This was the genius of the Pattern 83 Field Pack/Chest Rig system. Every soldier was always ready for rapid movement and counterattack.

An emphasis on storage and durability makes the P83 rucksack a strong contender for long outdoor hikes, rough-and-tumble camping trips, and even just daily use as a high-quality travel bag.
Its 77-liter capacity allowed SADF forces to deploy with authority---literally carrying everything into battle. 

While all grootsaks were originally issued with a metal frame designed to aid paratroopers, many soldiers removed it to lighten the pack and improve comfort. This field modification became so popular that most packs were stripped in the field, and eventually bags were issued without the frame to all but airborne soldiers.

 

Specs

  • Durable Nutria Brown Cordura nylon
  • Top compartment, bottom compartment, and four side compartments 
  • 70L main compartment, 77-liter overall capacity
  • 3.14lb unloaded with a maximum recommended weight of 77 pounds (Note that this is for your comfort, the bag can take quite a bit more in a pinch.)
  • Top compartment for lightweight items such as extra clothing, wet weather gear, etc.
  • Bottom compartment for heavy weight items such as rations, ammo, boots, etc.
  • 4 side compartments designed for SADF 2 litre canteens but can be used for other items
  • Rain flap with document pouch
  • “Caterpillar type” padded back designed to conform to your body and provide even airflow across the entire back.
  • Adjustable quick-release waist buckle and chest strap
  • Designed for simultaneous wear with the P83 Chest Rig and (occasionally) P83 Battle Jacket 

     

    Condition Guide

    Like-New

    • The item has been used, but remains in like-new condition. Suitable for discerning collectors and for use as a high quality master reference.

    Excellent 

    • Some small decernable signs of being used that would rule out "like new" condition. Otherwise perfect functional and aesthetic condition.
    • Signs of use may include subtle internal/external markings, such as rank, unit, or soldier serial number.

    Great

    • Perfect functional condition with only minor cosmetic blemishes, abrasions, or other signs of use---lightly used and well cared for.
    • The item may show more noticeable internal/external writing, such as rank, serial numbers, etc.

    Good

    • Clear cosmetic blemishes, abrasions, or other signs of use that have not compromised functionality. Essentially, normal equipment used within normal parameters.
    • The item may exhibit clear internal/external writing. This may include rank, serial numbers, etc.

    Serviceable 

    • More significant cosmetic blemishes, abrasions, or other signs of use that have not compromised functionality. Serviceable items have a rougher aesthetic condition but are unequivocally field-ready.
    • The item may exhibit clear internal/external writing. This may include rank, serial numbers, etc.

    Battle-Damaged 

    • Significant cosmetic blemishes, abrasion, or other signs of use that have compromised functionality in some way. We have higher standards here---most battle-damaged items can be easily repaired with a new buckle, minor sewing, etc.
    • The item may exhibit clear internal/external writing. This may include rank, serial numbers, etc.


    Note: A “+” following any of these conditions indicates the product has also been freshly laundered.

    Instructions

    Featured here we have the original SADF field manual containing adjustment, handling and maintenance information on all P83 equipment. This can be viewed here. Field Pack usage information can be found on pages A5, A18-A22, and A47-A52.

    SADF Pattern 83 Field Pack, "Grootsak"

    Rated 4.9 out of 5
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    Over the last 4 years, KommandoStore has grown to become the preeminent US importer of South African pattern 83 equipment. Thanks to excellent on-the-ground connections and several long standing business relationships, we have consistently pulled off the impossible---importing large quantities of rare and desirable Pattern 83 equipment.


    All of that said, the one thing we did not expect was the Pattern 83 Field Pack. In all of our poking around the nooks and crannies of South Africa, we have never found the largest part of the Pattern 83 system in any significant quantity. Over the last several years, we have even gone as far as contacting original manufacturers of the Grootsak and begging for reproductions...

    So it is with great pleasure that I introduce our inaugural shipment of the Pattern 83 Field Packs. The only ones of their kind in the US, rescued from a dusty shipping container, long forgotten by the SADF... 

    The P83 Rucksack, colloquially known as the grootsak (“big bag” in Afrikaans), certainly lives up to its name. It is technically a Bergen Rucksack, an alpine-style bag popularized by the British SAS. If a mountain bag seems far from home in desert warfare, well you'd be right. During the Border Wars the SADF had a habit of judging equipment by usefulness. Not by how pretty it looked, not where it came from, or who used it. If it was effective the SADF would take it---from Chicom rigs, which inspired the P83 chest rig, to all kinds of Mad Max style technicals and mine resistant vehicles.

    The
    Grootsak fits neatly into this practical mindset, a large comfortable bag suitable for long range patrols---but equally fast into action. Notably, it is the first bag of it's kind designed specifically to be worn with a chest rig. 

    While the Pattern 83 Battlejacket was intended for those brief, high-speed, hide and seek operations, the Pattern 83 Rucksack/Chest Rig combo specializes in long-term patrols, sometimes lasting multiple weeks. The spacious bag allows the soldier to carry 8 Liters of water along with a full complement of food, ammunition and equipment. In practical use, the SADF often hiked in their own mortars... 

    Despite it's large size the Grootsak was highly innovative. Equally at home with foot soldiers and motorized troops, the bag features a unique quick detach buckle far ahead of it's time. In the close contact, ambush warfare so characteristic of the Border War---this allowed the SADF soldier to transition from ruck march to firefight far faster than a similarly equipped opponent. This was the genius of the Pattern 83 Field Pack/Chest Rig system. Every soldier was always ready for rapid movement and counterattack.

    An emphasis on storage and durability makes the P83 rucksack a strong contender for long outdoor hikes, rough-and-tumble camping trips, and even just daily use as a high-quality travel bag.
    Its 77-liter capacity allowed SADF forces to deploy with authority---literally carrying everything into battle. 

    While all grootsaks were originally issued with a metal frame designed to aid paratroopers, many soldiers removed it to lighten the pack and improve comfort. This field modification became so popular that most packs were stripped in the field, and eventually bags were issued without the frame to all but airborne soldiers.

     

    Specs

    • Durable Nutria Brown Cordura nylon
    • Top compartment, bottom compartment, and four side compartments 
    • 70L main compartment, 77-liter overall capacity
    • 3.14lb unloaded with a maximum recommended weight of 77 pounds (Note that this is for your comfort, the bag can take quite a bit more in a pinch.)
    • Top compartment for lightweight items such as extra clothing, wet weather gear, etc.
    • Bottom compartment for heavy weight items such as rations, ammo, boots, etc.
    • 4 side compartments designed for SADF 2 litre canteens but can be used for other items
    • Rain flap with document pouch
    • “Caterpillar type” padded back designed to conform to your body and provide even airflow across the entire back.
    • Adjustable quick-release waist buckle and chest strap
    • Designed for simultaneous wear with the P83 Chest Rig and (occasionally) P83 Battle Jacket 

       

      Condition Guide

      Like-New

      • The item has been used, but remains in like-new condition. Suitable for discerning collectors and for use as a high quality master reference.

      Excellent 

      • Some small decernable signs of being used that would rule out "like new" condition. Otherwise perfect functional and aesthetic condition.
      • Signs of use may include subtle internal/external markings, such as rank, unit, or soldier serial number.

      Great

      • Perfect functional condition with only minor cosmetic blemishes, abrasions, or other signs of use---lightly used and well cared for.
      • The item may show more noticeable internal/external writing, such as rank, serial numbers, etc.

      Good

      • Clear cosmetic blemishes, abrasions, or other signs of use that have not compromised functionality. Essentially, normal equipment used within normal parameters.
      • The item may exhibit clear internal/external writing. This may include rank, serial numbers, etc.

      Serviceable 

      • More significant cosmetic blemishes, abrasions, or other signs of use that have not compromised functionality. Serviceable items have a rougher aesthetic condition but are unequivocally field-ready.
      • The item may exhibit clear internal/external writing. This may include rank, serial numbers, etc.

      Battle-Damaged 

      • Significant cosmetic blemishes, abrasion, or other signs of use that have compromised functionality in some way. We have higher standards here---most battle-damaged items can be easily repaired with a new buckle, minor sewing, etc.
      • The item may exhibit clear internal/external writing. This may include rank, serial numbers, etc.


      Note: A “+” following any of these conditions indicates the product has also been freshly laundered.

      Instructions

      Featured here we have the original SADF field manual containing adjustment, handling and maintenance information on all P83 equipment. This can be viewed here. Field Pack usage information can be found on pages A5, A18-A22, and A47-A52.

      average rating 4.9 out of 5
      Based on 10 reviews
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      100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
      Utility
      Rated 4 out of 5
      Performance
      Rated 4 out of 5
      Ergonomics
      Rated 4 out of 5
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      10 Reviews
      Reviewed by John S., from United States
      Verified Buyer
      I recommend this product
      Condition
      As Described
      Rated 5 out of 5
      Review posted

      Big boy bag

      The big boy bag came, it held everything we needed and did it’s job well

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      Rated 4 out of 5
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      Rated 4 out of 5
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      Rated 4 out of 5
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      Reviewed by Qboi M., from United States
      Verified Buyer
      I recommend this product
      Condition
      As Described
      Rated 5 out of 5
      Review posted

      Bush-tastic!

      Ordered a Great+ condition on the great sale-ning, arrived reasonably quickly (especially for the holidays). A great big ol' sacc with wonderful storage capabilities. Whether you're camping out in the boonies to cap some 'yotes and durr, or on a mission to slot some no-good floppies in the bush, you can count on the VinDieselSacc to carry all the necessary supplies to stay alive out there.

      Works better if you put Rhodesians Never Die and a mix of Die Antwoord on blast 24/7 while using.

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      Rated 5 out of 5
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      Rated 5 out of 5
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      Rated 4 out of 5
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      Reviewed by utlanning, from United States
      Verified Buyer
      I recommend this product
      Condition
      As Described
      Rated 5 out of 5
      Review posted

      It's a really big bag

      I'm sure there's more than a few sack aficionados checking out the reviews and seeing if this is worth it, so I don't have to explain to you why it's so satisfying to get good ruck. The point of the review is: this is a good ruck. If you're familiar with Berghaus or Bergen bags then you're in for more of the same, but this time in nutria brown. One point to note, (although it may be placebo effect on SADF gear) the bag feels like you could set off a grenade inside of it, and keep using it. Think of that assault pack you were issued in basic, think about all the privates who must have abused it for years before you got it, think about how there were no holes, no broken straps, no busted buckles, minimal stains. This is that assault pack's cooler, thiccer cousin. I packed it out (to about 55lbs, full but not jam-packed) and wore it out for a 3 day trip and it's about what you can expect, comfortable and evenly placed weight that rides your hips, no complaints or hotspots. I know the description mentions soldiers ditching the frame, but external frame packs are peak hiking boomer aesthetic, so I reused an old Kelty frame I had. If i were to buy a special frame for this ruck, I'd check out a game hauler frame like Outdoor Z's Commander. Testament to the bag: I bought one for myself, liked it so much, I bought another as a gift.

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      Rated 5 out of 5
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      Rated 4 out of 5
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      Rated 4 out of 5
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      Reviewed by Christopher, from United States
      Verified Buyer
      I recommend this product
      Condition
      As Described
      Rated 5 out of 5
      Review posted

      A big sturdy bag!

      It's a bag. You can put things in there, it's great!

      Overall, the bag is as described and works as intended. Other users noted stiff or brittle zippers, mine seem to work easy with the exception of the document compartment on the main flap. That zipper was caked in corrosion and would not function without some elbow grease. The only other issue I had was that the male end of the buckle that connects the shoulder straps was missing.

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      Rated 5 out of 5
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      Rated 5 out of 5
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      Rated 4 out of 5
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      Reviewed by Blair B., from United States
      Verified Buyer
      I recommend this product
      Condition
      Better Than Described
      Rated 5 out of 5
      Review posted

      Big bag for a big man

      This bag is pretty big, but it fits me perfectly since I'm 6'6" and 325 lbs. Its got plenty of pockets to stash things in like MRE's and Zibby beans (provided they last long enough to get to the woods). I ordered mine in serviceable condition and was surprised when there was only one tear in it where that middle peice forms the second pouch in the bottom of the bag. Its a pain to fix because of where it is but all in all its not really that bad. Contrary to other reviews, the zippers on mine don't feel stiff or brittle and come open and closed really easily. Top tier bag.

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      Rated 5 out of 5
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      Rated 5 out of 5
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